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   WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 03/21/14 --
 Companies that pride themselves on being eco-friendly may have conflicted
 ideas between marketing with ad specialties and maintaining their green
 reputation. Eco-friendly customizable products at EmbroidMe provide a
 solution. Show your prospective customers that your brand aligned with
 the green movement with EmbroidMe's diverse selection of promotional
 items conveniently labeled "green" by the manufacturer.
   Every year, Earth day reminds us how important it is to take care of the
 environment. Promote your business as environmentally conscious with
 products made from recycled and sustainable materials. Pens made of
 post-consumer recycled paper with plastic derived from corn or pad covers
 made of recycled PET (PolyEthylene Terephtalate) are a great choice and
 easily paired with note pads made from recycled paper. Golf balls made of
 100% recycled tire rubber, LED flashlights with rechargeable batteries,
 or calendars made of recycled paper are just some examples of the
 eco-friendly customizable products found at EmbroidMe.
   Eco-conscious businesses can incorporate their mission into their attire
 and work uniforms, with shirts can be made of organic cotton, partially
 recycled cotton, post-consumer PET and recycled polyester. Even the
 customization process can go green when embroidered with cotton thread or
 imprinted with vegetable-based inks.
   "Customers appreciate seeing your logo and knowing you support a cause
 they care about," said Christine Marion, MAS, director of retail
 operations for EmbroidMe. "Our experienced on-site specialists and Eco
 Awareness programs are here to assist you."
   About EmbroidMe
  With hundreds of Resource Centers around the world,
 EmbroidMe is the most comprehensive source for promotional apparel,
 premiums, and advertising specialties, providing its promotional partners
 with full-service custom embroidery and screen-printing for apparel. For
 more information about customized promotional products and to view this
 and additional releases, visit the EmbroidMe News & Press Release section
 of embroidme.com. EmbroidMe's on-site specialists are ready to provide
 you with first-class service and products of the highest quality; just
 click EmbroidMe Locations to find the Resource Center nearest you.
   Media Contact:
 Christine Marion, MAS
 cmarion@embroidme.com
 P: 561-713-2503
   AP-WF-03-21-14 1926GMT

Posted 5:30 AM EDT on March 21, 2014

Eds: APNewsNow.
   BEAVERTON, Ore. (AP) -- Nike says strong global demand for its athletic goods helped third-quarter net income beat expectations as it readies for the upcoming World Cup in Brazil.
   The world's largest athletic clothing maker says that not counting income from discontinued operations, earnings rose 3 percent, to $685 million, or 76 cents per share, in the three months ended on Feb. 28. The year before, profit came to $662 million, or 73 cents per share. The discontinued operations added another $204 million in profit to last year's period. Analysts expected 72 cents per share, according to FactSet. Nike sold its Cole Haan and Umbro brands last year.
   Revenue rose 13 percent to $6.97 billion, beating analysts' expectation of $6.81 billion.
   The Beaverton, Ore.-based company said Thursday that future orders worldwide rose 12 percent.
   AP-WF-03-20-14 2110GMT

Posted 5:27 AM EDT on March 20, 2014

PALO ALTO, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 03/06/14 --
 PunchTab, the leading omni-channel loyalty and engagement platform,
 announced today the release of their Android SDK. The SDK is a free
 toolkit that provides Android mobile and tablet developers the capability
 to add customized loyalty and engagement programs to any app to help
 increase usage, purchase, awareness, and brand engagement.
   With tens of thousands of apps hitting the market every month and
 billions of dollars spent on mobile marketing, the world of mobile
 development has become a congested, competitive marketplace to carve out
 success. Generating user awareness and continued use remain critical
 challenges for organizations that utilize mobile applications to engage
 customers, or add mobile as part of larger omni-channel initiatives.
 Android developers can now implement PunchTab's loyalty and engagement
 infrastructure in mobile apps, incentivizing users to take actions that
 meet marketing agendas and business goals.
   "Mobile is the most important channel for brands when it comes to
 engaging consumers with relevant, real-time messages and offers.
 According to a recent study, 83% of consumers expect to make more
 purchases via mobile in the next 12 months, a 15% increase from today's
 current statistics -- this is a critical proof point of how important
 mobile has become for brands. Awareness, engagement, and enhanced loyalty
 are essential components in the success of a mobile app," said PunchTab
 Founder and CEO Ranjith Kumaran. "With our Android SDK we can provide
 Android developers with the same high-quality, easy-to-use functionality
 that the PunchTab platform offers to over 19,000 active programs on our
 platform."
   The Android opportunity is significant. Google Play accounted for almost
 75 percent of total app downloads in 2013 and according to Distimo,
 Google Play's revenue share has actually been growing at the expense of
 Apple's. Since June 2013, Google Play's revenue jumped 51 percent. The
 statistics are a window into the continuously growing Android mobile
 application market that does not appear to be slowing down. Brands have
 taken notice and with the PunchTab Android SDK, they have an opportunity
 to reach even more consumers on mobile.
   Analyst and TIME tech columnist, Ben Bajarin estimates that over one
 billion Android smartphones will be sold in 2014, and by the end of 2014
 mobile web users will be three times that of the desktop web. "Mobile can
 no longer be a side strategy for brands, it needs to be a central
 strategy as it's an essential element for maintaining consumer
 engagement. The Android opportunity is one that cannot be overlooked,"
 Bajarin reports.
   PunchTab's Android SDK offers mobile developers a free toolkit with an
 easy to integrate static library and customizable features to most
 effectively meet bottom line business goals. Developers can easily
 reward-enable engagement, repeat usage, social sharing, and more.
   For more information on PunchTab's developer kit visit
 www.punchtab.com/developer.
   About PunchTab, Inc.
  Founded in January 2011, PunchTab is an
 omni-channel loyalty and engagement platform that enables agencies,
 brands, and enterprise organizations to incentivize user behavior and
 drive business success. PunchTab's customers use the company's flexible
 solutions to deepen audience engagement, drive purchase, and build
 awareness by leveraging everything from social sharing and UGC and
 awareness campaigns, to sophisticated B2E and B2B programs. PunchTab
 offers both an out-of-the-box product and a fully customizable,
 white-labeled solution that can reward any action with virtual, social
 and real-world rewards. For more information, please visit
 www.punchtab.com.
   Media Contacts:
 Ben Barenholtz
 Sparkpr for PunchTab
 ben@sparkpr.com
 415.241.5207
 Robyn Hannah
 PunchTab
 robyn@punchtab.com
 408.823.3863
   AP-WF-03-06-14 1315GMT

Posted 12:49 PM EST on March 06, 2014

HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL -- (Marketwired) -- 02/28/14 --
 ADP Dealer Services, Inc., a division of ADP(R) and a leading global
 technology solutions provider dedicated to helping dealerships drive
 measurable results across every area of their operation, announced today
 that due to the overwhelming interest and positive feedback they received
 surrounding their Fixed Ops Expos, they will be launching a new round of
 Dealer Solutions Expos for automotive retail dealers. They will be
 thought leadership events designed to show what successful dealerships
 are doing to change the way they do business in order to meet
 technology-driven consumers' demand.
   Last year, over 600 dealers attended 25 expos across the country, touting
 them as very insightful and informative. One dealer described their
 experience as the "best three-hour time investment I've made in a long
 time."
   ADP Dealer Services will offer dealers a unique opportunity to join an
 interactive discussion with industry thought leaders as well as their
 peers during each event. The first subject will feature automotive retail
 expert, Mike Stoll, presenting, "How to Optimize Your Front Office for
 Maximum Customer Retention" and business security expert, Jim Foote,
 presenting "Who Let the Data Out?". They will each share strategic best
 practices and insider knowledge designed to give attendees a competitive
 edge around customer retention and security.
   These expos are a key pillar in Dealer Services' strategy to provide
 insights that help their dealer clients transform how vehicles are
 marketed, sold, and serviced using technology.
   The Dealer Solutions Expos is open to all dealership management across
 the country and will begin in early March, extending throughout 2014. For
 more information or to register for an event in your area, please visit
 our website, email events@adp.com or call 866.722.1844.
   About ADP
  With more than $11 billion in revenues and more than 60 years
 of experience, ADP(R) (NASDAQ: ADP) serves approximately 620,000 clients
 in more than 125 countries. As one of the world's largest providers of
 business outsourcing and Human Capital Management solutions, ADP offers a
 wide range of human resource, payroll, talent management, tax and
 benefits administration solutions from a single source, and helps clients
 comply with regulatory and legislative changes, such as the Affordable
 Care Act (ACA). ADP's easy-to-use solutions for employers provide
 superior value to companies of all types and sizes. ADP is also a leading
 provider of integrated computing solutions to auto, truck, motorcycle,
 marine, recreational vehicle, and heavy equipment dealers throughout the
 world. For more information about ADP, visit the company's Web site at
 www.adp.com.
   The ADP logo and ADP are registered trademarks of ADP, Inc. All other
 marks are the property of their respective owners. Copyright Copyright
 2014 ADP, Inc.
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   Media Contact:
 Michelle Benko
 ADP Dealer Services
 michelle.benko@adp.com
 847.485.4389
   AP-WF-02-28-14 1106GMT

Posted 5:27 AM EST on February 28, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC -- (Marketwired) -- 02/26/14 --
 The following is a statement by National Association of Realtors(R)
 President Steve Brown:
   "NAR supports reforms that promote economic growth, but we strongly
 oppose severely altering the rules that govern ownership and investment
 in real estate. Real estate powers almost one-fifth of the U.S. economy,
 employs more than 17 million Americans, and contributes a quarter of all
 federal and state tax revenue and as much as 70 percent of local taxes.
   "We are extremely disappointed with several of the provisions contained
 in U.S. House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp's tax reform draft
 released today, namely proposed limits on the mortgage interest deduction
 and capital gains, and the repeal of deductions for state and local
 property taxes. These proposed changes to the taxation of real estate
 will impact every single American, either directly or indirectly.
   "NAR will carefully analyze the details of the Chairman's plan so we can
 best educate Congress and the public about how this plan would impact the
 owners, consumers, and producers of both residential and commercial real
 estate."
   The National Association of Realtors(R), "The Voice for Real Estate," is
 America's largest trade association, representing 1 million members
 involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate
 industries.
   Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. This and other
 news releases are posted in the "News, Blogs and Videos" tab on the
 website.
   For further information contact:
 Jenny Werwa
 202-383-1193
 jwerwa@realtors.org
   AP-WF-02-26-14 2105GMT

Posted 5:26 AM EST on February 26, 2014

Last Update on March 31, 2015 17:42 GMT

HOME PRICES

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. home price increases continued to rise at a steady pace in January, as the housing market deals with affordability problems and few properties listed for sale.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 4.6 percent in January compared with 12 months earlier. That is up from growth of 4.4 percent in December.

Few Americans have listed their homes for sale, with the tight inventory keeping prices higher. Robust hiring and low mortgage rates have raised the possibility of stronger sales, yet home prices have appreciated at a significantly faster pace than wages.

The Case-Shiller index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. The index measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The January figures are the latest available.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE

WASHINGTON (AP) -- An improving job market drove U.S. consumer confidence higher this month after a dip in February.

The Conference Board's consumer confidence index rose to 101.3 in March from revised 98.8 reading in February.

The business group takes into account expectations for the future and consumers' assessment of current conditions. Consumers were more optimistic about the future, but a little less impressed with current economic conditions.

Over the past year, employers have added nearly 3.3 million jobs, the fastest 12-month pace of hiring since 1998. Consumers are certainly acting more confident: Their spending rose at a 4.4 percent annual rate from October through December, the fastest pace in eight years.

OBAMA-UNIONS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama has vetoed a congressional measure blocking the National Labor Relations Board from streamlining the process for union elections.

The labor board finalized a rule last December that eliminates a previous 25-day waiting period between the time when an election is called and when the election is held.

Republicans and business groups opposed the rule, arguing that it would limit the ability of businesses to prepare for union elections.

They also said workers wouldn't have enough time to make informed decisions about whether to join a union.

Obama on Tuesday called the labor board's changes "common sense" and "modest" and he vetoed a measure the Republican-controlled Congress sent him nullifying the rule.

The NLRB is an independent federal agency. The rule is set to take effect April 14.

SUPREME COURT-MEDICAID LAWSUIT

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court says private sector health care companies cannot sue to force states to raise their Medicaid reimbursement rates to keep up with rising medical costs.

The justices ruled 5-4 Tuesday that the medical companies have no private right to enforce federal Medicaid funding laws against states if Congress has not created such a right.

A 2009 lawsuit against Idaho claimed the state was unfairly keeping Medicaid reimbursement rates at 2006 levels despite studies showing that the cost of providing care had gone up. Lower courts agreed and the increased reimbursements cost Idaho an additional $12 million in 2013.

But the Supreme Court sided with state officials, saying it's up to the federal agencies that oversee Medicaid to decide whether a state is in compliance with reimbursement rules.

SUPREME COURT-SPIDER-MAN TOY

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Spider-Man's latest adventure is taking him through the strange and mysterious world of patent law.

The Supreme Court was snarled in a web of legal arguments Tuesday over whether an inventor can keep collecting royalties on a Spider-Man toy even after his patent expired.

The dispute involves a popular Web Blaster toy that lets children shoot foam string from a glove, much like the web-shooting super hero.

Inventor Stephen Kimble sold his patent on the toy to Marvel Entertainment in 2001, but Marvel stopped making payments in 2010 when the patent expired.

Kimble wants the high court to overrule a half-century-old case that says a licensing agreement cannot pay royalties after a patent ends. But most of the justices did not seem receptive to doing that.

TRUCK TIRE DANGER

DETROIT (AP) -- There's a little-known danger on the nation's roads from truck tires.

Nearly all truck tires are built for a maximum sustained speed of 75 miles an hour. That's been the standard since the middle of last decade, when drivers across the vast majority of the U.S. were allowed to go no faster than 65 or 70.

But many tractor-trailers are driven faster than that. Fourteen states, mainly west of the Mississippi River, now have speed limits of 75, 80 and even 85 miles an hour in part of Texas. Some of those states acted without consulting the tire industry.

Safety advocates and tire experts say habitually driving faster than a tire's rated speed can generate excessive heat that damages the rubber, which can lead to wrecks and blowouts.

Last month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration closed an investigation into blowouts involving certain Michelin tires after determining that truck operators, not the tires, were at fault. An investigator wrote that exceeding the 75 mile-an-hour rating was the most likely cause in all 16 complaints examined.

The blowouts resulted in three crashes but no injuries.

FRANCE-PLANE CRASH-LUFTHANSA

BERLIN (AP) -- Lufthansa says its insurers are setting aside $300 million to deal with possible costs resulting from last week's crash of a Germanwings jet in the French Alps, in which 150 people died.

Lufthansa spokeswoman Kerstin Lau confirmed a report on the set-aside in the daily Handelsblatt on Tuesday. She said $300 million is the amount currently reserved to deal with "all costs arising in connection with the case."

Last week, the company offered immediate aid of up to 50,000 euros ($54,250) per passenger to relatives of the victims. Those payments are separate from eventual compensation payments.

Prosecutors believe, based on data from the cockpit voice recorder, that the Airbus A320's co-pilot locked his captain out of the cockpit and deliberately crashed Flight 9525 from Barcelona to Duesseldorf last Tuesday.

Lufthansa said Tuesday that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz informed his flight school in 2009 that he had had a "serious depressive episode." Lufthansa says the note was found in emails that Lubitz sent to the Lufthansa flight school when he resumed his training after an interruption.

The airline said it has provided the documents to prosecutors and declined to make any further comment.

UNITED STATES-SYRIA

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. is imposing new sanctions on Syria's government aimed at blunting its weapons programs and pushing it into negotiations with rebels.

The Treasury Department's action targets Batoul Rida, a Syrian central bank official, and three "front companies" that help fund Syria's development of ballistic missiles and nonconventional weapons.

It cites Rida's involvement in cash transfers with U.S.-sanctioned institutions that enable the government's "military campaign against the Syrian people." One of the companies is based in Syria; two are in Lebanon.

The Treasury Department's sanctions chief, Adam Szubin, says Syrian President Bashar Assad's government is a "gross violator of human rights" and engages in "dangerous weapons proliferation."

The U.S. called for Assad to leave power four years ago. But Syria's civil war shows no sign of abating.

CHEMICAL SPILL-WEST VIRGINIA

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Freedom Industries and state regulators have signed an agreement for a cleanup of the site of a 2014 chemical spill into the Elk River.

The cleanup will be done through the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection's Voluntary Remediation Program.

The voluntary remediation agreement sets deadlines for Freedom to submit reports and work plans to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. The company's first deadline is April 20, when it must submit a report on an initial site investigation and interim measures.

A work plan for a human health and ecological risk assessment is due in the third quarter of 2015.

The January 2014 spill at a storage site in Charleston spurred a tap-water ban for 300,000 people for days.

MINNTAC LAYOFFS

US Steel to idle part of Minntac; 680 layoffs expected

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- U.S. Steel plans to idle part of its Minntac plant in northeastern Minnesota, resulting in layoffs for about 680 workers.

It's the latest symptom of the downturn in the American steel and iron mining industry. U.S. Steel cites high steel imports, dumping and low steel prices.

U.S. Steel spokeswoman Courtney Boone says the layoffs at the Minntac plant in Mountain Iron are temporary, but the company can't speculate how long they'll last. Mountain Iron is about 200 miles north of Minneapolis.

Earlier this month U.S. Steel said it would idle its Keetac plant in Keewatin effective May 13, resulting in 412 workers laid off. And Magnetation announced in February that it was shutting down its Keewatin plant, resulting in about 20 job losses.

FAST FOOD-LABOR

NEW YORK (AP) -- Fast-food labor organizers are expanding the scope of their campaign for $15 an hour and unionization, this time with a day of actions including college campuses.

Kendall Fells, organizing director for Fight for $15, said Tuesday that the protests will take place April 15 and include actions on about 170 college campuses, as well as cities around the country and abroad.

Among those joining fast-food workers and their supporters will be home health care aides and child care and Wal-Mart workers, he said. The plans are a continuation of a campaign that began in late 2012.

The push is being spearheaded by the Service Employees International Union and has included demonstrations around the country to build public support for raising pay for fast-food workers.

CHEAPER COMPUTERS

NEW YORK (AP) -- Microsoft is making a cheaper version of its Surface Pro 3 tablet computer in an effort to reach students and budget-conscious families.

The new $499 version will have a smaller screen -- 10.8 inches rather than 12 -- a slower processor, and the built-in kickstand won't be as flexible, just three angles rather than the unlimited positions offered on the Pro 3. But the Pro 3 ranges from $799 to $1,949.

A keyboard cover, one of the Surface's distinctive features, will cost $129 extra. Microsoft bills the Surface line as a laptop replacement when used with the cover.

Microsoft Corp. expects to ship the new device around May 5. Advance orders starting immediately.

CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS-BRIGHT HOUSE

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Charter Communications Inc. is buying fellow cable operator Bright House Networks LLC in a deal valued at $10.4 billion.

Charter is the fourth-largest cable operator in the U.S, while Bright House is the sixth biggest.

The business will be conducted through a partnership, with Charter owning 73.7 percent and Advance/Newhouse -- the parent company of Bright House -- owning 26.3 percent.

Bright House serves customers in Florida, Alabama, Indiana, Michigan and California.

The transaction is subject to conditions including Charter shareholder approval, the expiration of Time Warner Cable's right of first offer for Bright House and the closing of Charter's previously announced deal with Comcast.

KRAFT-DIETITIANS

NEW YORK (AP) -- A program to put a dietetics group's "Kids Eat Right" logo on Kraft Singles will reach an early expiration date after an uproar among dietitians.

Kraft Foods says it and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics decided to end the partnership because "misperceptions are overshadowing the campaign."

The decision comes after a petition by dietitians called for an end to the partnership, saying the putting the logo on packages amounted to an endorsement of the cheese product.

Kraft and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics said their partnership was intended to raise awareness about inadequate calcium and vitamin D intake in kids.

The logo will start appearing on products this week and will likely remain on shelves until at least July because packaging until then has already been manufactured.

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