High-profile rapes threaten India tourism business
MUMBAI, India -- A fatal gang rape in New Delhi didn't deter Germans Carolina De Paolo and Canan Wahner from traveling to India for a six-week tour. The attack was awful, but there is crime everywhere, they figured, and they'd take precautions.
Then a man sidled up to Wahner on a train to Goa and ran his hand up her leg a few weeks into the trip. On another train, a different man grabbed De Paolo's breasts from behind.
She never reported the crime, deciding there would be no point. The two women, both 22, say there were times they didn't feel safe, but they insist they still would go to India again.
That separates them from many tourists, who are choosing not to.
Violence against women, and the huge publicity generated by recent attacks, is threatening India's $17.7 billion tourism industry. A new study shows tourism has plunged, especially among women, since a 23-year-old Indian student was raped on a New Delhi bus and later died from her injuries -- a case that garnered worldwide publicity. The government denies any drop in tourism.U.S. service firms grow more slowly, hiring weakens
WASHINGTON -- Two reports Wednesday showed that U.S. service companies grew more slowly in March and private employers pulled back on hiring. The declines suggest businesses may have grown more cautious last month after federal spending cuts took effect.
The Institute for Supply Management said its index of non-manufacturing activity fell to 54.4 last month. That's down from 56 in February and the lowest in seven months. Any reading above 50 signals expansion.
Slower hiring and a steep drop in new orders drove the index down. A gauge of hiring fell 3.9 points to 53.3, the lowest since November. That means companies kept hiring, but at a slower pace.
The ISM report covers companies that employ roughly 90 percent of the workforce.
U.S. home prices rose in February by most in 7 years
WASHINGTON -- U.S. home prices jumped in February by the largest amount in seven years, evidence that the housing recovery strengthened ahead of the all-important spring buying season.
Home prices rose 10.2 percent in February compared with a year earlier, CoreLogic, a real estate data provider, said Wednesday. The annual gain was the biggest since March 2006. Prices have increased on an annual basis for 12 straight months, underscoring the recovery's steady momentum.
The gains were broad-based. Prices rose in 47 of 50 states and in all but four of the nation's 100 largest metro areas. Delaware, Alabama and Illinois were the only states to report price declines.
Survey: Private employers add 158,000 jobs in March
WASHINGTON -- A survey shows U.S. companies added fewer jobs in March compared with the previous month, as construction firms held off on hiring after three months of solid gains.
Private employers added 158,000 jobs last month, payroll processor ADP said Wednesday. That's down from February's gain of 237,000 and January's 177,000.
Construction companies didn't add any jobs in March, after average monthly gains of 29,000 in the previous three months.
Boeing 787 testing more than half done