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    Showing posts with label Business News. Show all posts

    Nifty below 8,000, heads for sixth day of losses

    The Nifty broke below the 8,000 level for the first time since Oct. 1, heading towards a sixth consecutive losing session after a private survey showed the manufacturing sector cooled to its slowest in nearly two years in October.

    The Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, compiled by Markit, fell to 50.7 in October from September's 51.2. The 50-mark divides expansion from contraction.

    Falls in Asian markets also dented sentiment after soft Chinese factory surveys and U.S. consumer spending data raised concerns over the global economic outlook.

    Meanwhile, Coffee Day Enterprises, the operator of India's biggest coffee chain, fell as much as 17 percent in its market debut on Monday, as investors fretted over a generous price tag they said underestimated concerns around its complex structure.

    India's volatility index surged over 10 percent on Monday, its biggest single-day rise since Sept. 22.

    "Overall the mood is cautious because since the last five days we are seeing losses," Alex Mathews, head of research at Geojit BNP Paribas, said.
    The broader NSE index was trading 0.72 percent lower falling as much as 0.82 percent to 7,999.30 points, its lowest level since Oct 1.

    The benchmark BSE index was down 0.8 percent falling as much as 0.96 percent. The index hit its lowest intraday level since Oct 5.

    Industrial heavyweight Larsen & Toubro extended losses from the previous session and was down 2.3 percent after a slew of brokerages downgraded the stock on weak growth outlook.

    L&T, seen as a bellwether of the domestic economy, on Friday halved the growth it expects in its order book in the current financial year.

    Among other decliners, Bajaj Auto Ltd fell over 5 percent, hitting earlier its lowest level since Oct. 20, after reporting a 9 percent fall in total vehicle sales for October.

    Nokia gets Rs 2,400-crore tax demand notice from Tamil Nadu govt

    In yet another setback to Finnish handset maker Nokia , the Tamil Nadu government has slapped on it a Rs. 2,400 crore tax demand notice related to the devices sold from its Chennai factory.
       
    Nokia, which as part of its deal with the US-based software giant Microsoft has to transfer its Indian assets including the Chennai factory by March-end, on Friday approached the Madras High Court challenging claims made by the Tamil Nadu government.
       
    The development comes within a week of the Supreme Court refusing to lift restraint on sale of its Indian assets in a separate case related to payment of tax dues.
       
    Tamil Nadu government's Commercial Taxes Department (VAT) have assessed sales tax on the devices sold from the firm's Chennai manufacturing facility.
       
    According to sources, the government has claimed that the company is selling mobile phones in the domestic market instead of exporting them.
       They said the state government has sent a tax demand notice of about Rs. 2,400 crore to the company in relation to this issue.
       
    "Nokia has today filed a writ to the Madras High Court to contest a claim from the Tamil Nadu tax department, which has moved to assess sales tax on the export of devices from the company's Chennai facility," the company said in a statement.
       
    Nokia considers the claim to be completely without merit and counter to domestic tax laws, it added.
       
    "Nokia will defend itself vigorously in this matter. It is absurd that the Tamil Nadu tax authority is now claiming that devices made in Chennai were not exported and were instead sold domestically in India.
       
    "We contend that this allegation has no basis in reality whatsoever; it could easily be rebuffed by a check of documentation provided to various governmental departments including Customs," the company said.
       
    In India, exports are by law exempt from tax and Nokia has proved consistently that devices produced at Chennai are exported abroad, it added.
       
    Nokia further said, "Indeed, the company has been regularly assessed and audited by the tax authorities since 2006 without incident, and it has also won numerous export awards from governmental organisations."

    Deadly New York Explosion Highlights Urgent Need To Fix City's Crumbling Gas Lines

    Public officials and engineers have long warned about the dangers posed by the outdated, moldering pipelines that snake beneath the streets of major cities like New York, feeding gas into the furnaces of millions of homes.

    For nearly two decades, federal authorities have directed pipeline operators to replace these leak-prone, cast-iron lines with pipes made of plastic and other modern materials. And many states, including New York, have embarked on programs to do just that.

    But these efforts could take decades to complete, and in the meantime, weakened pipes could spring deadly leaks.

    This possibility and the need for repairs have come into sharp focus in the aftermath of an explosion that tore apart two buildings in Manhattan on Wednesday morning, killing at least seven people and injuring dozens more.

    "The human cost of inaction is clear," said Ydanis Rodriguez, a New York City councilman, in a statement to reporters. "If the necessary funding for these repairs and improvements is not granted by the federal and state governments, tragic occurrences such as today's may become more common in our city."

    It's not yet clear what caused the leak that led to the explosion. Records show that the city approved a permit to replace 120 feet of gas piping last summer for a heating system at one of the collapsed buildings. The company that did the work, New York Heating Corp., did not return calls seeking comment.

    But a Consolidated Edison spokeswoman, D. Joy Faber, confirmed to HuffPost that the main pipe that funneled gas into the heating systems of the now-obliterated East Harlem buildings was partly made of cast iron and dated back to 1887. And as several engineers and officials noted, that can be a problem.

    Compared with a more pliable material like plastic, cast iron becomes brittle over time. A heavy blow can crack the pipes, and so can ground movements caused by alternating spells of warmth and cold.

    Federal data on the integrity of gas mains show that serious leaks causing death, injury or major property damage stem from cast iron pipes four times more often than those made from other materials.

    In January 2011, a leak in a cast-iron gas pipeline in Philadelphia led to a blast that killed a utility worker and injured five others. Fuel from another leaky cast iron gas main caused a major explosion in Allentown, Pa., a month later, killing five people, including a 16-year-old girl and a 4-month-old boy.

    Tata Motors to cut vehicle prices by up to Rs 1.5 lakh

    Auto major Tata Motors today announced cut in prices by up to Rs 1.5 lakh across its product portfolio following excise duty reduction announced in the interim Budget.

    The price reduction across passenger vehicles is in the range of Rs 6,300 to Rs 69,000, depending on the model, while the cut in commercial vehicles portfolio is in the range of Rs 15,000 to Rs 150,000, Tata Motors said in a statement.
    "The price reduction is in the light of excise duty cut on vehicles and the company is passing on the excise reduction to the customers," a Tata Motors spokesperson said.

    The reduction is with immediate effect, she added.

    The company's passenger vehicle portfolio comprises models from entry level hatchback Nano to multi utility vehicle Aria. Besides, the company sells a range of commercial vehicles, including buses.

    In the interim Budget 2014-15, Finance Minister P Chidambaram had announced reduction of excise duty on small cars, scooters, motorcycles and commercial vehicles to 8 per cent from 12 per cent earlier; 24 per cent from 30 per cent on SUVs; 24 per cent from 27 per cent on large cars and 20 per cent from 24 per cent in mid sized cars.

    Earlier during the week, various car makers including Maruti Suzuki India (MSI), Hyundai Motor India, Honda Cars India, Volkswagen, Mahindra & Mahindra, Fiat and Nissan had also announced price cuts.

    3 Tickets Match Winning Numbers For $448 Million Jackpot

    A Minnesota man claimed his third of a $448 million Powerball jackpot on Thursday, wasting no time before revealing his good fortune to the world and saying he had "been waiting for this day my entire life."

    Paul White, 45, a project engineer from Ham Lake, said his family often gave him a hard time for frequently playing the lottery, and he had a tough time convincing many of them that he had finally won.

    "The only person who didn't feel I was BSing them was my mother," a beaming White said at a news conference where he was joined by his girlfriend, brother and two colleagues.

    White said he'll take a lump sum, which will amount to $58.3 million after taxes. Despite the minuscule odds of a jackpot win, White said he often daydreamed about how he'd spend his winnings if he won.

    "I've totally been waiting for this day my entire life," he said, lamenting that he has to wait two weeks for his money. "Start the clock right now," he said, eliciting laughs.

    The other two winning tickets were sold in New Jersey, including in a coastal community that is still recovering from Superstorm Sandy. But no one had stepped forward to claim either of those two shares as of Thursday afternoon.

    White said his girlfriend called him Thursday morning to say a winning ticket had been sold in Minnesota, and he quickly checked the 10 he had bought the night before.

    Mega-jackpot winners often wait days or weeks before claiming their prizes, giving them time to prepare and make legal arrangements. White said he had an attorney and financial adviser in mind, and wasn't afraid of the publicity – noting the New Jersey winners hadn't stepped forward yet.

    "I hope I'm yesterday's news as soon as possible," he said.

    White said he is divorced and has a 16-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter. He said his days working for a Minneapolis electrical contractor "are over," although he said he planned to help his boss, Ron Bowen, finish some projects before quitting. Referring to Bowen, who was sitting nearby, he quipped: "He started the day my boss. He's going to end the day my chauffeur."

    Heart Surgery in India for $1,583 Costs $106,385 in U.S.

    Devi Shetty is obsessed with making heart surgery affordable for millions of Indians. On his office desk are photographs of two of his heroes: Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi.

    Shetty is not a public health official motivated by charity. He’s a heart surgeon turned businessman who has started a chain of 21 medical centers around India. By trimming costs with such measures as buying cheaper scrubs and spurning air-conditioning, he has cut the price of artery-clearing coronary bypass surgery to 95,000 rupees ($1,583), half of what it was 20 years ago, and wants to get the price down to $800 within a decade. The same procedure costs $106,385 at Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

    “It shows that costs can be substantially contained,” said Srinath Reddy, president of the Geneva-based World Heart Federation, of Shetty’s approach. “It’s possible to deliver very high quality cardiac care at a relatively low cost.”

    Medical experts like Reddy are watching closely, eager to see if Shetty’s driven cost-cutting can point the way for hospitals to boost revenue on a wider scale by making life-saving heart operations more accessible to potentially millions of people in India and other developing countries.

    “The current price of everything that you see in health care is predominantly opportunistic pricing and the outcome of inefficiency,” Shetty, 60, said in an interview in his office in Bangalore, where he started his chain of hospitals, with the opening of his flagship center, Narayana Hrudayalaya Health City, in 2001.

    Out-of-Pocket

    Cutting costs is especially vital in India, where more than two-thirds of the population lives on less than $2 a day and 86 percent of health care is paid out of pocket by individuals. A recent study by the Public Health Foundation of India and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine found that in India non-communicable ailments such as heart disease are now more common among the poor than the rich.

    McDonald's Employees Walk Out In Protest Of No Air Conditioning After Crew Member Collapses

    A New York City McDonald's crew walked out Friday, saying they were forced to work without air conditioning amid record-high temperatures. One worker collapsed from the heat.

    Luisa Villa, an employee who participated in the walkout on Friday, said in an interview with The Huffington Post that the air conditioner in the restaurant's kitchen has been broken at least since she began working there nine years ago. The crew member who collapsed, Esheliz Méndez, had complained about the broken air conditioner numerous times, she added. A repair was made last year after another employee collapsed, Villa said, but the cooling system broke again within a week.

    "[The owners of the store] make fun of us because they think we're animals," Villa said in Spanish. "We're not animals. We're people. We don't want to die and you can certainly die from the heat, you know."

    Greg Basta, Deputy Director at New York Communities for Change, tweeted a photo of the scene:

    The McDonald's branch in question, located in Washington Heights, is an independently owned franchise managed by Dominga De Jesus, according to the company's website. Seventy people work there in total, Villa said.

    The McDonald's branch and the company's headquarters did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

    The New York City Fire Department told NBC News that it transported an unconscious person to the hospital from the McDonald's location early Friday afternoon.

    Villa said she and her fellow employees walked out simply because they want the air conditioner to be fixed. Soon after the walkout took place, the owners brought in temporary workers so the restaurant could continue operating. Villa added that she hopes the owners will not retaliate against the workers and fire them because of the protests.

    All-new 2014 Toyota Corolla goes from bland to bold

    The Toyota Corolla has long been the antithesis of the enthusiast car. It’s the automotive equivalent of smooth jazz — ubiquitous and innocuous but seldom loved. And like a forgettably syrupy Kenny G ballad album, it’s also enjoyed enviable success over the years; in 1997 it beat out the Volkswagen Beetle to become the best-selling nameplate of all time, and is always near the top of the charts for its segment, selling 290,947 units in 2012 in spite of being near the end of its model cycle.

    But reputation and bulletproof reliability alone hasn’t been enough to stave off competition in recent years, and it’s been sparring with the Ford Focus for bragging rights as the best-seller. Since a half-hearted makeover would likely lead to losing more marketshare, Toyota has unveiled a new, eleventh generation Corolla that’s sleeker and dare I say, interesting.

    Surprisingly similar to the carbon fiber-trimmed Corolla Furia concept from this year’s Detroit Auto Show, the production version sheds the frumpy profile from the existing car by stretching the wheelbase and overall length by almost four inches. With chiseled lines and sculpted creases on the outside and a sportily svelte cabin within, it’s the best-looking Corolla yet. Nonetheless, the smallish tires tucked into cavernous wheel wells show it’s still an economy car at its core.

    And while the fundamentals of the car won’t change much—there’s still a 1.8-liter, 132-horsepower engine, a four-speed automatic (in addition to a six-speed manual and CVT) and a torsion beam rear suspension—Toyota promises a more engaging drive. Steering has been slightly quickened to 3.19 turns lock-to-lock similar to the pre-refresh 2012 Honda Civic, and the electronic power steering unit touts better road feedback and accuracy. The S trim traditionally has little frills and no thrills, and for 2014 it’ll see a stiffened suspension setup as well as a 140-horsepower engine.

    So the “sporty” grade won’t take on a Volkswagen GLI at a stoplight, but efficiency, not speed, has always been one of the key selling points of the Corolla, and Toyota is targeting 42 highway mpg for the LE Eco trim. The compact will also see more standard features across the line-up, including Bluetooth connectivity, LED-adorned headlights and eight airbags.

    Abercrombie Protesters' Plight Highlights Brand's 'Exclusionary' Attitude


    Heather Arnet was escorted into the Abercrombie & Fitch headquarters in New Albany, Ohio, flanked by her contingent of 16 teenage girls. It was late 2005, and they were there to voice their discontent about a series of shirts that the company had unleashed on the market with text celebrating skinny blonde teenage girls while deriding brunettes and less-slender figures.

    The shirts in question: “I had a nightmare I was a brunette,” “Blondes are adored, brunettes are ignored,” “Do I make you look fat?” and more.

    Once inside, the group of protesters walked through a sea of cubicles and past towering images of men and women locked in embraces. The girls looked around in awe, wondering how strange it would be to work each day permanently surrounded by such images. Then, they entered a windowless conference room to plead their case that the fashion brand not demean people who do not fit its version of cool.

    Arnet left convinced that their mission was futile.

    “What we witnessed in that room that was so tangible was how deep the culture really is at Abercrombie,” said Arnet, reflecting on the experience nearly eight years later. “The only person who seemed empowered in that building was white and male.”

    In recent weeks, Abercrombie has been thrashed by consumers, activists and the media for refusing to stock larger sizes for female customers and for controversial remarks made by chief executive officer Mike Jeffries in a resurrected interview with Salon in 2006. Jeffries said at the time that his brand targets the “attractive all-American kid,” forcing the company to issue an apology.

    “A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong,” he told Salon. “Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”

    For Arnet, the chief executive officer of a Pennsylvania-based independent advocacy group called the Women and Girls Foundation, the current controversy feels familiar. In an interview with The Huffington Post this week, she described her own efforts to persuade Abercrombie executives to reexamine their values as a new set of activists are now heading to New Albany to discuss the retailer’s latest brush with protesters.

    Abercrombie does have women in powerful positions at the top of its corporate hierarchy. Three of the four executive vice presidents at Abercrombie are women, along with two of the nine members of the company’s board of directors.

    “Diversity and inclusion are key to our organization’s success,” reads a quote from Jeffries on the Abercrombie website. “We are determined to have a diverse culture, throughout our organization, that benefits from the perspectives of each individual.”

    But the way Arnet recalls her experience, that official message is quickly undermined by the reality inside the company’s headquarters: At her meeting, the men in the room did nearly all the talking, while dismissing the protestors as people who couldn't take a joke. The two women present sat mostly silent, Arnet said. After the meeting, Arnet took away a clear message: Abercrombie was not interested in broadening its consumer base to those deemed uncool.

    “The girls tried to push them to say whether they would move forward with this idea for a girl-empowering line,” said Arnet. “The A&F team declined to say anything specific or committal.”

    Lululemon Chief Product Officer Sheree Waterson Steps Down Following Yoga Pant Debacle

    Lululemon said Wednesday that its chief product officer is stepping down, as it updated the production problems it has had with see-through pants.

    The Canadian yoga wear maker said Sheree Waterson will leave effective April 15.

    In a statement, the company said the departure was part of a plan to reorganize its product team to support long-term growth. It wouldn't comment specifically if the departure was related to the pants problem.

    "As the organization matures organizational structure changes are often required," the company said in an email response to a query.

    Lululemon late last month pulled its Luon pants from store shelves because the fabric was too sheer. On Wednesday the company said after evaluating its production issues, it found the problem stemmed from incomplete testing protocols combined with a style change in the pants pattern. Lululemon hired a new team, including senior level positions in quality, raw materials, and production, to look into the problem and oversee production of the Luon pants, which cost $72 to $98.

    Luon pants, made from a combination of nylon and Lycra fibers, are one of the retailer's product staples and account for about 17 percent of all women's pants in its stores. The company is offering customers full refunds or exchanges Lululemon did not say when it expects Luon pants to be back on shelves.

    CEO Christine Day said the company stands by the outlook it offered on March 21 during an earnings report that came after the pants problem arose.

    At that time, the company said withdrawing Luons will cut its revenue by $12 million to $17 million in the first quarter and by $45 million to $50 million for the rest of the year, particularly in the second quarter. It also said it expects first-quarter earnings of 28 to 30 cents per share. It reported earnings of 32 cents per share a year ago. The company expects the recall will pull its earnings down by 11 to 12 cents per share.

    Macy's Catalog Typo Prices $1500 Necklace At $47

    Snagging a $1500 necklace for a mere $47 seems too good to be true, right?

    Recipients of Macy's national catalog had to really think this one through when the aforementioned price reduction was listed as a "Super Buy." The item, a 14k Gold and Sterling Silver Necklace, was even available for purchase in store, according to customer Robert Bernard.

    In an ABC News segment, Bernard recounts his experience at the Texas Macy's in Collin Creek Mall, where he witnessed the $47 necklace sell out before he ordered two of them to be shipped to his home. His total savings? $1,406. (That sure beats any deal we've ever scored.)

    Unfortunately, this was too good to be true. Macy's called a couple of days later to inform Bernard of the incorrect pricing and cancelled his order. The actual price of the 14K necklace was $479 -- meaning, the "9" was accidentally omitted. Oops?

    Beth Charlton, a Macy's spokeswoman, gave a statement to News 8:

        "When the mistake was caught, signage did go up in the fine jewelry department and on store doors alerting customers that a mistake had been made. For those customers who bought the necklace at the $47 price, they were fortunate. For the gentleman you spoke with, he was not so fortunate. We are sincerely sorry he was disappointed and unable to buy the necklace at the $47 price for his wife."

    Thus far, this hasn't really been a great year for the jewelry industry. Back in February, the De Beers counter in a Paris department store was robbed of millions of euros worth of stock. Just a day before that, armed robbers at Brussels airport left with $50 million worth of diamonds after a five-minute heist.

    We're not sure just how much Macy's lost in their unfortunate typo incident, but we're pretty sure they'll never take catalog editing lightly again. Check out the video and shot of the typo and tell us what you think!

    New Cars Increasingly Out of Reach for Many Americans

     Looking to buy a new car, truck or crossover? You may find it more difficult to stretch the household budget than you expected, according to a new study that finds median-income families in only one major U.S. city actually can afford the typical new vehicle.

    Audi cars for sale at a dealership on January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Michael DalderThe typical new vehicle is now more expensive than ever, averaging $30,500 in 2012, according to TrueCar.com data, and heading up again as makers curb the incentives that helped make their products more affordable during the recession when they were desperate for sales.

    According to the 2013 Car Affordability Study by Interest.com, only in Washington could the typical household swing the payments, the median income there running $86,680 a year. At the other extreme, Tampa, Fla., was at the bottom of the 25 large cities included in the study, with a median household income of $43,832.

    The study looked at a variety of household expenses, such as food and housing, and when it comes to purchasing a new vehicle, it considered more than just the basic purchase price, down payment and monthly note, factoring in such essentials as taxes and insurance.

    Bottom line? A buyer in the capital can purchase a car with a sticker price of $31,940, slightly more than the new vehicle average for the 2013 model year and about what it would cost for a mid-range Ford Fusion sedan or a stripped-down BMW X1 crossover. The buyer in Tampa? They'll just barely cover the cost of a basic Kia Rio, with $14,516 to spend.

    "If you live in New York City or San Francisco, you're probably going to have to pay a lot for housing, but you don't have to pay a lot for a car," said Mike Sante, the managing editor of Interest.com, a financial decision-making website.

    Affordability has been a matter of growing concern for the auto industry in recent years as prices have continued to move upward. Even the most basic of today's cars are generally loaded with features that were once found on high-line models a few decades back - if they were available at all - such as air conditioning, power windows, airbags and electronic stability control, as well as digital infotainment systems. They also have to meet ever tougher federal safety, emissions and mileage standards that have added thousands to the typical price tag.

    "The average compact car of today has the features of a midsize model somebody might be trading in - but it may be just as expensive," said David Sargent, director of automotive operations for J.D. Power and Associates.

    That is one reason why many buyers have been downsizing in recent years, said Bill Fay, general manager of Toyota, though he added that "there is still a lot of affordability in the marketplace."

    Perhaps, but industry planners have come to recognize that they are targeting a much smaller segment of the American public than in decades past. That's one reason why most manufacturers are offering more downsized models.

    Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Demands Telecommuters Report To The Office

    Marissa Mayer, the relatively new CEO of Yahoo, has decided she wants her employees showing up to the offices beginning in June, not just telecommuting from home all the time, according to All Things D’s Kara Swisher. From an internal memo:

        “To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices. Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home.”

    Swisher also reports, perhaps unsurprisingly, “strong” anger among those affected by the policy, many of whom joined the company in part because of the flexibility that Yahoo previously provided. But don’t just assume that telecommuting, or working remotely, or whatever you want to call it, comes from a place of laziness. A number of studies have proven quite the opposite:

    - A Stanford study, conveniently released on the same day as Yahoo’s memo, reported that call center employees increased their performance by 13 percent when working from home. They also reported “improved work satisfaction and experienced less turnover,” according to the study.

    - A University of Texas at Austin study from late last year found that those people who work from home “add five to seven hours to their workweek compared with those who work exclusively at the office.” Such workhorses, we homeworkers are!

    - A Bureau of Labor Statistics study, also from last year, reported that working remotely “seems to boost productivity, decrease absenteeism” -- that means missing work -- “and increase retention.” It also gives employers more incentive to ask you to work on weekends, the authors say. Boo!!

    - According to some recent research published in the MIT Sloan Management Review, bosses are roughly 9 percent more likely to consider your “dependable” and “reponsible” if you “put in expected face time” Translation: Being at the office can help you get that raise you so desire.

    Jeep replaces Liberty with an angrier, lumpier Cherokee

    Following enthusiast site Jalopnik posting clandestine shots of the 2014 Cherokee, Jeep released official shots of the SUV today, showcasing a style that’s a shocking departure from the square-jawed model of the ‘80s.

    Originally slated for an unveiling at the New York Auto Show this March, the Cherokee will replace the Liberty, reviving a nameplate that’s been out of use for over 12 years. Featuring two-tiered headlights reminiscent of Nissan Juke and a kinked 7-slot grill, the 2014 Cherokee eschews conventional styling in favor of a fascia that looks like a grimacing Decepticon. It’s built on the same underpinnings as the Alfa Romeo Guilietta, and boasts up to a 45 percent improvement in fuel economy over the Liberty (likely with a selection of either a four-cylinder or a V-6 powerplant).

    After the Jeep was revealed online, Chrysler design chief Ralph Gilles used Twitter to share a stream of positive reactions; it's certainly the most daring design Jeep has unveiled in decades. But the old Cherokee was beloved by Jeep enthusiasts, and the brand's previous attempts to stretch itself with vehicles such as the Compass and Patriot have fallen short of expectations due in part to their roots in passengers cars. We'll know more about the capabilities of the new SUV in a month, but with a polarizing face like this, the Cherokee will need every technical edge it can get.

    Horse DNA Found In Tesco Spaghetti Bolognese

     Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, said on Monday it had found horse DNA exceeding 60 percent in some of its own-brand frozen spaghetti bolognese meals withdrawn from stores last week.

    Tesco said tests carried out since pulling the product last Wednesday had identified the presence of horse DNA, with most positive results at a trace level of less than one percent. However, three tests showed horse DNA levels of over 60 percent.

    None of its tests were positive for the potentially harmful drug known as bute - a common, anti-inflammatory painkiller for sporting horses but banned for animals intended for eventual human consumption, it said.

    The news is the latest installment in a scandal that has rocked the food industry in Britain and across Europe. Investigations into suppliers have been launched in recent weeks after the discovery that beef products sold to some of Britain's major supermarkets and fast-food chain Burger King contained horsemeat.

    Tesco had already dropped an Irish supplier of frozen beef burgers that had also tested positive for horse DNA.

    The firm had pulled its frozen Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese product last week as a precaution after the manufacturer Findus withdrew its beef products on the advice of its French supplier Comigel, which also supplies Tesco.

    Findus said last week that some of its beef lasagne meals had contained horse meat.

    On Monday, Tesco said the source of the horse meat was still under investigation by the relevant authorities, but added that it would not take food from Comigel's facility again.

    "The level of contamination suggests that Comigel was not following the appropriate production process for our Tesco product and we will not take food from their facility again," Tesco said, adding that it h

    Maker's Mark Reduces Alcohol Content To Stretch Low Supply

    The company that distills Maker’s Mark is reducing the alcohol content of the famous bourbon in an effort to keep up with growing global appetite for the product, Quartz reports.

    The move comes in response to concerns the company won't be able to meet rampant demand for Maker's Mark since it's "very low on supply,” Rob Samuels, COO of Beam Inc. (which also makes the less-expensive Jim Beam bourbon), wrote in an email to consumers. The spirit will now have an alcohol-by-volume content of 42 percent, instead of 45 percent.

    Just this year bourbon and Tennessee whiskey sales have risen 5 percent, reflecting the spirits' rising popularity. Bourbon in particular has become so popular that it now accounts for 35 percent of all spirits sales, according to Today. Boutique brands such as Pappy Van Winkle’s are all but impossible to find due to the high demand, WFPL reports.

    That means there’s likely a whole lot of bourbon lovers -- who are known to be purists -- who won't be too thrilled with Beam Inc.'s move.

    "I just think that's a cheap business practice," Erik Lane, a bartender in Brooklyn, told The New York Post of watering down Maker's Mark. "Usually you're going to notice [an alcohol reduction like] that."

    The company is apparently doing all it can to defend the decision, arguing that Marker's Mark with less alcohol is better than no Maker's Mark at all. In his email, Samuels wrote that Maker's Mark remains "completely con
    sistent with the taste profile ... created nearly 60 years ago."

    9 Sentences That Could Ruin Your Career


    More people shoot themselves in the foot, get fired, or destroy promising careers by opening their big fat mouths than any other way. And that goes for communication of any kind: face-to-face, phone, email, text, you name it.

    Executives and business leaders are especially adept at documenting stuff they shouldn't even be thinking, let alone doing. Don't ask me why, but it always seems to turn up in civil depositions, criminal investigations, and congressional hearings.

    Here are recent examples:

    In 2011, HP vice president Scott McClellan reportedly shared previously unreleased details of the company's cloud computing strategy on his public LinkedIn profile, tipping off competitors to confidential information that should have remained under wraps. McClellan, who had spent his entire 25-year career at HP, now works for Red Hat.

    In the largest insider trading scandal in history, former McKinsey managing director Raj Gupta, AMD CEO Hector Ruiz, and IBM senior vice president Bob Moffat revealed confidential insider information to billionaire hedge-fund manager Raj Rajaratnam of Galleon. It didn't end well for any of them.

    Granted, there's a broad spectrum of things you should never say at work, from pushing the limits of sexual harassment to risking an indictment for securities fraud. And these days, almost anything you say will offend someone by crossing some amorphous boundary of political correctness.

    Nevertheless, if you like what you do for a living and don't want to end up pounding the pavement looking for a new line of work, here are nine things you should never, ever say at work. If you do, you're just asking for trouble.

    "I probably shouldn't be telling you this, but ..." What follows is never good--and almost never legal. If you shouldn't be saying something, then don't.

    "Do you really think we violate their intellectual property?" Unless it's in a documented attorney-client privileged communication, don't even think about saying anything like that.

    Walmart Sells Assault Weapons But Bans Music With Swear Words

    Walmart sells assault weapons but bans music that contains swear words.

    That policy tells you a lot about this country.

    We can guess why Walmart sells assault weapons: Its customers want them, and the company can make a lot of money selling them.

    But Walmart's customers probably also want music that contains swear words, and Walmart could probably make money selling that, too.

    And music with curse words is legal (First Amendment and all that), so this isn't about legality.

    So why the no-cursing policy?

    Based on a description on Walmart's web site, it seems that the retailer worries that some customers might find music with swear words "objectionable":


    Wal-Mart does not display album or song titles that contain profanity...Wal-Mart selects 30-second sample clips such that only clips that do not contain profanity are made available to customers. However, other portions of the recordings may contain profanity, and the 30-second sample clips or the recording as a whole may be deemed by some customers to be offensive, indecent or objectionable. Occasionally, Wal-Mart may refuse to stock music merchandise that may not seem appropriate. However, Wal-Mart may carry some recordings that some customers might find offensive, indecent or objectionable.

    So Walmart bans profanity on the grounds that some people might find it objectionable, but proudly sells assault weapons that can be used to slaughter people.

    Isn't Walmart worried that some people might find that objectionable?  Like the parents of children who were just murdered with an assault weapon, for example? Or the parents who worry that their children might be murdered with an assault weapon? Or anyone worried that anyone might be murdered with an assault weapon?

    People Who Pay Higher Taxes Are Happier

    They say money can't buy you happiness, but what about forking over some of it to the government?

    Higher taxes are correlated with higher life satisfaction, according to a November study by six economists affiliated with the Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn, Germany. The economists analyzed data about 25,000 Germans between 1985 to 2010, where respondents answered the question, "How satisfied ed are you with your life, all things considered?" on a scale of 0 to 10.

    If only lawmakers understood as much. With the Bush tax cuts scheduled to expire at the end of the year, the Obama administration and Congressional Republicans continue to wrangle over which income groups should take the hit.

    It is unclear why people who pay higher taxes are happier. But the study suggests a few reasons: People enjoy the public services higher taxes pay for, some view taxes as a social obligation and lower-income people value the protection that government can provide against poverty.

    Other research also indicates public goods can make people happier. A recent study by Skandia International found that people in European countries with strong safety nets need less money to be happy.

    Bosses Can Fire Hot Workers For Being 'Irresistible': All-Male Court

     A dentist acted legally when he fired an assistant that he found attractive simply because he and his wife viewed the woman as a threat to their marriage, the all-male Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday.

    The court ruled 7-0 that bosses can fire employees they see as an "irresistible attraction," even if the employees have not engaged in flirtatious behavior or otherwise done anything wrong. Such firings may be unfair, but they are not unlawful discrimination under the Iowa Civil Rights Act because they are motivated by feelings and emotions, not gender, Justice Edward Mansfield wrote.

    An attorney for Fort Dodge dentist James Knight said the decision, the first of its kind in Iowa, is a victory for family values because Knight fired Melissa Nelson in the interest of saving his marriage, not because she was a woman.

    But Nelson's attorney said Iowa's all-male high court, one of only a handful in the nation, failed to recognize the discrimination that women see routinely in the workplace.

    "These judges sent a message to Iowa women that they don't think men can be held responsible for their sexual desires and that Iowa women are the ones who have to monitor and control their bosses' sexual desires," said attorney Paige Fiedler. "If they get out of hand, then the women can be legally fired for it."

    Nelson, 32, worked for Knight for 10 years, and he considered her a stellar worker. But in the final months of her employment, he complained that her tight clothing was distracting, once telling her that if his pants were bulging that was a sign her clothes were too revealing, according to the opinion.

    He also once allegedly remarked about her infrequent sex life by saying, "that's like having a Lamborghini in the garage and never driving it."

    Knight and Nelson – both married with children – started exchanging text messages, mostly about personal matters, such as their families. Knight's wife, who also worked in the dental office, found out about the messages and demanded Nelson be fired. The Knights consulted with their pastor, who agreed that terminating Nelson was appropriate.

    Knight fired Nelson and gave her one month's severance. He later told Nelson's husband that he worried he was getting too personally attached and feared he would eventually try to start an affair with her.

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