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N.Y. to consider four new casinos amid gloomy reports PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MICHAEL HILL, Associated Press   
Sunday, 09 February 2014 08:34

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York is gearing up to take applications for four new upstate casinos at a time when some gambling operations in the region are in a slump.

A state siting board is scheduled to seek casino applications in March, four months after voters approved a state constitutional amendment to allow Las Vegas-style casinos beyond Indian land.

A number of gambling operations in New York and neighboring states has reported lower revenues since the vote amid the harsh winter. But applicants seem unfazed, saying that, over the long term, their casinos could tap into gambling dollars now going to other states.

"You can't look at a 90-day window. There could be a million reasons you get these short-term ups or downs," said Thomas Wilmot Sr., chairman of Rochester-based developer Wilmorite, citing state figures. "But if you look at the last five years, it's been a very steady increase in play."

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Cuba frees jailed Canadian businessman PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by CHARMAINE NORONHA, Associated Press   
Sunday, 09 February 2014 08:11

TORONTO (AP) — A Canadian businessman who served 2 1/2 years of a 9-year prison sentence in Cuba for corruption has abruptly returned to Canada.

Sarkis Yacoubian, president of Tri-Star Caribbean import company, said Saturday that he's extremely happy and excited to be home in Toronto. However, he says he is still adjusting after he was given only 24 to 48 hours' notice before his release.

Yacoubian was arrested in 2011 by Cuban authorities but was not formally charged until April 2013 with bribery, tax evasion and "activities damaging to the economy." He said that because he was expelled from Cuba, he is not subject to transfer conditions that would require him to serve the rest of his sentence in Canada.

"I can't discuss on what grounds I was expelled," said the 53-year-old Yacoubian. "When somebody goes to jail, most of them claim that they were innocent. It's not only the facts that support this for me, but official recognition that supports this," he said.

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Owners surrender in deadly Bangladesh factory fire PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JULHAS ALAM, Associated Press   
Sunday, 09 February 2014 08:32

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — The two owners of a Bangladesh garment factory who are facing homicide charges for a 2012 fire that killed 112 workers surrendered to a court Sunday and were denied bail.

The factory outside the capital, Dhaka, which produced clothing for big retailers including Wal-Mart, had no emergency exits and its location in a narrow alley prevented firefighters from responding quickly to the deadly blaze in November 2012, said prosecutor Anwarul Kabir Babul.

The investigation found that when the fire broke out, managers and security guards told workers it was part of a regular drill and it was too late for many to escape. Workers found the gates locked from outside as the fire engulfed the sprawling building, according to the investigation.

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AA plans to put extra-legroom seats on US Airways PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by DAVID KOENIG, AP Airlines Writer   
Saturday, 08 February 2014 06:53

DALLAS (AP) — Since American and US Airways announced a year ago that they planned to merge, travelers have been eager to see how the airlines will resolve differences in amenities and frequent-flier programs.

The airlines, which completed their merger in December, are finally hinting how they'll settle one difference. In a message to employees this week, American Airlines Group Inc. leaders said they plan to go with American's practice of providing extra legroom with a few seats in the economy cabin, and charging passengers more to sit there.

Passengers willing to pay American $16 to $159 more per flight — up from $8 to $108 two years ago — can get a Main Cabin Extra seat with up to six inches more legroom on most planes. The perk is free for elite members of American's frequent-flier program.

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