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Sherman A1

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Gender: Male
Current location: U.S.
Member since: Sat May 13, 2006, 07:37 AM
Number of posts: 34,092

Journal Archives

Prosecutors team with debt collectors to terrorize consumers

In just a few years, Julie Orr has gone from running a successful advertising business to being a single mom on disability. Hers is a dilemma of American life: A leg injury keeps her from working, but she can't afford the surgery without health insurance.

Yet Orr says her woes didn't lead her to write a bum check at the grocery store. "Sure, we've fallen on tough times," says the 54-year-old from Riverside, California. "But I've never bounced a check before in my life. I've always been on top of my finances."

Accidentally overdrawing one's bank account isn't a crime. It is, however, a hyper-lucrative business, allowing banks to collect $30 billion a year in overdraft fees while their customers frantically swim back to the surface. Such is the bounty of faulty math.


An interesting story of "For Profit Law Enforcement".

Man charged in 'sextortion' case targeted 350 women, feds say

A Glendale man faces more than two dozen charges in a so-called sextortion case after allegedly hacking into social media and email accounts of 350 women and extorting them into showing their naked pictures.

Karen “Gary” Kazaryan, 27, who was arrested without incident Tuesday by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is charged in a federal grand jury indictment with 15 counts of computer intrusion and 15 counts of aggravated identity theft, the U.S. attorney's office said Tuesday. He faces 105 years in federal prison if convicted on all counts.

The 30-count federal grand jury indictment alleges that the Glendale resident hacked into the victims’ Facebook, Skype and email accounts, and changed the passwords, locking victims out of their own online accounts. He then allegedly searched emails or other files for naked or semi-naked pictures of the women, as well as other information, such as passwords and the names of their friends.

Kazaryan then posed online as those women and sent instant messages to their friends, coaxing them into removing their clothing so that he could view and take pictures of them, according to the indictment.


Stuck Minesweeper to Be Cut Into Pieces

Unable to tow the minesweeper USS Guardian off a reef in the Philippines, the Navy has decided that the only way to free the ship without causing further damage to the reef is to cut the ship into pieces.

That basically means the USS Guardian will no longer exist as a Navy vessel and will be taken off the Navy's ship roster.

The 23-year-old Avenger class minesweeper USS Guardian ran aground on Tubbataha Reef the night of Jan. 17 as the ship crossed the Sulu Sea. The reef, located about 400 miles south of Manila, is both a Philippines natural park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Days after the incident the commander of the Navy's Seventh Fleet issued an apology to the Philippine government.

In the days since, the Navy was unable to tow the ship off the reef as poor sea conditions complicated the salvage effort. Capt. Darryn James, spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, told ABC News that the Navy now plans to cut the ship into pieces to get it off the reef. Two heavy lift ship-borne cranes will arrive at the scene by Friday to begin to salvage the ship. The process is expected to take a month.


Supervalu Execs Get ‘Golden Parachutes’

Four outgoing Supervalu executives are being given nearly $23 million in so-called “golden parachutes" in the wake of the recent $3.3 billion deal to break up the struggling grocery company.

CEO Wayne Sales, appointed last July to help the Minneapolis-based Supervalu regroup, will receive a total of $12.8 million upon his departure - $8.1 million in cash and $4.7 million in equity, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission documents, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reported.

Sales’ successor, Sam Duncan, will receive a $500,000 signing bonus atop an annual base salary of $1.5 million. He also is eligible for bonuses and stock options as part of his 3-year agreement, the Journal reported. Sales will leave the company when the deal with Cerberus Capital Management closes at the end of March.

Also granted golden parachutes are CFO Sherry Smith, with $3.51 million; Janel Haugarth, president of independent business and business optimization, with $3.65 million; and J. Andrew Herring, EVP for real estate, market development and legal, who will receive $2.82 million. Smith, Haugarth and Herring all received retention bonuses in August.


Charming, simply Charming.....

United Fresh Lauds Senate Immigration Principles

The United Fresh Produce Association has applauded the framework for comprehensive immigration reform put forward by a bipartisan group of eight senators. The Agriculture Workforce Coalition (AWC), of which United is a founding member, has made an impact on the discussion as a broad, unifying agriculture coalition.

“This bipartisan initiative addresses a top priority and longstanding challenge for fresh produce industry employers,” said Tom Stenzel, United Fresh president & CEO. “We’re encouraged these senators have taken the lead and we look forward to further developing these principals into effective legislation.”

United Fresh and the AWC remain committed to the goal of ensuring that agricultural employers have access to a stable and skilled workforce, and that any eventual legislation addresses the needs of both current on-farm employees in need of an adjustment in immigration status and the future workforce requirements of employers.

The AWC maintains that American agriculture would not be possible without the contributions of more than 1.5 million hired workers each year – a position that reflects a critical step toward reform that preserves the competitiveness and productivity of the agriculture industry.


Consumers’ Super Bowl Spending Hits New Heights

More than 179.1 million people will watch this year’s Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 3 – up from an estimated 172.5 million last year -- and retailers can expect a sizeable boost in spending as consumers prepare for the big game.

According to a new survey by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, a division of the National Retail Federation, conducted by BIGinsight, the average game watcher will spend $68.54 on new televisions for viewing parties, snacks, décor and athletic apparel -- up from $63.87 last year -- with total Super Bowl spending expected to reach nearly $12.3 billion.

The survey found that nearly 74 percent of viewers intend to buy food and beverages to celebrate the game, including wings, pizza, chips and soda. Additionally, 3.9 million households will buy new furniture items such as entertainment centers, chairs and couches, and 7.5 million will purchase decorations. And given the popularity of the teams this year, 17 million fans will buy team apparel or accessories to support their preferred team, up from 14.8 million last year.


Apple Unveils 128GB Version Of iPad 4

They’ll have twice the maximum space of the current fourth-generation iPads, but they’re not for bargain hunters: The Wi-Fi-only model of the new 128GB iPad will carry a suggested retail price of $799, while the ones that also handle cellular connections will go for $929. They’ll be available next Tuesday at Apple‘s online and bricks-and-mortar outlets. The company’s targeting businesses that need extra storage to handle memory-intensive applications and files including 3D CAD, X-rays, film and music editing, and blueprints. The additional memory means that “enterprises, educators and artists have even more reasons to use iPad for all their business and personal needs,” Apple SVP Worldwide Marketing Philip Schiller says. Apple’s unusual decision to upgrade the iPad midway though its life cycle has led to some speculation that the company will wait longer than expected to introduce a fifth-generation iPad. The current model was unveiled in October. But investors appear to like the move: Apple shares — which are down nearly 35% since mid-September — are up 1.2% in early trading while the overall market is flat.


Hostess getting closer to a buyer for Twinkies

Hostess Brands is close to picking a preferred buyer for its iconic Twinkies brand, a move that would be a key step in the eventual return of the snack cake to grocery shelves.

A source familiar with negotiations says that two private-equity firms, Apollo Global Management (APO) and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co., are the likely winners of this round of negotiations to buy Twinkies.

It's likely," said the source. "It's moving very fast."

A spokesman for Apollo said he had no comment on the report. Metropoulos could not be reached for comment. The firm's food holdings include Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, and in the past have included Chef
Boyardee canned pasta, Bumble Bee seafood, PAM cooking spray and Gulden's Mustard, all of which it eventually sold to ConAgra Foods Inc (CAG, Fortune 500).


National Retail Federation Forecasts Slower Sales in 2013

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation on Monday said it was forecasting 3.4% retail sales growth in 2013, saying consumer uncertainty, higher taxes and a slow economic recovery would result in decrease from the 4.2% growth in 2012.

Shop.org, NRF’s digital division, expects online sales in 2013 to grow between 9% and 12%. Online sales in 2012 during the months of November and December last year grew 11.1%.

Retail industry sales according to NRF include most traditional retail categories including auto parts and accessories stores, non-store categories, discounters, department stores, grocery stores and specialty stores, and exclude sales at automotive dealers, gas stations and restaurants.

The subdued forecast comes on the heels of a holiday season that went head-to-head with Washington’s political wrangling over fiscal concerns, shifting consumers’ spending plans downward. In the end, holiday sales in 2012 grew 3%, NRF said.

Read More: http://supermarketnews.com/retail-amp-financial/nrf-forecasts-slower-sales-2013#ixzz2JM8Mi5hS

Hy-Vee Addresses Credit Card Surcharge

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Hy-Vee Food Stores assured shoppers that it will not charge a fee if they use a credit card.

“You might have heard or read about new rules that allow merchants to charge customers a fee on credit card transactions as a way to recoup some of the costs associated with accepting this method of payment,” the retailer wrote on its Facebook page Monday. “Hy-Vee has no plans at this time to charge fees for using credit cards in our stores.”

Hy-Vee made the statement in response to a policy change implemented Sunday allowing merchants who accept Visa and MasterCard credit cards to add a service charge to the purchase price. In the past, Visa and MasterCard prohibited merchants from charging the fees. The companies changed their position as part of a settlement of an antitrust suit.

Meanwhile, credit card surcharges are banned by law in 10 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas.

Read More: http://supermarketnews.com/retail-amp-financial/hy-vee-addresses-credit-card-surcharge#ixzz2JM5vIstP
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