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Google Reports Quarterly Revenue Growth

Google Reports Quarterly Revenue Growth

Google(MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.) — Google announced its financial results for the second quarter Thursday, reporting a 22 percent increase for the year at $16 billion. “We are moving forward with great product momentum and are excited to continue providing amazing user experiences, with a view to the long term,” said Patrick Pichette, CFO of Google. The online search provider attributed growth to mobile and video advertising. Majority of revenue came from Google’s sites, which generated $10.94 billion, or 69 percent of total earnings in the second quarter of 2014. The tech company also announced a management change Thursday, announcing that its Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora will be leaving after nearly 10 years. He will be replaced by business founder Omid Kordestani.
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Stocks Tumble Following Dow’s Record Close, Markets Dip with Airline Crash

Stocks Tumble Following Dow’s Record Close, Markets Dip with Airline Crash

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Stocks plunged Thursday following disappointing corporate earnings reports and news of the downed Malaysia Airlines jetliner.The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 161 points to 16976.81, just one day after its record close. The Nasdaq Composite lost 63 to finish at 4363.45, and the S&P 500 fell 23 points at 1958.12. News of the Malaysia Airlines jet disaster in Ukraine grounded several airline stocks, including American, Delta, and United Continental. Government reports revealed an uneven economic recovery: the number of people seeking jobless benefits fell to its lowest number since the late 1990s and dipped by 3,000 last week, while home construction fell to its slowest pace in nine months.Microsoft announced Thursday that it plans to cut 18,000 jobs by 2015. Meanwhile, tech giant Google reported a 22 percent increase in revenue from last year.
 

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Microsoft to Eliminate 18K Workers as It Absorbs Nokia

Microsoft to Eliminate 18K Workers as It Absorbs Nokia

David Becker/Getty Images(REDMOND, Wash.) — The $7 billion honeymoon is over. Ten months after that pricey acquisition of Nokia’s handset business, Microsoft said 12,500 of the 18,000 layoffs will be from the Finnish company it acquired.It is the biggest layoff in company history.Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO for less than six months, is swiftly leading the company to focus on “platform and productivity” from “devices and services,” said Norman Young, analyst with Morningstar. This is happening while the company is living in a “mobile-first and cloud-first world,” Nadella wrote to employees last week.Thursday’s announcement is timed ahead of Microsoft’s fourth quarter earnings announcement on Tuesday, July 22, when Nadella said he will reveal “further specifics on where we are focusing our innovation investments.” Nadella wrote that the company is now reducing the first 13,000 positions, and “the vast majority of employees whose jobs will be eliminated will be notified over the next six months.”Young said the move was expected, as Microsoft’s management already spoke of realizing $600 million of “synergies” from the Nokia acquisition. Young also said the cuts were necessary, as Nadella said in his email to employees Thursday he wants to “become more agile and move faster.”The job cuts do not mean that Microsoft is saying goodbye to its Nokia business. The company launched its latest mobile phone, the Nokia Lumia 635, just two weeks ago. The phone has the latest Windows Phone 8.1 operating system, features of which the company is marketing this year, including digital personal assistant Cortana, a competitor of Apple’s Siri.”[Microsoft] wants to provide the basis (platform) for devices and services alike. While this is an ambitious strategy, we think the foundation already exists through products such as Microsoft Azure, Bing/Cortana, Enterprise Mobility Suite, and Office/Office 365,” Young wrote.The vast majority of the 12,500 Nokia job cuts is a combination of manufacturing, engineering, and other professional employees. Microsoft will be closing down some manufacturing facilities in addition to shutting down some engineering offices that were likely duplicated after the acquisition, Young said.
 

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Facebook Launches App for Famous People

Facebook Launches App for Famous People

Facebook(NEW YORK) — Facebook wants to put you in touch with your favorite celebrity.The social network launched a new app Thursday, called “Mentions,” that is available to actors, musicians and other influencers who have verified pages.More than 800 million of Facebook’s users are connected to celebrities on the website, according to the company, making an app for famous people seem like the next logical step.Celebs with verified pages in the United States can request access after downloading the app and administrators of verified pages can request access directly from Facebook.After they’ve downloaded the app and have permission, your favorite social media savvy celeb can see what you’re saying about them, join the conversation and host live question and answer sessions.Facebook turned to a star-studded crew to help test the app, including Ed Sheeran, Mariah Carey, Tyrese Gibson and soccer player Alex Morgan.
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Starbucks’ Creative Customer Problem

Starbucks’ Creative Customer Problem

Courtesy of Sameera Raziuddin(NEW YORK) — Starbucks prides itself on the personalization opportunities of its drinks, something its customers have really taken to heart.The past few weeks have brought news of coffee enthusiasts taking advantage of the “My Starbucks Rewards” program, which allows customers to receive a free birthday beverage or food item on their birthday, as well as a free item, after earning 12 stars through purchase, that they are free to customize however they wish.Except online, it’s turned into a contest to see who can receive the biggest and most expensive drink for free. Andrew Chifari, 27, made headlines in late May for creating a 128-ounce, $54.75 drink in a Dallas Starbucks that he received for free.Now, Sameera Raziuddin has shattered his record at a Florida store with a 192-ounce, $57.75 frappuccino, made with a caramel crunch base and filled with 60 espresso shots, caramel syrup, white mocha flavor, hazelnut flavor, tazo chai, soy milk, mocha drizzle, matcha powder, vanilla bean flavor, vanilla drizzle, hazelnut drizzle and whipped cream.And Starbucks is not happy about it.“This particular customization was excessive and something we don’t encourage, and the same can be said for the beverage a few weeks ago,” Starbucks spokeswoman Maggie Jantzen said.Starbucks has a preexisting policy that blended beverages can be no larger than 24 ounces, and iced tea and iced coffee can be no larger than 31 ounces.Jantzen declined to comment on why stores are not following corporate guidelines.Grub Street, a national food blog, theorized that it was because stores receive free publicity out of such a service, not to mention a hopefully more significant tip to the barista that agreed to make the drink.Starbucks maintains it has a size guideline in place for taste reasons.“We really want to make sure we’re providing a high-quality product. I don’t believe this particular beverage was representative of that,” Jantzen said.Raziuddin, 23, wholeheartedly disagreed.
“It amazingly turned out to be really, really good,” she said. “Everybody wonders if I tossed it, but we just love it. We drink it all the time.”It’s to be determined if this monster drink trend continues, but one thing is for sure: Starbucks is not impressed.
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Airbnb Unveils New Logo

Airbnb Unveils New Logo

Airbnb(NEW YORK) — When Airbnb unveiled its new logo, netizens went wild trying to pin down what the simple scribble looks like.But the rent-a-room service says the logo — which resembles a pretzel shape or an upside-down heart — is symbolic of belonging, the core of the Airbnb brand, according to CEO Bryan Chesky.”For so long, people thought Airbnb was about renting houses,” he wrote in a blog post on Wednesday. “But really, we’re about home. You see, a house is just a space, but a home is where you belong. And what makes this global community so special is that for the very first time, you can belong anywhere.”A video explains the symbol, called the bélo, and it stands for four things: people, places, love and Airbnb.The logo is the latest in an ongoing rebranding process for the company, which has also redesigned its website and app, ratcheted up its marketing efforts and launched a bed and breakfast service.
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Why Weak Passwords Aren’t Always a Bad Idea

Why Weak Passwords Aren’t Always a Bad Idea

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It turns out having your dog’s name as your password isn’t such a bad idea after all.New research from Microsoft says Internet users are better off recycling weak, memorable passwords for accounts of low importance.Complex passwords, comprised of letters, numbers and symbols, should only be used for accounts that hold sensitive information, such as a person’s bank account, according to the study published by Microsoft Research.The logic behind the study indicates that users will more likely be able to remember unique passwords if they’re limited to just their high-value accounts.“Strategies that rule out password re-use or the use of weak passwords are sub-optimal. Both are valuable tools in balancing the allocation of effort between higher and lower value accounts,” researchers wrote.While password managers are one viable option for managing online accounts, the study argues that they can create more problems than they’re worth.Researchers suggest that if a user forgets their password for their password manager, they could be locked out of all their accounts, or by storing everything in one place, users are leaving themselves potentially vulnerable to hackers.The study recommends writing down passwords the old-fashioned way, if you must.“Writing passwords down is, if properly done, increasingly accepted as a coping mechanism,” the study says.
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Jobless Claims Continue Decline, Down by 3,000

Jobless Claims Continue Decline, Down by 3,000

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Jobless claims are still falling, decreasing last week by 3,000, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the Labor Department.For the week ending July 12, the number of people filing for benefits dropped to 302,000. The previous week, claims stood at a revised level of 305,000.The Labor Department said there were no “special factors” impacting this week’s figures.The four-week moving average also fell, decreasing by 3,000 to 309,000 — the lowest level for this average in five years.
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Starbucks Opens First Colombia Store

Starbucks Opens First Colombia Store

Starbucks(BOGOTA, Colombia) — Caffeine chain Starbucks payed homage to one of its major coffee sources Wednesday with the opening of its first store in Colombia. Officials debuted the three-level store in Bogota where employees are set to serve 100 percent Colombian coffee. “Our admiration and respect for Colombian coffee farmers dates back to our humble beginnings in Seattle’s Pike Place Market in 1971 when we first began purchasing and roasting Colombian coffee,”  Starbucks chairman Schultz said. “Over the past 43 years, we have proudly shared Colombia’s finest coffee with billions of people around the world and today we are honored to bring the Starbucks Experience to Colombia for the first time.”The stores in the Latin American country will be the first to serve locally sourced Starbucks coffee. Other whole bean packaged goods will be offered from international markets. Wednesday’s opening is just the beginning — the chain plans to open 50 other stores in the market over the next five years.
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Company Limits Worker Bathroom Use to 6 Minutes a Day, Union Claims

Company Limits Worker Bathroom Use to 6 Minutes a Day, Union Claims

iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — Can an employer regulate the number of bathroom breaks that workers take?A Teamsters union in Chicago thinks not and claims workers have been disciplined for taking what the company says is an “excessive” number of breaks. Teamsters Local 743 filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board last month and is awaiting a response from WaterSaver Faucet Company.Last winter, WaterSaver Faucet Company installed equipment to electronically monitor the production staff’s washroom use, requiring employees to key in and out of the bathroom during work hours, according to the Teamsters’ statement filed with the federal labor board, with one WaterSaver Faucet employee describing “excessive use” as spending 60 minutes or more over the last 10 working days, an average of six minutes a day.Workers picketed outside the company on July 9 with placards that read, “Stop Bathroom Harassment!”Teamsters Local 743′s staff attorney Nick Kreitman said 19 of approximately 90 employees, or about 20 percent of the company workforce, were disciplined last month for “excessive washroom” use, according to the filing. The company told CNN that no one has been suspended or terminated, but warnings were issued.WaterSaver Faucet declined to comment to ABC News.”Due to the company’s current contract negotiations with the union, we have no comments,” the WaterSaver Faucet Company said.The Teamsters Local 743 agreed to the company’s proposed incentive program to pay workers $1 per day, up to $20 a month, if the employee visited the bathroom only during breaks or other non-work time, according to the union’s statement to the labor board.Kreitman told ABC News that none of the 200 or so contracts the union manages with other companies have such policies.In general, a work rule that seems unfair or silly is not illegal unless it impacts a protected group disproportionately, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If this rule of 60 minutes per month in the bathroom hypothetically affected women more than men, because, for example, they may need more breaks for menstrual periods, it might be sex discrimination, an EEOC spokeswoman said. Or if the rule affected older men, many of whom have prostate problems, it might be a combination of sex and age discrimination.Last year, one T-Mobile employee who was given two 15-minute breaks and a 30-minute lunch, claimed she clocked out to use the restroom while she was pregnant because it wasn’t enough time.And a 51-year old woman was dismissed from the Minnesota factory of Electrolux Home Products in August 2012 for urinating in a box after being refused a bathroom break. Last year, an arbitrator ruled the firing violated her union contract and she was reinstated.The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration states employees have a right to bathroom use. Electrolux stated that it complied by providing a half-hour lunch break and two 10-minute breaks for restroom use for every four hours, which is in its collective bargaining agreement with the International Association of Machinists (IAM), according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.If an employee had a disability, such as irritable bowel syndrome or needed to change a colostomy bag, an employer would have to modify its limited bathroom breaks policy to accommodate the disability, unless it could show that doing so would be an undue hardship, a spokeswoman for the EEOC said. Cases that involve bathroom policies and alleged violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act occur more frequently than those involving gender or age discrimination, she said.
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Dow Hits New Record, Stocks Rise Amid Earning Reports

Dow Hits New Record, Stocks Rise Amid Earning Reports

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Wall Street stocks closed higher Wednesday after strong second-quarter earnings reports and news of mergers and deals. The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a new record, up 78 points to finish at 17138.20, the Nasdaq Composite added 10 at 4425.97, and the S&P 500 gained 8 points, closing at 1981.57. News of Rupert Murdoch’s interest in Time Warner prompted gains for the media company, and Apple and IBM saw an increase following a deal between the two tech giants. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testified to the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, telling officials it would be a big mistake for Congress to require the central bank to adopt a formal policy rule on setting interest rates. BMW is expanding a recall of popular models to address an air bag problem affecting more than a million 3-series cars manufactured from 2000 to 2006.
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First Instagram Posted Four Years Ago

First Instagram Posted Four Years Ago

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The honor of being in the first Instagram snap, which was posted four years ago on Wednesday, went to co-founder Kevin Systrom’s dog.At the time, the photo sharing network hadn’t gone public and went by a different moniker: Codename, according to a post on the company’s website from two years ago.Instagram launched to the public in October 2010 and now boasts more than 200 million active members per month, according to the company.An average of 60 million photos are uploaded every day, while more than 20 billion snaps have been shared.Facebook paid a reported $1 billion for Instagram in 2012.
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BlackBerry Unveils Its Answer to Apple’s Siri

BlackBerry Unveils Its Answer to Apple’s Siri

BlackBerry(NEW YORK) — BlackBerry unveiled its answer to Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana on Wednesday — and decided to go with a straightforward name: BlackBerry AssistantThe voice-enabled personal assistant will run on devices with BlackBerry 10.3 and can manage everything from a user’s business life to their social life.“The more I use it, the more it learns and adapts to me,” BlackBerry social media marketing lead Donny Halliwell said in a blog post.“If you’ve had experience with other smartphone-based personal assistants, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how accurate BlackBerry Assistant is at recognizing your requests,” he added.
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Seattle Cab Drivers Attend ‘Charm School’ to Compete with Uber

Seattle Cab Drivers Attend ‘Charm School’ to Compete with Uber

iStock/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) — Taxi drivers in Washington state are getting lessons that they hope will give them an edge against startups such as Lyft and Uber.The first four-hour training on customer service took place Tuesday in Tukwila, outside Seattle, after the Western Washington Taxicab Operators Association and Teamsters Local 117 asked the Hospitality Management Program at South Seattle College for a curriculum.Yellow Cab, Orange Cab and Farwest Taxi drivers participated.Here’s the course program:

Introduction
Excellent customer service: What it is and how to provide it.
How to handle complaints and difficult customers
Personal story: How to present our brand and/or service in a way that is most accessible for customers
Developing new business with Institutional Clients
Closing exercises and review

About 170 taxicab operators paid $60 out of their pockets, ABC News affiliate KOMO reported, to learn about topics, including customer satisfaction and developing relationships with institutional clients.Hana Gala, an instructor at South Seattle College’s hospitality management program, told ABC News that about 100 drivers had signed up for the course, but dozens more showed up for the instruction.”I think cabbies reaching out for help is great,” she said. “They are small business owners. This is their business and livelihood.”A second training is offered Thursday and a third date has not yet been confirmed.”We want to earn their business,” cab driver Paul Cheema told KOMO about his customers. “This is showing the people that we’re actually taking our time and spending money and trying to make a change in this industry.””We just need to reminded that opening the door — it’s always a good idea for the customer,” Cheema added.Gala said she hopes the union for the cab dispatchers will also provide a course for them. “Our next move is to work with them, which will impact customers greatly,” she added.Here’s the program’s “Five Steps to Consistently Successful Taxi Business”:

Establish rapport (starts with attitude)
Connect (biography)
Deliver excellent service
Handle complaints
Keep developing your business

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Cappuccino Chip Among Finalists in Lay’s ‘Do Us a Flavor’ Contest

Cappuccino Chip Among Finalists in Lay’s ‘Do Us a Flavor’ Contest

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Americans have spoken, and they’re saying coffee-flavored potato chips are what they want.Out of more than 14 million entries in Lay’s “Do US A Flavor” contest, the brand whittled down the final four flavors to Cappuccino, Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese, Kettle Cooked Wasabi Ginger and Wavy Mango Salsa.Chad Scott, a visiting lecturer and Ph.D. student who pitched the crazy cappuccino flavor, said Wednesday on ABC’s Good Morning America, “the inspiration on this is just a love of coffee. When a cappuccino is good enough, it puts a punctuation point on my day.”The coffee-flavored chips, however, do not contain any caffeine.
Cheddar bacon mac and cheese was developed by a firefighter’s love for comfort food. “Let’s be honest, firefighteres love their food, so I knew I had to bring my A-game. It was a hit with the guys at the firehouse,” Matt Allen said on GMA.
Inspired by her grandmother’s Japanese heritage, Meneko Spigner McBeth came up with the spicy wasabi ginger flavor.
“She’s been making me sushi since I was a little girl,” McBeth said.The mango salsa flavor, meanwhile, was created by Julia Stanley-Metz’s love for her husband’s homemade mango salsa on their family’s Taco Tuesdays.The crowd-sourced chips will be available on store shelves later this month when consumers can try all four and vote for their final favorite, which will remain on store shelves after the contest ends in November. The winning contributor will get a $1 million grand prize for their flavor idea.“The response blew us away,” Ram Krishnan, senior vice president of marketing, Frito-Lay North America said in a statement. “We can’t wait to see which flavor America selects as its favorite.”Head to DoUsAFlavor.com to vote for your favorite, or vote via Twitter, Instagram and/or Vine using the hashtags #SaveCappuccino, #SaveBaconMac, #SaveWasabi or #SaveMango; and/or via text message by texting “Cappuccino,” “Bacon Mac,” “Wasabi” or “Mango” to 24477 (CHIPS).
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Space Bins Promise More Overhead in Flight Storage

Space Bins Promise More Overhead in Flight Storage

Marian Lockhart/Boeing(NEW YORK) — Ever found your way to your airplane seat only to find there’s no more room for your carry-on bag in the overhead compartment?The problem that plagues virtually every flier may be on its way to being solved.
Boeing announced its new Space Bins will stow six bags, two more than the current pivot bins installed on Next-Generation 737s. That’s based on a standard size carry-on bag measuring 9 x 14 x 22 inches. Space Bins will be an optional feature on all new 737s and 737 MAX aircraft.Alaska Airlines will be the first airline outfitted with Space Bins. The airline will begin installing Space Bins on all new deliveries as soon as the larger bins become available in late 2015.In addition to holding more bags, the Space Bins have a lower bin lip height, providing “increased visibility into the back of the bins and make bag loading even easier. They’re also as easy to close as the current pivot bins,” Boeing said.Space Bins are also available for retrofit on in-service Next-Generation 737s.
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How Tim Cook Is Taking Steve Jobs’ Advice to Heart as Apple’s CEO

How Tim Cook Is Taking Steve Jobs’ Advice to Heart as Apple’s CEO

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Tim Cook has steered Apple through three years of increased competition from rivals since he took the helm as the tech giant’s CEO.When visionary founder Steve Jobs chose Cook as his successor, he offered two pieces of advice: Not to think of what he (Jobs) would do and to “do what’s right.”In the past few months, Cook has shown the breadth of his vision for Apple by taking charge on two vastly different deals.He helped make Dr. Dre the self-proclaimed “first billionaire in hip hop” with the $3 billion acquisition of Beats — a company known best for their premium line of headphones.Cook unveiled another deal Tuesday when he announced Apple would team up with IBM, a former rival, to sell more iPads and iPhones to corporate customers.”I think that from a high level Cook is willing to work with people where Steve Jobs was not willing to work with people,” Gene Munster, senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, told ABC News. “He clearly believes more in cooperation versus competition.”Patrick Moorhead, principal technology analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy, told ABC News that the diversity of the deals show Cook is “positioning himself as a unique leader.””He seems to embrace things that a previous Apple wouldn’t do before,” Moorhead said.That means working with IBM — the original Big Brother company that Apple poked fun at in the groundbreaking “1984″ TV commercial.While 98 percent of Fortune 500 companies use iOS devices, according to Cook, the IBM partnership will allow Apple a way of bringing its products to corporate customers who may be using other devices, while integrating IBM’s data and analytics.The companies will also collaborate on a “MobileFirst” platform of industry-specific business apps, including retail, healthcare, banking, travel, transportation, telecommunications and insurance, among others.According to Apple, enterprise solutions will begin rolling out this fall and into 2015.”It is big in that Apple has historically put no effort into enterprise,” Munster said of the partnership. But “if you look at the impact of the numbers, it’s a little bit more of a gray area.”Under Cook’s stewardship, Moorhead said he expects to see even more partnerships and acquisitions in the future, cementing not just a new era at Apple, but Cook’s legacy as a leader who can “think different.””I would expect more partnerships, more acquisitions, more collaboration,” Moorhead said.
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Bank Robbers Go to Jail, Bank Execs Write Checks

Bank Robbers Go to Jail, Bank Execs Write Checks

Mario Tama/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — While robbing a Citibank branch can earn individual citizens decades in prison, the Department of Justice is allowing corporate giant Citigroup executives to avoid criminal charges for the bank’s role in the financial collapse that caused thousands of Americans to lose millions of dollars.Attorney General Eric Holder said at a press conference Monday that the Citigroup $7 billion fine and settlements like it so far have been punishment enough for big banks — that there has been a “deterrent impact from every substantial and historic settlement that we have worked out.”According to settlement documents, from 2006 to 2007 Citigroup lured thousands of Americans into unstable mortgage loans and sold the resulting mortgage backed securities for tens of billions of dollars to investors. Holder said this practice contributed “mightily” to the financial tumble in the American economy in late 2007, which led to more than a million foreclosed homes and in some cases, homeless families.Citigroup executives have admitted to the charges against the bank but they aren’t facing any criminal charges — a very different fate from the individuals arrested for robbing their banks.James Watson decided to rob two banks in Westport, Connecticut, one of them a Citibank, after he found himself neck deep in medical bills and needed money for his children’s Christmas gifts. His attorney told Connecticut’s CTPost he walked out of the 2012 robberies with only $972. For the effort and threatening bank employees with a knife, he earned 10 years in prison.Michael McManus, more commonly known as the “White Glove Bandit” because he wore white latex gloves when robbing banks, was arrested in April 2012 after robbing four banks and collecting more than $32,000 in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. He threatened tellers with what looked like a revolver but later turned out to be a cap gun. He was captured on surveillance video holding up one of the banks, a Citibank. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.A father-daughter duo, John Charles and Shelby Dawn Applewhite, were sentenced to 15 years and 5 years, respectively, for their tag team robbery of three Dallas banks in May 2013. According to a FBI press release, John used a “dangerous gun” to threaten tellers. One of those, too, was a Citibank.It should come as no surprise that low-level bank robbers will serve hard time for their crimes, while high-level corporate types often avoid criminal charges, according to Brandon Garrett, a University of Virginia law professor and author of the upcoming book Too Big to Jail: How Prosecutors Compromise with Corporations.“There is a real moral concern with the difference in treatment of corporate offenders and the small fry that get caught up in the criminal justice system,” Garrett said.When it comes to Citigroup executives, Holder said a $7 billion fine is a credible deterrent to prevent wrongdoing and there shouldn’t be a need for criminal charges. Garrett doesn’t agree with Holder’s insistence about the “deterrent impact” of multi-billion fines and says they fail to punish the individuals who are potentially culpable.“I don’t think that fines alone are deterrents, even really big fines,” Garrett said. “Fines can be passed on to shareholders.”Michael Corbat, Citigroup chief executive officer, said in a press release Monday that not only will the company not pass on the bill to shareholders, but the settlement is “in the best interests of our shareholders. …[It] allows us to move forward and to focus on the future, not the past.” Citigroup has become the second bank in the last year to reach a settlement with the Department of Justice regarding the sale and marketing of subprime mortgages — a settlement reached after the DOJ threatened damaging lawsuits. The DOJ reached a $13 billion settlement with JP Morgan last year. These last two settlements have been seen as templates for upcoming negotiations with Bank of America.“I think it’s impossible to make everyone whole,” Holder said at press conference Monday. “So what we try to do is too hold the institution and individuals accountable and to do what we can to bring some degree of relief.”Of Citigroup’s $7 billion fine, $4 billion is going toward the Department of Justice, $500 million is going towards compensatory payments to state attorney generals and the FDIC and $2.5 billion is going towards consumer relief.Should Citigroup or another major financial institution repeat such behavior, Holder said the Justice Department will not hesitate in taking civil action against banks if the need arises once again. He also said they have not ruled out the possibility of pursuing criminal charges.“Understand something,” Holder said, “if for whatever reason that deterrent effect is not something that these institutions feel, this justice department will bring them to task yet again.”
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Apple Partners with IBM on Business Apps

Apple Partners with IBM on Business Apps

iStock/Thinkstock(CUPERTINO, Calif.) — Tech giants Apple and IBM announced a partnership Tuesday to work together on new business applications and software. The deal would bring IBM’s data and analytics capabilities to iPhones and iPads, according to Apple. The companies are teaming up to create cloud services for iOS that include security, mobile integration, and device management. “The combination will create apps that can transform specific aspects of how businesses and employees work using iPhone and iPad, allowing companies to achieve new levels of efficiency, effectiveness and customer satisfaction — faster and easier than ever before,” Apple representatives said in a statement. Made-for-business apps will start appearing this fall through 2015.
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Stocks End Mixed Following Yellen’s Remarks on Economy

Stocks End Mixed Following Yellen’s Remarks on Economy

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Wall Street stocks ended mixed Tuesday following the release of government numbers and comments on the economy from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 5 points at 17060.68, the Nasdaq Composite fell 24 points at 4416.39, and the S&P 500 finished down 4 points to close at 1973.28. JP Morgan Chase reported lower earnings before the bell, while Intel boasted second quarter earnings that were better than expected after the close. The economy is still recovering, Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday. The central bank will provide significant support to boost growth and the job market, she added. Still, despite steady hiring, consumers remain cautious as retail sales rose only slightly last month.
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