Hostess hangs on for another day in court
Hostess Brands Inc. lived to die another day. The maker of Twinkies and Ding Dongs said late Tuesday that it failed to reach an agreement with and its second biggest union. As a result, the company will continue with a hearing on Wednesday in which a bankruptcy court judge will decide if the company can liquidate. The talks had come as a surprise after Hostess declared last week it would move to wind down its business and start selling off its assets in bankruptcy court. After making its case to liquidate on Monday, however, the bankruptcy judge hearing the case noted the two sides hadn’t yet tried resolving their differences through private mediation. The judge noted that 18,000 jobs were on the line and urged the company and union to try to resolve their differences. Hostess shut down its three dozen plants late last week after it said a strike by the union crippled its ability to maintain normal production. The union says the company’s demise was the result of years of mismanagement.
Hewlett-Packard victim of $5 billion-plus fraud
NEW YORK Hewlett-Packard Co. said on Tuesday that it’s the victim of a $5-billion-plus fraud, claiming a British company it bought last year lied about its finances. HP CEO Meg Whitman said executives at Autonomy Corporation PLC “willfully” boosted the company’s figures through various accounting tricks, which convinced HP to pay $9.7 billion for the company in October 2011. Autonomy’s former CEO said HP’s allegations are false. HP is now taking an $8.8 billion charge to align the accounting value of Autonomy with its real value. More than $5 billion of that charge is due to the false accounting, HP said. The revelation is another blow for HP, which is struggling to reinvent itself as PC and printer sales shrink. The company’s stock hit a 10-year low in morning trading.
Parents warned to be careful with laundry packets around children
WASHINGTON The Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning parents to be careful with those little single-load liquid laundry packets. The agency says some of the chemicals in the packets are toxic, so they need to be kept away from children. Adults need to be careful handling them, too, CPSC says. This year alone, the commission says it’s received reports from consumers and poison control centers of about 500 incidents involving children and adults who were injured by the product. Children have required hospitalization from ingesting the chemicals in the packets – suffering loss of consciousness, excessive vomiting, drowsiness, throat swelling, and difficulty breathing. The chemicals have splashed in eyes, too – also resulting in medical treatment, CPSC said.
Older BMW R-Series motorcycles might be subject to fire from gas leaks
DETROIT Federal safety regulators are investigating older BMW R-Series motorcycles for gasoline leaks that could cause fires. The probe affects about 24,000 motorcycles from the 2005 through 2008 model years sold in the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the housing around the fuel pump can crack and leak gasoline. No fires or injuries have been reported, but the safety agency has received 28 complaints from owners of the bikes. At least two owners say that gas soaked their pant legs. Investigators will check into how often the leaks happen and determine if a recall is necessary.
The Associated Press contributed.