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Fortune 500 companies have record profits of $825 billion in 2011

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The 500 largest US companies piled up record profits last year, despite a lackluster economy, and energy giant ExxonMobil ousted Wal-Mart as the biggest revenue maker, Fortune magazine said Monday.

The combined earnings of the Fortune 500 corporations rose 16 percent from 2010 to a record high of $825 billion in 2011, the magazine said.

“Given the sluggish recovery and a strapped consumer, you’d expect to see corporate America trudging along, not racing for glory,” Fortune’s senior editor-at-large, said.

“In fact, the Fortune 500 are thriving as a group. Unlike the US economy, they’ve shown quicksilver agility, rapidly shifting their product mix and producing more goods at little new cost.”

The previous record of $785 billion was set in 2006, amid robust economic growth and before the subprime mortgage crisis in the housing market touched off global financial turmoil.

After that tailspin in late 2008, companies slashed costs, particularly labor, the magazine noted.

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And despite a recovery from deep recession that ended in mid-June 2009, companies have been reluctant to hire more workers, who account for almost 70 percent of their total costs.

“Today the Fortune 500 employs 25.8 million people worldwide, up by less than 1.0 percent since 2007,” Fortune said.

In the United States the Fortune 500 employs nearly 17 million workers and indirectly affects millions more in companies that support the Fortune 500.

Oil and gas behemoth ExxonMobil grabbed first place on the Fortune 500 for the 13th time, with $453 billion in revenues, edging out Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer.

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Exxon also led the Fortune 500 with $41.1 billion in earnings, a hefty 35 percent rise over 2010.

Wal-Mart earnings fell four percent to nearly $16 billion.

Exxon and Wal-Mart have traded the top two positions six times during the past decade.

Energy groups Chevron and CononcoPhillips took third- and fourth-place, respectively.

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General Motors, the biggest US automaker still partly owned by the government after a $50 billion bailout and a 2009 bankruptcy restructuring, jumped three spots to number five.

Rounding out the rest of the top 10 Fortune 500 were, in descending order, General Electric, Berkshire Hathaway, Fannie Mae, Ford Motor and Hewlett-Packard.

[The 500 largest US companies piled up record profits last year, despite a lackluster economy. AFP Photo/Karen Bleier]

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Trump’s golf courses fired these five undocumented workers — now they have a plan to spoil his 2020 launch

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Five undocumented immigrants who worked for President Donald Trump's golf courses for years are planning to crash his big 2020 campaign kickoff rally in Florida on Tuesday.

The New York Daily News reports that the former Trump workers plan on going to his rally to highlight his "cruelty and hypocrisy" for welcoming undocumented immigrants to work at his clubs until they became a political inconvenience.

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Congressmen ask special counsel to bring the hammer down on Jared Kushner for Hatch Act violations

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Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) have asked the Office of Special Counsel to open an investigation into Jared Kushner for alleged violations of the Hatch Act.

According to the congressmen, Kushner violated the law by "engaging in prohibited campaign fundraising activities."

Reports have suggested that Kushner has used his official role in the White House to aid President Donald Trump's reelection effort.

Last week the Office of Special Counsel took the unprecedented step of recommending Kellyanne Conway's removal from service for violations of the Hatch Act.

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‘Black students don’t tip’: Texas restaurant says forcing African-American kids to pay gratuity is not racist

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A restaurant in Cypress, Texas has come under fire after an employee allegedly said that black students "don't tip."

Brittany Blakney told KPRC that she and her friends went to Locatelli’s restaurant to celebrate graduating from Prairie View A&M University.

Blakney said that she was surprised to find out that the server had already added a 15% gratuity to her check.

“He said, 'Black students from Prairie View don’t tip,'” she recalled.

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