The Journal Gazette
Friday, February 14, 2020 1:00 am


Racketeering charge added to China's Huawei

Staff, news services

NEW YORK – The U.S. added a charge of racketeering conspiracy against Huawei Technologies Co., potentially increasing the penalties the Chinese company would face if convicted.

Huawei was already facing a series of criminal charges for allegedly violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and North Korea.

The new charge steps up U.S. pressure on Huawei. The government already had banned the company's technology and accused Huawei of aiding Beijing in espionage. Now the company faces even more significant criminal penalties if prosecutors win a conviction in federal court in Brooklyn, New York.

Huawei has accused the U.S. government of orchestrating a campaign to intimidate its employees and launching cyberattacks to infiltrate its internal network. The accusations have ratcheted up tensions between Huawei and the Trump administration.

Area talent initiative launched

The Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation on Thursday announced the launch of the organization's talent initiative, which will attract and retain talent to the community.

“Our team understands that talent is the new currency in economic development, and we believe the career opportunities and quality of life in our community makes Kosciusko County a standout Midwest location to live or work,” said Alan Tio, CEO of the economic development agency, also known as KEDco. “Our talent initiative will deliver a menu of services for individuals and employers alike that is unique to Kosciusko County.”

Services in development include a talent pipeline project in collaboration with Indianapolis-based TMap, a carpooling project in collaboration with Commute with Enterprise, customized community tours, and trailing partner/spouse support through a dual career recruitment program.

Danielle Rich recently joined KEDCo to develop and launch the talent initiative.

Comcast investigation sought

An activist investor with a track record of drawing attention to gender discrimination issues at large companies has called on Comcast to conduct an independent investigation into the company's “failures to prevent workplace sexual harassment.”

Arjuna Capital, based in Boston, filed a proposed shareholder resolution asking Comcast for an independent review and a report on such failures, citing the need to avoid legal and reputational risk.

Comcast wants to exclude the proposal from resolutions that shareholders would get to vote on at its annual shareholder meeting, typically held in June. The Philadelphia media giant argues the proposal deals with the company's ordinary business operations, which is outside the purview of shareholders, according to a Jan. 31 letter it filed with the U.S. stock market regulator Securities and Exchange Commission.

Arjuna Capital's proposed resolution cites NBC's 2017 firing of former Today show host Matt Lauer over sexual harassment claims and questions about how NBC News has handled workplace sexual misconduct, among other things. The proposal said a report should assess how the company could better hold employees accountable when they cause harm.

Court halts Microsoft work

A federal court has ordered the Pentagon to temporarily halt work with Microsoft on a $10 billion military cloud contract that Amazon was initially favored to win.

Amazon sued last November, alleging that President Donald Trump's bias against the company hurt its chances to win the project. In July, before the contract was awarded, Trump publicly claimed that other companies told him the contract wasn't competitively bid and said the administration would take a long look at it. Amazon has asked to depose Trump, the former and current secretaries of defense and other officials as part of its case.

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