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  • Germany raises 2020 growth forecast slightly to 1.1% news

    The German government on Wednesday modestly raised its economic growth forecast for the country this year to 1.1%. Germany's economy, Europe's biggest, has grown for 10 consecutive years but last year's 0.6% growth was the weakest since 2013. “The economy will develop better this year than was expected last year,” Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said of the new forecast.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:54:52 -0500
  • Spring Bank discontinues hepatitis drug after patient death in trial

    The drug developer said the "occurrence of unexpected serious adverse events, including one patient death" while testing the drug, inarigivir soproxil, led to its decision. The company said it would not pursue further research and development efforts in HBV.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:48:09 -0500
  • RIGHT AT HOME: Reclaimed wood’s past adds character to decor news

    In their new book, ``Reclaimed Wood: A Field Guide’’ (Abrams, 2019), woodworkers Alan Solomon and Klaas Armster close with an imagined recounting of one tree’s story from sprout to salvage. The tale begins in the 1500s, when longleaf pine covered a vast area from North Carolina down to the tip of Texas and the Florida Panhandle — “the largest forested lands in North America,” the authors say. The tree is then brought to a mill, shipped to New York, and taken by horse cart along cobblestone streets to lower Manhattan.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:46:05 -0500
  • Witnesses seek protection from charges over London's deadly Grenfell fire

    Several witnesses have asked for guarantees that they will not be prosecuted for anything they say at a public inquiry into a fire that killed 72 people in London's Grenfell Tower nearly three years ago, the inquiry's chairman said on Wednesday. The 23-storey social housing block, owned by the wealthy London borough of Kensington and Chelsea, was engulfed by flames on the night of June 14, 2017, in Britain's worst fire in a residential building since World War Two. A public inquiry into the blaze said the key factor in the unstoppable spread of the fire was the presence of a flammable cladding system that had been fitted to the tower's external walls during a recent refurbishment.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:45:24 -0500
  • CIA Interrogator Testifies That He Threatened to Kill Prisoner's Son news

    GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba -- It started out as questioning about CIA policy, contracts and cables. Then it shifted to a more visceral examination of what happened to the men accused of conspiring in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks while they were held in secret prisons, with a former interrogator testifying about chains, shackles, hoods and threats to kill one prisoner's son.In a pretrial hearing on Tuesday, David Nevin, the lawyer for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the accused mastermind of the 9/11 plot, held up various pieces of evidence collected at one of the CIA's now-closed overseas detention and interrogation sites. He asked the witness, James E. Mitchell, a former CIA contract psychologist who worked in the secret prisons and helped devise the torture program, what they were.Shown a chain with a red lock and built-in blue metal device, Mitchell said it looked like something you could "cinch up like a horse collar" but declared the device "completely unfamiliar to me."His answers were much the same as he was confronted with questions about other accounts of how the prisoners were treated. Mitchell said he did not recognize a screeching rendition of the heavy metal song "Let the Bodies Hit the Floor," which detainees claimed was blasted at them in isolation. He disputed the fictional portrayal in the recent film "The Report" of Mohammed being violently waterboarded.Mohammed "didn't scream, grunt or do anything," Mitchell said, citing his recollection of the 183 times he waterboarded him in March 2003. Nevin responded to Mitchell's account by reading from a CIA cable that described Mohammed letting out a "whimper, whine and moan" as guards led him to the waterboard.It was the sixth day of testimony by Mitchell in a pretrial hearing focused on the torture of the defendants during their three and four years of CIA captivity, before they were sent to the military prison at Guantanamo Bay.For much of last week, lawyers questioned Mitchell about documents, intelligence and alphanumeric codes used to mask the identities of people who worked at the black sites and obscure the locations of the prisons.But the tone changed dramatically on Monday, when Mitchell testified that he threatened to kill one of Mohammed's sons if there was another attack on America.He said he did so after he consulted a lawyer at the agency's Counterterrorism Center about how to make the threat without violating the Torture Convention.He said he was advised to make the threat conditional.So, before telling Mohammed "I will cut your son's throat," Mitchell said, he added a series of caveats. They included "if there was another catastrophic attack in the United States," if Mohammed withheld "information that could have stopped it" and "if another American child was killed."Mitchell said he made the threat in March 2003 as "an emotional flag" as he was transitioning from waterboarding and other violent "enhanced interrogation techniques" to more traditional questioning of Mohammed.Pakistani security forces reportedly seized Mohammed's sons, Abed, 7, and Yusuf, 9, in September 2002 in a joint raid with U.S. forces that apprehended Ramzi bin al-Shibh, another defendant in the 9/11 war crimes case. Mohammed would be captured in Pakistan six months later. He was at a CIA black site in Poland later that month when Mitchell made the threat.The boys were subsequently released and are believed to be living in Iran with their mother, but Mohammed apparently did not know their fate until many years later, after his transfer to Guantanamo Bay in 2006.It was one of the most emotional moments in the testimony by Mitchell on the question of torture to help the judge decide what evidence will be allowed at the death-penalty trial, which is scheduled to start next year.Mitchell was unapologetic.He said that eight children died in the 9/11 hijackings that killed 2,976 people in New York, in Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon. Then he gestured toward Mohammed, who was sitting with his lawyers 25 feet away and declared, "He's smirking."The smirk, or any emotion, was not visible from a spectator's gallery at the back of the court. Mohammed appeared impassive throughout the testimony, occasionally fingering his long, orange-dyed beard, while his lawyer questioned Mitchell."Do you think that telling someone that might instill fear in that person?" Nevin asked."Yes, I do," Mitchell replied. "That was the only time that I made that threat to him."Mitchell said he also invoked Mohammed's children during interrogations again that same month, March 2003, in pressing for details on the whereabouts of Mohammed's nephew, Ammar al-Baluchi. Mitchell quoted himself as telling Mohammed that it would be "safer" for his family if he helped the United States find al-Baluchi rather than "have him running around and the U.S. dropping a missile on him."Al-Baluchi, who is charged in the same case with helping the 9/11 hijackers with money transfers and travel arrangements, was captured in Pakistan in April 2003 in a vehicle with another defendant in the case, Walid bin Attash.Zeke Johnson, a program director for Amnesty International who was watching the proceedings, said the threat to kill one of Mohammed's children no doubt broke the law."Threatening to kill a detainee's child would violate the Convention Against Torture and be illegal," Johnson said. "Anyone who broke the law must be held accountable -- from those at the top who ordered it to those who carried it out."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:36:12 -0500
  • Textron to increase the number of Boeing 737 MAX simulators in production

    Textron Inc will increase the number of 737 MAX simulators in production, its chief executive said on Wednesday, after Boeing Co recommended that pilots undergo training in a simulator replicating the model before flying the grounded plane. "We are going to increase the number of MAX simulators we have in production," Chief Executive Scott Donnelly told analysts. The 737 MAX has been grounded since March 2019 after two fatal crashes and cannot return to service until regulators approve software changes and training plans.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:35:27 -0500
  • Man who killed nine at South Carolina black church appeals conviction, death sentence news

    "This Court should vacate Roof's convictions and death sentence," says his appeal, filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on Tuesday. After Roof represented himself at trial and presented no evidence, a jury found him guilty of 33 federal charges, including hate crimes resulting in death, for the mass shooting at the landmark Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston in June 2015.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:33:34 -0500
  • 'Now they can chase their dreams': Bangladesh allows Rohingya children to study

    Rohingya refugees reacted with surprise and joy on Wednesday to the news that Bangladesh would provide formal education to their children, two and a half years after they were forced to flee Myanmar. Human rights groups have long campaigned for the nearly half a million effectively stateless Rohingya children in Bangladesh’s refugee camps to be allowed access to quality education, warning of the costs of a 'lost generation'.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:33:16 -0500
  • Exclusive: HSBC considering exit from Turkey - sources news

    DUBAI/LONDON (Reuters) - HSBC is considering exiting Turkey as part of broader cost-cutting measures under interim Chief Executive Noel Quinn, sources familiar with the matter said. The bank is also seeking to sell or shrink its business in other markets where it has small-scale operations that struggle to compete with local players, including Armenia, Greece and Oman, the sources said. A spokeswoman for HSBC declined to comment.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:32:55 -0500
  • Charleston church shooter appeals death sentence, lawyers say Dylann Roof is delusional news

    Roof was sentenced to death in the massacre of nine black people at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:27:46 -0500
  • Charleston church shooter appeals death sentence, lawyers say Dylann Roof is delusional

    Roof was sentenced to death in the massacre of nine black people at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:27:46 -0500
  • Man who killed nine at South Carolina black church appeals conviction, death sentence

    Dylann Roof, a white supremacist who killed nine black churchgoers in a hate-fueled attack on a South Carolina church in 2015, has appealed his conviction and death sentence, with his lawyers arguing he was too mentally ill to have represented himself at trial. "This Court should vacate Roof's convictions and death sentence," says his appeal, filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on Tuesday. After Roof represented himself at trial and presented no evidence, a jury found him guilty of 33 federal charges, including hate crimes resulting in death, for the mass shooting at the landmark Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston in June 2015.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:26:43 -0500
  • Hialeah mayor: City’s handling of cop busted in sex assault probe was ‘great’ news

    Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernández said Tuesday that what led to the arrest of a now federally charged cop accused of sexually assaulting several women was the “great investigation” led by his own city.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:24:45 -0500
  • I track murder cases that use the 'gay panic defense,' a controversial practice banned in 9 states news

    On January 21, New Jersey became the ninth state in the nation to ban the gay panic defense, a strategy that the governor said is “rooted in homophobia.” W. Carsten Andresen, a criminal justice scholar, has been building a database of murder cases that use the gay panic defense. We asked him to tell us more about these cases, and what sets them apart from other murder trials.What is the gay panic defense?This is when a man kills someone and claims that he was protecting himself from a same-sex pass or an attempted sexual assault. The offender uses the gay panic defense as an excuse or justification to try to evade punishment for the crime of murder.What’s an example of this in practice?One well-known case occurred in 2015, when Daniel Spencer, a guitarist, invited another musician, James Miller, to his Austin apartment to play music together. Later that night, Miller stabbed Spencer four times, killing him. Miller then cleaned Spencer’s apartment, went back to his own home, changed clothes and contacted the police to report killing Spencer. While there was no physical evidence to suggest an attempted sexual assault, the defense attorney argued at the trial in 2018 that, since Miller had never been in trouble with the police before, the only thing that could explain his committing murder was that Spencer had tried to sexually assault him.In this instance, the gay panic defense was successful. The jury convicted Miller of criminally negligent homicide, the lowest grade of felony in Texas. Ultimately, the court punished Miller with only a six-month jail term and a 10-year probation sentence. How did you first become interested in this subject?Two events put me on a path to researching the gay panic defense. First, my wife is a family attorney in Austin who does a lot of work with LGBTQ+ clients. Shortly after the birth of our son, I attended a conference with her to help with our son. At the conference, my eyes opened to the obstacles that the LGBTQ+ community faces in a state like Texas, where there is history of homophobia that continues to the present day. I started to think about what it would be like if Texas didn’t recognize my marriage, if Texas didn’t respect my right to be a parent. The second event involved an old friend, a wonderful person, who committed suicide. A few days after his death, I learned for the first time that he was gay, and realized that he had lived an almost completely closeted life. To think that he kept this secret, that he spent his life alone, was a terrible realization. Both of these things disquieted me and set the stage for my future research on the gay panic defense.How common is the gay panic defense?This is a difficult question to answer, because these cases are not tracked in a systematic way by the government.While the FBI tracks several details about homicides that occur annually in the U.S., it does not collect information about the sexual orientation or sexual identity of homicide victims. It is also difficult to get information about murders where offenders use a gay panic defense in court. I could not find any federal source, or any individual states, that tracked how often defendants used this defense during their murder trials.To investigate the frequency of these defenses, I had to collect these cases myself and enter them into a database. I read legal articles, social science research and advocacy reports; talked with other people, such as lawyers, to see if they could tell me about specific cases; and searched online for legal appeals and media accounts.The most recent case I heard about, for example, came to my attention when I was talking with a lawyer about my data. She mentioned a case that she had prosecuted in 1997, which had not shown up in my initial searches. While I have currently identified 104 cases, I am certain that there hundreds of cases that I have yet to identify.Is this defense effective in court?Based on my early analysis, defense attorneys who enter gay panic defenses can reduce a defendants’ murder charges 32% of the time, even though the majority of these homicides involve incredible violence. The court case resulted in a conviction, but, since the charge was lower, the prison sentence was lower, generally around 18 years. In the remaining cases, the offender received a more severe sentence, including the death penalty, life in prison and non-life prison sentences that averaged about 31 years. Four cases resulted in acquittals, which suggests that juries might have balked at higher charges. What else do your data show?My data are consistent with data from prior research examining LGBTQ+ homicide victims in several ways. First, the offenders in these cases killed the victims in particularly violent ways, a level of violence that distinguishes them from the majority of homicides. In these murders, the offenders used firearms only about 26% of the time. In the majority of homicides, firearms are used 46% of the time. This is consistent with a 2012 study that examined 120 anti-LGBTQ+ murders, finding that many offenders used a knife or their hands to kill, instead of a gun. Additionally, in my data, offenders engaged in what experts might call overkill, stabbing the victim several times. In at least 22 cases, offenders stabbed the victim 10 or more times.Victims who live a closeted gay life are especially vulnerable. The offenders in these cases seemed to take advantage of this “secret” after they were arrested to ultimately construct a nefarious portrait of these victims in their gay panic defense in court.Finally, consistent with previous research into murders of LGBTQ people, the homicides in my data set fit into one of two patterns. In 54% of cases, after the murder, the offender purposefully stole cash, credit cards, jewelry, computers, stereo equipment or automobiles. In New Orleans in 1977, for example, Warren Harris Jr., who posed as a prostitute, killed at least four men and stole their cash.In the the remaining 46% of homicides, the offender engaged in expressive homicidal violence to kill and mutilate the victim. In 2009, Joseph Biedermann met Terrence Hauser in a bar in Hoffman, Illinois, went home with him, and ultimately stabbed him to death 61 times. In Denton, Texas in 2005, Joshua Abbott went home with David Morrison and stabbed him to death 38 times.Based on my research, these killings seem to have no other purpose to them beyond inflicting violence.Is this sort of defense permitted nationwide?In 2013, the American Bar Association called in a proclamation for states to prohibit the gay and trans panic defenses. Since then, nine states have passed legislation prohibiting the gay panic defense.In 2018, Representative Joe Kennedy of the U.S. House and Senator Edward Markey also proposed a nationwide ban. Yet, this legislation does not necessarily signal an end to homophobia in the courtroom. First, defense attorneys, who have argued that legislation is an unconstitutional violation of a client’s due process rights, may ultimately get these laws overturned. Second, this legislation also does not ban murderers from arguing that they killed in self-defense in response to an attempted sexual assault. In California, the first state to pass this legislation, Gage McCartney – who strangled a man and claimed self-defense – was recently given a lenient plea deal: manslaughter and a 12-year prison sentence. Finally, the legal scholar Cynthia Lee has written about how offenders can go around prohibitions issued by judges to introduce gay panic defense strategies. In the Matthew Shepard murder trial, the defense attorney introduced two witnesses to testify that the victim was sexually assertive, even though the judge had prohibited them from using a gay panic defense. [ Expertise in your inbox. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter and get a digest of academic takes on today’s news, every day. ]This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts.Read more: * The constitutional right to dignity: from gay marriage to Black Lives Matter * How much credit should corporations get for the advancement of LGBTQ rights?W. Carsten Andresen does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:21:00 -0500
  • Yemen's Houthis say have targeted Saudi Aramco facilities in Jizan

    Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement has targeted facilities belonging to Saudi Aramco in Jizan on the Red Sea, its military spokesman said on Wednesday in comments reported by the group's Al Masirah TV. Aramco declined to comment on the report. The military spokesman also said the group had targeted the Abha and Jizan airports, Khamis Mushait military base and other sensitive targets in Saudi Arabia "with a large number of rockets and drones".

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:18:37 -0500
  • SunCoke: 4Q Earnings Snapshot

    LISLE, Ill. (AP) _ SunCoke Energy Inc. (SXC) on Wednesday reported a fourth-quarter loss of $1.4 million, after reporting a profit in the same period a year earlier. On a per-share basis, the Lisle, Illinois-based company said it had a loss of 2 cents. The metallurgical coke producer posted revenue of $397.2 million in the period.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:10:18 -0500
  • Futures gain as Apple earnings take some focus off virus concerns news

    Apple Inc gained 1.9% in premarket trading after reporting earnings for the holiday shopping quarter above analysts' expectations, even as it braced for more supply disruptions in virus-hit China. U.S. equities stabilized on Tuesday on hopes of strong corporate earnings reports, helping them recover from a selloff earlier this week on fears of fallout from the coronavirus outbreak on global growth. China's President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday that preventing and containing the new coronavirus remains a grim and complex task, the state television reported.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:07:05 -0500
  • Priests in group shut down by Vatican accused of sex abuse

    Nine priests and brothers of a Catholic group recently shut down by the Vatican are under investigation by Italian authorities for allegedly sexually abusing two brothers, officials and news reports said Wednesday. Prato Bishop Giovanni Nerbini confirmed that Prato criminal prosecutors had opened an investigation after he reported the case to police against members of the Disciples of the Annunciation community.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:06:29 -0500
  • Britain nationalises Northern Rail contract

    Britain said it would nationalise Northern Rail, putting services between cities like Manchester and Leeds into government control after it axed a contract with Deutsche Bahn's Arriva due to poor performance. Transport minister Grant Shapps said in a written statement on Wednesday that a public-sector operator would take over the running of the railway contract from March 1. "I am determined that Northern passengers see real and tangible improvements across the network as soon as possible," Shapps said.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:06:29 -0500
  • EU eyes phasing out smallest euro cent coins

    The European Commission is considering a proposal to phase out 1-euro cent and 2-euro cent coins, an EU document showed, in what would be a cost-saving move as the coins' production and handling costs often exceed their face value. The possible measure is included in the EU executive's working programme for this year, released on Wednesday, and is scheduled for the October-December period after an evaluation of the use of the two smallest euro denominations. Brussels is considering introducing rounding rules that would apply in all EU states, so that consumers could pay without using 1- or 2-euro cents.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:06:22 -0500
  • EU's Barnier eyes loose association deal as basis for new British ties

    Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier told the 27 EU states staying on together that a loose so-called association agreement like the one the bloc has with Ukraine should serve as the basis for a new relationship with Britain, diplomatic sources said. Barnier met Brussels envoys of the 27 countries earlier on Wednesday as part of preparations for looming talks on a new EU-UK deal that will start after Britain leaves the bloc on Friday. Diplomats briefed on the closed-door meeting told Reuters Barnier stressed the bloc would not give ground on its key principles and was ready to hold negotiating rounds with Britain every three weeks on a dozen-or-so issues in parallel.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:05:52 -0500
  • FACTBOX-Huawei's involvement in telecoms networks around the world

    European Union countries can either restrict or exclude high-risk 5G vendors from core parts of their telecoms networks, according to new EU guidelines announced on Wednesday, a move targeting China's Huawei Technologies but falling short of a U.S. call for a complete ban. Washington has piled pressure on its allies to shut out Huawei, the world's leading telecoms equipment vendor, saying its gear contained "back doors" that would enable China to spy on other countries. Prime Minister Boris Johnson granted Huawei a limited role in Britain's 5G mobile network on Tuesday, defying U.S. pressure to exclude the Chinese company.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:05:25 -0500
  • Actors' union issues standards for supervisors of sex scenes

    The union that represents actors and television performers issued a series of standards and guidelines Wednesday for crew members who supervise scenes involving sex and nudity. The goal is to combat on-set sexual harassment. The framework announced by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists provides a common set of policies and practices for so-called ``intimacy coordinators'' to help productions and actors navigate sexually sensitive scenes.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:04:05 -0500
  • US STOCKS-Futures gain as Apple earnings take some focus off virus concerns

    U.S. stock index futures rose on Wednesday as strong results from Apple and other marquee companies kicked fourth-quarter earnings into top gear and overshadowed concerns over the economic impact of the fast-spreading coronavirus. Apple Inc gained 1.9% in premarket trading after reporting earnings for the holiday shopping quarter above analysts' expectations, even as it braced for more supply disruptions in virus-hit China. U.S. equities stabilized on Tuesday on hopes of strong corporate earnings reports, helping them recover from a selloff earlier this week on fears of fallout from the coronavirus outbreak on global growth.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:03:46 -0500
  • George III's American War of Independence maps go public

    More than 3,000 military maps and prints used by British King George III, including maps of the American War of Independence, have been made available to the public for the first time, marking the 200th anniversary of his death on Wednesday. George never fought in a battle, nor even left the south of England, but from his library at Buckingham Palace he kept a close eye on the British army, via detailed strategic maps and charts. The collection, which belongs to the Royal Collection Trust and can be seen on 5-398737622.1580298075/, includes material from the 16th to 18th centuries such as fortification plans, maps of encampments and rough sketches drawn in the field.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:01:25 -0500
  • FEATURE-Storm-hit Zimbabweans endure another rainy season in risky homes

    Albert Sabawe, 25, is waiting to eat lunch, resting against the wall of his flimsy wooden home in a small village in eastern Zimbabwe's Chimanimani district. The father of one moved into this shack by the river when he got married in 2018, after his parents bought the land from local authorities in 2010. Jobless Sabawe could not afford to build a house of brick and cement, as is common in Zimbabwe.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:00:00 -0500
  • Super Bowl 2020: How to pick the right TV and get the best deal news

    With the Super Bowl just around the corner, it turns out the big game day is one of the best times -- next to Black Friday -- to get a deal on big screen TVs. While Black Friday offers rock-bottom doorbuster prices on all sets, including off-brand models that are much cheaper than known brands, quality TV sets at amazing prices are the best bang for your buck at this time of the year, too.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:00:00 -0500
  • Four Chinese citizens with coronavirus in UAE are tourists - official

    The four members of a Chinese family who have been diagnosed in the United Arab Emirates with the new coronavirus were tourists who arrived from the Chinese city of Wuhan on Jan. 16, UAE health ministry official Hussein al-Rand told Reuters. Rand declined to say which of the UAE's seven emirates the family were being treated in, had visited, or which airport they arrived in.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:59:04 -0500
  • Slipping and sliding, first Germany-born panda cubs greet outside world

    Germany's only giant panda cubs took their first clumsy steps in public on Wednesday, climbing over branches and crawling on their bellies in Berlin Zoo as the world's media looked on. Zoo keepers carried twins Meng Yuan and Meng Xiang into a glass enclosure strewn with branches, logs and rocks. Keen to explore, the twins slipped and slid around their new territory while mother Meng Meng, looked relaxed, munched bamboo in a corner.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:57:40 -0500
  • Reuters Health News Summary

    A law in the UK banning smoking in cars carrying children has been associated with a reduction in secondhand smoke exposure among teens, a new study suggests. To assess how the first smoking ban impacted secondhand smoke exposure, they examined survey data collected in 2012, 2014 and 2016 from 15,318 teens in England and 822 in Scotland. OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP is the unnamed company that surfaced in criminal charging documents filed earlier this week in a probe of illegal kickbacks from drugmakers, according to people familiar with the matter.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:56:12 -0500
  • Reuters Entertainment News Summary

    Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs. A woman who has claimed Harvey Weinstein lured her into his home under the pretense of reading a script and then raped her is expected to take the stand in the former Hollywood producer's sexual assault trial on Wednesday. Tarale Wulff, a model and former cocktail waitress, is not one of the two women Weinstein is charged with assaulting.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:56:12 -0500
  • Reuters US Domestic News Summary

    A Harvard University department chair and two Chinese nationals who were researchers at Boston University and a Boston hospital were charged on Tuesday with lying about their alleged links to the Chinese government. With more than 15,000 people killed by gun violence in the United States last year - not counting suicides - Democrats running for their party's presidential nomination are pointing to inaction in Washington as evidence they should be chosen to run against Republican President Donald Trump. Here is a look at gun control positions taken by Trump and the Democrats vying to unseat him.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:56:11 -0500
  • Reuters People News Summary

    As Americans mourned NBA legend Kobe Bryant on Monday, fans and friends in Italy remembered a lesser-known chapter in his life when he played in their streets as a boy while his father competed in the local basketball league. Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday, was six when his father Joe moved the family to Italy in 1984 to play seven seasons with four different teams in the centre, south and finally the north. Mimi Haleyi, one of the woman former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is charged with sexually assaulting, told a jury on Monday he "lunged" at her in his New York City home in 2006, backing her into a bedroom and forcing oral sex on her.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:56:11 -0500
  • Reuters Science News Summary

    Following is a summary of current science news briefs. Shiok Meats, a Singapore-based start-up whose name means very good in local slang, aims to become the first company in the world to bring shrimp grown in a laboratory to diners' plates. Demand for meat substitutes is booming, as consumer concerns about health, animal welfare and the environment grow.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:56:11 -0500
  • Reuters World News Summary

    Following is a summary of current world news briefs. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday Washington and Ankara had done little to solve a row over Turkey's purchase of Russian defenses and its procurement of U.S. fighter jets despite a November agreement, according to broadcaster NTV. Ties between the NATO allies were badly strained last year when Turkey bought Russian S-400 defense systems, prompting Washington to threaten sanctions and to suspend Turkish involvement in its F-35 jet program, where Ankara was a buyer and manufacturer.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:56:11 -0500
  • Governments should decide on any evacuations from virus zones - WHO

    It is for governments to decide whether to evacuate their nationals from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday. WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and senior Chinese officials discussed measures at talks in Beijing this week, including possible alternatives to evacuation of foreigners "if there are ways to accommodate them and protect their health", WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told Reuters. "If countries want to evacuate their nationals from Wuhan, WHO’s position is that this is a matter for their governments to decide," Jasarevic said by email in answer to a query.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:55:54 -0500
  • 'The Mighty Ducks' former child star Shaun Weiss arrested for meth, burglary news

    Former child actor and star of “The Mighty Ducks” Shaun Weiss has been arrested after breaking into a car in a garage while under the influence of methamphetamine. The incident occurred on Sunday at approximately 7 a.m. in Marysville, California, when a call was made to the Marysville Police Department by a man reporting that an unknown male was inside his garage that did not belong there and that a burglary was in progress. “The homeowner said he was the only person that lived at this residence and no one had permission to be inside,” said the Marysville Police Department in a statement.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:55:29 -0500
  • AT&T: 4Q Earnings Snapshot

    DALLAS (AP) _ AT&T Inc. (T) on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter earnings of $2.39 billion. On a per-share basis, the Dallas-based company said it had profit of 33 cents. The results beat Wall Street expectations.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:50:15 -0500
  • Hess: 4Q Earnings Snapshot

    NEW YORK (AP) _ Hess Corp. (HES) on Wednesday reported a loss of $222 million in its fourth quarter. The results fell short of Wall Street expectations. Hess shares have decreased 7% since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has risen slightly more than 1%.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:49:12 -0500
  • RPT-German minister: Expect to agree coronavirus evacuation soon

    German Health Minister Jens Spahn said he expected the federal government to reach an agreement with authorities in the state of Hesse in the next few hours to get an evacuation of German citizens from China underway due to the coronavirus outbreak. Spahn said Germany wanted to fly citizens in Wuhan - the Chinese city where the coronavirus outbreak began - and the province of Hubei as quickly as possible but wanted to ensure the evacuation was well prepared before evacuees are transported to Frankfurt, the capital of Hesse. "We are therefore in close contact with the Hessian authorities to come to a solution between the federal government and authorities there and I assume that we will succeed in that in the next few hours so that the plane can take off quickly," he told reporters.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:44:14 -0500
  • Pompeo urges Britain to look again at Huawei 5G decision

    The United States on Wednesday urged Britain to look again at its decision to allow China's Huawei a limited role in 5G networks, cautioning that American information should only pass across trusted networks. "There is also a chance for the United Kingdom to relook at this as implementation moves forward and then it’s important for everyone to know there is also real work being done by lots of private companies inside the United States and in Europe to make sure that there are true competitors to Huawei," Pompeo told reporters, according to a pooled report.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:42:27 -0500
  • GLOBAL MARKETS-Buoyed by company earnings, world markets look past virus

    Global markets showed more signs of stabilisation on Wednesday as investors looked past China's coronavirus outbreak and moved back into shares from safe-haven assets such as the yen and German bonds. Equity futures suggest a stronger open for U.S. shares, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq up 0.5% .

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:42:03 -0500
  • Leader of Spain's Catalonia to call early regional election news

    The regional president of Spain’s conflict-riven Catalonia says he will soon call an early election amid splits in his government's unity. President Quim Torra, who leads a pro-Catalan independence administration, said Wednesday that he would set a date for the election once a new regional budget is approved. The regional government is expected to present the budget to parliament later in the day.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:38:39 -0500
  • Germany plans evacuation flight from Wuhan area in coming days

    Germany is planning a special military flight in the coming days to evacuate healthy German citizens from the area around Wuhan in China, the epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said. "A special flight with a Luftwaffe airplane is planned for the coming days," the spokesman said.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:37:26 -0500
  • Silicon Labs: 4Q Earnings Snapshot

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ Silicon Laboratories Inc. (SLAB) on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter earnings of $9.7 million. On a per-share basis, the Austin, Texas-based company said it had profit of 22 cents. The results missed Wall Street expectations.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:37:11 -0500
  • Defence minister pushes to extend Israeli sovereignty to West Bank settlements

    Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett said on Wednesday that Israel should move to establish sovereignty over nearly a third of the occupied West Bank following the announcement of U.S. President Donald Trump's Middle East peace plan. The remarks by the hawkish Bennett, a partner in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing governing coalition, fuelled accusations by Palestinians that Trump's plan paves the way for Israel to formally annex large areas of the West Bank that it has occupied since the 1967 Six-Day War.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:34:27 -0500
  • CVS to offer diabetes drugs at no out-of-pocket costs for PBM members news

    The company said the program would not raise costs for health insurers and employers, and eliminating out-of-pocket costs would ensure better adherence by diabetic patients to their drug regimens. PBMs act as middlemen in the drug supply chain who negotiate prices for employers and health insurers.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:33:30 -0500
  • Russia blocks encrypted email service ProtonMail

    Russia said on Wednesday it had blocked the Swiss email service ProtonMail, popular among journalists and activists for its focus on user privacy and high level of encryption. Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor said ProtonMail, which uses end-to-end encryption to protect user data, had been used to send fake, anonymous bomb threats. Such threats have frequently led to mass evacuations of public buildings across Russia.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:32:59 -0500
  • Osaka resident tests positive for coronavirus - Japan's NHK

    A woman working as a tour-bus guide in Japan has tested positive for the coronavirus, public broadcaster NHK cited Osaka's prefectural government as saying on Wednesday. The woman, a resident of Osaka city, worked on the same bus as the driver who was confirmed with the virus on Tuesday, NHK said. The bus had been carrying tourists from Wuhan, the epicentre of the epidemic, and the driver was the first reported case of a possible transmission inside Japan.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:28:39 -0500
  • CORRECTED-China Q1 growth may dip below 5% as virus spreads -Academy of Social Sciences economist

    The outbreak could cut first-quarter GDP growth by about 1 percentage point, Zhang Ming, an economist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences - a top government think tank - said in a report published in Caijing magazine. Zhang's forecasts are based on the assumption that outbreak will peak in early to mid-February, and end by the end of March.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:25:01 -0500
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