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Burgundy winemakers mark feast of St. Vincent PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by GREG KELLER, Associated Press   
Sunday, 26 January 2014 07:28

SAINT-AUBIN, France (AP) — Oenophiles from across France on Saturday gathered in this tiny Burgundian village amid pre-dawn darkness to celebrate St. Vincent, the patron saint of winemakers.

In a ceremony with roots in the Middle Ages, several hundred winemakers from villages across Burgundy, some wearing bright red robes, formed an early morning procession carrying antique wooden statues of their patron saint through the vineyards in an annual rite known as the St. Vincent Tournante.

Up to 40,000 people are expected for the two-day festival, which takes place in a different Burgundian village each year. Following the vineyard procession and a Mass, local winemakers throw open their cellar doors for tastings of their chardonnays and pinot noirs. Organizers say 15,000 bottles of wine will be opened during the weekend.

Saint-Aubin is a village of 250 people on a hillside south of Beaune, the center of the Burgundy wine region. Nearby are villages with famous names where some of the most sought-after wines in the world are made: Puligny-Montrachet, Pommard, Meursault.

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NADA: New car sales expected to rise 5.8 percent PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, 26 January 2014 07:26

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Boosted by rising employment, home values and housing construction, Americans will buy 16.4 million new cars and light trucks this year.

That's the prediction from the National Automobile Dealers Association, which is meeting in New Orleans.

Economist Steve Szakaly (ZAK-uh-lee), says the 5.8 expected increase will mark the sixth year of recovery from the financial crash and automotive bankruptcies.

Jonathan Banks, analyst for the group's Used Car Guide, says those years of new-car buying and leasing will push prices down for recent-model used cars and trucks, averaging 2.5 percent less than last year's prices. He says 5- to 8-year-old vehicles remain scarce because few people bought cars during the recession. Those prices are likely to be flat.

He says used-car prices are likely to be slightly lower than last year's.


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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Michaels Stores investigating possible data breach PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, 26 January 2014 07:27

IRVING, Texas (AP) — Michaels Stores says it is investigating a possible company data security breach that may have affected its customers' payment card information.

The Irving, Texas, company said Saturday that it launched the probe after learning of possible fraudulent activity on some U.S. payment cards used at the home decor and crafts retailer.

Michaels Stores Inc. is working with federal law enforcement and data security experts, but has yet to confirm that its systems were compromised.

CEO Chuck Rubin suggests Michaels customers take steps to protect themselves, such as reviewing their account statements for unauthorized charges.

Neiman Marcus Group Ltd., recently said a security breach last year may have affected about 1.1 million cards.

Target Corp. has said hackers stole about 40 million debit and credit card numbers during the holiday season.


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

 
Johansson addresses criticism over SodaStream deal PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, 26 January 2014 07:25

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Scarlett Johansson has responded to criticism over her new ad campaign for an Israeli company that operates in the West Bank, but she's not pulling out of the endorsement deal.

The 29-year-old actress said in a statement released Friday to The Huffington Post that she "never intended on being the face of any social or political movement, distinction, separation or stance" as part of her affiliation with SodaStream International Ltd.

The Israeli drink maker recently signed the "Her" and "The Avengers" actress as its first "global brand ambassador." She is to appear in a television ad during the Super Bowl on Feb. 2.

SodaStream has come under fire from pro-Palestinian activists for maintaining a large factory in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, a territory captured by Israel in 1967 and claimed by the Palestinians.

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