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85 wealthiest are richer than poorest 3.5 billion

gatesThe U.N.'s annual Human Development Report released Thursday shows that the world's 85 richest people are wealthier than the poorest 3.5 billion.

The top five countries ranked in the Human Development Index (HDI) are Norway, Australia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United States. The bottom five are all from Africa: Mozambique, Guinea, Burundi, Burkina Faso and Eritrea. The U.N. attributed slowing improvements in health, education and income to worsening income inequality, climate change and government corruption.

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How to Win Billions in Federal Contracts on a Permanent Tax Holiday

Ingersoll RandAmerican manufacturer Ingersoll-Rand Co. (IR) forged the tools that carved the Panama Canal and shaped Mount Rushmore. When it shifted its legal address to Bermuda in 2001 to reduce taxes, the maneuver sparked bipartisan outrage in Congress.

“These corporations have turned their back on their country,” Nevada Democrat Harry Reid fumed from the Senate floor, adding that his father, a hard-rock miner, had wielded an Ingersoll-Rand jackhammer. “There is no reason the U.S. government should reward tax runaways with lucrative government contracts.”

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Homeless college students and the fight to escape poverty through education

Homeless college students in USA month before his 18th birthday, Jeffrey Williams found himself homeless. The condition did not come out of blue, as Williams, who was adopted at the age of four, was warned about the fact by his adoptive parents, who said they would not support him after he graduated high school.

"They kind of told me, growing up, that this would happen, but I didn't think that this was actually going to happen,” says Williams. It was the summer of 2008 and Williams, a varsity football player who had just graduated high school, had two months to go before starting college – and a spot on the football team – at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.

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U.S. Obama signs executive order on equal pay for women

equal pay for equal workKeeping with his promise to champion women’s rights in the workplace, President Barack Obama signed an executive order Tuesday that addresses the issue of unequal pay among federal contractors. While equal-pay advocates hail the move as a victory, many also say it doesn’t go far enough.

The executive order addresses the federal government’s gender wage gap by mandating that contractors publish wage data — by gender and race — to ensure compliance with equal-pay laws. The order also prohibits contractors from retaliating against employees who compare salaries.

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Forget about the "1%." Top "0.1% pulling ahead more

wealthiest americansThe "top 1%" might be the primary target of the masses' ire and envy, but it's actually the top 0.1% who are grabbing a bigger slice of wealth.

The average household in the top 1% pulled in earnings of $1,264,065 in 2012, according to a just-released analysis by investment firm Sadoff Investment Research. That's 41 times greater than the $30,997 average income of Americans.

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Citigroup reports nearly $400m fraud in Mexico unit

Citigroup reports fraudCitigroup Inc (C.N) said on Friday that it has discovered at least $400 million in fraudulent loans in its Mexico subsidiary and said employees may have been in on the crime.

The bank wrote down bogus loans to a company whose assets Mexican law enforcement officials have now seized. Citigroup's 2013 profit fell by $235 million to $13.67 billion after the write-down. Citigroup Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat called the incident a "despicable crime" and said the bank believes it was an isolated episode.

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Wealth gap is widest in some affluent US cities

NYCThe gap between the wealthy and the poor is most extreme in several of the United States' most prosperous and largest cities.

The economic divides in Atlanta, San Francisco, Washington, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles are significantly greater than in the rest of the country, according to a study released Thursday by the Brookings Institution, the Washington-based think tank. It suggests that many sources of both economic growth and income inequality have co-existed near each other for the past 35 years .

These cities may struggle in the future to provide adequate public schooling, basic municipal services because of a narrow tax base and "may fail to produce housing and neighborhoods accessible to middle-class workers and families," the study said.

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