Ty launches 'Cecil the Lion' Beanie Baby as fundraiser

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- Plush-toy maker Ty has created a "Cecil the Lion" Beanie Baby as an animal rights fundraiser in response to a Minnesota hunter who faces worldwide scorn and potential extradition to Africa after illegally killing a protected lion named Cecil in Zimbabwe.

"Hopefully, this special Beanie Baby will raise awareness for animal ...Read more

Delta bans shipment of exotic animal trophies

Business / Business News /

ATLANTA --Delta Air Lines said Monday it has banned shipment of lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies as freight.

Up until today, Atlanta-based Delta had accepted hunting trophies if customers provided appropriate documentation to U.S. customs officials and if the animal in question was not a protected species.

The move ...Read more

Shuttle bus drivers for Apple, Yahoo and other tech firms ask for pay raise in new contract

Business / Business News /

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. -- About 180 Compass Transportation drivers who shuttle workers at six Silicon Valley tech companies and Amtrak could get a pay bump and more benefits this year.

Shuttle bus drivers, who are also members of Teamsters Local 853, met at the union's office on Saturday and unanimously voted to approve a new three-year contract ...Read more

CIT Group completes $3.4 billion purchase of California bank

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES -- CIT Group Inc. said Monday it completed its $3.4 billion acquisition of OneWest Bank, based outside Los Angeles in Pasadena.

OneWest, with 70 retail branches in Southern California, will continue operating under that name as a unit of CIT's CIT Bank. CIT Bank also will be based at OneWest's Pasadena headquarters.

CIT, based in ...Read more

Norwegian Cruise Line expanding global reach

Business / Business News /

MIAMI -- Norwegian Cruise Line will venture farther than it ever has before.

The Miami-based cruise line on Monday announced deployment plans for late 2016 and early 2017 that include itineraries in the Persian Gulf and India, where Norwegian ships have never sailed.

Norwegian Star, a 2,348-passenger ship that was built in 2001 and renovated ...Read more

Consumer spending growth cools despite solid rise in personal incomes

Business / Business News /

Growth in spending by consumers significantly cooled in June despite another solid gain in incomes, the Commerce Department said Monday.

Personal consumption expenditures increased 0.2 percent, the smallest in four months, compared to a downwardly revised 0.7 percent jump in May.

The decline came as Americans spent less on cars and other long-...Read more

BMW, Audi, Daimler to buy Nokia map operations, another step toward automated cars

Business / Business News /

Three major automakers signaled their commitment to automated cars late Sunday with an agreement to buy mapping technology from Nokia for just over $3 billion.

The three companies -- BMW, Audi and Daimler, all German -- will each take one-third ownership of Nokia Here, which will remain operationally independent.

Here is a map-data leader for ...Read more

Alpha files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Business / Business News /

PITTSBURGH -- In a move that has been rumored for weeks, Virginia-based coal miner Alpha Natural Resources Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection Monday citing an "unprecedented period of distress" for the centuries-old coal industry.

Alpha operates more than 50 underground and surface mines across four Appalachian states and Wyoming.

Under ...Read more

Big Detroit automakers all see sales climb in July

Business / Business News /

DETROIT -- New vehicle sales rose 6.4 percent in July for General Motors, 6 percent for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and 5 percent for Ford as low interest rates, falling gas prices and an improving job market kept showroom traffic brisk.

With gas prices falling again, sales of pickup trucks, SUVs and crossovers continued at a torrid pace while ...Read more

Greek stock market reopens and promptly plummets

Business / Business News /

LONDON -- A massive sell-off of stocks in Greece on Monday underscored the uncertainty that still surrounds the Mediterranean nation as its government tries to secure a new international bailout to avoid a disastrous default.

The Athens stock exchange plummeted by more than 22 percent upon opening Monday before recovering somewhat to end the ...Read more

WD-40 CEO Garry Ridge explains company's slick success

Business / Business News /

Never mind smartphones, biotechnology and streaming video. If you wanted to handily beat the stock market over the last decade, you should have bought WD-40 Co.

The San Diego maker of the decidedly unglamorous WD-40 lubricant, rust protector and squeak eliminator keeps growing steadily, notably in foreign markets.

Its stock keeps rising in ...Read more

In Detroit, it's last call for the city's pay phones

Business / Business News /

DETROIT -- A pay telephone on a busy Detroit street corner could once net $200 a week in just coins. But that was 30 years ago.

These days, Greg Andrick is lucky to find $5 or $6 in a pay phone's change box every couple months when making his service rounds. His company, Great Lakes Telephone, once operated more than 6,000 rectangular metal pay...Read more

Susan Tompor: Saving for college? Do homework on 529 plans

Business / Business News /

Young parents can hear shocking statistics -- such as that some private schools could cost about $450,000 for four years by the time today's newborn heads to college -- and give up on saving any money.

It's overwhelming to consider that cost of college has tripled in roughly 18 years.

But giving up means you're throwing away the chance to ...Read more

Jim Blankenship: Can income hurt benefits?

Business / Business News /

You may be counting on Social Security as a mainstay of income in your looming retirement. But when you take those benefits and how long you continue to work are both factors that can shrink that monthly check.

When you receive Social Security benefits before your full retirement age -- 67 if you were born in 1960 or later -- an earnings test ...Read more

The Journey: Come up with a strategy to get the most of your Social Security

Business / Business News /

You'll soon be able to download an electronic version of your Social Security statement, but chances are it won't enhance your retirement one bit.

That's because you probably won't change your claiming date based on what you find, according to academic studies that have looked at claiming behavior.

Few workers made changes to their benefit ...Read more

When your tablet becomes your adviser

Business / Business News /

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Say goodbye to your stock broker and financial planner. No more trips to Wells Fargo -- you can get your home loan refinanced on your iPad.

The financial tech boom is in full force, driven by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs creating Web and mobile technology to offer personal and business loans, manage IRAs and college savings ...Read more

Maureen Crimmins: Diversifying to win

Business / Business News /

Maybe you hear rumors that the mega-rich made fortunes off just one stock, or that tech or real estate is the only sector worth your time this year. Ask yourself: Does the same team win the Super Bowl or World Series year after year? Here's why your portfolio ought to follow multiple contenders.

I grew up in the New York area, a region with ...Read more

Groups help people with disabilities manage settlement winnings, trusts

Business / Business News /

PITTSBURGH -- In May 2006, Claire Senita was a 14-year-old eighth-grader performing routine warmup exercises during a gymnastics program when her life took a tragic turn.

"It was just a tumbling class for fun," she said. "I did a dive roll and the next thing I knew I was staring at the ceiling. I couldn't move. It was quick."

Kara Cook was 12 ...Read more

Back-to-school shopping tactics, ninja style

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Back-to-school is the second-biggest shopping event of the year for retailers, but paying full retail prices in the typical "mall haul" is for suckers, say expert shoppers and cheapskates.

Americans will spend $68 billion during this year's back-to-school season, including back-to-college, according to the National Retail Federation. That's an ...Read more

Getting Started: Making the most of a 403(b) retirement plan

Business / Business News /

In the alphabet soup of retirement plans, the 403(b) doesn't get as much attention as its peer, the 401(k). But it is no less worthy, and a new study takes a look at the latest 403(b) trends.

First, a primer: The 403(b) is a retirement plan that certain types of employers -- universities, public schools, hospitals, the government, churches and ...Read more