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• Two Democratic US Congressmen – Rep. George Miller of California, and Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut – has asked the US Department of Labor to eliminate three provisions from its settlement with Wal-Mart in a child labor case.

The department had agreed that in the future it would give Wal-Mart 15 days notice of future investigations, would allow the company a grace period during it can fix violations before being fined or charged, and would limit its public disclosure of Wal-Mart’s infractions. While the department has defended its agreement and noted that Wal-Mart did pay a $135,540 fine, the Congressmen want those parts of the agreement voided.

• The Financial Times reports that Andy Bond, CEO of Wal-Mart’s Asda Group in the UK, is saying that he believes it possible that Sainsbury - which Asda overtook for second place in the nation’s supermarket race – could move back into second place next year.

"We have bottomed out and Sainsbury's is back up the ski slope," Bond tells the Financial Times. "We have been neck and neck for a long time and they may overtake us."

Tesco seems comfortably ensconced in first place.

Bond said that with the opening of new, smaller stores, he believes that Asda could get the second place position back by 2007.

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