Afternoon Coffee: Ghosn exploited airport security flaw, WSJ reports; McDonald’s targets its ‘party’ culture; Borden Dairy in bankruptcy

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More details on ex-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn’s escape from Japan keep coming in. The Wall Street Journal has an exclusive report that says an airport in Osaka had a security lapse. The area for private jets supposedly didn’t have a scanner for large containers, the report said. Media reports have indicated that Ghosn, who was charged with financial misdeeds, was secreted out of his home and the country in a large music case.

The Journal had this about Kansai International Airport in Osaka:

“A spokesman for the airport’s operator said its security is no different from other airports in Japan. He said all luggage too large for X-ray scanning is supposed to be opened by security staff, but an airport-security expert said they don’t necessarily do so for private-jet travelers as they are considered a lower terrorism risk. Unlike in the U.S., where security is handled by the government, in Japan airlines are responsible for security and use private security companies, the expert said.”

McDonald’s targets its ‘party’ culture

McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski is trying to address the company’s “party” culture and institute more professional standards for its staff, suppliers and franchisees, according to a message to employees that CNBC is reporting on. This news comes after the Wall Street Journal reported that the previous CEO, Steve Easterbrook, tolerated late-night socializing between executives and rank-and-file corporate staff. Easterbrook was fired in November over a consensual relationship with an employee in violation of McDonald’s corporate policy.

U.S. pushed Netherlands to block sale of chip equipment to China

Reuters reports the U.S. government had mounted an extensive campaign to stop the sale of Dutch chip manufacturing technology to China. Quoting people familiar with the development, the report claimed U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had lobbied hard with the Netherlands government, and that Trump administration officials had even shared a classified intelligence report with the country’s prime minister. The campaign began in 2018, after the Dutch government had permitted semiconductor equipment company ASML a license to sell its most advanced machine to a Chinese customer.

Borden files for bankruptcy

Borden Dairy has filed for bankruptcy protection, The Associated Press reports. It’s the second dairy to do so in recent months, with Dean Foods doing so in November, the AP said. Both are based in Dallas, Texas. The AP said that dairies are facing a downturn because of a shift in Americans’ diet, with far fewer gallons of milk being consumed a year.

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