Top Stories

  • Study: Hollywood execs have own 'war on women,' choking off major roles, salary from women

    Published: Wed, Feb 19, 2014

    Hollywood executives, many of whom supported President Obama's claim that the GOP is engaged in a “war on women,” reports the Washington Examiner, are overseeing an entertainment industry that shuts women out of key roles, director and producer positions and even big, male-sized, paychecks, according to a new and massive survey of women in media. In their third annual Status of Women in the U.S. Media, 2014, the Women's Media Center revealed that women represented just 28.8 percent of speaking characters in the top grossing films of 2012, had just 16 percent of the top executive movie jobs in 2013, and of the 16 biggest paychecks for actors per film, not one went to a female actress. The top earning actress, Angelina Jolie, earned $33 million, roughly the same amount as the two lowest-ranked men on that list.

  • Student debt is terrible, in charts

    Published: Tue, Feb 18, 2014

    Citing a report released Tuesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Washington Post's Wonkblog reports that the country's student loan debt isn't easing and still tops $1 trillion. The report allso found that student debt remains the second largest source of household debt behind mortgages. Overall, consumer debt, including mortgages, auto loans and credit cards, increased by $241 billion during the fourth quarter of last year – the largest quarter to quarter jump since the third quarter of 2007. Wonkblog's also got a handful of charts examining the state of student loan debt. Have a look over at WaPo .

  • Bye, Black Friday? Presidents Day has better online sale deals

    Published: Mon, Feb 17, 2014

    Black Friday might be the most hyped (and most frenzied) shopping day of the year, but newly released data suggest discount hunters may well find better deals on Presidents Day from the comfort of their own laptops, Forbes reports. Personal shopping site Shop It To Me analyzed more than 1 million sale items available online from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2013, and found Presidents Day was the best holiday to buy, with an average discount of 47% off on that Monday. By way of comparison, Black Friday online retail sales averaged 44% off, per the data mined by Shop It To Me founder Charlie Graham, who found that deals were also superior on Labor Day (46% off), July 4th (45% off) and Columbus Day (45%).

  • Pennsylvania governor calls for investigation into Chesapeake's royalty payments

    Published: Fri, Feb 14, 2014

    Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is calling for an investigation into allegations of fraud against Pennsylvania’s biggest natural gas driller, Chesapeake Energy Corp., StateImpactPA reports. Corbett sent a letter to Chesapeake’s CEO Doug Lawler, saying he has asked the state's attorney general to investigate allegations the company is shortchanging landowners on natural gas royalty payments. “I have received complaints from my constituents and your leaseholders regarding practices of Chesapeake Energy which strike many as unfair and perhaps illegal.” Corbett wrote. ”I remain disappointed that the complaints continue to go unheeded.”

  • Luxury CEO: The poor should stop whining

    Published: Wed, Feb 12, 2014

    Bud Konheim has a message for all of the 99 percenters: You're luckier than you think. Konheim, CEO and co-founder of luxury-fashion company Nicole Miller, said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday that Americans not in the top 1 percent would be considered wealthy in most of the world. He said the 99ers should stop complaining and understand how lucky they are.

  • AOL chief reverses changes to policy after bad publicity over 'distressed babies'

    Published: Mon, Feb 10, 2014

    AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong told employees in an e-mail Saturday evening that he was reversing the company’s 401(k) policy and apologized for his controversial comments last week, the Washington Post reports. The decision came after days of pressure on the company. Many employees were angered by a report by The Washington Post that retirement benefits were being changed. Armstrong tried to explain the changes Thursday but instead stirred up more bad publicity when he blamed the new federal health-care law and medical expenses associated with two “distressed babies.”

  • Kevin Durant shoe sales skyrocketed in 2013 - up $140 million

    Published: Thu, Feb 6, 2014

    Besides Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant was the big winner in the sneaker sales game in 2014. According to Sports One Source researcher Matt Powell, Durant's shoe sales by player had the highest uptick from 2012 to 2013 - jumping from just $35 million in 2012 to $175 million in 2013. Sports One Source specializes in industry news and market research. Durant still trailed Jordan ($2.25 billion) and LeBron James ($300 million) in total sales, but no one besides Jordan had a higher increase in the last year than KD.

  • Assault on California power station raises alarm on potential for terrorism

    Published: Wed, Feb 5, 2014

    A sniper attack in April that knocked out an electrical substation near San Jose, Calif., has raised fears that the country's power grid is vulnerable to terrorism, the Wall Street Journal reports. Nobody has been arrested or charged in the attack at PG&E Corp.'s Metcalf transmission substation. It is an incident of which few Americans are aware. But one former federal regulator is calling it a terrorist act that, if it were widely replicated across the country, could take down the U.S. electric grid and black out much of the country.

  • Senate report: Agencies are ill-prepared for cyberattacks

    Published: Tue, Feb 4, 2014

    The message broadcast in several states last winter was equal parts alarming and absurd: “Civil authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living. . . . Do not attempt to approach or apprehend these bodies, as they are considered extremely dangerous.” The reported zombie invasion was not something out of the “The Walking Dead.” It was the federal Emergency Alert System under control of hackers — who exploited weaknesses that are disturbingly common in many critical systems throughout government, according to a Senate cybersecurity report set for release Tuesday.

  • Sanitation Worker Forced To Retire For Accepting $20 Tip

    Published: Tue, Feb 4, 2014

    A New York City sanitation worker has been forced to take early retirement for accepting a $20 tip while on the job. A resident gave Lenworth Dixon the tip for helping remove a large amount of furniture and other trash in front of her Queens home in September, the New York Post reported.

  • Just who is Microsoft's Satya Nadella?

    Published: Tue, Feb 4, 2014

    Microsoft's search for the heir to CEO Steve Ballmer, a process that dragged for months and touched off the biggest parlor games in tech of Name That CEO, has finally come to and end with an insider selection, according to USA TODAY. But who is incoming-Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella? Microsoft's veteran executive — he's been with the software giant for more than two decades — had been running its enterprise and cloud businesses.

  • USA Today reveals winners of consumer-judged Super Bowl ads

    Published: Mon, Feb 3, 2014

    This puppy just couldn't lose, says USA Today. Budweiser's precious puppy has pranced off with the best-of-breed ribbon for Super Bowl commercials. For the second consecutive year — and the 12th time in the past 14 years — Anheuser-Busch has earned one the most coveted of U.S. advertising honors, winning USA TODAY's consumer-judged Ad Meter for Super Bowl commercials.

  • Almost Everything You Have Been Told About The Minimum Wage Is False

    Published: Thu, Jan 30, 2014

    The Democrats, their union supporters, and liberals in general are making a hard and concerted push for an increase in the minimum wage. President Obama mentioned the subject prominently in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night and even promised to take executive action to increase the minimum wage federal contractors must pay their workers starting in 2015. While Republicans and small business owners are sure to resist this push, it is important that everyone on both sides debates the issue with the correct facts. Much of what you hear about the minimum wage is completely untrue. First, people should acknowledge that this rather heated policy discussion is over a very small group of people. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are about 3.6 million workers at or below the minimum wage (you can be below legally under certain conditions). That is 2.5 percent of all workers and 1.5 percent of the population of potential workers. Within that small group, 31 percent are teenagers and 55 percent are 25 years old or younger. That leaves only about 1.1 percent of all workers over 25 and 0.8 percent of all Americans over 25 earning the minimum wage.

  • Foundations band together to get rid of fossil-fuel investments

    Published: Thu, Jan 30, 2014

    Seventeen foundations controlling nearly $1.8 billion in investments have united to commit to pulling their money out of companies that do business in fossil fuels, the group plans to announce on Thursday, the New York Times reports. The move is a victory for a developing divestiture campaign that has found success largely among small colleges and environmentally conscious cities, but has not yet won over the wealthiest institutions like Harvard, Brown and Swarthmore.

  • Watch: Puppy love will melt hearts in Budweiser ad

    Published: Thu, Jan 30, 2014

    Budweiser released a new ad, following closely in its heart-melting trend of adorable animals teaching us all a thing or two about true love and friendship. (Remember last year?) And USA Today guesses, beer. Watch what happens when this 10-week-old puppy is taken away from its favorite friend. And have tissues ready. Passenger's hit song Let Her Go underscores this sweet ad.

  • 5 Interview Skills That Will Get You Hired

    Published: Tue, Jan 28, 2014

    Job interviews are arguably some of the most important meetings you will ever have in your life. The outcome of an interview can greatly affect your career trajectory, whether it means you continue along your planned path or start a new one to find a more fulfilling occupation. Regardless of the position you're trying to get, it's important to thoroughly prepare for the interview. In addition to knowing why you're a good fit for the job, brushing up on basic interview skills is always a good idea. Hiring experts shared five of the most important skills to focus on if you want to get hired.

  • Boone Pickens-backed company hopes natural gas-powered autos fuel its first profit

    Published: Mon, Jan 27, 2014

    Clean Energy Fuels Corp., the California company that builds and operates natural gas filling stations for some of the nation's biggest bus and truck fleets, is banking on corporate customers to buy more clean-energy vehicles this year, the Los Angeles Times reports. Executives hope that a growing fleet will boost sales of natural gas and propel Clean Energy to its first annual profit since its 1997 founding by Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens, the onetime oil baron and corporate raider, and the company's chief executive, Andrew Littlefair. Clean Energy has become one of the biggest players in the industry with customers such as Frito-Lay North America Inc., Proctor & Gamble Co., United Parcel Service Inc., Ryder System Inc. and home improvement chain Lowe's Cos.

  • Chesapeake, ex-CEO fighting over Louisiana drilling program

    Published: Thu, Jan 23, 2014

    Nine months after being ousted at Chesapeake Energy Corp., former CEO Aubrey McClendon is fighting the company over its drilling program in northwest Louisiana’s Haynesville Shale, The Advocate newspaper reports. McClendon’s Larchmont Resources LLC has asked the state Office of Conservation to approve 12 alternate-unit wells on four units — each around 640 acres — in Bossier Parish. Chesapeake already operates a well on each of those units. Larchmont says the current wells are leaving the bulk of the produceable natural gas in the ground. Cheseapeake has asked the state to reject those applications, saying among other things that Chesapeake and the firms that own 80 percent or more of those leases don’t want Larchmont, which owns 2.5 percent, deciding when and where drilling will take place.

  • Madoff suffered heart attack in prison last month

    Published: Wed, Jan 22, 2014

    Convicted fraudster Bernard Madoff is back in prison after being hospitalized for a heart attack last month, CNBC has learned. Madoff, 75, also has stage four kidney disease, but is not receiving dialysis.

  • OfficeMax Sends Letter to "Daughter Killed in Car Crash"

    Published: Mon, Jan 20, 2014

    A suburban Chicago couple who lost their teenage daughter in a car crash last year feels as if they were victimized again after receiving a letter from OfficeMax Thursday. The envelope was addressed to Mike Seay, but the second line read "Daughter Killed in Car Crash.