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Feb 18, 2019
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News briefs, 9-30-09

Teens beat innocent by-stander to death

CHICAGO — A fourth teenager was charged Monday evening with beating to death 16-year-old Derrion Albert, an “innocent bystander” who walked into the middle of a street fight between two groups of feuding teens last Thursday, according to prosecutors.

Charges of first-degree murder were announced against Eugene Bailey, 18, hours after three other teens were charged in the slaying.

The others charged are Silvonus Shannon, 19, Eugene Riley, 18, and Eric Carson, 16, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office. All were charged as adults.

Albert was beaten by teens from both sides of the simmering rivalry. One group of Fenger students lived near the school and the other is from the Altgeld Gardens housing development.

As Albert struggled to stand up and escape the melee, Riley also hit him with a railroad tie and Shannon repeatedly stomped on his head, the prosecutor said.

Obama optimistic about hosting the 2016 Olympics

WASHINGTON — Team Obama starts arriving Wednesday in Copenhagen, the vanguard of a high-profile effort to win the 2016 Olympics for Chicago, the president’s adopted hometown.

First lady Michelle Obama and top White House adviser Valerie Jarrett are to arrive at the International Olympic Committee meeting in Denmark on Wednesday to start lobbying in competition with the other bidders.

President Barack Obama will join them Friday in the first personal bid for an Olympics by a U.S. president.

“We think the bid is in very solid shape,” said Jarrett, a former aide to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley whose White House portfolio now includes the title of chair of the White House Office of Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport.

“Chicago is a sports town,” Jarret said. “We are strong supporters of sporting events. Even when they’re losing, the Cubs sell out.”

Chicago and Rio are the front-runners to win the nod, according to one insider who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to comment.

Myspace facilitates gunpoint robbery

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — Police have a message for the Internet generation: Be careful who you chat with.

A man in his late teens to early 20s was robbed after meeting a woman on Myspace who asked him to drive her around town.

The woman gave the man her phone number and he called her.

She then asked him to pick her up. The two drove around a bit before picking up a friend of the woman’s. They were going to drop him off and go to the woman’s house, police said. Instead, the man was robbed.

When they stopped to drop off the passenger, he pulled out a handgun. Other men at that address surrounded the car and ordered the victim out. The robbers stole the victim’s pants, wallet and keys.

The victim’s name was not released, and no arrests have been made.

Starbucks to sell instant coffee nation wide

SAN FRANCISCO — Starbucks, which made its name selling pricier espresso-based drinks, really does want to turn people on to its version of instant coffee.

In the company’s biggest product launch ever, Starbucks started yesterday selling its Via instant coffee packets at all U.S. and Canadian stores, backing the new product with a nationwide television advertising campaign and an in-store merchandising blitz.

It’s a rare move for a company that typically has shied away from TV advertising, underscoring what Starbucks says is a huge opportunity to revolutionize a key market. Instant coffee, at $17 billion in annual global sales, is 40 percent of the total coffee market.

According to Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz, instant coffee hasn’t seen any product innovation over the last half-century when it comes to taste. He believes people will find it hard to taste the difference between Via and the company’s brewed coffees.

“We are sitting on one of the biggest opportunities the company has ever had,” Schultz told reporters in a conference call. “We have a chance to transform the coffee industry.”

World’s poor emerging as newest market

TOKYO — An increasing number of Japanese companies have begun to target the world’s poorest socioeconomic group, aiming to eradicate poverty and improve sanitary conditions in developing countries.

The size of the market, currently led by Unilever PLC and other U.S. and European companies, is said to be worth about $5 trillion, or 450 trillion yen, annually.

Sumitomo Chemical Co. began manufacturing and selling mosquito nets to prevent malaria infections in Tanzania in 2003. It has produced about 19 million nets at a price of $5 (about 450 yen) each. The net is woven with threads infused with special insecticides. Currently, about 4,000 people work at two factories in the country.

“It’s not charity. It’s business,” said Tatsuo Mizuno, who is in charge of the project at Sumitomo Chemical. Yamaha Motor Co. started trial sales of water purifiers that convert dirty river water into safe and clean water for people in rural villages of five Southeast Asian countries in 2000.

Behind Japanese companies’ increasing interest in projects targeting the world’s poor is a sense of heightened corporate social responsibility. Furthermore, they aim to make inroads into the markets of developing countries as those in developed countries dwindle.

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