Headline News

  • Amazon posts modest holiday profits


    29 January 2015 Last updated at 22:43 Amazon’s Prime service offers speedier deliveries, as well as access to music and videos online The online retail giant Amazon has reported weaker profits for the busy Christmas period, but a 15% rise in sales has cheered investors. The company made a net profit of $214m (£142m) for the last three months of 2014, which is a drop of $25m on the same period in 2013. However, it was an improvement on the previous quarter, in which Amazon made a net loss of $437m. The company’s shares rose by nearly 8% in after-hours trading. But despite net sales of $89bn, Amazon made a loss of $241m for 2013 as a whole. The firm also warned that its finances were “inherently unpredictable”. It sounded a note of caution for the next few months, saying it could make an operating loss of up to $450m. The web giant added that …

    January 29, 2015 4:51 pm
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Politics

  • U.S. funding impasse blocks Secret Service hires: Homeland Security chief


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Secret Service cannot hire new agents for the next presidential election or make improvements at the agency until Congress settles a dispute over funding, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on Thursday. Johnson said in a speech in Washington that uncertainty over the budget for the Department of Homeland Security, which secures U.S. borders, airports and coastal waters and protects the president, had put security initiatives on hold. These included recommendations made in December by a review panel on the Secret Service, which has been plagued with a series of security lapses, among them a White House intruder and a drone that landed on the mansion’s lawn early Monday. The agency’s director stepped down in October. Secret Service protection extends to major presidential and vice presidential candidates and their spouses within four months of a presidential election. The next election is in November 2016, but the review found the agency …

    January 29, 2015 6:12 pm
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Stocks

  • Google’s ad revenue continues to struggle


      Google reported a quarterly profit on Thursday that rose from a year ago, but the company fell short of Wall Street’s expectations. The world’s online search leader said its net income rose to $4.76 billion, up 41% from a year earlier. That amounts to $6.91 per share, well below the $7.11 per share analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting. Sales for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company rose 15% to $18.1 billion. That also missed analysts’ forecasts of $18.5 billion. Despite Google’s adventures investing in robots, home automation devices and artificial intelligence, the bulk of its money comes from the company’s traditional websites, like Google.com and YouTube.com. Though Google said the number of clicks on its advertisements rose 14% in the past quarter, the amount advertisers paid for each ad fell 3%. That has been a trend for the past couple years for Google, as advertisers increase their mobile ads — but are tepid …

    January 29, 2015 4:31 pm
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Sports

  • Beckham Jr. sets 1-handed catch record


    Scottsdale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) – New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has set a world record for one-handed catches in a minute. Beckham caught 33 10-yard passes from New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees on ESPN’s “NFL Live” Thursday. Guinness World Records had set the benchmark in the newly established category at 10 catches, spokeswoman Jamie Panas Antoniou said. Beckham had a star-making rookie season in which the electric receiver built a reputation for making spectacular catches, including an acrobatic one-handed grab during a Nov. 23 game against the Dallas Cowboys that some have called the best in league history. The first-round draft pick had 91 receptions for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns in 12 games, earning a trip to the Pro Bowl. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT

    January 29, 2015 5:53 pm
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World News

  • EU extends sanctions against Russia


    29 January 2015 Last updated at 22:27 Fighting has been raging near the town of Debaltseve in eastern Ukraine EU foreign ministers have agreed to extend existing sanctions against Russia until September. At an extraordinary meeting in Brussels, they also agreed to discuss names to add to the list of individuals targeted for EU travel bans and asset freezes. However, they did not agree on imposing new economic sanctions against Russia. The ministers met as fighting raged in eastern Ukraine. Moscow denies any involvement in the conflict. There has been further fighting in eastern Ukraine near the town of Debaltseve, the location of a strategic railway junction between Donetsk and Luhansk. Thursday’s meeting was called after the government-held port of Mariupol was shelled at the weekend, with the deaths of at least 30 people. Ukraine blamed rebels for the attack. There was uncertainty over the position of the new Greek government – a Russian ally …

    January 29, 2015 5:53 pm
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Technology

  • Finnish start-ups rise from Nokia’s ashes


    30 January 2015 Last updated at 00:02 By Padraig Belton Business reporter Cold calling: Polar Bear Pitching in the northern Finnish city of Oulu, in an ice hole in the River Oulujoki For many, Finland and Nokia were synonymous. And when in 2012 and 2013, Nokia shed 24,500 employees and sold Nokia House (and its mobile phone division to Microsoft), they called it the “Elopcalypse” after then-chief executive Stephen Elop. But the sinking of Nokia has led to an explosion of start-ups, as a skilled workforce jumps ship and begin businesses. And the coolest pitching in the world now takes place in a cut-out ice hole in the northern city of Oulu in February, where you can speak about your company for as long as you like – so long as you remain standing in freezing water. “I am willing to say that the Elopcalypse was the best thing to happen to Finnish ICT,” says …

    January 29, 2015 6:13 pm
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Science

  • Los Alamos develops new technique for growing high-efficiency perovskite solar cells


    Related images(click to enlarge) This week in the journal Science, Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers reveal a new solution-based hot-casting technique that allows growth of highly efficient and reproducible solar cells from large-area perovskite crystals. “These perovskite crystals offer promising routes for developing low-cost, solar-based, clean global energy solutions for the future,” said Aditya Mohite, the Los Alamos scientist leading the project. State-of-the-art photovoltaics using high-purity, large-area, wafer-scale single-crystalline semiconductors grown by sophisticated, high temperature crystal-growth processes are seen as the future of efficient solar technology. Solar cells composed of organic-inorganic perovskites offer efficiencies approaching that of silicon, but they have been plagued with some important deficiencies limiting their commercial viability. It is this failure that the Los Alamos technique successfully corrects. The researchers fabricated planar solar cells from pervoskite materials with large crystalline grains that had efficiencies approaching 18%, among the highest reported in the field of perovskite-based light-to-energy conversion devices. The cells demonstrate …

    January 29, 2015 6:13 pm
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Health

  • FDA approves Bristol-Myers, J&J HIV pills


    (Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved two fixed-dose HIV pills that combine protease inhibitors – one made by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co and the other by Johnson Johnson – both with a boosting agent produced by Gilead Sciences Inc. Bristol-Myers said its drug, Evotaz, is a once-daily pill containing Reyataz, also known as atazanavir, a protease inhibitor, with the booster cobicistat. JJ’s once-daily Prezcobix, combines protease inhibitor darunavir, or Prezista, with cobicistat. The FDA approved both drugs for use in combination with other antiretroviral agents for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults. Because patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus, which can cause AIDS, may over time become resistant to treatments, there is a need for a broad range of antiretroviral therapies. (Reporting By Deena Beasley. Editing by Andre Grenon)

    January 29, 2015 6:13 pm
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Entertainment

  • Rihanna Gets Swallowed Up By Her Giant Jean Jacket


    Posted on Thu Jan 29th, 2015 1:34pm PDT       By X17 Staff Riri is kickin’ it old school! Wearing a seriously over sized jean jacket, Rihanna looked like she was in a losing battle with denim when she went to dinner at her favorite restaurant Giorgio Baldi on Wednesday night. The 26-year-old Bajan beauty paired the coat, which is from designer Matthew Dolan’s spring 2015 collection, with a sweatshirt dress and a pair of colorful heels. Over the weekend, the 26-year-old songstress deputed a new collaboration called “Four Five Seconds” which features Kanye West and Sir Paul McCartney. The new song aural offering after a two-year-break from music. The “Umbrella” singer debuted the song on her Twitter page on Saturday and wrote to fans, “FIRST GLIMPSE AT MY NEW MUSIC!!!” The “Diamonds” hitmaker has been teasing fans with her music as she gears up to release her eighth studio album, R8. In addition, Rihanna will be joining …

    January 29, 2015 4:31 pm
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Editorial

  • Obama’s Budget: Why won’t president fix what needs fixing (hint: Social Security, Medicare)?


    The president’s budget proposal, to be released Monday, presents an opportunity to tackle the long-term fiscal crisis facing the nation. Unfortunately, the White House seems positioned to waste the opportunity. The responsible thing to do would be to propose a plan to tackle our looming entitlement catastrophe and cut spending. But instead he will propose more of the same failed tax-and-spend policies he has favored for his 6 years in office.   The nation’s short-term fiscal issues have stabilized temporarily. Fiscal year 2015 brings the smallest deficit during President Obama’s tenure, down to $470 billion from its high of $1.4 trillion in 2009. However, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicts that it will start increasing quickly towards the end of the decade and by 2025 it will exceed $1 trillion. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT The momentary decrease is largely due to two factors. The first is large tax hikes: $500 billion in ObamaCare and $620 billion from …

    January 29, 2015 6:13 pm
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Odd News

  • Canadian man loses appeal on missing lotto jackpot by 7 seconds


    TORONTO (Reuters) – A Canadian man who was denied part of a C$27 million jackpot because he missed the deadline to buy the ticket by seven seconds has lost his appeal to get the money. The Supreme Court of Canada ruling on Thursday ended a seven-year legal battle by Joel Ifergan, an accountant, to claim his share of the prize. Ifergan went to a local convenience store just before 9 p.m. on May 23, 2008, to purchase tickets for that night’s “Lotto Super 7″ drawing. The store clerk told him to hurry before the 9 p.m. deadline, according to a court summary. While the clock on the lottery terminal read 8:59 p.m., only one of the two tickets was registered in time. The second ticket, the winning one, was printed and registered on the Loto-Quebec computer at seven seconds after 9 p.m., eligible for the following week’s drawing. The store clerk told Ifergan that only …

    January 29, 2015 2:08 pm
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