AF&PA Statement on Proposed National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Kraft Pulp Mills

American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statement regarding the proposed National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Kraft pulp mills, issued under the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Residual Risk and Technology Review process. “By signing the proposed rule, the EPA has indicated that the 2001 maximum achievable control technology (MACT) rule protects public health: That’s a positive testament to our industry’s investments and commitment to air quality and sustainability. Pulp mills have invested over $1.5 billion in state of the art controls to reduce emissions, and these technologies remain the best available. “We are continuing to review the proposed rule, but have concerns with changes to the opacity provisions for recovery furnaces that we will address in our comments to EPA.”
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Brent Oil Makes First Annual Gain in Four Years Before OPEC Cuts

“2016 was a dramatic oil year,” said Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodities analyst at SEB Markets. “2016 started very bearishly and ended very bullishly. 2017 is likely to be the opposite, but not quite as dramatic.” Brent for March settlement dropped 9 cents to $56.76 barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange as of 11:24 a.m. local time. The February contract expired Thursday after losing 8 cents to $56.14. Total volume traded was about 63 percent below the 100-day average. West Texas Intermediate for February delivery was up 5 cents to $53.82 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 29 cents to $53.77 on Thursday. Prices are up 45 percent this year. click Read More below for more of the story
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Superior Packaging Prints Custom ‘Tasty’ Cookbooks for Buzzfeed

Chances are, you’ve seen a Tasty video. Buzzfeed‘s wildly popular videos featuring easy-to-make recipes are not only featured on Buzzfeed‘s homepage, they’re frequently featured on Facebook users’ feeds. With more than 77 million likes on the Tasty Facebook page, it’s easy to see why, according to Fast Company, Buzzfeed says that 50% of all Americans see a Tasty video every month. Although the videos receive tens of millions of views, fans were desperate for a printed version of the quick-fix foodie tutorials. However, Fast Company reports that Tasty did not want to release one printed version for every taste, mainly due to the fact that when users experience the videos on Facebook they’re experiencing them through an algorithm; videos catered to the tastes of you and your friends. So, since the digital version is so customized, the company decided to come up with a way to customize the cookbooks. For $35, the cookbooks are printed on demand with more than 100,000 different combinations. click Read More below for additional detail
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Books Get Christmas Week Bounce

It looks like consumers did a lot of last-minute Christmas shopping, at least for books. After sales of print books were down almost 6% between Thanksgiving week and the week ended December 18, 2016 compared to the same period in 2015, units jumped 21% in the week leading up to Christmas, according to figures from Nielsen BookScan. The biggest gains in the most recent week came in the juvenile fiction and adult nonfiction segments, which had increases of 25% and 24%, respectively, over the week ended Dec. 27, 2015. The top-selling title in the juvenile fiction category was Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down, which sold just under 131,000 copies. Four books by J.K. Rowling were among the six top bestsellers in the category, with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them #2 on the category bestsellers list, selling almost 125,000 copies. Altogether, the four Rowling books sold over 300,000 copies in the week. click Read More below for more of the story
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Oil Retreats From 17-Month High After Report of U.S. Supply Gain

Futures retreated 45 cents from the close after the American Petroleum Institute said late Tuesday that nationwide crude inventories rose 4.2 million barrels last week, according to a person familiar with the data. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg project a government report Thursday will show a supply decline. West Texas Intermediate oil settled higher for an eighth straight session, capping the longest stretch of gains in seven years as optimism mounts that major producers will make good on output-cut pledges in January. WTI for February delivery traded at $53.66 a barrel at 4:58 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after touching $53.61. Futures fell from a close at $54.06, the highest since July 2, 2015. Total volume traded was about 50 percent below the 100-day average at 4:58 p.m. Prices are up 45 percent this year. click Read More below for more of the story
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Retail Growth to Remain Stable, Omnichannel Key In 2017

U.S. retail sales excluding automobiles and gasoline is expected to grow 3-4% in 2017, according to the Fitch Ratings Outlook, consistent with the 3.8% growth Fitch predicted for 2016. The analysts at Fitch predict that more than half of such retail growth will occur online, while in-store growth will account for just 1% of the gains. Fitch Ratings predicts Dollar Tree, Burlington Stores, Levi Strauss, Coach and J.C. Penney are on a positive trajectory in 2017, while Sears, Claire’s Stores, Gymboree, Abercrombie & Fitch, Vince and Bon-Ton Stores will face significant challenges next year. The report notes that retailers are facing a shift in customer shopping habits and have responded by almost universally moving to omnichannel models in an effort to best serve today’s retail customers. click Read More below for more of the story
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The UPS Store Celebrates Literacy at the 2017 Rose Parade

The UPS Store today officially announced the company’s first-ever float in the 2017 Tournament of Roses® Parade. The float, “Books Bring Us Together”, brings to life the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, highlighting the importance of childhood literacy on a national stage. The float complements the 2017 Rose Parade® “Echoes of Success” theme as literacy is an essential ingredient to every child’s success. The Toys for Tots® Literacy Program, developed by The UPS Store and the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation in 2008, provides books and educational resources to economically disadvantaged children in communities across the country. The program aims to enhance children’s ability to read and communicate effectively by igniting their imaginations through stories and tales. click Read More below for more of the story
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Wenner Media Poised To Sell ‘Us Weekly’

Wenner Media is poised to sell celebrity and entertainment title Us Weekly, according to New York Post, which in a second story, noted the price tag was $100 million. Wenner Media, which is owned by Rolling Stone and Men’s Journal owner Jann Wenner, has reportedly tapped New York investment firm Methuselah Advisors to gauge interest. The company has been under intense pressure following recent lawsuits brought on by a discredited Rolling Stone article called "A Rape on Campus” published in November 2014. click Read More below for more of the story
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