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McDonald’s Ordering Via Mobile Could Give Handsome Return

Mobile ordering will be available in late 2017 at McDonald’s and Wall Street is happy with the thought. Shares of McDonald’s reached a new all-time high last Friday and are up close to 10% during 2017. McDonald’s has been enjoying a strong comeback since March of 2015 when Steve Easterbrook took the reins as CEO. He moved to revamp the menu at the Golden Arches and focus on technology like in-restaurant self-ordering kiosks. The new changes paid off quickly, with McDonald’s posting solid gains in sales for much of both 2015 as well as 2016.... 
 

Mattel CEO Promises Growth Following Sales Slump

Mattel posted a drop in sales for the first quarter that was more than was expected, as U.S. as well as some retailers in Europe were left with too much inventory following a holiday shopping season that was muted. New CEO Margo Georgiadis said the company viewed its results for the first quarter as disappointing and was not reflective of what can be delivered by Mattel. Georgiadis has been the CEO since February after running the commercial operations for Google in the United States. Mattel addressed the majority of its inventory issues but work... 
 

Burberry Misses Estimates on Sales

Burberry Group Plc the luxury retailer based in the UK posted quarterly sales that missed estimates by analysts as a sales decline continues to accelerate in its Americas region and dropping revenue for Hong Kong showed how tough a task incoming CEO Marco Gobetti is facing. Retail revenue for the fourth quarter increased 2% related to comparable sales, said the company whose headquarters are in London. That amount was less than the estimated increase of 5%. Shares fell their most in the past six months upon the news. Sluggish sales growth at Burberry... 
 

Snapchat: CEO Did Not Label India as Being Poor

Anger in India has boiled over amongst users of social media following allegations by an ex-employee that its Snapchat’s current CEO once called India a poor country that was not a priority for the popular app. Snapchat vehemently denies the allegations. The claims became public last week when documents from a lawsuit were opened to the public. An ex-employee filed the lawsuit against the parent company of Snapchat, Snap. The former employee, Anthony Pompliano worked just three weeks for the company in 2015 before being fired. Amongst several... 
 

Credit Suisse Slashes Bonuses by 40%

Credit Suisse cut the bonuses it gives to its top management by 40% after being criticized by shareholders of the bank’s plans to make a payout of 78 million Swiss francs or $78 million despite heavy losses. The move by the second largest bank in Switzerland is rare and is representative of a victory for shareholders who are pushing more and more for modest pay within an industry where there has been a drop in profits but pay has tended to remain high. On Thursday, in a statement, the bank announced it took the decision after expressed reservations... 
 

Daily Mail to Pay Melania Trump $3 Million

The Daily Mail newspaper in the UK agreed to damages and costs to pay the U.S. first lady Melania Trump over an article it published about her career in modeling. The UK daily published allegations that the current first lady, at one time had worked as an escort. The article was later retracted. The newspaper published the story during the presidential election campaign in the United States last year. Melania Trump accepted the damages as well as an apology from the Daily Mail in London’s High Court. Trump filed a lawsuit this past February seeking... 
 

New York Approves Free College Tuition

New York has become the first U.S. state to make tuition free for students from middle class families at public colleges that are two- and four-year. In January, New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced his plan of tuition-free. Lawmakers agreed to make it part of the state’s budget, which gained approval on Saturday by the Assembly and late Sunday night by the state’s Senate. It is expected that the governor will sign the budget legislation. Tuition will become free for New York residents who earn up to a certain income cap that will be... 
 

Obamacare Market in Iowa Hit Hard by Aetna

Another big hit was taken by the Affordable Care Act. Three days after the announcement by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield that it would not be selling new individual plans for health insurance in Iowa beginning in 2018, Aetna said on Thursday it will also stop offering new plans in 2018 for Obamacare citing a financial risk. The decision by Aetna leaves Iowa with only two insurers that for now sell Obamacare plans. Medica another insurer said that it had yet to decide if it was going to continue selling insurance plans in Iowa in 2018. Medica... 
 

Study: First Diagnosis Often Times is Incomplete or Wrong

When given a diagnosis by a doctor of a disease, it often is important to go and get another independent second opinion, shows a recent study published this week by the Mayo Clinic. Second opinions for medical diagnoses’ given at the clinic most often end up with an altered or completely new diagnosis, found the study. In 21% of the cases, doctors at the Mayo Clinic gave a diagnosis that was completely different than what the original was. The diagnosis was altered or broadened in 66% of the cases. The remainder of the diagnoses was unchanged. The... 
 

Tesla Deliveries Set Record for One Quarter at 25,000

Tesla Inc., the U.S. electric car maker, announced on Sunday its vehicle deliveries for the first quarter had surged by 69% from the same period one year ago to set a record for one quarter of 25,000. Tesla said out of all the vehicles that had been delivered, close to 13,450 were its Model S sedan and 11,550 were its SUV Model X. The vehicle maker said it is expecting to deliver between 47,000 and 50,000 Models S and X combined during the first six months of 2017. During the fourth quarter of 2016, deliveries dropped 9.4% because of production... 
 

Executive With Uber Invokes Fifth Amendment

An executive at Uber accused of stealing technology for driverless cars from Google his former employer is invoking his Fifth Amendment right to avoid incrimination, said his lawyers. Attorney representing Anthony Levandowski, the ex-head of the self-driving car unit at Google, who is leading an effort similar to that at Uber at this time, said he broadly asserted his Fifth Amendment rights due to a potential for criminal action from the case. The maneuver made by Levandowski adds additional intrigue to this fight between a pair of technology industry... 
 

FDA Gives Approval to New Powerful Eczema Drug

Regulators approved the first injected, powerful medicine to treat the most serious cases of eczema, a skin condition. On Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted their approval of Dupixent or dupilumab for moderate to severe eczema, which causes red rashes that are fiercely itchy on the legs, arms and face. In three different studies of this drug that included 2,118 participants, between a third and two thirds reached clear or close to clear skin. Approximately 4 out of 10 had a sharp decrease in itching, bringing about reduced anxiety... 
 

Teen Girls Barred from United Airlines Flight for Wearing Leggings

Two teenagers who were dressed in leggings were not allowed to board a flight one United Airlines Sunday due to breaking the dress code the airline has for travelers with special passes, said a spokesperson for the airline. The two teen girls, who had been traveling with another companion, would not have been banned from boarding for wearing leggings if they had been paying passengers, said a spokesperson for United as the U.S. based airline tried to respond to a huge backlash on social media. The girls were told they could not board their flight... 
 

Fuel Shortage in Venezuela Growing Worse

The state oil company in Venezuela was trying desperately to fill gasoline supplies in many neighborhoods in the capital of Caracas on Thursday as cars were lined up at gas stations amidst a shortage of fuel that is growing worse. While the state run Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) said that the situation was normalizing and placed the blame on long lines at gas station on transportation delays, the country’s opposition party says that the oil company needed to lower its costly imports of fuel as it attempts to preserve its dwindling cash on... 
 

FedEx Comes Up Short on Earnings

Facing much higher costs despite transporting millions of packages during this past holiday season, FedEx missed expectations on Wall Street Tuesday for the quarter just ended. The three-month period included the majority of the 2016 holiday shopping and shipping season that included projected record setting days during December. Coming through at that time, which is a critical time for the company, CEO at FedEx Frederick Smith was pleased. However, analysts said that the company faced infrastructure and fuel costs that that were higher. An industry... 
 

Brazil Looks to Calm Fears Over Export and Sale of Meat

Brazilian president Michel Temer, who is confronting a huge corruption scandal that is tarnishing the country’s lucrative meat industry, on Sunday met with executives as well as foreign diplomats in an attempt to assuage the health concerns that are tarnishing a sector that represents $12 billion of Brazil’s exports annually. The meetings followed raids by Brazilian police Friday that are investigating whether companies were paying bribes to conceal conditions deemed unsanitary at meatpackers. Temer is working to protect one of the few sectors... 
 

Dollar General Increasing Pay, Lowering Price and Adding Perishable Goods

As its investors question if the footprint of Dollar General is becoming too large, the retailer must prove its new stores are not the only method of growing sales. To do that, the chain is doing things similar to Walmart. After another drop is sales growth across its established stores, Dollar General outlined on Thursday a strategy it says will drive the business moving forward. While its new plan includes another 1,000 stores in 2017, it incorporates investments that should increase performance at stores in existence. Dollar General knows it... 
 

Euronet Worldwide Tops Offer by Ant to Acquire MoneyGram

Euronet Worldwide Inc. the U.S. based electronic payments company launched a bid of $1 billion for MoneyGram International on Tuesday. Euronet argued that its deal involving two American companies would not face as much scrutiny from regulators as a lower bid from Ant Financial Services from China would. Ant Financial, which is a financial services affiliate of online giant Alibaba Group, said it was committed to its offer. Ant Financial and MoneyGram continues working in cooperation under terms of the agreement to merge between the two and progress... 
 

Oil Prices Drop to Low of Three Months on Rig Count

Oil prices fell to a low of three months Monday despite efforts by OPEC to curb output of crude. The prices were pulled down in part due to U.S. drillers adding more rigs. Brent crude was off 11 cents equal to 0.21% to $51.26 a barrel in London early Monday, which was its lowest since November 30. In its previous session, oil was off 1.6%. West Texas Intermediate in the U.S. was down 19 cents equal to 0.39% to a barrel price of $48.30 which was also its lowest since November 30. Brent Crude will drop for the fifth straight day if it continues at... 
 

Shares of Staples Fall After Earnings Come Up Short

Office supplies retailer Staples saw its shares drop on Thursday after posting a continued drop in sales of its traditional supplies such as printer ink and paper helping drag the company to a loss during its most recently ended quarter. For the quarter, that ended January 31, Staples posted total sales of $4.6 billion which were 3% less that for the same period one year ago. The company posted a net loss from its continued operations of $615 million equal to 94 cents per share. Analysts were expecting Staples to have a profit of 25 cents a share,... 
 

Trump Tweet Sends Pharmaceutical Stocks Tumbling

On Tuesday President Donald Trump reappeared in the debate over prices of drugs and sent pharmaceutical stocks plunging again thanks to a tweet that promised medication costs would be lowered for Americans. Trump tweeted that he was working on a system where the drug industry will once again have competition. Mylan NV, which makes EpiPen the allergy shot that has been the center of public outrage related to drug prices, was down 1.6%, while Perrigo fell 1.8% and Allergan was down 1.1%. Trump tweeted early Tuesday after Republicans in the House unveiled... 
 

Opel Sold by General Motors to PSA

General Motors has sold Opel to the PSA Group in a deal that values Opel at €2.2 billion or $2.3 billion, said the carmaker on Monday. The sale creates another regional giant in carmakers that will challenge Volkswagen the current leader in the market. The maker of Citroen and Peugeot has vowed it will return Opel and Vauxhall its British brand to profitability. It targeted a 2% operating margin within the next three years and one of 6% before the start of 2026 underpinned by €1.7 million in cost savings between the two. Shares of PSA were up... 
 

Snapchat Could Be Given Difficult Test by Asia Rival

The big rival to Snapchat in Asia could spell trouble. Snow is known for its popular animated face filter that is making this messaging app grow rapidly in popularity. Users across Asia, especially girls are in love with the pretty and cute things that Snow offers, said its spokesperson. Because of that, the messaging app gives it young users, who are predominantly female, a number of options to use with most tailored to the huge Asian market. This approach has helped to make Snow so highly successful across Asia that Snapchat might already be shut... 
 

Shares of Kite Pharma Flying High After Reaching Study Goal

On Tuesday, Kite Pharma Inc. announced that CAR an experimental T-cell therapy that helps the body’s immune system to fight cancer, was very effective in the treating of aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, as it met the main goal in a key study. Shares of Kite flew up 15.85% following the announcement. CAR T-cell drugs are generated by genetically altering the own T-cells of a patient to add in a component of antibodies making them able to spot as well as kill cancerous cells better. Many drug makers, including Novartis AG, BlueBird Bio Inc.... 
 

Tech Giant in Asia Not Planning to Please Trump

China’s largest maker of smartphones does not have any plans to follow other large tech companies in Asia by meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump and delivering promises of new jobs in the U.S. Richard Yu, the consumer business chief with Huawei said the company is not like Jack Ma. Yu said Ma is more active, but Huawei is more humble. Yu when making those comments had been referring to Ma, the charismatic founder of Alibaba the tech giant based in China, who has met with President Trump during January pledging new jobs in the United States. The... 
 

China Becomes Germany’s Largest Trading Partner

In 2016, China for just the first time became the biggest trading partner of Germany. China overtook both the United States and France with the U.S. dropping to third place and France remaining in second indicated new data released on Friday. German exports to and imports from China increased in 2016 to over €170 billion equal to $180 billion, showed figures from the Federal Statistics Office. This development is likely welcomed by the government of Germany, which has put a goal of safeguarding global free trade following the threat by U.S. President... 
 

Home Depot Increases Dividend Establishes New Buyback Program

On Tuesday, Home Depot posted growth in sales for its fourth quarter, increased its dividend as well as buyback program. The housing market across the U.S. continues growing and Home Depot is reaping the rewards. Shares at Home Depot have increased by 12% during the last three months and increased by 1.8% on Tuesday before the opening bell. The company increased its dividend from 69 cents to 89 cents and authorized a share buyback program of $15 billion. The new program for buyback replaced a previous one. Two years ago, Home Depot authorized a... 
 

CEO at Uber Orders Sexual Harassment Investigation

Uber, the ride-hailing startup, has announced that it will open an investigation after one of its former employees made allegations to the public of sexism as well as harassment at the company. A former engineer, Susan Fowler, who on Sunday published a blog post that detailed her experiences while at Uber, has claimed that the business would not do anything more than issue warnings to her superior after Fowler and other female employees had complained about the alleged sexual harassment. Fowler wrote she had been blamed after she made several reports... 
 

Household Debt Closing in on Levels of 2008

American households around the country are taking on more debt every day. Total debut for households increased at the end of last year to over $12.58 trillion. That represented an increase of more than $266 billion from the 2016 third quarter. This data came from a report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. For the full year, debt in American households increased by more than $460 billion, its largest increase in nearly a decade. The current figures for debt load in American households are closing in on levels of 2008 when total debt... 
 

Pharmaceuticals Shunning Push by Trump for FDA Shift

President Donald Trump has vowed to roll back regulations imposed by the government by 75% or more and that has caused great anxiety amongst some executives with pharmaceutical companies. The worry is a less strict Food and Drug Administration would make it more difficult to gain insurance coverage for their latest expensive medicines. The possibility of change at the federal regulatory agency has come as drug makers are being criticized for their high prices. That includes Marathon Pharmaceuticals that announced on Monday it would delay it launch... 
 

Top Official in Italy Says Facebook Must Act on Hate Speech

On Monday, the president of the lower house of parliament in Italy said Facebook needs to do more to end hate speech on the social media site. She warned that increasing abuse on a number of social media sites was driven by the increase of fake news. The Italian lawmaker, Laura Boldrini, is herself the focus often times of online threats and sexist insults. She complained last November to managers at Facebook about the hate speech on the site and pressured them to handle the problem. In parliament on Monday, she told lawmakers that two months following... 
 

Reckitt Benckiser Paying $16.6 Billion for Mead Johnson

Reckitt Benckiser agreed to acquire Mead Johnson Nutrition, the maker of baby formula, based in the U.S. That takes the Britain-based consumer goods business into new territory and expands its presence across developing markets. Reckitt, which makes Durex condoms, Mucinex cold medicine and Lysol cleaners, said Friday it would pay $90 per share in cash for Mead Johnson. That represents a premium of 30% to the closing price of Mead on the day prior to Rickett announcing it was holding advanced talks with the Enfamil baby formula maker. Including the... 
 

Yum China Beats Expectations in First Earnings Report

Chinese fast-food company Yum China Holdings, which was spun off by its parent in the U.S. last October, topped expectations for earnings in its first quarterly results thanks to help from its expanding chain of KFC restaurants. The company’s profit was 17 cents per share, which excluded certain items in comparison to analyst expectations of 10 cents per share. Growth in sales at same stores for KFC gave results a boost, while its division of Pizza Hut did not perform as well as expected. The results indicate that Yum China has had a solid start... 
 

U.S. Company Leading Race to Buy Airbag Maker Takata

Takata is narrowing down a buyer from the United States to help it get through its huge recall crisis with airbags. The troubled firm, based in Japan, established an independent committee that recommended the takeover bid of Key Safety Systems based in Detroit, Takata said via a prepared statement. However, the airbag maker said that a final decision had not been made. Autoliv was another top bidder based in Sweden, but its bid was rejected because of concerns over antitrust problems. Key Safety Systems did not respond immediately to requests for... 
 

U.S. Adds 227,000 New Jobs During January

The United States economy added over 227,000 new jobs during February, which was ahead of the gain in December of 157,000. The rate of unemployment moved up just slightly to 4.8%, as more people in the U.S. began looking for work, a good sign that explains the slight unemployment rate increase. It is the first jobs report released under the new Trump administration. Nevertheless, the Department of Labor conducted the survey for jobs during the second week in January when the office of the president was still occupied by President Barack Obama. One... 
 

Amazon Will Spend Nearly $1.5 Billion on Air Cargo Hub

Amazon’s new investment, which could help to create over 2,000 new jobs, is just example of the company’s ambition to grow in logistics and shipping. The largest e-retailer in the world is planning to build its first air cargo hub in Hebron, Kentucky at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport for $1.49 billion, said company officials on Tuesday. The hub is scheduled to create as many as 2,700 jobs in the area. Amazon’s project will span 900 acres and would be the single largest investment ever by any business in northern Kentucky, said state... 
 

Uber Fights Trump Immigration Order with Driver’s Legal Fund

Just hours after the co-founders of Lyft announced a donation of $1 billion to defend the Constitution to the American Civil Liberties Union, CEO Travis Kalanick at Uber opened his wallet as well. The Uber CEO promised via a post on Facebook that the ride-hailing company was going to create a legal defense fund of $3 million to help those drivers that were affected by the White House’s move to restrict refugees and immigrants from seven countries that are majority Muslim. The legal fund will be established to help drivers with translation and... 
 

Microsoft Posts Higher Profit on Cloud Service Demand

On Thursday, Microsoft Corp posted a rise of 3.6% in profit for its fiscal second quarter, helped from growth in its rapidly growing business of cloud computing. However, the company experienced a small decline in its margins for its unit that includes Azure the company’s flagship cloud platform. Shares at the biggest software business in the world were 1.1% higher in trading afterhours on Thursday. Since he took charge of the company in 2014, CEO Satya Nadella has been able to steer it toward mobile applications and cloud services and away... 
 

PepsiCo Plans for Super Bowl All About Water and No Calories

PepsiCo will water down its Super Bowl advertising. The beverage maker announced late Tuesday that its 30-second ad for Super Bowl LI will be for Lifewtr its new brand of premium bottle water. The spot is called Inspiration Drops and features a version of Love Me Now the song by John Legend. The use of the song was tailored to reflect the art direction of the ad and bring its imagery to life, said a prepared statement from PepsiCo. As announced previously, PepsiCo will use its sponsorship of the Super Bowl halftime show to plug its Pepsi Zero Sugar... 
 

Hugo Barra Leaving Xiaomi for Silicon Valley

Hugo Barra is returning to Silicon Valley. The international chief at Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi stepped down following a turbulent run of four years that saw the company rise to the top of its China phone market prior to local rivals mimicking its model and surging past it. Barra is a former executive with Google and will return to Silicon Valley after being hired away buy Xiaomi during 2013 to represent the company at a global level. On Monday, in a post on his Facebook, Barra announced that it was the right time for him to return home and... 
 

Uber Reaches Settlement with FTC for $20 Million Over Pay for Drivers

This week Uber Technologies agreed it would pay $20 million as a settlement for a lawsuit by the Federal Trade Commission do to driver compensation claims as well as its program of auto leasing. The FTC filed suit against the ride-hailing company on Thursday saying that Uber had made false, unsubstantiated or misleading claims about the amount drivers could earn from the startup’s service. The regulatory agency alleged that Uber made misrepresentations of a similar nature about the program it has related to vehicle financing. In the complaint,... 
 

United Earnings Meet Expectations, But Fall 52%

On Tuesday, United Airlines posted a drop of 52% in its net earnings for its fourth quarter, but the air carrier met expectations on Wall Street thanks to better than had been expected bookings during both November and December. The airline, based in Chicago, posted net income of $397 million for its October through December quarter. That was down from one year ago during the same quarter when income was $823 million, but at that time fuel prices were even lower than now, which helped to spike profits. Earnings were $1.26 per diluted share, which... 
 

Philip Morris Rocked by Proposal in India to Ban Tobacco Investment by Foreigners.

Philip Morris International has a fight on its hands as it attempts to keep its hold on the $11 billion India tobacco market, while the government takes into consideration making the rules tougher for foreign investments in the industry. In letters to the India trade minister and a government think tank from Philip Morris, the company, based in the U.S. said the protectionist and discriminatory proposals would represent a big blow it the plans it has of launching new products and making further investments in the country. The two previously not... 
 

Cigna Changes to Generic EpiPen, CVS Cuts Prices

Health insurance behemoth Cigna announced earlier this week it was dropping its coverage for brand name EpiPens that cost $600, while drugstore chain CVS has close to halved the price of epinephrine auto injector Adrenaclick to just $109. A Cigna spokesperson said the news was positive for customers, as the generic version is now available in pharmacies, has the same formulation of drugs and functions in the same manner as the branded device, but at substantial savings. At the same time, CVS said it recognized an urgent need for an ephinephrine... 
 

St. Jude Medical to Release Update Fixing Hacking Vulnerability

This week St. Jude Medical said it has starting deploying updates to its system of Merlin.net Patients Care Network. The security updates followed reports that during the latter part of 2016 the [email protected] transmitter that is used to monitor specific implanted devices of St. Jude Medical could be hacked and used potentially to kill the patient. The implants involved span pacemakers – Endurity and Assurity – and Implantable Defibrillators – Fortify Assura and Ellipse. Reports of vulnerability prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration... 
 

McDonald’s Sells Majority of Hong Kong and China Business

McDonald’s Corp agreed on Monday to sell the bulk of its Hong Kong and China business to CITIC Ltd, a conglomerate that is state supported and Carlyle Group LP for $2.1 billion, as it seeks to expand quickly without using that much of its capital. The deal for 20 years caps a negotiation of months between private equity companies such as Carlyle and TPG Capital Management, McDonald’s and a number of other suitors in China. The fast food giant based in the U.S. said its local partners would help increase the speed of its growth in the No. 2 economy... 
 

J.C. Penney Sees Drop in Holiday Sales

The attack on retailers continued last this week when J.C. Penney Co posted a decline in sales at same-stores during the months of November and December, just the latest chain of department stores adding to the malaise in the retail sector as shoppers increasingly shun brick and mortar locations to shop online. Shares at J.C. Penney fell by 5.9% in early Friday trading, hitting the lowest price in the past seven months at $7.40 per share. The report by J.C. Penney came only one day after its biggest rivals Macy’s and Kohl’s said their sales... 
 

Weak Sales During Holiday Season Hit Macy’s and Kohl’s

More than 10,000 jobs will be cut by Macy’s and the department store chain detailed plans to shuttered dozens of its stores, following another poor holiday season for sales, providing additional evidence that the department store is no longer an integral part of American retailing. As with its rival Kohl’s, which warned on Wednesday of poor holiday sales as well, Macy’s has not solved the shift by the consumers to shopping online. Macy’s will shutter stores from Bangor, Maine to San Diego, California and use its savings to increase efforts... 
 

Twitter Chief in China Steps Down

Twitter Inc’s announced that is controversial chief for its operations in China departed the company after just eight months. This is the latest executive that has left the micro-blogging company amidst its reorganization across the globe. A number of Twitter executives have left the business since October when it announced layoffs amidst continued red numbers. Profitability has been a constant challenge for the social network and its growth in revenue has now slowed. In a group of tweets December 31, Kathy Chen the Managing Director in China... 
 

Pfizer and OPKO Drug for Growth Hormone Deficiency Fails Study

OPKO Health announced that its experimental drug designed to help fight GHD or growth hormone deficiency in adults has failed to produce statistically significant benefits versus a placebo in a study that was “late-stage.” The news helped to send its shares plunging 14% in trading. GHD is a very rare disorder that is characterized by less than adequate secretion of the body’s growth hormone from its pituitary gland. The pituitary is the organ responsible for producing a number of different hormones. GHD can be hereditary and can be acquired... 
 
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