Daily Archives: February 14, 2015

NYT media reporter Carr died of cancer, cardiovascular disease: officials

New York Times media columnist David Carr poses in a 2008 archive photo provided by his newspaper. Carr collapsed at the newspaper's office and died on February 13, 2015, the paper reported. REUTERS/Chester Higgins Jr/New York Times


<span class="articleLocatio

n”>(Reuters) – New York Times media columnist David Carr, a beloved and widely respected journalist who wrote a memoir about his struggles with addiction, died of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease, New York City’s medical examiner said on Saturday.

Carr collapsed at the Times’ offices on Thursday night and died at age 58. He was discovered unresponsive in the paper’s newsroom at 9 p.m. and was later pronounced dead, the Times said.

The medical examiner’s office concluded that Carr died of natural causes, including metastatic small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma of the lung, with hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease as contributing factors, said Julie Bolcer, a spokeswoman for the city agency.

In addition to his weekly column, Carr reported for the paper’s culture section and featured prominently in “Page One: Inside The New York Times,” a 2011 documentary on the publication.

Carr’s memoir, “The Night of the Gun,” which centered on his recovery from drug addiction, was published in 2008 by Simon and Schuster.

He was the second well-known U.S. journalist to have died suddenly in New York in the past two days.

On Wednesday, veteran CBS News correspondent Bob Simon was killed in a car accident on Manhattan’s West Side at the age of 73. Simon’s decades-long career included covering major overseas conflicts and surviving Iraqi prison.

(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein)


Source: Newsjyoti Entertainment

Puerto Rico bankruptcy bill to get House hearing: sources

Alexis Sanchez, 31, waits to be attended to at the unemployment office of the Labor Department in San Juan March 13, 2014.  REUTERS/Ana Martinez

Alexis Sanchez, 31, waits to be attended to at the unemployment office of the Labor Department in San Juan March 13, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Ana Martinez


<span class="articleLocatio

n”>(Reuters) – A long-shot bill to give Puerto Rico’s ailing public agencies a chance to restructure their massive debts under the section of U.S. bankruptcy law used by cities such as Detroit and Stockton, California, will get a hearing before a key congressional committee, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, plans to hear the bill in coming weeks, both sources, who are familiar with the committee’s plans, said on Saturday.

The bill to allow Puerto Rico’s power, water and highway authorities to reorganize under Chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code is sponsored by the U.S. territory’s non-voting representative to Congress, Democrat Pedro Pierluisi. Of the three, the Puerto Rico power authority, Prepa, is in the most dire shape, laden with about $9 billion in debt and already deep in restructuring negotiations with bondholders.

Pierluisi initially introduced the bill in July after the Caribbean island’s lawmakers enacted local legislation granting the agencies similar debt-restructuring authority. On Feb. 6, however, a federal court struck down that law, saying it violated the U.S. Constitution by allowing a state government to modify municipal debt.

Pierluisi last week said that Puerto Rico now should focus efforts on ensuring it has access to Chapter 9, rather than insisting it has the right to enact a local bankruptcy law. While the committee’s plan to give the bill a hearing offers some reason for optimism, analysts have said previously its prospects are slim in the Republican-led Congress.

In all, Puerto Rico and its agencies and other affiliates have some $70 billion of debt floated within the U.S. municipal bond market, where its bonds have long been popular with investors thanks to triple-tax free status and relatively high yields. The island economy remains mired in recession, and its credit rating has been slashed deep into junk territory.

The Judiciary Committee’s plan to hold a hearing was earlier reported by the Wall Street Journal.

(Reporting by Megan Davies and Nicholas Brown; Writing by Dan Burns; editing by Gunna Dickson)


Source: Newsjyoti Politics

Embattled Oregon governor's successor makes first public appearance

A portrait of Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber hangs on a wall at the state capital building in Salem, Oregon February 13, 2015.  REUTERS/Steve Dipaola

A portrait of Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber hangs on a wall at the state capital building in Salem, Oregon February 13, 2015.

Credit: Reuters/Steve Dipaola


(Reuters) – Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown made her first public appearance on Saturday since learning she would take over for Governor John Kitzhaber, but she did not comment on the growing influence-peddling scandal that forced his resignation.

Brown, who is expected to become the state’s second woman governor on Wednesday, kept her remarks brief and upbeat, and left without taking questions about Kitzhaber’s Friday resignation.

“Our task, our challenge, is to make sure we keep Oregon the very special place that it is, and I look forward to working with you to make sure that happens,” Brown told several hundred people who had assembled in downtown Portland to celebrate the state’s 156th birthday.

Brown’s appearance came a day after a rapidly unfolding political drama in which Kitzhaber resigned amid growing influence-peddling allegations involving his fiancée that have triggered a criminal corruption probe.

Kitzhaber, a popular Democrat elected to a fourth-term in November, has been dogged for months by questions over his fiancée Cylvia Hayes’ lobbying efforts and use of state resources.

Those allegations snowballed last week amid media reports that Hayes received $118,000 in previously undisclosed consulting fees from a Washington-based energy group while also advising the governor on energy policy.

Those consulting fees were not listed in annual disclosure filings.

Kitzhaber, who has insisted he has broken no laws, said he was stepping down because the scandal had become a distraction.

State Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, who attended Saturday’s Oregon Historical Society celebration, declined to discuss the criminal investigation of Kitzhaber, but said she looks forward to working with Brown.

“She’s a fantastic Secretary of State, she has great experience,” Rosenblum said, as she stood alongside Barbara Roberts, Oregon’s first woman governor.

“Kate’s going to do a great job, I’m excited for her,” Roberts said.

Another former governor in attendance Saturday, Ted Kulongoski, declined to discuss the controversy surrounding Kitzhaber’s departure.

“In my darkest, deepest moments, I always think that no matter how dark the problem, we will overcome,” Kulongoski said.

Brown will be the nation’s first openly bisexual governor, holding that post in the strongly Democratic Pacific Northwest state until an election next year.

(Editing by Victoria Cavaliere and Gunna Dickson)


Source: Newsjyoti Politics

Couples in Thailand dance their way to world record

(Reuters) – Nine couples danced their way to victory on Saturday, breaking the record for the longest dance marathon in the world in the seaside town of Pattaya, southeast of Thailand’s capital Bangkok.

The couples broke the World’s Longest Dance Marathon record by dancing for 35 hours, one minute and one second, gaining a spot in the Guinness World Records. The previous record was set by a Mexican couple in 2008 who danced for 35 hours.

Thailand’s dance marathon began on Friday with ten couples, including one couple from Canada.

Only one pair left the competition before it ended.

Under the contest’s rules, participants, wearing pink T-shirts and flowers in their hair, had to move their feet continuously in three different dance rhythms – the waltz, cha cha and rumba – until a change of song every few minutes when they were given a 30-second break to stretch their limbs.

They were also given a five-minute break every hour to go to go to the toilet, said organizers.

Natsiya Noorak, 37, one of the winners, said there were times she felt like giving up and took her frustration out on her dance partner.

“There were times we fought with each other because of fatigue but we made up and pushed through to the end,” she said.

The world-record win, which took place at the Ripley’s Believe it or Not! entertainment complex in the popular tourist town of Pattaya, comes just in time for Valentine’s Day – a popular Western import in tourist-friendly Thailand.

The winners will share a 200,000 baht cash prize and were each awarded a certificate from the Guinness Book of World Records.

(Reporting by Jutarat Skulpichetrat; Writing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Editing by Clelia Oziel)


Source: Newsjyoti Lifestyle

U.S. agency says work to fix problem hampering Obamacare applications

Fifty-four-years-old Natalia Pollack (L), uninsured since 1999, is helped to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, by Carlos Tapia, a certified application councilor at a Single Stop USA site at West Side Campaign Against Hunger in New York City, March 31, 2014.  REUTERS/Mike Segar

Fifty-four-years-old Natalia Pollack (L), uninsured since 1999, is helped to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, by Carlos Tapia, a certified application councilor at a Single Stop USA site at West Side Campaign Against Hunger in New York City, March 31, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Segar


(Reuters) – A day before the open enrollment deadline for private health coverage under Obamacare, some consumers are unable to submit applications because of “intermittent issues” with income verification, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department said on Saturday.

The department said in a statement that it was working hard to resolve the problem with “external verification sources” ahead of the Feb. 15 deadline.

Those visiting the government’s HealthCare.gov website can set up their account, look at the available plans and start working on their application, the statement said. It did not say how many people were affected.

“Any consumer who is trying to get covered ahead of the deadline for March 1 coverage will be able to do so,” it said.

A senior U.S. health official said last week that nearly 7.5 million people had signed up for 2015 Obamacare health plans through the federal exchange, and that demand was increasing as the Feb. 15 deadline approached.

Enrollment for individual plans, created as part of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, opened for the second year of coverage on Nov. 15. The plans are sold on HealthCare.gov for 37 states. The other 13 states plus Washington, D.C., run their own websites.

The Obama administration said on Monday that 2015 Obamacare subsidies are averaging $268 a month for people in the 37 states who have qualified for federal assistance.

An administration statement said subsidies had reduced average monthly premiums to $105 as of Jan. 30 for 6.5 million people who qualified through the federal website.

(Reporting by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)


Source: Newsjyoti Health

Apple studies self-driving car, auto industry source says

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during a presentation at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California October 16, 2014.  REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during a presentation at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California October 16, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith


(Reuters) – Technology giant Apple (AAPL.O) is looking beyond mobile devices to learn how to make a self-driving electric car, and is talking to experts at carmakers and automotive suppliers, a senior auto industry source familiar with the discussions said on Saturday.

The Cupertino, California-based maker of phones, computers and, soon, watches is exploring how to make an entire vehicle, not just designing automotive software or individual components, the auto industry source said.

“They don’t appear to want a lot of help from carmakers,” said the source, who declined to be named.

Apple is gathering advice on parts and production methods, focusing on electric and connected-car technologies, while studying the potential for automated driving, the source said.

“Fully automated driving is an evolution. Carmakers will slowly build the market for autonomous cars by first releasing connected and partially automated cars,” the auto industry source said. “Apple is interested in all the potential ways you can evolve the car; that includes autonomous driving.”

Whether it will build and release an electric car or a more evolved autonomous vehicle remains to be seen, the source said.

But clearly Apple has sharply raised its ambitions in automotive technology. Car technology has become a prime area of interest for Silicon Valley companies ranging from Google Inc (GOOGL.O), which has built a prototype self-driving car, to electric car-maker Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O).

An Apple spokesman in London on Saturday declined to comment on “rumors or speculation”.

Trying to build an actual car would mark a dramatic shift for the maker of the iPhone and iPad. Apple often researches projects which are then discarded, but has so far mainly stuck to its core expertise in mobile and electronic devices.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Apple had set up a secret lab working on the creation of an Apple-branded electric car, citing people familiar with the matter. The lab was set up late last year, soon after Apple revealed its forthcoming smart watch and latest iPhones, the Financial Times said.

The Journal said that the Apple project, code-named “Titan”, employed several hundred people working a few miles from Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino.

Apple executives met with contract manufacturers including Magna Steyr in Austria, a unit of Magna International (MG.TO), the Journal said. A Magna spokeswoman declined to comment.

THE PATH TO SELF-DRIVING CARS

Autonomous driving is likely to emerge progressively as driver assistance systems become more sophisticated.

Already, carmakers such as Daimler (DAIGn.DE), BMW (BMWG.DE) and Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) Audi (NSUG.DE) have revealed cars that can travel long distances without human intervention.

Analysts at Exane BNP Paribas have said they see a $25 billion market for automated driving technology by 2020, with vehicle intelligence becoming “the key differentiating factor”. But the brokerage does not expect fully automated cars to hit the road until 2025 or 2030, in part due to regulatory hurdles.

Short of building entire cars, there is money to be made from the software to run a self-driving vehicle, as well as the services associated with autonomous driving, such as mapping, car-sharing and car recharging services, the auto source said.

“It’s a software game. It’s all about autonomous driving,” the industry source said.

Apple may be pursuing mainly auto industry expertise rather than full-scale partnerships with established car companies.

With its soon-to-be-launched Apple Watch, the company had held limited discussions with Swiss watchmakers, but no broad-based alliance emerged from the talks.

Instead of partnerships, Apple pursued a go-it-alone strategy and turned to poaching talent from top watch brands.

Two different sources have told Reuters that Apple has tried to recruit auto industry experts in areas such as robotics.

(Additional reporting by Eric Auchard in Frankfurt; Editing by Noah Barkin/Hugh Lawson)


Source: Newsjyoti Top Trending

UPDATE 1-Apple studies self-driving car, auto industry source says

* Apple exploring how to build whole vehicle, source says

* Car technology now a focus for Silicon Valley

* Apple gathering advice on electric and connected-car
technology

* Self-driving car likely to emerge in stages

(wraps in reports on Apple plans for electric car, adds
material from source)

By Edward Taylor and Alexei Oreskovic

FRANKFURT/SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 14 (Reuters) – Technology giant
Apple is looking beyond mobile devices to learn how to
make a self-driving electric car, and is talking to experts at
carmakers and automotive suppliers, a senior auto industry
source familiar with the discussions said on Saturday.

The Cupertino, California-based maker of phones, computers
and, soon, watches is exploring how to make an entire vehicle,
not just designing automotive software or individual components,
the auto industry source said.

“They don’t appear to want a lot of help from carmakers,”
said the source, who declined to be named.

Apple is gathering advice on parts and production methods,
focusing on electric and connected-car technologies, while
studying the potential for automated driving, the source said.

“Fully automated driving is an evolution. Carmakers will
slowly build the market for autonomous cars by first releasing
connected and partially automated cars,” the auto industry
source said. “Apple is interested in all the potential ways you
can evolve the car; that includes autonomous driving.”

Whether it will build and release an electric car or a more
evolved autonomous vehicle remains to be seen, the source said.

But clearly Apple has sharply raised its ambitions in
automotive technology. Car technology has become a prime area of
interest for Silicon Valley companies ranging from Google Inc
, which has built a prototype self-driving car, to
electric car-maker Tesla Motors Inc.

An Apple spokesman in London on Saturday declined to comment
on “rumours or speculation”.

Trying to build an actual car would mark a dramatic shift
for the maker of the iPhone and iPad. Apple often researches
projects which are then discarded, but has so far mainly stuck
to its core expertise in mobile and electronic devices.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Apple had
set up a secret lab working on the creation of an Apple-branded
electric car, citing people familiar with the matter. The lab
was set up late last year, soon after Apple revealed its
forthcoming smart watch and latest iPhones, the Financial Times
said.

The Journal said that the Apple project, code-named “Titan”,
employed several hundred people working a few miles from Apple’s
headquarters in Cupertino.

Apple executives met with contract manufacturers including
Magna Steyr in Austria, a unit of Magna International,
the Journal said. A Magna spokeswoman declined to comment.

THE PATH TO SELF-DRIVING CARS

Autonomous driving is likely to emerge progressively as
driver assistance systems become more sophisticated.

Already, carmakers such as Daimler, BMW
and Volkswagen’s Audi have revealed cars
that can travel long distances without human intervention.

Analysts at Exane BNP Paribas have said they see a $25
billion market for automated driving technology by 2020, with
vehicle intelligence becoming “the key differentiating factor”.
But the brokerage does not expect fully automated cars to hit
the road until 2025 or 2030, in part due to regulatory hurdles.

Short of building entire cars, there is money to be made
from the software to run a self-driving vehicle, as well as the
services associated with autonomous driving, such as mapping,
car-sharing and car recharging services, the auto source said.

“It’s a software game. It’s all about autonomous driving,”
the industry source said.

Apple may be pursuing mainly auto industry expertise rather
than full-scale partnerships with established car companies.

With its soon-to-be-launched Apple Watch, the company had
held limited discussions with Swiss watchmakers, but no
broad-based alliance emerged from the talks.

Instead of partnerships, Apple pursued a go-it-alone
strategy and turned to poaching talent from top watch brands.

Two different sources have told Reuters that Apple has tried
to recruit auto industry experts in areas such as robotics.

(Additional reporting by Eric Auchard in Frankfurt; Editing by
Noah Barkin/Hugh Lawson)


Source: Newsjyoti

Clashes between Shi'ite Houthis and Sunnis in Yemen leave 26 dead

Armed Houthis gather around the wreckage of a vehicle set a blaze by angry protesters after Houthis fired on them in Yemen's central town of Ibb February 14, 2015.  REUTERS/Essam al-Kamaly


(Reuters) – Tens of thousands of Yemenis demonstrated in several cities on Saturday against the rule of the Shi’ite Muslim Houthi movement as clashes between Houthis and Sunnis in a southern mountainous region left 26 dead.

It was the second day of nationwide demonstrations against the Iranian-backed Houthis in less than a week after their dissolution of parliament this month unraveled security and sent Western and Arab embassies packing.

Houthi gunmen fired on protesters in the central town of Ibb and wounded four, medics said.

Activists said they were enraged by the death on Saturday of Saleh al-Bashiri, who they say was detained by gunmen as they broke up an anti-Houthi protest in Sanaa two weeks ago and was released to a hospital with signs of torture on his body on Thursday. There was no immediate comment from the Houthis.

Yemen’s upheaval has drawn international concern as it shares a long border with top world oil exporter Saudi Arabia. It is also fighting one of the most formidable branches of al Qaeda with the help of U.S. drone strikes.

Heavy clashes between Houthi fighters and Sunni Muslim tribesmen fighting alongside al Qaeda militants in the rugged southern province of al-Bayda on Saturday killed 16 Houthi rebels along with 10 Sunni tribesmen and militants, security officials and tribal sources told Reuters.

Two weeks after the Houthis took formal control of the capital and continued an armed push southward, Yemen appears to be barely functioning as a state.

INTERNATIONAL PULLOUT

The United States, Western European countries, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey have closed their missions in Sanaa and withdrawn staff, citing security concerns.

Yemen’s rich Sunni Gulf Arab neighbors loathe the Houthi fighters and have called their rise to power a coup backed by Shi’ite Iran, Saudi Arabia’s main rival for power in the Gulf region.

Gulf foreign ministers on Saturday urged the United Nations Security Council to pass a “Chapter 7” resolution authorizing economic or military force to compel the Houthis to back down, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV said.

The Houthis say they are trying to drive out corrupt officials and avert economic ruin. They have dissolved parliament and set up their own ruling body earlier this month.

The Houthis’ advance from the north towards well-armed tribal regions in the east and south has led locals to make common cause with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, one of the deadliest arms of the global Sunni Muslim militant organization.

(Additional reporting by Ahmed Tolba; Writing by Noah Browning; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Stephen Powell)


Source: Newsjyoti Top Trending

Michele Ferrero, owner of Nutella empire, dies at 89

Nutella produced from Italy, priced at 6.25 BAM ($4.20), are displayed for sale at a FIS supermarket in Vitez March 13, 2012. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Nutella produced from Italy, priced at 6.25 BAM ($4.20), are displayed for sale at a FIS supermarket in Vitez March 13, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Dado Ruvic


(Reuters) – Michele Ferrero, Italy’s richest man and the owner of a global chocolate and confectionery empire, died on Saturday, two workers within the company said. He was 89.

His death is likely to spur talk of succession and potential tie-ups at the family-controlled Ferrero group, which has continued to grow even through Italy’s longest recession since World War Two.

The group, which makes chocolate-hazelnut Nutella spread, Ferrero Rocher pralines and chocolate Kinder eggs, is seen by analysts and bankers as Italy’s most valuable privately owned company.

The billionaire died at his home in Monte Carlo after a long illness, one of the workers within the company said.

Ferrero’s son Giovanni, the chief executive of the Ferrero group, in late 2013 rejected suggestions that the Italian company had been approached by larger Swiss competitor Nestle and said Ferrero was not for sale.

A man of few words who shunned publicity, Ferrero senior turned a Piedmont-based chocolate factory into a global giant. He was known for running Ferrero with an iron fist but was also loved by locals for a tendency to give back to his community and by employees for the company’s generous working conditions.

Up until a couple of years ago, Ferrero would commute daily by helicopter from his Monte Carlo villa to the company headquarters in the picturesque town of Alba in northwest Italy to taste and help design new products.

Forbes magazine described Ferrero as “the richest candyman on the planet”, putting him and his family in 30th place on their list of the world’s wealthiest people, with a net worth of $23.4 billion.

(Reporting by Agnieszka Flak and Giancarlo Navach; Editing by Stephen Powell)


Source: Newsjyoti Top Trending

France passes law to open up Sunday shopping

Tourists walk past a souvenir shop on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, August 6, 2009. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Tourists walk past a souvenir shop on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, August 6, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Benoit Tessier


(Reuters) – France’s lower house of parliament approved a law on Saturday letting shops open more often on Sundays, the latest measure in the government’s pro-growth bill intended to lift the sluggish economy.

The bill will let shops open up to 12 Sundays a year from five currently, provided mayors allow it, workers agree to work voluntarily and are paid double their usual salary.

The bill also provides for the creation of special “tourist zones”, to be defined by the government, where shops will be allowed to stay open until midnight and on Sundays. Sunday shopping will also be allowed in large train stations.

Left-wing members of the Socialist party, which led the fight against the law in parliament, failed to gather enough support to block it.

Sunday shopping was already allowed in some cases, for bakers, cafes or restaurants for instance or in tourist areas such as the historical Marais district in Paris or the Champs-Elysees avenue.

Big department stores such as the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps said the present rules were too restrictive and have demanded an overhaul for years, saying more trading hours will enable them to create jobs and fight competition from non-stop Internet retailers.

But it’s a hot-potato issue in France and one that has led to protests and trials, with unions saying it hurts workers’ rights and small shop keepers worrying that they will not be able to compete against the major chains.

Government officials hope the legislation will unleash new sources of growth, but are not putting a precise figure on its impact. Nonetheless, they hope it will convince EU partners that France is serious about overhauling its hidebound economy.

The law is now expected to go through the Senate, the upper house of parliament which cannot block legislation, where it will be reviewed in April.

(Reporting by Michel Rose and Emile Picy; Editing by Stephen Powell)


Source: Newsjyoti Lifestyle