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The Beacon Bulletin
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Library LATE Hours
Beginning in September 2012, the library will offer late hours for the school year on Tuesdays. Free homework help will be provided through www.homeworkla.org. The Tuesday Library Hours will be 5:00-8:00!
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On the Calendar:  Thursday, 3/5/2015 11:00 AM
~Red Beans & Blues Brunch~: DUE TO WEATHER: This event has been moved back to March 5. Join the Union Arts Council and the Union Parish Library as we host a Red Beans and Blues Brunch with local blues artist Slim Finley. Calendar

Business
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Wall Street closes up slightly ahead of jobs report

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeNEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed modestly higher in light trading on Thursday as investors held back on big bets ahead of Friday's jobs report, which is expected to be a big factor in influencing the timing of a Federal Reserve interest rate hike.

Thu, 05 Mar 2015 16:29:18 -0500
U.S. factory orders fall again in January

Workers operate the first assembly line started at the new Bicycle Corporation of America plant in Manning,WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New orders for U.S. factory goods unexpectedly fell in January, posting their sixth straight monthly decline.

Thu, 05 Mar 2015 10:12:38 -0500
Soft U.S. data hints at near-term hiccup in economic growth

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment aid last week rose to its highest level since May, but economists dismissed the increase as weather-related and said the jobs market remained solid. The reports, however, suggested some near-term weakness in economic growth. "The underlying fundamentals of the economy remain solid and there is no reason we won't continue to see the type of economic growth and job growth that we saw in 2014 continuing this year," said GusFaucher, senior economist at PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose by 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 320,000 for the week ended Feb. 28, the Labor Department said.

Thu, 05 Mar 2015 12:00:25 -0500
U.S. banks pass Fed capital test, trading books hurt

The United States Federal Reserve Board building is shown behind security barriers in WashingtonWASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - All 31 U.S. banks passed a test of how they would do in a next economic crisis, the Federal Reserve said on Thursday, but those with large trading books came out weak because of new elements in the check-up. The Fed had assumed a surge in corporate defaults in the toughest hypothetical scenario to test banks' resilience, which it said hit banks with large capital market activities.

Thu, 05 Mar 2015 17:02:15 -0500
NHTSA could tap unexercised authority to speed Takata recalls

Visitor walks past displays of Takata Corp at a showroom for vehicles in TokyoBy David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. auto safety regulators are considering unprecedented steps to speed up the replacement of potentially deadly Takata Corp air bags in millions of cars that remain on American roads despite massive recalls initiated by automakers. In a letter dated March 3, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration chief Mark Rosekind told Senator Bill Nelson that regulators had the authority to increase supply of replacement parts by requiring more manufacturers to produce them. If the NHTSA decides to exercise this right under the National Traffic and Motor Safety Act it would mark the first time the agency has done so since it was granted such authority in 2000. Rosekind, a former member ofthe National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates major accidents, took the helm of NHTSA in December as the agency weathered criticism for not responding more quickly to the Takata defects and another deadly problem involving faulty General Motors Co ignition switches.

Thu, 05 Mar 2015 18:19:50 -0500
AbbVie boosts cancer drug pipeline with $21 billion Pharmacyclics deal

A screen displays the share price for pharmaceutical maker AbbVie on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeAbbVie Inc is to buy Pharmacyclics Inc for about $21 billion, giving it access to what is expected to be one of the world's top-selling cancer drugs and expanding its reach in the profitable oncology field. The deal -- the latest example of a big drugmaker swooping on a biotech firm to refill its medicine pipeline -- confounds expectations that Pharmacyclics would sell out to Johnson & Johnson . AbbVie will pay $261.25 per share in cash and stock, a 13 percent premium to Pharmacyclics stock's closing price on Wednesday. AbbVie failed last October to buy Dublin-based Shire Plc for $55 billion after the United States took steps to deter such tax-lowering deals.

Thu, 05 Mar 2015 14:15:10 -0500
Volkswagen to announce $1 billion investment in Mexico: source

A Volkswagen Group logo is seen during a company event ahead of the 85th International Motor Show in GenevaGerman carmaker Volkswagen will next week announce an investment worth around $1 billion in Mexico to expand its Puebla plant, a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday. The investment, aimed at production of the carmaker's Tiguan compact, is due to be unveiled on Monday and is expected to generate about 1,900 jobs, the person said. Volkswagen spokeswoman Consuelo Minutti declined to comment. As of December, total investment in the auto sector in Mexico had reached $19 billion under President Enrique Pena Nieto, who took office two years earlier, the government says.

Thu, 05 Mar 2015 18:01:25 -0500
For the 'unbanked', mobile money still has some way to go

File photo of a customer conducting a mobile money transfer inside the Safaricom mobile phone care centre in NairobiGlobally, an estimated 2.5 billion people don't have a bank account, but many own a cellphone, fuelling a race to turn these phones into bank books for the 'unbanked' to store cash, manage their accounts, make purchases and send and receive money - part of so-called 'financial inclusion'. In a report this week, the GSMA, the association of mobile phone companies, said mobile money "has been growing at a dizzying rate." The Boston Consulting Group said last month mobile money transfers in sub-Saharan Africa alone could generate fees of up to $1.5 billion by 2019. "If you take out air-time, you have a true view of mobile money, and it's not a good story, more than a decade on," says South Africa-based Johan de Lange, who works with banks and phone companies.

Thu, 05 Mar 2015 16:20:33 -0500
Exclusive: Commerzbank nears $1.4 billion-plus settlement with U.S. - sources

A man walks past a branch of Commerzbank ahead of the bank's annual news conference in FrankfurtCommerzbank AG is nearing an agreement to pay U.S. authorities more than $1.4 billion to settle allegations it violated U.S. sanctions and a separate investigation that stemmed from the Olympus Corp accounting scandal, according to two people close to the case. Margarita Thiel, a spokeswoman for Commerzbank, Germany's second-largest lender, declined to comment. The U.S. Justice Department and other U.S. authorities involved also declined to comment. The other agencies include the U.S. Department of Treasury, the Federal Reserve, the Manhattan District Attorney's office, the U.S. Attorneys in Washington, D.C. and Manhattan, and New York's financial regulator, the Department of Financial Services.

Thu, 05 Mar 2015 16:19:09 -0500
BofA's $8.5 billion mortgage bond settlement wins approval

A Bank Of America sign is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New YorkBy Karen Freifeld and Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York state appeals court on Thursday approved Bank of America Corp's $8.5 billion settlement with mortgage securities investors in its entirety. Bank of America had agreed to the 2011 settlement with 22 institutional investors including BlackRock Inc, MetLife Inc and Allianz SE's Pacific Investment Management Co to resolve claims over $174 billion of mortgage securities issued by the former Countrywide Financial Corp. Many of these securities went into default after Bank of America bought Countrywide in 2008, leading to huge losses.

Thu, 05 Mar 2015 13:11:02 -0500
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