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Guatemalan Ex-president Returns Home After Release From U.s. Prison – Yahoo News

The former leader remained in prison, however, until the country’s Supreme Court decided to endorse a longstanding request by the United States that Portillo face money-laundering charges. He was extradited to the United States in May 2013. U.S. authorities initially accused Portillo of laundering tens of millions of dollars embezzled from the Guatemalan government, including $2.5 million provided by Taiwan’s embassy in the Central American nation for books for school libraries. Portillo pleaded guilty to a charge of money laundering conspiracy last March. He said Taiwan had paid the $2.5 million as a bribe in exchange for Guatemala’s continued diplomatic recognition. Only 22 countries maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan, including the tiny Pacific island states of Nauru and Palau, as well as Vatican City, Paraguay, Panama, Haiti, Nicaragua and Belize.
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Home Depot & Lowe’s shares priced to perfection – Yahoo News

The 2015 outlook was tempered by what the company described as a “significant strengthening of the U.S. dollar”. Profits are now expected to be as much as $5.17 a share and sales may increase 3.5% to 4.7%. Investors are hot for the home improvement retailers. Lowes ( LOW ) has seen its stock advance 39%, Home Depot ( HD ) 23% over the past six months pushing multiples on both stocks to multi-year highs. The issue with Home Depot and Lowes is that they are trading at historically very high multiples, observes Leigh Drogan, CEO of Estimize , whose firm tracks price-to-earnings multiples for both. Lowes up around 29, Home Depot up around 25, these are above their five to eight year highs. Eurphoria for the shares is not without merit Drogan says, especially as the job market improves and with the 50% drop in oil prices since last year. With the decline in oil prices there is a lot more money, retail sales, ex-energy have gone up pretty well. In early February, Home Depot announced plans to hire 80,000 workers to accommodate the spring season which is the busiest selling season for the retailer. Related: The Home Depot Preps for Spring with 80,000 New Hires Investor optimism for the stocks is not necessarily being confirmed by recent housing data points.
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