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Nation / World

Social Security Q&A: Children Could Be Eligible for Survivors Benefits

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Question: My neighbor said my kids, 8 and 15, might be eligible for survivors’ benefits since their mother died. Are they? Answer: Maybe. Their mother must have worked and earned the required number of Social Security credits. If she did, both you and your children may be eligible for benefits. Apply promptly because survivors benefits are generally retroactive only up to six months. You can apply by calling Social Security’s …

In Proper Japan, Adultery Site Is Big

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Tokyo — Ashley Madison, the world’s biggest online hookup site for married people, works only when monogamy is the rule on the surface but, deep inside, couples want to cheat. That’s why it is scoring big in Japan. The nation that prides itself on conformity and proper appearances reached a million users in …

Milwaukee Group Wants to Buy Pabst

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Milwaukee — Long before it was known for fine cheddar cheese or the Green Bay Packers, Wisconsin was famous for beer, especially the national brands brewed in Milwaukee: Schlitz, Blatz and Pabst Blue Ribbon. The brewing tradition started by Milwaukee’s German immigrants in the 1800s endured for more than a century, until industry …

Pricey Wagyu Steaks Are Abe’s Answer to Imports

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Tokyo — Hirotaka Sekiguchi dresses his Wagyu calves in T-shirts and jackets to protect them against Japan’s spring chill and an expected avalanche of cheap foreign beef. Sekiguchi, 59, pampers the 320 cattle on his feedlot in Kamisato township north of Tokyo with customized meals and private stalls …

Most Wild Kittens Taken To Shelters Will Be Killed

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Los Angeles — Wild kittens that will number in the tens of millions this year are starting to be born, but half of them won’t survive, an especially acute problem at overtaxed shelters forced to euthanize the millions …

Money Talk: Bills in Collection Linger on Credit Reports

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Dear Liz: I went with my brother to his credit union to refinance his house and found out his wife has about eight medical bills that went to collections, and he owes a phone company more than $2,000. Their debt totals about $6,300. I could lend them the …

Miss Manners: A Gift of DNA Swab Kits Is Relatively Unwelcome

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Dear Miss Manners: A family member recently arranged to have two DNA swab kits sent directly to my husband and me from a well-known scientific organization. The organization apparently is in the process of conducting a worldwide hereditary study. We have no association with this organization and have …

Businesses Race In Bid to Prevent More Data Theft

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Washington — Recent high-profile data breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus have accelerated plans by banks and retailers to implement technologies they say will prevent hackers from stealing consumers’ account information. Malware installed in Neiman Marcus payment terminals exposed 1.1 million debit and credit cards from July to …

Going It Alone: Authors Discuss Their Decision to Abandon Traditional Publishing

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Newport News, Va. — “I should write a book.” We’ve all heard that statement before from friends or family or co-workers. We might even have said it ourselves. We all have stories to tell, whether real or fictional. …

To Your Good Health: Help For Persistent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Dear Dr. Roach: In August 2013, I had surgery on my right wrist for carpal tunnel syndrome. The numbness in my fingers has not changed. Now I’m faced with the same problem in my left hand. I’m going to forget surgery, seeing as it wasn’t successful in my …

Revered Songwriter Jesse Winchester Dies at 69

Sunday, April 20, 2014

It was an offhand comment by singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester, but it stopped Elvis Costello cold when he was chatting with Winchester for his short-lived music-interview series Spectacle on the Sundance Channel a few years ago. In an aside, …

Wheels: Up to Date, But Not Quite Up to Speed

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Jeep Cherokee, absent from the U.S. auto market since 2001, is back. But it is a more luxurious, fuel-efficient version of its former self. You can boo, or celebrate the changes. If you are a devotee of …

Nuts & Bolts: 2014 Jeep Cherokee

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Bottom line: The new Jeep Cherokee is well worth the look, but only with the optional V-6 engine and, if you really intend to use it off-road, with the Trail Rated four-wheel-drive system. Ride, acceleration, handling: The ride is comfortable. Acceleration is miserable with the four-cylinder engine but …