Financial
GM to invest $1.3B in 5 factories, including Toledo PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JEFF KAROUB, Associated Press TOM KRISHER, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 07:16

DETROIT (AP) — Five General Motors factories in three states will soon share in a $1.3 billion investment so they can make higher-quality pickup trucks and new fuel-efficient engines and transmissions.

GM says the money will go to the Flint, Mich., assembly plant; an engine plant in Romulus, Mich., near Detroit; a transmission factory in Toledo, Ohio; and a casting plant in Bedford, Ind. Most of the work will be done during the next two years.

It's unclear how many jobs the investment will create. GM would say only that it will create or keep 1,000 positions.

Nearly half the money, $600 million, will go to the Flint factory for a new paint shop and other upgrades. The plant makes the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks.

GM also will spend $493 million at its Romulus engine plant so it can build a new V-6 engine and 10-speed automatic tranmissions that will make vehicles more efficient.

Around $121 million will go to set up a manufacturing logistics center at the Detroit-Hamtramck factory, and $31 million will go to the Toledo transmission plant so it can crank out more six-speed automatic transmissions.

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Stores have free rein to recoup shoplifting losses PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by COLLEEN LONG, Associated Press   
Monday, 16 December 2013 14:43

NEW YORK (AP) — Outside the view of paying customers, people accused of shoplifting at Macy's huge flagship store are escorted by security guards to cells in "Room 140," where they can be held for hours, asked to sign an admission of guilt and pay hundreds in fines, sometimes without any conclusive proof they stole anything.

As shoppers jam stores ahead of the December holidays, claims of racial profiling at department stores in New York have helped expose the wide latitude that laws in at least 27 states give retailers to hold and fine shoplifting suspects, even if a person hasn't yet technically stolen anything, is wrongly accused or criminal charges are dropped.

"You must remember, these people are not police officers; they are store employees," said Faruk Usar, the attorney for a 62-year-old Turkish woman who sued Macy's, which some customers say bullied them into paying fines on the spot or harassed them with letters demanding payment. "When they are detained, they are not yet even in a real jail."

Industrywide, more than $12 billion is lost to shoplifting each year. The laws, which vary on strictness and fine amounts, allow stores to try to recoup some losses. Under New York's longstanding law, retailers may collect a penalty of five times the cost of the stolen merchandise, up to $500 per item, plus as much as $1,500 if the merchandise isn't in a condition to be sold. A conviction is not necessary to bring a civil claim.

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Michael Jordan estate fails to sell at auction PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 07:10

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (AP) — Michael Jordan's 56,000-square foot home in suburban Chicago has failed to sell at auction after the bidding fell short.

Jordan spokeswoman Estee Portnoy says nobody offered the reserve price of $13 million for the seven-acre estate in Highland Park, north of Chicago.

Portnoy says Concierge Auctions publicized Monday's auction well, but that market conditions aren't ideal. She says options for the property will be evaluated next year.

The former Chicago Bulls superstar's home originally was listed at $29 million in early 2012.

It has nine bedrooms, 15 full bathrooms, a pool pavilion and a regulation-size indoor basketball court. It also features what's described as a "gentleman's retreat," complete with a library, wet bar and the original doors from the Playboy Mansion in Chicago.

Jordan now owns the Charlotte Bobcats.


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Japan manufacturing sentiment rises to 6-year high PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by YURI KAGEYAMA, Associated Press   
Monday, 16 December 2013 07:37

TOKYO (AP) — Business confidence at Japan's major manufacturers rose to a six-year high, according to a quarterly central bank survey released Monday, amid optimism over Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic recovery program.

The Bank of Japan's "tankan" business confidence index rose to 16 for large manufacturers from 12 in September, and the best showing since 2007. Abe has made monetary easing, public works projects and structural reforms the key planks of his three-pronged economic plan, dubbed "Abenomics."

The yen has fallen dramatically after he took office a year ago, which helps Japan's automobile and electronics exporters by increasing overseas income when repatriated. The bank surveyed 10,509 companies, which responded between Nov. 14 to Dec. 13.

But economists say Japan still faces major economic challenges, including a bulging public debt and shrinking population.

Large companies said they expect to increase capital spending by 4.6 percent in the fiscal year through March 2014. That was slightly lower than expected, said Hiromichi Nishi, assistant general manager at SMBC Nikko Securities.

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