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All in the family

| Feb 22, 2005
Tomorrow fans of the wealthiest sports franchise on the planet will march to protest the possible takeover of their team by an American business tycoon. Manchester United is a British soccer team -- football as the rest of the world calls it -- with numerous international titles, a global brand name and a global following. U.S. businessman Malcolm Glazer, who already owns the NFL's Tampa Bay Bucaneers, holds a 28 percent share of United and is trying to buy the team as a gift for his sons. Fans, players and most of the international soccer community are fighting to keep that from happening. Stephen Cohen is a soccer analyst for Fox Sports....

We'll toss in a driveway for $200,000

| Feb 22, 2005
Just when you think that real estate prices can't go any higher in some major cities, they do. Prime example: Los Angeles. The median price of new and existing homes in LA County last month: $414,000. Same time last year: $352,000. Bubble? What bubble. Now all this may be great for real estate builders, brokers, and lucky sellers. But commentator and humorist Tim Bedore argues it's lousy for Hollywood.

Pennies from heaven ...

| Feb 22, 2005
Wal-Mart debuted its new credit card today. The nation's biggest retailer is offering a Discover card -- take that Visa and Mastercard. Do we really need more credit cards? Americans are carrying more debt than ever before. As the cards and mortgages pile up you might turn to a credit counselor or a personal financial adviser. And some are seeking financial relief through... a higher power. Robin Urevich reports.

Marketplace Letters!

| Feb 22, 2005
As usual, we've got a full mailbag. Tess has some letters in this edition of Marketplace Letters ...

Palestinian hardships

| Feb 22, 2005
Israel released 500 Palestinian prisoners yesterday as a goodwill gesture to the new government of Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas. There are still more than 7,000 Palestinians in Israeli custody. Some of them are in "administrative detention." They can be held for months or even years without going to trial. As Nancy Updike reports, that often means financial hardship for their families.

Telecom Mergers: The good, the bad, the ugly

| Feb 22, 2005
We're seeing a lot of consolidation in the telecom business. Mergers usually mean layoffs, so what can we expect from these deals? Marketplace's Alisa Roth reports. Also, while they're may be layoffs, the telecom mergers could have a nice benefit for consumers. Commentator Kenneth Cukier says it's about time.

Going for the Games

| Feb 21, 2005
New York City rolled out the welcome mat this week. It was the opening volley in a four-day sales pitch to delegates of the International Olympic Committee. On the heels of a snowstorm the city will try to convince the IOC that the Big Apple should host the 20-12 summer games. It's a ritual also playing out in Paris, Madrid, Moscow and London. The New York City bid committee is spending millions to wow its guests. Olympic historian David Wallechinsky says this is just the beginning.

ChoicePoint's bad choice?

| Feb 21, 2005
You may remember hearing last week about a significant cyber-security breach at a company called ChoicePoint. ChoicePoint is a clearinghouse of 19 billion public records on people across the country... including credit ratings, drivers license and social security numbers. At first the problem appeared limited to consumers here in California -- then we found out no, Californians only knew about it first because of a state law requiring they be notified. Today the company said the security breach - which happened in October - affected residents in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and three U.S. territories. Marketplace's Lisa Napoli reports.

Cybersecurity far, far away ...

| Feb 21, 2005
It's unsettling enough to know that your personal information can be stolen from a company here in the U.S. But more and more companies are processing that same data at I-T centers in other countries. Call it information-outsourcing... it's especially big-business in countries like India. And the security concerns grow once all that stuff leaves U.S. shores. Miranda Kennedy reports on the tough job of making sure information doesn't get highjacked on the road from Boston to Bangalore.

Radio Shack ... is back?

| Feb 21, 2005
Consumer electronics chains in particular could use some extra business from the current Presidents' Day sales. Last week Circuit City announced it's closing 19 superstores. And old school retailer RadioShack cut its profit forecast. But like its former spokewoman and newly desperate housewife Teri Hatcher... RadioShack is working on a comeback. Marketplace's Cheryl Glaser reports.

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