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Most Can’t Afford to Pay for a Sudden Emergency Expense

Most Can’t Afford to Pay for a Sudden Emergency Expense

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — As the commercial slogan goes, “What’s in your wallet?” The response by many Americans is “not much” if a sudden emergency crops up.Bankrate.com in a poll of adults say that most people are one unexpected expense away from financial disaster since only about one in three people have anywhere from $500 to $1,000 in a savings account to pay for a crucial necessity such as an overdue bill to keep a home heated.What to do if there’s no cash at hand? Answers vary from cutting back on other expenses, borrowing the money or adding further to existing debt by putting it on plastic.Ironically, even though a minority of Americans would be able to pay for an emergency expense with cash, 82 percent claim they keep a household budget.And yet, there’s something disturbing about this finding as well since 18 percent say they handle all their budget matters “in their head.”

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Gas Prices Fall Again, With No Floor in Sight

Gas Prices Fall Again, With No Floor in Sight

FeelPic/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The average price of a gallon of regular gas fell to $2.14, down 8 cents from a week ago and $1.19 less compared with a year ago, according to the Department of Energy.This is the lowest weekly average gas price since May 2009 — the recession at the time depressed prices dramatically. GasBuddy.com predicts that the national average will fall to $1.95 by the next month.As of now 43 states have at least one gas station selling gas for less than $2 a gallon, according to GasBuddy.

 

@GasBuddy now predicting national average for #Gasoline will drop to $1.95/gal in the next month.

— Patrick DeHaan (@GasBuddyGuy) January 12, 2015

 World News Videos | ABC World News

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Ohio Furniture Company Will Refund Customers $1.5 Million if Ohio State Wins

Ohio Furniture Company Will Refund Customers $1.5 Million if Ohio State Wins

4X-image/iStock/Thinkstock(DAYTON, Ohio) -- A furniture company in Ohio made a big bet on the first-ever College Football Playoff National Championship game on Monday and may end up giving away $1.5 million in free furniture. Morris Furniture Company, based in Dayton, Ohio, ran a promotion at its 15 Ashley Furniture HomeStore and Better Sleep Shops in Ohio and northern Kentucky to people who bought $1,999 or more of furniture between Dec. 17 and Jan. 1. The company will refund the money customers paid if Ohio State wins by 7 points or more on Monday against the University of Oregon Ducks. About 500 customers will qualify if the Buckeyes win, said Rob Klaben, vice president of marketing and advertising at Morris Furniture, which was established in 1947. The company isn't an Ohio State sponsor and says that the promotion isn't affiliated with the university's football team. Ohio State is a 6-point favorite to win the game, according to ESPN. But the company won't be coughing up $1.5 million either way. A third-party company, which wishes to stay anonymous, will. "We did work with a third-party company that underwrote the promotion. So we’re excited to see a win," Klaben told ABC News. But Klaben added, "It’s not inexpensive to have this kind of promotion." Morris ranked number 70 as the top 100 home furnishing stores by annual sales by trade publication Furniture Today. If Ohio State does win, eligible customers are invited to fill out a rebate form in-person in the stores after Feb. 1. Customers can choose between a rebate for their original purchase amount or 110 percent of that in a store gift card. Klaben declined to provide the company's sales or how much it took in during the promotion period. But he said the promotion was a major boost to a typically slow period of furniture sales, the week before Christmas. The company found that the promotion was so successful that it extended the period through New Year's Day from Dec. 30. "It created some great conversation points in our stores," he said.

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Falling Oil Prices Continue to Drag Down Wall Street

Falling Oil Prices Continue to Drag Down Wall Street

JaysonPhotography/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Falling crude oil prices continued to pull down energy stocks on Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the session at 17,640.84, down 96.53 from its open. The Nasdaq dropped 39.36 to 4,664.61. The S&P 500 lost 16.55 on Monday to close at 2,028.26.The price of oil dropped another five percent to $46 dollars a barrel, far below its recent peak of more than $100 over the summer. The slump means lower profits overall for energy companies. Cheap gas across the country will likely tempt potential buyers planning to attend the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week away from small and economical models, and drive them back towards gas-guzzling trucks and SUV’s.

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New Ford CEO Mark Fields Reveals His Embarrassing First Car

New Ford CEO Mark Fields Reveals His Embarrassing First Car

Ford Motor Company(DETROIT) -- At his first Detroit auto show as president and CEO of Ford Motor Co., Mark Fields has come a long way in the car world since his first set of wheels. On the job for only six months, Fields is spearheading major American car launches at his first Detroit auto show after being chief operating officer for two years. The cars he's personally driven are in a different camp than the Ford F-150, announced on Monday as the North American Truck of the Year, and the luxurious Ford GT sports car that has car aficionados' tongues wagging. Speaking with ABC News’ Chief Business and Economics Correspondent Rebecca Jarvis, Fields said the first car he drove was a yellow Datsun B-210. "It looked like a bumblebee," he said. Fields says these days he's driving the Lincoln MKC, the premium crossover that actor Matthew McConaughey has been hawking on television and which starts at around $33,000. The new Ford GT's price, on the other hand, and its details have been kept somewhat of a secret. It's designed to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and will go into production late next year. On Monday in Detroit, a mob surrounded the Ford GT, which was called "the sickest car Ford has ever made," according to Verge. "Well we’re going to talk about pricing a little closer to launch," Fields said, adding that the new vehicle is being developed in a secret basement location and will be "very exclusive" and "low volume." When Jarvis mentioned a price tag in the $200,000 range, Fields admitted that it's "going to be priced fairly high." Ford has been busy with innovating powerhouses like the new GT as Fields says the company has brought back jobs from China and Mexico. The company has added 14,000 additional hourly jobs in the U.S. in the last couple of years. "When you look at productivity of American workers and energy costs these days, the U.S. is in a very compelling place to manufacture goods," Fields said.

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Weekday Weddings Rise in Popularity

Weekday Weddings Rise in Popularity

Dejan Ristovski/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- When news broke last week that actress Cameron Diaz married Good Charlotte musician Benji Madden after dating for less than a year, the announcement came with scant details about what the couple wore, ate or danced to inside their at-home celebration.But one known aspect of the nuptials was decidedly on trend: The celebrity couple chose a Monday night to say their "I dos."Since 2012, a growing number of brides and grooms have eschewed the traditional Saturday-night reception in favor of weeknight weddings, according to industry experts.

Other boldfaced names that were betrothed on the first day of the week include Kerry Washington and San Francisco 49ers cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, actor Eddie Redmayne and Hannah Bagshawe, as well as Ashley Tisdale and Christopher French."We absolutely see Thursday, Friday and Monday weddings as being a strong trend right now," said Abby Larson, founder and editor of AOL's Style Me Pretty wedding blog. "The off days offer so many benefits -- from financial to celebratory -- that many couples are taking full advantage."For those seeking to save money on wedding expenses, a weekday wedding is often a cheaper alternative to weekend festivities, she said."Venues never have trouble booking up the weekend at peak times but they often have plenty of available time on midweek days," Larson told ABC News. "Other vendors that are a part of the wedding process also offer lower rates, as it means they are able to squeeze in another event."To wit, a Friday or Sunday wedding versus Saturday nights resulted in savings of 20 percent per head, according to The Knot 2013 Real Weddings Study.But budget is just one factor influencing the trend. Sometimes choosing an off night can be an alternative way to secure a popular vendor."Cameron Diaz booked very high-end planners, Yifat Oren and Stephanie Cove, after being engaged for less than six months," said The Knot editor Jamie Miles. "It's worth noting that the more in demand the vendor is that you want, it might mean that a Monday night is easier to book a certain professional or venue."For A-listers, a Monday night marriage is also one way to throw paparazzi off the scent."There's a certain level of secrecy to these weddings," Miles said. "Having a wedding on a Monday is a good way to keep things under wraps. [Celebrities] also have flexibility, and don't have a typical 9 to 5 workday so a Monday may work better with their schedule."In other instances, brides and grooms choose a nontraditional evening because the date has sentimental significance."Repeatedly, I've heard from married people to remember that this is 'our day,' not our family's and not our friend's," wrote one bride-to-be on The Knot wedding boards. "We are having our wedding on a Monday evening at 6:30 p.m., exactly two years from the day that we met."Couples considering a weeknight wedding should keep in mind, however, that a midday or after-work affair may mean fewer guests will be able to attend."Week day weddings are hard for me to make if they are in Denver, a drive over four hours away," wrote another member of The Knot on the same thread. "I've been invited to several weekday weddings I cannot attend. I am a teacher, and it is difficult for me to just get time off in the middle of a week, drive four hours there and back within a day."To that end, wedding experts suggest giving guests as much advance notice as possible and acknowledging their other responsibilities."Let guests know via a wedding website that you understand it might be difficult for them to travel and that you simply wanted to let them know that you would love to have them," Larson said."Make sure to point out any great deals that you've secured for transportation, hotel and logistics. Provide details for the wedding festivities but make it obvious that you are sensitive to your guests' schedules," she added.

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Apple App Store Prices Changing in Parts of the World

Apple App Store Prices Changing in Parts of the World

bedo/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The price of an app from the Apple app store is changing for people who live in Canada and parts of Europe.The increase is a result of fluctuating exchange rates and various taxes, according to an Apple memo to developers that was obtained by 9to5Mac.Our neighbors to the north will face a 20-cent increase, paying $1.19 (US$1.01) for a basic app. In many parts of Europe, the price will increase from €0.89 ($1.05) to €0.99 ($1.17), according to 9to5Mac.There's good news for people who live in Iceland, who are expected to see a decrease.The change comes shortly after Apple announced a new policy in many European countries that gives customers a 14-day grace period if they wish to return an app. The European Union issued a directive over the summer that focuses on consumer rights.

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How VW Golf, Ford F-150 Got Picked as Car, Truck of the Year

How VW Golf, Ford F-150 Got Picked as Car, Truck of the Year

GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- Beside the glitz and shiny toys, one of the Detroit auto show's biggest moments on Monday was an annual award that actually has nothing to do with the gathering, aside from being presented there.The North American Car and Truck of the Year is selected by a select group of automotive journalists from the U.S. and Canada, not by the organizers of the North American International Auto Show, which takes place in Detroit each January."It’s nice they give us the first spot of the show," said Christopher Jensen, one of the journalists who started the award 22 years ago. "The auto show has no involvement as far as what we have done or how the awards are won."Jensen, who started the organization in 1991, said the group tries to be as transparent as possible about the annual award. This year, the Volkswagen Golf and Ford F-150 were selected in the award's 22nd year.Receiving the award is a big honor for car manufacturers, which almost immediately begin advertising it in commercials. The Volkswagen Golf also was named as Motor Trend's car of the year, a win the company already is touting in ads on NFL broadcasts.Jensen's group doesn't get paid for the commercial use of the honor they've bestowed.The 57 journalists completed ballots to auditing and consulting firm Deloitte and Touche. Until the news conference at the auto show Monday, only a partner at Deloitte Michelle Collins knew which vehicles won.While 57 may sound like a small number of people to pick a major award, Jensen pointed out that magazines like Motor Trend often rely on a smaller editorial board with even fewer people."There are not that many automotive journalists in North America," Jensen said. "We think 57 is a good sampling."A freelance journalist based in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, Jensen was inspired by Europe's "Car of the Year" award when he started the North American equivalent.To vote, jurors distribute 25 points among the vehicles. No more than 10 points may be given to a single vehicle and that may be done for only one truck and one car. Then, the jurors vote on the three finalists for the truck and car categories.The 57 jurors were selected by a rotating seven-person organizing committee, of which Jensen and another co-founder are permanent members."In theory, everyone will be on organizing committee," he said.Nobody is paid to be on the committee. In fact, the jurors chip in $150 in annual dues to defray costs like renting space to test the cars in October."No one has a salary or gets reimbursed for expenses. We buy a pair of trophies and put out press releases," Jensen said.

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Golden Globes 2015: How Amazon Bet Big on “Transparent” and Won

Golden Globes 2015: How Amazon Bet Big on “Transparent” and Won

Amazon(LOS ANGELES) -- Among the Hollywood publicists and studio heads being thanked at the Golden Globes were two unlikely names: Amazon and Jeff Bezos.The Amazon CEO received a shout out Sunday night when Transparent, a show available via Amazon's streaming service, scooped up the prize for "Best Television Series Musical or Comedy."Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor, who plays the lead character, a middle aged woman who comes out to her children, won the award for best actor in a television musical or comedy series and called Amazon his "new best friend."The win marked the first time a streaming series had been awarded one of the top honors by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and was a huge validation for Amazon after investing more than $100 million in video content in the third quarter of last year.Transparent creator Jill Soloway told Variety on the red carpet that she considered various networks for her show but decided Amazon would be the best choice."You want to be somewhere where they’re passionate about you," she said. "And they've been wonderful."

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Burger King Brings Back 15-Cent Chicken Nugget Promotion

Burger King Brings Back 15-Cent Chicken Nugget Promotion

Scott Olson/Getty Images(MIAMI) -- In an effort to steal sales from McDonald's and other competitors, Burger King is reintroducing a 15-cent chicken nugget promotion.The promotion -- 10 chicken nuggets for $1.49 -- was first offered by the fast food chain last fall."When we first offered our guests this value back in October, they went crazy for it. We are bringing it back again in January during a time when people are watching their wallets after all that holiday shopping,” Burger King's Chief Marketing Officer Eric Hirschhorn said in a press release Monday."10-pieces for $1.49 is an unbelievable deal that offers unbeatable value for our guests," Hirschhorn added. The promotion begins on Monday and will be available for a limited time only.

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“Je Suis Charlie” App Shows Worldwide Support for French Terror Attack Victims

“Je Suis Charlie” App Shows Worldwide Support for French Terror Attack Victims

nice-matin(NEW YORK) — In the days since the Charlie Hebdo massacre, a simple phrase, "Je Suis Charlie,” or, "I am Charlie," has been used to show solidarity with the victims of the Paris terror attack and support for freedom of speech.There's now an app that shows just how widespread that support is, stretching from the United Arab Emirates to Tennessee.While it can take as long as 10 days before an app is approved to join the Apple app store, the Je Suis Charlie app got Apple's seal of approval in one hour after the developers contacted Apple CEO Tim Cook, according to a report from 9to5Mac.The app is simple. After downloading it and giving it permission to use your location, it will put a pin on the map marking your location. Users can also move around the global map to see where other "Charlies" are located.As of Monday morning, there were more than 48,000 supporters and counting from around the world, showing how truly global the solidarity is with the victims.

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Facebook Continues Its Massive Adult Appeal

Facebook Continues Its Massive Adult Appeal

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Hands down, Facebook is the champ of social media in the U.S. with an estimated 71 percent of all adult Internet users having an account in 2014 with Mark Zuckerberg's brainchild.Based on a Pew Research Center survey of almost 1,600 people, that works out to 58 percent of all adults in the country on Facebook.Pew also found that 56 percent of Facebook users are seniors, 65 and up.Meanwhile, Facebook's companion site, Instagram, is very popular with young adults, ages 18-29. Fifty-three percent have an account with the photo sharing social media site.According to Pew, LinkedIn and Pinterest each had 28 percent of all adult Internet users last year while Twitter slipped to 36 percent among all adult users from 46 percent in 2013.

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US Students Often Clueless About Personal College Loan Debt

US Students Often Clueless About Personal College Loan Debt

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Getting a college education is a good thing. Getting socked with crushing loan debt is not.Yet, for millions of people, the only way to go to college is by taking out loans, some of which take years, if not decades, to pay back. That is, if the debt is ever actually settled.The Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings took a survey recently of what college students know about the federal loans they're taking out, specifically, the debt they've incurred.The results explain why the problem is bigger than anyone imagined: about half believe they owe less than they really do while under a third can estimate what is owed within a few thousand dollars.On the other hand, about one in four students say they owe more money than they really do.According to study co-author Elizabeth Akers, students have a difficult time conceptualizing large dollar amounts because they're not involved in family budgeting and financing.Last year, the Institute for College Access and Success estimated the average student loan debt in the U.S. was close to $30,000.

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$200M Settlement Reached in Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster

$200M Settlement Reached in Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster

BrianBrownImages/iStock/Thinkstock(MONTREAL) -- Victims of the rail disaster in Lac-Megantic, Quebec have reached an out-of-court $200 million settlement with the railway. Lawyers for the victims said on Friday they reached a deal for compensation with the Maine-based railway – Montreal, Maine, and Atlantic – its insurers and some of the oil producers.In the summer of 2013, a huge fireball destroyed a large part of the normally sleepy Quebec village of Lac-Megantic, after a train derailed and its cargo of highly-flammable crude oil from North Dakota exploded. There were 47 people killed in the blast. Most of the victims had been enjoying a night out at a local club called the Musi-café.  The club and all the homes and businesses near it were flattened in the explosion and resulting fire.  The $200 million deal still has to be approved by courts in the U.S. and Canada, but if it is, the money will be split between the families of those killed, injured, and people who suffered economic losses. The Musi-café was rebuilt in a new location, and there was an emotional reopening last month.

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Texas Furniture Store Bets on Price of Oil

Texas Furniture Store Bets on Price of Oil

moodboard/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) -- A furniture store in Texas is betting that oil prices will stay low throughout 2015.Gallery Furniture is now offering a promotion that will pay off shoppers’ purchases if the price of oil goes past $85 a barrel when the New York Mercantile Exchange closes on Dec. 31, according to ABC News affiliate KTRK-TV. The deal is valid through Feb. 1, but it's applicable only to the first 500 shoppers who purchase $7,000 or more worth of furniture in a single transaction."These free furniture promotions allow us to surprise and delight our longstanding customers and make new customers in the process," Gallery Furniture owner Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale told KTRK-TV. "I admit it is a little nerve-wracking when we have to refund the money but we are hoping to make customers for life."The promotion excludes electronics but does include special orders on fabric upholstered furniture and solid wood if delivery is taken within four weeks.

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Macy’s Closing 14 Stores in 2015

Macy’s Closing 14 Stores in 2015

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images(CINCINATTI) -- Macy’s announced on Thursday that it plans to close 14 stores nationwide as part of a restructuring plan aimed at boosting online sales.The closures will affect less than two percent of the retailer’s 790 stores, but will result in more than 1,200 jobs being eliminated.The 14 stores being closed account for $130 million in annual sales, some of which are expected to be retained in nearby stores and with online sales, according to the company. Macy’s said on Thursday that final clearance sales will begin at the affected stores on Jan. 12, with locations shutting their doors in early spring.

Here is a full list of the stores that are closing and the number of jobs that will be lost at each location:

Metro Center, Phoenix, Arizona (88 associates) Cupertino Square Mall, Cupertino, California (111 associates) Promenade (main store), Woodland Hills, California (112 associates) Promenade (furniture gallery), Woodland Hills, California (19 associates) Gulf View Square, Port Richey, Florida (78 associates) Northland Center, Southfield, Michigan (170 associates) Wendover, Greensboro, North Carolina (83 associates) Ledgewood Mall, Ledgewood, New Jersey (79 associates) ShoppingTown Mall, DeWitt, New York (94 associates) Rotterdam Square, Schenectady, New York (98 associates) Kingsdale Shopping Center, Columbus, Ohio (115 associates) Richmond Town Square, Richmond Heights, Ohio (105 associates) Upper Valley Mall, Springfield, Ohio (79 associates) Southland Mall, Memphis, Tennessee (112 associates)

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How a ‘Blind’ Milwaukee Businessman Got Caught Committing Disability Fraud

How a ‘Blind’ Milwaukee Businessman Got Caught Committing Disability Fraud

zimmytws/iStock/Thinkstock(MILWAUKEE) -- A Milwaukee businessman signed up for Social Security disability benefits because he claimed his blindness was so debilitating he wasn't able to work, drive or read on his own. However, investigators caught on to his lies when they discovered he could do all of those things. Federal investigators said Lawrence Popp, 59, was collecting Social Security disability benefit payments for his alleged blindness for years, all the while spending thousands of dollars on a lavish, active lifestyle. He also continued to work. When he met with government claims reps, Popp was captured on videotape keeping up his act of being visually impaired. In one surveillance video of a meeting at a Social Security office, Popp seemed to tear up in front of a rep when she asked about his condition. In another meeting, the rep asked him if he drove, which he denied. In reality, investigators caught Popp on tape driving himself around. For one meeting with a claims rep, he parked his car a block away from the Social Security office and walked to the door. Bob Kiehn, an ABC News consultant and a private investigator, said he has seen “tons and tons of people” like Popp, who lie over and over again to collect benefits. “People in Popp’s position get comfortable,” Kiehn said. “They get comfortable to the point of they’re getting away with it. So ‘I’m going to get away with it more and more,’ and he took it to the extreme.” Popp did have legitimate vision impairment from an illness back in 2004 when he signed up for benefits, but he promised to notify the Social Security Administration if his medical condition improved, or if he were to get a job or generate income by other means. His eyes did get better, and he generated plenty of income, not just collecting benefits but working at his two businesses, Refrigerated Equipment Distributors Co. and his “sister business,” Commercial Sales Agency. But he decided to keep those details to himself. Popp’s then-vice president Dave Hartlerode said Popp was a fixture at the office, despite supposedly being unable to work. Hartlerode said Popp would communicate with people over email and he saw him driving himself to work. Meanwhile, investigators for the SSA and the IRS said Popp was living large. They saw his car parked outside the Milwaukee Athletic Club, where memberships cost thousands of dollars a year. Investigators said he also took trips to Italy, Florida and the Caymans. He was even seen driving a motorboat towing water skiers around a lake, according to investigators. Popp’s ex-wife Kimberly Popp confirmed that her husband liked to spend lavishly. “Larry is a person that likes money, wants to always be in charge,” she said. “I was on a strict budget. We had nothing joint together. He would go out and buy cars without me knowing.” She was the one who tipped off investigators to her husband’s bogus blind man act. The tipping point, she said, was when the IRS came after her, claiming she owed thousands in back taxes. But it was Larry Popp who had actually applied for benefits, not just for himself, but for their entire family, and secretly collected the money from them without the family’s knowledge. “I wasn’t going to take the fall for something he was doing that was illegal,” Kimberly Popp said. “I didn’t have $13,000 to pay the government. I didn’t collect $13,000. So why should I take the fall for something he did?” In all, federal investigators said Larry Popp fraudulently collected $175,000 in government payments and Popp was slapped with disability fraud charges. Last January, he was sentenced to one year in federal prison and was ordered to pay back all the money he had collected in benefits. He was recently released from prison, but declined to comment to ABC's 20/20. To anyone who is lying about taking disability insurance benefits, Kimberly Popp has a warning. “Eventually, you’re going to get caught, and they you will have to pay the price… because what comes around goes around,” she said.

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Uber to Decrease Prices for Riders, Guarantee Earnings for Drivers

Uber to Decrease Prices for Riders, Guarantee Earnings for Drivers

Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Uber announced this week that they plan to cut prices for riders while guaranteeing earnings for their drivers.In a blog post, the company noted that "in the last year, our largest cities have seen price cuts," but that "many of our newer cities have not yet seen the power of price cuts." Cheaper rates, the company explains, increase demand from users, and in turn increases income for drivers. "As things slow in the winter season, we will be reducing prices in 48 of our newer Uber cities to achieve better outcomes for both riders and drivers, as we have seen in cities around the country."The company shared data from Chicago, "the cheapest of all of Uber's U.S. cities" in the blog post. According to Uber, the average fare in December 2014 was $11, down from $14.25 in December 2013. In that same timespan, however, the number of trips per hour increased from 1.34 to 1.94, and the average hourly bookings per driver rose from $19.10 to $21.34.A list of the cities set to see price cuts is available on the Uber blog.

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Uber to Decrease Prices for Riders, Guarantee Earnings for Drivers

Uber to Decrease Prices for Riders, Guarantee Earnings for Drivers

Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Uber announced this week that they plan to cut prices for riders while guaranteeing earnings for their drivers.In a blog post, the company noted that "in the last year, our largest cities have seen price cuts," but that "many of our newer cities have not yet seen the power of price cuts." Cheaper rates, the company explains, increase demand from users, and in turn increases income for drivers. "As things slow in the winter season, we will be reducing prices in 48 of our newer Uber cities to achieve better outcomes for both riders and drivers, as we have seen in cities around the country."The company shared data from Chicago, "the cheapest of all of Uber's U.S. cities" in the blog post. According to Uber, the average fare in December 2014 was $11, down from $14.25 in December 2013. In that same timespan, however, the number of trips per hour increased from 1.34 to 1.94, and the average hourly bookings per driver rose from $19.10 to $21.34.A list of the cities set to see price cuts is available on the Uber blog.

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Wall Street Posts Losses, Oil Prices Slide Again

Wall Street Posts Losses, Oil Prices Slide Again

tarabird/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After consecutive days of market gains, Wall Street slipped on Friday as all three major indices posted losses.The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 167.74, to a close of 17740.13.The Nasdaq ended the session at 4704.07, 32.12 lower than it began, while the S&P 500 lost 17.15, ending the day at 2044.99.The U.S. Labor Department released its monthly jobs report for December on Friday, showing 2.95 million jobs added in 2014. That number is the most jobs added since 1999.The price of oil resumed its slide on Friday. That comes as the House of Representatives voted -- for the 10th time since 2011 -- to approve legislation proposing the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

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