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50 cents, $1 or $2? Starbucks adding digital tips PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by CANDICE CHOI, AP Food Industry Writer   
Thursday, 13 March 2014 06:27

NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks will soon let customers leave tips with its mobile payment app, which raises the question — how often do people tip their baristas?

The coffee chain says the mobile tipping option, which it announced more than a year ago, will be available on its updated app for iPhones starting March 19. The rollout comes as the company's app has surged in popularity, with roughly one out of every 10 purchases now made with a mobile device.

After paying with the app, Starbucks says customers will be able to leave a tip of 50 cents, $1 or $2 anytime within two hours of the transaction. The tipping option will only be available at the 7,000 of the roughly 11,000 Starbucks locations in the U.S. that are owned by the company.

The move puts a spotlight on what can be a sensitive topic for customers, workers and even Starbucks, which has faced lawsuits over how it divvies up the contents of tip jars among workers. Some customers are happy to tip for friendly service, knowing that baristas don't earn that much. Others say that they already fork over enough money and shouldn't be made to feel like they should throw money into a tip jar as well.

Zee Lemke, who has worked as a Starbucks barista in Wisconsin for more than three years, said most customers nevertheless leave a tip of some sort. She said tips generally add between $1.50 and $2 to her hourly pay of $9.05. But she noted that there's no rule on how much baristas can expect to earn from tips.

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Swiss ex-banker pleads to helping U.S. tax evaders PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 15:28

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A former Swiss banker has pleaded guilty to his role in a fraud scheme that prosecutors say helped U.S. taxpayers hide as much as $3 billion in assets from the IRS.

Swiss citizen Andreas Bachmann is one of eight former employees of Zurich-based Credit Suisse to be charged back in 2011. The 56-year-old is the first to be arrested and plead guilty.

Court records show he was arrested Tuesday and pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Alexandria.

In court papers, Bachmann admitted traveling twice a year to the United States to meet with clients who maintained secret Swiss accounts as a means of avoiding U.S. taxes.

The charges are part of a crackdown by the Obama administration on foreign banks believed to be helping U.S. taxpayers hide assets.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Phyllis Schlafly family in beer trademark dispute PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by ALAN SCHER ZAGIER, Associated Press   
Thursday, 13 March 2014 06:20

ST. LOUIS (AP) — To many older Americans, the Schlafly name is most closely associated with Phyllis Schlafly, the conservative commentator known for her campaign to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s.

A younger generation knows Schlafly as the brand of an up-and-coming St. Louis brewery co-founded by Schlafly's nephew.

Now the federal agency that oversees trademarks is being asked to wade into a dispute within the prominent family and decide whether Schlafly is primarily a last name or a commercial brand that deserves legal protection.

With a growing national profile and new owners who might want to expand, the brewery started by Tom Schlafly more than two decades ago is seeking a trademark that would give it the exclusive right to use the Schlafly name to sell craft beer. But Phyllis Schlafly has asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to deny the request, lest any implied association with beer sully her 60-year political career.

"There are tens of millions of Americans who oppose alcohol," said Andrew Schlafly, a New Jersey lawyer who represents his mother in the matter. "Certainly alcohol has a connotation that is the opposite of conservative values."

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Europe makes a stink about American cheese names PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MARY CLARE JALONICK, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 06:39

WASHINGTON (AP) — Errico Auricchio produced cheese with his family in Italy until he brought his trade to the United States more than 30 years ago. Now, the European Union is saying his cheese isn't authentic enough to carry a European name.

As part of trade talks, the EU wants to ban the use of names like Parmesan, feta and Gorgonzola on cheese made in the United States. The argument is that the American-made cheeses are shadows of the original European varieties and cut into sales and identity of the European cheeses.

Auricchio, president of Wisconsin-based BelGioioso Cheese Inc., says he has no idea what he would call his Parmesan if he had to find a new name.

"I Can't Believe It's Not Parmesan," he jokes.

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