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• The Chicago Sun Times reports that Kraft Foods is under pressure to sever ties to an Idaho dairy farm that stands accused of animal cruelty.

They aren't just accusations. Mercy for Animals, an animal rights group, yesterday released a video showing workers at the Bettencourt Dairies’ Dry Creek Dairy who "viciously punch, kick, jump atop and stomp on cows held in restraints as the animals scream in pain." In other scenes, "the cows are mercilessly beaten with canes and shocked with electric prods as they struggle to keep their balance on the slippery and unsanitary feces-covered floors of holding sheds."

And, it isn't just Kraft. The Sun Times reports that "Bettencourt also sells milk to cheese suppliers for the Wendy’s burger chain. Wendy’s said Wednesday that it had demanded that its supplier sever ties with Bettencourt immediately. Bettencourt is an indirect supplier to Burger King, the world’s second-largest burger chain, which said it had launched an investigation that could result in similar action."

Reuters reports that Toys R Us "will open toy departments in 24 Macy's Inc (NYS:M) stores this holiday season as the world's largest specialty toy retailer looks to reach more shoppers in the biggest selling season of the year. The toy departments, which will be open roughly from October 15 to January 15 next year, will be in Macy's stores in key U.S. markets including California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey and New York.

• The New York Times reports this morning that "the Girl Scout cookie box is getting a major makeover - for the first time in more than a dozen years - to better tell the story of what girls learn from selling cookies. Thin Mints, Samoas, Trefoils all and the other cookie varieties will move from being a product to a messenger, seeking to explain what scouts do and to reconnect with some of the 59 million Girl Scout alumnae ... The new box lists the five skills that girls learn from the Girl Scout cookie program: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics."

According to the story, "The scouting organization describes the annual cookie sale as 'the biggest girl-led business in the world,' with two-thirds of scouts participating annually. Cookie sales have increased more than 3 percent in each of the last three years. Last year, 214 million boxes were sold, for a total of $787 million, up from 207 million boxes and $760 million the year before."
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