Spend Matters Afternoon Coffee

Apple owns up.
Apple finds rights violations in supply chain -- According to Apple's Supplier Responsibility 2011 Progress Report, the company has investigated and taken action upon every reported instance of a breach of supplier responsibility. In cases of core violations, which include instances of abuse, underage labour, involuntary labour, falsi?cation of audited materials, worker endangerment, intimidation or retaliation against workers participating in an audit, and signi?cant threats to the environment, the companies involved were required to immediately remedy the problems and were placed on probation or their services were terminated.

Smart phones dominate the supply chain.
In supply chain world, smart phones are taking care of business -- Smart phones are all the rage with consumers, but is there a place for the technology in supply chain operations? Yes, according to a recent study by the ARC Advisory Group. Nearly 70 percent of the 60 high-level supply chain executives surveyed said they're using smart phones like BlackBerrys and iPhones in their daily operations.

China is thirsty for US-made wine.
Wine Comes and Goes (to China, e.g.) -- Who's buying all that added export? Discerning drinkers around the globe, who either are looking for better taste or better value than they were used to. And, in several countries, more people being introduced to fine wine. The big example of all these trends is China, whose import thirst lights up the charts. Overall consumption rose by 25% 2002-2009. Meantime, China's domestic production is flat (and, with some exceptions, undistinguished) owing to various limitations including water.

Kim Jong Il skimps on birthday gifts (for the people of North Korea).
NKorea marks Kim's birthday amid economic hardship -- In the past, Kim has marked his birthday by handing out luxury items and other goods meant to cement loyalty. This year, however, there were signs the country was skimping on the usual largesse and saving up for next year's 100th anniversary of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung's birth. The North is eager to make good on its promise to build a "powerful, prosperous" nation by 2012.

And finally, some advice from one of my favorite authors.
15 Things Kurt Vonnegut Said Better Than Anyone Else Ever Has Or Will

- Sheena Moore

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