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Apple CEO reaps $4.3 million

CUPERTINO, Calif. – Apple CEO Timothy Cook received a compensation package valued at nearly $4.3 million this year, up slightly from 2012.

Cook’s pay for fiscal 2013, which ended in September, consisted of $1.4 million in salary and a bonus of $2.8 million, according to a regulatory filing Friday. Cook’s compensation also includes $52,721 in company contributions to his 401(k) account, life insurance premiums and a vacation cash-out.

The year’s pay was relatively modest compared with 2011, when he took the company’s helm. That year, Apple’s board set him up with stock now worth $510 million.

Hollywood on pace for record

LOS ANGELES – Despite a string of summertime flops, Hollywood is expected to have a banner year at the domestic box office, coming in just shy of $11 billion, the largest annual take ever. But because of higher ticket prices, actual attendance at North American theaters remained flat after a decade of decline.

With the current domestic box-office tally nearly 1 percent ahead of last year at this time, 2013 could surpass 2012’s overall haul of $10.8 billion by more than $100 million, according to box-office tracker Rentrak.

Inflation report way overdue

CARACAS, Venezuela – There’s one burning question among economists in Venezuela these days: What happened to the November inflation report?

It’s been more than two weeks since the deadline passed for the central bank to publish its closely watched consumer price index and so far authorities have been mum about when it will be released.

Economists and opposition politicians say the delay is a sign the government is trying to hide its embarrassing record controlling inflation, now running at 54 percent, after President Nicolas Maduro last month delivered a rare rebuke of the way the bank measures prices. They warn of more interference to come, undermining an institution that has been a redoubt of balance and credibility amid a decadelong socialist push that has divided Venezuelans.

The central bank’s bylaws require it to publish inflation data within the first 10 days of each month. On the rare occasions when it has missed the date before, it was by only a few days.

Economists also depend on the inflation report to monitor another ill battering the South America’s largest oil economy: record levels of shortages. The October report’s so-called scarcity index showed that out of 100 products measured, 22 were out of stock.

It’s not just the inflation report that has economists concerned the bank is losing its autonomy. In recent years, the monetary authority has stopped publishing data on private investment and expansion of the money supply, one of the main drivers of inflation.


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