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Brands use music to speak globally in World Cup

NEW YORK (AP) — Companies that are advertising for the World Cup are hoping music will strike a chord with fans globally.

Because the FIFA World Cup, the international soccer tournament that begins on Thursday, is the most popular sports event on the planet, advertisers want to take advantage of the large viewing audience. But the World Cup poses problems for companies that are used to making a splash at big sporting events like the Super Bowl with a pricey 30-second spot.

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Facebook, Twitter brace for World Cup fever

NEW YORK (AP) — This year's World Cup will play out on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and messaging apps like WhatsApp just as it progresses in stadiums from Sao Paulo to Rio De Janeiro.

Nearly 40 per cent of Facebook's 1.28 billion users are fans of soccer, better known as football outside of the U.S. and Australia. On Tuesday, the world's biggest online social network is adding new features to help fans follow the World Cup — the world's most widely viewed sporting event — which takes place in Brazil from June 12 to July 13.

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Africa's women entrepreneurs take the lead

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Madinah Nalukenge recalls the day she set out to sell food on the filthy edges of a bus terminal in the Ugandan capital in 2004. She had just $10 left over from a failed attempt to sell bed sheets.

Now she runs a catering business that makes a monthly profit of up to $3,000, a source of pride for the 34-year-old single mother who spends her days offering plates of mashed plantain and greasy meats to transport operators in downtown Kampala.

Her competition: More than a dozen other women operating food stalls next to hers.

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Federal views diverge on proper use of painkillers

WASHINGTON (AP) — How do you have a conversation about prescription drugs that provide critical pain relief to millions of Americans yet also cause more fatal overdoses than heroin and cocaine combined?

The answer is: It depends.

Different parts of the federal government describe the problem — and potential solutions — of abuse with Vicodin, OxyContin and other opioid drugs in different terms.

The White House has called opioid abuse an "epidemic" and a "growing national crisis" that causes more than 16,500 deaths per year. Meanwhile, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a top-ranking Drug Enforcement Administration official have called on doctors to dramatically scale back their use of prescription opioids.

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AP IMPACT: Tax cheats took billions from Ukraine

Kyiv, Ukraine (AP) — As Ukraine's tax chief tells it, the billion-dollar theft was planned at a see-through plastic table in a vault of sound-proof steel.

The table and six matching transparent chairs sit in a secret chamber on an upper story of the Tax Ministry in Kyiv. It was the epicenter, he and other tax officials say, of a massive fraud suspected of squeezing 130 billion hryvnias ($11 billion) from Kyiv's coffers over the past three years — an amount equal to more than half a year's tax revenue for the entire country.

Deputy Tax Minister Ihor Bilous, the country's new tax boss, says his predecessor was in on the scam, helping to organize a wide network of phantom firms in return for a cut of the cash. The criminals, he says, operated with impunity.

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S&P 500 slips, ending 4-day run of record highs

NEW YORK (AP) — A run of record highs in the stock market came to an end Tuesday as the Standard & Poor's 500 index lost ground for just the second time this month.

The slight loss for the index broke a four-day string of all-time highs.

Shares of RadioShack sank after the retailer's losses deepened, and MetLife rose after the insurer announced a plan to buy back its own stock.

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Illegal profits: A look at insider trading

NEW YORK (AP) — Few crimes on Wall Street generate more headlines than insider trading.

The definition is straightforward: An investor profits on non-public information at the expense of others.

But proving that someone did it can be complicated without direct proof that they cheated. Difficulties have dogged investigations surrounding high-profile individuals over the years, from Michael Milken and Martha Stewart to SAC Capital's Steven Cohen.

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US businesses ramped up job searches in April

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. companies advertised more jobs in April than in any month in six and a half years, a possible harbinger of strong hiring in the months ahead.

Employers posted nearly 4.5 million jobs, up strongly from 4.2 million in March, the Labor Department said Tuesday. It's the largest number of job listings since September 2007.

Companies have been slow to fill openings since the recession ended, so the increase in postings won't automatically lead to more jobs. The report showed that the number of jobs filled in April, 4.7 million, was largely unchanged from March. In the past year, job postings have jumped 16.5 per cent, while hiring has risen just 6 per cent.

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US wholesale stockpiles rose 1.1 per cent in April

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. wholesale businesses built up their stockpiles of goods in April, a sign that companies expect stronger economic growth in the coming months.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday wholesale stockpiles expanded 1.1 per cent in April, following a 1.1 per cent gain in March. The result marks 10 straight months of rising inventories.

Sales at the wholesale level climbed 1.3 per cent, led by autos, furniture and pharmaceutical drugs. Sales rose 1.6 per cent in March. Year-over-year, sales are up 6.7 per cent.

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IPO could value Euronext exchange at $2.4 billion

PARIS (AP) — IntercontinentalExchange Group, Inc. says its stock exchange operator Euronext could be valued at up to 1.75 billion euros ($2.4 billion) in its planned initial public offering.

Euronext is becoming independent again after parent company ICE last month announced plans to float it. A pan-European company, Euronext operates exchanges in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon.

Euronext said in a statement Tuesday that the price range for the IPO is between 19 and 25 euros ($25.9 to $34) a share, which would value it at between 1.33 billion and 1.75 billion euros ($1.81 billion and $2.4 billion).

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Weakness in mobile business hurts RadioShack 1Q

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — RadioShack's first-quarter loss widened and revenue slumped as the retailer dealt with weakness in its mobile business and consumer electronics.

Its performance missed Wall Street's view. The stock dropped more than 10 per cent.

CEO Joseph C. Magnacca said in a statement that its mobile business was hurt because the current handset assortment didn't resonate well with customers. It was also contending with more promotions, including those of wireless carriers.

Magnacca said that RadioShack is working on building its pipeline of new products, including private brand and exclusive items such as those from new partnerships with Quirky and PCH.

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Valeant plans hostile bid for Allergan

Valeant Pharmaceuticals aims to take its bid for Allergan to the Botox maker's shareholders after Allegan's board unanimously rejected its latest offer of about $53 billion.

Valeant said Tuesday that it looked forward to giving shareholders the opportunity "to speak for themselves" after Allergan Chairman and CEO David Pyott said that the offer wasn't worth discussing in a letter to his Valeant counterpart, Michael Pearson.

Valeant, teamed with activist investor Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management, went public with its offer to buy Allergan in April and has since upgraded its pitch several times.

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By The Associated Press=

The Dow Jones Industrial average rose 2.82 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 16,945.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell half a point, or 0.02 per cent, to close at 1,950 on Tuesday.

The Nasdaq composite gained 1.75 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 4,338.

Benchmark U.S. oil for July delivery fell 6 cents to close at $104.35 in New York.

Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell 47 cents to close at $109.52 a barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline fell 1.1 cents to close at $2.97 a gallon.

Natural gas fell 11.5 cents to close at $4.53 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Heating oil fell 0.7 cent to close at $2.88 a gallon.

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