Developing

  • South Africa platinum strike talks to continue Thursday

    Reuters - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    By Ed Stoddard JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Marathon talks aimed at ending a crippling three-month strike in South Africa's platinum sector will resume on Thursday after the world's top producers and union AMCU spent two days haggling over an offer tabled last week by the companies. The strike is already the longest and most costly in living memory for South Africa's mines, though there has been a renewed drive to break the deadlock in recent days after several weeks with no formal direct talks between the two sides. The talks involve the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) leadership and chief executives from Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin. Initially demanding an immediate doubling of the basic wage - net salary before allowances such as housing - for entry-level workers to 12,500 rand (715.20 pounds) a month, AMCU has since said it would accept annual increases that would reach this goal in three or even four years' time. More »South Africa platinum strike talks to continue Thursday

  • Goldman, JPMorgan seek dismissal of aluminium price-fixing lawsuits

    Reuters - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    By Andrew Longstreth NEW YORK (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc , JPMorgan Chase & Co , the London Metal Exchange and warehouse operators want a judge to throw out lawsuits saying that from May 2009 they conspired to reduce the supply and increase the price of aluminium. They argued in New York federal court motions late on Tuesday that commercial buyers of aluminium and consumers who purchased aluminium-based products lacked standing to sue under antitrust law because they did not store metal in the defendants' warehouses or trade on the LME. The lawsuits said that the defendants conspired to delay the delivery of aluminium from certain warehouses, allowing the LME and the financial firms to profit. One of the plaintiff's lawyers, Christopher Lovell of Lovell Stewart Halebian Jacobson, could not immediately be reached to comment on the defendants' motion to dismiss the lawsuits. More »Goldman, JPMorgan seek dismissal of aluminium price-fixing lawsuits

  • Italy's Berlusconi to start community service work next week

    Reuters - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Wednesday he would start doing community service with the elderly next week as part of a one-year tax fraud sentence. A court ruled earlier this month that Berlusconi, one of Italy's richest men, must spend four hours a week in a Catholic old people's home on the outskirts of Milan. After completing the first six months, Berlusconi's one-year sentence will automatically be reduced to 10 and a half months. The 77-year old media tycoon showed up at a judicial office in Milan to sign documents related to the ruling. More »Italy's Berlusconi to start community service work next week

  • Experimental Cochlear Implant Treatment Could Improve Hearing

    LiveScience.com - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    In experiments on deaf guinea pigs, researchers found that the new technique, which uses cochlear implants to deliver DNA directly to the nerves, restored the animals' hearing to a near-normal level, according to the report, published today (April 23) in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Cochlear implants are electronic devices that can be surgically implanted to restore hearing in people whose deafness is caused by certain conditions. If proven effective in humans, this experimental use of a cochlear implant to fix the nerves could offer significant improvement over current implants, the researchers said. "People with cochlear implants do well with understanding speech, but their perception of pitch can be poor, so they often miss out on the joy of music," study researcher Gary Housley, an animal physiologist at the University of New South Wales in Australia, said in a statement. More »Experimental Cochlear Implant Treatment Could Improve Hearing

  • Abbas: Unity with Hamas does not contradict peace talks with Israel

    Reuters - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Wednesday a unity pact he reached with the militant group Hamas earlier in the day did not contradict peace talks he is pursuing with Israel. Israel called off a session of talks in response to the deal with the Gaza-based Islamist group, which is sworn to its destruction. But Abbas said in a statement that an independent state living peacefully alongside Israel remained his goal. (Reporting By Noah Browning; Editing by Angus MacSwan) More »Abbas: Unity with Hamas does not contradict peace talks with Israel

  • Israel cancels negotiations session with Palestinians after unity deal

    Reuters - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel on Wednesday cancelled a planned session of peace negotiations with the Palestinians shortly after a unity deal was signed in Gaza between Hamas Islamists and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organisation. A statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said: "Israel has cancelled a negotiations meeting that was expected to be held this evening," without providing further detail. (Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; Editing by Angus MacSwan) More »Israel cancels negotiations session with Palestinians after unity deal

  • Iran prison chief replaced after alleged beatings

    Reuters - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    Iran said on Wednesday it had replaced the country's prisons chief amid an uproar over alleged beating of political prisoners last week in Tehran's notorious Evin Prison Families of the dozens of political prisoners held there have been protesting outside parliament and the presidential complex and the issue came up in the legislature on Wednesday. The prison incident last Thursday drew attention to human rights in the Islamic republic at a time the new reformist President Hassan Rouhani struggles to show a gentler face for his country and dispel suspicions about its nuclear programme. The semi-official Fars news agency carried an official announcement that prison chief Gholam-Hossein Esmaeeli had been switched to another job in the judiciary. Under Iran's constitution, the president's authority does not extend over the prison system and past efforts to influence decisions in the conservative-dominated judiciary have failed. More »Iran prison chief replaced after alleged beatings

  • New Hampshire ex-priest gets jail time for thefts

    Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire priest who was the former leader of one of the nation's top clergy treatment centers was sentenced Wednesday to serve at least four years in prison for stealing $300,000 from a hospital, a dead priest's estate and the state's Roman Catholic bishop. More »New Hampshire ex-priest gets jail time for thefts

  • Brother of Duchess of Cornwall dies after a fall outside a New York club

    TheJournal.ie - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    Travel writer died after sustaining a head injury after falling while lighting a cigarette. More »Brother of Duchess of Cornwall dies after a fall outside a New York club

  • Amazon's eroding tax advantage, bid to sustain growth in focus in first-quarter

    Reuters - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    By Deepa Seetharaman SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc's quarterly results on Thursday may heighten worries that its edge over online and even traditional brick-and-mortar rivals is narrowing as it charges sales tax in more states, curtailing growth in its core business. Amazon, which has expanded aggressively into mobile devices and computing services to try to sustain its pace of growth, may lose customers to a growing crop of retail startups and major chains that had been slow to react but are now focusing on their own online commerce strategies, analysts say. Longer term, the imposition of sales taxes across a growing number of states could exacerbate that trend. "The imposition of state sales taxes in major markets such as California, Texas, and Pennsylvania may have caused a growth drag," RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney wrote in a note this week. More »Amazon's eroding tax advantage, bid to sustain growth in focus in first-quarter

  • 3 charged with sending chemical equipment to Syria

    Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (AP) — U.S. prosecutors have charged a Pennsylvania man and two foreign citizens with conspiring to illegally export chemical warfare detection devices and laboratory equipment to Syria, authorities said in a case that was under seal for 17 months until Wednesday. More »3 charged with sending chemical equipment to Syria

  • R&B singer Chris Brown's assault trial delayed by bodyguard case

    Reuters - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    By Tom Ramstack WASHINGTON (Reuters) - R&B singer Chris Brown's trial for allegedly assaulting a fan outside a hotel in Washington, D.C., was delayed again on Wednesday after his defence said more time was needed to arrange for the testimony of his bodyguard. Brown, 24, is accused of punching a man who was trying to take his photo near the White House in October. Christopher Hollosy, the singer's 35-year-old bodyguard, was convicted on Monday of misdemeanour assault for hitting the man during the altercation. Brown's attorneys say Hollosy is a key witness who should appear at the trial in the District of Columbia Superior Court, but the bodyguard has refused to speak under oath until his appeal is completed. More »R&B singer Chris Brown's assault trial delayed by bodyguard case

  • MTV Video Music Awards to return to Los Angeles

    Reuters - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    The annual MTV Video Music Awards, one of the music industry's top televised showcases, will return to Los Angeles this summer from New York City, the U.S. cable channel said on Wednesday. The show, popular among MTV's young viewers prized by advertisers, will take place on August 24, the day before TV's Emmy Awards, at the Forum in Inglewood, California, about eight miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles. The Video Music Awards, which hand out "Moonman" statuettes of an astronaut planting an MTV flag, can be crucial exposure for singers and bands and is best known for its unscripted and often provocative moments. And just as last year's show helped unveil the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, this year's show will also help relaunch Madison Square Garden Co's recently renovated Forum, an arena which had been bypassed by major events since the Staples Center opened in downtown Los Angeles in 1998. More »MTV Video Music Awards to return to Los Angeles

  • Cambodian experts deactivate mudslide minefield in Cyprus

    Reuters - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    By Michele Kambas MAMMARI, Cyprus (Reuters) - Landmines are meant to lurk underground for years until someone steps on them, but United Nations deminers in Cyprus have now found some that have moved about 50 metres (yards) since being buried almost 40 years ago. Cambodian experts investigating a minefield that moved in a mudslide in late 2012 have found the first migrating anti-tank mine in an area some 15 km (9 miles) west of Nicosia, Colonel Angus Loudon, chief of staff at the United Nations peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) said on Wednesday. The discovery on Tuesday was a stark reminder of the silent killers which still lace the terrain on either side of the dividing line that split Cyprus in 1974 after a Turkish invasion triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup. "We do not know how many more mines might be in there." The multi-national UNFICYP force oversaw the destruction of more than 25,000 landmines in the buffer zone over a five-year period until the end of 2011. More »Cambodian experts deactivate mudslide minefield in Cyprus

  • Ebola death toll in West Africa rises to 147

    Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — The World Health Organization says 147 people have died from the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. More »Ebola death toll in West Africa rises to 147

  • Car bomb kills 6 people in Iraq

    Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi authorities say a car bomb has killed six people belonging to an ethnic minority in the country's north. More »Car bomb kills 6 people in Iraq

  • Brazil's Azul adds Airbus jets to start U.S. flights

    Reuters - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    By Brad Haynes CAMPINAS, Brazil (Reuters) - Brazil's third-biggest airline, Azul Linhas Aereas, unveiled plans on Wednesday to add 11 wide-body jets from European planemaker Airbus to start service to the United States. Azul said it would receive six Airbus A330-200s in early 2015, when the airline will begin flying overseas, and five Airbus A350-900 jets starting in early 2017. The selection of Airbus planes, first reported on Tuesday by Reuters, is another blow to U.S. rival Boeing Co in Latin America's biggest market. The expansion will transform Azul, which is controlled by JetBlue Airways Corp founder David Neeleman, from a niche regional carrier into an international player directly challenging heavyweight Latam Airlines Group SA , which controls Brazil's No. 1 carrier, TAM Linhas Aereas. More »Brazil's Azul adds Airbus jets to start U.S. flights

  • NHL-Lightning pair, Avs' MacKinnon finalists for top rookie

    Reuters - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    Tampa Bay Lightning forwards Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat were named as finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy, given to the top rookie, along with Colorado Avalanche centre Nathan MacKinnon, the NHL said on Wednesday. MacKinnon, the first overall pick in the 2013 draft, topped all first-year players in points with 63 and tied for the lead in goals with 24. He also had five game-winning goals and had at least one point in 13 consecutive games to break Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky's record for the longest single-season point streak by a player aged 18 or younger. More »NHL-Lightning pair, Avs' MacKinnon finalists for top rookie

  • New social networks connects cooks and diners

    Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — If the latest development in culinary social media catches on, the trendiest restaurants may no longer be restaurants. More »New social networks connects cooks and diners

  • Bahrain says expels representative of Shi'ite Ayatollah Sistani

    Reuters - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    Bahrain expelled a prominent Shi'ite religious figure on Wednesday, accusing him of acting as a representative of influential Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani without permission. A statement by the interior ministry said it had received information from top Iraqi government officials that Sheikh Hussein al-Najati was Sistani's representative and had carried out activities such as fund-raising in that capacity. Bahrain, which is ruled by the Sunni Muslim al-Khalifa dynasty, accuses Shi'ite power Iran of fomenting unrest in the country since a 2011 uprising led by the Shi'ite Muslim community demanding reforms and more share in running the kingdom. More »Bahrain says expels representative of Shi'ite Ayatollah Sistani

  • Saudi announces 11 new MERS infections

    AFP - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    Saudi Arabia on Wednesday announced 11 new cases of MERS, including a 13-year-old child, as its acting health minister vowed to keep the public better informed about the coronavirus. More »Saudi announces 11 new MERS infections

  • Stem cell 'role in human lifespan'

    Press Association - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    Stem cell "exhaustion" may play a role in defining the limit of human lifespan, a study of blood from a dead Dutch supercentenarian suggests. More »Stem cell 'role in human lifespan'

  • AP WAS THERE: Probable cause of AIDS found

    Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — EDITOR'S NOTE: In 1981, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the first cases of a rare pneumonia that had sickened five Los Angeles gay men. The AIDS epidemic had begun. More »AP WAS THERE: Probable cause of AIDS found

  • UK says scrambles jets to see off Russian planes near Scotland

    Reuters - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    Britain on Wednesday scrambled Typhoon fighter jets to see off Russian military planes flying close to its airspace off the coast of Scotland, a spokeswoman from the defence ministry said. "There were unidentified aircraft flying near the north of Scotland," the spokeswoman told Reuters, saying Britain's Royal Air Force had later identified them as Russian. "They were flying in international airspace at all times, they didn't go into UK sovereign airspace," she added, saying there had been eight similar incidents in 2013. Local media reported there were two Russian planes, believed to be Tupolev-95s, which had turned away and flown towards Scandinavia after being contacted by the British jets. More »UK says scrambles jets to see off Russian planes near Scotland

  • France deficit plan treads fine line, betting on growth

    Reuters - Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    By Nicholas Vinocur and Jean-Baptiste Vey PARIS (Reuters) - France outlined a slower roadmap on Wednesday to reduce its chronic deficit to the European Union's treaty limit next year, based on growth assumptions described by an independent watchdog as risky. Europe's second-biggest economy, with the highest public spending quota in the EU, is a serial laggard where recovery and public finances are concerned. It has already been granted a two-year extension until 2015 on the original deadline to bring its public deficit below the ceiling of 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Its partners fear it may miss the deadline again next year, but an unpopular Socialist government is struggling to sell painful savings measures to the electorate and to rebellious rank and file lawmakers, even though they are milder than outright spending cuts in many other European countries. More »France deficit plan treads fine line, betting on growth

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