The Iran nuclear deal was reached overnight, airlines are raking in big bucks from additional fees, and President Obama commutes sentences for some non-violent drug offenders. Here are the top news stories for July 14, 2015.
A Deal Is Reached
In the early morning hours Tuesday, six major global powers reached agreement with the government of Iran regarding that country’s nuclear power policies. The agreement will see some sanctions eased on Iran in exchange for strict restrictions on the development of a nuclear weapons program. Negotiations between Iran and the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China finally came to an end as Iran agreed not to stockpile large amounts of enriched uranium in return for relief of economic sanctions that have been in place for years and have crippled the country’s economy. The International Atomic Energy Agency will be the watchdog that keeps track of Iran’s nuclear activities.
JP Morgan Wins
JPMorgan Chase Tuesday reported quarterly earnings above analysts’ expectations as a results of lower expenses for the quarter. The bank reported second-quarter earnings of $1.54 per share, up from $1.46 per share in the year previous. Revenue fell to $24.5 billion from $25.35 billion one year ago. Analysts had expected earnings of $1.44 per share on revenue of $24.51 billion.
Airlines Raking It In
An annual study of airline revenues found that fees from checked bags, changed reservations and other additional charges increased airlines revenues by almost 21 percent to an all-time high of $38.1 billion in 2014. The study by IdeaWorksCompany and CarTrawler showed that the extra fees are far above the $2.245 billion they brought in back in 2007. The ancillary revenue per passenger among 63 airlines worldwide was $17.49, an 8.5 percent increase from 2013. Also, low-cost carriers collected almost $3 billion in extra fees, and that was an increase of almost 33 percent from 2013 to 2014.
Rapper Files For Bankruptcy
The rapper known as 50 Cent filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday. Curtis James Jackson III claimed assets and debts in the range of $10 million to $50 million. The filing came just days after a jury directed Jackson to pay $5 million to a woman who sued him over a sex tape that was distributed.
Non-Violent Drug Offenders Freed
President Barack Obama Monday commuted the prison sentences of 46 non-violent drug offenders, and defended the decision in a video posted online saying the prisoners were not “hardened criminals”’ and that they deserved a second chance. Obama said his decision was part of an attempt to reform the criminal justice system and sentencing laws to reduce punishments for non-violent crimes in order to reduce the nation’s overwhelming prison population problem. Obama has commuted almost 90 prison sentences as president, the most since Lyndon Johnson’s presidency.
Small Businesses Want to Serve Gay Customers
The Small Business Majority Monday released a poll that showed that two-thirds of all U.S. small business owners believe shop owners should not be able to deny services to LGBT customers. More than half of the 500 business owners surveyed said they should not be allowed to deny wedding-related services based on the sexual orientation of the potential customer. Approximately 55 percent of owners who identified as Republicans and 62 percent of those who identified as Christians said business owners should not deny goods and services for sexual orientation reasons.
Retail Sales Drop In June
The Commerce Department Tuesday announced that U.S. retail sales fell unexpectedly in June as Americans cut back on buying automobiles and a host of other goods. The retail sales in June slipped 0.3 percent, giving the weakest reading since February of 2015. May’s retail sales were also revised down to show them rising just 1.0 percent. Retail sales excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services dipped 0.1 percent.