McDonald’s profit, sales decline in 3Q

OAK BROOK, Ill. • McDonald’s says its profit and sales declined as the world’s biggest hamburger chain saw customer traffic fall around the world.

The company said sales fell 3.3 percent globally and in the U.S. during the third quarter. In the region encompassing Asia, where a major McDonald’s supplier was shown on TV repackaging expired beef, the figure fell 9.9 percent.

“By all measures our performance fell short of our expectations,” CEO Don Thompson said.

In the U.S., McDonald’s Corp. is fighting to hold onto customers amid intensifying competition and shifting tastes toward food people consider more wholesome. In hopes of improving its image, McDonald’s last week launched a social media campaign inviting customers to ask questions about its food. It began with frank questions like, “Why doesn’t your food rot?” and “Is the McRib made from real pork?”, showing just how bad some of the perceptions about McDonald’s food can be.

Affordability is another issue, with CEO Don Thompson noting that the people who tend to go to McDonald’s are struggling more financially than customers who might go to other chains.

In August, the company said it was bringing back longtime McDonald’s executive Mike Andres as president of the U.S. division, marking the second change in less than two years.

Over in China, an undercover TV report this summer showed one of its major suppliers repackaging expired meat. The plant stopped operations and many of McDonald’s restaurants in the country were left unable to sell burgers, chicken nuggets and other items. The chain’s reputation took a hit as well.

For the quarter, revenue declined to $6.99 billion, short of the $7.23 billion Wall Street expected. Net income declined to $1.07 billion, or $1.09 per share. Adjusted for one-time costs, earnings were $1.52 per share. Analysts expected $1.37 per share.

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Pilots at Lufthansa to start 35-hour strike Monday

BERLIN (AP) — A union representing Lufthansa’s pilots has announced a new 35-hour strike against the airline’s short-haul fleet starting Monday, the latest in a string of walkouts over retirement benefits.

The Vereinigung Cockpit union said the strike targeting Lufthansa’s Airbus A320, Boeing 737 and Embraer fleet will start mid-Monday and end at midnight local time Tuesday.

The two sides are fighting over the pilots’ demand that Lufthansa keep paying a transition payment for those wanting to retire early. The airline, facing tough competition from budget airlines and major Gulf carriers, wants to cut those payments.

The Lufthansa strike will start hours after train drivers at Germany’s national railway end a two-day walkout in an unrelated pay dispute. Their union says it won’t strike again for the next week.

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Recalls this week: toy toasters, folding tables

A line of toy toaster sets sold at Toys R Us are being recalled because part of the toy can pose a laceration or choking hazard to children. Other products being recalled this week include faulty folding tables and television wall mounts.

Here’s a more detailed look:

TOY TOASTER SETS

DETAILS: Just Like Home brand toy toaster sets sold at Toys R Us stores nationwide and online at www.toysrus.com from July 2013 through August 2014. The set was sold with two plastic toast slices and two plastic half bagel slice accessories. Model number 5F60589 is printed on a white label on the bottom of the toaster and above the UPC bar code in the lower right hand corner of the product packaging.

WHY: The plastic toast, under pressure, can crack and break into small pieces creating sharp edges and posing a choking hazard.

INCIDENTS: None reported.

HOW MANY: About 30,000 in the U.S. and about 6,000 in Canada.

FOR MORE: Call Toys R Us at 800-869-7787 anytime or visit www.toysrus.com and click on “News/Press Room” under the About Us tab at the bottom of the page, then click on the Safety tab and Product Recalls for more information.

FOLDING TABLES

DETAILS: The Ashland Summer Living Vintage Wood Folding Table. SKU 309950 and UPC 886946388804 are printed on a hangtag on the tables. Phase MDF and 01276 are printed on a black and white label under the table. They were sold at Michaels Stores nationwide from April 2014 to May 2014.

WHY: The folding tables can collapse under excessive weight, posing an impact or falling hazard.

INCIDENTS: Four reports of consumers sitting on the tabletop and falling when the tables collapsed, resulting in injuries to the back, leg or hip.

HOW MANY: About 8,400.

FOR MORE: Call Michaels at 800-642-4235 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT Saturday, or visit www.michaels.com and click on “Contact Us.”

TELEVISION WALL MOUNTS

DETAILS: Sanus Simplicity SLF5 flat screen television wall mounts. The words “Sanus Simplicity” are located on the top left corner of the box the product is sold in and on the instructions manual. The words are not found directly on the product. The model number SLF5 can be found on the product label sticker located on the metal wall plate, under the plastic cover that covers the top horizontal bar. They were sold at Costco from July 2013 to September 2014.

WHY: The nut securing the television to the main arm assembly can loosen, causing the attached television to become detached from the arm assembly, posing an impact hazard.

INCIDENTS: Two reports of the television becoming detached from the arm assembly. One injury to a shoulder has been reported.

HOW MANY: About 207,000.

FOR MORE: Call Milestone at 877-277-3707 from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. CT Monday through Friday and 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CT Saturday and Sunday or visit www.milestone.com and click on “Recall Information” at the lower right corner for more information.

OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLES

DETAILS: All models of the 2014 Honda Pioneer 700 recreational off-highway vehicle faxless cash advance. The recalled vehicles came in two-seat and four-seat models and were black with camouflage, olive or red hood and trim pieces. “HONDA” is on the front grill and rear tail gate. “Pioneer 700″ appears on a tab on the sides of the vehicle just behind the driver’s and front passenger’s seats. They were sold at authorized Honda powersports dealers nationwide from August 2013 through September 2014.The model and serial numbers are on a certification label affixed to the top rear of the driver’s side front wheel well. The following model numbers and serial number ranges are being recalled: Model number SXS 700M2 2AC with the serial number range VE0225E4000006 to VE022XE4006304; model number SXS 700M2 4AC with the serial number range VE0284E4000003 to VE0284E4001202; model number SXS 700M4 AC with the serial number range VE0204E4000013 to VE020XE4006849; model number SXS 700M4 3AC with the serial number range VE0268E4000004 to VE0269E4001503.

WHY: Vegetation and debris can accumulate on the middle skid plate and make contact with the vehicle’s exhaust system. Dried debris can ignite, resulting in smoke or fire.

INCIDENTS: 10 incidents involving fires resulting from vegetation and debris accumulating on the middle skid plate and making contact with the vehicle’s exhaust system. No injuries were reported.

HOW MANY: About 15,400.

FOR MORE: Call American Honda at 888-888-3139 from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit www.powersports.honda.com and click on “Product Recall Information” at the bottom of the page for more information.

RIDING MOWERS

DETAILS: Brigg & Stratton Snapper Rear Engine Riding Mower. The name Snapper is printed on both sides of the mower. The model and serial numbers are on a label on the engine platform under the right side of the seat. They were sold from April 2013 through May 2014. The following models and serial number ranges are included: Model number 7800918 with the serial number range 2016447188 - 2016485206; model number 7800920 with the serial number range 2016443919 - 2016568930; model number 7800932 with the serial number range 2016462619 - 2016481454; model number 7800950 with the serial number range 2016611952 - 2016766052; model number 7800951 with the serial number range 2016624456 - 2016765000; model number 7800954 with the serial number range 2016603229 - 2016775752.

WHY: Weld on drive axle can fail resulting in loss of brake control, posing an injury hazard.

INCIDENTS: Two reports of brake failure, related to failed weld. No injuries have been reported.

HOW MANY: About 8,500.

FOR MORE: Call Briggs & Stratton Corp. at 800-935-2967 from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit www.Briggsandstratton.com and click on “Recall Alert Notice” for more information.

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U.S. stocks open lower; sell-off continues in Europe

U.S. stocks are opening lower while European markets suffer even steeper declines.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 124 points, or 0.8 percent, to 16,019 as of 9:35 a.m. Eastern time Thursday.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 19 points, or 1 percent, to 1,844. The Nasdaq composite fell 48 points, or 1.1 percent, to 4,167.

European stocks fell more sharply. France’s CAC-40 dropped 2 percent and Germany’s DAX declined 1.5 percent.

In the U.S., Netflix plunged 26 percent after the company’s subscriber growth fell short of the company’s forecasts after a rate increase.

The price of oil continued to fall. U.S. crude declines $1.43 to $80.34 a barrel in New York.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.08 percent.

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Former Dragon

Former Dragon’s Den television personality W. Brett Wilson sounded optimistic when he announced on Twitter that his prostate cancer is back.

“Yup – my cancer is back – but w/ 2 months of radiation & all sorts of other modalities I will be #KickingCancersAss,” Wilson, 57, tweeted on Monday.

“I am grateful for having beaten cancer 13 yrs ago – & for the opportunity to be #KickingCancersAss again,” Wilson said in another tweet on Monday.

#CanadianThanksgiving - yup - my cancer is back - but w/ 2 months of radiation & all sorts of other modalities I will be #KickingCancersAss

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Draghi Asset Plan Seen Falling Short as QE Predictions Rise - Bloomberg

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Allied Healthcare skyrockets 78 percent

Shares of St. Louis-based Allied Healthcare Products Inc. to soar today, but it’s unclear what caused the surprise rally.

Trading volume skyrocketed to 3.8 million shares today, the equivalent of nearly half of the company’s outstanding shares. The average trading volume for the past four weeks was about 11,900 shares.

“Today, for whatever reason, it’s really being traded,” Gregg Mueller, controller for Allied, told the Post-Dispatch payday loans online. “I really can’t explain it.”

Shares rose $1.45, or 78 percent to close at $3.30.

Allied Healthcare makes respiratory therapy and emergency medical equipment that is primarily sold to hospitals.

Allied is led by president and chief executive Earl R. Refsland.

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All Ontario teachers should be given classroom keys, task force says

Ontario teachers need a set of classroom keys to keep kids safe in the event of a lockdown, say new recommendations from a task force representing both elementary teachers and school administrators.

Supply teachers in particular are placed in classrooms but not given keys, and even some full-time teachers may not have them, said Sam Hammond, president of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario.

“What needs to happen is that all staff be provided with the means to lock and unlock independently,” he said. “There are members who don’t have keys to their own classrooms and this is something we’ve been pushing for so we are happy it has come forward in these recommendations.”

The task force has also asked that principals and staff be trained what to do in case of a lockdown, which now “varies form board to board.

“Everyone needs to be working off the same page,” Hammond added. “We need to have consistency across the boards.”

The task force, he noted, is unprecedented in that it was one of the “positive things” that came out of the labour turmoilbetween the Liberal government and teacher unions in 2013.

“This is the first time we’ve taken a truly co-operative approach — the labour unions, school boards and government have come together and identified how to create safer schools,” he said.

Groups involved include the elementary teachers’ union, the Ontario Public Supervisory Officers’ Association as well as representatives from the provincial ministries of labour and education.

Issues covered include everything from air quality to health and safety training to workplace violence.

The 22 recommendations will next go before the government or school boards for approval.

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95 percent off? Revel discount is such a deal!

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. • A Toronto-based asset management firm won a bankruptcy auction for the former Revel Casino Hotel by bidding 5 cents on the dollar for Atlantic City’s newest casino.

Revel cost $2.4 billion to build, but Brookfield Asset Management will pay $110 million to buy it out of bankruptcy court. In a sale approved Tuesday, Brookfield got the property for a 95 percent discount.

That, by any measure, is a deep discount. At 95 percent off, you could also:

• Hire Alex Rodriguez, who is due $21 million next year from the New York Yankees, to play third base for you all next season for just over $1 million. (The major league minimum salary for 2014 is $500,000.)

• Buy a Lamborghini Gallardo (about $200,000 with options) for $10,000. That’s cheaper than a Hyundai Accent, a Kia Soul or a Nissan Versa.

• Own Bird Cay, a private island in the Bahamas listed at $8.9 million, for $445,000, or the price of an average house in many towns at the Jersey shore.

• Purchase an iPhone 6 (retail about $800 without service contract) for $40 — about what some cellphone cases cost.

• Sport a Gucci bright diamante handbag (list $1,550) for $77.50.

• Take a 113-day cruise around the world on the Queen Mary 2 (price $30,000) for $1,500, or about the same as renting a beach house on New Jersey’s Long beach Island for a week in the summer.

• Dine on four 7-ounce filet mignons and four 8- to 10-ounce lobster tails every night of the year ($50,370) for $2,149, or less than $6 per dinner.

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Luka Magnotta called Peterborough after killing Jun Lin, court hears

Warning: Due to the nature of the trial, this article contains graphic content.

MONTREAL—After the brutal killing and dismemberment of a Chinese exchange student, Luka Rocco Magnotta made a series of telephone calls to a telephone number in Ontario, a murder trial here has heard.

In the frantic hours that followed the killing 33-year-old Jun Lin, who arrived at Magnotta’s Montreal apartment the night of May 24, 2012, the man accused of first-degree murder was in near-constant action.

He made endless trips from his second-floor unit to the garbage room in the basement of the building to dispose of plastic bags containing trash, clothing, a saw, hammer, screwdriver and knives as well as Lin’s arms and legs. He obtained a suitcase the morning of May 25, 2012, that he would later load with his victim’s headless torso and wheel out to the trash. He travelled to several post offices in the neighbourhood to mail out Jun Lin’s hands and feet across the country.

But just hours after the killing, starting at 6:47 a.m., Magnotta also placed four telephone calls to a number with the 705 area code — a number with a prefix that corresponds to phone lines in Peterborough, Ont. — before getting through at 7:22 a.m. for a four minute call.

Later in the day, the court heard that Magnotta purchased a new cellular phone and made additional telephone calls to the same number, including a 6:14 p.m. call that lasted about six minutes and one the following day, May 26, 2012, at 7:55 p.m. that went on for 27 minutes.

The court has not heard evidence about who Magnotta spoke with or what he expressed after killing and cutting up Lin. That information could be critical to determining his state of mind in a case where jurors must decide whether Magnotta was sufficiently aware of his actions to have committed first-degree murder.

Magnotta, 32, has admitted to killing and dismembering Lin, but is arguing he should be found not criminally responsible for the acts because of his psychological condition, which includes schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder unsecured personal loans.

Born in Scarborough in 1982 under the name Eric Clinton Newman, much of Magnotta’s family lived in Peterborough when the killings occurred.

Earlier Monday morning, the chief homicide investigators on the case, Sgt. Det. Claudette Hamlin, told the court that they were able to retrieve information from a discarded video camera found amid Magnotta’s trash showing there were two different men shown in a gruesome murder video that was posted online of Lin’s killing.

That discovery prompted police to review surveillance tapes from Magnotta’s apartment building and obtain footage of a young man that Magnotta escorted into his apartment on the night of May 18, 2012, just six days before Jun Lin’s death.

The surveillance footage that was played Monday in court showed a dark-haired man, possibly Asian, arriving with Magnotta at about 11 p.m. The man has what appears to be a black gym bag strung across his chest.

The video camera captured this man leaving the apartment about 12 hours after his arrival. Magnotta leaves with him, and appears to be supporting him as he negotiates the stairs at the entrance to the building at 11:25 a.m. on May 19, 2012.

Investigators have determined it was this man, not Lin, who can be seen in the first segment of the murder video naked and tied to Magnotta’s bed with hand and leg restraints.

“Unfortunately,” Hamlin testified, “we never were able to identify the person despite an exhaustive analysis.”

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