January 31, 2013 in Business

Chevron fined for violations linked to fire

From Wire Reports
 

RICHMOND, Calif. – California workplace safety officials have fined Chevron Corp. $1 million in connection with a fire last year at the company’s San Francisco Bay area refinery that sent a cloud of gas and black smoke over residential areas.

The state’s Division of Occupation Safety and Health said on Wednesday that its investigators found “willful violations” in Chevron’s response before, during and after the Aug. 6 fire in Richmond.

The agency says the company didn’t follow the recommendations of its own inspectors and scientists to replace the corroded pipe that ultimately ruptured and caused the fire. They also charged the company with not following its own emergency shutdown procedures when the leak was identified.

EPA moves to ban D-Con rat poisons

WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency is moving to ban the sale of a dozen rat and mouse poisons sold under the popular D-Con brand in an effort to protect children and pets.

The agency said Wednesday it hopes to reduce the thousands of accidental exposures that occur every year from rodent-control products.

The agency had targeted a handful of companies two years ago, saying they needed to develop new products that are safer for children, pets and wildlife. All but Reckitt Benckiser Inc., manufacturer of D-Con, did so.

The company will have at least 30 days to request a hearing before an administrative law judge. If no hearing is requested, the ban will take effect.

Facebook exceeds 4Q expectations

NEW YORK – Facebook delivered fourth-quarter results above Wall Street’s expectations on Wednesday and sought to show that it has finally transformed into a “mobile company” after rising to dominance as a Web-based social network.

But its stock dropped in after-hours trading as investors placed more significance on the company’s growing expenses rather than on its increasing user base and higher advertising revenue.

“Everything was slightly better than expected,” said Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter. “I don’t see anything here that would make me want to sell the stock.”

Nonetheless, Facebook’s stock fell $1.11, or 3.6 percent, to $30.13 in after-hours trading following the earnings report.

The world’s largest social media company earned $64 million, or 3 cents per share, in the October-December period. That’s down 79 percent from $302 million, or 14 cents per share, a year earlier when it was still a privately held company.

Revenue rose 40 percent to $1.59 billion from $1.13 billion, surpassing analysts’ expectations of $1.51 billion.

Google Maps shows details of North Korea

SEOUL, South Korea – Google Inc.’s map with more details of North Korea has gone live.

Google Maps shows details of North Korea, including streets, parks, monuments and train stops in the capital of Pyongyang. Until Tuesday, North Korea was among the few places in Google Maps where scant information was available.

The map shows at least four places where North Korea’s government is believed to operate prison camps.

Google says citizen cartographers started building the North Korea map in 2009 based on satellite images and other public information.

The U.S. company said the map is not perfect and building the map is an ongoing process.

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