Storm aid forum; other business briefs

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LONG ISLAND


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Storm aid forum for homeowners

Homeowners having trouble paying their mortgage or navigating the insurance process after superstorm Sandy can get advice from experts at a free event Saturday in Westbury. HOPE NOW, a Washington-based financial services group, has arranged for representatives of 14 mortgage service companies, seven insurers, five housing counselor groups and several government agencies to meet with homeowners affected by the Oct. 29 storm. The one-on-one sessions will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Joseph M. Barry Career and Technical Educational Center at 1196 Prospect Ave. No advance registration is required. Homeowners should bring a monthly mortgage statement and information about their insurance coverage and annual income. For information, go to hopenow.com-- James T. Madore

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NATION


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Honda recalls 807,000 vehicles

Honda is recalling more than 807,000 minivans and SUVs because they can roll away even though drivers have removed the keys from the ignition. The recall affects older-model Odysseys, Pilot SUVs and Acura MDX SUVs, all with automatic transmissions. The mechanism that locks the key in the ignition while the vehicles are in gear can wear out. When that happens, drivers of the vans and SUVs are able to remove keys without shifting into park. Some have left the vehicles, which have rolled off unexpectedly while in gear. Owners reported 16 crashes due to the problem.


Facebook revises privacy control

Facebook says it's trying to make its privacy controls easier to find and understand in an effort to turn the world's largest social network into a more discreet place. The fine-tuning announced Wednesday will include several revisions that will start rolling out to Facebook's more than 1 billion users during the next few weeks and continue into early next year. The most visible change will be a new "privacy shortcuts" section that appears as a tiny lock on the right-hand side at the top of people's news feeds. It offers a drop-down box where users can get answers to common questions such as "Who can see my stuff?" Other updates will include a tool that enables users to review all the publicly available pictures identifying them on Facebook and offers suggestions on how to request that an embarrassing photo be removed.


Avon to cut 1,500 jobs

Avon Products plans to cut about 1,500 jobs and exit two Asian markets, as the struggling beauty products seller starts on a broad restructuring plan in an effort to turn around results. The job cuts amount to almost 4 percent of its workforce and mark one of the first major moves by CEO Sheri McCoy. McCoy was brought on in April to replace longtime CEO Andrea Jung at Avon, a direct seller of beauty products like Skin So Soft lotion and Mark cosmetics. Avon said the job cuts span all regions and functions. The 1,500 cuts include 100 employees in Vietnam and South Korea, which Avon will exit entirely. The Manhattan-based company said it plans to focus on high-priority markets as part of a push to save $400 million.


Teen to meet Easy-Bake team

A New Jersey girl who started a campaign calling for an Easy-Bake Oven in gender-neutral colors is planning to meet with the people who design it. Toy maker Hasbro says it has invited 13-year-old McKenna Pope and her family to meet with the Easy-Bake team Monday at its Pawtucket, R.I., headquarters. Hasbro's Julie Duffy says they invited McKenna in to listen to her thoughts and ideas. McKenna was prompted to start an online petition after she wanted to buy an Easy-Bake Oven for her 4-year-old brother and found them only in purple and pink. Several top chefs, including Bobby Flay, have since asked Hasbro to make them in more colors. -- AP

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