- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 21, 2015

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Low wages, trade deals luring auto plants and jobs to Mexico

DETROIT (AP) - Mexico has become the most attractive place in North America to build new automobile factories, a shift that has siphoned jobs from the U.S. and Canada, yet helped keep car and truck prices in check for consumers.

In the past two years, eight automakers have opened or announced new plants or expansions in Mexico. Just last week, Toyota announced a new plant in Guanajuato to build the popular Corolla, work now done in Canada, while Ford unveiled plans for Mexican engine and transmission factories.

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Why McDonald’s is still a powerhouse, despite troubles

NEW YORK (AP) - McDonald’s sales have been sputtering for more than two years and the company seems trapped in a cycle of bad headlines that likely won’t end soon.

Its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday aren’t expected to be pretty either, and there’s a chance its dominance will continue to wane as newer players keep coming onto the scene.

But don’t write the obituary just yet. McDonald’s has many strengths that the rivals biting at its heels can only envy, including Ronald McDonald’s worldwide recognition. The Golden Arches will need to put them to good use to remain the world’s largest restaurant chain.

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Futures trader charged for alleged role in ‘Flash Crash’

CHICAGO (AP) - A futures trader was arrested in Great Britain Tuesday for his alleged involvement in the “Flash Crash” of 2010 in which the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 600 points in five minutes.

After the arrest of Navinder Singh Sarao, American authorities - who are seeking Sarao’s extradition - unsealed a federal criminal complaint in Chicago charging him with multiple counts of fraud and manipulation.

The complaint says Sarao, 37, from the west London suburb of Hounslow, used an automated trading program to manipulate the market for E-Mini S&P; 500 futures contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

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Teva offers to buy Mylan in $40.1B cash-and-stock deal

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Generic drug giant Teva formally offered to buy fellow drugmaker Mylan for about $40.1 billion in cash and stock on Tuesday, despite Mylan’s cold shoulder and the certainty the proposed acquisition will bring intense scrutiny by antitrust regulators.

If Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. succeeded, the combination would dominate the global generic drug market, be a major contender in some other specialty drug categories - and have the leverage to try to raise generic drugs prices.

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US lets in Thai fish caught by slaves despite law

WASHINGTON (AP) - In its first report on trafficking around the world, the U.S. criticized Thailand as a hub for labor abuse. Yet 14 years later, seafood caught by slaves on Thai boats is still slipping into the supply chains of major American stores and supermarkets.

The U.S. has not enforced a law banning the import of goods made with forced labor since 2000 because of significant loopholes, The Associated Press has found. It has also spared Thailand from sanctions slapped on other countries with weak records in human trafficking because of a complex political relationship that includes cooperation against terrorism.

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Yahoo’s 1Q shows company remains mired in revenue rut

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Yahoo is still struggling to boost revenue nearly three years into CEO Marissa Mayer’s tenure, magnifying concerns that the Internet company holds little value beyond its lucrative Asian investments.

The latest evidence of Yahoo’s financial malaise emerged Tuesday with the release the company’s first-quarter earnings report.

After accounting for ad commissions, Yahoo’s revenue fell 4 percent from the same time last year to $1.04 billion, extending a troubling trend that began before Mayer took over. That downturn overshadowed an 8 percent increase in Yahoo’s total revenue, before commissions, because investors focus on the amount of money that the company retains after paying its partners for helping to draw online traffic to it ads.

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Employers cut jobs in 31 US states as growth slows

WASHINGTON (AP) - Employers in 31 U.S. states cut jobs last month as weak economic growth weighed on hiring and a slowdown in oil and gas drilling caused big job losses in some states.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that unemployment rates rose or were unchanged in 27 states and fell in 23 states. Eighteen states gained jobs, while employment was unchanged in Idaho.

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Study links swarm of quakes in Texas to natural gas drilling

WASHINGTON (AP) - With real-time monitors, scientists have linked a swarm of small earthquakes west of Fort Worth, Texas, to nearby natural gas wells and wastewater injection.

In 84 days from November 2013 to January 2014, the area around Azle, Texas, shook with 27 magnitude 2 or greater earthquakes, while scientists at Southern Methodist University and the U.S. Geological Survey monitored the shaking. It’s an area that had no recorded quakes for 150 years on faults that “have been inactive for hundreds of millions of years,” said SMU geophysicist Matthew Hornbach.

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FDA: Safety problems prompted review of homeopathic remedies

WASHINGTON (AP) - A top federal drug regulator says increased safety problems with homeopathic remedies contributed to the government’s decision to revisit its oversight of the products this week.

The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday wrapped up a two-day meeting to hear from supporters and critics of products like Zicam Allergy Relief and Cold-Eeze, alternative remedies that are protected by federal law, but not accepted by mainstream medicine.

Similar to dietary supplements, the FDA does not review the safety or effectiveness of homeopathic remedies before they are sold. But unlike supplements, homeopathic medicines can state that they are intended for specific medical symptoms and conditions.

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Attorneys aim to get founder of ultra-rich club released

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Attorneys for the founder of a luxury Montana club planned Tuesday to file an emergency request with a federal appeals court seeking to free him after he was jailed for failing to disclose what happened to $13.8 million from the sale of a Mexican resort.

U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon ordered Tim Blixseth, 64, into custody after a Monday contempt hearing. He was being held at a detention center in Great Falls, marking Blixseth’s second trip to jail in the past four months.

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Amazon starts travel service Amazon Destinations

NEW YORK (AP) - The site that sells everything from toilet paper to toys can now send you on a romantic getaway.

Amazon is expanding its travel service online, dubbed Amazon Destinations, the latest effort by the e-commerce site to bolster its service offerings.

The travel service offers deals on hotels and getaways in three metro areas, Los Angeles, New York and Seattle, and their surrounding regions.

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Greek anger over state cash grab from public entities

ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Greek local authorities were on the brink of revolt Tuesday against the central government’s move to use cash reserves from state agencies - including hospitals and kindergartens - to help the country make ends meet.

At an emergency meeting in Athens, angry mayors voted to defy the order to have spare reserves put in a central bank account. They also agreed to stage protests and take “every possible political and legal action” against the radical left-led government over its decision.

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By The Associated Press=

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 85.34 points, or 0.5 percent, to 17,949.59. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 3.11 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 2,097.29. The Nasdaq composite gained 19.50 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,014.10.

The price of U.S. crude oil fell $1.12 to close at $55.26 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, lost $1.37 to close at $62.08 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline fell 4.3 cents to close at $1.888 a gallon. Heating oil fell 2.4 cents to close at $1.853 a gallon. Natural gas rose 3.9 cents to close at $2.575 per 1,000 cubic feet.


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