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ugg boots uk US factory orders increase 1

US factory orders increase 1

Laurel Canyon music, vibe moves to Grammy MuseumTucson band wins Ellington jazz competitionEurovision winning drag queen returns in triumphRep. Rogers hopes for ‘smart debate’ on radio showAustrian drag queen wins Eurovision song contestSummer movies highlight 20s to 30s shiftLed Zeppelin’s Page honored at Berklee graduationDynamic duo: The success of Jimmy Iovine, Dr. factories advanced strongly in March for a second month while demand in a key category that signals business investment plans increased by the largest amount in more than a year. The strength was further evidence that the economy was rebounding after a harsh winter.Orders increased 1.1 percent in March after increasing 1.5 percent in February, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Those gains followed two months of declines in December and January.Orders for core capital goods, considered a good proxy for business investment, jumped 3.5 percent in March, rebounding from a 0.9 percent drop in February. It was the biggest increase since January 2013.Economists say rising demand will boost factory production in coming months, helping the overall economy emerge from a winter slowdown.In other upbeat news, the Labor Department said Friday that the economy added 288,000 jobs in April, the biggest monthly gain in more than two years, with the unemployment rate falling to 6.3 percent, its lowest level since September 2008.Orders for durable goods, items expected to last at least three years, rose 2.9 percent in March, an improvement from an initial estimate of a 2.6 percent in the advance report released last week. There were widespread gains in a number of areas with increases in demand for machinery, computers and primary metals such as steel.Orders for non durable goods such as chemicals, paper and food, fell 0.6 percent in March.Severe weather depressed activity during the winter and analysts had expected a rebound in orders and production as the weather improves.A closely watched gauge of manufacturing activity showed improvement in April. The Institute for Supply Managem ugg boots uk ent reported Thursday that its manufacturing index rose to 54.9 in April, up from 53.7 in March. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion in manufacturing.The ISM index showed a pickup in exports in April. Manufacturers are also being helped by increased domestic demand. A separate report Thursday said that consumer spending rose by 0.9 percent in March, the fastest pace in 4 years, as consumers spent more on manufactured goods.Economists are hoping that momentum shown at the end ugg boots uk of the January March quarter will translate in to stronger economic growth in the April June quarter.The gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the economy’s health, slowed to a barely discernible growth rate of 0.1 percent in the January M ugg boots uk arch quarter, reflecting in part the disruptive effects of the harsh winter. But analysts expect growth could rebound in the current quarter to a rate around 3 percent.They also project that that pace of activity w ugg boots uk ill hold up for the rest of the year, as the economy benefits from stronger job growth which will help support gains in consumer spending.

ugg boots uk US faces tough fight in cash s

US faces tough fight in cash smuggling crackdown

WASHINGTON Jeanette Barraza Galindo conspicuously left her bags of teddy bears and throw pillows on a bus during an inspection at the Texas Mexico border and professed ignorance about the $277,556 officers found hidden inside. The bags were handed to her at a bus station, gifts to be given to a child upon her return to Mexico, she told investigators. Federal immigration agents say their investigations have yielded more cash seizures and arrests in the past half dozen years as criminals, sidestepping scrutiny from banks over electronic transfers, resort to using cash to conceal proceeds from drug trafficking as they move the money south to crime rings in Mexico and elsewhere.

It’s similar to the tactic taken in fighting terrorism: crippling financing networks before the money ends up with leaders of drug cartels and trafficking rings. But the flow is hard to stop. and Mexico are realizing that criminal enterprises, just like other businesses, can’t operate without a steady cash stream, said David Shirk, director of the Trans Border Institute at the University of San Diego, which ugg boots uk promotes scholarship of border issues.

“We’re shifting our strategy to a more diverse strategy of not just going after bad guys and arresting them, but also going after their guns, going after their money,” he said.

I ugg boots uk t’s illegal to try to smuggle more than $10,000 in undeclared cash across the border. Officials say the crime itself is often connected to other illegal activities including drug trafficking, gambling, and credit card and customs fraud. Money that’s seized is deposited into government forfeiture funds, which can be used for further law enforcement efforts.

The Obama administration has identified targeting bulk cash smuggling as a prong of its strategy against transnational crime. Congressional panels held hearings on the issue last year. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reported more than $150 million in seized cash and 428 arrests in bulk cash smuggling investigations in fiscal year 2011, up from $7.3 million and 48 in fiscal year 2005. A cash smuggling center in Vermont that’s run by ICE’s homeland security investigations and that opened in 2009 has expanded operations in a sign of heightened emphasis, officials announced in December.

But experts say measuring the impact of the beefed up focus is tricky.

It’s hard to track cash’s origin and destination and investigators can’t always count on help from couriers, who may be more afraid of cooperating than spending a few years in prison.

Plus, the amount seized ugg boots uk represents a fraction of the total money at stake. A 2010 report by the Government Accountability Office said staffing and infrastructure at the border were limiting success in detecting large quantities of cash, and also highlighted another problem: the use of prepaid, stored value cards which may be used to access cash at ATMs and aren’t as stringently regulated as traditional banking.

“I call this winning the battle, losing the war. Sure, $90 million sounds like a lot,” said Bruce Bagley, a University of Miami international studies professor who researches drug trafficking. “That’s nothing in comparison to the $19 to $39 billion that’s being returned” into the Mexican economy.

Cash smuggling, a seemingly elementary form of money laundering, has emerged as a seductive medium for criminals as banks have become more sophisticated in spotting suspicious transactions. Cash has built in advantages, too: It can be transferred without a trace and is instantly available.

“The financial industry has done a much better job in terms of trying to keep out illicit money, and as a result the organizations adapt and then they go to some tried and true methods and, that is, they’re bulking it up and sending it where it needs to go,” said Joseph Burke, chief of ICE’s National Bulk Cash Smuggling Center in Vermont.

Criminal organizations generally move contraband north across the border. The money they make, in turn, flows south.

Burke said the money is often collected at consolidation hubs perhaps a home in a quiet residential neighborhood or a warehouse and then distributed among several couriers. Dividing the cash into smaller chunks means less money will be lost if one courier is arrested. Drug trafficking groups recruit relatives, associates and those lower in the organization like those who might need to pay off debt to the cartel. Sometimes, a percentage of the money being transported is dangled as an incentive.

Couriers have assorted methods for moving the money, including strapping it to their body, hiding it in car compartments, stacking it on pallets and concealing it in vacuum packed bags.

Customs and Border Protection has increased the size of the border patrol and began screening more vehicle traffic and southbound rail traffic for weapons and cash after the Obama administration announced a new southwestern border initiative in March 2009, agency officials said at congressional hearings last year.

Still, the accountability office report said CBP needs better data on how successful its efforts have been as well as more consistent, full time enforcement. It said its investigators tested three border ports of entry, with shredded cash hidden in the car. At two sites, the report said, the cars were allowed to turn around without further questioning, and the vehicle wasn’t physically inspected at the third.

Perez said border patrol officers are vigilant about looking fo ugg boots uk r suspicious behavior, but it’s impossible to catch every single person.

“We know we’re can’t talk to 100 percent” (of drivers). It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack, but we put a lot of resources out there,” said Efrain Perez, a program manager with CBP.

Meanwhile, activity continues steadily mostly, but not always, along the southwestern border.

Barraza, the woman stopped with the teddy bears and throw pillows last March, caught the attention of border patrol officers after she ignored instructions for passengers to remove belongings from the bus. She pleaded guilty to illegally concealing the money, though charging documents don’t explicitly state the reason for the concealed cash. She was ultimately sentenced to two years in prison. Her lawyer didn’t return messages.