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Oak Brook, Illinois--McDonald's has returned to profit three months after going into the red for the first time in its 48-year history. Its earnings were boosted by the weakness of the U.S. dollar, which has fallen almost 25 percent against the Euro over the past year, rather than by its own business strategy. McDonald's made a profit of $327.4 million in the first three months of the year, up 29 percent from the same period last year. Without the help of currency fluctuations, sales would have been flat. -BBC News

Pomona, California--A jury has awarded a former McDonald's franchise owner $16.5 million, agreeing with her claims that the fast-food giant defrauded her when it pressured her to sell outlets. Lawyers for Sandra Darling of Newport Beach alleged that McDonald's wanted to force out the franchisee, who had six well-performing Southern California units in the early 1990s, because she criticized some of the company's policies. Darling's suit contended that by the time her franchise renewal came up, the company had instituted a policy giving it the option of repurchasing the highest-performing franchises. McDonald's refused to back loan applications, lowered Darling's store quality ratings and opened competing restaurants, the suit claimed. -Associated Press

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