AG TRADE MISSION GOES TO CUBA: California hopes it can carve out an upscale market for such goodies as pistachios, figs, kiwi fruit and wine in Cuba, the land of ration cards and rice and beans at nearly every meal. America's top food-producing state has sent its first official agricultural trade mission to Havana to show its powdered milk and dairy products, as well an array of fruits, vegetables, nuts, rice and cotton to the communist government. California produces 400 types of farm products, but many specialized items, including raisins, wine and almonds, are produced in few other parts of America. "We have a dozen products where we represent 95 percent of total U.S. production. There are many products that could do well here," California Food and Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura said Tuesday. Despite being America's largest generator of agricultural trade, the state shipped only $735,000 worth of farm products to Cuba in 2006. A 2000 law allows the Cuban government to buy U.S. food and agricultural products in cash.
GET HBO ON YOUR COMPUTER: HBO rolled out a new service Tuesday to allow subscribers to the premium cable channel to watch HBO programs, movies and sports shows on their computers. The service will be offered first in Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wis., through HBO's sister company, Time Warner Cable, which is part of the Time Warner Inc. media conglomerate. HBO is in talks to expand the service to other areas and to other cable providers. Only available to HBO subscribers who use Time Warner Cable for high-speed Internet access, the new service will let viewers watch HBO programs on their computers using a special video player program. Viewers can download shows to their computers or begin watching them online almost immediately, similar to a video-on-demand program on cable TV.
PROFIT IS UP BUT SHARES ARE DOWN: Apple Inc. blew past Wall Street's bullish expectations in the first quarter with a 57 percent jump in profit, but a dramatically lower forecast sent shares plunging on fears about slowing consumer spending on electronics. The Cupertino-based company's report, released after the market closed Tuesday, reinforced investors' worries that even a hot company such as Apple isn't immune from sluggishness in the U.S. economy or fears of a recession. The company forecast profit in the first quarter of 94 cents per share, far short of the $1.09 per share that analysts were expecting.
CALORIE-COUNT LAW APPROVED: The New York City Board of Health voted Tuesday to approve a new version of a law requiring fast food outlets to display calorie counts on their menus, hoping the fat-filled truth will shock New Yorkers into eating healthier. The regulation, which takes effect March 31, was altered slightly after a judge rejected the city's first attempt last year. The new regulation applies to any chain that operates at least 15 separate outlets, including those that don't now provide any information on calories. Major fast food chains make up about 10 percent of the city's restaurants.
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THE PRICE OF MISMANAGEMENT: After seven months as chief executive, Yahoo Inc. co-founder Jerry Yang has concluded hundreds of employees will have to be fired to help the slumping Internet icon recover from years of misguided management. The Sunnyvale-based company's biggest purge since the dot.com bust most likely will be announced next week, a person familiar with the matter said Tuesday. The person asked not to be identified because the number of jobs to be cut is under discussion. Yang and his management team have committed to jettisoning at least several hundred jobs to help boost Yahoo's profits and placate investors demanding more action to reverse a steep decline in the company's stock price. Securities analysts are betting Yahoo will trim its 14,000-employee payroll by about 700 workers. If that many people are dumped, Yahoo could save about $100 million.
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1: Rank of the Federal Emergency Management Agency among U.S. citizens' least-liked federal agencies, according to a poll conducted by The Associated Press and Ipsos
2 (tied): Ranks of the Internal Revenue Service and the Transportation Security Administration
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