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In Disney's shadow, homeless families struggle PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MIKE SCHNEIDER, Associated Press   
Thursday, 24 April 2014 06:20

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — When they moved from Georgia to the theme park playground of central Florida four years ago, Anthony and Candice Johnson found work at a barbecue restaurant and a 7-Eleven. Their combined salaries nevertheless fell short of what they needed to rent an apartment, so the couple and their two children have instead been hopping among cheap motel rooms along U.S. 192.

"What's hard for us isn't paying the bills," Candice Johnson, 24, said. "It's just trying to get our feet in the door" with the combined expense of application fees, security deposits and first month's rent needed for a place of their own.

The Johnsons are among a growing number of families living in hotels in this Florida tourist corridor because they can't afford anything else and because their county has no shelters for the estimated 1,216 homeless households with children.

The problem has created a backlash among the mostly mom-and-pop businesses, with some owners suing the county sheriff to force his deputies to evict guests who haven't paid or who have turned their rooms into semipermanent residences. It also shines a light on the gap among those who work and live in this county that sits in the shadow of Walt Disney World, and the big-spending tourists who flock here.

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Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 16:59

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple plans to buy back an additional $30 billion of its stock, raise its quarterly dividend by 8 percent and split its stock for the first time in nine years.

The commitment announced Wednesday as part of Apple's fiscal second-quarter earnings report expands on the company's previous pledge to spend $60 billion on stock buybacks by the end of next year. The company is now earmarking $90 billion for buybacks during that time frame.

Apple Inc. also is raising its quarterly dividend to $3.29 per share as part its effort to funnel more money to stockholders.

The company also will execute an unusual seven-for-one stock split in early June. The move will dramatically decrease the nominal value of Apple's stock, which closed Wednesday at $524.75. The shares soared by more than 7 percent after the news came out.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 17:01
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Vermont moves toward labeling of GMO foods PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by DAVE GRAM, Associated Press LISA RATHKE, Associated Press   
Thursday, 24 April 2014 06:10

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont lawmakers have passed the country's first state bill to require the labeling of genetically modified foods as such, setting up a war between powerful lobbyists for the behemoth U.S. food industry and an American public that overwhelmingly says it approves of the idea.

The Vermont House approved the measure Wednesday evening, about a week after the state Senate, and Gov. Peter Shumlin said he plans to sign it. The requirements would take effect July 1, 2016, giving food producers time to comply.

Shumlin praised the vote and said he looked forward to signing the bill.

"I am proud of Vermont for being the first state in the nation to ensure that Vermonters will know what is in their food," he said in a statement.

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Russian social media CEO quits, flees country PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by LAURA MILLS, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 16:56

MOSCOW (AP) — The founder of Russia's leading social media network — a wunderkind often described as Russia's Mark Zuckerberg — has left his post as CEO and fled the country as cronies of President Vladimir Putin have made steady inroads into the company's ownership.

The slow-motion ouster of Pavel Durov from the network known as VKontakte, or "In Contact," is the latest sign that independent media outlets in Russia have become increasingly imperiled.

Although months in the making, the loss of Durov's leadership in VKontakte means that the space for free speech on the Russian web could shrink even further.

Users on VKontakte were even spreading jokes this week that the new nickname for the "In Contact" website should be "In Censorship."

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