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Topics - Decks
« on: October 11, 2011, 11:44:55 PM »
Rising bank fees
Published: Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT Deseret News editorial
27 comments PRINT | FONT + -
Banking is likely to get a lot more expensive in the coming months. Already, the Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase have instituted fees for debit card transactions in some states. Industry analysts say consumers can expect the trend to expand and grow.
If you want to know who to blame for this, look no further than Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. Sure, it took a majority of Congress to pass the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation that passed not long after the start of the recession, but it was Durbin's amendment to that law that inserted government into debit card interchange fees that previously had been set by the private market.
Bank of America annouced its plans to start charging a $5 monthly fee for customers using their debit card for purchases starting early in 2012. In the past, banks charged merchants an average of 44 cents per sale in order to process debit-card transactions. Durbin agreed with major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Walgreens and Target that this was excessive. So he inserted an amendment that called upon the Federal Reserve to set interchange fees. The Fed did so by cutting the fees to about 24 cents, including a penny for fraud prevention, which takes effect today.
It may be argued that the previous 44-cent fee was not based on the market cost of servicing debit transactions, but it's fairly safe to say that banks and merchants are better equipped to determine that price than Washington bureaucrats. The Nilson Report, which monitors debit-card payments, said banks earned $19 billion through those fees in 2009. With that figure cut in half, it is natural to expect banks to recover their losses in some way, and that means charging consumers. Decades of fee-free debit transactions and other services are in jeopardy.
Aggie Fun Fest Returns
Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
GREENSBORO - North Carolina A&T's Department of Athletics is ready to kick off its annual Sodexo Aggie Fun Fest to introduce its fall sports teams and usher in another action-packed season. The Sodexo Aggie Fun Fest will be held 10 a.m. - 2p.m., Saturday, August 20 at Aggie Stadium.
Aggie fans and the community can enjoy a fun-filled day of activities, music, food and show-off their talents with karaoke. The N.C. A&T cross country, volleyball and football teams will be on hand to meet and greet fans and sign autographs.
Fun Fest goers will also have a chance to meet the N.C. A&T cheerleaders and hear the awesome sounds of the N.C. A&T Blue & Gold Marching Machine. This event is free and open to the public. Fans are invited to bring their cameras to take pictures with their favorite players, coaches, cheerleaders and band members.
"Our objective for this event is to allow the community to meet some of the outstanding student-athletes who attend North Carolina A&T," said Earl Hilton, the Aggies' Director of Athletics. "We want our fans, alumni, family and friends to have fun and be a part of all that is wonderful about Aggie Athletics."
The Aggies open their 2011 season on September 3 at Aggie Stadium against Virginia University of Lynchburg. Game time is slated for 4 p.m. For more information, call 336.334.7686 or visit www.ncataggies.com.
Aggie Football Presents The East State Roll Out
Meet Rod Broadway, Head Football Coach
When: Saturday, July 23, 2011
Where: Hilton Hotel
207 SW Greenville Blvd.
Greenville, NC 27834
Time: 6:00 p.m – 9:00 p.m.
RSVP by: July 8, 2011
Email: Shaun Johnson
Aggie Football Presents The West State Roll Out
When: July 30, 2011
Where: Hilton Charlotte University Place
8629 J.M. Keynes Drive
Charlotte, NC 28262
Time: 6:00 p.m – 9:00 p.m.
RSVP by: July 15, 2011
Email: Shaun Johnson
« on: June 13, 2011, 11:06:02 PM »
Racial hoax causes PR headache for McDonald’s
An online hoax that falsely suggests McDonald's discriminates against African-American customers is causing a PR headache for the Golden Arches.
Over the weekend, the photograph above circulated widely on the internet. The image shows what looks like an official McDonald's notice in the window of a restaurant, telling customers that blacks will be charged $1.50 extra "as an insurance measure due in part to a recent string of robberies."
Many internet users retweeted the photo, using the words "Seriously McDonald's," to express their disapproval of the burger chain.
In response, McDonald's sent a tweet of its own on Saturday: "That pic is a senseless & ignorant hoax McD's values ALL our customers. Diversity runs deep in our culture on both sides of the counter."
« on: May 29, 2011, 10:37:33 AM »
Just found out we have company coming over this afternoon for an impromptu barbeque. I just went to the store and got some baby back ribs. Normally I like to put my rub on an wrap em at least a full day in advance.
Can I still get them flavorful and tender this late? My in laws are strongly suggesting that I boil them first (ugggh).
Franklin Graham: The next Falwell?
By Tim Funk
Published in: Faith & Values
As he gives sound bites condemning Islam, promoting top Republicans and raising questions about President Barack Obama's Christianity, North Carolina's Franklin Graham is sounding less these days like the next Billy Graham and more like the new Jerry Falwell.
In the younger Graham's controversial comments - offered recently and over the years on a host of TV news shows - religion scholars, political historians and even some of Graham's fellow evangelical Christians say they hear strident echoes of the combative Falwell.
Throughout the 1980s, as head of the Moral Majority, Falwell lambasted liberals, forged alliances with the GOP and elevated issues such as abortion, homosexuality and public prayer.
The 58-year-old Graham, who came of age in a more religiously pluralistic America than the one that made his father famous, has spoken out against Islam in a way that American Muslims say encourages prejudice - and worse - against them. And though Billy Graham lost some credibility for promoting Richard Nixon during a time of American discord, his son readily mixes theological commentary with doses of political punditry.
Franklin Graham commands no Moral Majority-like political operation, though he told the Observer he wouldn't rule out launching one "if I thought it could save this country" from Washington politicians of both parties "who have wheeled and dealed, spent the money of our grandchildren and put us in a debt hole."
He does lead two large evangelical organizations - Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Together, they reach millions of mostly conservative Christians via TV specials, websites, crusadelike festivals, a magazine, the Billy Graham Library and more.
And as a Graham, he's royalty in evangelical circles - a status that offers him a potentially formidable megaphone. He has easy access to everybody from pastors to politicians, from Christian music stars to TV talk show hosts. At Fox News, nighttime host Greta Van Susteren and her camera crew have followed Graham around the world, doing stories on him from North Korea, Haiti and the Operation Christmas Child warehouse in Charlotte.
Graham, who lives in Boone with his wife, Jane, is widely lauded for his humanitarian efforts as CEO of Samaritan's Purse, a Christian charity. And, so far, he appears to have kept the Gospel message center stage at his festivals.
But as the country prepares to move into another presidential election year, Graham has increasingly veered into politics.
The most obvious example involves possible GOP presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
In 2009, he sent a Samaritan's Purse plane to pick up Palin, then on a book tour, and bring her to Montreat to have dinner with him and Billy Graham. Late last year, Palin flew to Haiti for a highly publicized inspection, with Graham, of relief efforts by Samaritan's Purse. And, this year, after pundits criticized Palin for her gun imagery in the wake of the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Graham put out a news release defending the former Alaska governor.
Type in "Sarah Palin" on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website and up comes a video of "Sarah Palin on Finding Faith" and photos of her cradling babies in Haiti.
On Easter Sunday I was extremely disappointed to see a respected man of God join the lunatic fringe with this birther foolishnes. Even more appaling was Graham questioning the president's christianity. The icing on the cake was him practically giving his endorsement to Donald Trump who is a known adulterer, filed bankruptcy, owns gambling casinos, been accused of unethical business practices and until recently was pro abortion? Is this the type of candidate that a conservative christian leader should openly support?
The next time Graham shows up at my church to speak(even if we'll have him again) I am going to get up and walk out on him.
« on: April 15, 2011, 12:20:30 AM »
US Navy's laser test could put heat on pirates
By JASON STRAZIUSO, Associated Press Jason Straziuso, Associated Press
Wed Apr 13, 6:05 pm ET
NAIROBI, Kenya – A ship-based laser tested by the U.S. Navy's research arm could put the heat on Somali pirates.
The Navy for the first time last week successfully tested a solid-state high-energy laser from a ship. The beam, which was aimed at a boat moving through turbulent Pacific Ocean waters, set the target's engine on fire.
The Office of Naval Research says the laser traveled over "miles, not yards." For now, the test is a proof of concept, and it's not yet known when it might be deployed as a weapon.
The baseball-sized laser beam, though, could be used to stop small crafts from approaching naval ships. It could also target pirates.
"You can use the laser to ward off an attack, or you can dial it down to a non-lethal level where it basically becomes a very bright light so they know they are being targeted," Michael Deitchman, the director of air warfare and weapons at the Office of Naval Research, said Wednesday.
I never though I'd ever see this happen!!
2011 Subway Runs Past McDonald's Chain
By JULIE JARGON
It's official: the Subway sandwich chain has surpassed McDonald's Corp. as the world's largest restaurant chain, in terms of units.
At the end of last year, Subway had 33,749 restaurants worldwide, compared to McDonald's 32,737. The burger giant disclosed its year-end store count in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing late last month.
The race for global dominance is an important one for an industry that's mostly saturated in the U.S. High unemployment and economic uncertainty have battered the restaurant industry in the U.S., and chains are increasingly looking overseas for growth, particularly in Asia.
Julie Jargon explains why McDonald's has lost its title as the world's largest restaurant chain and which rival now holds that distinction.
Starbucks Corp. recently said it plans to triple its number of outlets in China, for example. Dunkin' Brands Inc., parent of Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, plans to open thousands of new outlets in China in coming years as well as its first stores in Vietnam in the next 18 months. Subway just opened its 1,000th location in Asia, including its first in Vietnam.
Subway, which opened its first international restaurant in 1984, in Bahrain, expects its number of international restaurants to exceed its domestic ones by 2020, says Don Fertman, Subway's Chief Development Officer. The chain currently has just over 24,000 restaurants in the U.S., where it generated $10.5 billion of its $15.2 billion in revenue last year.
« on: December 09, 2010, 06:54:08 PM »
Appalachian State Observations
By Jim Utter
Posted: Sunday, Dec. 05, 2010
Appalachian State's marching band voluntarily gave up its halftime performance on Saturday so the grounds crew could clear the field of snow, which fell most of the game. The move was much appreciated by Mountaineers coach Jerry Moore. "Those kids get one shot at center stage to show their stuff and they gave that up today so we could plow that field," he said. "I've been here for 22 years and we've never played a game in the snow."
Read more: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2010/12/05/1888092_appalachian-state-observations.html#ixzz17f5RF8Qg