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Black box found at site of Air Algerie crash

An arrival information screen shows the delayed Air Algerie flight 5017The plane crashed in northern Mali, killing all 116 people on board.




Gaza toll tops 800 as West Bank simmers
Israeli fire Friday pushed the Palestinian death toll in Gaza to above 800, as Washington pressed Israel and Hamas to agree a week-long humanitarian ceasefire and thrash out a durable truce. In the West Bank, Palestinian factions declared a "Day of Rage" after a night of clashes over Israel's Gaza offensive, with one Palestinian killed.

Earth survived near-miss from 2012 solar storm: NASA
Back in 2012, the Sun erupted with a powerful solar storm that just missed the Earth but was big enough to "knock modern civilization back to the 18th century," NASA said. The extreme space weather that tore through Earth's orbit on July 23, 2012, was the most powerful in 150 years, according to a statement posted on the US space agency website Wednesday. "If the eruption had occurred only one week earlier, Earth would have been in the line of fire," said Daniel Baker, professor of atmospheric and space physics at the University of Colorado. Instead the storm cloud hit the STEREO-A spacecraft, a solar observatory that is "almost ideally equipped to measure the parameters of such an event," NASA said.

Islamic State blows up 'Jonah's tomb'

Iraqi jihadists have blown up 'Jonah's tomb,' one of Mosul's most well-known shrines, an official said.Official: Iraqi jihadists have destroyed one of Mosul's most well-known shrines.




Israel hits 30 Gaza homes, kills senior militant

Smoke from an Israeli strike rises over the Gaza Strip, Friday, July 25, 2014. An Israeli defense official says the Israeli Security Cabinet is meeting to discuss international ceasefire efforts, but also the option of expanding its eight-day-old ground operation in Gaza. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli aircraft struck 30 houses in the Gaza Strip early Friday, killing a leader of the militant Islamic Jihad group and two of his sons, as Israel's Security Cabinet was to meet later in the day to decide whether to expand its operation or consider ideas for a cease-fire.




Hamas tunnel threat at center of war with Israel

FILE - In this Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013 file photo, Israeli soldiers walk through a tunnel discovered near the Israel Gaza border. They’ve been dubbed “lower Gaza,” compared to the Underground, the Metro or the subway and depicted as a bone-chilling, strategic threat to Israel. Hamas’ web of tunnels is taking center stage in the relentless conflict between the militant group and Israel, with Israel’s ground offensive placing their destruction as a key objective. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File)JERUSALEM (AP) — A network of tunnels Palestinian militants have dug from Gaza to Israel — dubbed "lower Gaza" by the Israeli military — is taking center stage in the latest war between Hamas and Israel.




10 Things to Know for Today

FILE - In a Monday, Jan. 17, 2011 file photo, gun violence protesters participate in a lie-in during an anti-gun rally at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. Nearly six in 10 Americans want stricter gun laws in the aftermath of last month's deadly school shooting in Connecticut, with majorities favoring a nationwide ban on military-style, rapid-fire weapons and limits on gun violence depicted in video games and movies and on TV, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. A lopsided 84 percent of adults would like to see the establishment of a federal standard for background checks for people buying guns at gun shows, the poll showed. President Barack Obama was set Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 to unveil a wide-ranging package of steps for reducing gun violence expected to include a proposed ban on assault weapons, limits on the capacity of ammunition magazines and universal background checks for gun sales. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:




Ukraine reports overnight rebel attacks on border

Pro-Russian fighters ride a airborne self-propelled artillery gun Nona in downtown Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Thursday, July 24, 2014. While the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 last week riveted international attention on the Ukraine conflict, locals have been struggling for months with spiraling violence. The Ukrainian military, buoyed after the fall of rebel stronghold Slovyansk this month, is now trying to encircle Donetsk and cut off any supply routes from Russia. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)MOSCOW (AP) — The Ukrainian army on Friday claimed that soldiers came under artillery fire from the Russian side of the border overnight and were attacked by rebels in several other places in the restive east.




Russian execs fear lasting damage from plane crash

FILE - In this Monday, July 21, 2014 pool file photo Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during a meeting in Samara, Russia. Having for months dismissed Western sanctions on Russia as toothless, business leaders here are now afraid that the crash of the Malaysian jetliner will bring about an international isolation that will cause serious and lasting economic damage. The U.S. and EU are still playing something similar to “good cop, bad cop” with Russia, said Chris Weafer of the Moscow-based Macro-Advisory, but it remains to be seen whether the Malaysian plane crash will be a game changer for Russia’s economy. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service, File)MOSCOW (AP) — Having for months dismissed Western sanctions on Russia as toothless, business leaders here are now afraid that the crash of the Malaysian jetliner will bring about an international isolation that will cause serious and lasting economic damage.




Central American leaders convening at White House

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, is seen with Guatemalan President Otto Molina, right, and Honduran President Juan Hernández on Thursday, July 24, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Obama administration is weighing giving refugee status to young people from Honduras as part of a plan to slow the influx of unaccompanied minors arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, White House officials said Thursday. The plan would involve screening youths in Honduras, one of the world's most violent nations, to determine whether they qualify for refugee status. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is summoning Central American leaders to the White House to discuss the influx of young immigrants from their countries to the U.S., hoping to show presidential action even as Congress remains deeply split over proposals to stem the crisis on the border.





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Black box found at site of Air Algerie crash

An arrival information screen shows the delayed Air Algerie flight 5017The plane crashed in northern Mali, killing all 116 people on board.




Gaza toll tops 800 as West Bank simmers
Israeli fire Friday pushed the Palestinian death toll in Gaza to above 800, as Washington pressed Israel and Hamas to agree a week-long humanitarian ceasefire and thrash out a durable truce. In the West Bank, Palestinian factions declared a "Day of Rage" after a night of clashes over Israel's Gaza offensive, with one Palestinian killed.

Earth survived near-miss from 2012 solar storm: NASA
Back in 2012, the Sun erupted with a powerful solar storm that just missed the Earth but was big enough to "knock modern civilization back to the 18th century," NASA said. The extreme space weather that tore through Earth's orbit on July 23, 2012, was the most powerful in 150 years, according to a statement posted on the US space agency website Wednesday. "If the eruption had occurred only one week earlier, Earth would have been in the line of fire," said Daniel Baker, professor of atmospheric and space physics at the University of Colorado. Instead the storm cloud hit the STEREO-A spacecraft, a solar observatory that is "almost ideally equipped to measure the parameters of such an event," NASA said.

Islamic State blows up 'Jonah's tomb'

Iraqi jihadists have blown up 'Jonah's tomb,' one of Mosul's most well-known shrines, an official said.Official: Iraqi jihadists have destroyed one of Mosul's most well-known shrines.




Israel hits 30 Gaza homes, kills senior militant

Smoke from an Israeli strike rises over the Gaza Strip, Friday, July 25, 2014. An Israeli defense official says the Israeli Security Cabinet is meeting to discuss international ceasefire efforts, but also the option of expanding its eight-day-old ground operation in Gaza. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli aircraft struck 30 houses in the Gaza Strip early Friday, killing a leader of the militant Islamic Jihad group and two of his sons, as Israel's Security Cabinet was to meet later in the day to decide whether to expand its operation or consider ideas for a cease-fire.




Hamas tunnel threat at center of war with Israel

FILE - In this Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013 file photo, Israeli soldiers walk through a tunnel discovered near the Israel Gaza border. They’ve been dubbed “lower Gaza,” compared to the Underground, the Metro or the subway and depicted as a bone-chilling, strategic threat to Israel. Hamas’ web of tunnels is taking center stage in the relentless conflict between the militant group and Israel, with Israel’s ground offensive placing their destruction as a key objective. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File)JERUSALEM (AP) — A network of tunnels Palestinian militants have dug from Gaza to Israel — dubbed "lower Gaza" by the Israeli military — is taking center stage in the latest war between Hamas and Israel.




10 Things to Know for Today

FILE - In a Monday, Jan. 17, 2011 file photo, gun violence protesters participate in a lie-in during an anti-gun rally at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. Nearly six in 10 Americans want stricter gun laws in the aftermath of last month's deadly school shooting in Connecticut, with majorities favoring a nationwide ban on military-style, rapid-fire weapons and limits on gun violence depicted in video games and movies and on TV, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. A lopsided 84 percent of adults would like to see the establishment of a federal standard for background checks for people buying guns at gun shows, the poll showed. President Barack Obama was set Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 to unveil a wide-ranging package of steps for reducing gun violence expected to include a proposed ban on assault weapons, limits on the capacity of ammunition magazines and universal background checks for gun sales. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:




Ukraine reports overnight rebel attacks on border

Pro-Russian fighters ride a airborne self-propelled artillery gun Nona in downtown Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Thursday, July 24, 2014. While the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 last week riveted international attention on the Ukraine conflict, locals have been struggling for months with spiraling violence. The Ukrainian military, buoyed after the fall of rebel stronghold Slovyansk this month, is now trying to encircle Donetsk and cut off any supply routes from Russia. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)MOSCOW (AP) — The Ukrainian army on Friday claimed that soldiers came under artillery fire from the Russian side of the border overnight and were attacked by rebels in several other places in the restive east.




Russian execs fear lasting damage from plane crash

FILE - In this Monday, July 21, 2014 pool file photo Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during a meeting in Samara, Russia. Having for months dismissed Western sanctions on Russia as toothless, business leaders here are now afraid that the crash of the Malaysian jetliner will bring about an international isolation that will cause serious and lasting economic damage. The U.S. and EU are still playing something similar to “good cop, bad cop” with Russia, said Chris Weafer of the Moscow-based Macro-Advisory, but it remains to be seen whether the Malaysian plane crash will be a game changer for Russia’s economy. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service, File)MOSCOW (AP) — Having for months dismissed Western sanctions on Russia as toothless, business leaders here are now afraid that the crash of the Malaysian jetliner will bring about an international isolation that will cause serious and lasting economic damage.




Central American leaders convening at White House

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, is seen with Guatemalan President Otto Molina, right, and Honduran President Juan Hernández on Thursday, July 24, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Obama administration is weighing giving refugee status to young people from Honduras as part of a plan to slow the influx of unaccompanied minors arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, White House officials said Thursday. The plan would involve screening youths in Honduras, one of the world's most violent nations, to determine whether they qualify for refugee status. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is summoning Central American leaders to the White House to discuss the influx of young immigrants from their countries to the U.S., hoping to show presidential action even as Congress remains deeply split over proposals to stem the crisis on the border.





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Thanks Obamacare! Check is in the mail for 6.8 million people
Read full story for latest details.

Global economy still limping along
Read full story for latest details.

Argentina is now very close to default
Argentina will default in just a few days unless the country can strike a deal at the eleventh hour with holdout creditors.

Rotten bosses come in at least 6 different flavors
Read full story for latest details.

Your mail delivered. After dark.
With cost-cutting at the U.S. Postal Service more letter carriers are working later and later to deliver your mail. About 38% of mail is delivered after 5 p.m. in cities nationwide. And areas like Atlanta, Washington and South Florida, it's 70%.

Why is Belgium buying so many U.S. bonds?
Belgian holdings of U.S. debt have skyrocketed in the last year, though many suspect China is the reason why.

China's factories power ahead to 18-month high
Manufacturing activity is at an 18-month high in China as factories roar to life after a dismal start to the year.

When U.S. companies dodge taxes, is it unpatriotic?
Corporate inversions are on the rise. A U.S. company can greatly lower its tax bill by merging with a foreign firm and legally moving its headquarters abroad. Lawmakers from both parties are unhappy with the trend and want to change the rules. In the meantime, some are saying the move is unpatriotic.

Face of Obamacare subsidy: $3,600 at stake
Read full story for latest details.

Obamacare confusion for 4.7M Americans
Two opposing court rulings issued Tuesday sowed confusion about whether 4.7 million Americans can keep their Obamacare subsidies.


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Science News Headlines - Yahoo News

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NASA puts out call for satellite communication services – on Mars

Handout of NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft passing above Mars' south pole in this artist's concept illustration released by NASABy Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL Fla. (Reuters) - In what may be the ultimate in long-distance telephone service, NASA on Wednesday put out a call for a commercially owned and operated satellite network on Mars. The robotic probes, however, are useless if they cannot relay their results, and the two communication satellites currently in orbit are getting old. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter followed in 2005. The aging of NASA’s Mars communications system comes as the United States, Europe, Russia and India mount a fresh wave of science campaigns, including two atmospheric probes slated to arrive at Mars in September and two life-hunting rovers due to launch in 2018 and 2020.




Researchers practice living on Mars - without leaving Earth
For the most part, expedition leader Casey Stedman and his five crewmates have stayed inside their 1,000-square foot (93-square meter) solar-powered dome, venturing out only for simulated spacewalks and doing so only when fully attired in mock spacesuits. "I haven’t seen a tree, smelled the rain, heard a bird, or felt wind on my skin in four months,” Stedman wrote in a blog on Instagram. Stedman is a U.S. Air Force Reserve officer, graduate student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide. “We are simulating a long-duration mission on Mars, with a focus on crew psychology in isolation,” the crew said during an online interview with Reddit on Sunday.

Keryx drug improves phosphorus, iron in kidney patients: trial
(Reuters) - A pivotal trial of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Inc's experimental drug Zerenex showed that it improved levels of serum phosphorus and iron in patients on kidney dialysis, according to results published on Thursday. The trial involved 441 patients, according to the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, which published the results. Over the four-week efficacy assessment period, mean serum phosphorus for Zerenex patients dropped by 2.2 milligrams per deciliter compared with placebo patients, the trial showed. Most patients with kidney disease that requires dialysis need chronic treatment with phosphate-binding agents to lower and maintain serum phosphorus at acceptable levels.

U.S. scientists to map interior of Mount St. Helens volcano

Aerial view of Mt St Helens as it spews steam and ash.By Victoria Cavaliere SEATTLE (Reuters) - A series of explosions set off by a team of scientists were expected to rattle Washington state's Mount St. Helens on Wednesday as researchers map the interior of the volcano, whose 1980 eruption was the deadliest in U.S. history. Mount St. Helens, about 95 miles (150 km) south of Seattle and 50 miles (80 km) north of Portland, erupted in an explosion of hot ash in May 1980, spewing debris over a wide area, killing 57 people and causing more than a billion dollars in damage. Scientists from across the United States are trying to get a better handle on the magma stores and internal workings of the 8,300-foot (2,530-meter) volcano to improve warning systems prior to eruption. "Mount St. Helens and other volcanoes in the Cascade Range threaten urban centers from Vancouver to Portland," lead scientist Alan Levander of Rice University in Houston said in a statement.




Paracetamol no better than placebo for low back pain, study finds
By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Paracetamol, a painkiller universally recommended to treat people with acute low back pain, does not speed recovery or reduce pain from the condition, according to the results of a large trial published on Thursday. A study published in The Lancet medical journal found that the popular pain medicine was no better than placebo, or dummy, pills for hastening recovery from acute bouts of low back pain or easing pain levels, function, sleep or quality of life. Researchers said the findings challenge the universal endorsement of paracetamol as the first choice painkiller for lower back pain. "We need to reconsider the universal recommendation to provide paracetamol as a first-line treatment," said Christopher Williams, who led the study at the University of Sydney in Australia.

One Parent May Have Bigger Role in a Girl's Puberty Age
The age at which girls reach puberty is influenced by a set of genes that were previously only known to be involved in the development of a fetus before birth, according to a new study. Scientists are interested in understanding the factors that influence when people enter puberty, because this timing has been linked with the risk of developing health conditions — such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and breast cancer — later in life. To find the genes that influence puberty in girls, researchers analyzed the genomes of more than 180,000 women of European descent, and found more than 100 genetic variations that were associated with the age at which girls experienced their first menstrual period. Six of these genetic differences were found within a set of genes known as "imprinted" genes, according to the study, published today (July 23) in the journal Nature.

The Pill May Affect Your Perception of Other Women
The amount of estrogen in women's birth control pills may affect how they perceive other women, a small new study suggests. The study included 42 women who were using birth control that contained both estrogen and progesterone. Most of the women were taking birth control pills, but four of them were using a vaginal ring such as NuvaRing. Half of the women were taking ultra-low dose contraceptives (that contain between 0.015 mg and 0.020 mg of estrogen), and the other half were taking low-dose contraceptives (containing 0.030 mg to 0.035 mg of estrogen).

Chasing Alligators, Dodging Parrots: A Zookeeper's Life (Op-Ed)

Chasing Alligators, Dodging Parrots: A Zookeeper's Life (Op-Ed)Christopher Scoufaras is a zookeeper at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)'s Queens Zoo. Growing up, I regularly visited the WCS's Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium and knew from a young age that I was interested in working with animals. I studied animal biotechnology and conservation at Delaware Valley College in Pennsylvania, but I was on track to being a zookeeper even before that — as a student at John Bowne High School in Queens.




See the Moon, Mercury and Venus Before Sunrise Friday

See the Moon, Mercury and Venus Before Sunrise FridayMercury and Venus will star in an early morning meet-up with the moon Friday (July 24). Both planets can be seen low in the east-northeast roughly 45 minutes before sunrise. Mercury appears only about one twelfth as bright as Venus, and yet shining at magnitude -1 it ranks second only to Sirius in terms of brightness. To enhance your chances of seeing Mercury, the moon and Venus, try scanning the east-northeast horizon with binoculars.




Astronauts Simulate Deep-Space Mission in Underwater Lab

Astronauts Simulate Deep-Space Mission in Underwater LabPlenty of astronauts practice spacewalks in the water, but a crew currently living in an underwater lab plans to introduce a surprising twist to its aquatic excursions: They will create a 10-minute communications delay with Mission Control, simulating what speaking with people on Earth could be like in deep space. The four astronauts participating in the nine-day NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 18 mission will perform underwater "spacewalks" in which they pretend to be on an asteroid far from Earth, where radio communications between the two locales would take minutes, not seconds, as communication from the International Space Station does. By then, Mission Control can give astronauts instructions on which spots to sample, crew members said during a news conference Wednesday (July 23). "We'll be testing out those tools if we did go to an asteroid," said Jeanette Epps, a NASA astronaut who is part of the NEEMO 18 crew.





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Obama rails against corporate maneuver to evade U.S. taxes

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks before signing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act at the White House in WashingtonBy Jeff Mason LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday hammered U.S. companies that avoid federal taxes by shifting their tax domiciles overseas in deals known as "inversions" and called on Congress to pass a bill to curb the practice. During remarks to a rowdy crowd at the Los Angeles Technical College, Obama promoted what he called "economic patriotism" and made clear he believed the companies that were engaging in such practices were not being patriotic. Nine inversion deals have been reached this year by companies ranging from banana distributor Chiquita Brands International Inc to drugmaker AbbVie Inc, and more are under consideration. You know some people are calling these companies 'corporate deserters.'” Obama said he did not begrudge companies making profits but said corporate tax evasion practices made it harder for the middle class - his target political constituency - to succeed.




U.S. House panel votes to authorize lawsuit against Obama

Speaker of the House John BoehnerBy Annika McGinnis WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday took another step toward authorizing a lawsuit against President Barack Obama, claiming he has overstepped his executive powers in carrying out his landmark healthcare reform law. In a partisan vote of 7-4, the House Rules Committee approved the legislation, likely setting it up for consideration by the full House next week. The Republican initiative already has spawned a bitter debate with Democrats less than four months before mid-term elections that will determine the political control of Congress next year. For example, House Speaker John Boehner wrote in June that Obama's use of executive orders, including raising the minimum wage for federal contractors and stopping deportations of undocumented youths brought to the United States by their parents, risked giving him a "king-like authority." But Boehner has tamped down calls from some fellow Republicans for impeachment proceedings against Obama, which would be a first step toward removing him from office.




White House bemoans lawmakers' delay on U.S. border crisis funds

Detainees sleep in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility, in BrownsvilleBy Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White House officials expressed growing alarm on Thursday that Congress may not soon approve President Barack Obama's emergency request for $3.7 billion to tackle the child migration crisis on the southern border of the United States. The stalemate over the request comes as Obama prepares on Friday to host the presidents of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, the countries that have been the source of much of the migrant surge that has strained border resources. Congress is locked in a largely partisan fight over the money that Obama says is needed to provide humanitarian needs of the children and speed deportations for many after they get a hearing from immigration authorities. Republicans want Congress to amend a 2008 anti-trafficking law to accelerate deportations, but Democrats are opposed out of concern the children would face the same conditions of crime and poverty when returned home.




Army War College probes plagiarism claims against Montana senator
The U.S. Army War College has opened an inquiry into accusations that Senator John Walsh, a Montana Democrat now facing a tough election challenge, plagiarized parts of a research paper tied to a master’s degree he earned from the school. Walsh's campaign has said he inadvertently misused citations in what was a research paper, rather than a thesis. A preliminary analysis of the paper in question led the college to determine that a more thorough examination was warranted by faculty members of an academic review board, which handles cases of suspected plagiarism or misconduct, the school said in a statement. The college has previously revoked the graduate status of eight former students since 1990, six for plagiarism and two for other types of misconduct, the college said.

On the torture report, a confrontation looms
Sometime this summer, probably when as many Americans as possible are tanning on a beach and not paying attention, the White House is expected to release a version of a classified report on torture during the Bush years. Actually, what's likely to become public is only the executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report.

Biden busts out the whiteboard to give lawmakers a history lesson
Ever wonder what it would be like to have Joe Biden as a history teacher? A new video posted to YouTube by the White House gives viewers a glimpse.

Why Supreme Court is likely to uphold Obamacare subsidies
One of the most respected and lauded Supreme Court experts says the court is likely to split 5-4 in favor of upholding subsidies approved by the Obama administration.

The Kochs' nonprofit empire is building a network of libertarian hackers, coders and designers

Reboot HackathonThe Koch network is teaming up with Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to connect coders with D.C politicos




CNN's Cuomo spars with 'Russia Today' anchor on air over MH17 evidence
In a contentious live interview on CNN Wednesday, "New Day" anchor Chris Cuomo sparred with 'Russia Today' anchor Peter Lavelle over Russia's response to the downing of Flight MH17.

Official: Terrorists in Syria Now As Dangerous to US As Those in Yemen

Official: Terrorists in Syria Now As Dangerous to US As Those in YemenForeign Fighters in Syria ‘Number One’ Topic When Talking to European Officials





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Technology:

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Amazon's heavy investing eats into bottom line, shares drop

A box from Amazon.com is pictured on the porch of a house in GoldenBy Deepa Seetharaman SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc posted a much larger-than-expected loss in the second quarter as it continues its rapid pace of investment in new businesses such as digital content and consumer electronics. Amazon's stock price has dropped 10 percent so far in 2014, with investors leery of betting on its long-term growth at the expense of little to no profit. Amazon is investing heavily in new businesses and hardware products, as it prepares to take on major tech rivals from Apple Inc and Google Inc to Netflix. Chief Financial Officer Tom Szkutak said Amazon had a "tremendous amount of opportunities" and its investments were "certainly impacting short-term results." The company is spending more than $100 million on original video content in the third quarter, a substantial increase compared to last year and the second quarter, Szkutak said.




Facebook goes express to mega-cap status - now valued more than AT&T, Coke

A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Facebook logo as he poses with an Dell laptop in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of ZenicaBy Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) - In the days after its infamously mishandled initial public offering in May 2012, it looked as if Facebook would struggle to become a must-own for fund managers. The gains represent a reversal of fortune for the social media company.




China Telecom says will sell Microsoft's Xbox One from September

A scene from the Xbox One "Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare" game is demonstrated during the Xbox E3 Media Briefing at USC's Galen Center in Los AngelesChina Telecom Corp Ltd will start selling Microsoft Corp's Xbox One gaming console in China from September through an exclusive contract, the country's third-largest telecommunications company said in a statement on Friday. The launch date and price have not yet been decided, China Telecom spokesman Ivan Wong told Reuters by telephone. The Xbox One will be the first gaming console to be released in mainland China since the government banned console sales in 2000, citing games' effects on mental health. In September last year, Microsoft reached a deal with Chinese internet TV set-top box maker BesTV New Media Co Ltd to form a joint venture to manufacture the consoles in Shanghai's Free Trade Zone.




Google under fire from regulators on EU privacy ruling

A Google search page is reflected in sunglasses in this photo illustration taken in BrusselsBy Julia Fioretti BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Google's GOOGL.O handling of "right to be forgotten" requests from European citizens came under fire by regulators after the search engine company restricted the removal of Internet links to European sites only, a person familiar with the matter said. Regulators quizzed Google over its decision to remove search results only from its European search engines such as google.co.uk, which means that anyone can easily access the same information by switching to the widely used google.com, said the source, who was present at the meeting. The European Union's top court in May ruled that people have a right to request that years-old personal information that is no longer relevant be removed from Internet search results. Google has so far approved more than half of roughly 90,000 incoming requests, sought additional information in about 15 percent of cases, and rejected around 30 percent of them, according to a source close to the company.




U.S. judge says she is troubled by Apple $450 million e-books deal

Apple logo is pictured inside the newly opened Omotesando Apple store at a shopping district in TokyoBy Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Thursday expressed concern over a proposed $450 million settlement of claims Apple Inc conspired with five publishers to fix e-book prices, saying its provisions could drastically reduce money paid to consumers depending on appeals. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan said she found "most troubling" a clause requiring Apple to pay only $70 million if an appeals court reversed her finding that the company is liable for antitrust violations and sent it back to her for further proceedings. Speaking on a teleconference, Cote questioned if that would be fair and what might happen if the appeals court reversed her ruling on a minor issue. She also took issue with the lack of any requirement for Apple to pay interest while the appeals go forward.




Nortel Networks to pay U.S. bondholders up to $1 billion in interest
By Tom Hals WILMINGTON Del. (Reuters) - Nortel Networks Inc, the U.S. unit of defunct Canadian telecom company Nortel Networks Corp, has agreed to pay up to about $1 billion in interest that has accrued on the $3.9 billion it owes to its U.S. bondholders, a court filing showed.     Thursday’s settlement comes as Nortel’s bankrupt units in Canada and Europe are fighting with the U.S. unit over how to divide $7.3 billion raised by liquidating the global telecommunications company.     The settlement, if approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Kevin Gross in Wilmington, Delaware, could affect Nortel retirees in Canada and the United Kingdom. They argued that the bondholders should get $90 million in interest, or no interest at all.     Any funds that are left over in Nortel’s U.S. bankruptcy after paying off the bondholders and other U.S. creditors could be used to help to make up for pension shortfalls in Canada and the United Kingdom.     Under the proposed settlement, bondholders would be entitled to post-petition interest of $876 million, potentially increasing to as much as $1.01 billion if Nortel has not repaid them by June 30 next year.     Nortel said the settlement will help speed the resolution of its bankruptcy.

US to write privacy rulebook for commercial and civilian drones

US to write privacy rulebook for commercial and civilian drones




'Community' season six could be your Christmas present

'Community' season six could be your Christmas presentCult TV show Community has dodged the broadcaster's axe, and may be en route towards fulfilling its self-orchestrated "six seasons and a movie" meme, thanks to Yahoo TV. According to The Associated Press, creator Dan Harmon told Comic-Con 2014 attendees that Community would not return until at least Christmas as writing would likely begin in fall.




Here’s how Verizon’s Android bloatware might become the best ever

Here’s how Verizon’s Android bloatware might become the best everOne of the reasons users passionately hate carriers is the bloatware they fill Android devices with, as in many cases a mobile operator’s app collection that comes preloaded on a new handset may be somewhat difficult to remove for an average user. In some countries, there already are laws that require carriers to let their subscribers delete any apps they want on a handset, but that’s hardly a widespread practice. Luckily for Verizon customers, Big Red is willing to make some changes to its approach to bloatware, Droid-Life reports, starting with the LG G3. FROM EARLIER: LG G3 review: Android has a new king “Verizon is trialing a new service on the LG G3. Pre-loaded applications will install in the




London's Tube to accept contactless payments from September 16th

London's Tube to accept contactless payments from September 16th





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GM recalls far from calamity for some dealers who find new customers, business

File photo of General Motors logo outside its headquarters at the Renaissance Center in DetroitBy Nick Carey and Bernie Woodall FOX LAKE Ill. (Reuters) - The news about deadly crashes linked to a faulty ignition switch, followed by wave upon wave of recalls, did not bode well for General Motors dealers earlier this year. It conjured visions of worried, frustrated drivers pouring onto lots like Raymond Chevrolet, outside of Chicago. Although the script is not what the dealership would have written, GM is delivering sales and service prospects to her door. GM as a whole posted a 2.5 percent increase in sales in the first half of the year, just a step behind the industry average of 4.3 percent.




BSkyB to pay $9 billion to create Sky Europe

Sky Sports logos are seen on the side of offices at their UK company headquarters in west LondonBy Kate Holton and Leila Abboud LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) - Britain's BSkyB has agreed to pay $9 billion to buy Rupert Murdoch's pay-TV companies in Germany and Italy, taking its hunt for growth into Europe by creating a media powerhouse with 20 million customers. BSkyB, in which Murdoch's 21st Century Fox is also the largest shareholder, will pay for the deal using cash, debt, its stake in a TV channel and a placing of shares that represents around 10 percent of its issued share capital. BSkyB had flagged a possible deal for Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia in May. The price announced on Friday was slightly lower than expected by some analysts and the cost and revenue benefits laid out by BSkyB were greater than anticipated.




Liberty Media plans stock dividend to spin off cable assets

Liberty Media Corp. chairman Malone arrives at annual Allen and Co. conference at Sun Valley(Reuters) - John Malone's Liberty Media Corp started the process of spinning off its cable assets through a stock dividend to its shareholders to form a new listed company called Liberty Broadband. Liberty Broadband, in a regulatory filing, said the stock dividend would be worth up to $4.8 billion and Malone would retain a voting interest of 47.3 percent.




In China meat scandal, McDonald's Japan switches to Thai chicken, no nuggets in Hong Kong

A customer is seen through the windows of a McDonald's store in Hong KongMcDonald's Corp has suspended sales of chicken nuggets and other items in Hong Kong after it said it imported products from Shanghai Husi Food, the U.S.-owned Chinese company at the center of a food safety scare in China. McDonald's said it imported certain products from Shanghai Husi between July last year and June this year, although no food items from the Shanghai supplier remained in stock. In Japan, McDonald's Holdings Co (Japan) said on Friday it would halt all imports of chicken products from China and shift that business to Thailand, boosting purchases from existing suppliers McKey Foods Services (Thailand) Ltd, a unit of Keystone Foods, and Cargill Thailand.




Shares in Britain's RBS soar after surprise profit

A sign is seen outside a Royal Bank of Scotland building in central LondonBy Steve Slater LONDON (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Scotland posted a surprise 1 billion pound ($1.7 billion) pretax profit for the second quarter thanks to a turnaround in losses from bad loans, prompting it to release earnings a week early. It sent RBS shares soaring by 14 percent to 376 pence, on course for their biggest one-day gain since April 2009 and boosting chances of the taxpayer recouping what it invested - though maybe not for several more years because the price is still 25 percent below what the state paid. RBS said the profit was mainly because of an economic upturn that allowed it to write back losses that had been booked on bad loans, giving it a net release of 93 million pounds. 'STRONGER BANK' RBS said it was obliged to release headline numbers early because they were far better than market expectations.




Murdoch's 21st Century Fox pledges to extend buybacks

Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corporation, arrives for the third day of the Allen and Co. media conference in Sun ValleyRupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox said on Friday it would renew a share buyback program using the proceeds from its partial exit from European pay-TV, regardless of any acquisitions the media group undertakes. The company made the pledge in a statement announcing the sale of Fox's Italian and German pay-TV units to BSkyB for $9 billion in cash and assets. "For fiscal 2015 we will continue our share buyback program and will communicate the details of a renewed share buyback authorization upon the announcement of fiscal 2014 earnings results on Wednesday, August 6, 2014." In August 2013, Fox's board authorized a $4 billion share buyback over the next 12 months. Murdoch, chairman and CEO, added: "Our renewed authorization for our share buyback program will be executed regardless of any potential acquisition or investment activity by the Company." Fox recently made an unsolicited $80 billion bid for media conglomerate Time Warner, which was rejected by its management as too low.




Russian consumer watchdog seeks ban on some McDonalds' products

Customers buy food at a McDonald's restaurant in MoscowRussia's consumer protection agency has filed a lawsuit in a Moscow court seeking to ban some of McDonald's Corp's burgers along with its milk shakes and ice cream, a court spokeswoman said on Friday. A regional branch of the consumer protection agency Rospotrebnadzor asked the court to declare production and sales of some products illegal due to "inappropriate physical-chemical parameters," she told Reuters. The lawsuit's list of contested products named the fast-food chain's Royal Cheeseburger, Filet-o-Fish, Cheeseburger and Chicken Burger but not its Big Mac burger. McDonald's said in a statement it had not received any complaint from the agency and had no information about the lawsuit.




EU regulators to decide on Oracle, Micros deal by Aug. 29

Company logo shown at headquarters for Oracle Corp shown in Redwood CityBRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union antitrust regulators will decide by Aug. 29 whether to clear world No. 2 software maker Oracle Corp's $5.3 billion bid for Micros Systems , the European Commission said on Friday. The deal, Oracle's biggest in five years, is in line with Oracle's strategy to boost its fast-expanding cloud business. Micros makes point-of-sale hardware and software for restaurants and hotels. The Commission can now either clear the deal unconditionally or demand concessions to resolve competition issues. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Robin Emmott)




Sluggish Latin American results show risks for U.S. companies

Workers check new cars before they are transported to dealers in Sao Bernardo do CampoU.S. companies are reporting sluggish financial results in Latin America, showing the risks they face in relying on Brazil and other emerging markets in the region for growth. Companies ranging from Ford Motor Co to 3M Co and Caterpillar Inc reported second quarter earnings that highlighted weakness in their Latin or South American operations. Several companies reported tepid performance in Brazil, the biggest economy in Latin America, where some economists fear the country is on the verge of a recession. "The place where we see a little bit more of a challenge is Latin America," 3M Chief Executive Officer Inge Thulin told analysts on the company's quarterly conference call on Thursday.




Euro, shares sag as Ukraine woes hit German confidence

People walk past an electronic information board at the London Stock Exchange in the City of LondonBy Marc Jones LONDON (Reuters) - Signs that tensions between the West and Russia are starting to hurt confidence in Europe's dominant economy Germany left the euro near an eight-month low on Friday and lifted the region's government bonds. Germany's Ifo survey revealed a hefty fall in business confidence over the last few weeks, prompting concerns the region's growth engine and driver of its recovery could be stuttering. "Companies were also less optimistic about future business developments." The euro fell back towards Thursday's eight-month low of 1.34 and bonds from Germany to Greece made ground as traders wagered the downbeat data upped the likelihood the European Central Bank will need to provide the economy with further support. Some encouraging U.S. company earnings, reassuring data from China, and still record-low global borrowing costs have persuaded investors to look past the rise in tensions in Ukraine and Gaza this week.





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Japanese fans speak on the evolution of 'Godzilla'

Japanese Godzilla devotees Yoshihiko Horie, left, and his wife Shizue look at a scale model of Godzilla at Godzilla Expo in Tokyo, Friday, July 25, 2014. Horie, a driver and husband of Godzilla fan Shizue Horie, believes Godzilla must be an extraordinary entity but also one people can emotionally identify with. There are other must-have trademarks: bumpy skin and that roar. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)TOKYO (AP) — Japanese fans want it known: The radiation-breathing, skyscraper-stomping monster they call "Gojira" was born right here in Japan, 60 years ago.




Nolan, McConaughey surprise with 'Interstellar'

Matthew McConaughey, left, and director Christopher Nolan attend the "Paramount Pictures" panel on Day 1 of Comic-Con International on Thursday, July 24, 2014, in San Diego. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)SAN DIEGO (AP) — Christopher Nolan and Matthew McConaughey came to Comic-Con unannounced and surprised attendees with a first look at "Interstellar," but neither offered many details about the highly anticipated space adventure.




Fox, Arnett share 'TMNT' love with Comic-Con crowd

Megan Fox, left, and Will Arnett attend the "Paramount Pictures" panel on Day 1 of Comic-Con International on Thursday, July 24, 2014, in San Diego. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)SAN DIEGO (AP) — For the human stars of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," it's all about Michelangelo.




'Under the Dome' cast teases possibility of escape

Alexander Koch, from left, Eddie Cahill, Colin Ford, Rachelle Lefevre, Mike Vogel, Neal Baer and Dean Norris attend the "Under the Dome" panel on Day 1 of Comic-Con International on Thursday, July 24, 2014, in San Diego. (Photo by Tonya Wise/Invision/AP)SAN DIEGO (AP) — "Under the Dome" is broadening its scope.




Dwayne Johnson holds surprise 'Hercules' screening

Dwayne Johnson arrives at the premiere of "Hercules" at TCL Chinese Theatre on Wednesday, July 23, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)SAN DIEGO (AP) — Hercules came to Comic-Con.




Marriage, power and sex rule CW's 'Reign' season 2

Toby Regbo, left, and Adelaide Kane attend the "Reign" panel on Day 1 of Comic-Con International on Thursday, July 24, 2014, in San Diego. (Photo by Tonya Wise/Invision/AP)SAN DIEGO (AP) — When The CW's "Reign" returns for its second season, we will see Mary, Queen of Scots, and the new King, Francis II, in the first year of marriage.




Malkovich, Cumberbatch make Comic-Con premieres

Benedict Cumberbatch attends "The Penguins of Madagascar" press line on Day 1 of Comic-Con International on Thursday, July 24, 2014, in San Diego. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)SAN DIEGO (AP) — John Malkovich and Benedict Cumberbatch each made their Comic-Con debuts — as themselves and as their first animated characters.




Harmon: 'Community' online won't be too different

Joel McHale, left, and Gillian Jacobs attend the "Community" panel on Day 1 of Comic-Con International on Thursday, July 24, 2014, in San Diego. (Photo by Tonya Wise/Invision/AP)SAN DIEGO (AP) — Just because "Community" is going online to Yahoo doesn't mean it's in for a lot of changes.




Scrap-metal Transformers on mission to save planet

In this picture taken on Wednesday, July 23, 2014, a towering figure, mostly made of old car parts and other waste is seen in Podgorica, Montenegro. Giant scrap-metal sculptures of popular Autobots, Decepticons and the evil Megatron himself are on show at several locations in the Montenegrin capital of Podgorica _ work of a young artist who saw a new role for his childhood heroes. (AP Photo/Risto Bozovic)PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — Watch out, Transformers are in town!




BSkyB to create multinational European TV network
LONDON (AP) — London-based pay TV network BSkyB has agreed to take control of its sister companies in Italy and Germany, creating a multinational European broadcaster. The deal could have a wider impact on the media industry, giving Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox a cash boost to potentially revive its attempt to buy Time Warner.


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