Eds: Sent Wednesday for use anytime. This story stands for SmallBiz-Small Talk. Small Talk will return next week.AP photos. With: â¿¿ SMALLBIZ-REALITY SHOWS-GLANCE â¿¿ A look at some reality TV shows that feature small businesses and the average number of people that are watching. â¿¿ SMALLBIZ-REALITY SHOWS-HOW TO GET ONE â¿¿ Want your business to be the star of a reality show? Here are some tips that may help. DO-IT-YOURSELF DETROIT DETROIT â¿¿ Detroit may be broke but it will soon have a first-rate motor pool, featuring 23 new ambulances and a fleet of 100 new police cars. One of the surprising things about Detroit's descent toward insolvency is that public services haven't collapsed as completely as some might have expected. But that's not because city departments are functioning as usual. They're not. Instead, a growing collection of volunteers, some affluent, some just average guys riding their Toros, are trying to pick up some services that local government normally provides. By Corey Williams. Eds: Sent Thursday for use anytime. AP photos. BRAZIL-UNSAFE CARS SAO PAULO â¿¿ Brazilian drivers are dying at far higher rates than those in richer nations, in part because they're riding in cars made with fewer safety features than the same versions of the cars sold in Europe and the United States. Unsafe cars contribute to a Brazilian death rate that is nearly four times that of the U.S. While U.S. fatalities declined in the past decade, in Brazil the number killed rose 72 percent, pointing to a gap for the South American giant's new middle class whose surging spending power has outpaced consumer protections taken for granted in more developed countries. By Bradley Brooks. Eds: Sent Thursday for print release Sunday, May 12. AP Photos RAILROAD VETERANS OMAHA, Neb. â¿¿ Mark Major once led a team of soldiers in combat in Iraq. Now he leads a team of railroad employees. The difference, he says, is obvious: "I'm not getting shot at anymore." But it's the similarities between serving in the military and working for the railroad that draw Major and many other former military members to this type of work. As thousands of American soldiers return to the civilian workforce after service in Iraq or Afghanistan, many are finding jobs on the rail lines. More than 25 percent of all railroad workers nationwide have served in the military. By Josh Funk.
Eds: Sent Friday for use anytimeAP photos. BANGLADESH-BUILDING COLLAPSE-BEYOND PR MUMBAI, India â¿¿ Global clothing brands involved in Bangladesh's troubled garment industry responded in starkly different ways to the building collapse that killed more than 600 people. Some quickly acknowledged their links to the tragedy and promised compensation. Others denied they authorized work at factories in the building even when their labels were found in the rubble. The first approach seems to deserve plaudits for honesty and compassion. The second seems calculated to minimize damage to a brand by maximizing distance from the disaster. Communications professionals say both are public relations strategies and neither may be enough to protect companies from the stain of doing business in Bangladesh. By Kay Johnson. Eds: Sent Monday for use anytime. AP photo. MANCHESTER UNITED-FERGUSON-BUSINESS When Alex Ferguson walked in to take the helm at Manchester United in 1986, the club was languishing and its status as one of England's top football clubs, on and off the field, was in serious jeopardy. Now, 27 years later, Manchester United is back at the top of the English pile and, with annual revenues of nearly half a billion dollars and a market capitalization of a little over $3 billion, has secured its status as one of the world's top sporting franchises. By Pan Pylas. Eds: Sent Wednesday for use anytime. AP photos. NIGHTCLUBS TAKE VEGAS LAS VEGAS â¿¿ To step into club XS at the Wynn Las Vegas is to enter the dreamscape of a modern artist with fetishes for gold and bronze and bodies in motion. A golden-plated frieze made from casts of nude women sits atop a shimmering staircase. Waves of electronic dance music grow louder with each downward step toward a pulsating, football field-sized club where lasers cut the air above thousands of dancers. By Hannah Dreier.
Eds: Sent Monday for use anytime.AP photos. FRIENDING MOM Josh Knoller spent years refusing his mother's "Friend Request" on Facebook before, eventually, "caving in." Today they have an agreement: she'll try not to make embarrassing comments, and he can delete them if she does. By National Writer Martha Mendoza. Eds: Sent Friday for use anytime. AP photos. CHINA-SUV NATION SHANGHAI â¿¿ BYD is known for electric cars but this year's flagship model is the S7, a gasoline-powered SUV. It comes with an air purifier, radar to help with backing and digital TV. An onboard hard drive can hold 1,000 films. This is China's Year of the SUV. Whatever their specialties used to be, automakers ranging from global brands to China's ambitious rookies are scrambling to cash in on the explosive popularity of sport utility vehicles. The SUV boom clashes with Beijing's efforts to push automakers to develop electric cars and to sell smaller vehicles to help curb smog and demand for imported oil. But the SUV's image of safety appeals to prosperous Chinese drivers who face chaotic city streets while electric vehicles from BYD and other producers struggle to attract buyers. By Business Writer Joe McDonald. Eds: Sent Tuesday for use anytime. AP photos. COLUMNS: OF MUTUAL INTEREST-ASIA INVESTING Q&A BOSTON â¿¿ Where is global growth headed? Two numbers are critical to assessing the current outlook. Japan's inflation rate is a gauge of whether the country can end two decades of economic stagnation. China's gross domestic product will show whether its new leadership can restore rapid growth after a recent slowdown. But Kenneth Lowe of the 5 star-rated Matthews Asian Growth & Income Fund advises not to get caught up in the numbers. Instead, consider whether Japan and China can adopt economic reforms needed for long-term, sustainable growth. We'll hear Lowe's outlook in a Q&A. By Personal Finance Writer Mark Jewell.
Eds: Sent Thursday for use anytime.AP photo. DIGITAL LIFE-TECH TEST-PINTEREST'S NEW LOOK NEW YORK â¿¿ Don't worry, Pinterest fans: Your sprawling virtual pegboards of wedding dresses, handmade jewelry, craft projects and food porn haven't changed dramatically. They're just easier to manage. The popular link- and photo-sharing website has rolled out an update, one offering people simpler navigation and new ways to arrange their boards to fit their needs. Although the haphazard spirit of Pinterest remains, the site is much less overwhelming. By Business Writer Bree Fowler. Eds: Sent Wednesday for use anytime. ON THE MONEY-STUDENT LOANS Finding a job in a slowly growing economy is daunting enough without new financial obligations. That's the challenge many university students graduating over the next few weeks will soon face as their student loan payments start coming due. Here are several ways new grads can manage their student loan debt. By Alex Veiga. Eds: Sent Wednesday for use anytime.