National / International News
A fake bank in Nanjing bilked customers out of nearly $33 million. With trappings of a real bank, like security guards and LED screens, the bank fooled depositors attracted by higher interest rates.
Jan. 28, 2015, marks the 30th anniversary of the recording of "We Are the World," a fundraising single that raised tens of millions for African relief and helped usher in an era of all-star recordings and concerts that benefit charity.
The musicians performed as USA for Africa, recording a song written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. Famous names in the studio session included Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick, Tina Turner, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Cyndi Lauper, Diana Ross, Ray Charles, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. The project was promoted by producer Quincy Jones, singer Harry Belafonte and fundraiser Ken Kragen.
"We Are the World" was inspired by "Do They Know It's Christmas?" – a 1984 recording to benefit charity by another supergroup, Band Aid. That project was driven by Bob Geldof, the Irish singer-songwriter and activist. The "We are the World" single, released March 7, 1985, and related Live Aid concerts that followed in July of the same year helped spur other releases and concerts over the next several decades that benefited charity.
Many consider the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh, headlined by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar at Madison Square Garden in New York City, to be the first modern benefit concert.
"We Are the World" was a hit – both as a single and as a fundraising device. It is reportedly one of fewer than 30 singles that have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. The song, and associated merchandise, eventually raised more than $60 million for African aid, initially aimed at victims of a devastating famine on the continent in the mid-1980s.
Other music-based charity fundraisers that followed this early effort include Farm Aid (1985), "America: A Tribute to Heroes" (2001), Live 8 (2005), Live Earth (2007), "We Are the World 25 for Haiti" (2010) and the Concert for Sandy Relief (2012).
Apple had a very good quarter — make that a great quarter. The company announced it made $18 billion in profit for the first quarter of its fiscal year, ending in December. Much of that profit was thanks to the popularity of the iPhone, especially in China, where iPhone sales doubled year over year.
But does that strength belie a potential weakness?
“The iPhone 6 was a great success, but how long can it last and what’s going to be the follow up?” asks Michael Obuchowski, an Apple shareholder and the portfolio manager of Concert Wealth Management. Even though earnings this quarter were strong, Obuchowski says it worries him that 70 percent of revenues were driven by a single product line: iPhones.
Companies that generate most of their sales from one product can be risky, says J.P. Eggers, a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business. But he thinks Apple’s narrow focus is a source of strength for the company, as it can improve innovation and result in better, higher quality products.
Ramon Llamas, research manager for IDC’s wearable and mobile phones programs, cautions betting against Apple, noting the company's long history of success in product development.
Hezbollah took responsibility for the attack and Israel returned fire, in one of the most serious flare ups of a long-running confrontation.
Author Chad Broughton's new book "Boom, Bust, Exodus: The Rust Belt, the Maquilas, and a Tale of Two Cities" takes a personal look at what happened when Maytag left Galesburg and reopened in Reynosa, Mexico.
"I played basketball with the manager at the Maytag factory ... everybody in town it seemed was connected to that factory," Broughton says.
Plant workers who had worked in the factory for decades were out of a job, left to find work outside of the only industry they knew. Many Galesburg residents were angered by Maytag's decision to leave town.
"They were very nationalistic, very patriotic," Broughton says. "They thought that this was a profoundly unpatriotic thing to do ... by this very American company, by this quintessentially American company, Maytag."
When Maytag relocated to Reynosa, Mexico, the company went from paying American workers $15.14 an hour, to paying Mexican workers $1.10 an hour - workers like Laura Flora, who found herself stranded in Mexico.
"She ended up kind of stuck there," Broughton says. "So she had to do what she had to do, which was work in these abundant low-skilled jobs, in the maquiladoras," the assembly plants in Mexico.
But the factory Flora worked in wouldn't last either. When Whirlpool bought Maytag, they moved the factory yet again, farther south, Broughton says.
In doing his research, Broughton says he's taken several walks through the now-decaying Maytag factory in Galesburg.
"It's so big still, even though only one third of it still stands," Broughton says. "When it was still entirely there, it took more than a mile to walk from one end to the other...."
The dilapidated plant, Broughton say, "feels hollow now."
Read an excerpt from the book here:
It's notoriously hard to get people to quit smoking. Pregnant women in Scotland were more apt to stop smoking if they got $600 in gift cards. But are those kinds of payments ethical?