Breaking into foreign countries is forcing companies to adapt on the go, raising legal issues and gray areas at almost every turn — and causing them to worry about running afoul of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Proof of this came Tuesday when lawyers for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in a global review identified Brazil, China, India and South Africa, in addition to Mexico, as countries that represent the highest risk of corruption. According to a letter from lawmakers investigating the company, Reps. Elijah Cummings (D., Md.) and Henry Waxman (D., Calif.), Wal-Mart asked its lawyers to expand the review to a worldwide assessment of the company’s anticorruption policies.
Wal-Mart already was investigating a scandal at Wal-Mart de Mexico in which the company allegedly paid $24 million in Mexican bribes and $16 million in “donations” to local Mexican governments dating as far back as 2005. The New York Times disclosed in April that an internal inquiry by Wal-Mart into the matter had been suppressed at corporate headquarters in Arkansas. RELATED STORY: Wal-Mart Lawyers Recommend Extending Bribery Probe >>
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"