• Deadly car bomb targets U.S. consulate in Iraq's Erbil

    Reuters - Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    By Isabel Coles ERBIL (Reuters) - A car bombing at the entrance to the U.S. consulate in the capital of Iraq's Kurdistan region killed at least one person and wounded five others on Friday the local mayor said. The State Department said no U.S. personnel were killed in the blast that it said was caused by a "vehicle-borne improvised explosive device" that went off right outside the entrance to the heavily guarded compound. Semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan is an important partner in a U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State militants who have seized swathes of Iraq. Such attacks are rare in Erbil, a haven of relative safety in a country torn apart by insurgency and sectarian strife where, in many areas, bombings are a daily occurrence. More »Deadly car bomb targets U.S. consulate in Iraq's Erbil

  • Saddam aide, Iraqi insurgent leader al-Douri reported killed

    Reuters - Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    By Saif Sameer and Isabel Coles BAGHDAD/ERBIL (Reuters) - Ezzat Ibrahim al-Douri, former right-hand man to late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and a leader of Iraq's Sunni insurgency, has been reported killed by Iraqi forces and Shi'ite militias. Douri was killed in a military operation, Raed al-Jubouri, the governor of Salahuddin province, told Reuters. Baghdad has mistakenly announced al-Douri's death several times before, but this time photos are circulating showing a man with features and red hair like his. His killing, if confirmed, would be a big blow to the Sunni insurgency, an alliance of former Baathist officers and Islamic State. More »Saddam aide, Iraqi insurgent leader al-Douri reported killed

  • Russia lifts ban on air defense sale to Iran. A game changer?

    Christian Science Monitor - Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    So when Moscow this week reversed a 2010 ban on the $800 million sale, many Iran watchers rolled their eyes. Russia has a history of putting strategic politics before commercial transactions – including previous S-300 deals with Iran and Syria, and the fitful construction of Iran’s nuclear power plant at Bushehr. Along with Iranian officials, he is portraying the S-300 deal as a “stabilizing” move in a volatile region, at a time when Russia is challenging the US and West over its annexation of Crimea, wars in Ukraine and Syria, among other issues. More »Russia lifts ban on air defense sale to Iran. A game changer?

  • Exclusive - Greece scrapes bottom of barrel in hunt for cash to stay afloat

    Reuters - Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    By Lefteris Papadimas and Deepa Babington ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece will need to tap all the remaining cash reserves across its public sector - a total of 2 billion euros (1.43 billion pounds) - to pay civil service wages and pensions at the end of the month, according to finance ministry officials. Barring a last-ditch deal with its creditors, that is likely to leave no money to repay the International Monetary Fund almost 1 billion euros due in the first half of May, although Greece has said it wants to honour its debt obligations. Athens' scramble for basic funds shows how extreme the financial constraints on Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras have become as he tries to convince sceptical foreign creditors to extend his country new financial aid. Greece's finance ministry denied that it would need to tap remaining cash reserves to meet salary payments, without providing any figures. More »Exclusive - Greece scrapes bottom of barrel in hunt for cash to stay afloat

  • WWII Ship Used for Atomic Bomb Tests Found 'Amazingly Intact'

    LiveScience.com - Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    The USS Independence aircraft carrier, which operated during World War II, has been located about a half mile underwater off California's Farallon Islands. Using an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) dubbed the Echo Ranger and a 3D-imaging sonar system, researchers have created a detailed picture of the 622-foot-long (190 m) ship, revealing that it is "amazingly intact," said scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). "After 64 years on the seafloor, Independence sits on the bottom as if ready to launch its planes," James Delgado, chief scientist on the Independence mission, said in a statement. It is a reminder of the industrial might and skill of the 'greatest generation' that sent not only this ship, but their loved ones to war," added Delgado, maritime heritage director for NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. More »WWII Ship Used for Atomic Bomb Tests Found 'Amazingly Intact'

  • Brazil's Olympic host Rio has phones cut due to unpaid bills

    Reuters - Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    By Stephen Eisenhammer and Brad Haynes RIO DE JANEIRO/SAO PAULO (Reuters) - The state government of Rio de Janeiro, which is feverishly preparing for next year's Olympic Games, has failed to pay its phone and Internet bills, triggering a cutoff in service, the phone company responsible said on Friday. Brazilian telecoms firm Oi SA said it had cut the lines after the state government racked up debt of 170 million reais (£37.27 million) in unpaid internet and telephone bills. In the midst of funding a number of large infrastructure projects in time for the Olympics, Rio de Janeiro state has seen its tax take fall as a drop in the oil price has reduced oil royalties. The Olympics are expected to cost nearly 40 billion reais ($13.1 billion), including projects like extending the subway and regenerating the port area of the city of Rio de Janeiro, which though not directly linked to the sporting event are planned to be finished for the Games. More »Brazil's Olympic host Rio has phones cut due to unpaid bills

  • EU to investigate transparency of Internet search results - document

    Reuters - Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    By Julia Fioretti BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Internet platforms such as Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! will be the subject of a widespread inquiry by European regulators to determine whether they are transparent enough in how they display search results. In a draft of the Commission's strategy for creating a digital single market, seen by Reuters, it says it will "carry out a comprehensive investigation and consultation on the role of platforms, including the growth of the sharing economy." The investigation, expected to be carried out next year, will look into the transparency of search results - involving paid for links and advertisements - and how platforms use the information they acquire. European Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip is expected to formally announce the new strategy on May 6. The transparency of search results came under particular scrutiny this week when the European competition chief accused Google of cheating competitors by distorting web search results to consistently favour its own shopping service. More »EU to investigate transparency of Internet search results - document

  • Bloomberg outage hits financial markets

    Reuters - Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    By Jamie McGeever and John Geddie LONDON (Reuters) - A two-hour outage at news and market data provider Bloomberg LP hit financial markets around the world on Friday, prompting debt sales to be postponed and exacerbating a spike in volatility in European stocks. "We experienced a combination of hardware and software failures in the network, which caused an excessive volume of network traffic," Bloomberg said in a statement. "This led to customer disconnections as a result of the machines being overwhelmed." Bloomberg said service has been fully restored and the company is reviewing why its "multiple redundant systems" failed to prevent the disruption. Bloomberg, which competes with Thomson Reuters Corp , provides real-time news and financial information to more than 320,000 subscribers globally and allows users to trade across asset classes. More »Bloomberg outage hits financial markets

  • Trade-off: Deal splits Democrats between business, labor

    Associated Press - Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    President Barack Obama pushed back Friday against Democrats who oppose a bipartisan accord on trade, dismissing their stand as a "ratification of the status quo" that would give countries like ... More »Trade-off: Deal splits Democrats between business, labor

  • Washington just finished a surprisingly bipartisan week. Here's how

    Christian Science Monitor - Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    When Sen. Lamar Alexander (R) of Tennessee stepped down from his position in the Senate Republican leadership a few years ago, it puzzled Washington. He realized his goal in a big way on Thursday, as he led his Senate education committee to unanimously back an overhaul of one of the nation’s most contentious laws – the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), reviled by many for student testing mandates and federal overreach. After the stunning 22-to-0 vote was announced, applause broke out in the hearing room, punctuated by someone exclaiming, “Wow!” Democratic senators effusively praised the leadership of Chairman Alexander and the panel’s ranking Democrat, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington. Such bipartisanship is a rarity in dysfunctional Washington. More »Washington just finished a surprisingly bipartisan week. Here's how

  • Army shutting down wounded warrior transition care units

    Associated Press - Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — For the second time in two years, the U.S. Army is shutting down a number of the specialized medical units that were set up at military bases around the country to help care for severely wounded warriors returning from battle. More »Army shutting down wounded warrior transition care units

  • UK car dealerships shine on stock market

    Reuters - Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    By Sudip Kar-Gupta LONDON (Reuters) - With many of Britain's classic car brands now foreign-owned, fund managers and brokers are turning to domestic-listed dealerships to cash in on resurgent car sales and wage growth in the UK without investing abroad. Data this month showed that UK new car registrations rose 6 percent in March, setting a record for the month this century, while wage growth - for long an absent part of Britain's economic recovery - is also picking up. More »UK car dealerships shine on stock market

  • British government hits back at accusations of aid waste

    Reuters - Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    By Joseph D'Urso LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The British government dismissed a newspaper report on Friday that said its commitment to spend 0.7 percent of national income on overseas aid meant it had squandered cash on overpaid contractors. The Department for International Development (DFID) has seen spending increases at a time when the British government has cut funding for other departments as part of austerity measures. "DFID's obese budget means it has to get the money out of the door as quickly as possible, and the easiest way to achieve this is to have a few large programmes managed by a few suppliers," Garth Glentworth, a former aid official, said in the Times. DFID spent more than a tenth of its budget on external contractors last year, according to internal figures. More »British government hits back at accusations of aid waste

  • U.S. confirms vehicle bomb attack on its consulate in Erbil

    Reuters - Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department on Friday confirmed that a vehicle bomb exploded outside the American consulate in Erbil, the capital of Iraq's Kurdistan region, but that no U.S. personnel were injured. Marie Harf, a department spokeswoman, said there has been no claim of responsibility yet for the attack. (Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Will Dunham) More »U.S. confirms vehicle bomb attack on its consulate in Erbil

  • Germany flies over 100 people from Yemen to Djibouti

    Associated Press - Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    BERLIN (AP) — The German government says it has flown more than 100 citizens of Germany and other countries out of Yemen on a plane chartered from a Jordanian airline. More »Germany flies over 100 people from Yemen to Djibouti

  • Collapse of illegal Tanzanian gold mine kills 19 people

    Reuters - Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    The collapse of an illegal gold mine has killed 19 people in northwest Tanzania, a senior police official said on Friday. The accident occurred on Thursday night at Kahama district, Shinyanga region, near Acacia Mining's licensed Bulyanhulu gold mine which is majority-owned by Canada's Barrick Gold Corp. The bodies were recovered on Friday. All the bodies have been recovered," Justus Kamugisha, Shinyanga region's police chief, told Reuters by telephone. Unsafe and unregulated illegal mining is widespread in Tanzania, which is Africa's fourth-largest gold producer after South Africa, Ghana and Mali. More »Collapse of illegal Tanzanian gold mine kills 19 people

  • TIME outdid itself with its '100 Most Influential People' list

    Christian Science Monitor - Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    TIME Magazine's annual list of the world's "100 Most Influential People" has always said more about TIME's editors than about people who have actual influence. More »TIME outdid itself with its '100 Most Influential People' list

  • Greece dismisses report that it needs to tap reserves to pay salaries

    Reuters - Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    Greece on Friday dismissed reports that it needed to tap remaining cash reserves to meet salary payments. "News agencies' reports that refer to the state's cash reserves are groundless, we categorically deny them," the Finance Ministry said in a statement, without providing further details. Reuters reported earlier on Friday that Greece will need to tap all its remaining cash reserves across the public sector, a total of 2 billion euros (£1.44 billion), to pay civil service wages and pensions at the end of the month. More »Greece dismisses report that it needs to tap reserves to pay salaries

  • Canadian businessman hired as new CEO of European Tour

    Associated Press - Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) — The head of a Canadian media conglomerate that acquired rights to the NHL in the largest sports deal in the country's history has been hired as the new chief executive of golf's European Tour. More »Canadian businessman hired as new CEO of European Tour

  • France's Le Pen replaced by granddaughter after family feud

    AFP - Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    The granddaughter of France's historic far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen was officially named on Friday as his replacement in regional elections, following a bitter family feud within the National Front party he founded. More »France's Le Pen replaced by granddaughter after family feud

  • Merkel to tackle refugee surge as tensions in Germany grow

    Reuters - Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    By Erik Kirschbaum BERLIN (Reuters) - The German government will hold a crisis meeting to address a surge of refugees amid an upturn in attacks against shelters and complaints from local authorities about a lack of funding to house them, Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman said on Friday. The announcement by Steffen Seibert of a top-level meeting in her office on May 8 with state and government leaders came on the heels of an opinion poll showing 58 percent believe there is a climate of hostility towards foreigners in Germany. The number of asylum seekers to Germany more than doubled in the first quarter to 85,394 and states estimate the total for 2015 could be four times as many as the 100,000 refugees who arrived in 2013. The federal government has generally welcomed refugees, in part to atone for the past and because some post-war leaders survived the Nazi era thanks to asylum elsewhere. More »Merkel to tackle refugee surge as tensions in Germany grow

  • President of Emirates air denies US accusations of state aid

    Associated Press - Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    The president of Emirates airline pledged Friday to combat suggestions that the company received subsidies from the United Arab Emirates, even as his ever-expanding airline placed a whopping $9.2 billion ... More »President of Emirates air denies US accusations of state aid

  • US stocks drop in noon trading following a slump in Europe

    Associated Press - Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    Stocks are falling broadly in midday trading on Friday following steep declines in Europe. Investors are worrying that Greece may default on its debt. Several big U.S. companies including American Express ... More »US stocks drop in noon trading following a slump in Europe

  • Kevin Pietersen is still international class and 'can put bums on seats' says Matthew Hoggar …

    IB Times - Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    Kevin Pietersen is good enough to walk into most cricket teams in the world and the England camp must forget previous indiscretions if the hierarchy decide to recall him, says former team mate Matthew Hoggard. The South African-born Pietersen, who has frequently been labelled a disruptive dressing-room influence, was sacked in February 2014 following the 5-0 Ashes defeat in Australia. "The million-dollar question is, can he get on with coach Peter Moores, captain Alastair Cook and the other players again? Kevin Pietersen, on paper, would walk into most teams in the world performance-wise. More »Kevin Pietersen is still international class and 'can put bums on seats' says Matthew Hoggard

  • Spanish government seeks distance from Rato affair

    Reuters - Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    Spain's government on Friday sought to distance itself from a money-laundering investigation into a former heavyweight of the ruling People's Party (PP), Rodrigo Rato, in an election year in which corruption has become a major theme. Customs agents searched the home and office of the former economy minister on Thursday. Rato is also a former head of the International Monetary Fund and was chairman of Bankia when the bank was bailed out by the state in 2012. Asked whether the PP was worried about a backlash from the investigation into Rato's personal wealth, ministers at the weekly government news conference said it had nothing to do with his former public roles. More »Spanish government seeks distance from Rato affair

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