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McDonald's(NEW YORK) -- In the last couple of years, McDonald's has made some tweaks to its menu -- like introducing all-day breakfast, moving to cage-free eggs and testing delivery -- in order to help prop up its struggling business. And now, the fast food chain is making yet another change.

Starting next year, McDonald's will "serve fresh beef, prepared when ordered, in all Quarter Pounder burgers across the majority of its restaurants," the company announced Thursday in a press release.

The move to fresh beef rivals Wendy's, which has been touting its use of fresh beef in ads for months, and puts McDonald's in a position to compete with fast-casual restaurants that use fresh beef.

“Today’s announcement is part of a continuing food journey for McDonald’s,” McDonald’s USA President Chris Kempczinski said in a statement. “Over the last two years, we have accelerated the pace of change around how we source and serve our food. Delivering fresh beef that’s prepared when our customers order their food is just another example of how we are raising the bar."

"We’re just getting started, and can’t wait to show you what’s next,” Kempczinski added.

Prior to Thursday's announcement, McDonald’s tested the use of fresh beef in various restaurants across the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area and in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The company says the feedback from customers has been positive.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Jobless claims fell lower last week, decreasing by 3,000, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the Labor Department.

For the week ending March 25, the number of people filing for benefits fell from a unrevised level of 261,000 the previous week to 254,000.

Now at 254,250, four-week moving average increased by 7,750 from last week’s revised average of 246,000.

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iStock/ThinkstockIf your employer offers a company-funded retirement plan, you've probably already heard about the benefits. If not, accountant Janice Hayman says now is a good time to pay a visit to your company's benefits administrator.

"If you have not already set up your 401(k) plan with your employer, to maximize your contributions into that retirement account you should definitely do so as early as possible," she says.

Hayman says most changes you make now can be deducted from your 2017 taxes, but there is an exception.

"IRA contributions are still open until April 15th, or in this case, April 18th this year," she notes.

You can also consider getting a Roth IRA. Contributions to these accounts are never taxable but there are certain guidelines when it comes to income.

Hayman says talk to a tax professional to find the best fit for you.

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Countryside Hotels(NEW YORK) -- A hotel group in Sweden thinks a stay at one of its hotels will help fix your marriage -- and they’ll give you a refund if it doesn’t.

Countryside Hotels will give money back to any couple who books a room and divorces within 12 months of their stay.

“We have for a long time welcomed couples to our countryside hotels and seen how beneficial it has been for them to get some time off from everyday stress and spend time with each other,” Anna Madsen, director of marketing and sales for the group, told ABC News. “We wanted to share these experiences with more people and decided to take a more radical angle.”

She went on, “The aim is getting time for each other, and investing in a relationship is important. And we hope that we can convince more couples to invest in their relationships before it is too late.”

The refund is good for up to a two-night stay, according to a press release. Couples who wish to take advantage of this offer must provide legal documents proving the divorce.

Madsen said because the campaign is such a new initiative, reports and testimonials are not yet available from people who have taken advantage of this offer.

Countryside Hotels is an association of 41 independently, privately-owned hotels in Sweden that include castles, manors, inns and guest houses, according to its website. The different and romantic atmospheres could encourage a struggling couple to take another glance at a seemingly failing relationship, and Madsen said the deal will be available as long as people respond positively and the hotels are able to support it.

“We hope we can encourage more people to invest in [their] relationship,” she said.

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ipopba/iStockThinkstock(WASHINGTON) – President Trump's travel ban and perceived hostility towards foreigners could cost the U.S. tourism sector more than $18 billion over the next two years ($7.4 billion this year $10.8 billion in 2018), according to analysts at Tourism Economics.

"On multiple fronts--diplomacy, trade, border control, visa policy—international markets are receiving a message that America is no longer a welcoming destination," Tourism Economics President Adam Sacks explained to ABC News.

The U.S. will likely lose 10.6 million international visitors over that time period ($4.3 million this year, $6.3 million in 2018). That includes 4.48 million lost visits from Mexico, 1.95 million lost visits from Canada, and 4.18 lost visits from overseas, the group says.  

Many cities have already begun trying to woo travelers back with a more inclusive message. New York City's marketing team, for example, has released a new $3 million campaign, Welcoming the World, to "reassure international travelers" from the UK, Mexico, Germany, Spain and other countries.

And losing international travelers isn't the only issue here, Henry Harteveldt, president of Atmosphere Research Group, tells ABC News.  The tourism sector may also lose potential domestic tourists, who decide to move business conferences overseas due to concerns over problems their international attendees may face.

However, Harteveldt points out, there are other factors contributing to the potential decline -- including the stronger U.S. dollar.

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cynoclub/iStock/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) -- A trial is underway in San Diego involving a lawsuit against Petco after a boy died from a disease contracted from a pet rat bought at Petco.  

10-year-old Aiden Pankey died in 2013 from rat bite fever two weeks after his pet rat bit him.

In opening statements, attorneys for the Pankey family said they were sold a diseased rat by Petco that should have been tested. “Petco is still selling rats to kids and kids are still getting sick,” prosecutors said.

Petco’s defense attorneys fought back, saying “Petco cannot single handidly remove a bacteria that is natural to an animal.”

The Pankey family say the lawsuit is not about money but that instead it's about protecting children.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Internet service providers may soon be able to sell your internet history and other sensitive information.

The U.S. House and the Senate have both voted in recent days to kill rules that would have forced internet service providers (ISPs) to get consumers’ permission before sharing users’ data with third-parties, such as advertisers.

The bill, which President Donald Trump is expected to sign in the coming weeks, has prompted a backlash online and among privacy advocates.

The rules, adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in late October, would require ISPs to give consumers’ the option to “opt in” to sharing information sensitive information -- defined as including “precise geolocation, financial information, health information, children’s information, social security numbers, web browsing history, app usage history and the content of communications.”

Under the rules, “ISPs would be allowed to use and share nonsensitive information unless a customer ‘opts out,’” the FCC said in a statement in October. Nonsensitive information, it said, included a user’s “email address or service tier information.”

The Senate voted 50-48 on Mar. 23, along party lines, to approve a bill that would eliminate the FCC rules. The House followed suit on Tuesday, voting 215-205 -- similarly, mostly along party lines -- to approve the bill.

“Should President Donald Trump sign S.J. Res. 34 into law, big Internet providers will be given new powers to harvest your personal information in extraordinarily creepy ways,” said Ernesto Falcon, legislative counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy advocacy group. “This breaks with the decades-long legal tradition that your communications provider is never allowed to monetize your personal information without asking for your permission first.”

“It won't be long before the government begins demanding access to the treasure trove of private information Internet providers will collect and store,” he added.

On the other side, the Data and Marketing Association, advocates for data-driven marketing and engagement lauded the move by Congress, saying the FCC rules would have disrupted their industry's ability to self-regulate and that hindrances on the ability to market hamper the economy as a whole.

"Today’s vote brings an end to a year of discussion over whether it was appropriate for the FCC to upend the longstanding, successful privacy framework to adopt an entirely new set of rules, which would unnecessarily burden the booming digital economy," said Emmett O’Keefe, the Data and Marketing Association's senior vice president of advocacy, in a statement.

In a hearing before the vote, Congressman Mike Capuano, D-Mass., asked “why Comcast should know what my mother’s medical problems are?” after explaining that he had searched for information about her medical condition online, according to The Guardian.

Consumer rights and civil liberties advocates predict that internet users will face an increase in targeted advertisements as marketers interested in understanding consumer behaviors purchase browsing and search histories. The Electronic Frontier Foundation additionally noted the possibility of ISPs utilizing undeletable cookies to continuously monitor web traffic.

Should Trump sign the bill, internet users interested in preventing the use of their information will have to individually contact their ISP to opt out of the arrangement. Another preventative measure is the use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) -- essentially a network within the public internet -- which adds a layer of privacy that ISPs could be unable to tap. Instead, the provider would only see that a user accessed the VPN, but not what they browsed beyond that point.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer declined to provide comment when asked about the bill at Wednesday's press briefing. He said the administration will have "further updates" once it reaches the president's desk.

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iStock/ThinkstockIt's finally time to file your taxes. But, you might be wondering if you'll get a tax refund.

ABC News Chief Business and Economics Correspondent Rebecca Jarvis says the odds are in your favor.

"Last year, 111 million out of 152 million returns resulted in refunds, and the average return in 2015 was $2,857," she points out.

If you are getting one, the next thing you'll want to know is when it will be coming.

"If you're waiting on your refund and you've already filed everything but you want to know where your refund is, the IRS has something for that. Go to their website and you click on 'Where's My Refund' and they should be able to tell you the status," Jarvis says. "They're pretty good about turnaround. It only takes a few weeks."

The IRS says e-filed returns with direct deposit are usually credited within three weeks.

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Samsung(NEW YORK) — Samsung has introduced its first new phone since its problems with the Note 7.

After a “challenging year” of recalls stemming from battery fires on the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung needed a resurrection. According to the company’s mobile chief DJ Koh, the Galaxy S8 and S8 is it.

It’s “a phone that will take you beyond the limits of what you have known before,” he said Wednesday, while announcing the S8’s release.

Koh still seemed to concede the stakes after the faulty battery failure of the Note 7.

“It has been a challenging year for Samsung,” he said.

In a written company statement, Koh said the new mobile device is Samung’s “testament to regaining your trust by redefining what’s possible in safety and marks a new milestone in Samsung’s smartphone legacy.”

The new phones feature an edge-to-edge screen, futuristic features like face recognition and the ability to plug into a keyboard, mouse and monitor to make it function like a traditional computer.

Samsung fans can pre-order the new phone at 12:01 ET on March 30. The phones will be in stores April 21.

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Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — They can never be forgiven for killing off raw umber.

According to the Official Crayola Crayon website, Friday, March 31 is National Crayon Day, but it will also be a funeral.

For the first time in its 100-year history, Crayola will retire a color from its 24-count box of crayons.

Crayola isn't saying which crayon is getting the ax, but will make the announcement on Friday morning.

In 1990, Crayola retired green blue, orange red, orange yellow, violet blue, maize, lemon yellow, blue gray and raw umber from its 64-count box. Thirteen years later, they did it again to blizzard blue, magic mint, teal blue and mulberry.

The 24-count box currently features red, yellow, blue, brown, orange, green, violet, black, carnation pink, yellow orange, blue green, red violet, red orange, yellow green, blue violet, white, violet red, dandelion, cerulean, apricot, scarlet, green yellow, indigo and gray.

Crayola hasn't yet said what they will replace the retired color with.

The doomed crayon will be buried Friday morning at Times Square in New York City.

Crayola should bring back the classic 64 with the bonus eight fluorescent that were available from 1972 – 1990 to satisfy Gen X nostalgia.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wall Street closed in the green on Tuesday thanks to new data on consumer confidence, breaking the Dow Jones Industrial Average's eight-day losing streak.

The Dow Jones jumped 150.52 ( 0.73 percent) to finish at 20,701.50.

The Nasdaq gained 34.77 ( 0.60 percent) to close at 5,875.14, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,358.57, up 16.98 ( 0.73 percent) from its open.

Crude oil prices were over $48 a barrel; about 1 percent higher.

Consumer Confidence: According to data from the Conference Board, consumer confidence in the U.S. increased sharply in March for a 16-year high. The consumer confidence index jumped to 125.6 last month from 116.1 in February as consumers "expressed much greater optimism regarding the short-term outlook for business, jobs and and personal income prospects," the Conference Board said.

Winners and Losers: Shares in Apple Inc. soared 2 percent for a new record after a UBS analyst said shares of the tech giant could hit $200.

Facebook's announcement of "Facebook Stories," similar to Snapchat, caused Snap Inc.'s stock to tumble 7 percent. Shares of Facebook closed 1 percent higher.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- When President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday that initiated a review of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) and unraveled other Obama-era energy orders and memorandums, he did so with the stated intention of creating and protecting jobs. But the verdict is still out whether that goal will be accomplished.

"We love our coal miners, great people," Trump said after signing the order. "I made them this promise: We will put our miners back to work."

The divide of opinion seemed to be set along the lines of one's proximity to the coal industry: Representatives of coal workers who spoke to ABC News seemed to agree with the administration that the executive order would help protect jobs or spur job creation, while economists and environmentalists disagreed.

Trump made job creation a central part of his campaign for president, and he trounced his opponent, Hillary Clinton, in coal-dependent regions like West Virginia, which he won by a roughly 40 percent margin.

The coal industry was especially fertile territory for Trump's jobs promises, having lost tens of thousands of jobs over the last three decades, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

According to the department, the number of coal jobs dropped to 98,000 in 2015, from over 186,000 in 1985.

Likewise, facilities that burn coal are shutting down. The Sierra Club, an environmental advocacy group, boasts that 251 coal-burning power plants have shuttered since 2010 or are scheduled to close.

Vice President Mike Pence returned to Trump's campaign theme of jobs at a rally in Charleston, West Virginia, on Saturday, raising the curtain for Tuesday's maneuvers.

"We're going to bring back jobs," Pence said at the rally. "We're going to get Washington out of the way of energy producers and coal miners because energy means growth for America, and President Trump digs coal."

Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, who has criticized federal regulations throughout his career in public life, stressed the theme of job creation in relation to the executive order, telling ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Sunday that Trump's efforts will help not just the coal industry.

"It will bring back manufacturing jobs across the country." Pruitt said. "Coal jobs across the country."

White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Tuesday that he could not put a number on the jobs that would be created by the administration's new executive action on energy but said that the mining industry was for it.

"I will tell you that, from a mining perspective, the miners and the owners are very, very bullish on this. So the people in the business applaud this effort, believe it will do a lot to revive the industry," he said. "I know that the industry itself said so."

Phil Smith, the director of communications and governmental affairs for the United Mine Workers of America, believes Trump's actions have the potential to save "tens of thousands of coal and coal-related jobs."

"We believe the Clean Power Plan, as proposed, was flawed. That is why we joined the suit to keep it from going into effect," Smith told ABC News. "Since the CPP had not gone into effect yet, it hadn't cost any jobs. But we estimated that it would cost tens of thousands of coal and coal-related jobs once it was fully implemented. Those jobs will not be at risk in the future from this source now."

Bill Raney, the president of the West Virginia Coal Association, echoed Smith's thoughts but declined to estimate how many jobs would be saved or created.

"The number of jobs is very difficult to quantify, but it brings with it a good, positive attitude about the coal industry," Raney said.

He said he was hopeful that the administration would pledge to invest in coal research, which he asserted would help the industry compete with renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, that were favored by the Obama administration.

"We're hoping that there's going to be a ramp up of research after this action," Raney said.

Outside the coal industry, however, voices on the subject were considerably less sunny.

Richard Revesz, the director of the Institute for Policy Integrity, a nonpartisan think tank at the New York University School of Law dedicated to improving the quality of government decision-making, told ABC News by email that the order will ultimately hurt the economy.

"There is no consistent evidence that regulations contribute to long-term changes in the unemployment rate, and rolling back regulations will not create jobs," he said.

He noted that coal jobs have been lost mainly because of increasing automation and the low price of natural gas, which will not be affected by a reconsideration of the CPP.

Moreover, the executive order threatens a policy that "aims to give taxpayers fair market value for coal mined on public land, and it tries to eliminate a tool used to evaluate economic damages from climate change," he said.

"This executive order will hurt our economy," Revesz said, "not boost domestic energy or create jobs."

Christopher Knittel, the director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, agreed with some of Revesz's criticisms but called a decline in gas prices "the most important factor" for the reduction in coal jobs, followed by state-level renewable energy policies.

"So neither of those things are at all related to the Clean Power Plan," Knittel said. "Those things will still exist even after today's executive order."

He said Trump's pro-drilling policies could continue to drive down gas prices, which would work against bringing back jobs in the coal industry.

"The president's energy goals run counter to each other," Knittel said.

He agreed with Raney that research would help the industry but argued that if Trump is serious about saving coal industry jobs, he will invest in carbon capture and sequestration technology and enable coal workers to sell their product abroad to places like Europe and China.

"That would allow for our coal to burn in a more climate-change-friendly way not just in the U.S. but internationally as well," Knittel said.

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Jonathan Nissenbaum (NEW YORK) -- The chance to play the late David Bowie’s piano while enjoying unobstructed views of Central Park in a New York City apartment could be yours for $6.495 million.

A three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath apartment once owned by Bowie and his wife, Iman, went on the market on Monday. The couple sold the apartment, located in the Essex House on Central Park South, in 2002, 10 years after they wed.

Bowie’s Yamaha piano was included in the 2002 sale and has remained in the apartment ever since.

The current sellers, who did not buy the apartment from Bowie and Iman, are keeping the tradition alive by including the piano in the listing price.

“I would imagine it is hard to move but I think it’s really a great catch for buyers,” the apartment’s exclusive agent, Bernice Leventhal of the Corcoran Group, told ABC News.

The 1,877-square-foot home is used as a pied-à-terre by its current owners. It features a limestone foyer, walk-in closet, two master-sized bedrooms and a master bath with a rain shower and heated floors.

Along with all the amenities, the apartment's real selling point, in addition to Bowie’s piano, is the view.

“The living room is very expansive and then you have this amazing office that faces Central Park,” said Leventhal, who is leading the sale with her Corcoran partner, Sarah Thompson. “[It has] stunning, unobstructed views of Central Park.”

Bowie died last year at the age of 69 after a battle with cancer. He and Iman, a model and businesswoman, were married for 24 years and have one child together, daughter Alexandria “Lexi” Zahra Jones.

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Ford Motor Company(DEARBORN, Mich.) — Ford is bringing more jobs to Michigan. The automaker announced Tuesday that it will invest $1.2 billion to refurbish three manufacturing facilities there.

Auto sales have been flat, but Ford is betting on mid-sized SUVs and pickup trucks. The company says it plans to bring back the Bronco and Ranger models, and it will outfit its Michigan Assembly Plant to build both. Employees will begin building the new Ranger at the close of 2018 and the Bronco in 2020.

“At Ford, we are investing aggressively in building on our strengths today — including trucks, vans, commercial vehicles, performance vehicles and SUVs — while at the same time growing our leadership in electrification, autonomy and mobility services,” Ford president for the Americas Joe Hinrichs said in a company statement. “As America’s top producer of automobiles, we are proud to be going even further in our commitment to invest in manufacturing here at home.”

The engines will be made at a separate Michigan plant, where Ford says 130 jobs will be created or retained.

Ford is also building a $200 million data center to support its goal of making electrified and autonomous vehicles.

Tuesday’s announcement comes in a recent streak of Ford investments. Over the last three months, the auto manufacturer announced $1.9 billion in investments within the state of Michigan alone. The company has invested $12 billion in U.S. plants over the last five years, generating roughly 28,000 jobs.

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iStock/ThinkstockIf you have someone come in to clean your house, babysit your kids on a regular basis or maintain your lawn, you know that you should be including the proper IRS withholding in their pay.

If you don't, consider this a lesson that you need to learn now, and even if you do, there are some changes in the tax laws this year. IRS spokesman Anthony Burke says you may have already missed out on an important deadline.

"If you have people who work in your home, then you have to file a form Schedule H," he says. "Then you would need to get the W-2s and related W-3s to the Social Security Administration by January 31st, which is new for some people this year."

Burke says if you think you've missed the deadline, contact the IRS as soon as possible because they may be able to work out an arrangement with you. If you don't, he says, you're on your own.

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