BC-US--Business Features Digest, US
The business news enterprise package planned through May 8. Comments or questions should be directed to Joseph Pisani at 212-621-1975. Questions about photos should be directed to Chris Hatch at ext. 7626. For questions about graphics, call ext. 7636. Repeats of stories are available from http://apexchange.com or the Service Desk, 1-800-838-4616.
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BATON ROUGE, La. â¿¿ For years, state governments lured workers with the promise of lucrative pensions that provide nearly the pay that employees earned on the job. But after years of budget crunches, nearly every state has revamped public retirement benefits in an effort to shrink the long-term obligations that are billions of dollars short of what is needed to cover benefits. The moves have triggered a legal and political battle over whether states are reneging on their promises to millions of public-sector workers. By Melinda Deslatte.Eds: Sent Tuesday for use any time. AP photos. FOOD AND FARM-DARK MEAT MINNEAPOLIS â¿¿ Thighs and drumsticks are climbing the pecking order as Americans join consumers abroad in seeking flavor that isn't found in ubiquitous boneless, skinless chicken breasts. The poultry industry used to have trouble finding a market for dark meat, but changing domestic tastes and growing exports to countries that prefer leg quarters are pushing up prices and helping pull the poultry industry out of a deep slump. By Steve Karnowski. Eds: Sent Tuesday for use any time. AP photos. COLUMNS SMALL TALK Economists have been waiting for small businesses to take over leadership of the economic recovery ever since the recession ended nearly three years ago. But that doesn't seem to be happening. A series of numbers including the first reading on the gross domestic product this year are indicating that small business owners remain hesitant to borrow money and to hire more workers. By Joyce M. Rosenberg.
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