Monthly Archives: March 2015

Target To lift minimum wage to $9 an hour -Dow Jones

(Reuters) – Target Corp. will raise the
minimum wage for all of its workers to $9 an hour, matching
moves made by rivals such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc and TJX
Cos, Dow Jones reported on Wednesday.

Target will implement the new wage levels next month, Dow

(Reporting By Dan Burns; Editing by Chris Reese)

Source: Newsjyoti

Charity attacks Gilead over hepatitis C drug restrictions

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n”>(Reuters) – Charity Medecins Sans Frontieres has accused U.S. drugmaker Gilead Sciences Inc GILD.O of restricting access to its breakthrough hepatitis C drug Sovaldi in developing countries as it tries to protect profit margin in wealthier nations.

MSF, also known as Doctors Without Borders, said Gilead’s restrictions aimed to stop discounted supplies of Sovaldi being diverted to patients from rich countries, but that the effort had resulted in “multiple restrictions and demands” on people receiving treatment in poor countries.

It said Gilead was excluding people without national identity documents, a move that hurts migrants, refugees and marginalized patients.

“We’re seeing Gilead trying everything it can to squeeze every last drop of profit out of some middle-income and (high-income) countries, and millions of people with hepatitis C will have to pay the price,” said Rohit Malpani, Director of Policy and Analysis at MSF’s Access Campaign.

Gilead said in developing countries it operates a system of tiered pricing and voluntary generic licensing to help enable access to its hepatitis C medicines.

“As part of these efforts, the company works to ensure that the medicines reach their intended recipients with patient access our primary goal,” a Gilead spokesman said.

Sovaldi, which is far more effective and better-tolerated than older treatments, has come under fire for its $1,000-a-pill price tag in the United States. It racked up $10.3 billion in sales for Gilead in its first year on the market.

Gilead said it is in discussions with 11 generic drugmakers to identify strategies for supplying 91 developing nations. But activists have said such deals would not ensure access to several middle-income countries where health authorities will struggle to provide treatment to patients.

“We will continue to seek input on all areas of our access program as it evolves, and make any improvements as needed,” Gilead said.

In a statement on Wednesday ahead of a meeting between Gilead and the generics producers, MSF urged the companies to reject a program under which it says the U.S. drugmaker keeps people in developed and some middle-income countries, where Sovaldi’s cost is “exorbitant,” from accessing cheaper copies.

“MSF is greatly concerned that this program will establish an ugly precedent and will be introduced in all countries where the company and its generic licensees sell the drug,” the charity said.

About 150 million people in the world live with chronic hepatitis C, most of them in low- and middle-income countries.

(Reporting by Zeba Siddiqui in Mumbai and Bill Berkrot in New York; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

Source: Newsjyoti Health

Donald Trump takes steps toward 2016 presidential run

Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor in Maryland February 27, 2015.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor in Maryland February 27, 2015.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

(Reuters) – Real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump took the first steps on Wednesday toward launching a 2016 presidential campaign, a sign the businessman may jump into the Republican race after publicly considering it in years past.

Trump said he had formed an exploratory committee to determine whether to run, and that he had hired staff in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Those states will be the first to hold Republican and Democratic presidential nominating contests early next year.

In a telephone interview with Reuters, Trump said he would put his job creation record up against anyone, including the dozen or so Republicans who are considering a White House run in 2016.

“I have been dealing with politicians all my life,” he said from New York. “They’re all talk and no action, and that’s the way it is.”

Trump, known by the nickname “The Donald,” said that as president he would spur job creation, for example, by cracking down on what he called China’s manipulation of its currency, a practice he said that lately has been taken up by Japan.

The United States for years has attempted to persuade Beijing to halt a practice that Washington says China uses to depress the price of its exports.

“I would be extremely strong on the devaluation of their currency,” he said.

Trump also said he would increase security along the U.S.-Mexican border.

Trump, who owns several hotels and hosts the reality show “The Apprentice” on NBC, has toyed with running before but has indicated that this time he is serious about considering it.

A growing list of Republicans is weighing White House runs, including Florida Senator Marco Rubio, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Trump has garnered attention for his sharp criticism of President Barack Obama’s policies. But he also ruffled feathers with discredited questions over whether Obama was born in the United States, which led to Obama releasing his long-form birth certificate to end the controversy.

Trump will not renew his contract for “The Apprentice” while he explores running, according to The New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper. Trump is to go to New Hampshire Thursday to meet with business owners and veterans.

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Emily Stephenson; Editing by Susan Heavey, Bernadette Baum and James Dalgleish)

Source: Newsjyoti Politics

Kansas high school finds 27 positive tuberculosis cases

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n”>(Reuters) – Twenty-seven people have tested positive for tuberculosis at a suburban Kansas City high school where a student was recently found to have an active case, Kansas state and county health officials said on Wednesday.

Health officials have tested more than 300 students and staff at Olathe Northwest High School after possible exposure to tuberculosis since the active case was reported two weeks ago, officials said.

Lougene Marsh, the director of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, said the number of people with TB infection does not exceed expectations.

“Early identification and treatment of TB infection is the key to preventing progression to TB disease,” Marsh said in a statement.

Those who tested positive will receive chest X-rays and antibiotics paid for by the state and county to kill the bacteria and stop the disease from developing, officials said. They were notified starting on Monday.

People whose tests were negative for tuberculosis will be notified by letter, they said. They will be retested on May 5 because it can take up to eight weeks for the bacteria to show up in a test after exposure.

People with latent tuberculosis infection are not contagious, do not feel sick, and do not have symptoms, health officials said. Without treatment, 5 percent to 10 percent develop TB disease, which is infectious, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Symptoms of the disease include fever, night sweats, cough and weight loss.

(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Eric Walsh)

Source: Newsjyoti Health

LVMH's Tag Heuer surfs wave of smartwatch partnerships

The Tag Heuer logo is seen at the entrance of their new watch manufactory in Chevenez November 5, 2013. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

The Tag Heuer logo is seen at the entrance of their new watch manufactory in Chevenez November 5, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Ruben Sprich

(Reuters) – Tag Heuer plans to unveil a smartwatch on Thursday among a wave of partnerships expected at the world’s biggest watch fair this week as luxury watchmakers fight back against Apple.

The Swiss watch brand, the biggest at French luxury group LVMH, will announce it is teaming up with U.S. chip maker Intel Corp to create a digital version of one of its best-selling model, industry sources have said.

Tag Heuer is planning to launch next autumn a smartwatch version of its Carrera watch that will offer many of the same functions as the Apple watch such as geolocation, distance walked and altitude.

The major difference is that the watch will be a digital replica of the original Tag Heuer black Carrera, known for its bulky, sporty allure, and will look like the original.

“People will have the impression that they are wearing a normal watch,” Tag Heuer Chief Executive Jean-Claude Biver told Reuters in an interview at Baselworld, the industry’s biggest fair where retailers place their orders for the year.

Biver agreed with Swatch Group Chief Executive Nick Hayek who said the smartwatch “would increase the cake” for the industry as a whole.

“Apple will get young people used to wearing a watch and later maybe they will want to buy themselves a real watch,” Biver said.

The jury is still out on whether Apple’s smartwatch will be a major success once it hits the stores next month but Swiss watch makers have been busy trying to come up with attractive alternatives ahead of time.

Many analysts predict Apple’s watch, to be priced from $349 to $17,000, will dent sales at several Swatch Group brands, such as Tissot and Omega. JPMorgan estimates 33 percent of Swatch Group’s profit is exposed to Apple’s watch threat.

Swatch Group has told analysts it will integrate near field communication (NFC) into several of its watch brands, first Swatch, then Tissot and Omega.

It said its competitive advantage would be longer battery life than Apple’s watch as its smartwatches, having more limited capabilities, would require less energy. Apple watches must be recharged every 18 hours, meaning they typically cannot be worn overnight.

Tissot, which has long been making watches with touch screens, on Wednesday unveiled its new connected T-Touch fitted watch with a solar battery.

Makers of traditional mechanic watches such as Hermes and family-owned Patek Philippe said there would always be demand for the real thing.

Their argument is that the technology of smartwatches such as that of Apple will be obsolete after a few years while luxury watches could last centuries. They also pointed out that Apple’s watch needed an iPhone to be in close proximity to function fully.

“When you are buy a Patek Philippe, you buy a timeless piece of art,” said Patek Philippe Chairman Thierry Stern. “It would be as if you told people to no longer buy paintings but TV screens projecting the image of a painting.”

Stern also said he believed many consumers would prefer wearing a traditional watch with a suit or a black tie, rather than a smartwatch.

Both Patek Philippe sand Hermes said they had no plans to market smartwatches.

“For the moment, Hermes is observing what is going on,” said Guillaume de Seynes, a managing director at Hermes. “We still do not know how the smartwatch market will evolve.”

(Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt, editing by David Evans)

Source: Newsjyoti Tech

Senate paralyzed over human trafficking, Lynch nomination

Loretta Lynch testifies during her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing to become U.S. attorney general on Capitol Hill in Washington January 28, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Loretta Lynch testifies during her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing to become U.S. attorney general on Capitol Hill in Washington January 28, 2015.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

(Reuters) – For the second time in two days, the U.S. Senate on Wednesday failed to break a legislative deadlock that has left the fate of a human trafficking bill in doubt and put U.S. attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch in limbo.

By a vote of 57-41, three short of the minimum needed, the bill cracking down on domestic human trafficking failed to clear a procedural hurdle.

While the bill was expected to enjoy broad bipartisan support, most Democrats are blocking progress on it to protest anti-abortion language inserted by Republicans.

In turn, Republicans have linked the fate of President Barack Obama’s nominee to replace retiring Attorney General Eric Holder to passage of the trafficking bill.

“We’re not going to go to Lynch until after the bill is completed,” Senator John Barrasso told Reuters.

Asked if a vote to confirm Lynch will continue to be held up, even if the human trafficking bill is delayed for months, Barrasso, a member of Republican leadership said: “That’s the plan.”

The standoff has senators from both parties alternately seething or expressing embarrassment over yet another show of partisan bickering.

“And so Loretta Lynch, the first African-American woman nominated to be attorney general, is asked to sit in the back of the bus when it comes to the Senate calendar. That is unfair … it is beneath the decorum and dignity of the United States Senate,” said Senator Dick Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat.

Durbin’s “back of the bus” quip was a reference to a pre-civil rights era when African-Americans were openly discriminated against.

As the Senate remained paralyzed, some members held onto hope that the two sides would negotiate a way out. But no progress was apparent yet.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Christian Plumb)

Source: Newsjyoti Politics

T-Mobile rolls out promotions for businesses

A T-Mobile store sign is seen in Broomfield, Colorado February 25, 2014. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

A T-Mobile store sign is seen in Broomfield, Colorado February 25, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Rick Wilking

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n”>(Reuters) – T-Mobile US Inc rolled out various promotions and cheap data plans for businesses to take away market share from larger rivals AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc.

Businesses with more than 1,000 lines will pay $10 per month for each line. Other businesses with multiple lines will be charged $15 a line. Every line comes with 1 gigabyte of data and allows unlimited calls and text messages.

Verizon and AT&T accounts for 87 percent of the $83 billion in wireless revenue from businesses, T-Mobile Chief Executive John Legere said at the “Uncarrier 9” event in New York on Wednesday.

T-Mobile said it is throwing in a free domain, website and email addresses from Microsoft Office 365, as well as discounts for families of business subscribers using its service.

The company also said it will not hike rates offered to customers during promotions. It will also pay up to $650 to cover payments outstanding on devices for customers who switch to its connections.

(Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

Source: Newsjyoti Tech

Discovery Channel founder starts nonfiction streaming video service

Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks sits for a portrait in New York

Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks sits for a portrait in New York March 17, 2015.

Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

(Reuters) – Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks on Wednesday launched a subscription streaming service for fans of science, technology and history, with the goal of dominating the nonfiction category in on-demand, online video.

Hendricks said the ad-free service CuriosityStream fulfilled his long-held desire to deliver programming that people can watch whenever they want. He hopes it will become viewers’ third or fourth online video subscription after choices like Netflix Inc and Hulu.

“I’ve been dreaming and scheming about this for over 20 years,” Hendricks said in an interview.

To pursue the project, Hendricks retired in 2014 from Discovery Communications Inc, which operates the Discovery Channel and other networks that are sold in bundles through cable television operators.

“This needs to be independent of the legacy business,” he said. “It’s really difficult to just break ranks and threaten your existing revenue stream.”

CuriosityStream costs $3 a month for standard resolution or $6 a month for high-definition. A sharper-definition option, known as 4K, is planned for later this year.

The service is available in the United States and will expand worldwide over five years.

Like other Internet-delivered video, CuriosityStream will compete for viewers in a sea of online content as networks like Time Warner Inc’s HBO and CBS jump into the streaming mix. Apple Inc also is in talks with some broadcasters about an online service, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

Programming on CuriosityStream includes short videos of less than eight minutes and longer documentary-style series that were produced for the service or acquired from partners such as British Broadcasting Corp or Japanese broadcaster NHK. “Destination Pluto” follows a team that sent a space probe to the planet. Another series features a photographer’s interviews with celebrities such as Ray Charles and Martin Scorsese.

Hendricks said he remained a “very bullish” shareholder of Discovery, citing the growth potential of its cable TV business in international markets.

He said CuriosityStream was aimed primarily at viewers who watch video online and will pay for commercial-free content.

Hendricks said he may add live streams of events to CuriosityStream and was exploring virtual reality applications that could immerse people in experiences such as hang gliding or a trip to the moon.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

Source: Newsjyoti Entertainment

Nearly 40 percent of iPhone owners interested in Apple Watch – poll

File photo of  Apple watches are displayed following an Apple event in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO Thu Mar 19, 2015 1:25am IST

1 of 3. Apple watches are displayed following an Apple event in San Francisco, California in this March 9, 2015 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith/Files


SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – About 40 percent of adult Apple iPhone owners in the United States are interested in buying the company’s new Apple Watch, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll.


The high-tech smartwatch, which will range in price from $350 to $17,000 for an 18-karat gold model, is Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) first major new product in five years and consumer demand for the device is being closely watched by competitors and investors.


Owners of the iPhone are a particularly important market for Apple as it launches the new watch, which goes on sale April 24. Because the watch needs an iPhone to work fully, analysts say the most likely pool of initial buyers will already have an Apple smartphone in their pockets.


BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk said that with more than 100 million active iPhone users in the United States and closer to half a billion globally, the survey was “pretty encouraging” for a product that has not been seen in shops, even if was unclear how much of the interest would translate into purchases.


Pacific Crest Securities analyst Andrew Hargreaves said it was not clear how many people wanted or needed a smartwatch. But he expected Apple’s cache and marketing might to deliver strong initial sales of the Apple Watch.


“Winning Apple customers is more realistic at this point,” said Hargreaves.


The watch allows users to check email, listen to music and make phone calls.


Ipsos surveyed 2,469 Americans aged 18 and older online between March 9 and March 17 and found that 24 percent expressed an interest in purchasing the Apple Watch, including 10 percent of those describing themselves as “very interested.” The data was weighted to reflect the U.S. population and has a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.


Among the iPhone owners, 39 percent were interested in purchasing the Apple watch, including 17 percent describing themselves as very interested. There were 788 iPhone owners in the survey with a credibility interval of plus or minus 4 percentage points.


Discussions about the watch have flooded online social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook since Apple held a splashy event in San Francisco on March 9 to showcase the watch.


Social media chatter about the Apple watch was 15 percent positive and 5 percent negative in the week following Apple’s event, according to an analysis that the firm Networked Insights conducted for Reuters. The remaining 80 percent was neutral. By contrast, the social conversation for Apple’s iPhone 6 during the same week was 5 percent positive and 0 percent negative, according to the analysis.


Among the conversations relating to the Apple watch during the one-week period, 5.8 percent of the comments showed an intent to purchase, according to Networked Insights, which analyses tweets, public Facebook posts and other sources. Social comments about the iPhone 6, which has been on sale since September, showed a 2.9 percent purchase intent during the same week.


Apple is among several large tech companies looking to jumpstart a new market for “wearable” electronic devices. Samsung Electronics(005930.KS), Sony Corp(6758.T) and LG Electronics (066570.KS) have all released their own smartwatches, many of them powered by software developed by Internet company Google Inc (GOOGL.O).


More than half of iPhone users in the Reuters/Ipsos survey believe that a smartwatch in the near future will be an essential gadget that’s as common as the smartphone, whereas 44 percent a broader poll of U.S. adults felt that way.


(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic, editing by Peter Henderson and Bernard Orr)


Source: Newsjyoti India Technology

In boon for bitcoin, UK to regulate digital currency exchanges

A bitcoin ATM machine is shown at a restaurant in San Diego

A bitcoin ATM machine is shown at a restaurant in San Diego, California September 18, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Blake

(Reuters) – Britain took a significant step towards becoming a global bitcoin hub on Wednesday as the government announced it would regulate digital currencies for the first time by applying anti-money laundering rules to exchanges.


Already the center of the $5-trillion-a-day market for traditional currencies, the UK is fast emerging as a center for digital currencies too, cementing its place as European’s financial technology, or “FinTech”, capital.

In a report published alongside finance minister George Osborne’s annual budget statement, Britain’s Treasury said the new regulation would support innovation and prevent criminal use of digital currencies. The proposals will be consulted on early in the next parliament.

Tom Robinson, co-founder of Elliptic, the world’s first bitcoin insurance vault in London, and a board member of the UK Digital Currency Association, said the new regulation effectively served as a “stamp of approval” from the government.

“It provides enough oversight to provide legitimacy without stifling innovation,” he said. “I think it is a good balance between on the one hand the U.S. and specifically New York, which I think have gone too far, and what a lot of countries are doing which is just completely ignoring it.”

The potential for digital currencies to be used for illicit financial transactions has led many to steer well clear of the them. They were dubbed the “Wild West” of finance by U.S. regulators last year, since they are not backed by a central bank or government like conventional money.

The so-called “cryptocurrencies” are also prone to wild swings in value and can be a target for hackers. Last year Mt. Gox, a Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange, was forced to file for bankruptcy after hackers stole an estimated $650 million worth of customer bitcoins.

But bitcoin’s supporters are numerous, and say that the technology behind it could be revolutionary. Last week Reuters revealed that International Business Machines Corp is considering adopting the technology to create a digital cash and payment system for major currencies.

Even the Bank of England has got behind bitcoin, despite last year warning that digital currencies may be at increasing risk of fraud and could damage Britain’s economy if they find widespread use.

In a discussion paper in February, the BoE said digital currencies showed “considerable promise” and that it was possible to transfer value securely without a trusted third party. The bank also raised the question of whether central banks should themselves issue digital currencies.

Along with the Treasury document on Wednesday, the government also released a report from its Office for Science on the future of FinTech more broadly. “Digital currencies such as bitcoin have the potential to replace traditional currency and, by extension, the need for central banking and regulatory systems,” the paper said.

The Treasury further announced on Wednesday a new research initiative on digital currency technology, and said it would inject an additional 10 million pounds ($14.66 million) into the area. It will work with the British Standards Association to develop a set of standards that will protect consumers, it said.

(Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Source: Newsjyoti Tech