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Beanie Babies billionaire to be sentenced PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 14 January 2014 07:13

CHICAGO (AP) — The billionaire creator of Beanie Babies steps before a federal judge Tuesday to learn if he'll have to spend up to five years behind bars for evading taxes on $25 million in income.

H. Ty Warner's sentencing will also give him a chance to apologize at length for hiding his millions in Swiss bank accounts.

The 69-year-old apologized and wiped away tears when he pleaded guilty last year. But the judge in Chicago stopped him and said he could explain himself fully at sentencing.

Defense attorneys argue for probation, pointing to Warner's unhappy childhood and his charity work.

But prosecutors say Warner should spend some time in prison; they don't recommend how much.

A government filing says about Warner's philanthropy: "Charity is not a get-out-jail card."


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Dozens of trade-offs in $1.1 trillion budget bill PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 14 January 2014 07:08

WASHINGTON (AP) — The sales job is on for a bipartisan $1.1 trillion spending bill that would pay for the operations of government through October and finally put to rest the bitter budget battles of last year.

The massive measure contains a dozens of trade-offs between Democrats and Republicans as it fleshes out the details of the budget deal that Congress passed last month. That pact gave relatively modest but much-sought relief to the Pentagon and domestic agencies after deep budget cuts last year.

The GOP-led House is slated to pass the 1,582-page bill Wednesday, though many tea party conservatives are sure to oppose it.

Democrats pleased with new money to educate preschoolers and build high-priority highway projects are likely to make up the difference even as Republican social conservatives fret about losing familiar battles over abortion policy.

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DirecTV customers lose The Weather Channel PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by LYNN ELBER, AP Television Writer   
Tuesday, 14 January 2014 07:12

LOS ANGELES (AP) — About 20 million DirecTV customers nationwide lost The Weather Channel because of a dispute over fees between the channel and the satellite service.

The two companies pointed fingers at each other late Monday as a midnight EST deadline for renegotiation of carriage fees paid by DirecTV to The Weather Channel passed without an agreement.

In a statement, David Kenny, CEO of the channel's parent company, The Weather Co., said it offered DirecTV the best rate for its programming. Kenny accused the satellite provider of putting profits ahead of public safety.

"We are not looking for a large fee increase," Kenny said, just a "fair deal" that allows for continued investment in science and technology to deliver weather news and stories to viewers.

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GOP constituents also depend on jobless aid PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by NICHOLAS RICCARDI, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 14 January 2014 07:05

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — When federal emergency unemployment benefits expired last month, the effects ran deep in a Colorado county marked by two exit ramps off Interstate 25 — one leading to the conservative religious group Focus on the Family, the other to the Fort Carson Army post.

Hardly a liberal bastion, El Paso County has the largest number of people in the state who lost unemployment benefits, and many aren't happy about it. Plenty of Republicans, too, depend on jobless aid that Republicans in Congress are hesitant to prolong. The ideological argument for standing against an extension of benefits — that the aid can ultimately make it harder to find work — meets a more complex reality where people live.

Democrats propose to extend the emergency benefits for people who have been or are about to be out of work for more than six months; Republicans are less inclined to take that step, particularly if it means the government borrows more money. The paralysis led to the expiration of benefits for 1.3 million long-term unemployed on Dec. 28. Lawmakers are still working on a compromise.

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