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Money Graphic designer, 29, learns to set reasonable financial goals

Include a brief description of your financial goals and a daytime phone number. The Sunday Business section gives readers a chance to have their financial situations sized up by a professional advisor at no charge. "At this point in his life, Ng can't save for everything at once. He should start by setting limited and reasonable goals."Ng isn't alone in worrying, but studies suggest that he may be in better financial shape than other members of the 18- to 35-year-old millennial generation:.

Graphic designer Jonathan Ng didn't worry much about his spending habits or his trouble finding a full-time job that came with employer-sponsored health insurance.

Then the 29-year-old New York transplant got engaged and took an online quiz to determine at what age he would have saved enough money to retire comfortably. "WOOHOO!" the quiz results said, "You could be a millionaire by age 87."

For Ng, who has worked up to 70 hours a week at as many as three part-time jobs, the quiz result "was a shock." His upcoming marriage also had him pondering other long-term goals, including buying a house, raising children and saving for those future kids' college educations.

"I am saving for retirement," Ng said, "but I'm not really saving for all of these other things. It's a little overwhelming."

To fee-only financial planner Jennifer Hartman, Ng's story shows how quickly one can swing from worrying too little about finances to worrying too much.

Hartman, principal at Greenleaf Financial Group, said the latter could lead to discouragement when unrealistic goals aren't met.

"Start by taking a deep breath," Hartman said. "At this point in his life, Ng can't save for everything at once. He should start by setting limited and reasonable goals."

Ng isn't alone in worrying, but studies suggest that he may be in better financial shape than other members of the 18- to 35-year-old millennial generation:

?Moody's Analytics recently estimated that the savings rate for millennials had fallen from 5.2% in 2009 to minus 2%. In other words, not only are millennials not saving, they're spending more than they earn.

?The millennial generation is the first in the modern era to be burdened with more student loan debt, higher unemployment and lower levels of wealth than their two immediate predecessor generations, a Pew Research Center study found.

?A recent survey conducted by the Harris Poll found that two-thirds of millennials said they are saving only half of what they think they should for retirement. The same poll, commissioned by the Nationwide Retirement Institute, showed that relatively few had sought out the services of a financial planner.

"They are seeking advice from the Internet, from family and friends," said Mike Spangler, president of Nationwide Funds, which like the retirement institute is affiliated with Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. "They need to take a more holistic approach."

Until recently, Ng had little time for such things, having left the comfort zone of his native Queens and lots of professional contacts in New York to seek his fortune in Los Angeles.

In doing so, Ng moved from the state with the second-highest population of graphic designers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and relocated to the only state where there were even more designers to compete against.

It was the price he paid for love, having grown weary of mostly seeing Catheryne Huttayananont, now his fiancee, on FaceTime smartphone calls.

Before heading for Los Angeles in 2011, Ng graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design in New York City and worked as a designer for a number of Wall Street firms and retirement plans.

"Everyone warned me not to come" to Los Angeles, Ng said. "But I was confident I could find a full-time job. That hasn't panned out. Every place I have been wants freelancers, not full-time designers."

Ng's first job in Los Angeles was with the branding firm Distinc, where he met Stephanie Chan, a co-worker who created a website called Outer Worth to encourage millennials to consider their financial futures. The site features the quiz that gave Ng retirement angst.

When design work at Distinc slowed, Ng added the Broad Stage and then Santa Monica College to his graphic design portfolio.

Ng said the search for work "has been my biggest challenge. That and getting the contacts I need in this industry since I'm not from L.A. It's been harder."

Saving more was also a challenge as Ng and Huttayananont celebrated their new proximity.

"Just me being here and wanting to do things with her," Ng said. "Saving was not a priority."

Ng has made some good decisions, Hartman said. For example, he took some savings and paid off $8,000 in no-interest credit card debt, rather than just rolling it over to another card with a no-interest grace period.

"I will find ways to not pay it off if I kept doing that," Ng said. "I need to go back to the way I was when I first started working, which was spending what I have, cash only, and not overreaching my income."

Unlike many others of his generation, Ng graduated from college without student loans to pay off. He managed to win a lot of financial grants, and his parents helped out with the rest.

Another point in his favor: Ng's savings, about $45,000 in retirement accounts and stocks, is good for someone his age, Hartman said.

"He has two stocks in a taxable account that he has lost money on," Hartman said. "He has wisely decided that his stock-picking days are over and thus he has invested his IRA in a low-cost diversified portfolio that is automatically rebalanced."

Hartman said Ng should set aside 10% of his income for investments. The first 7% of that, she said, should go into the 403(b) retirement plan he has started at Santa Monica College, which is matched to that percentage of his income even though he is not yet a full-time employee there.

The other 3%, Hartman said, should go into Ng's Roth IRA. He should try to add 1% more, for a total of 11%, of his income in 2015, then go to 12% in 2016.

Ng and Huttayananont both lease cars, which Hartman told the couple was too costly for their circumstances. "Buy a reasonable car and drive it as long as you can," she said.

Huttayananont is a registered nurse at a rehabilitation center, and the couple should investigate the cost of getting Ng signed on with her health plan, Hartman said.

Hartman wants Ng to remain debt free on his credit cards. "He can continue to use them, but he should make sure he can pay them off at the end of every month," she said.

Money that once went to credit card payments should be used "for other goals, like establishing an emergency fund account," Hartman said. She wants Ng to eventually build an emergency fund equal to six months of expenses.

Hartman said Ng and his fiancee should carefully track their spending in January.

"Let's figure how much they need for the basic things," Hartman said. "Keep track of every penny. It's not the most fun activity in the world, but it really can be beneficial."

Hartman also wants the couple to open a separate savings account dedicated to their wedding costs.

"Rather than having just one account for everything, figure out how much you are going to need, and put the money there," Hartman said.

She also encouraged the couple to maintain small, separate accounts in their own names for personal purchases.

"They both should have a small account for fun money to pursue things you like to do without having to hear about it from your spouse," Hartman said, while also stressing that communication about finances is important.

Future savings from combining expenses, such as for phone plans or cable television bills, should be invested, not spent, Hartman said.

Once married, the couple should start contributing to their future children's college costs. "Start low, with about $25 a month," Hartman said.

The financial planner also wants Ng and his fiancee to make wills and set up power-of-attorney documents for each other in the event of a debilitating injury or illness, allowing them to make medical decisions on each other's behalf.

The career development of the millennial generation is expected to be characterized by relatively short stints at various employers. By some accounts, millennials spend no more than 18 months at a job, on average, before moving to another, which could deprive them of retirement benefits if they leave before being fully vested.

"Always carefully consider the employee benefits of any new job, which can sometimes be more important than the salary offered," Hartman said.

Ng needs only to keep the good habits he has, and add a few more, Hartman said, to reach his retirement goals.

"He's got good goals and plans," Hartman said. "It will just take time to bring them to fruition."

[email protected]

Twitter: @RonWLATimes

::

Do you need a money makeover? The Sunday Business section gives readers a chance to have their financial situations sized up by a professional advisor at no charge. To be considered, send an email to [email protected] You also can send a letter to Makeover, Business Section, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. Include a brief description of your financial goals and a daytime phone number. Information you send us will be shared with others.

Chicago Tribune
Today
17 Points
1 2 3 4 5 6

Money Apple’s (AAPL) Apple Pay Accounts For 1% of November Digital Payments

Published: Dec 21, 2014 at 12:12 pm EST Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AAPL) latest success has likely arrived with the advent of Apple Pay, which completed its first full month of operation in November.

Published: Dec 21, 2014 at 12:12 pm EST

Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AAPL) latest success has likely arrived with the advent of Apple Pay, which completed its first full month of operation in November. It was announced earlier that over 1 million credit cards registered with Apple Pay in the first 72 hours of its launch.

The effect of that is now visible as Apple Pay is becoming a prominent and major part of the country's mobile payments arena. According to the latest ITG investment research report, Apple Pay contributed 1% of digital payments in November.

Apple Pay customers made roughly 1.4 transactions per week, with 60% of users making multiple purchases; compared to 20% from PayPalApple Pay's top transactions are from Whole Foods (20%) and Walgreens (19%), followed by McDonalds (11%).

Since the release of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus phones, which support Apple Pay, both consumers and suppliers have rushed to be a part of Apple's latest innovation. Many retailers have jumped on the bandwagon for Apple Pay, which is an unexpected success based on the retention rates it offers.

Senior Internet analyst at ITG Investment Research, Steve Weinstein, has stated that Apple Pay may be a major threat to PayPal, the current market leader in the Mobile Payment space. Consumers feel Apple Pay is more secure and seamless in terms of its functionality.

The platform exhibits “stickiness” for consumers, as those who used it once at a retailer continued to use it for 66% of the next few visits.

However, even though the use of Apple Pay is limited within the US and to current-year iOS devices, that may change soon.

Apple stock last traded at $111.78.

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Bidness Etc
Today
16 Points
1 2 3 4 5 6

Money China Continues Encouraging New EV Makers; Trouble For Tesla (TSLA)?

Jia Yueting, the founder and chairman of Leshi Information and Technology Company is planning on building an EV, and claiming a license to manufacture electric cars in China.Mr. His story reminds people of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who was also co-founder of a technology intensive firm (PayPal). Mr. Yueting claims his next generation technology vehicle will offer auto parking, autonomous driving, and a touchscreen system inside the vehicle.

Published: Dec 21, 2014 at 12:19 pm EST

China, the world’s largest auto market, wants to see more electric vehicles being manufactured, as it has set a target to have 5 million electric vehicles (EV) on the roads by 2020.

To encourage the pollution-free cars, the Chinese government is supporting EV manufacturers, by offering automotive manufacturing licenses to companies that want to start building EVs but are not currently automakers.

One Chinese tech expert is taking the offer seriously as he has announced to beat the world’s leading EV manufacturer, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). Jia Yueting, the founder and chairman of Leshi Information and Technology Company is planning on building an EV, and claiming a license to manufacture electric cars in China.

Mr. Yueting has enough experience from Leshi Company to manage “disruptive changes,” and for the past one year he has been working on an electric car that will supposedly beat the imported cars from Tesla.

According to Bloomberg, Mr. Yueting has 44% of stake in Leshi worth about $2.3 billion. His story reminds people of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who was also co-founder of a technology intensive firm (PayPal). 

Mr. Yueting claims his next generation technology vehicle will offer auto parking, autonomous driving, and a touchscreen system inside the vehicle. It is too early to quote a price for such a car, but he says it will be available for a reasonable price.

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Bidness Etc
Today
17 Points

Final design of Golden Gate Bridge suicide barrier complete, approved

"This represents another important step to advance the Golden Gate Bridge suicide deterrent project into construction," said Ewa Bauer, the bridge district's chief engineer. The final design for a suicide barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge was approved Friday by the district Board of Directors, moving the project closer to reality. Another 80 or so people who are contemplating suicide are pulled off the bridge every year.

The final design for a suicide barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge was approved Friday by the district Board of Directors, moving the project closer to reality.

"This represents another important step to advance the Golden Gate Bridge suicide deterrent project into construction," said Ewa Bauer, the bridge district's chief engineer.

The bridge district's $76 million suicide barrier plan calls for a net extending 20 feet below and 20 feet from the side of the span, although it will have to be modified in certain areas because of surrounding terrain. The net would be made of stainless steel cable and would collapse slightly if someone jumped in, making it difficult to get out, bridge officials said. It would take up to three years to build; a construction contract is expected to go out to bid in March.

The net design will allow for moveable scaffolding called "travelers" to move around the bridge for maintenance of the span. The current setup would be in conflict with the suicide net.

"It will require removal and replacement of this system," Bauer said.

While people could still jump into the net, such occurrences might be rare because the net would act as a deterrent. A similar net was placed more than a decade ago on the Munster Terrace cathedral in Bern, Switzerland, and since then no suicide attempts have been reported.

Still, if someone were to jump, the district needs a plan. Initially it was thought two "snooper" trucks with elongated arms would be purchased to scoop up anyone who ended up in the nets.

But Southern Marin fire officials stepped forward to offer their assistance and the truck plan was nixed.

To help the fire department train for net rescues, the bridge district will spend $65,000 to construct replica netting at the fire department's training ground in Strawberry. Equipment for the actual rescues could be kept at the bridge.

Caltrans will contribute $22 million to the overall project, the state $7 million from Mental Health Services Act funds and the Golden Gate Bridge district $20 million in addition to $27 million from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

Discussion of a barrier began in the 1950s, but the first intensive look at a solution took place in the early 1970s, when 18 design concepts were evaluated, then shelved.

Between 1997 and 1999, the district's Building and Operations Committee requested another review of all of the original 18 designs brought forward during the studies in the 1970s, along with preliminary analysis of a "Z-Clip" concept. Officials determined that the "Z-Clip" design was not foolproof and was a bad aesthetic fit for the span, and it was abandoned.

After emotional testimony before the bridge board in 2005, several agencies -- including the Metropolitan Transportation Commission -- contributed funding for the suicide barrier study.

Roughly two dozen people jump from the span each year, and more than 1,500 people have jumped from the span since it opened in 1937. Another 80 or so people who are contemplating suicide are pulled off the bridge every year.

"This has been a long time coming," Judy Arnold, bridge board member and Marin supervisor, said of the design approval. "We were delighted to pass this and to get it going to start helping saving lives." ------ (c)2014 The Marin Independent Journal (Novato, Calif.) Visit The Marin Independent Journal (Novato, Calif.) at www.marinij.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC AMX-2014-12-19T23:18:00-05:00

San Jose Mercury News
Today
14 Points
New
1

Sports Baseball filled with interesting sights and sites, especially in Chicago

It's a "Jimmy thing." Don't ever change.SOUTH SIDE . "OK, Paul Sullivan is too stupid to take advantage of a free drink," he replies.SOUTH SIDE . "But at the end of the day the attention is going to stop and I've got to be who I've got to be." JRW's style of play and sportsmanship captured the attention of the nation and made Chicagoans proud to call them ours.BOSTON . Asked about his checkered past, Ramirez says, "I don't regret anything I did."CHICAGO .

The job of a baseball writer takes you to some interesting places, and in 2014 I was lucky enough to witness the Hall of Fame inductions of Frank Thomas and Greg Maddux, Jackie Robinson West's amazing run at the Little League World Series and Madison Bumgarner's dominance in the World Series.

But some of my favorite moments of 2014 had nothing to do with the actual games being played. It's the people you talk to on the ride that really makes the journey worthwhile.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. ? Jackie Robinson West player Marquis Jackson is sitting on a hill overlooking Lamade Stadium the day before JRW beats Nevada for the U.S. Little League championship. "I can't let any of it get to my head because when we go home we're going to get more attention," he says. "But at the end of the day the attention is going to stop and I've got to be who I've got to be." JRW's style of play and sportsmanship captured the attention of the nation and made Chicagoans proud to call them ours.

BOSTON ? A Mohawk-wearing Manny Ramirez walks into the suite at Fenway Park before the on-field celebration of the 2004 Red Sox champs and spots Johnny Damon doing interviews. "Curse this," Ramirez says.

WRIGLEYVILLE ? A YouTube video surfaces of a man in a bear costume punching a Cubs fan at John Barleycorn restaurant near Wrigley Field. Was it the new team mascot, Clark the Cub? "Our mascot does not go into bars," spokesman Julian Green says. "Have you ever punched a fan, Clark?" I ask the mascot. Clark the Cub is not allowed to speak. He shakes his head "no," an exclusive shake to the Tribune.

DES MOINES ? Ramirez goes 3 for 4 with a two-run home run in his home debut after Theo Epstein shockingly names him player-coach for the Iowa Cubs. Asked about his checkered past, Ramirez says, "I don't regret anything I did."

CHICAGO ? Interviewing controversial former broadcaster Jimmy Piersall via phone when the call gets dropped. When I call back, Piersall is still in mid-rant, calling a former Cubs executive from Tribune Co. a "pencil pusher that didn't know anything" about baseball and complaining about outfielders with poor arms. It's a "Jimmy thing." Don't ever change.

SOUTH SIDE ? Of all the Jose Abreu heroics, my favorite moment came when he was down on his hands and knees searching for something in the Sox clubhouse. He then lifts up a recliner and finds his cell phone, which had fallen out of his pocket, between the armrest and down onto the floor. I tell Abreu I'm very familiar with that scene. Really, who isn't?

BIRMINGHAM ? Before a Double-A game at Regions Field between the Cubs and White Sox affiliates, Cubs prospect Jorge Soler challenges newly acquired shortstop Addison Russell to a game of table tennis. The two go at it intensely but have to end the game before a victor is crowned. To be continued.

SYRACUSE ? While waiting in a near-empty Triple-A clubhouse for rehabbing Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia, a Charlotte Knights player asks, "Are you here to give us the drug tests?" Uh, no.

KANSAS CITY ? Wander into a postgame interview on the field with actor Paul Rudd after the Royals win the pennant before bumping into Dale Sveum, who went from being fired from managing the Cubs to coaching the Royals in the World Series. "Can you believe we're here?" Sveum says. "Couldn't have picked a better place, huh?"

WRIGLEYVILLE ? New Cubs manager Joe Maddon picks up a Guinness at the end of his news conference at the Cubby Bear and tells the media throng, "Theo said I got one round. That's a shot and a beer. That's the Hazleton Way." No one takes Maddon up on the offer.

PHOENIX ? Ask Epstein at the general managers meetings why he told radio personality Dan Patrick the media stormed the bar after Maddon's offer of free booze. "Creative license," he says. So you admit the media accepted no free drinks? "OK, Paul Sullivan is too stupid to take advantage of a free drink," he replies.

SOUTH SIDE ? Former Cub and new Sox starter Jeff Samardzija is speaking at a news conference about a talk he had with Chris Sale on "who to look out for" in the local media. "Obviously Sully, we know we have to look out for him," he says. "He's already on the list." Et tu, Samardzija?

[email protected]

Twitter @PWSullivan

Chicago Tribune
Today
14 Points
1

Sports Falcons expected to fire coach Mike Smith: report

However, Blank plans to keep general manager Thomas Dimitroff.Under Smith, the Falcons have gone 9-21 in the past two seasons. The Falcons hoped to be Super Bowl contenders after reaching the NFC title game in the 2012 season.Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase and New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels are among the possible candidates to replace Smith. Stanford coach David Shaw also could be considered but he reportedly plans to remain with the Cardinal.

Unless the Atlanta Falcons qualify for the playoffs and make an unexpectedly deep run, coach Mike Smith will be fired at the end of the season, CBSSports.com reported Sunday.

According to the report, team owner Arthur Blank has told several people that he plans on letting Smith go when the season is over. However, Blank plans to keep general manager Thomas Dimitroff.

Under Smith, the Falcons have gone 9-21 in the past two seasons. Atlanta heads into Sunday's game against the host New Orleans Saints at 5-9 but with slim hopes of winning the lowly NFC South.

Smith is popular within the organization but the team has not made much improvement over last season's 4-12 debacle. The Falcons hoped to be Super Bowl contenders after reaching the NFC title game in the 2012 season.

Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase and New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels are among the possible candidates to replace Smith. Stanford coach David Shaw also could be considered but he reportedly plans to remain with the Cardinal.

Chicago Tribune
Today
14 Points
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Money US Bonds And Equities: Chart Of The Year

US corporate debt has crossed the $1.5 trillion mark, as borrowers continue to enjoy low rates. Yields of US 10-year bonds have dropped 81 basis points to 2.22%, indicating investors are still worried about the future.Macro signals and market reaction have been all over the place this year. Investors and traders are again getting used to the pre-QE era, where high volatility was common.Equities this year have also received a boost from improved corporate earnings.

Published: Dec 21, 2014 at 10:08 am EST

The S&P 500 has made 49 record closes in 2014. Its highest daily close was 2,075.37, with an intraday high at 2,079.47 ? revealing investors' and traders' optimism. So far this year, the S&P 500 has jumped 11.5%. Yields of US 10-year bonds have dropped 81 basis points to 2.22%, indicating investors are still worried about the future.

Macro signals and market reaction have been all over the place this year. After six years, quantitative easing through the bond buyback program came to an end. The easy money inflow has stopped amid the strict regulatory environment. On multiple occasions this year, especially in the second half, liquidity has evaporated from financial markets, leading to wild swings. Investors and traders are again getting used to the pre-QE era, where high volatility was common.

Equities this year have also received a boost from improved corporate earnings. Currently, the S&P 500 index has weighted earnings of $113.08 per share, and next year, this figure is expected to grow approximately 6% to $119.83 per share.

Investors and traders dealing in risky assets are optimistic about the US economy, with oil dropping more than 45% from its peak in June, and the job market rebounding.

Source: Bloomberg LP

Low yields have helped the US corporate sector expand aggressively on the back of cheap capital. Companies with low credit ratings have also managed to raise capital, as investors seek higher yields. US corporate debt has crossed the $1.5 trillion mark, as borrowers continue to enjoy low rates. Low-grade issuers have raised more than $333 billion through junk bond sales.

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Bidness Etc
Today
13 Points
1

Kyle Long out for Bears versus Lions

Mosley.The other inactives for the Bears on Sunday will be safety Chris Conte, kicker Robbie Gould, cornerback Terrance Mitchell, defensive end Trevor Scott, quarterback David Fales and defensive tackle Will Sutton.Conte will be replaced in the starting lineup by rookie Brock Vereen. Groy, Ola and center Roberto Garza will have their hands full Sunday afternoon with Lions defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and C.J.

Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long will not play Sunday afternoon against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field, declared inactive by the team because of a hip injury. 

Long practiced in full for the Bears on Thursday but missed practice Friday with soreness in his hip and now becomes the fifth opening-day starter on the Bears' offensive line to miss a game due to injury.

With Long's absence, the Bears are again forced to do some reshuffling on their offensive line with Michael Ola taking Long's place at right guard and undrafted rookie Ryan Groy sliding over to start at left guard.

The timing, of course, isn't ideal for the Bears as they turn the controls of their offense over to quarterback Jimmy Clausen against one of the NFL's best defenses. Groy, Ola and center Roberto Garza will have their hands full Sunday afternoon with Lions defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and C.J. Mosley.

The other inactives for the Bears on Sunday will be safety Chris Conte, kicker Robbie Gould, cornerback Terrance Mitchell, defensive end Trevor Scott, quarterback David Fales and defensive tackle Will Sutton.

Conte will be replaced in the starting lineup by rookie Brock Vereen. Jay Feely will handle place-kicking duties for the third consecutive game.

Chicago Tribune
Today
13 Points
1

Tech Lionsgate offering The Hunger Games and Catching Fire movies for free to select Samsung users

( Log Out / Change )Connecting to %sNotify me of new comments via email.Notify me of new posts via email. So even if you don’t own one of the listed Samsung devices, it’s worth downloading the Lionsgate app to see if you can get The Hunger Games and Catching Fire for free. To celebrate the holiday season, Lionsgate is offering users of select Samsung devices free downloads of two popular movies. This should prompt a promotional message to appear with a Google Play Store redemption code.

To celebrate the holiday season, Lionsgate is offering users of select Samsung devices free downloads of two popular movies. Users of the Galaxy Tab S, Galaxy Note Pro, Galaxy Tab Pro, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S5, and Galaxy Note 3 can download The Hunger Games movie and its sequel Catching Fire for totally free via the Lionsgate Android app.

In order to obtain the free copies of the popular movies, first download the Lionsgate app from the Play Store, then tap the “2” button within the app to move to the second menu item. From there, hit “>” and choose either of the movies. This should prompt a promotional message to appear with a Google Play Store redemption code. Simply tap the code and then hit the “Add to Library” button that will appear.

Once you’ve added the movies to your Google Play library, you can watch them on your current device, the web, your Chromecast, or any other Android phone or tablet.

Some users have reported the offer as being compatible with additional Samsung devices, most notably the Galaxy Note 4. So even if you don’t own one of the listed Samsung devices, it’s worth downloading the Lionsgate app to see if you can get The Hunger Games and Catching Fire for free. It’s available on the Play Store.

First trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay ? Part 1 to debut on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S

Samsung launches ‘Milk Music’, a free and ad-free (for now) radio app for Galaxy users

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9to5Mac
Today
11 Points
New

North Korea proposes joint investigation into Sony hack

would never accept its offer for a joint investigation.U.S. In 2010, North Korea proposed a joint investigation after a South Korean-led international team concluded that the North was behind a torpedo attack that killed 46 South Korean sailors, though Pyongyang denied its involvement."They are now talking about a joint investigation because they think there is no conclusive evidence," Koh said.

SEOUL, south korea ? North Korea on Saturday proposed a joint investigation with the U.S. into the hacking attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, warning of "serious" consequences if Washington rejects a probe that it says would prove Pyongyang had nothing to do with the cyberattack.

The proposal was seen by analysts as a typical ploy by the North to try to show that it is sincere, even though it knows the U.S. would never accept its offer for a joint investigation.

U.S. officials blame North Korea for the hacking, citing the tools used in the Sony attack and previous hacks linked to the North, and have vowed to respond.

The break-in resulted in the disclosure of tens of thousands of confidential Sony e-mails and business files, and escalated to threats of terrorism attacks against U.S. movie theaters that caused Sony to cancel the Christmas Day release of "The Interview," a comedy about a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

On Saturday, an unidentified North Korean foreign ministry spokesman in Pyongyang proposed the joint investigation, saying the North knows how to prove it's not responsible for the hacking. He also said Washington was slandering Pyongyang by spreading unfounded rumors.

"The U.S. should bear in mind that it will face serious consequences in case it rejects our proposal for joint investigation and presses for what it called countermeasures while finding fault with" North Korea, the spokesman said in a statement carried by Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency, or KCNA.

"We have a way to prove that we have nothing to do with the case without resorting to torture, as the CIA does," he said, adding that the U.S. lacks any specific evidence tying North Korea to the hacking.

In Washington, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, Mark Stroh, said the U.S. stands by the FBI's conclusion that "the North Korean government is responsible for this destructive attack."

"The government of North Korea has a long history of denying responsibility for destructive and provocative actions," Stroh said. "If the North Korean government wants to help, they can admit their culpability and compensate Sony for the damages this attack caused."

Koh Yu-hwan, a professor at Seoul's Dongguk University, called the North's proposal a "typical" tactic the country has taken in similar disputes with rival countries. In 2010, North Korea proposed a joint investigation after a South Korean-led international team concluded that the North was behind a torpedo attack that killed 46 South Korean sailors, though Pyongyang denied its involvement.

"They are now talking about a joint investigation because they think there is no conclusive evidence," Koh said. "But the U.S. won't accede to a joint investigation for the crime."

The Denver Post
Today
20 Points
1

Slain Florida cop's shooter identified as a transient

Marco Antonio Parilla Jr., 23, was identified as the suspect who fatally show Charles Kondek. Kondek was also a former NYPD officer, police said. The shooting happened at 3 a.m. NYPD Officers Rafael Ramos, 40, and Wenjian Liu, 32 were killed in Brooklyn on Saturday.Police are still investigating the shooting.The story is developing and will be updated. [email protected] Related Stories Lupica: NYPD killings come as some think cops are threat .
Marco Antonio Parilla Jr., 23, was identified as the suspect who fatally show Charles Kondek. Parilla is a transient and was charged with first-degree murder

The Tarpon Springs Police Department has identified the suspect who fatally shot police officer Charles Kondek to be a transient

The suspect was identified as 23-year-old Marco Antonio Parilla Jr

Parilla was charged with first-degree murder, authorities said.

Kondek, 45, was a 17-year veteran of the local police department and a father of five. Kondek was also a former NYPD officer, police said. 

The shooting happened at 3 a.m. Sunday in Tarpon Springs?approximately 28 miles outside Tampa?after Kondek responded to a call.

Tarpon Springs Police Dept. Charles Kondek, 45, was fatally shot early morning Sunday. Police say Kondek was a former NYPD cop. 

Investigators are currently looking into a second crime scene where Parilla fled on a white Hyundai sedan and crashed into a power pole, snapping it in half.

Parilla then crashed into a pickup truck. That's where he has brought into custody. 

Kondek was transported to Florida Hospital North Pinellas to receive medical treatment where he later died. 

Parilla will be transported to Pinellas County Jail, Bay News 9 reported.

WFTS Kondek's shooter is in custody. He was brought in after he fled the scene on a white Hyundai sedan and crashed into a power pole and pickup truck. 

The incident occured one day after two cops were killed in New York City. NYPD Officers Rafael Ramos, 40, and Wenjian Liu, 32 were killed in Brooklyn on Saturday.

Police are still investigating the shooting.

The story is developing and will be updated. 

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Money American Apparel (APP) Stock Rallies Up After Buyout Offer

Published: Dec 21, 2014 at 9:34 am EST American Apparel Inc’s (NYSEMKT:APP) stock price spiked after talks of a potential acquisition by Irving Place Capital gathered pace. Charney, however, is still the largest shareholder of American Apparel, holding a 43% stake in the company. Working with hedge fund Standard General LP, Mr.

Published: Dec 21, 2014 at 9:34 am EST

American Apparel Inc’s (NYSEMKT:APP) stock price spiked after talks of a potential acquisition by Irving Place Capital gathered pace. Irving Capital is reportedly offering $1.30-1.40 for every American Apparel share, much higher than the stock’s closing price on Friday.

The retailer is currently embroiled in a financial crisis, with its sales plunging and profitability falling. In the third quarter ended September 30, the company reported an adjusted net loss of $19.7 million, compared to a $9.7 million loss a year ago. The company's overall sales dropped 5% to $156 million compared to prior year. 

Therefore, American Apparel's board is said to be seriously considering the offer. This is even though it is well aware Irving Place Capital will be looking to bring back recently fired CEO Dov Charney in some role in the future.

In June, Mr. Charney was suspended as the company’s chief executive, and was ultimately asked to leave the company last Tuesday amid allegations of sexual harassment and misuse of corporate funds. American Apparel has since hired Paula Schneider to fill the gap left by Mr. Charney.

Mr. Charney, however, is still the largest shareholder of American Apparel, holding a 43% stake in the company. Working with hedge fund Standard General LP, Mr. Charney still has voting rights within the company.

Following the buyout news, American Apparel shares rose more than 45% to $1 Thursday, December 18 - the highest single-day jump in the stock in five years.

The stock closed up 7% at $1.07 Friday.

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North Korea denies Sony hack but warns U.S. : Worse is coming

"citadels" will be attacked, dwarfing the hacking attack on Sony that led to the cancellation of the film's release.Obama: North Korea's hack not war, but 'cybervandalism'While steadfastly denying involvement in the hack, North Korea accused U.S. government of being behind the making of the movie "The Interview."And, in a dispatch on state media, the totalitarian regime warns the United States that U.S.

(CNN) -- North Korea is accusing the U.S. government of being behind the making of the movie "The Interview."

And, in a dispatch on state media, the totalitarian regime warns the United States that U.S. "citadels" will be attacked, dwarfing the hacking attack on Sony that led to the cancellation of the film's release.

Obama: North Korea's hack not war, but 'cybervandalism'

While steadfastly denying involvement in the hack, North Korea accused U.S. President Barack Obama of calling for "symmetric counteraction."

"The DPRK has already launched the toughest counteraction. Nothing is more serious miscalculation than guessing that just a single movie production company is the target of this counteraction. Our target is all the citadels of the U.S. imperialists who earned the bitterest grudge of all Koreans," a report on state-run KCNA read.

"Our toughest counteraction will be boldly taken against the White House, the Pentagon and the whole U.S. mainland, the cesspool of terrorism," the report said, adding that "fighters for justice" including the "Guardians of Peace" -- a group that claimed responsibility for the Sony attack -- "are sharpening bayonets not only in the U.S. mainland but in all other parts of the world."

The FBI on Friday pinned blame on North Korea for a hack into Sony's computer systems.

In an interview broadcast Sunday on CNN, Obama called it "an act of cybervandalism," not war.

While the film was the work of private individuals, North Korea insisted otherwise in its statement. "The DPRK has clear evidence that the U.S. administration was deeply involved in the making of such dishonest reactionary movie," it said.

"The Interview" is a comedy, with plans for an attempted assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a central plot point.

In a CNN interview on Friday, Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton said the studio had not "given in" to pressure from hackers and was still considering ways to distribute the movie.

But that's not what the company initially said after canceling the film's release.

On Wednesday night, a studio spokesperson said simply, "Sony Pictures has no further release plans for the film."

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13-year-old son of slain NYPD cop Rafael Ramos mourns father: 'I will always love you and I will never forget you. RIP Dad.' 

Margarita Ramos via Facebook Margarita Ramos with Officer Ralph Ramos, who was killed in the line of duty on Saturday. Facebook Officer Rafael Ramos in a Facebook photo shared by his son Jaden. Enlarge Margarita Ramos via Facebook Jaden Ramos poses with his father Ralph Ramos wearing his police uniform hat. Jaden Ramos via Facebook Rafael Ramos' son Jaden posted these birthday wishes to his father on Dec.
Facebook Officer Rafael Ramos in a Facebook photo shared by his son Jaden.

Jaden Ramos didn't lose his father. His father was taken from him.

And now Officer Rafael Ramos, who was always there for his son, can't be there again.

"This is the worst day of my life," 13-year-old Jaden said on his Facebook page after learning that his dad was murdered Saturday, along with his partner, Wenjian Liu, by a cold-blooded killer.

Margarita Ramos via Facebook Margarita Ramos with Officer Ralph Ramos, who was killed in the line of duty on Saturday. Enlarge Margarita Ramos via Facebook Jaden Ramos poses with his father Ralph Ramos wearing his police uniform hat. Enlarge

Jaden's Facebook profile is laden with both heartwarming and heart-wrenching posts about his dad.

"Today I had to say bye to my father. He was their for me everyday of my life, he was the best father I could ask for. It's horrible that someone gets shot dead just for being a police officer. Everyone says they hate cops but they are the people that they call for help. I will always love you and I will never forget you. RIP Dad."

Jaden Ramos via Facebook Jaden Ramos posted a message on Facebook after his father, Officer Rafael Ramos, and his partner, Officer Wenjian Liu, were fatally shot: It's horrible that someone gets shot dead just for being a police officer.

Jaden also posted a picture of himself with his arm around his dad earlier this month to celebrate his father's 40th birthday.

"Happy birthday to the best dad in the world, you are always there for me even when it's almost impossible," he wrote in the Dec. 9 post.

Jaden Ramos via Facebook Rafael Ramos' son Jaden posted these birthday wishes to his father on Dec. 9.

The message went on to say, "We have so many good times it's not even funny, I love you so much."

The officers were executed as they were stationed in a patrol car outside the Tompkins Houses in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, around 2:45 p.m. Saturday, police said.

Facebook Some supporters of the slain police officers changed their Facebook profile photos or cover photos to this memorial picture in their honor.

The shooter, 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, walked up and unloaded a fusillade into the car before either officer had a chance to even draw their weapons, police said.

Brinsley had declared his sinister plan on Instagram just hours before.

James Keivom/New York Daily News Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were shot and in killed while they sat in a patrol car in Bedfor-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, on Saturday.

"I'm putting wings on pigs today. They take 1 of ours... Let's take 2 of theirs," Brinsley wrote on Instagram, alongside a photo of a silver handgun.

Ramos' family has been left reeling under the weight of the loss, high-ranking police sources said.

His wife was sobbing and said she "felt like a piece of her had died," the source said. She kept repeating, "Rafael, I love you," according to the source.

Ramos, who also has a son in college in Maine, was a two-year veteran with the NYPD.

His partner Liu, 32, had been on the force seven years and was recently married.

With Laura Dimon

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