- CEO OUT: The Children's Place Retail Stores Inc. said Wednesday that its chief executive officer resigned after an internal investigation revealed violations of the company's policies and procedures. Ezra Dabah stepped down from the position, and the board has named Chuck Crovitz, a current board member, as interim ceo. An investigation by the company's audit committee showed that in two instances Dabah did not comply with The Children's Place internal policies related to securities trades.

- HOLIDAY 2007 GIFT CARDS: The average American family will spend $184 on gift cards this holiday season, according to Archstone Consulting's Gift Card Survey, which examined the shopping habits of more than 1,000 Web users. Gift card purchases are expected to reach a record $35 billion, compared with $27.8 billion last year. The survey found that more than 56 percent of the gift cards are redeemed within the first month of purchase, and 85 percent of all cards are redeemed within three months. Almost 50 percent of the respondents spent more than the value of the card upon redemption.

- WTO TO HEAR U.S. CASE ON CHINA: The World Trade Organization this week established a dispute panel to review a complaint by the U.S. that China doesn't adequately enforce global rules to combat abuse of trademarks and copyright piracy. Foreign producers, including well-known fashion and luxury goods brands, complain that widespread counterfeiting in China costs them billions of dollars each year. Despite claims by Beijing that it is making determined efforts to develop and enforce intellectual property norms, the thrust of the U.S. concern is that "China has not provided for criminal procedures and penalties to be applied in cases of willful trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy that fail to meet certain thresholds." The U.S. said talks with China "have not resulted in a mutually agreeable solution to our concerns." China countered its intellectual property regime is consistent with WTO rules.

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