Business Diary: Hacks hope to roundly beat the flacks

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The Independent Online

Baseball and softball failed to get into the 2012 Olympics but the British equivalent, rounders, makes a welcome appearance at this year's charity cricket match between financial journalists and financial PRs (hacks vs flacks). The rounders features mixed teams and Diary will swing a bat. Unlike the Yanks for whom baseball is a national obsession, we Brits take rounders less seriously. Asking about the rules, Diary was told by Anna White, of PricewaterhouseCoopers, to "smash the ball out of the park so the game is declared void and we can all sit with a beer and watch cricket". Sounds like a home run to us.

Kenya shows the way on green phones

Diary was delighted to hear that Kenya's largest mobile network operator Safaricom had launched a solar-charged phone. The handset, developed by ZTE and Intivation, is also made from recycled materials to supersize its environmental friendliness. What a shame that even in the heat of summer, the phone may not work in the UK.

Not the best-paying brewer in the world

The Forum of Private Business has put Carlsberg into its late-payment hall of shame, saying the world's fourth-largest beer maker takes more than 95 days to pay many suppliers. It called the practice of a standard payment term "wholly unacceptable". Matt Goodman, its policy representative, said: "Carlsberg's incredible terms mean many suppliers could be waiting more than four months for payment." Carlsberg said if such payment terms were unacceptable it would "work with our suppliers to reach terms that are agreeable".

Madoff scandal is rewritten as Casanova

Had enough of Madoff? The publishing house Wiley doesn't think so as it prepares to release the latest tell-all about the disgraced financier. Jerry Oppenheimer, who has written unauthorised biographies on celebrities from Barbara Walters to Martha Stewart, promises a series of exclusives including how his folks had a run-in with the Securities and Exchange Commission, details of his obsessive-compulsive disorder, and claims he was a "serial Casanova".