ABIDJAN – Child labour has increased in top grower Ivory Coast’s cocoa sector during its coronavirus lockdown, according to a report released on Wednesday by an industry-backed foundation. The percentage of children engaged in labour between mid-March and mid-May rose to 19.4% from 16% in the same period in recent years, according to a survey of over 1,400 households conducted by the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI). The report said it was too early to attribute…"Child labour on Ivory Coast cocoa farms rises during pandemic, study finds"
– French pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie will miss this month’s Zurich Diamond League event after breaking his thumb during training. “I underwent tests that showed a fractured thumb, I will undergo surgery tomorrow,” the 2012 Olympic champion wrote on Twitter on Wednesday, adding he would be back at the end of August. Lavillenie, who held the world record until it was beaten by Sweden’s Armand Duplantis last February, was scheduled to take part in the…"Lavillenie to miss Diamond League’s Zurich leg with fractured thumb"
ZURICH – ABB Ltd plans to buy back up to 10% its stock after releasing second-quarter results, it said on Wednesday while announcing it had completed the sale of its Power Grids business to Hitachi Ltd . The Swiss engineering group will ask shareholders at the 2021 annual meeting to approve cancelling the stock it buys back via a second trading line, it added in a statement. It will get net cash proceeds of $7.6–7.8…"ABB to buy back up to 10% of its shares after completing Power Grids sale"
LONDON – Currency traders were broadly cautious in early London trading on Wednesday, with the Japanese yen seeing its first session of gains in more than a week, before key European and U.S. economic data. The dollar rose overnight before erasing gains, ahead of U.S. manufacturing data for June, which is expected to show a rebound in activity. The dollar was up around 0.2% on the day at 97.407 against a basket of currencies at…"Dollar steadies, yen gains; European economic data in focus"
– Soccer’s world governing body FIFA has banned Markus Kattner, a former leading official in the Zurich organisation, for 10 years and has fined him one million Swiss francs ($1.06 million) after a probe into bonus payments. “The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has found Markus Kattner, former FIFA Deputy Secretary General and Acting Secretary General, guilty of conflicts of interest and having abused his position, in violation of the FIFA Code of…"FIFA bans former top official Kattner for 10 years"
GENEVA – The outlook for the global labour market in the second half of 2020 is “highly uncertain” and the forecast recovery will not be enough for employment to return to pre-pandemic levels this year, the International Labour Organization said on Tuesday. In its latest report, the U.N. labour agency said that the fall in global working hours was “significantly worse than previously estimated” in the first half of the year, with the Americas the…"Global labour market ‘uncertain’, no return to pre-pandemic levels in 2020: ILO"
LONDON – A study of coronavirus infections that covered almost everyone in the quarantined north Italian town of Vò found that 40% of cases showed no symptoms – suggesting that asymptomatic cases are important in the spread of the pandemic. The study, led by a scientist at Italy’s Padua University and Imperial College London, also produced evidence that mass testing combined with case isolation and community lockdowns can stop local outbreaks swiftly. “Despite ‘silent’ and…"Italian whole-town study finds 40% of coronavirus cases had no symptoms"
LONDON – More joined up rules may be needed across the payments sector after the collapse of Germany’s Wirecard AG, Bank for International Settlements president Augustin Carstens said. Wirecard’s demise has thrown a spotlight on payments, which is one of the fastest growing sectors in financial services and which central banks could enter themselves by developing digital forms of national currencies. “One of the key aspects will be how different and non-bank participants and payment…"New rules may be needed for payments in wake of Wirecard, BIS boss says"
GENEVA – Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam told the main U.N. human rights forum on Tuesday that China’s national security legislation for Hong Kong would fill a “gaping hole” and would not undermine its autonomy. China’s parliament passed national security legislation for Hong Kong, setting the stage for the most radical changes to the former British colony’s way of life since it returned to Chinese rule 23 years ago. Lam, in a video message to…"Hong Kong leader says national security law won’t undermine autonomy"
GENEVA – Nigeria’s candidate to head the World Trade Organization (WTO) said she feels “strong support” from Africa and expects African leaders to unite behind one candidate as sources following the race said she is gaining broader backing. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former finance and foreign minister who has more than 25 years experience at the World Bank, is seeking to replace Brazil’s Roberto Azevedo who announced last month he would step down on Aug. 31,…"Nigeria’s WTO nominee says has ‘strong support’ from Africa"