Financial
Victim of casino glut, New Jersey's Atlantic Club closes PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by WAYNE PARRY, Associated Press   
Monday, 13 January 2014 07:16

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey's Atlantic Club Casino Hotel shut down early Monday morning, the victim of a glut of casinos in the northeastern U.S.

Once Atlantic City's top-earning casino, where then-owner Steve Wynn clowned with Frank Sinatra in commercials, bringing the legendary singer an armful of fresh towels, the Atlantic Club went out with a whimper. In the hours before the 12:01 a.m. closing, its restaurants and bars had all shut down, and many gamblers and employees had already left.

The few die-hards that stayed on the casino floor until the end counted down its final five seconds as dealers who were suddenly unemployed burst into tears and hugged each other. Within moments, casino staff began stacking and counting chips and preparing to remove cash boxes from the casino floor.

"Where was our support?" asked Kathy Buonasorte, a cocktail server for 28 of the casino's 33 years. "They all left us. No politician helped us. No one came to save us."

On the sidewalk outside the casino, she hugged Beth DeLuccia, another veteran cocktail server, who she described as the first friend she made at the casino. Nearby, server Maureen Cohen had just finished her final shift.

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Neiman Marcus is latest victim of security breach PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by ANNE D'INNOCENZIO, AP Retail Writer   
Sunday, 12 January 2014 07:44

NEW YORK (AP) — Luxury merchant Neiman Marcus confirmed Saturday that thieves stole some of its customers' payment card information and made unauthorized charges over the holiday season, becoming the second retailer in recent weeks to announce it had fallen victim to a cyber-security attack.

The hacking, coming weeks after Target Corp. revealed its own breach, underscores the increasing challenges that merchants have in thwarting security threats. Neiman Marcus didn't say whether the breach was related to the massive data theft at Target, but some security experts believe they could be part of the same scam. Nevertheless, the recent security breaches at two major retailers threaten to scare shoppers who worry about the safety of their personal data.

Ginger Reeder, spokeswoman for Dallas-based Neiman Marcus Group Ltd., said in an email Saturday that the retailer had been notified in mid-December by its credit card processor about potentially unauthorized payment activity following customer purchases at stores. On Jan. 1, a forensics firm confirmed evidence that the upscale retailer was a victim of a criminal cyber-security intrusion and that some customers' credit and debit cards were possibly compromised as a result.

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Aluminum Revolution: Ford introduces a new F-150 PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by DEE-ANN DURBIN, AP Auto Writers TOM KRISHER, AP Auto Writers   
Monday, 13 January 2014 07:14

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford pickups have been doing the country's work for 66 years. They've hauled grain, towed logs and plowed snow. They've cleared debris after tornadoes and pulled floats in the Rose Bowl parade.

They've shouldered those loads with parts forged from steel. Until now.

On Monday, Ford unveils a new F-150 with a body built almost entirely out of aluminum. The lighter material shaves as much as 700 pounds off the 5,000-pound truck, a revolutionary change for a vehicle known for its heft and an industry still heavily reliant on steel. The change is Ford's response to small-business owners' desire for a more fuel-efficient and nimble truck — and stricter government requirements on fuel economy. And it sprang from a challenge by Ford's CEO to move beyond the traditional design for a full-size pickup.

"You're either moving ahead and you're improving and you're making it more valuable and more useful to the customer or you're not," Chief Executive Alan Mulally told The Associated Press in a recent interview.

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Black rhino hunting permit auctioned for $350,000 PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MICHAEL GRACZYK, Associated Press NOMAAN MERCHANT, Associated Press   
Sunday, 12 January 2014 07:36

DALLAS (AP) — A permit to hunt an endangered African black rhino sold for $350,000 at a Dallas auction held to raise money for conservation efforts but criticized by wildlife advocates.

Steve Wagner, a spokesman for the Dallas Safari Club, which sponsored the closed-door event Saturday night, confirmed the sale of the permit for a hunt in the African nation of Namibia. He declined to name the buyer.

The Safari Club's executive director, Ben Carter, has defended the auction, saying all money raised will go toward protecting the species. He also said the rhino that the winner will be allowed to hunt is old, male and nonbreeding — and that the animal was likely to be targeted for removal anyway because it was becoming aggressive and threatening other wildlife.

But the auction drew howls from critics, including wildlife and animal rights groups, and the FBI said it was investigating death threats against members of the club.

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