Sunday, September 30, 2012

American Airlines, Avon Predicted to Disappear in 2013

Posted By on Sun, Sep 30, 2012 at 2:00 PM

American institutions such as American Airlines and Avon are destined to "disappear" by 2013, the investment website Wall Street 24/7 predicts.

The website reveals 10 companies it believes won’t be around after next year:

10. Avon: The door-to-door cosmetics company ignores its core market of cosmetics, according to Wall Street 24/7. It also recently replaced its CEO and its CFO lost his job over a Securities and Exchange Commission examination.

9. Metro PCS: Bigger players T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint-Nextel are pushing the smaller cellular provider from the marketplace. The stock has dropped to $5.86 from a yearly high of $17.84.

8. Oakland Raiders: OK, the Raiders aren't going to vanish, they’re just moving back to Los Angeles. The NFL team’s stadium contract to play in Oakland, Calif., expires next year.

7. Salon.com: The “pioneering news and commentary” website is swimming in debt. It had less than $150,000 cash to end 2011 as it relied on bailouts from Adobe co-founder John Warnock and investment banker Bill Hambrecht.

6. Suzuki: A bad reputation and shrinking market share are working against American Suzuki Motor Co.

5. Pacific Sunwear: Pitching the California lifestyle isn’t paying the bills anymore. The company’s stock price settled at $2.50 Sept. 28 from $23 five years ago.

4. Research in Motion: A classic example of resting on your laurels caught RIM looking when Apple’s iPhone stormed the market.

3. Current TV: Al Gore’s network is failing fast enough the cable provider Time-Warner is likely to drop it soon. If you’ve never seen it, Current is “the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning television and online network” with “the very best in political commentary, news analysis, and thought provoking programming.”

2. Talbots: This women’s clothing retailer is a victim to the recession and a competitive marketplace.

1. American Airlines: Wall Street 24/7 says the airline won’t emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy despite claims to the contrary. Selling assets to US Airways is likely to satisfy creditors and unions while competing with the Northwest-Delta and United-Continental mergers.

Last year, the site says it successfully predicted the demise of MySpace, Saab, the Ericsson mobile company Sony-Ericsson and the A&W portion in Yum! Brands.

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Study: Dropouts, School Loan Defaults Skyrocket at For-Profit Schools

Posted By on Sun, Sep 30, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Representing nearly 375,000 men and women, defaults on student loans are reaching record highs. In new data from the U.S. Department of Education, 9.1 percent of borowers defaulted on their federal student loans within two years of their first payment in fiscal year 2011, following an 8.8 percent default rate the previous year.

A default represents someone who has missed his or her payment for 270 consecutive days.

Additionally, two schools—one in Puerto Rico and another in Virginia—lost their eligibility for federal aid last year, including Pell grants, because their students' two-year default rates topped 25 percent. To date, 218 colleges and universities registered three-year default rates of 30 percent or more.

The study, conducted by the U.S. Senate's education committee, found that 54 percent of students attending for-profit schools dropped out without a degree during the 2008-2009 school year. Bachelor programs at for-profit schools cost 20 percent more than public schools, according to the study.

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Latest 'Green on Blue' Attack Pushes US Death Toll in Afghanistan to 2,000

Posted By on Sun, Sep 30, 2012 at 12:00 PM

The United States military death toll in Afghanistan has hit 2,000 after a rogue Afghan soldier shot dead two Americans at a checkpoint. The latest insider, or “green on blue,” attack took place outside a joint United States-Afghan base in Wardak province, with at least two Afghan soldiers also killed.

According to CNN, the American victims included a soldier and a civilian contractor.

Provincial government spokesman Shahidullah Shahid told the Associated Press an Afghan soldier had turned his gun on Americans and started shooting.

"Initial reports indicate that a misunderstanding happened between Afghan army soldiers and American soldiers," said Shahid.

According to the BBC, at least 52 foreign soldiers this year alone have been killed in green on blue attacks—half of them Americans.

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16 Indicted In Wake of Medical Pot Bust at Idaho-Oregon Border

Posted By on Sun, Sep 30, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Sixteen individuals have been indicted and arraigned for their part in operating the 45th Parallel, the Ontario, Ore.-based medical marijuana shop frequented by dozens of residents living on both sides of the Oregon-Idaho border.

Boise Weekly first visited the 45th Parallel in January 2011, discovering a robust business.

"We know of at least 500 Idaho clients that have bought property in Oregon just in the last 60 days," the owner told BW. "They don't want to break the law, so this is going to be their new home. Idaho is losing residents, there's no doubt about it."

But a yearlong investigation by the Malheur County Prosecutor's Office resulted in the arrests earlier this month and the indictments and arraignments handed down Sept. 25. Charges were leveled against 13 Oregon residents, three individuals from Nampa and one suspect from Boise. Each has been charged with racketeering and several received additional charges of delivery, possession and/or manufacture of marijuana.

A pre-trial date is expected to be scheduled for mid-December.

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Correction: Boise Main Library Looks at $35,200 Remodel of Third Floor

Posted By on Sun, Sep 30, 2012 at 10:01 AM

When the Boise Library Board of Trustees convenes Wednesday, Oct. 3, it will be briefed on a remodel design for nearly 8,000 square feet of the main library's third floor.

Already budgeted for the coming fiscal year, the proposed project includes an expansion of administration offices and moving the Idaho Room to a larger space while remodeling the existing Idaho Room into a larger public conference room.

Trout Architects is taking the lead on the project, which totals $35,200. $35.2 million.

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Idaho Falls Trees Poisoned

Posted By on Sun, Sep 30, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Law enforcement in Idaho Falls is looking for the person or persons responsible for poisoning trees in the eastern Idaho city.

Idaho Falls forester Delbert Lloyd told the Idaho Post Register that at least a half-dozen green ash trees were sprayed with glyphosate, a chemical found in Roundup. Leaves on the trees failed to grow back last spring. The loss is estimated at $18,000.

City officials said they had received complaints about the trees, which had partially blocked a sign for a local hotel. Police have yet to identify any suspects.

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

New Flu Strains Lead Health Officials to Urge Vaccination

Posted By on Sat, Sep 29, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Do you want the good news or bad news first?

The good news: Last year's flu season was the mildest recorded, with record-low hospitalizations and a short season.

But that was largely because the flu strains in circulation last year were similar to those in 2010.

Now the bad news: Experts say two new strains of influenza have begun circling the globe, and one of them is much harsher than previous flu strains.

"People cannot become complacent this year," said Dr. Howard Koh, assistant secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, told Fox News.

The flu season typically begins as early as October and can last through May, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the 2009-10 season, thousands of people were hospitalized and many died in one of the biggest flu pandemics in recent history. Vaccine shortages were also reported in some areas. But health officials told CBS News there are more than enough flu shots to go around this year and urged everyone to get vaccinated.

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Proponents of Wood River LOT Promise Revenues, Opponents Worry About New Tax Hurting Sales

Posted By on Sat, Sep 29, 2012 at 3:00 PM

While promoters of a proposed new local-option tax in the Wood River Valley promise that additional commercial air traffic translates into more business, some retailers worry that a higher tax will actually push business away.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports that the Fly Sun Valley Alliance said that two to three new flights into Friedman Memorial Airport could rack up $40 million in new revenues. The proposed LOT, which voters will decide on this November, is designed to provide financial incentives for commercial airlines to increase service to the Sun Valley area.

But some Sun Valley businesses point to what they think is an already high 8-percent tax on goods: 6 percent sales sales and a 2 percent local-option tax. Meanwhile the city of Hailey doesn't charge the current LOT.

“I used to have a real good clientele out of Hailey,” jewelry shop owner Tom Keenan told the Idaho Mountain Express. “I think people look and say, ‘I can pay 8 percent or I can pay 6 percent.' While I understand the need for the LOT, I don’t like the inequality of the current LOT."

Proponents say that tourists in the Sun Valley area that arrive by air spend roughly $1,700 per visit. They say that additional flights could bring in 30 passengers from San Francisco, 19 passengers from Denver and as many as 35 passengers from New York City per day.

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Idaho Employers: Presidential Politics Not Good For Sales

Posted By on Sat, Sep 29, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Some business owners in Idaho's Panhandle say they usually see a a tangible dip in sales when presidential elections are near.

"Just anticipation in seeing how things may change after the election," said Eve Knudtsen, owner of a Coeur d'Alene car dealership. "I usually look for some of this to happen in October."

Indeed, a regional economist told the Coeur d'Alene Press that taxable sales began dropping—as much as 24 percent—from July to August.

But Knutsen was quick to add that her business had experienced "robust" sales year to date, and that consumer confidence is returning.

But Ron Nilson, president and CEO of Ground Force Manufacturing, said he doesn't see the silver lining.

"Every consumer in the world is concerned about the unknown," Nilson told the Press. "This presidential election is an unknown."

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Study: 'Modern' Couples More Likely to Split

Posted By on Sat, Sep 29, 2012 at 1:00 PM

A new study indicates that couples who share household chores are more likely to divorce than those in homes where the woman does most of the housework. In fact, researchers said the divorce rate is almost 50 percent higher among couples who divy up the cooking and cleaning.

"In modern couples, women have a high level of education and a well-paid job, which makes them less dependent on their spouse financially," said Thomas Hansen, co-author of the study, entitled Equality in the Home. "They can manage much easier if they divorce."

Hansen's native Norway has a long tradition of gender equality, but when it comes to housework, Norwegian women still do most of it in seven out of 10 couples, accordinng to the study.

The research emphasized women who did most of the chores did so of their own volition and were found to be as "happy" as those in "modern" couples, according to The Telegraph.

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