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Fuller picture of poverty: 49.7M poor people in US

Popverty in USA different way of calculating America's poor by taking into account medical costs and work-related expenses finds a higher total than the government's official count.

This measure is aimed at providing a fuller picture of poverty. It found there are 49.7 million poor people in the country - or 16.1 percent of the population. That compares with the 46.2 million, or 15 percent, as reported in September in the Census Bureau's official count.

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China's economy to overtake US in next four years, says OECD

Chinese economyChina will overtake the US in the next four years to become the largest economy in the world, says a leading international thinktank.

The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said China's economy will be larger than the combined economies of the eurozone countries by the end of this year, and will overtake the US by the end of 2016.

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Standard & Poor's misled investors - Australian court

Standard & PoorAustralia's Federal Court has ruled that credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) misled investors before the global financial crisis.
S&P gave its safest credit rating, AAA, to complex and risky securities, which later lost most of their value.

In what is regarded as a landmark ruling, the court ordered S&P and the bank which arranged the product, ABN Amro, to pay damages to investors.

S&P said it planned to appeal against the decision.

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Low wages at private prisons siphoning jobs from private businesses

UnicorOn the outside, Unicor, with its big oaks and magnolia trees, looks like it could be part of a landscaped industrial park. Step a little closer and it's clear the apparel shop lies in the middle of a medium-security federal prison in east Alabama.

The factory and those like it that employ convicted felons are at the heart of a simmering debate about whether prisons should be siphoning away jobs - at much lower wages - that could be filled by those who need them during the nation's toughest period of unemployment in decades.

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Apple paid only 2% corporation tax outside US

Apple paid 2% taxApple paid less that 2% corporation tax on its profits outside the US, its filing with US regulators has shown. Apple paid $713m (£445m) in the year to 29 September on foreign pre-tax profits of $36.8bn (£23.0bn), a rate of 1.9%.

It is the latest company to be identified as paying low rates of overseas tax, following Starbucks, Facebook and Google in recent weeks.

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US unemployment falls to 7.8 pct., a 44-month low

employmentThe U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month, dropping below 8 percent for the first time in nearly four years and giving President Barack Obama a potential boost with the election a month away.

The rate dropped from 8.1 percent because the number of people who were employed according to a government survey soared by 873,000 - the biggest monthly jump since 2003. It was an encouraging sign for an economy that's been struggling to create enough jobs. So was the fact that more people decided to look for work in September.

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Microsoft 'used offshore units to avoid paying $4.5bn in taxes', Senate claims

Microsoft Technology giants Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard used offshore units to shield billions of dollars from US taxes by taking advantage of loopholes in the tax code, a US Senate panel has said.

Describing tax avoidance as rampant in the technology sector, the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said tech companies used intellectual property, royalties and license fees in tax havens such as the Cayman Islands to skirt US taxes.

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