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Uber meets local lookalikes in Asia taxi-app wars PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by KAY JOHNSON, AP Business Writer   
Monday, 14 April 2014 06:08

MUMBAI, India (AP) — Riding on its startup success and flush with fresh capital, taxi-hailing smartphone app Uber is making a big push into Asia. There's a twist, though: Instead of being the game-changing phenomena it was in the U.S., Uber faces a slew of competitors using similar technology.

The concept Uber helped pioneer just four years ago has transformed some markets before it even had a chance to enter them. Homegrown taxi apps are already slogging it out for dominance in numerous Asian countries.

China has a taxi-hailing app called Kuadi that says it logs more than 6 million transactions per day. Malaysia-based GrabTaxi operates in five Southeast Asian countries and recently announced more than $10 million in new investment. India has two competing taxi-app companies, Meru Cabs and Ola Cabs.

The proliferation of taxi apps means that Uber, which raised $258 million in venture capital last year, much of it from Google Ventures, must distinguish itself from local companies as well as international challengers including Easy Taxi and Lyft. This month, Lyft got a $250 million cash infusion from investors including Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

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Store that supplied gear to music legends closing PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by ANTHONY CLARK, The Gainesville Sun   
Sunday, 13 April 2014 06:38

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — As customers hauled off the dwindling inventory of discounted pianos and guitars, Buster Lipham proudly laid out souvenirs on the glass display counter, evidence of his contribution to rock 'n' roll history.

There's the black-and-white photo of a teenage Tom Petty and other kids sitting in Lipham Music when it was on North Main and 10th streets in the mid-1960s.

There's the Allman Brothers Band records At Fillmore East and Idlewild South that list Buster Lipham and Lipham Music in the "thanks to" album credits after he fronted the band $13,276 worth of gear on credit, minus about $6,000 for trade-in equipment.

There's the autographed album "to Buster" from Iron Butterfly.

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Beef prices reach highest level since 1987 PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by BETSY BLANEY, Associated Press   
Sunday, 13 April 2014 06:39

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — The highest beef prices in almost three decades have arrived just before the start of grilling season, causing sticker shock for both consumers and restaurant owners — and relief isn't likely anytime soon.

A dwindling number of cattle and growing export demand from countries such as China and Japan have caused the average retail cost of fresh beef to climb to $5.28 a pound in February, up almost a quarter from January and the highest price since 1987.

Everything that's produced is being consumed, said Kevin Good, an analyst at CattleFax, a Colorado-based information group. And prices likely will stay high for a couple of years as cattle producers start to rebuild their herds amid big questions about whether the Southwest and parts of the Midwest will see enough rain to replenish pastures.

Meanwhile, quick trips to the grocery store could drag on a little longer as shoppers search for cuts that won't break the budgets. Patrons at one market in Lubbock seemed resigned to the high prices, but not happy.

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Ohio begins pushback against college player unions PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JULIE CARR SMYTH, Associated Press   
Sunday, 13 April 2014 06:36

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State pushback against a movement to unionize college athletes has begun in Ohio, the football-loving heart of a heated anti-labor campaign in 2011 and home to one of America's highest-grossing collegiate franchises, the Ohio State Buckeyes.

A measure approved by the state House on Wednesday, two weeks after a federal agency said football players at Northwestern University could unionize, clarifies that college athletes aren't public employees. The proposal appears to be the first of its kind to clear a state legislative chamber; it heads next to the state Senate.

The opposite is happening in Connecticut, where lawmakers are looking at clearing the path for college athletes to unionize. Some observers, though, think other states are more likely to follow Ohio's lead.

"This is a pre-emptive move," said John Russo, a union organization expert who formerly directed Youngstown State University's Center for Working-Class Studies.

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