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Higher Pay Doesn’t Make a Bad Job Good

Higher Pay Doesn’t Make a Bad Job Good

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Money isn’t everything, but it does help to pay for everything — or at least a lot of things. So therefore, who would turn down a raise, particularly if it’s a substantial one?Believe it or not, most workers in Britain say they would forgo a significant bump in salary if it meant working somewhere they couldn’t stand.When the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) asked 2,000 people if they’d take a large pay increase to work in a lousy environment, 80 percent said they wouldn’t.Although pay is obviously important, most workers in the survey said responsibility, recognition and relationships with co-workers were higher priorities.As for why they continue to work where they work, the respondents listed in order: getting along with co-workers, enjoying their role on the job and having a good relationship with supervisors.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Spending on Essential Items Rises Substantially

Spending on Essential Items Rises Substantially

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Spending more but enjoying it less?For the first time, Gallup conducted a survey of 1,000 adults to measure consumer spending data and discovered that 45 percent of Americans have increased their overall purchases compared to last year.Number one on the list is grocery shopping, with almost six in 10 people spending more at the market than in 2013.Gasoline is a close second, followed by utilities and healthcare bills.The reasons for added spending are pretty simple to figure out since the cost of food, fuel and utilities have all risen from a year ago, while millions have signed up for medical insurance through the Affordable Care Act.Since these items are essential, Americans have had to cut back in other areas, which are leisure activities such as traveling and going out to restaurants. Spending on these activities is off 38 percent compared to in 2013.Just the same, Gallup reports that 69 percent of Americans still plan to travel this summer.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Gas Prices Down to Average $3.64

Gas Prices Down to Average $3.64

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Gas prices dropped four cents in the past week nationwide to $3.64 per gallon, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Energy.It’s welcome news for drivers who are hitting the road on summer vacation.The Midwest has seen prices drop seven cents in the past week.The most expensive state remains California at an average of $4.09 for a gallon of regular unleaded. Los Angeles is the most expensive city at $4.12 per gallon.
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Corporate Deals Lift Stock Averages

Corporate Deals Lift Stock Averages

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Investors cheered Citigroup’s latest earnings and its $7 billion settlement with the government over its subprime mortgage mess.The Dow finished 111 points higher at 17,055, the Nasdaq added 25 points and closed the day at 4,440, and the S&P 500 rose 9 points to 1,977.Citigroup says its net income dropped in the second quarter after it took a $3.8 billion charge to settle claims over its risky subprime mortgage business, but, excluding the charge, Citigroup beat estimates for 2nd quarter earnings. Shares rose 3 percent.Gas prices were down four cents in the past week nationwide to $3.64 per gallon, according to the U.S. Energy Department.EBay and Sotheby’s are teaming up to bring the famed auction house’s art and collectibles auctions into a live, online environment.Volkswagen says production on a new SUV at its Chattanooga, Tenn., factory, will mean approximately 2,000 jobs.
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Citigroup to Pay $7 Billion in Mortgage Investigation Settlement

Citigroup to Pay $7 Billion in Mortgage Investigation Settlement

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Citigroup and the Department of Justice reached a $7 billion deal in a federal investigation into mortgages, officials announced Monday.The government suit alleged that the bank misled investors about mortgage securities sold in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis.Citigroup learned of “serious and widespread” defects in loans but still concealed the information, including the level of risk, according to Attorney General Eric Holder. “The bank’s misconduct was egregious,” Holder said Monday. “And under the terms of this settlement, the bank has admitted to its misdeeds in great detail.”A $4 billion civil penalty is included in the agreement, marking the largest payment of its kind to date. Citigroup is the second big bank to settle, following in the footsteps of JP Morgan Chase, which made a deal for $13 billion. “As a result of their assurances that toxic financial products were sound, Citigroup was able to expand its market share and increase profits,” Holder added. “They did so at the expense of millions of ordinary Americans and investors of all types — including other financial institutions, universities and pension funds, cities and towns, and even hospitals and religious charities.  Ultimately, these investors suffered billions of dollars in losses when Citi’s false and fraudulent claims came crashing down.”The deal will also include $2.5 billion going toward consumer relief to finance affordable multifamily rental housing, as well as principal reduction in residential loans.

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World Cup Was Even More Popular than Super Bowl on Facebook

World Cup Was Even More Popular than Super Bowl on Facebook

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The World Cup final on Sunday was even more popular on Facebook than the Super Bowl, according to data released by the social network.During the game between Germany and Argentina, more than 88 million people generated 280 million interactions, making the match the most talked about sporting event in Facebook history.The blockbuster sporting event — which spanned four weeks and 64 total matches — also drew staggering numbers. More than 350 million joined the conversation, churning out three billion interactions, which Facebook defines as posts, comments and likes.When Germany walloped Brazil in the semifinals, Facebook went crazy. The most social moment of the World Cup was when Sami Khedira scored Germany’s fourth goal in seven minutes, giving them a 5-0 lead over Brazil.Brazil was playing the match without star striker Neymar, who has been called the heart and soul of the team. The 22-year-old, who was injured during a match with Colombia, was the most talked about player of the World Cup on the social network.Tim Howard played the match of his life when the United States took on Belgium in the round of 16, recording a spectacular 16 saves, the most-ever for an American goalie at the World Cup. Despite a loss that eliminated the Americans, Howard emerged as one of the breakout stars of the World Cup — and was one of the players who grew their fanbase the most on Facebook, according to percentage points.And no shocker here — Brazilians were the most engaged fans, with 55 million people in the country joining the conversation on Facebook, edging out the United States.
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Lindt’s Acquisition of Russell Stover a ‘Good Thing’: Master Chocolatier

Lindt’s Acquisition of Russell Stover a ‘Good Thing’: Master Chocolatier

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Who has more to gain from the joining of American chocolate company Russell Stover and Swiss maker Lindt?It might be the Kansas City, Missouri-based company, which analysts call a “non-premium” brand. The company known for its cheap Valentine’s Day chocolate boxes in drug stores and an appearance in the movie Forrest Gump might learn a thing or two from the Swiss chocolate-making process, according to Hans Mazenauer, 80, retired Swiss “Master Chocolatier” of Lindt & Sprüngli USA.Lindt & Sprüngli Group announced on Monday its biggest acquisition yet, though the financial details were not disclosed.Mazenauer, who retired in 2002 and lives in Florida, said, “I ate chocolate every day,” while he worked for Lindt, but he hasn’t tried Russell Stover in a “long time.””It’s definitely not chocolate weather [in Florida],” he said.Still, he said he knows there are too many differences to list between the two chocolate brands.First, there’s the difference in ingredients, including the aroma of Swiss milk vs. American milk. Then, there’s the heritage and the process. Lindt traces its roots to 1845, in Zurich’s Old Town. The company boasts of roasting its own cacao beans (“the world’s finest coca beans,” according to its website) and making chocolate from “bean to bar.””Lindt chocolate is the best chocolate, in my opinion, you can buy,” Mazenauer told ABC News, adding, “Lindt has quality control and process that is the best there is.”The former “Maître Chocolatier” said he’s not a fan personally of Russell Stover’s sugar-free chocolate products either.”Of course I know how to make sugar-free chocolate. For people who need that, that’s fine, but I was never keen myself,” he said, saying it might be an option for chocolate lovers who are diabetics.As for American classics like Hershey and M&Ms, he said they might be more for the “conservative American taste,” following World War II.”I’m not so keen on them,” he said. “I like more the Lindt taste. Over the years, I got to like it. But Lindt is creamier and tastier — the quality of the Lindt flavor.”Lindt did wonders for Ghiradelli, the San Francisco-based chocolate maker that Lindt acquired in 1998.”They are doing very, very well. You find Ghiradelli all over,” he said.Mazenauer said he was “surprised” by the latest acquisition, but called it a “good move.””It might make a big difference. I think Russell Stover will profit with this takeover from Lindt’s expertise in chocolate. It’s just the best you can get. I’m sure the quality will improve and they will profit by having such good people join them,” he said.Russell Stover Candies calls itself the nation’s largest manufacturer of boxed chocolate, with three brands: Russell Stover, Whitman’s and Pangburn’s. They account for more than 60 percent of all boxed chocolate sales in the U.S., the company says, and is the third-largest American chocolate manufacturer behind Hershey and M&M Mars.”This biggest and most important strategic acquisition to date in Lindt & Sprüngli’s history is a unique opportunity for us to expand our North American chocolate business and will greatly enhance the group’s status in the world’s biggest overall chocolate marketplace,” Ernst Tanner, CEO of Lindt & Sprüngli, said in a statement announcing the deal.A spokesman for Russell Stover declined to comment to ABC News.
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Airbus Submits Patent for Bicycle-Like Seats

Airbus Submits Patent for Bicycle-Like Seats

Johannes Simon/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Over the last couple of years, airlines have been cutting back on legroom to maximize the number of passengers on board aircraft. And by the looks of a new patent, the future may hold even less room for those aboard flights.Airbus has submitted a patent in Europe for a new seat design that resembles a bicycle — minus the pedals. The seats sit atop a vertical pole and include armrests and back rests. Missing, however, are the headrests and tray tables.The compact seats are just a concept and may never go anywhere, Airbus tells the Los Angeles Times.“Many, if not most, of these concepts will never be developed, but in case the future of commercial aviation makes one of our patents relevant, our work is protected,” says Airbus spokeswoman Mary Anne Greczyn. “Right now these patent filings are simply conceptual.”
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Eighth-Grade Band Signs Sony Record Deal

Eighth-Grade Band Signs Sony Record Deal

ABC News(NEW YORK) — A trio of friends from Brooklyn, N.Y., who are not yet out of middle school have signed a record deal with Sony. Guitarist Malcolm Brickhouse, 13, bassist Alec Atkins, 13, and drummer Jarad Dawkins, 12, are the three members of the New York City-based heavy metal band called Unlocking the Truth. While other kids may be spending the summer at camp and preparing for eighth grade, these three musicians will be figuring out the logistics of their potential $1.7 million deal with Sony. The band was founded in 2007 by lifelong friends Malcolm and Jarad. When they were young children, Malcolm’s father would take them to wrestling shows, where the background music was metal. “It’s just fun. It’s exciting, and if I listen to the lyrics in metal, they just touch me,” Malcolm said. “I don’t like hip-hop because they don’t talk about anything important.” The pair said they became serious about music in 2012, and recruited Alec to join them, teaching him how to play bass from scratch. At first, the boys said they were bullied at school for their heavy metal look – skinny jeans, black nail polish – but then their videos started to go viral and they were invited to play real shows. The band made up to $1,600 per day playing on the streets of New York City before being discovered and brought on the Vans Warped Tour and as an opening act for Guns N’ Roses in Las Vegas. They have also been featured in a Cole Haan Christmas ad and an ad for Beats by Dre. Now the band is playing bigger venues, including South by Southwest, and this year the trio made history as the youngest band ever to perform at the indie-music festival Coachella in California. Sony has committed to producing at least two albums with the band, with an option to produce four more. If Sony produces all six albums, the boys could net as much as $1.7 million.

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Finding Jobs in STEM-Related Fields Tougher than Expected, Survey Says

Finding Jobs in STEM-Related Fields Tougher than Expected, Survey Says

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It’s probably advice high school and college students have heard repeatedly, but it can’t be stressed enough: many of the good jobs are in STEM-related fields — that is, science, technology, engineering and math.Still, three-quarters of people currently with a bachelor’s degree in a STEM-related field are not working in the profession they studied so hard for, according to the Census Bureau.Results of the 2012 American Community Survey show just seven percent of social science majors and ten percent of psychology majors have landed work in their desired fields.Things are somewhat better for engineering, computer, math and statistics majors, with about half getting a job they’ve trained for, while one out of four physical science majors are working in their chosen profession.People with STEM degrees can take some consolation in the fact that their overall unemployment rate is half the national average of 6.1 percent. However, most still aren’t taking advantage of the education they received.Although there appears to be more candidates than jobs at the moment, 269,000 STEM-related openings are predicted by 2018, with demand for scientists and engineers growing at four times the rate of other professions during the next decade.
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Private Cargo Ship Launches for International Space Station with Supplies

Private Cargo Ship Launches for International Space Station with Supplies

Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls(NEW YORK) — After a series of delays, NASA said private company Orbital’s delivery flight to bring food, supplies, hardware and other materials to the International Space Station launched on Sunday.The launch took place shortly before 1 p.m. on Sunday. The ship is expected to reach the International Space Station on July 16 and will remain in place for approximately one month. NASA says the ship is carrying nearly 3,300 pounds of supplies and will “expand the research capability of the Expedition 40 crew members.”
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Crumbs Bake Shop To Reopen Under Dippin’ Dots Owner

Crumbs Bake Shop To Reopen Under Dippin’ Dots Owner

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Crumbs Bake Shop, the specialty store chain that closed up shop last week, is looking to open its doors once again with the help of new investors. Much to the surprise of cupcake aficionados around the nation, the bakery, known for its oversized goodies, unexpectedly shuttered all its retail locations on July 7. Friday brought good news for the company, however, when a group of investors agreed to buy the business, with the help of Marcus Lemonis, owner of Dippin’ Dots ice cream, and Fischer Enterprises, L.L.C.”We are very pleased to have reached this agreement with Lemonis and Fischer after carefully evaluating opportunities to strengthen Crumbs’ financial position in order to ensure a strong future for the Crumbs brand and business,” said Edward M. Slezak, Crumbs Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel.
“The steps we are taking today will allow us to continue to execute our business strategy, expand our licensing business and position ourselves to move toward a franchise store model. We remain saddened that we were forced to cease operations before this agreement was reached, but we strongly believe that pursuing this sale through the chapter 11 process is ultimately in the best interest of the Company and its stakeholders,” he added.
The deal comes as a part of Crumbs’ bankruptcy filing, and the involved parties say they are evaluating retail strategy “with a goal of reopening select locations” or new locations in the future.
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GE Working on Microwave That Counts Calories Instead of Cooking Them

GE Working on Microwave That Counts Calories Instead of Cooking Them

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) –  In the future, General Electric hopes you’ll have a microwave device that will count your calories, not cook them.Matt Webster, a biologist, and his team at General Electric are developing advanced sensor technology that will ideally one day be able to calculate the calories in a meal with just one push of a button.“I was trying to get a birthday present for my wife,” Webster told ABC News. “I wanted to get her an activity monitor, but she said she wasn’t interested unless it tracked the calories she ate.”And so the development of the calorie counter came to be.Webster describes the machine as “a very low power microwave,” but it will not cook the food you put into it.Instead, the calorie-counting device will pass microwave signals though the food and assess what comes out of the other side to pull information from the sample, ultimately counting the calories of whatever was put inside.The early prototype of the machine has been successful, Webster said.“Right now we can pretty accurately get calories of water, oil and sugar,” said Webster. “Now we’re trying out real foods.”Webster hopes to have the product finished in two or three years, and thinks that the calorie counter could encourage healthier lifestyles for those who may not have the time to meticulously track everything they eat.“Everything is moving towards apps and easy,” Webster said. “Pairing this with an activity monitor and a scale would mean tracking your calories isn’t so difficult anymore.”Webster hopes that the product will eventually be a natural part of every home, possibly even in restaurants, to make calorie tracking as simple as possible.
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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

SEC Suspends Trading on Cynk Technology Stock

SEC Suspends Trading on Cynk Technology Stock

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The Securities and Exchange Commission announced on Friday the suspension of trading on a technology stock that mysteriously rose in price from pennies to over $10 astonishingly quick.According to a statement from the SEC, trading was suspended on securities of Cynk Technology Corp., based in Belize City, Belize. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company has no revenue, no product and no assets. The Wall Street Journal also noted that Cynk had been trading at six cents per share in mid-June before closing at $13.90 on Thursday. The stock had not been trading on any of the major indices.
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Markets Rally on Friday, Wells Fargo Reports Profits Slightly Higher

Markets Rally on Friday, Wells Fargo Reports Profits Slightly Higher

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The markets closed an up-and-down week with gains for all three major indices on Friday.The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 16943.81, up 28.74 for the day.The Nasdaq jumped 19.29 to close at 4415.49, while the S&P 500, despite a gain of 2.89 to 1967.57, saw its largest weekly drop since April.As Investors start looking at corporate earnings reports for the second quarter, Wells Fargo reported net income of $5.7 billion, four percent higher than the second quarter of 2013. The success of such a large bank making money from mortgages, consumer loans and retail banking is typically a positive sign for the American consumers.
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Amazon’s Drones Will Be as ‘Normal as Seeing Mail Trucks’

Amazon’s Drones Will Be as ‘Normal as Seeing Mail Trucks’

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Amazon wants to take its much-hyped fleet of delivery drones on test runs near its Seattle office — but first the Internet retailer needs permission from regulators.In a formal request to the Federal Aviation Administration, Amazon’s vice president of global public policy Paul Misener wrote that “one day, seeing Amazon Prime Air will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today.”The plan to use unmanned aerial vehicles to deliver packages was announced by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in December 2013, but the company faces a series of regulatory roadblocks before their vision can become a reality.In his July 9 letter, Misener asked officials for permission to take the drones on test runs near Amazon’s Seattle office. The company has so far only been able to test the vehicles indoors and in other countries because FAA rules limit commercial use.”Of course, Amazon would prefer to keep the focus, jobs and investment of this important research and development initiative in the United States by conducting private research and development operations outdoors near Seattle,” Misener wrote.The letter also detailed advancements Amazon has made with its Amazon Prime Air fleet and the company’s vision for how the drones would function as part of their delivery model.The current aerial vehicles being tested can travel at speeds of up to 50 mph. The drones are capable of carrying up to 5 pounds at a time, covering 86 percent of products sold on Amazon, Misener said.Improvements have also been made in agility, flight duration and with the drones’ system of sensors, he said.Amazon will face regulatory hurdles, but the letter is another sign that the company has continued to press forward with its plan to implement a delivery system to get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less.
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Future TVs Will Be Paper Thin and Rollable, LG Says

Future TVs Will Be Paper Thin and Rollable, LG Says

LG(NEW YORK) — Perhaps in a few years we’ll see people carrying around their rolled-up televisions the way they used to carry newspapers.LG Display unveiled a paper thin, 18-inch television panel prototype that can be rolled up into the shape of a thin cylinder, making television portable.The panel has almost one million megapixels and can be rolled up into a cylinder with a 2.4-inch diameter without affecting its high-definition display.Instead of using “conventional plastic” for the backbone of the screen, the company said it used polyimide film. The material drastically reduced the screen’s thickness and gave it the flexibility needed to roll it into a tight cylinder.Along with the flexible screen, LG showed off a transparent panel that has a significantly clearer picture quality than existing see-through LCD displays.LG Display said the technological advancement proves they can produce rollable television screens larger than 50 inches diagonally.
In a statement, the company said it is confident it will produce a 60-inch Ultra HD, transparent rollable television by 2017.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Future TVs Will Be Paper Thin and Rollable, LG Says

Future TVs Will Be Paper Thin and Rollable, LG Says

LG(NEW YORK) — Perhaps in a few years we’ll see people carrying around their rolled-up televisions the way they used to carry newspapers.LG Display unveiled a paper thin, 18-inch television panel prototype that can be rolled up into the shape of a thin cylinder, making television portable.The panel has almost one million megapixels and can be rolled up into a cylinder with a 2.4-inch diameter without affecting its high-definition display.Instead of using “conventional plastic” for the backbone of the screen, the company said it used polyimide film. The material drastically reduced the screen’s thickness and gave it the flexibility needed to roll it into a tight cylinder.Along with the flexible screen, LG showed off a transparent panel that has a significantly clearer picture quality than existing see-through LCD displays.LG Display said the technological advancement proves they can produce rollable television screens larger than 50 inches diagonally.
In a statement, the company said it is confident it will produce a 60-inch Ultra HD, transparent rollable television by 2017.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Will Crumbs Cupcake Chain Reopen Its Doors?

Will Crumbs Cupcake Chain Reopen Its Doors?

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Crumbs is looking to cook up a new recipe to stay in business.On Monday, the cupcake company abruptly closed all of its retail stores and ceased operations of online orders.”Regrettably Crumbs has been forced to cease operations and is immediately attending to the dislocation of its devoted employees while it evaluates its limited remaining options,” the company said in a statement to ABC News Tuesday.Now, rumors are emerging of a potential takeover bid for the cupcake maker by a group of investors. Foremost among this group is Marcus Lemonis, host of CNBC’s The Profit, a show based on turning around failing businesses. Any potential recovery effort for Crumbs, however, could include expanding the business beyond its cupcakes and into a sweets and snack shop.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Will Crumbs Cupcake Chain Reopen Its Doors?

Will Crumbs Cupcake Chain Reopen Its Doors?

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Crumbs is looking to cook up a new recipe to stay in business.On Monday, the cupcake company abruptly closed all of its retail stores and ceased operations of online orders.”Regrettably Crumbs has been forced to cease operations and is immediately attending to the dislocation of its devoted employees while it evaluates its limited remaining options,” the company said in a statement to ABC News Tuesday.Now, rumors are emerging of a potential takeover bid for the cupcake maker by a group of investors. Foremost among this group is Marcus Lemonis, host of CNBC’s The Profit, a show based on turning around failing businesses. Any potential recovery effort for Crumbs, however, could include expanding the business beyond its cupcakes and into a sweets and snack shop.
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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