Financial
Report: Detroit owed $82M for parking tickets PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 20 February 2014 07:21

DETROIT (AP) — A TV station's review of public records has found that Detroit is owed $82 million in fines and late fees for unpaid parking tickets.

WDIV-TV reported (http://bit.ly/NdzAsc ) the figure and says some of the overdue money is more than 10 years old and can't be collected.

The city is trying to get payments for some of what's owed. James Canty of Detroit's parking division says the city is putting holds on driver's licenses when they come up for renewal, taking motorists who owe money to court and reporting them to credit agencies.

Detroit is trying to get its finances and city services in order, and is going through the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

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Information from: WDIV-TV, http://www.clickondetroit.com


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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
WhatsApp: A $19 billion bet for Facebook PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by BARBARA ORTUTAY, AP Technology Writers MICHAEL LIEDTKE, AP Technology Writers   
Thursday, 20 February 2014 07:04

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is placing a $19 billion bet on reaching its next billion mobile users with the acquisition of WhatsApp, a popular messaging service that lets people send texts, photos and videos on their smartphones.

The $19 billion deal is by far Facebook's largest and bigger than any that Google, Microsoft or Apple have ever done. But it is likely to raise worries that Facebook and other technology companies are starting to become overzealous in their pursuit of promising new products and services, said Anthony Michael Sabino, a St. John's University business professor.

"This could be seen as a microcosm of a bubble," Sabino said. "I expect there to be a lot of skepticism about this deal. People are going to look at this and say, 'Uh-oh, did they pay way too much for this?"

Facebook, for its part, is taking the long view. WhatsApp has 450 million monthly users, 70 percent of whom use it every day. The service is adding a million new users a day. There are 19 billion messages sent and 34 billion received via WhatsApp each day, in addition to 600 million photos and 100 million video messages.

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Keystone pipeline faces new obstacle in Nebraska PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by GRANT SCHULTE, Associated Press   
Thursday, 20 February 2014 07:10

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Just as pressure was building on President Barack Obama to make a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline that would carry oil from Canada to refineries in Texas, the project ran into another obstacle — and it came again from Nebraska.

A judge's decision Wednesday to overturn a Nebraska law that allowed the pipeline guarantees the legal fight will continue for at least several more months. It also could leave Nebraska's decision in the hands of the state Public Service Commission, a little-known board that regulates natural gas lines, grain warehouses and recreational vehicles.

The ruling was a victory for pipeline opponents, including environmentalists who say Keystone XL would carry "dirty oil" that contributes to global warming and Nebraska ranchers and farmers who fear it could hurt their water supply.

TransCanada Corp.'s pipeline is critical in Canada's efforts to export its growing oil sands production. Supporters say it will create thousands of jobs and move the U.S. toward North American energy independence.

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U.S. producer prices rose slight 0.2 percent in January PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer   
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 10:56

WASHINGTON (AP) — The cost of producing goods and services in the United States rose slightly in January, with higher food prices partly offset by cheaper gas. Overall, inflation remains mild.

The Labor Department said Wednesday that the producer price index, which tracks prices before they reach consumers, rose 0.2 percent in January. That followed a 0.1 percent increase in December and a flat reading in November. In the past year, producer prices have risen just 1.2 percent, below the Federal Reserve's preferred target rate.

Excluding the cost of food, energy and markups by wholesalers and retailers, so-called core prices ticked up just 0.1 percent.

Producer prices remain "rather modest, a sign that underlying inflationary pressures are very modest," Annalisa Piazza, an analyst at Newedge Strategy, said in a note to clients.

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