• Murray books fourth final, Serena to face Sharapova

    MELBOURNE (Reuters) – After three heart-breaking trips to the final, Andy Murray secured another shot at Australian Open glory by overhauling Tomas Berdych on Thursday after women’s top seed Serena Williams set up a blockbuster...
  • Jordan talks amid pilot swap pressure

    Jordan talks amid pilot swap pressure

    29 January 2015 Last updated at 12:56 The Jordanian pilot’s relatives and supporters have pressed the government to negotiate his release The government of Jordan has met to discuss the fate of Moaz al-Kasasbeh, a...
  • Murray beats Berdych to reach Australian Open final

    MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Andy Murray overcame a blistering start from Tomas Berdych to advance to his fourth Australian Open final with a 6-7(6) 6-0 6-3 7-5 victory on Thursday. Murray will meet either top seed...
  • Italy leaders wrangle over president

    Italy leaders wrangle over president

    29 January 2015 Last updated at 11:29 Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is trying to secure support for a candidate from his own party Italy’s political leaders are holding talks to try to reach agreement on...
  • Fugitive treasure hunter in court

    Fugitive treasure hunter in court

    29 January 2015 Last updated at 12:20 Mr Thompson made history with his shipwreck haul A US treasure hunter is scheduled to appear in a Florida court following his arrest after two years on the...

Headline News

  • Exclusive: CDC installing cameras in labs in agency-wide safety push


    ATLANTA (Reuters) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has introduced camera monitoring of workers in its highest-level biosafety laboratories as it seeks to restore public faith in its procedures after a series of mishaps, agency officials tell Reuters. One lab worker inadvertently risked contracting Ebola last month when they worked with the live virus that was supposed to have been inactivated, or killed. Since last June, the Atlanta-based agency has disclosed several incidents, one in which scientists unknowingly sent potentially live anthrax to a lower-security laboratory and another in which a deadly form of bird flu was sent to an external agency’s lab. The mishaps have raised major questions over safety practices at more than 1,000 laboratory and support facilities that make up the CDC, whose role is to monitor and prevent outbreaks of disease. The move to monitor workers will allow lab directors and senior scientists to ensure they have …

    January 29, 2015 7:43 am
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Politics

  • Pelosi says Netanyahu speech to Congress could hurt Iran talks


    PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s scheduled speech to the U.S. Congress in March could damage the Obama administration’s attempts to broker a deal with Iran on nuclear weapons development, the senior U.S. House of Representatives Democrat said on Wednesday. “Such a presentation could send the wrong message in terms of giving diplomacy a chance,” said Representative Nancy Pelosi during a news conference on the sidelines of an annual retreat for Democratic lawmakers. But Pelosi stopped short of saying that the invitation to Netanyahu should be withdrawn by House Speaker John Boehner. Earlier this month Boehner invited Netanyahu to speak to a joint session of the House and Senate and the speech is scheduled for March 3, just two weeks before the Israeli leader stands for re-election on March 17. Boehner, who did not consult with the White House before extending the invitation, has defended his surprise invitation. A spokesman for Pelosi said …

    January 29, 2015 6:03 am
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Stocks

  • McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson retires as sales suffer


      McDonald’s has been struggling to turn its lousy sales around. And now there’s a change at the top of the company. CEO Don Thompson, a 25-year veteran who has spent two years at the helm, is retiring a week after McDonald’s reported awful financial results. The company faces tough competition from the surge of fast-casual brands like Chipotle (CMG). McDonald’s recently cut 8 items from the menu to make way for “future food innovations,” which could mean new ingredients or customized individual orders. But sales dropped 2% and earnings fell 15% last year. And McDonald’s has warned that the first half of 2015 could be bleak, too. A string of food safety scares abroad didn’t help. A tainted meat scandal hurt McDonald’s sales in China, Hong Kong, and Japan. Earlier this month, the company had to pull nuggets from restaurants in Japan after customers found pieces of plastic in the chicken. Related: McDead? More …

    January 29, 2015 6:23 am
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Sports

  • Murray books fourth final, Serena to face Sharapova


    MELBOURNE (Reuters) – After three heart-breaking trips to the final, Andy Murray secured another shot at Australian Open glory by overhauling Tomas Berdych on Thursday after women’s top seed Serena Williams set up a blockbuster title-decider with Maria Sharapova. Edged in a marathon first set, Murray fired up after a frosty exchange with the hard-hitting Czech and blazed to a 6-7(6) 6-0 6-3 7-5 victory under the lights of Rod Laver Arena. The sixth-seeded Scot will contest his first grand slam final since his emotional triumph at Wimbledon in 2013. His next opponent will be decided in Friday’s semi-final between world number one Novak Djokovic and champion Stan Wawrinka. Murray’s clinical disposal of Rafa Nadal’s conqueror sent an ominous signal to his eventual challenger and thrilled the center court crowd after the women’s semi-finals were earlier wrapped up in straight sets. With his former assistant coach Dani Vallverdu sitting in Berdych’s player’s box, Murray made …

    January 29, 2015 7:44 am
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World News

  • Jordan talks amid pilot swap pressure


    29 January 2015 Last updated at 12:56 The Jordanian pilot’s relatives and supporters have pressed the government to negotiate his release The government of Jordan has met to discuss the fate of Moaz al-Kasasbeh, a Jordanian pilot facing a death threat by his Islamic State (IS) captors. The ultimatum came in a recording purportedly of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto. The recording says Lt Kasasbeh will be killed unless Jordan releases an Iraqi prisoner by 14:30 GMT. Jordan wants proof the pilot is safe before freeing Sajida al-Rishawi. It has not mentioned Mr Goto’s release as part of any possible exchange. The BBC’s Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Tokyo says it appears from the latest message that IS is not ready to accept Jordan’s offer. Moaz al-Kasasbeh, Sajida al-Rishawi and Kenji Goto – the three people at the centre of the latest recording Japanese officials have been talking to the Jordanians but Tokyo appears to have become a …

    January 29, 2015 7:44 am
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Technology

  • Seven things we learned from Facebook’s latest financial results


    Remember the days when Facebook was criticised for failing to make enough money from mobile advertising? The social network’s latest financial results emphasised how far in the past those days are. Here’s what we learned from the results, and the ensuing earnings call with financial analysts. 1. No Facebook-flight just yet No mass exodus shown in the numbers, even if growth is slowing. Photograph: Alamy Despite regular predictions that Facebook is about to peak and (possibly) head into a Myspace-like decline, it continues to grow. “Time spent per person per day across our services [grew] this quarter by more 10% compared to last year,” said Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg. “And that doesn’t even include WhatsApp, which joined us late last year.” Last quarter, Facebook had 1.39 billion monthly active users and 890 million daily active users – up 13% and 18% respectively compared to a year ago, even if its quarterly increases are smaller …

    January 29, 2015 6:03 am
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Science

  • Erratic as normal: Arctic sea ice loss expected to be bumpy in the short term


    Related images(click to enlarge) Arctic sea ice extent plunged precipitously from 2001 to 2007, then barely budged between 2007 and 2013. Even in a warming world, researchers should expect such unusual periods of no change — and rapid change — at the world’s northern reaches, according to a new paper. “Human-caused global warming is melting Arctic sea ice over the long term, but the Arctic is a variable place, said Jennifer Kay, a fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder and co-author of the new analysis out today in Nature Climate Change. Natural ups and downs of temperature, wind and other factors mean that even as sea ice slowly melts, random weather can mask or enhance the long-term trend. For example, even in a warming world, there’s still a one-in-three chance that any seven-year period would see no sea ice loss, such as in 2007-2013, the …

    January 29, 2015 6:04 am
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Health

  • Nigeria H5N1 bird flu spreads to four more states, total 11


    ABUJA, Nigeria (Reuters) – An outbreak of H5N1 bird flu in Nigerian poultry farms has spread to four more states, raising the total of affected areas to 11, the agricultural and rural development minister said on Thursday. Africa’s most populous country and biggest economy was the first country on the continent to detect bird flu, in 2006 when chicken farms were found to have the H5N1 strain. In 2007, Nigeria recorded its first human death from the disease. “At the time of my briefing the nation on January 21, 2015, seven states had reported cases of the bird flu. As of yesterday, a total of 11 states have reported positive cases,” Minister Akinwumi Adesina said at an emergency meeting with state agricultural commissioners in the capital Abuja. The latest bird flu outbreak was first reported in mid-January in the states of Kano and Lagos. The worst-hit state is Kano in the north where 136,905 birds …

    January 29, 2015 6:03 am
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Entertainment

  • Taylor Swift pens beautiful open letter to fan about bullying


    The “Shake It Off” hit maker received a Tumblr post from Pettis that informed her that he loves how much she cares about her fans and takes the time to respond to them. He also told her that he is being bullied at school because of his unusual name and because he is skinny, although he insists that he tries to ignore the bullies and #ShakeItOff. More: Taylor Swift’s dealing with an extremely bizarre lawsuit over 1989 “I get bullied everyday, and I try to #ShakeItOff. One of the biggest reasons why I get bullied is my name. I couldn’t even tell you the amount of times I’ve been bullied because of it. I’ve been punched for it, etc. I also get bullied because I’m really skinny, but I’m proud of being skinny. I like my appearance. If people don’t like the way I look, they shouldn’t bully me,” he wrote. And what happened next is …

    January 29, 2015 6:23 am
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Editorial

  • Five ways Obama could make Castro pay Cuba’s $6 billion debt to Americans


    In his half century reign of terror, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro committed manifold atrocities. Documented evidence reveals him to be a ruthless tyrant who endlessly abused the most basic of human rights –a man who played a pivotal role in bringing the world to the precipice of nuclear annihilation for 13 harrowing days in October of 1962. Beyond his crimes against humanity and the callous suffering he inflicted on the people of Cuba, he ruined the lives and livelihoods of thousands of Americans. He stole their land, homes, bank accounts, possessions and businesses. He absconded with their property under the guise of “nationalization.” But he is, in truth, a thief. ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT Will his victims now be fairly compensated or otherwise see the return of their confiscated property in the wake of America’s first steps toward rapprochement with Cuba? The answer is both legal and political. Will his victims now be fairly compensated or otherwise …

    January 29, 2015 1:59 am
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Odd News

  • Unions turn lights off on French prime minister


    PARIS (Reuters) – An inquiry was under way on Wednesday after French trade unionists turned the lights off on a keynote speech by Prime Minister Manuel Valls in protest at planned energy reforms. Valls was starting a speech to about 700 people in support of his Socialist party’s candidate for a by-election on Tuesday night when the lights went out and his microphone turned silent. The electricity stayed off for about an hour, not just at the venue, but in the whole neighbourhood in Audincourt, eastern France. Valls resumed his speech once the power had come back on. The mines and energy federation of France’s militant CGT union said in a statement it supported the action. “When we are not listened to, we must make our point differently, so we cut the power, voila,” regional CGT head Marc Pautot said on radio France Info. Electricity distribution group ERDF, part of state-controlled utility EDF, said it …

    January 28, 2015 5:53 pm
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