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In today's news: Experts say the economy is looking up as long as gas and food prices don't keep going up, McDonald's could raise prices if they do, Apple has raised the ire of privacy advocates, the Pentagon's spending spree continues, and more Toyotas are recalled.

ECONOMY: Economic indicators point to continued gains in coming months

Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, leading economic indicators rose 0.4 percent in March, and consumer spending is up – all good signs, at least as long as gas and food prices don’t keep climbing. “A private research group said U.S. economic growth should strengthen by summer,” USA Today reports, “but cautioned that concern over rising gas and food prices could drag on the expansion.”

FOOD: McDonald’s warns of higher food inflation

How much are food prices rising? McDonald’s is mulling over how to raise prices on its historically cheap meals. “McDonald’s Corp forecast higher prices for beef, dairy and other items and said it would cautiously raise prices,” MSNBC reports.

TECH: iPhone, iPad tracking is probably a ‘mistake,’ researchers say

If you own an iPhone or iPad, the devices track your whereabouts and store them in an unprotected file, researchers have learned. But, reports Bloomberg, “The iPhone and iPad’s ability to logs users’ whereabouts is probably a mistake that Apple will eliminate.”

FEDERAL BUDGET: Pentagon budget: Time to cut

While other agencies are being cut, the Pentagon budget went up slightly during the recent budget battles in the nation’s capital – continuing a trend. “Since 2001, defense spending has just about doubled, rising to almost $700 billion in 2010,” CNN reports. “That is more than half of the discretionary budget and about 20 percent of the entire federal budget.”

CARS: Toyota recalls RAV4s, Highlanders for airbags

More than 300,000 Toyota RAV4 and Highlander vehicles are being recalled so sensors in their airbags can be fixed. “The recall includes about 214,000 RAV4s from 2007 and 2008 and approximately 94,000 Highlander and Highlander HV vehicles from 2008,” MSNBC reports.

Stacy Johnson

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