Developing

  • U.S. welcomes Israel release of Palestinian tax revenue -State Dept

    Reuters - Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    The United States welcomed Israel's decision on Friday to release frozen tax revenue to the Palestinian Authority, three months after freezing the payments to protest unilateral Palestinian moves towards statehood. "We certainly hope both sides would be able to build on this," State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said. "We think it's an important step." Rathke told reporters at a briefing the move will benefit the Palestinian people and said that having a functioning Palestinian Authority is important to stability in the West Bank. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said the funds would be sent for humanitarian reasons and in line with "Israel's interests." The move may be seen as a bid to build bridges, particularly with the White House, which criticized hawkish comments about the Palestinians that Netanyahu made in the run-up to his election victory this month. More »U.S. welcomes Israel release of Palestinian tax revenue -State Dept

  • Dow Chemical to sell most chlorine assets in $5 billion deal

    Reuters - Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    Dow Chemical Co will separate a portion of its century-old chlorine business and sell it to Olin Corp in a tax-efficient deal worth $5 billion (3.36 billion pounds) as part of efforts to shed low-margin assets. The deal will make smaller rival Olin the world's largest producer of chlor-alkali, which is used to make chlorine and caustic soda. Shares of Dow Chemical, which will designate three directors to Olin's board, rose 5 percent to $48.84 on Friday. More »Dow Chemical to sell most chlorine assets in $5 billion deal

  • British Ebola patient cured after experimental treatment

    Reuters - Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    A 25-year-old British military nurse who was the first person in the world to be treated for Ebola with the experimental drug MIL 77 was discharged from hospital on Friday, London's Royal Free Hospital said. Anna Cross contracted the deadly disease after going to Sierra Leone last month to help care for victims of the West African outbreak. She was brought back to Britain and successfully treated at the Royal Free in north London, Britain's main centre for Ebola treatment. "After careful consideration Corporal Cross said she would like to be given the experimental drug MIL 77," the hospital said in a statement. More »British Ebola patient cured after experimental treatment

  • Police seek two people unaccounted for after New York explosion

    Reuters - Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    By Ellen Wulfhorst NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two people remained unaccounted for on Friday in the wake of an apparent gas explosion that destroyed four New York City apartment buildings and injured 19 people, police said. The blast appeared to have been gas-related, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said. Private gas and plumbing work was going on in one of the buildings, and Con Edison utility inspectors on the scene an hour earlier had determined the work was not satisfactory. "We are looking into two individuals who are apparently unaccounted for," said a New York Police Department spokeswoman. More »Police seek two people unaccounted for after New York explosion

  • Beijing pledges free internet, optimum use of 2008 venues

    Reuters - Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    By Karolos Grohmann BERLIN (Reuters) - Beijing's Olympic experience and infrastructure are key in delivering a successful 2022 winter Games, senior bid official Wu Jingmi said on Friday, pledging also free internet during the event. The bid's Deputy Secretary General told Reuters that the use of the venues from the 2008 summer Games fit with the International Olympic Committee's Agenda 2020 reforms of keeping costs low and using more existing or temporary venues. Beijing, along with the nearby city of Zhangjiakou are jointly bidding for the Games to return to China. Beijing and Kazakhstan's Almaty are the only two cities left in the race after Stockholm, Lviv, Krakow and Oslo pulled out over a lack of support or financial concerns among other reasons. More »Beijing pledges free internet, optimum use of 2008 venues

  • Ford Motor says U.S. jury finds it did not infringe tech patents

    Reuters - Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    (Reuters) - A U.S. jury has found that Ford Motor Co did not infringe four patents owned by a Washington state company in its onboard computer systems, clearing the Detroit automaker in a $240 million lawsuit, Ford said on Friday. The jury in federal court in Tacoma, Washington, also found in Ford's favor on its claim that the patents' owner, Eagle Harbor Holdings, stole Ford's trade secrets, according to Ford. The jury verdict was not publicly available on the court's docket on Friday. More »Ford Motor says U.S. jury finds it did not infringe tech patents

  • France to begin push for U.N. Middle East action in 'coming weeks'

    Reuters - Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - France plans to start discussions with partners in the "coming weeks" on a United Nations Security Council resolution to lay out parameters for ending the Middle East conflict, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Friday. "I hope that the partners who were reluctant will not be reluctant anymore," said Fabius, referring to the United States, which has traditionally shielded its ally Israel from any action at the U.N. The United States has said it would "reassess" its options on U.S.-Israel relations and Middle East diplomacy after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a stand last week against Palestinian statehood during his election campaign. More »France to begin push for U.N. Middle East action in 'coming weeks'

  • Sweden's Tomas Transtromer, Nobel prize-winning poet, dies at 83

    Reuters - Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer, a winner of the Nobel prize for literature, has died of a stroke at the age of 83, members of the Swedish Academy that confers the award said on Friday. Transtromer was known for a relatively spare canon of surreal and lyrical poetry. I'm pretty shaken," Academy member Kjell Espmark, a friend of the poet for 60 years, told Reuters. Another member, Per Wastberg, said Transtromer had died in a Stockholm hospital late on Thursday. More »Sweden's Tomas Transtromer, Nobel prize-winning poet, dies at 83

  • U.S. allies conduct 16 air strikes in Syria, Iraq

    Reuters - Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. and coalition forces conducted 10 air strikes against Islamic State fighters in Iraq during a 24-hour period, while U.S. forces led six air strikes in Syria, the U.S. military said on Friday. The air strikes in Syria were concentrated near Kobani, destroying five fighting positions, according to a statement. Three of the strikes in Iraq were near Tikrit, destroying vehicles and a potential car bomb. Forces also hit Islamic State targets near Bayji, Fallujah, Mosul, Sinjar, and Tal Afar, the statement said. (Reporting By Lisa Lambert; Editing by Doina Chiacu) More »U.S. allies conduct 16 air strikes in Syria, Iraq

  • New apps to help business get in step with mobile customers

    Reuters - Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    By Eric Auchard FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Nine months after Apple and IBM began working together on building mobile apps for businesses, some of the first fruits are about to appear at UK pharmacy chain Boots, which has begun equipping store employees with iPads to serve shoppers in the aisles. These customer service apps are part of a bid by Boots to encourage consumers to pre-order cosmetics and toiletries online, similar to calling ahead for medical prescriptions, while turning its 2,500 retail outlets into convenient pick-up points. "These apps put all of Boots' inventory at (employees') fingertips," said Robin Phillps, who is in charge of digital and e-commerce business at the company, now part of Walgreens Boots Alliance. "This makes it easier for them ... to interact with customers on their own terms." Companies across dozens of different industries are now eyeing how these mobile business apps from Apple and IBM can hook up front-line staff to back-office systems and make them smarter in face-to-face dealings with customers in the field. More »New apps to help business get in step with mobile customers

  • U.N. chief will discuss Yemen crisis with Arab leaders - Arabiya

    Reuters - Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told al-Arabiya television on Friday he would discuss the crisis in Yemen with Arab leaders attending a March 28-29 summit in Egypt. "I will discuss the Yemen crisis with Arab leaders in Sharm El-Sheikh including (Saudi Arabia's) King Salman," he said through an Arabic translator. (Reporting by Ali Abdulaty; Writing by Michael Georgy) More »U.N. chief will discuss Yemen crisis with Arab leaders - Arabiya

  • N.Y. broker-dealer execs get prison time for Venezuelan bribe scheme

    Reuters - Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    By Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two former executives of a defunct Wall Street broker-dealer were sentenced to prison on Friday for participating in a scheme to pay $5 million in bribes to an official at a Venezuelan state economic development bank in exchange for business. Benito Chinea, the former chief executive officer of Direct Access Partners LLC, and Joseph DeMeneses, a managing director at the firm, were each sentenced by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan to four years in prison. Prosecutors said Chinea, 48, and DeMeneses, 45, participated in a scheme from 2008 through 2012 to direct payments to Maria de los Angeles Gonzalez de Hernandez, a senior official at Banco de Desarrollo Económico y Social de Venezuela, or Bandes. Direct Access employees sent $5 million in kickbacks to Gonzalez, generally through bank accounts she controlled in Switzerland and elsewhere, prosecutors said. More »N.Y. broker-dealer execs get prison time for Venezuelan bribe scheme

  • Olympics-Beijing pledges free internet, optimum use of 2008 venues

    Reuters - Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    By Karolos Grohmann BERLIN, March 27 (Reuters) - Beijing's Olympic experience and infrastructure are key in delivering a successful 2022 winter Games, senior bid official Wu Jingmi said on Friday, pledging also free internet during the event. The bid's Deputy Secretary General told Reuters that the use of the venues from the 2008 summer Games fit with the International Olympic Committee's Agenda 2020 reforms of keeping costs low and using more existing or temporary venues. Beijing, along with the nearby city of Zhangjiakou are jointly bidding for the Games to return to China. Beijing and Kazakhstan's Almaty are the only two cities left in the race after Stockholm, Lviv, Krakow and Oslo pulled out over a lack of support or financial concerns among other reasons. More »Olympics-Beijing pledges free internet, optimum use of 2008 venues

  • Pirelli chief executive Marco Tronchetti Provera predicts a strong future with ChemChina

    IB Times - Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    Italian tyre maker Pirelli has had no contacts over a possible counterbid that would trump a buyout deal by China National Chemical Corp (ChemChina), its chairman and chief executive Marco Tronchetti Provera said in an interview on 26 March. ChemChina has agreed to buy into the world's fifth-largest tyre maker in a €7.3bn (£5.4bn, $8bn) deal that will put the 143-year-old Italian company in Chinese hands. Asked about market talk that Japan's Bridgestone could also be considering a takeover move, Tronchetti Provera said such an option would be "a disaster", adding there were too many overlaps between the two companies. I'm an industrialist and I want to guarantee the future to Pirelli, its people...This transaction doesn't affect the employment in any place of the world so I think it is good for everybody," he told Reuters at the company's Milan headquarters. More »Pirelli chief executive Marco Tronchetti Provera predicts a strong future with ChemChina

  • British government tightens travel warning on Kenya

    Reuters - Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    Britain toughened its warning to citizens travelling to Kenya, telling them on Friday to avoid most coastal resorts including the region's main airport at Mombasa, another blow to the east African country's battered tourist industry. The previous advice told Britons to avoid a smaller portion of the coast, areas near the Somali border and parts of Nairobi, citing threats including Somali Islamist group Al Shabaab, who were behind the deadly raid on Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall in 2013. The new warning, published on a British government website, indicated only a small area of the coast was now safe to visit. The revision was issued just over a week after Kenyan officials urged visiting British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond to lift the advisory to help the struggling tourist industry, which has been hurt by a series of attacks. More »British government tightens travel warning on Kenya

  • FTSE ends week with a whimper as commodity stocks fall

    Reuters - Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    By Sudip Kar-Gupta LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's main equity index fell for a fourth day on Friday, pulled down by commodity stocks as iron ore prices plunged and as a stronger U.S. dollar weighed on mining shares. Energy shares such as BP and Royal Dutch Shell dipped too with lower oil prices, although cruise ship company Carnival rose 7.2 percent after posting higher-than-expected profits. The blue-chip FTSE 100 index, which hit a record intraday high of 7,065.08 points on Tuesday, fell 0.6 percent to 6,855.02 points. The FTSE recorded a weekly loss of 2.4 percent but remains up 4.4 percent so far this year. More »FTSE ends week with a whimper as commodity stocks fall

  • Israel says it will release frozen tax revenue to Palestinians

    Reuters - Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    Israel said on Friday it would release millions of dollars of tax income to the Palestinian Authority, three months after freezing the payments in protest at unilateral Palestinian moves towards statehood. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said the funds would be sent for humanitarian reasons and in line with "Israel's interests". The move may be seen as a bid to rebuild bridges, particularly with the White House, which criticised hawkish comments about the Palestinians that Netanyahu made in the build-up to his election victory this month. Israel stopped the monthly transfer of $130 million (87.25 million pounds) of tax and customs duties that it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority in January after the organisation applied to join the International Criminal Court. More »Israel says it will release frozen tax revenue to Palestinians

  • White House: Chemical safety board head resigns

    Associated Press - Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Chemical Safety Board is operating without a permanent leader. Its chairman has been forced to resign, following accusations of mismanagement. More »White House: Chemical safety board head resigns

  • Ex-Barclays executive, businessman given jail terms in Italy for corruption

    Reuters - Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    A former manager of Barclays in Italy Vittorio Maria De Stasio and businessman Aldo Bonaldi were sentenced to jail by a court in Milan on Friday on corruption charges. De Stasio, who was sued by Barclays, was charged with facilitating loans to four companies owned by Bonaldi even after finding out the businessman was caught up in a case involving an 11-million-euro scam against the European Union. The court heard De Stasio, who was Barclays' chief executive for retail and business banking in Italy, received 150,000 euros in kickbacks paid into Swiss bank accounts after the loans were granted. More »Ex-Barclays executive, businessman given jail terms in Italy for corruption

  • Yemeni president arrives in Egypt for Arab League summit

    Reuters - Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Reuters) - Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi arrived in Egypt on Friday for an Arab League summit which will focus on the Saudi-led military campaign against his Houthi militia opponents. Hadi left his refuge in Aden for Saudi Arabia on Thursday as Houthi fighters battled with his forces on the outskirts of the southern port city. (Reporting by Ali Abdelaty; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Andrew Heavens) More »Yemeni president arrives in Egypt for Arab League summit

  • Italy's Marchisio ruled out with knee ligament injury

    Reuters - Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    Italy and Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio is set to be ruled out for several months after suffering a cruciate ligament injury in training with the national team, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) said on Friday. The 29-year-old, who has 51 caps for his country, will now play no part in Italy's Euro 2016 qualifier against Bulgaria on Saturday or face England in a friendly three days later. “Unfortunately he sprained his right knee during training, no other player was involved,” said Italy's team doctor Enrico Castellacci on the FIGC website (www.figc.it). “The player underwent an MRI scan at the Fanfani Institute in Florence, which confirmed subtotal damage of the anterior cruciate ligament. More »Italy's Marchisio ruled out with knee ligament injury

  • Pietersen return could 'tear apart' England - Buchanan

    Reuters - Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    Recalling sacked Kevin Pietersen could "tear apart the fabric" of the England team because the batsman is like a child who wants to get his own way, according to former Australia coach John Buchanan. Pietersen, sacked in February 2014 following England's 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Australia, joined Surrey on Wednesday in an attempt to earn an international recall after receiving encouragement from new English cricket chief Colin Graves. More »Pietersen return could 'tear apart' England - Buchanan

  • Hull fined for failing to control players

    Reuters - Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    Hull City have been fined 30,000 pounds ($44,700) for failing to control their players during a 1-1 draw against Leicester City this month, the English FA said on Friday. The fine relates to an incident in the 68th minute when Hull players surrounded referee Jonathan Moss after defender Alex Bruce was booked for a challenge on Leicester's Riyad Mahrez. "Following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing, Hull City have been fined 30,000 pounds after an FA player misconduct charge brought against the club was found proven," the FA said in a statement on its website. More »Hull fined for failing to control players

  • Power returns to Amsterdam after outage hits a million homes

    Reuters - Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    By Thomas Escritt AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Amsterdam region suffered a power blackout of more than five hours on Friday that hit a million households, forced flights to divert from Schiphol airport and disrupted national public transport networks. After more than two hours without power, lights switched back on in the Amsterdam financial district and gradually returned to cities across the province of Noord Holland, home to a sixth of the country's 17 million people. "The power outage brought trams and metros to a standstill, traffic lights went out and people were trapped in lifts," the city of Amsterdam said in a statement. Power outages on this scale are rare in Europe. More »Power returns to Amsterdam after outage hits a million homes

  • Lufthansa to toughen up cockpit rules

    Reuters - Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    Lufthansa said it will introduce new rules requiring two crew members to be in the cockpit at all times after one of the pilots at its Germanwings unit crashed a plane in the French Alps. Prosecutors believe Andreas Lubitz, 27, locked himself alone in the cockpit of the Airbus A320 on Tuesday and deliberately steered it into a mountain, killing all 150 people on board. Lufthansa had said on Thursday that it did not see any reason to hastily change its procedures, but many other airlines swiftly changed their own rules. "The passenger airlines of the Lufthansa Group will put this new rule into place as soon as possible in agreement with the relevant authorities," Lufthansa said in a statement on Friday. More »Lufthansa to toughen up cockpit rules

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