At least 11 UPS employees, including two supervisors and drivers, have been arrested on state charges of drug trafficking, based on a decade-long joint investigation by local, state, and federal law enforcement officials. The UPS employees are accused of helping smuggle huge volumes of drugs vaping oils from Mexico into the U.S., exploiting a vulnerability in the UPS distribution system.
This drug-trafficking operation reportedly was done by erasing the origin and destination of drug parcels and using UPS trucks to deliver them – circumventing security measures set in place to intercept drugs in the distribution network. In its statement, UPS said it was cooperating with law enforcement agencies, but refused to share further details, citing the ongoing investigation.
Did you know?
In October 2019, EU commercial vehicle registrations declined by 7.3%, following a 10.0% decrease in September. Demand fell in all segments, although the slowdown in van sales – making up more than 80% of EU commercial vehicle demand – had a major impact on the overall results for October. With the exception of Italy (+0.7%) and Spain (+0.9%), the major EU markets posted declines. Germany saw the strongest drop last month (-11.4%), followed by the UK (-9.3%) and France (-2.6%).
“The ‘bicycle theory’ used to be a metaphor for international trade policy. Just as standing still on a bicycle is not an option – one must keep moving forward or else fall over – so it was said that trade negotiators must engage in successive rounds of liberalisation. Otherwise, global openness would gradually succumb to protectionist interests.”
– Jeffrey Frankel, professor at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, commenting on why governments should stop their tariff wars and look to integrate for reducing trade inequality.
In other news
FCA, PSA work to avoid antitrust problems in merger
PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will continue to operate as competitors until their planned $50 billion merger gets approval by the various antitrust authorities around the world, a process that could take over a year. (Automotive News Europe)
Why OPEC should worry about Russia’s latest oilfield
Russia’s largest oil company, Rosneft, has started domestic crude oil deliveries from one of the country’s biggest oil fields, just days before Russia and OPEC are set to sit down to discuss their ongoing production cuts. (Oilprice)
Trouva, an online marketplace for independent boutiques, raises $22 million
Trouva is an online marketplace for brick-and-mortar independent boutiques selling “beautiful” and hard-to-find pieces. (TechCrunch)
Solid state battery breakthrough could double the density of lithium-ion cells
Researchers at Australia’s Deakin University have managed to open the door to double-density solid state lithium batteries that won’t explode or catch fire if they overheat. (New Atlas)
Alibaba, OneConnect lead China’s blockchain patent race
Alibaba and OneConnect scored the highest in China’s recent Blockchain Patents list after they both filed IPO prospectuses at the same time. (Bitcoinist)
The city of Oxford has addressed U.K.’s need for electric charging infrastructure by installing on-street chargers that pop-up from pavements when there’s a vehicle that’s looking to get charged. When not in use, these installations will retract into the pavement.
Six such chargers have been installed in North Oxford, providing users with charging capacity of up to 7kW. Interested users can install a smartphone application that shows them where the charging points are located and if they are currently in use. Users can summon the chargers using the application. If a vehicle is left plugged in overnight, the station looks to charge intelligently by doing it during the hours when electricity is cheaper – providing tangible savings to the user.
Hammer down everyone!