Stun guns are the new weapons:Fla. teen dies after being shocked by police http://t.co/NFXnFWRVKF
How Virginia’s Attorney General would turn thousands of high school students into felony sex offenders http://t.co/UBvbiqmV6l #icymi
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal magistrate has ordered BP to pay more than $130 million in fees to the court-supervised administrator of its multibillion-dollar settlement with Gulf Coast businesses and residents after the company’s 2010 oil spill. U.S. Magistrate Sally Shushan ruled Wednesday that BP is obligated to fund the settlement program’s third-quarter budget even though BP complains that its administrator, Patrick Juneau, hasn’t provided adequate documentation for the requested money.
Shushan did say that BP has “legitimate concerns” about Juneau’s operation of the program. In a letter Monday, BP claims official Maria Travis claimed the program is plagued with problems. In a separate action, BP has asked a federal judge to suspend settlement payments while former FBI Director Louis Freeh investigates allegations of misconduct by an attorney who worked on Juneau’s staff.
What is the likelihood of her being pardoned? FIND OUT what one attorney has to say >>> http://on.thegrio.com/19LMmqR
Many aren’t quite hitting the right balance. Hundreds of dissatisfied workers at major American companies like Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500), McDonald’s (MCD, Fortune 500) and Wendy’s (WEN) have joined protests nationwide in the past year demanding higher wages and better benefits.
One company that hasn’t had to deal with such strikes is Costco.The no-frills warehouse chain pays its hourly workers an average of just over $20 an hour, compared to just under $13 at competitor Wal-Mart. Even President Obama praised Costco in a recent speech about helping the middle class. The recession has been good for companies that targeted budget-minded customers. Sales at Costco (COST, Fortune 500) have grown an average of 13% annually since 2009, while profits have risen 15%. Its stock price has more than doubled since 2009.During the same period, discount retailer Wal-Mart’s sales grew an average of 4.5% each year, profits rose 7%, and its stock price increased 70%.
Costco seems to be investing some of those profits back into its employees.
Cesar Martinez, a 37-year-old fork lift operator, has worked at a Costco in North California for 19 years. He makes $22.82 an hour, gets health benefits and a pension plan. He manages to save, and doesn’t worry about hospital bills for his daughter, who suffers from asthma.”That’s the reason why I’ve been here for so long,” he said. “The company gives you a decent wage and treats you with respect and takes care of you. That’s why we all give 100%.”
Some experts say companies aren’t able to adopt the Costco model, because they can’t charge its $55 annual membership fee.
The first lady turned to hip-hop to her promote childhood obesity campaign.
She is distributing a hip-hop album complete with 10 music videos and 19 tracks to support her “Let’s Move!” nutrition program.
FIND OUT MORE HERE >>> http://on.thegrio.com/13E5cNb
Japan on Tuesday unveiled its largest warship since World War II, an 820-foot-long, 19,500-ton flattop capable of carrying 14 helicopters, according to media reports. The ship, named the Izumo, is classified as a helicopter destroyer, though its flattop design makes it look like an aircraft carrier.
8 Costs to Consider When Buying a Rental Property
No. 1: Mortgage requirements
Investment properties are considered riskier because the home is not your primary residence. Expect to pay roughly 1.5% more than the mortgage rates you see advertised. The down payment requirements for a fixed and adjustable 1-unit structure would be about 15% and 25%, respectively. If 2 to 4 units, those down payment requirements jump to 25% and 35%, respectively.
No. 2: Property taxes
Depending on where you purchase, property taxes can add significantly to the property cost. Be sure to contact the municipality directly to ensure that the taxes listed on the Multiple Listing Service are accurate. It’s also a good idea to find out what services those taxes include. For example, does that include garbage removal?
No. 3: Homeowners insurance
Insurance can vary significantly depending on your region, especially if your home is located in an area prone to flooding, fires or other perils. Be sure to discuss rates with an insurance representative prior to entering a contract on the property.
No. 4: Maintenance
Charleston, S.C., landlord Lin Bennett keeps a pool of money equal to about $100 per month per property on hand in case she needs to repair one of her seven rental units. Whitbeck says it’s a good idea to budget 10 to 15% of the annual property rent for maintenance and upkeep of the property, in addition to any tenant-caused damage that should be covered by security deposits.
“To get the maximum value of your property when you want to sell it, you’re going to have to keep it in good condition,” he says.
No. 5: Association fees
Some condominiums and homeowners associations have monthly fees associated with them.Include these in your budget and be sure there are no rules against rentals.
No. 6: Utilities
While utilities like gas and electric are often the responsibility of the tenant, some services, like water and sewer, might be included in the rent. If you plan to include utilities in your rental price, get an estimate from the utility companies of the average monthly usage.
No. 7: Tenant search
Finding good tenants also carries expenses. Hiring a property manager or real estate agent to handle the search for you will carry an additional cost that varies considerably by market.
No. 8: Vacancy allowance
Landlords do not assume the house will be rented 12 months out of the year. It’s essential to understand your market to understand how long rental properties typically stay on the market.
If you’ve tallied up these expenses and you’re still in the black, a rental property might be a good investment. Budget carefully and stay on top of rent collections to ensure your property pays off.