CHILDREN’S PLACE SETTLES SUIT: Children’s Place Retail Stores Inc. has agreed to pay $12 million to settle a class action lawsuit that alleged its officers misrepresented facts about operations that caused the company’s stock to artificially increase. The company said that it denied all the suit’s allegations and decided to eliminate further litigation and related expenses. Children’s Place said the settlement’s cost would be covered by insurance.

CANADA SIGNS WITH JORDAN: Canada signed a free trade agreement Sunday with Jordan, its first with an Arab nation. The deal gives Jordan preferential trade conditions, including full exemption from customs duties for Jordanian goods. In return, the Mideast country will lower customs duties on Canadian products over a four-year transitional period. Agriculture, forestry, manufacturing and agri-food are expected to be the beneficiaries from immediate duty free access. The agreement is expected to be ratified by both parliaments later this year. Bilateral trade was estimated to be about $80 million in 2008, according to the Canadian Embassy in Amman, Jordan.

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