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McDonald’s, Coca-Cola Revenue Comes Up Short

McDonald’s, Coca-Cola Revenue Comes Up Short

McDonald’s(NEW YORK) — McDonald’s and Coca-Cola both missed analysts estimates this quarter, with McDonald’s posting a one-percent drop in profits while Coke saw a nearly three-percent decline in revenues. The fast-food and soda maker stood in contrast with Chipotle, which posted a 25% bump in revenues Monday after the bell. The chain restaurant reported sales up 17 percent from last year. Domino’s reported an 8.8 percent boost in revenue and 15.6 percent increase in net revenue.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Achieving Diversity in the Workplace Can Hurt the Achievers

Achieving Diversity in the Workplace Can Hurt the Achievers

Steve Hix/Somos Images/Fuse/Thinkstock(BOULDER, Colo.) — It’s obviously good to value diversity in the workplace, but there are times when it can backfire.Specifically, a University of Colorado study says that women and minorities in executive positions who believe that things will be better with more women and minorities at their job often wind up making things worse for themselves.For example, women who promote other women are viewed as less warm, while non-white executives seeking to hire more minority candidates are seen as less competent.These opinions usually turn up in their performance reviews. 
On the other hand, male white executives who try to foster more diversity are often lauded for their efforts in their reviews.David Hekman, one of the study’s authors, maintains that self-interest plays a role in this disparity, concluding, “People are perceived as selfish when they advocate for someone who looks like them, unless they’re a white man.”Hekman suggests that there are a number of ways to level the playing field, such as using the term “demographic-unselfishness” rather than “diversity.”Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Five Ways to Spot a Home Flip Money Pit

Five Ways to Spot a Home Flip Money Pit

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Just a few weeks after Eric Mann bought a Brooklyn brownstone for $1.2 million in February — and painted the walls, sanded the floors, and added a $300 chandelier — he sold it for $2.1 million.
“I was extremely lucky,” said Mann, who said he’d bought about 40 properties across Brooklyn over the years as a real estate investor.
That’s the wild world of house flipping, which is up 16% since last year and 114% from the previous year, according to real estate data-supplier RealtyTrac.
Ericka Doolittle said thought she was getting the deal of a lifetime as well when she purchased a newly renovated home in Oakland, California.”On the surface, it looked pretty good,” she told ABC News.Then she discovered something her inspector had cautioned her about: more than $15,000 in hidden costs, from loose wires to sewer leaks.A year after buying, Doolittle found two feet of water under debris in the basement.”There was a veritable lake,” she said. “[And] a lot of flooding issues. There was water under the house.””What flippers are particularly good at is to make surface repairs — and not handling the structural repairs that are sometimes needed,” said New York real estate guru Barbara Corcoran who appears on ABC’s Shark Tank.Jennifer and Steve Clark of The Home Co., a husband-and-wife team of flippers, shared the following insider secrets to spotting a potentially bad flip:1. In the utility rooms, make sure the dryer and heater are vented out of the house.2. Measure the height of the electrical sockets. Steve Clark said they should be about 12 inches off the floor — anything else could be a sign of old electrical wiring.3. Switches should be on the wall, not set into the molding.4. If the owner says the house comes with new appliances, ask to see the manuals.5. In the bathrooms, separate hot and cold knobs in the shower may mean old fixtures were replaced but not the old plumbing.The Clarks advised to always get a thorough inspection before buying and remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
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Members of Congress Plan to Live on Minimum Wage for a Week

Members of Congress Plan to Live on Minimum Wage for a Week

Architect of the Capitol(WASHINGTON) — A trio of Democratic politicians are about to find out what it’s like to be poor.
Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, Rep. Jan Schkowsky, D-Ill., and Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, announced Monday that they plan to “step into the shoes of a minimum wage worker and live for one week on just $77.”
It’s part of the Live the Wage Challenge starting Thursday— marking the fifth anniversary since Congress last increased the nation’s minimum wage.
From July 24 to July 30, the three politicians will chronicle their experiences on social media in an effort to shed light on the challenges facing minimum wage workers across the country.
A minimum wage of $10.10 pegged to cost-of-living increases would provide Americans who “work hard and play by the rules” a chance at joining the middle class, Ryan said during a call with reporters.
Strickland echoed the congressman’s sentiments, saying that full-time workers should not have to “live in poverty or have to choose between food and electricity every month.”
The federal minimum wage in the United States is currently set at $7.25 an hour — and has not been increased by Congress since 2009. The federal minimum wage for tipped workers has remained at $2.13 an hour since 1991.
According to a statement on its website, “the Live the Wage Challenge has called on elected officials, community leaders, advocates and anyone concerned about the growing inequality in this country to walk in the shoes of a minimum wage worker by living on a minimum wage budget for one week.”
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Netflix Shares Rise as It Gains Subscribers

Netflix Shares Rise as It Gains Subscribers

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Investors kicked off a new trading week with mixed results, as investors kept one eye on the tensions between Russia and the West over the downed Malasia Airlines flight in Ukraine and one eye on corporate earnings.
Netflix shares rose despite quarterly earnings that failed to meet analysts estimates. The streaming service added nearly 1.7 million subscribers globally in the second quarter.The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 48 points, closing at 17,051.73. The Nasdaq declined more than 7 points, ending the day at 4,424.70, while the S&P 500 lost more than 4 points, closing at 1,973.63.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Mobile Home Apartment Building Comes to NYC

Mobile Home Apartment Building Comes to NYC

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — New York City is getting its first mobile-home apartment building.
Called “The Stack,” this new residential building has 28 apartments formed by 59 modules, creating a collection of individual mobile homes piled on top of each other. 
The seven-story apartment building is on the northern tip of Manhattan and is built out of prefabricated rooms– between 625 and 750 square-feet each.
Like mobile homes nationwide, these came to their destination on the back of a truck and got hoisted into place.Rents start at $1,600 per month for a studio and $3,700 per month for a three-bedroom. 
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Casinos Closing in Atlantic City

Casinos Closing in Atlantic City

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.) — After 36 years of casino gambling in New Jersey, the industry is crashing.
Atlantic City, which once had a monopoly on East Coast gambling, is losing some of its 12 casinos.
The Atlantic Club, Trump Plaza, and the Showboat plan to fold this year, and the Revel could join them.
Despite the quick collapse, Atlantic City is gambling on new nightclubs, malls, concerts, and conventions as part of a five-year turn-around plan.
Analysts say Connecticut, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania may also be at risk because of increasing competition.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sony’s Walkman Returns with ZX1

Sony’s Walkman Returns with ZX1

David Becker/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — In 1979, long before the iPod, Sony brought the world portable music in the form of the first Walkman. Now, the Walkman has returned — and it’s called the ZX1.Compared to an iPod, it’s heavy, bulky and no bargain. The new device costs $700 and is aimed at buyers who will pay the price for better sound.
The compression used by the iPod to squeeze thousands of songs on the device sacrifices sound quality.
Sony claims the ZX1 plays ultra high quality audio — as good as listening directly to a CD. The company thinks at least some music fans will pay the price.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

New Toyota Feature Will Help Parents Bark at Kids in Back Seats

New Toyota Feature Will Help Parents Bark at Kids in Back Seats

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Toyota is offering frustrated parents a helping hand in keeping their kids quiet on road trips.A feature available on the automaker’s new Sienna minivan called “Driver Easy Speak” will make it easier for parents to bark at their kids.According to Toyota, “Driver Easy Speak utilizes the vehicle’s built-in microphone to amplify the driver’s voice through the rear speakers” — thus, cutting back on the need to shout at the top of your lungs so passengers in the back can hear you.The feature only works one way, so the voices of passengers in the back seat won’t be amplified — at least not through the microphone.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

RJ Reynolds to Appeal Verdict to Pay $23B to Cancer Victim’s Widow

RJ Reynolds to Appeal Verdict to Pay $23B to Cancer Victim’s Widow

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — R.J. Reynolds Tobacco is fighting back against an order to pay billions to a widow of a former smoker who passed away 18 years ago from lung cancer.The country’s second-largest cigarette maker says it will appeal last Friday’s jury verdict ordering the company to pay $23.6 billion in punitive damages.The verdict came just days after Reynolds’ parent company, Reynolds American Inc., announced it was purchasing Lorillard, the maker of Newport cigarettes, for $27.4 billion.A lawyer for the plaintiff stated that big tobacco “cannot continue to lie to the American people” with regard to the addictiveness of cigarettes. J. Jeffrey Raborn, an executive for Reynolds, called the verdict “grossly excessive and impermissible under state and constitutional law.”
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Verizon to Increase FiOS Upload Speeds, Improving Internet Sharing

Verizon to Increase FiOS Upload Speeds, Improving Internet Sharing

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Verizon announced on Monday that its FiOS residential customers will receive increased upload speeds, making Internet sharing easier and faster.According to a press release, the new upload speeds will match existing download speeds. The upgrade, free for current customers, will be rolled out Monday for residential customers and later this year for small-business customers. “Faster upload speeds means better sharing experiences,” said Mike Ritter, Verizon’s chief marketing officer for consumer and mass business. “All internet sharing — whether videos, large photo files or gaming — starts with uploading.”According to market research firm IDC, more than 20 percent of U.S. broadband households are frequently online, uploading nearly as much data as they download. The demands of constant sharing, IDC’s program director of consumer multiplay and broadband services research Matt Davis says, “will inevitably become the norm in the coming years.”
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Airline Security Fee Increase Goes into Effect Monday

Airline Security Fee Increase Goes into Effect Monday

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Starting Monday, airline passengers will begin paying more in fees when they purchase airfare. Earlier this year, Congress voted to raise the security fee on all airplane tickets, and the hike goes into effect on Monday.
Travelers had previously been paying $2.50 in security fees for non-stop flights and $5 for a connecting flight. The new fees will cost $5.60 for all flights. For passengers with a layover of more than four hours, that fee will be doubled. While the TSA is facing criticism for the fee hikes, it was Congress who opted to make the change. About 75 percent of the add revenue is expected to go toward reducing the federal deficit.
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Chicago Cubs File Lawsuit Against Fake Mascot

Chicago Cubs File Lawsuit Against Fake Mascot

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images(CHICAGO) — The Chicago Cubs have filed a lawsuit in an effort to stop a fake mascot outside Wrigley Field.
The Cubs have filed suit against five people accused of dressing up in a Billy Cub costume and posing for pictures outside the stadium.
The mascot has demanded tips for photos and has reportedly made some lewd gestures.
In April, the mascot was involved in a bar fight and punched a man who took off his bear head. Video of the incident went viral.
The team says this is a fake mascot not associated with the team. The Chicago Cubs introduced an official mascot this year– Clark the Cub– who does not charge for photos.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Credit Card Thieves Target Gas Pumps, ATMs, Restaurants With ‘Skimmers’

Credit Card Thieves Target Gas Pumps, ATMs, Restaurants With ‘Skimmers’

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — More cases of credit card thieves using “skimming” devices to steal unsuspecting customers’ credit card information are popping up across the country, not just at gas stations, but also ATMs and even restaurants.
When a credit card is run through a skimmer, the small device stores the cardholder’s data. Once the credit information is obtained, the thief can then sell the information or clone the credit card.
Authorities say thieves have installed skimmers inside credit card slots on gas pumps and in fake card slots placed on ATMs. Recently, an employee at a McDonald’s in Boca Raton, Florida, was caught on camera swiping customers’ cards through a handheld skimmer.
Richard Norris never thought much about his morning ritual of stopping by the McDonald’s for a sweet iced tea, until he noticed mysterious charges popping up on all three of his credit cards. Knowing that McDonald’s was the only place he had used all three cards, Norris turned his credit card receipts, showing dates and times of the purchases, over to police, who then checked the franchise location’s surveillance footage.
Sure enough, the footage showed the drive-thru window attendant swiping Norris’ card twice, first to charge for the iced tea, and again through the skimmer, kept out of sight from drivers. Police say Norris was just one of up to 70 customers who were skimmed during the attendant’s shifts.
“I was lucky, the money was, you know, it was found early on,” Norris said. “In other people’s situations, they might not be so lucky. They might have more money taken from them, and it might be their car payment, their mortgage payment, whatever.”
Norris said it wasn’t just the fraudulent charges that got to him, but also the deception.
“He actually made it a point to [say], ‘How are you doing, good afternoon, good morning,’ whatever the case might be, seemed to always be smiling,” Norris said. “He seemed like one of the nicer guys… he actually did his job. So for him to be on the back end doing something like he was, it was definitely, I don’t know, disheartening.”
The McDonald’s employee ended up pleading guilty to fraud charges and was sentenced to two years’probation. The Boca Raton McDonald’s did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.
But authorities say this sort of brazen theft appears to be common. Detective Jeffrey Marshall of the Nassau County Police Department in New York said three different businesses within a two minute drive from the station had cases of employees skimming cards.
Electronic skimmers are so advanced that they don’t even need a human to operate. Marshall said there was a case where a thief installed a skimmer inside a fake card slot and placed it over the real one on an ATM inside a convenience store. The thief also installed a tiny camera to capture unsuspecting customers’ pin numbers so he could withdrawal cash.
The U.S. Secret Service, which investigates skimming fraud cases across the country, gets help from local police departments, gas station owners and guys like Dan DeFelippi, a reformed credit card hacker.
DeFelippi was caught by the Secret Service, but instead of going to prison, he spent two years training Secret Service agents in the art of skimming. “ATM cashing was the easiest and best way to make money,” DeFelippi said. “I was making thousands of dollars a day in cash doing that.”
His favorite target, he said, were gas pumps.
“[The skimmer is] hidden, the person using it will never see it, it’s simple to add, it’s simple to modify it. It only takes seconds to open it up and put it in there,”” DeFelippi said. “They’re ubiquitous. There are gas pumps everywhere. You can easily find a gas station to do it at and go back and gather.”
Authorities say there are ways for customers to protect themselves from skimming fraud.
Marshall advised checking your credit card statements regularly. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, once you report loss or theft, you have no additional responsibility for charges you didn’t make.
Second, if you’re at a gas station, choose a pump near the convenience store part of the station, close to the attendants. Experts say skimmers prefer to target pumps in the shadows. Finally, there is always the option of paying in cash.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Malaysia Airlines to Offer Refunds, Fee Waivers

Malaysia Airlines to Offer Refunds, Fee Waivers

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia) — Malaysia Airlines says it will offer refunds and waive change fees for any passengers who wish to cancel or postpone their travel plans in the wake of MH17 being shot down over Ukraine on Thursday.In a statement on their website, Malaysia Airlines says that passengers — even those with non-refundable tickets — can receive a refund should they opt to cancel or postpone their trip. Enrich passengers will also receive fee waivers for any travel changes and refunded miles if they cancel a trip using redemption tickets.The offer stands for one week, so customers have to act between July 18 and July 24. All offers are available to customers scheduled to travel between July 18 and December 31, 2014.In a statement, the company said that it “deeply regrets the loss of MH17, and is very much appreciative of the support from our passengers.”
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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Number of Layoffs in US at Six-Year Low

Number of Layoffs in US at Six-Year Low

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Microsoft is the big exception. The company’s announcement of 18,000 job cuts goes against the latest employment trends.Job security for most workers has improved. In fact, the number of layoffs across the U.S. is now at a six-year low.”Firms just aren’t laying off people in a recession-like way. They’re basically back to good times in terms of layoffs,” says economist Cary Leahey.But, he points out, job creation could be stronger.”They just haven’t felt the good times are good enough to hire workers in profusion or to take a chance on workers who have been unemployed for a long period of time,” Leahey says.Nevertheless, the jobs market is improving.”It’s basically as good as it’s been in the last five or 10 years but its nothing like what happened in the 80s or 90s,” Leahey notes.
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Markets Rebound to Close Week on High Note, Unemployment Claims Dip

Markets Rebound to Close Week on High Note, Unemployment Claims Dip

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Wall Street rebounded from poor performances on Thursday to finish the week on a high note, while the U.S. Labor Department announced lower unemployment rates in 22 states.The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the day up 1213.37 to 17100.18. The index climbed back over the 17,000 mark, which it reached for the first time ever earlier this month.The Nasdaq closed at 4432.15, up 68.7 from Thursday’s finish, while the S&P 500 ended the session up 20.1 to 1978.22. A Labor Department report said on Friday that 22 states saw lower numbers of unemployment benefits claimed. Overall, 3,000 fewer Americans claimed unemployment compared to the revised numbers from the week before.
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Forbes Media to Sell Majority Stake to International Investors

Forbes Media to Sell Majority Stake to International Investors

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Forbes Media on Friday announced plans to sell a majority stake in the media group to international investors with the goal of accelerating the company’s global growth.The Forbes family will retain significant interest in the group, a release said, and Steve Forbes will remain chairman and editor-in-chief. However, the majority stake in the company will be acquired by Hong Kong-based investor group Integrated Whale Media Investments (IWM).IWM is expected to provide financial and operation expertise as well as financial assistance in enlarging Forbes Media’s global reach.
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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Can Malaysia Airlines Endure a Second Tragedy So Soon?

Can Malaysia Airlines Endure a Second Tragedy So Soon?

Scott Barbour/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Even with support from the Malaysian government and its longstanding reputation for service, Malaysia Airlines’ future is in question after suffering its second high-profile tragedy this year, experts said.
The state-owned airline’s survival is in the hands of the Malaysian government. But the airline is already financially strapped, posting a loss for the last three years.
Malaysia Airlines did not respond to a request by ABC News for comment.”Certainly, government assistance or support can keep the worst of [airlines] afloat. That’s likely to be a primary factor in this specific case in my view,” Neal Dihora, senior equity analyst with Morningstar, told ABC News.George Hobica, founder of Airfarewatchdog.com, said the missile-attack on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 may be a milestone similar to the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988, which killed 243 passengers and 16 crew members on board over Lockerbie, Scotland.The airline holds a lengthy record of excellence, having received more than 100 awards in the last decade from various groups.But questions have arisen about why the Malaysian plane and planes from other carriers were flying over a war zone after some aviation agencies issued risk warnings in April related to Crimea, more than 300 miles southwest of eastern Ukraine.Hobica drew comparisons to the safety lapse that led to the crash of ValuJet Flight 592 in 1996 in Florida, which killed all 110 people on board and led to the demise of the carrier.”This could be Malaysia Air’s Lockerbie or a ValuJet kind of milestone, or perhaps they can muddle through,” Hobica said.Travel expert and author Mark Murphy said a company’s response to tragedy may influence consumers more than a tragedy itself. Malaysia Airlines has been criticized for its response to families of passengers after the disappearance of Flight 370 on March 8.”Airlines don’t fail due to tragedies, they fail for a variety of other reasons. Back-to-back tragedies, as we are seeing with Malaysia Airlines, can be the final straw, but it’s typically a series of bad decisions, coupled with bad timing, that lead to any airline failure,” Murphy said.Pan Am, for example, didn’t fail solely because of the Lockerbie bombing, Murphy noted. The company’s growing debt, the flailing economy, and selling some of the most profitable foreign routes to competitors contributed to its ultimate bankruptcy, he said.”Some will say Lockerbie lead to [Pan Am's] demise, but that would be giving management a free pass on a series of bad decisions that were responsible for their demise,” Murphy said. “Had Pan Am developed a domestic route structure, just as the international market ground to a halt, they would have had a chance to survive.”Other industry forces will affect Malaysia Airlines’ future. The airline industry in general is profitable, if not thriving, Dihora said. However, airlines in Asia are becoming very competitive “and people certainly have many options for air travel,” he added.Hobica said he believes Malaysia Airlines will be re-branded, similar to the transformation of Swissair, the former national airline of Switzerland that experienced financial difficulty, into SWISS.”A larger question is whether, looking ahead, the world needs so many flag carriers merely to satisfy national pride, and will Malaysia compete effectively with the scores of low-cost carriers in Asia,” Hobica said.
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Uber Delivering Ice Cream on Demand Friday

Uber Delivering Ice Cream on Demand Friday

Fuse/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Transportation company Uber is delivering ice cream on demand Friday in more than 100 cities around the world.According to a press release, Uber will serve up the sweet treats in 144 cities in 38 countries, spanning six continents. The news generated plenty of interest online, spawning the hashtag #UberIceCream, which was among the top trends on Twitter.In some cities, the company trades standard ice cream for gelato or frozen yogurt. Uber held a similar event last year, hitting only 33 cities. In the Philippines, the company will even donate all proceeds from sales in the capital city of Manila to victims of Typhoon Glenda.
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