Jay Z easily led Grammy Award nominations announced Friday with nine, but left-of-center rappers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Kendrick Lamar were among a group of new stars who took many of the major nominations.
An American veteran of the Korean War detained for more than a month in North Korea is in "excellent spirits" after his release, the 85-year-old man's son said on Friday. Merrill Newman was a U.S. special forces soldier in the 1950-53 war and worked with guerrillas fighting behind the lines. North Korea had called him a war criminal. His son, Jeffrey Newman, told reporters outside his ranch-style home in Pasadena that the family spoke briefly with his father after he arrived in Beijing from Pyongyang.
(Reuters) - After two straight weeks with no winner, the Mega Millions Friday night jackpot topped expectations and jumped to $297 million, with a cash option of $158 million. The winning numbers from Friday night's drawing were: 11, 29, 44, 63, 64 and 3, Mega Millions said. There was no immediate word on whether a winning ticket was sold. The largest haul in history was $656 million, won in March 2012 and split between three winning ticket holders in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland. ...
By Randy Fabi NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) - The World Trade Organization reached its first ever trade reform deal on Saturday to the roar of approval from nearly 160 ministers who had gathered on the Indonesian island of Bali to decide on the make-or-break agreement that could add $1 trillion to the global economy The approval came after Cuba dropped a last-gasp threat to veto the package of measures. "For the first time in our history, the WTO has truly delivered," WTO chief Roberto Azevedo told exhausted ministers after the talks which had dragged into an extra day on the tropical resort island. We have put the 'world' back in World Trade Organization," he said. "We're back in business...Bali is just the beginning." The talks, which had opened on Tuesday, nearly came unstuck at the last minute when Cuba suddenly refused to accept a deal that would not help pry open the U.S. embargo of the Caribbean island, forcing negotiations to drag into Saturday morning.
(Reuters) - AT&T has asked regulators to let it ignore a shareholder request for details of its customer-information sharing with government agencies, a move that could forestall a heated debate at the telecommunications giant's annual meeting. The No. 2 U.S. mobile operator made the request in a December 5 letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in response to shareholder activists pressing it on the matter. Among them is New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who is the trustee of the state retirement fund. DiNapoli and other shareholders of AT&T and its biggest rival Verizon Communications Inc last month sought details on sharing of personal data and communications from the two companies following revelations from former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
BALI, Indonesia (AP) — A deal to boost global trade has been approved by the World Trade Organization's 159 member economies for the first time in nearly two decades, keeping alive the possibility that a broader agreement to create a level playing field for rich and poor countries can be reached in the future.
By Michael Martina BEIJING (Reuters) - Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop downplayed tensions over China's controversial air defense zone, which has also rankled the United States, Japan and South Korea, after meeting her Chinese counterpart on Saturday. "Australia is concerned that there be peace and stability in our region and we don't want to see any escalation of the tensions," Bishop told reporters following four hours of talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. It is in our interests, and indeed in the interests of a number of countries in our region, that there be peace and stability in the East China Sea, the South China Sea, and the region more generally." Bishop said discussion of the ADIZ only took up a "small proportion" of time in talks with Chinese leaders. "Australia's words and actions on the issue of China's air defense zone have damaged the mutual trust between the two sides," state news organization Xinhua reported Wang as saying.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Gay and lesbian couples from around Australia joined in fragile marriages in Canberra on Saturday under the nation's beleaguered same-sex union laws that face a challenge in the courts within a week.
The leftist Libre party in Honduras formally asked election officials to overturn the results of the November 24 presidential election, which their candidate claims to have won. A document formally requesting the annulment was delivered by ex-president Manuel Zelaya, accompanied by his wife, Libre candidate Xiomara Castro. Officials earlier declared conservative Juan Orlando Hernandez the election winner. "It was a well-done fraud," said Zelaya, who claimed that officials at 2,800 voting stations conspired to throw the election for Hernandez.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Wesley Matthews scored 24 points, LaMarcus Aldridge added 20 points and 15 rebounds, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Utah Jazz 130-98 Friday night for their 15th victory in 16 games.
Last month, institutional investors in AT&T and Verizon asked the two companies begin to issue the kinds of transparency reports popularized by internet businesses like Twitter and Google. Today, AT&T is issuing its response to the request, reports the New York Times, and unsurprisingly, it’s not too excited about the idea. To AT&T, its response to law enforcement requests represent "ordinary business operations," outside the purview of ordinary shareholders, so it’s excluding the request from the ballot for next spring’s annual shareholder meeting. Firms like Google are actively pushing the DOJ
The lead-up to the government's wireless spectrum auction is going to be a little longer than expected, according to the Official FCC Blog. Partly because the government needs to finalize the event's rules and bidding structure. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler writes that he wants to make certain that the event's infrastructure is up to the challenge, too.
In addition to meeting whatever requirements the Federal Aviation Administration may have in place for such projects, Amazon Prime Air drones may also have to face actual physical threats. Assuming the company will be allowed to use unmanned autonomous flying devices to deliver goods in 30 minutes or less, Amazon will need to figure out a way to help its drones avoid bird attacks and even sniper threats. Slate mentions a variety of examples from the wild, in which various species of birds attack other birds or flying devices perceived as potential dangers to their habitat. “Open-country raptors – hawks, eagles, kites, harriers, etc – don’t take kindly to interlopers on their hunting grounds, and frequently chase, dive-bomb and take talons
By David Alexander MANAMA (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Saturday the United States would maintain a wide array of military forces in the Middle East to ensure security in the volatile region despite diplomatic overtures toward Iran over its nuclear program. Hagel, in prepared remarks to the Manama Dialogue security forum in Bahrain, said the Pentagon had no plan to adjust its military presence or planning in the region as a result of an interim accord on Tehran's nuclear enrichment program. The Pentagon chief, seeking to reassure the wary Gulf Arab leaders about Washington's intentions, said even as diplomacy moves forward, U.S. security guarantees will be backed by a fierce array of aircraft, ships, tanks, artillery and 35,000 troops. The Pentagon chief also proposed new steps to improve regional security, including boosting missile defense and allowing the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council to purchase U.S. defense systems as an organization to encourage regional partnerships.
Two and a half months after the troubled launch of HealthCare.gov, the Obama administration today disclosed the scope of problems on the website’s back-end, revealing how many Americans might not have the health insurance they think they signed up for. The Centers for Medicare and...
It is that time of year again, when you need to find a gift for that 'spacial' person in your life — your favorite space geek. Fear not, you needn't purchase your aspiring astronaut a ticket to space for your present to be truly out-of-this-world (though, with Virgin Galactic planning to begin commercial space shots in 2014, this may be the last holiday season for advanced reservations). Space couture is always in style, but if you are seeking something a little less astronomical (the custom-fit jackets cost £450, or about $750), here are five gift ideas that are sure to launch your space geek's spirits sky high. Click through to collectSPACE.com to see more images of the five gifts for the space geek.
People who have a less diverse population of bacteria in their gastrointestinal tracts may be more likely to get colon cancer, a new study suggests. "For the first time, we found that colorectal cancer patients have a different gut bacteria composition than healthy subjects," said study author Jiyoung Ahn, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the NYU School of Medicine in New York. "This research, although in an early stage, is pointing to the possibility that gut microbes are involved in colon cancer development," Ahn said. Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, and it claims the lives of more than 50,000 Americans a year, according to the American Cancer Society.
The visitors from the Arctic have shown up as far south as North Carolina, on the island of Bermuda and in unusually large numbers in the Northeast and around the Great Lakes. Yesterday (Dec. 5), 15 were counted at Logan Airport in Boston. For reasons no one understands, snowy owl sightings are spiking in eastern North America this winter. "Maybe this is starting to shape up to be an irruption year," said Denver Holt, founder of the Owl Research Institute in Montana.
(Reuters) - U.S. regulators on Friday approved Gilead Sciences Inc's Sovaldi as a potentially easier cure for chronic infection with the liver-destroying hepatitis C virus. The once-a-day pill is the first approved to treat certain types of hepatitis C infection without the need for interferon, an injected drug that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. Hepatitis C, which is often undiagnosed, affects about 3.2 million Americans, killing more than 15,000 each year, mostly from illnesses such as cirrhosis and liver cancer. Most patients will be treated with the $1,000-a-day drug for 12 weeks, resulting in a total list price of $84,000, according to Gilead spokeswoman Cara Miller.
As millions of people shop online for new insurance plans under President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law, about 10 percent of applications to the main website are not being accurately transmitted, a government spokeswoman said on Friday. Last week, the White House wrapped up a five-week emergency effort to fix the most obvious of the website's technical problems and between midnight on Sunday and noon on Friday, government health officials said 3.7 million people visited. HealthCare.gov relays information about new customers in so-called "834" transaction forms to the private insurance companies that provide the health plans. "We believe nine of 10 transactions are being successfully transmitted," the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, spokeswoman Julie Bataille said at a news briefing.
By Miguel Gutierrez MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Six men suspected of stealing a dangerous radioactive cargo from a truck outside Mexico City earlier this week have been treated in a hospital for signs of radiation exposure and remain under police guard, officials said on Friday. On Monday, thieves hijacked the truck that had been carrying cobalt-60, a radioactive substance used for medical and industrial applications that can also be used as an ingredient in a "dirty bomb." Police located the truck on Wednesday but found that the robbers had removed the radioactive material from a protective case, exposing themselves to dangerous levels of radiation, before dumping it less than a mile away. Pedro Noble, the health secretary of the state of Hidalgo, told local television the men showed signs of "critical, close contact" with radioactive material. The truck, which was taking the material from a hospital in the northern city of Tijuana to a radioactive waste-storage center, was seized when its driver stopped at a gas station in the town of Temascalapa, 35 km (22 miles) northeast of Mexico City.