Sears Unveils Connected Solutions Flagship And Is Expanding

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“Sears continues to be the authority in millions of American homes for products across all categories including appliances, fitness, auto, electronics and home,” said Ryan Ciovacco, president of Consumer Electronics and Connected Solutions, Sears Holdings. “Connected Solutions is smart made simple. It’s more than just buying a device – it’s creating an environment that allows our members to see how smart technology has the potential to solve problems, save money and make life easier. Online and in stores across the country, we’re leveraging our home services expertise, dedicated technology support and installation network to seamlessly meet the needs of our members, from considering what solutions can simplify their lives to setting them up at home.”
The connected home is one of the fastest-growing categories in consumer electronics – in five years everything will be connected. Whether at home or far away, consumers can control and automate just about every light, device and appliance within the home.1
Connected Solutions is organized in the following four categories in-store and online:
• Simply Entertaining – Music and television have never been so connected and controllable throughout the home. Discover the ultimate entertainment experience with Smart TVs, Bluetooth speakers and streaming media players or watch your choice of movies or TV shows anywhere on your tablets or smartphone. Sears offers mobile phone service and data plans from carriers with flexible, no-commitment options.
• Simply Fit – For members looking to track and monitor their steps and sleep habits or get motivated to be active. From connecting your wearable fitness tracker to your bathroom scale or at-home gym equipment, Sears offers a variety of solutions to help achieve your fitness goals.
• Simply Automated – Whether at work or at play, Sears members can experience how to use their smartphone as a remote to automate and control lights, electronics and appliances in their home.
• Simply Secure – From checking in on children or pets through innovative home monitoring solutions to receiving alerts from smoke alarms and doorbells, Sears offers the care and security solutions to give you peace of mind.
Many of the smart technology solutions found at the 4,000 square-foot Connected Solutions store require less than five minutes to set up. For more complex items, expertly trained sales associates can simplify installation. Sears Connected Solutions also offers tech support and maintenance. In addition to the new flagship store, Sears currently has three 2,000 square-foot Connected Solutions shops in the Chicago area and is expanding its Connected Solutions assortment to hundreds of Sears locations nationwide.
For more information about Connected Solutions, visit Sears.com/ConnectedSolutions or see one of our digital kiosks in store. Reported by PR Newswire

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CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report: Average card rates rise to 15 percent

Average rates on new card offers inched up this week for the first time in over a month, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.
The average is comprised of 100 of the most popular credit cards in the country, including cards from dozens of leading U.S. issuers and representing every card category. Introductory (teaser) rates are not included in the calculation.
Rates for card categories tracked by CreditCards.com are listed below:
Credit Card Rate Averages

                 Avg. APR   Last week  6 months ago  

National Average 15.00% 14.99% 14.92%
Low Interest
11.62% 11.62% 10.37%
Balance Transfer
14.12% 14.12% 12.73%
Business
12.85% 12.85% 12.85%
Student
13.14% 13.14% 13.14%
Cash Back
15.27% 15.27% 14.94%
Airline
15.10% 15.10% 15.52%
Reward
15.13% 15.13% 14.90%
Instant Approval
18.00% 17.93% 23.33%
Bad Credit
22.73% 22.73% 22.73%
Source: CreditCards.com

Updated: 06-24-2015
The national average annual percentage rate rose to 15 percent Wednesday after remaining at 14.99 percent for five weeks.
Average rates on new card offers are currently at their highest point in over seven months. The last time average rates rose above 14.99 percent was in November 2014.
The national retail chain Gap spurred this week’s rate increase by bumping the APR on the Gap Visa card from 23.99 percent to 24.99 percent.
Gap also announced on June 15 that it plans to close around 175 Gap stores across North America and lay off approximately 250 corporate employees. As a result, consumers who apply for a Gap card will have fewer stores to choose from.
The CreditCards.com credit card rate survey (permalink: http://www.creditcards.com/rate-report) is conducted weekly, using offer data from the leading U.S. card issuers’ websites. Introductory offer periods and regular interest rates will vary with applicants’ credit quality and issuer risk-based pricing policies.
About CreditCards.com
CreditCards.com is the leading online credit card marketplace connecting consumers with multiple credit card issuers, including a majority of the 10 largest in the United States, based on credit card transaction volume. CreditCards.com, http://www.creditcards.com, enables consumers to search for, compare and apply for credit cards and offers credit card issuers an online channel to acquire qualified applicants. Reported by PR Newswire.

65% of Americans Do Not Have Sufficient Emergency Savings

Just 22% of Americans have an adequate emergency savings cushion – enough to cover at least 6 months’ of expenses, according to a new Bankrate.com (NYSE: RATE) report. Twenty-one percent have less than three months’ expenses saved up, and only 15% have enough to cover between 3 months’ and 5 months’ expenses. The number of Americans with no emergency savings whatsoever has climbed to a 5 year high of 29%, up from 26% last year.
“These results are further evidence that Americans remain woefully under-saved for unplanned expenses and rather than progressing, are moving in the wrong direction,” said Greg McBride, CFA, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com.
Surprisingly, adults under age 30 are more likely than any other age group to have savings that would cover up to 5 months’ expenses – evidence that they are actively saving. And even though the likelihood of having no emergency savings was fairly even among all age groups, it was lowest for adults under age 30.
Americans’ financial security remains at a high level. This month’s Financial Security Index clocks in at 104.5, with little change from one month ago.
• Job security, net worth, comfort level with debt, and overall financial situation remain areas of strength, each noting improvement from one year ago.
• Comfort level with savings remains the laggard, with more Americans noting deterioration in savings (24%) rather than improvement (21%) from one year ago. However, the gap is narrowing.
• Women’s feelings of financial security outpaced those of men this month, driven by stronger feelings of job security and a less dour mood on savings.
The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) and can be seen in its entirety here:
http://www.bankrate.com/finance/consumer-index/americans-still-lack-savings-despite-wage-growth.aspx
Give your financial confidence an even bigger boost and get #finspired. Enter to win $10,000 and a money makeover to kick-start your goals.
http://www.bankrate.com/sweeps/finspired/
Methodology
PSRAI obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults living in the continental United States. Interviews were conducted by landline (500) and cell phone (500, including 299 without a landline phone) in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source from June 4 to 7, 2015. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.
About Bankrate, Inc.
Bankrate is a leading publisher, aggregator, and distributor of personal finance content on the Internet. Bankrate provides consumers with proprietary, fully researched, comprehensive, independent and objective personal finance editorial content across multiple vertical categories including mortgages, deposits, insurance, credit cards, and other categories, such as retirement, automobile loans, and taxes. The Bankrate network includes Bankrate.com, CreditCards.com, InsuranceQuotes.com and Caring.com, our flagship websites, and other owned and operated personal finance websites, including Interest.com, Bankaholic.com, Mortgage-calc.com, CreditCardGuide.com, CarInsuranceQuotes.com, Insweb.com, CreditCards.ca, and NetQuote.com. Bankrate aggregates rate information from over 4,800 institutions on more than 300 financial products. With coverage of over 600 local markets, Bankrate generates rate tables in all 50 U.S. states. Bankrate develops and provides web services to over 100 co-branded websites with online partners, including some of the most trusted and frequently visited personal finance sites on the Internet such as Yahoo!, AOL, CNBC, and Bloomberg. In addition, Bankrate licenses editorial content to over 500 newspapers on a daily basis including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe. Reported by PR Newswire.

Pioneering Study Finds Most Women with Lupus Can Have Good Pregnancy Outcomes, Identifies Risk Factors Linked to Poor Outcomes

One of the most important and anxiety-producing concerns among patients with lupus is whether it is safe to become pregnant. A pioneering study led by researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) has shown that most women can expect a good pregnancy outcome if their lupus is inactive and they are free of certain risk factors.
The findings, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, are the culmination of a 10-year prospective, multi-center study known as PROMISSE (Predictors of pregnancy Outcome: bioMarkers In antiphospholipid antibody Syndrome and Systemic lupus Erythematosus) led by researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery. PROMISSE, funded by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health, was launched in 2003 to identify risk factors that predict poor pregnancy outcomes in women with lupus and antiphospholipid antibody syndrome. Jane E. Salmon, M.D., Director of the Lupus and APS Center of Excellence and Collette Kean Research Chair at Hospital for Special Surgery, was the principal investigator of the study and led the team of clinicians and researchers.
Systemic lupus erythematosus, commonly known as lupus, primarily affects women of childbearing age. It is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks and damages healthy tissue. It can affect the skin, joints, kidneys, brain and other organs. In the past, lupus patients were advised not to become pregnant because of potential risks to their health and that of their baby.
“Our findings provide a clear direction for counseling patients, and reassuring women with inactive lupus,” said Dr. Salmon, principal investigator. “We also learned that patients with specific clinical features and certain antibodies that can be detected early in pregnancy by blood tests have an increased risk of serious pregnancy complications.”
Researchers followed 385 pregnant women enrolled between September 2003 and December 2012 at eight sites in the United States and Canada. PROMISSE is a multi-ethnic, multi-racial study, and the largest prospective study of lupus pregnancies. All women were enrolled in the first 12 weeks of their pregnancies and had inactive or stable mild to moderate lupus disease activity at the time of enrollment. They were seen by study investigators monthly.
Study Results
Investigators reported that 81 percent of pregnancies were free of complications. Fetal or neonatal death occurred in 5 percent of pregnancies. Nine percent of women had a preterm delivery. Ten percent of babies had a low birth weight. Most patients with these pregnancy complications had one or more risk factors: a specific antiphospholipid antibody in the blood, a history of hypertension, and/or a low platelet count.
“It was exciting to see that severe lupus flares occurred in less than three percent of women during pregnancy,” said Dr. Salmon. “Lupus patients and their doctors can be confident of a good pregnancy outcome in most cases if lupus is quiescent when they become pregnant. Our findings now allow clinicians to identify the patients at high risk and manage them accordingly.”
About Hospital for Special Surgery
Founded in 1863, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is a world leader in orthopedics, rheumatology and rehabilitation. HSS is nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics, No. 3 in rheumatology and No. 7 in geriatrics by U.S.News & World Report (2014-15), and is the first hospital in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center three consecutive times. HSS has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. HSS is a member of the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System and an affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College and as such all Hospital for Special Surgery medical staff are faculty of Weill Cornell. The hospital’s research division is internationally recognized as a leader in the investigation of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases. Reported by PR Newswire.

With Governor’s Signature, Hawaii Becomes First State to Raise Tobacco Sale Age to 21

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The following is a statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids:
Hawaii made history and set an example for the nation today when Governor David Ige signed landmark legislation that prohibits the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21. Hawaii is the first state to raise the tobacco sale age to 21. This bold step will reduce smoking among young people, save lives and help make the next generation tobacco-free.
Today’s action continues the growing momentum in support of raising the age of sale for tobacco to 21. The California Senate recently approved similar legislation, which is now before that state’s General Assembly. Hawaii has provided a tremendous boost for these efforts, and we are eager to see more states and communities moving in this wise direction.
Governor Ige and Hawaii lawmakers have listened to the state’s voters and youth, and their action will improve the state’s health for generations to come. The Hawaii law takes effect on January 1, 2016. Hawaii joins at least 68 cities and counties in eight states that have raised the tobacco age of sale to 21.
Increasing the sale age to 21 will reduce tobacco use among youth and young adults – age groups when nearly all smoking begins and that are heavily targeted by the tobacco industry. We know that 95 percent of adult smokers began smoking before they turned 21, and tobacco companies spend more than $27 million annually in Hawaii alone to market their deadly and addictive products.
The increase in the tobacco age will help counter the industry’s efforts to target young people at a critical time when many move from experimenting with tobacco to regular smoking. It will also help keep tobacco out of high schools, where younger teens often obtain tobacco products from older students.
A March report by the prestigious Institute of Medicine concluded that increasing the tobacco sale age would yield substantial public health benefits. The report found that increasing the sale age to 21 would significantly reduce the number of adolescents and young adults who start smoking; reduce smoking-caused deaths; and immediately improve the health of adolescents, young adults and young mothers who would be deterred from smoking, as well as their children.
In Hawaii, tobacco use claims 1,400 lives and costs $526 million in health care bills each year. Currently, 10.4 percent of high school students in Hawaii smoke. Today’s action is a great next step toward reducing tobacco’s awful toll. Reported by PR Newswire.

Five Things Every Mom Should Know About Mosquitoes

Every year during National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, we are reminded what to do in order to avoid the most infamous of summer pests: the mosquito. “Drain, dress and defend,” the experts say. “Remove standing water around your home. Wear long pants and long sleeves. Use repellent.”
“That’s great advice,” Mosquito Authority Founder Joey Osborne says. “Mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance. It’s easy to forget they carry diseases like West Nile Virus and Chikungunya, but the threat is real. Our goal, during Mosquito Week and the rest of mosquito season, is to spread awareness and help people take action to reduce their risk.”
According to Mosquito Authority’s Mosquito Awareness Guide, there are five things every mom, dad, and grandparent should know about mosquitoes:
1. Mosquitoes LOVE children. They run, they play, they sweat, they get out of breath. The carbon dioxide and perspiration they generate by, well, just being kids makes them mosquito magnets. They also spend their time in sandboxes and playhouses and other “mosquito havens.” Mosquitoes love damp, shady areas rich in foliage, and females need less than a bottle cap worth of water to lay eggs.
2. Mosquitoes don’t just make you itch. Even in the United States where mosquito-related deaths are relatively few, mosquitoes can carry deadly diseases like West Nile and Encephalitis. In total, mosquitoes transmit 28 diseases and kill more people each year worldwide than any other single factor, including heart disease, cancer, AIDS & car accidents.
3. Kids are more susceptible. Most mosquito-related deaths are children. Little bodies just aren’t equipped to fight the diseases mosquitoes carry. In severe cases, it is less than 48 hours from the appearance of the first symptom before serious complications or even death.
Mosquito-borne diseases present with common symptoms like fever, nausea and vomiting, making them difficult to detect. You should contact your doctor immediately if your child has been bitten by a mosquito and shows any of the following symptoms:
• sudden high fever,
• severe headache,
• stiff neck,
• confusion,
• muscle jerks, tremors, seizure,
• rash or hives, and/or
• nausea or vomiting.
4. It only takes ONE bite. While your risk of contracting a mosquito-borne disease increases with the number of bites, it only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to get sick. That’s why prevention and protection are so important.
5. There IS something you can do. A few very easy steps can drastically reduce the risk of getting bitten at home. Just remember to drain, dress and defend.
Drain – Remove standing water from around your home. It only takes a bottle cap’s worth of standing water to cause a mosquito problem. Common culprits should be monitored regularly for standing water:
• clogged rain gutters,
• corrugated drain pipes,
• bird baths,
• pet bowls,
• trash & recycling bins,
• plant pots, and
• children’s toys.
Dress – When practical, wear long pants and long sleeves. Loose-fitting, light-colored clothing is best. Studies have shown that some mosquitoes are more attracted to dark clothing and can most readily bite through tight-fitting, loose-weave clothing.
Defend – Use repellent. The EPA has registered repellents that have been reviewed and approved to pose minimal risk when used properly:
• DEET (N, N-diethyl-m- toluadmide)
• Picaridin (KBR 3023)
• Oil of lemon eucalyptus (p-methan 3.8-diol, or PMD)
Professional Mosquito Control – While nothing can eliminate the threat entirely, when performed properly by trained professionals, back yard mosquito treatments can help to reduce the danger and risk posed by disease-carrying mosquitoes.
Mosquito Authority’s complete Mosquito Awareness Guide is available for free download at BugsBITE.com/moms.
Representatives from Mosquito Authority are available for questions, concerns and educational speaking engagements regarding National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, mosquito control education, and mosquito-borne disease. Please contact Laci LeBlanc at 828-394-2379 or laci@bugsbite.com for more information. Reported by PR Newswire.

Mayor de Blasio Addresses AJC New York Annual Meeting

Forcefully condemning increasing hatred targeting Jews in Europe, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, addressing the AJC New York Region annual meeting, called for an “unmistakable and consistent” response to acts of anti-Semitism.
Anti-Semitism “is the cancer that never went away,” said de Blasio. “That cancer was not eradicated at the end of World War II.”
Speaking tonight at AJC headquarters to a standing-room-only crowd about his visit to Paris earlier this year after the fatal terror attacks on Charlie Hebdo magazine and a kosher supermarket, the mayor said that “the values we hold – democracy, pluralism, tolerance – are under attack.”
The tragic events in Paris in January and in Copenhagen in February were “a particular wake-up call” that addressing anti-Semitism needs to be “on the front burner, on the front page,” he said.
One profound takeaway from his trip to France the mayor shared was his conversation with a leading French rabbi, who said “there was an indifference before the attack,” that despite a series of assaults on Jews over the years, not enough was done to respond until after the kosher market attack.
“The indifference is the profound challenge,” said de Blasio. He emphasized that “historical parallels are important so that tragic mistakes are not repeated.”
“It is important for European governments to stand up with vigor and resolve against anti-Semitism and show there will be consequences. That’s a signal to society that such things will not be tolerated,” he said.
The mayor noted that with New York having the largest Jewish population of any city in the world, what happens to Jews in other countries does have an impact here. “When we see discrimination against Jews anywhere, it hits home,” he said. “I hope we can provide a model for protecting our Jewish neighbors.”
Praising AJC’s “tremendously enlightened world view” in fighting injustice, the mayor noted that 50 years ago, during the civil rights movement, AJC “understood the upheaval in this nation, the cancer of discrimination in this nation.” He also cited AJC’s support for Japanese-American citizens who were ill-treated during the war. “History proved you right in your past actions, and I want history to prove you right again,” the mayor said.
On the current challenge of rising anti-Semitism, de Blasio said, “The fact that AJC is rallying people to address this issue is important.”
AJC convened in Brussels on May 5 a high-level strategy conference on combatting anti-Semitism in Europe, issued an action plan with specific recommendations for European governments and civil society, and also has been encouraging American political leaders to speak out firmly on the scourge of rising anti-Semitism. Reported by PR Newswire.

Earthquake Recovery: 21 Healthcare Companies Making a Difference in Nepal

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A Direct Relief-chartered airlift landed today in Kathmandu with 55 tons of essential medications and emergency supplies to help people affected by last month’s devastating earthquakes.
A June 10 report issued by Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population noted that 375 of the 446 public health facilities and 16 private facilities in Nepal’s hardest hit regions were destroyed, with the highest near-term priority being the resumption of health services, including the provision of logistics to provide drugs and supplies, to care for both injured persons and the general population.
“The Nepal earthquakes delivered a cruel blow, causing more people to need care and destroying the places where they can receive it,” said Thomas Tighe, President and CEO of Direct Relief. “Private resources are keenly needed as part of the collective effort, and we are deeply thankful to the companies that have again stepped up to help in such a substantial way.”
The 21 healthcare companies listed below contributed to today’s airlift, which contains 5,350,173 defined daily doses (DDDs) of medications, trauma and wound care supplies, and thousands of liters of oral rehydration solution (Pedialyte) – acutely needed in a country where cholera is endemic and posing a heightened risk.
3M BD Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Abbott Bristol-Myers Squibb Mountain O&P Services
AbbVie Calmoseptine, Inc. Mylan Laboratories, Inc.
Actavis Pharma, Inc. Covidien Omron Healthcare, Inc.
Ansell Healthcare Ethicon, Inc. Sanofi Foundation for North America
Baxter International, Inc. Hospira, Inc. Soap Box Soaps
Bayer Integra LifeSciences Teva Pharmaceuticals
The airlift also contained Direct Relief prenatal vitamins for 10,000 women and contributions from colleague nonprofits such as 192 wheelchairs from Free Wheelchair Missions and 100 Solar Suitcases from We Care Solar. Each item on the airlift was requested by local health facilities, nongovernmental groups, and Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population.
Today’s delivery is the 11th from Direct Relief since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, 2015. Direct Relief has now delivered 251,468 lbs. of medical aid totaling $28.6 million to health facilities throughout the Country’s earthquake-affected regions. Direct Relief also purchased essential equipment – including five digital x-ray machines and five ventilators that were requested by Nepalese health officials last month – and has committed an initial round of cash grants to support local Nepalese health groups, including $100,000 to the Midwifery Society of Nepal (MIDSON) to help address the increased risk facing an estimated 126,000 pregnant women. Reported by PR Newswire.

Platts Survey: OPEC Pumps 31.11 Million Barrels of Crude Oil Per Day in May

An oil pump works at sunset in the desert oil fields of Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)
An oil pump works at sunset in the desert oil fields of Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

Oil production from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) totaled 31.11 million barrels per day (b/d) in May, up 180,000 b/d from April and the group’s highest monthly volume since October 2012, according to the latest Platts survey of OPEC and oil industry officials and analysts.
“OPEC’s communique after the June 5 meeting mentioned that members had been urged to adhere to its production ceiling,” said Margaret McQuaile, senior correspondent for Platts, a leading global provider of energy and commodities information. “That’s something of a tall order, given that there are no quotas and that the 30 million b/d ceiling is supposed to cover production from Iraq, which hasn’t been part of OPEC’s production management system for years. With market share now pretty much the main theme – for the bigger players, at least – it seems likely that, for the time being, the only cuts in output will be involuntary ones.”
In terms of production increases in May, Saudi Arabia led the upward charge with a 150,000 b/d-increase to 10.25 million b/d, while Angola and Iraq boosted output by 70,000 b/d and 50,000 b/d, respectively. Smaller increments came from Angola, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Venezuela.
These extra volumes, which totaled 340,000 b/d, were partly offset by a 90,000 b/d-drop in Libyan production to 430,000 b/d and smaller dips in Iran, Kuwait, Nigeria and Qatar.
Saudi Arabia looks set to keep output high in the near term. Arriving in Vienna last week for OPEC talks, Saudi oil minister Ali Naimi said the kingdom’s market share policy was working, with oil demand picking up and supply slowing. However, he said, although world oil markets are stabilizing a rebalancing will take time.
Angolan production recovered after a dip in April that was linked largely to problems at the Plutonio field that have since been resolved. There was also a short force majeure on liftings of Saturno between late April and early May. The government has been striving to maximize output levels but has been struggling with technical problems that have affected production in recent months. The force majeure on Saturno was the second in two months. In Vienna, Angolan oil minister Jose Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos estimated current output at 1.79 million b/d.
Despite ongoing political and infrastructural challenges, Iraq has continued to push out more oil, partly thanks to higher output from the south and partly to a deal with semi-autonomous Kurdistan late last year that has enabled Baghdad to resume exports from Turkish Mediterranean port Ceyhan via the Kurdistan Regional Government’s pipeline system.
Output from the Wafra field in the Neutral Zone between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait remains shut in after a maintenance program that operator Chevron said on May 11 would take two weeks. Another Neutral Zone field, Khafji, has been shut in since October last year. Kuwait said at the time that the field had been shut by Saudi Arabia for “technical reasons,” but analysts said they believed Riyadh’s decision to close Khafji signaled deeper problems between the two countries.
SWINGS
Libyan production continues to be defined by large swings up and down as the country’s situation remains mired in political chaos. After several months of increases, Libyan production went back into reverse with a 90,000 b/d drop to 430,000 b/d.
The May estimate leaves OPEC pumping more than 1 million b/d in excess of the 30 million b/d ceiling that ministers rubber-stamped on June 5 in Vienna and some 1.8 million b/d above the 29.3 million b/d that OPEC sees as the call on its crude this year.
Earlier this week, OPEC said in a regular monthly report that it expected the current oversupply on world oil markets to ease in the months ahead, with world oil demand picking up pace in the second half of the year and non-OPEC supply showing a decline. Non-OPEC oil is projected to slip from roughly 57.4 million b/d in the first half of 2015 to 56.82 million b/d in the third quarter and 56.97 million b/d in the fourth, attributable to low oil price expectations, declining numbers of active rigs in North America and insufficient investment in upstream projects.
OPEC’s 30 million b/d ceiling has been in place since January 2012. It does not include individual country quotas.
For output numbers by country, click here. You may be prompted for a cost-free, one-time-only log-in registration. For the latest OPEC news features, visit this OPEC Features link and for an OPEC guide, access this link: http://www.platts.com/news-feature/2015/oil/opec-guide/index.
Additional information on oil, energy and related information may be found on the Platts website at www.platts.com. Reported by PR Newswire.

The Wait Is Over: Pizza Hut Hot Dog Bites Pizza Available Beginning At 11 a.m., June 18

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It’s been to Australia. Thailand. The Middle East. And, the United Kingdom. It’s even been as close as Canada. Now, finally, it’s coming to America. Pizza + Hot Dogs is here.

Pizza Hut, the world’s largest pizza company, is bringing together two of America’s most popular treats – pizza and hot dogs – in the form of its all-new Hot Dog Bites Pizza. The American rendition of the popular global pie features 28 premium mini hot dog bites baked into the crust and is served with a side of French’s mustard.

Available while supplies last, beginning at 11 a.m. on June 18, the flavor-packed, large one-topping pizza will be offered at $11.99.

“We are committed to bringing more flavor and fun to the pizza category than anyone else, and our new Hot Dog Bites Pizza is an absolutely epic flavor mash-up inspired by two of America’s favorite foods,” said Jared Drinkwater, Vice President of Marketing, Pizza Hut. “Last year, Americans ate an estimated 150 million hot dogs over the July 4th holiday. We’ve taken the appropriate steps to notify the National Sausage and Hot Dog Council that they will need to adjust their statistics in 2015, thanks to Pizza Hut’s introduction of the Hot Dog Bites Pizza.”

The introduction of the limited-time offer conveniently coincides with the peak of hot dog-eating season, including the official start of summer, Independence Day, and July as National Hot Dog Month. The Pizza Hut Hot Dog Bites pizza is available with the choice of the traditional or salted pretzel crust flavors. All options are served with a free side of French’s mustard.

“We definitely wanted to make this pizza unique compared to how it’s been seen in other parts of the world, which is how we landed on offering the hot dogs as bite-sized, incorporating our crust flavors and offering the mustard on the side,” said Drinkwater. “We think the latest innovations will make the Hot Dog Bites Pizza a huge hit in the United States.”

The Hot Dog Bites pizza will be available for dine-in, carryout or delivery at all 6,300 Pizza Hut locations around the country. For more information, visit www.pizzahut.com.

About Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM), delivers more pizza, pasta and wings than any other restaurant in the world. The company began 57 years ago in Wichita, Kansas, when two brothers borrowed $600 from their mom to start a pizzeria.

What started out small has become the biggest pizza company in the world and today operates more than 15,600 restaurants in more than 90 countries serving innovative pizzas, traditional favorites like the signature Pan Pizza, and much more. Pizza Hut also is the proprietor of the BOOK IT!® Program, which is a long-standing children’s literacy program used in more than 630,000 classrooms nationwide. For more information, visit www.pizzahut.com.Reported by PR Newswire.