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Government charges Wal-Mart with labor violations PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by SAM HANANEL, Associated Press   
Thursday, 16 January 2014 07:25

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal officials filed a formal complaint Wednesday charging that Wal-Mart violated the rights of workers who took part in protests and strikes against the company.

The National Labor Relations Board says Wal-Mart illegally fired, disciplined or threatened more than 60 employees in 14 states for participating in legally protected activities to complain about wages and working conditions at the nation's largest retailer.

The labor board's general counsel first laid out similar charges in November, but held off on filing a complaint while trying to work out a settlement with Wal-Mart. Those discussions were not successful, government officials said in a statement.

The company has insisted its actions were legal and justified.

"We now we have the opportunity to present the facts of these cases in front of a judge," said Wal-Mart spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan. "No reasonable person thinks it's ok for people to come and go from their scheduled shift without being held accountable."

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Google invests $75M more in Texas wind farms PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 15 January 2014 14:23

AMARILLO, Texas (AP) — Google Inc. will invest another $75 million in Texas wind farms as the tech giant expands its renewable energy efforts, company officials said.

California-based Google on Tuesday said an agreement has been finalized for the Panhandle 2 wind turbine site in Carson County, near Amarillo.

A Google statement said the facility, developed by Pattern Energy Group LP, should have the capacity to generate enough renewable energy to power 56,000 U.S. homes. Company officials expect the facility to be operating by late 2014.

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Homes lost to foreclosure hit 6-year low in 2013 PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by ALEX VEIGA, AP Real Estate Writer   
Thursday, 16 January 2014 07:19

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The number of U.S. homes that got started on the path to foreclosure fell last year to a low not seen since before the high-flying days of the housing boom, the latest evidence that the threat of foreclosures continues to diminish.

Lenders also took back the fewest number of homes last year since 2007, at the dawn of the foreclosure crisis, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

While foreclosures remain elevated in many populous states, such as Florida, New York and California, they have been steadily declining since the U.S. housing market and economy began to rebound after years of decline.

The U.S. housing market has emerged from a deep slump, aided by rising home prices, steady job growth and fewer troubled loans dating back to the housing-bubble days. Meanwhile, more homeowners are keeping up with their mortgage payments.

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Apple will refund at least $32.5M in app case PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JENNIFER C. KERR, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 15 January 2014 14:21

WASHINGTON (AP) — Apple will refund at least $32.5 million to consumers to settle a federal case involving purchases that kids made without their parents' permission while playing on mobile apps, the government announced Wednesday.

The Federal Trade Commission said Apple will make full refunds for any such in-app purchases made by kids while playing on mobile phones and other devices, and incurring charges without parents' knowledge or permission.

The commission said it had received tens of thousands of complaints about unauthorized charges.

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