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• Add the state of Minnesota to the list of states considering health care mandate bills. The Minnesota version of the bill – which was passed in Maryland, though it is the subject of legal challenge – says that retailers with 10,000 or more employees (like Wal-Mart) will be required to spend a minimum of eight percent of its wages on health care benefits or pay the difference to a state fund.

• The Washington Post reports that Wal-Mart plans to hire as many as 150,000 people in China over the next five years as it ploys out a major expansion in that nation.

Joe Hatfield, CEO of Wal-Mart Asia, says that “the company plans to open 20 stores in the country this year and is racing to train more staff so that it can speed up growth,” according to the Post. Wal-Mart currently has just 56 stores in China and employs just 30,000 people, and doesn’t even do enough business to qualify in for the top-30 retailer list there…but if things happen as the company expects, that soon will change.
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