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Wage rallies at fast-food sites; more business briefs


Wage rallies at fast-food sites

Fast food workers protested Thursday in front of several New York City restaurants to demand higher wages. Organizers said hundreds of demonstrators were expected at dozens of fast food establishments, including McDonald's, Domino's, Wendy's and Pizza Hut. McDonald's worker Linda Archer said she can't survive on the $8 an hour she earns after three years on the job. McDonald's said in a statement that it values and respects all the employees who work at its restaurants. The protesters want fast food restaurants to pay $15 per hour; those workers now earn an average of $8.25 per hour. New York's minimum wage is $7.25 but the State Legislature last month voted to raise it to $9 by 2016.


Best Buy hosts Samsung kiosks

Shares of Best Buy jumped 16.07 percent Thursday after the company announced plans to create store-within-store kiosks for Samsung products -- a vote of confidence from a major consumer electronics maker that the brick-and-mortar format is still an important way to sell products. Best Buy has battled the "showrooming" effect as more people browse in stores and then buy the same items cheaper online. Under the deal, the chain will offer Samsung dedicated kiosks at 1,400 Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores. Shops will offer the full range of Samsung's mobile products, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, cameras and accessories.

Jailed Enron exec may get deal

The U.S. Justice Department says it is discussing possibly entering into an agreement with former Enron Corp. CEO Jeffrey Skilling which might reduce his prison sentence of more than 24 years. The possibility of a sentencing agreement was made public this week in a notice to victims of Enron's collapse. Skilling has been in prison since December 2006. He is currently serving his sentence in a low-security facility outside Denver. Michael Passman, a Justice Department spokesman, declined to comment. Daniel Petrocelli, Skilling's attorney, did not immediately return a phone call and an email seeking comment. Former Enron employee George Maddox, who lost $1.3 million in retirement savings when the energy giant collapsed, said he doesn't think Skilling should have his sentenced reduced. "I think he should serve [his sentence] like any other common criminal," he said.

Walgreen expands store clinics

Walgreen Co. has stretched the reach of its drugstore clinics beyond treating ankle sprains and sinus infections to handling chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure. The company, based in Deerfield, Ill., said yesterday most of its roughly 370 in-store Take Care Clinics now will diagnose, treat and monitor patients with some chronic conditions that are typically handled by doctors. Walgreen's decision follows a move by competitor CVS Caremark Corp. a few years ago to start monitoring chronic conditions at most of its 640 MinuteClinics. Drugstores say they don't aim to replace doctors, but the move has drawn concern from doctors who say that can disrupt their relationships with patients and lead to fragmented care.

Ohio paper cuts back delivery

The Plain Dealer in Cleveland announced Thursday it is cutting back home delivery of the newspaper to three days a week. Ohio's largest daily will still be printed every day and be available for purchase at thousands of outlets in northeast Ohio, publisher Terry Egger said. A new digitally focused media company called Northeast Ohio Media Group will be responsible for all ad sales and marketing for The Plain Dealer and oversee the operation of the website. The newspaper is owned by New York City-based Advance Publications Inc. Other Advance papers, such as the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, have cut their schedules to three days a week.-- AP

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