Only woman on Georgia state's death row to be executed; inmate convicted in husband's killing

New Europe News - Mon, 02/03/2015 - 12:39
by  Associated Press Georgia to execute only woman on the state's death row Associated Press - 2 March 2015 07:39-05:00

ATLANTA (AP) — The only woman on Georgia's death row is set to be executed Monday.

Kelly Renee Gissendaner, who's 46, is set to die at 7 p.m. at the state prison after the execution was delayed last week.

Gissendaner was convicted of murder in the February 1997 stabbing death of her husband. Prosecutors said she plotted his death with her boyfriend, Gregory Owen. Owen pleaded guilty and is serving a life sentence.

If Gissendaner's execution happens, she'll be the first woman executed in Georgia since 1945 and only the 16th woman put to death nationwide since the Supreme Court in 1976 allowed the death penalty to resume.

She was originally set to be executed last Wednesday, but the Department of Corrections postponed her execution because of projected winter weather conditions.

News Topics: General news, Executions, Homicide, Crime, Criminal punishment, Law and order, Violent crime

People, Places and Companies: Georgia, United States, North America

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

South Africa: Firefighters struggle to control wildfire around Cape Town's Table Mountain

New Europe News - Mon, 02/03/2015 - 12:39
by  Associated Press South Africa: Wildfire destroys 5 homes in Cape Town Associated Press - 2 March 2015 07:39-05:00

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African firefighters say they are battling to control a wildfire that has burned down five homes in Cape Town's southern peninsula.

Spokeswoman Liezl Moodie said Monday that nearly 150 firefighters, along with park volunteers, have combated the blaze since early Monday. She said helicopters are also water bombing the area around Table Mountain National Park.

Moodie said no one has been killed and no serious injuries recorded. Earlier, the South African Press Association reported that about 50 people were treated for smoke inhalation. She said in addition to the five homes destroyed, residents near the fire were asked to evacuate their homes, including three retirement villages.

The press association said the fire started Sunday and was brought under control but then a bigger fire started after 2 a.m. Monday.

News Topics: General news, Property damage, Wildfires, Fires, Accidents and disasters, Natural disasters

People, Places and Companies: South Africa, Cape Town, Southern Africa, Africa

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Kerry warns against revealing details of Iran nuke talks ahead of Netanyahu speech to Congress

New Europe News - Mon, 02/03/2015 - 12:34
by  Associated Press Kerry warns against revealing details of Iran nuke talks by MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press - 2 March 2015 07:34-05:00

GENEVA (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is warning that public discussion of select details of the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran will make it more difficult to reach a deal that prevents the country from developing atomic weapons.

In comments to reporters in Geneva on Monday, Kerry said he was concerned by reports that details of the talks would be revealed in coming days. He did not elaborate, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (neh-ten-YAH'-hoo) will speak in opposition to a potential Iran deal in an address to Congress on Tuesday. Israeli officials say Netanyahu plans to discuss elements of the negotiations that he finds problematic and dangerous to Israel.

Kerry will meet later Monday in Montreux with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif for a new round of nuclear negotiations.

News Topics: Government and politics

People, Places and Companies: John Kerry, Benjamin Netanyahu, Mohammed Javad Zarif, Israel, Iran, Geneva, United States, Middle East, Switzerland, Western Europe, Europe, North America

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Ghana police investigate scam that tricked hundreds into thinking they were police recruits

New Europe News - Mon, 02/03/2015 - 12:22
by  Associated Press Scam Alert! Hundreds in Ghana think they're police recruits Associated Press - 2 March 2015 07:22-05:00

ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — Ghana's police say they are investigating a scam that fooled hundreds of people into thinking they were new police recruits.

Police public affairs director-general David Ampah-Benin said Monday that fake recruitment letters were sent to people in different regions of the country, inviting them to begin training Saturday. He said the victims of the scam paid fees ranging from 2,000 cedis ($570) to 3,500 Cedis ($1,000).

Ampah-Benin said police are searching for those who perpetrated the well-organized con that saw hundreds show up at five different training stations around the country. He said they hope to have more information later Monday.

Swindles like this are not common in the West African country.

News Topics: General news

People, Places and Companies: Ghana, West Africa, Benin, Africa

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

'Divergent' author Veronica Roth working on new 2-book series; 1st book scheduled for 2017

New Europe News - Mon, 02/03/2015 - 12:18
by  Associated Press Veronica Roth working on new series; 1st book due in 2017 by HILLEL ITALIE, Associated Press - 2 March 2015 07:18-05:00

NEW YORK (AP) — Veronica Roth fans can start the countdown.

"The Divergent" author is set to write a new two-book series, HarperCollins Children's Books told The Associated Press on Monday. The books currently are untitled, with the first one expected in 2017.

Roth and her publisher offered few specifics about the books, beyond saying they are in "the vein of 'Star Wars'" and will tell of a boy's "unlikely alliance" with an enemy.

"The Divergent" young adult trilogy, which she completed in 2013, has sold more than 30 million copies. The first "Divergent" movie, starring Shailene Woodley, came out a year ago.

News Topics: Arts and entertainment, Music, Entertainment, Books and literature

People, Places and Companies: Shailene Woodley

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

China lists 14 generals snared in anti-corruption campaign

New Europe News - Mon, 02/03/2015 - 12:16
by  Associated Press China lists 14 generals snared in anti-corruption campaign Associated Press - 2 March 2015 07:16-05:00

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese military prosecutors have released a list of 14 generals convicted of graft or placed under investigation in an accelerating nationwide anti-corruption drive.

Those under investigation include Rear Adm. Guo Zhenggang, the son of the former deputy head of the Central Military Commission that oversees the armed forces.

Others named Monday include leading officers in provincial military commands, as well as ones in the navy, missile corps and National Defense University.

It said Lan Weijie, a former deputy commander in the central province of Hubei, was sentenced to life in prison in January for corruption and illegal firearms possession.

Last year, prosecutors indicted Xu Caihou, the military's former No. 2 official, on bribery charges, in a show by President Xi Jinping that no officials would be off-limits.

News Topics: General news, Bribery, graft and conflicts of interest, Military legal affairs, Crime, Military and defense, Government and politics

People, Places and Companies: Xi Jinping, China, Greater China, East Asia, Asia

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

BC-AP--AP European News Digest at 1200 GMT, AP

New Europe News - Mon, 02/03/2015 - 12:07
by  Associated Press BC-AP--AP European News Digest at 1200 GMT, AP Associated Press - 2 March 2015 07:07-05:00



MOSCOW — The investigation into the killing of Boris Nemtsov, a fierce critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin who was gunned down not far from the Kremlin, faced conflicting reports Monday about possible surveillance footage of his slaying. No suspects have been arrested since Nemtsov was shot dead Friday night on a Moscow bridge, a slaying that came just hours after a radio interview in which he denounced Putin's "mad, aggressive policy" in Ukraine. SENT: 580 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words by 1300 GMT. By Laura Mills.


Ukraine's president signed a decree Monday opening the way to a formal request for international peacekeepers to be stationed in eastern regions where government forces are battling Russian-backed separatists. President Petro Poroshenko's office gave no specific details on the mission's composition or any timetable for it but Russia is strongly against the idea. SENT: 130 words, photos. UPCOMING: 500 words. By Peter Leonard.


LVIV, Ukraine — The sleek stadium, built six years ago and host to some of Europe's biggest soccer matches, is silent. It sits in the middle of the city of Donetsk, a war zone controlled by pro-Russian separatists battling Ukrainian troops. It is the home of soccer team Shakhtar Donetsk — but the squad hasn't played there since May 2. The fighting has forced the team to temporarily relocate, playing its home games in the far western city of Lviv, near the border with Poland, more than 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) away. SENT: 1,170 words, photos. By James Ellingworth.


LONDON — The 19-country eurozone got a double dose of mildly positive economic news Monday that will likely be met with relief by the European Central Bank's policymakers. Official figures from Eurostat showed that the fall in consumer prices eased notably in February, a development that may temper some of the more alarming predictions that the region is sliding into a protracted period of deflation. SENT: 650 words. By Pan Pylas.


LONDON — The U.S. Army chief of staff says cuts in British defense spending may undermine the nation's ability to be an effective ally in future military operations. Gen. Raymond Odierno questioned Britain's capability Monday in the Daily Telegraph, saying that the U.S. is reviewing the role of British troops in future conflicts as the U.K. considers reducing military spending to less than the 2 percent of gross domestic product expected of NATO members. SENT: 300 words. By Danica Kirka.


ISTANBUL — Political leaders and fellow writers are among thousands who gathered for the funeral of Yasar Kemal, one of Turkey's best-known novelists. Kemal, whose focus on social injustices brought him into conflict with authority, died on Saturday aged 91. SENT: 130 words, photos.


FRANKFURT, Germany — Small SUVs for families and powerful sports cars for the rich are the big things at this year's Geneva International Motor Show. Environmentally correct electrics and hybrids, not so much — thanks to cheaper gas and limits on battery life. SENT: 800 words, photos. By David Mchugh.

News Topics: General news, Homicide, Economy, Government and politics, Violent crime, Crime, Business

People, Places and Companies: Boris Nemtsov, Vladimir Putin, Petro Poroshenko, Yasar Kemal, United Kingdom, Russia, Ukraine, Europe, Geneva, Turkey, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Switzerland, Middle East

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Director of Oscar-winning 'Ida" wants Poles to see it before saying it is anti-Polish

New Europe News - Mon, 02/03/2015 - 12:06
by  Associated Press Oscar-winning director: Poles should see 'Ida" not debate it Associated Press - 2 March 2015 07:06-05:00

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The director of "Ida," the Polish movie that won this year's Oscar for best foreign film, says Poles should see it before calling it anti-Polish.

"Ida" premiered in Poland in 2013, but attracted little attention despite winning best picture in Poland's main movie festival.

Now the Oscar and a slew of other international awards have generated intense debate about whether it's unpatriotic, a charge leveled by right-wing politicians.

The movie is about a young woman, preparing to be a nun, who discovers she is Jewish and that her parents were murdered during World War II.

Polish-British director Pawel Pawlikowski suggested during a meeting Monday with President Bronislaw Komorowski that not all those engaging in the debate had seen "Ida."

"I'd rather you saw the film," Pawlikowski said, "not debated it."

News Topics: Arts and entertainment, General news, Movies, Entertainment

People, Places and Companies: Bronislaw Komorowski, Poland, Eastern Europe, Europe

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Ebola in Brussels - a high profile conference

New Europe News - Mon, 02/03/2015 - 11:59
by  Dan Alexe

The European Union has invited African countries for a high level conference on Tuesday 3 March in Brussels to review current efforts of fighting Ebola and place a plan to help Liberia and the other African countries to recover from the disease.

The presidents and ministers from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Togo as well as representatives of the African Union Commission, the UN, the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) and the European Union will all be attending.

Liberia's President Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf will co-chair the conference and she will be speaking as spokesperson for the Mano River Union (MRU).

More than 80 delegations have been invited, including Ministers from all West African countries and EU Member States, other countries that are contributing to the fight against Ebola, and relevant partners, such as UN agencies, the IMF, the World Bank, NGOs, the private sector and research institutes. During the conference, the 11th European Development Fund National Indicative Program for Liberia 2014-2020 will be signed between Liberia and the EU. 

West Africa is currently facing the largest and most complex Ebola epidemic on record. The outbreak primarily affects three countries: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. So far, more than 22,500 cases have been confirmed and more than 9,000 victims have died.

The European Union has been monitoring the spread of Ebola and taken collective action at home and abroad. It has mobilised humanitarian, political, financial and scientific resources to help contain, control, treat and ultimately defeat the virus. The EU and its Member States have pledged over EUR 1.2 billion to fight the epidemic. The EU is contributing EUR 414 million to provide emergency measures and longer- term support as well as the development of vaccines and treatments.

The number of newly detected cases of Ebola virus infection has been dropping sharply in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia in recent weeks. But the three countries are still reeling from the impact of the outbreak. 

The World Bank in January projected they would lose $1.6 billion in income this year, over 12 % of their combined economic output. Pre-Ebola economic growth forecasts have been slashed.


Categories: News

Renzi will meet Putin

New Europe News - Mon, 02/03/2015 - 11:58
by  NEOnline | GK

Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, will meet with the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, on Thursday according to ‘The Local.’

The news agency, said that the Italian newspaper ‘La Stampa’ reported that the Italian Prime Minister will travel to Moscow in a bid to get help from the Russian President over the situation in Libya. The two high officials, will also Renzi will also discuss Russia’s exit from Ukraine following the Minsk agreement.

Renzi will also lay flowers in the area near the Kremlin where Russian opposition politician Boris Nemstov was shot dead on Friday. La Stampa reported that the killing of Nemstov isn’t expected to disrupt the meeting’s agenda.

The situation in Libya, worries the Italian government and the Italian PM will try to persuade the Russian President to agree to a UN solution which will stabilise the situation in the neigbouring state.

Renzi last week appealed for international help over the situation in Libya as Isis militants are expanding their influence in the region. Italy together with Egypt is pushing its allies to take a more proactive approach and find a solution for the Libyan crisis. “The important thing is to get the message across that the UN must play a role in the Libya situation, and Russia is a permanent member [of the UN Security Council],” Renzi said last week.

This will be Renzi's first visit to the Kremlin since becoming premier in February last year. The pair last met in Milan in October, at a summit of European and Asian leaders.

Categories: News

Thousands mourn Turkish novelist Yasar Kemal, author of 'Memed, my Hawk'

New Europe News - Mon, 02/03/2015 - 11:52
by  Associated Press Thousands mourn Turkish novelist Yasar Kemal Associated Press - 2 March 2015 06:52-05:00

ISTANBUL (AP) — Political leaders and fellow writers are among thousands who gathered for the funeral of Yasar Kemal, one of Turkey's best-known novelists.

Kemal, whose focus on social injustices brought him into conflict with authority, died on Saturday aged 91.

Mourners bid him farewell on Monday chanting: "Yasar Kemal was our honor."

Kemal was best-known for his 1955 novel "Memed, My Hawk," which was based on the troubled feudal relations in Turkey's southern regions where he grew up.

He also turned his pen to defending the rights of Kurds and other minorities in Turkey.

He was tried in 1995 for an article he wrote for the German magazine Der Spiegel accusing the Turkish army of destroying Kurdish villages, and received a suspended sentence "for inciting hatred" over another article he wrote.

News Topics: Arts and entertainment, General news, Funerals and memorial services

People, Places and Companies: Yasar Kemal, Turkey, Middle East, Western Europe, Europe

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Oettinger speech baffles tech experts, everyone else

New Europe News - Mon, 02/03/2015 - 11:45
by  Kassandra

The core of the Juncker Commission’s programme to rescue Europe from austerity induced fragmentation is the phrase ‘jobs and growth’ and central to that is the need to revive the European economy, regaining the continent’s reputation as a place of innovation and the home of the cutting edge of technology.

At the heart of the Commission’s intentions is the digital agenda. It is vital, for political and economic reasons, that this is a success.

So many people were surprised that the post of Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society was given to Gunther Oettinger. Pirate Party MEP, Julia Reda was aghast, “Oettinger, hasn't previously demonstrated any expertise in the area. It is unlikely that he can credibly fill in the footsteps of Neelie Kroes,” she said.

Now, to be fair, the problems he faces are not his fault. The digital single market should have been built in 1994, when Amazon began, or 1995, the year e-Bay started trading. With the US being a single market, they had time to invest, scale up and take a globally dominant position – and diversify before Europe got out of bed.

Neither is Oettinger responsible for the mess our copyright and royalty collections and payments system is in, which makes it near impossible for Europeans to have any of the online benefits they have in offline buying and selling.

Anyway, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the online auction site, we’ve decided to begin thinking about a digital single market.

Part of this is the ‘stakeholder workshop’ held by the European Commission last week, where Oettinger laid out his vision and confused the entire audience, many of whom watched in disbelief.

In fact, the many who couldn’t believe their ears had their worst fears confirmed when the European Commission put up Oettinger’s speech on their website. Here are some of the pellets of wisdom from the Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society.

“In the digital revolution that Europe does not want to lose. We want to prevail. We have got to act and react, but not be on the losing side.”

“I suppose that printing was the first such of revolution that became possible to print and reproduce the written word. That’s when the first educated society emerged.”

“Then you have automation under Henry Ford, the ability to produce goods en masse, automatically and then of course the introduction of the computer.”

“The digital revolution is happening much more quickly and it is accelerating all the time. That means you're either up there with it or you fall behind.  We have got to ensure that we are on board.”

“Now, clearly it has a lot it can offer but at the same time it is like a small football field with only six players -  that is the IT sector and that is where the Americans have lost this.”

“If we move away from the smaller "mini" football tournaments to the genuine "World Cup" we have teams of eleven, you have lots of different representatives of industry, arts and crafts, various sectors of society, they come back onto the playing field or they stay on the side lines.”

“Now you may have read that Google and Apple are going to make cars. Because obviously there is a shift when it comes to mobility when using electricity. “

“And data gives rise to business models and here is where the Americans are in the lead. They have got the data, the business models and therefore the power. So we have got to get back into business and that's only going to be possible of being part of the European Team.”

“Fragmented rules in a globalised sector, that what it is the digital sector is, it is a globalised sector. Here fragmented rules have no authority.  Those who don't want to see more of Brussels, don't want to see more of European rules need to know that without Europe we will be powerless and we will lose out.”

“However when it comes to a football match, say Liverpool v Chelsea, you cannot book it in London and watch it in Brussels because we have still got fragmented digital markets.”

“But when it comes to digital communications and digital services, Napoleon did not have much of an idea of what they were, because for him it was a question of drums and homing pigeons  and not much else.”

“In the trade unions and the chambers of commerce you are going to have to have these facilities for on-going education and IT training so that our enterprises can remain up to date for the digital world which is just around the corner.”

“Then we have go to ensure that the digital revolution apply changes in every domain - copyright law for example and if you are a writer and you write a book and the publisher  comes along and publishes, if there is an editor doing research producing commentary spending their time. So, you decide on whether the Commission has done good work or has not done its job. Today's conference was exciting or the contributions were worthwhile, or not - that's their profession.”

“So, I think we must be willing to take part in this competition not against the American's, not against the South Koreans, not against the Chinese or the Indians, but with them. In this have got to ensure that during this digital revolution Europe can prevail.”

"I know that jobs will change, but the number of jobs is not really going to fall. We hope we can improve quality of life, improve traffic safety, provide better health services and so on and so forth.So, I think the balance the benefits  outweigh the disadvantages. If everyone is willing to play in the "European Team" and bring in their expertise and know-how."

Categories: News

Michael Schumacher's 15-year-old son to drive in Formula 4

New Europe News - Mon, 02/03/2015 - 11:45
by  Associated Press Michael Schumacher's son to drive in Formula 4 Associated Press - 2 March 2015 06:45-05:00

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Michael Schumacher's 15-year-old son Mick has signed a contract with Van Amersfoort Racing to drive in the Formula 4, a series for young talents.

The Dutch team's owner Frits van Amersfoort says "we have watched his skills in test driving and are looking forward to a successful season."

Mick Schumacher finished second in the German kart championship last season.

His father Michael is the most successful driver in Formula One history with seven titles.

Michael Schumacher suffered severe head injuries in a skiing accident in December 2013. He was retired at the time of the accident.

News Topics: Sports, Automobile racing

People, Places and Companies: Germany, Western Europe, Europe

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

German energy company RWE completes sale of oil and gas division to Russian-linked company

New Europe News - Mon, 02/03/2015 - 11:37
by  Associated Press Germany's RWE completes oil and gas sale to Russian investor Associated Press - 2 March 2015 06:37-05:00

BERLIN (AP) — German energy company RWE says it has completed the 5.1 billion euro ($5.7 billion) sale of its oil and gas exploration and production division to a Russian-linked investment company.

RWE AG announced the planned sale of its Dea unit to LetterOne Group, an international investment arm of Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman's Alfa Group, last March — just as tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine mounted. The German government gave its clearance for the deal last summer.

RWE Chief Executive Peter Terium said Monday that "both parties negotiated good value for money, and RWE can now focus fully on its core business." The deal is meant in part to allow RWE to pay off debt.

Fridman said in a statement that "our ambition is to develop and grow Dea."

News Topics: Business, Asset sales, Oil and gas industry, Ownership changes, Corporate news, Energy industry, Industries

People, Places and Companies: Germany, Russia, Western Europe, Europe, Eastern Europe

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Saudi Arabia says diplomat abducted by al-Qaida freed after being held for 3 years in Yemen

New Europe News - Mon, 02/03/2015 - 11:36
by  Associated Press Saudi diplomat taken by al-Qaida in Yemen free after 3 years Associated Press - 2 March 2015 06:36-05:00

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry says that its diplomat who was abducted by alleged al-Qaida militants in Yemen has been released after nearly three years in captivity.

The ministry said in a statement Monday that efforts made by the kingdom's intelligence agency led to the release of Abdullah al-Khalidi, who is now at the Saudi consulate in Yemen's city of Aden. The statement said he will undergo medical tests and be reunited with his family soon.

Saudi Arabia says the diplomat was abducted in Aden in March 2012 by al-Qaida militants. The statement did not disclose further details surrounding how al-Khalidi was released.

News Topics: General news, Diplomacy, International relations, Government and politics

People, Places and Companies: Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Middle East

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

NASA's Dawn spacecraft prepares to get up close and personal with dwarf planet Ceres

New Europe News - Mon, 02/03/2015 - 11:34
by  Associated Press NASA spacecraft nearing its second stop _ dwarf planet Ceres Associated Press - 2 March 2015 06:34-05:00

PASADENA, California (AP) — A NASA spacecraft is preparing to rendezvous with the largest object in the asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter.

The Dawn craft is on target to slip into orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres on Friday after a three-year journey. It'll be the second stop for Dawn, which earlier visited the asteroid Vesta.

Dawn has been snapping pictures of Ceres as it nears the object. Sharper images are expected in the coming months as Dawn spirals closer to Ceres' surface.

Launched in 2007 and powered by ion propulsion, Dawn is the first craft to target two space rocks to learn about the solar system's evolution.

Dawn studied Vesta, the second massive object in the asteroid belt, from 2011 to 2012 and beamed back more than 30,000 images.

News Topics: Science, Dwarf planets, Planets, Space industry, Astronomy, Aerospace and defense industry, Industrial products and services, Industries, Business

People, Places and Companies: California, Pasadena, United States, North America

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Buffett says Berkshire board ready to replace him, if needed, but he won't name successor

New Europe News - Mon, 02/03/2015 - 11:30
by  Associated Press Buffett declines to clarify plan to eventually replace him Associated Press - 2 March 2015 06:30-05:00

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Billionaire Warren Buffett won't end speculation about his eventual successor, but he reiterated that Berkshire Hathaway's board has a plan in place.

Buffett appeared on CNBC Monday after releasing his annual letter to Berkshire shareholders over the weekend.

Berkshire's Vice Chairman Charlie Munger spurred renewed interest in the replacement for the 84-year-old Buffett over the weekend because he singled out two candidates in his own letter to shareholders.

Munger said Berkshire's reinsurance chief Ajit Jain and the head of its utility company, Greg Abel, would both be excellent choices to replace Buffett.

Buffett says both Jain and Abel would play key roles at the company after he is gone, but he doesn't believe they are jockeying to be CEO. He says Jain and Abel don't know who the successor is.

News Topics: Business

People, Places and Companies: Berkshire Hathaway Inc, Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Official: Roadside bomb blasts kill 8 civilians in eastern Afghanistan

New Europe News - Mon, 02/03/2015 - 11:28
by  Associated Press Roadside bombs kill 8 civilians in Afghanistan Associated Press - 2 March 2015 06:28-05:00

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan official says two roadside bombings have killed at least eight civilians, including women and children, in the country's east.

Hazrat Hussain Mashreqiwal, spokesman for the police chief in Nangarhar province, said at least six civilians, including two women and two children, were killed when their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb that wounded another two civilians. He says two students were killed in a separate bombing that wounded a third civilian. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Taliban insurgents frequently target the army and police with roadside bombs, which have also taken a heavy toll on civilians.

News Topics: General news, War and unrest, Bombings, Improvised explosives

People, Places and Companies: Afghanistan, Central Asia, Asia

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Telegraph: US worries for Britain’s defense cuts

New Europe News - Mon, 02/03/2015 - 10:57
by  NEOnline | GK

Gen Raymond Odierno, US army Chief of Staff, said defence cuts in Britain are eroding his country's confidence in UK’s commitment to global security. The US general gave an exclusive interview to the British newspaper ‘The Telegraph.’ 

The US army Chief of Staff, criticised the choices of the British government in regard with the country’s defence budget. According to the Telegraph, the Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy have all suffered cutbacks to the extent that they are no longer able to undertake the kind of missions that Britain has historically supported. The Army has been cut by a fifth, the RAF now has just seven combat squadrons, compared with the 30 in the 90s, and the Navy barely has enough warships to fulfil its international duties.

If re-elected, the British government also announced a series of public spending cuts, including the further reduction of the defence budget. According to Robert Fox, from ‘The Week’ magazine, the British Army could be reduced to around 63,000 personnel. There will be between 30 and 40 per cent cuts in the budgets of the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and that means reducing the current military defence budget of £36 billion to somewhere between £20 - £25 billion.

According to Guardian there are defence officials who warn the government that Britain will not be able to continue spending 2 per cent of the country's GDP on defence – a Nato commitment much trumpeted by the British Prime Minister David Cameron.

General Odierno told about the defence cuts to 'The Daily Telegraph': “I would be lying to you if I did not say that I am very concerned about the GDP investment…In the past we would have a British army division working alongside an American division. Now it might be a British brigade inside an American division, or even a British battalion inside an American brigade.”

“We have to adjust our programme to make sure we are all able to see that we can still work together,” US General said and described Britain's role as a key US ally as “about having a partner that has very close values and the same goals as we do.”


Categories: News

Samsung disappoints, S6 still a great phone [Review]

New Europe News - Mon, 02/03/2015 - 10:54
by  NEOnline | AK

Samsung has just unveiled its much-awaited S6 and its S6 edge variant at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and has taken significant steps in changing the flagship’s form while sacrificing function.

As a user of the S3, S4, and currently S5, the author has found the Samsung's S6 disappointingly disappointing lackluster.

The progress of the Samsung S-line, which is the top model of the brand, has been steady over the years, with each successive model getting significant boosts in screen qualities, processing power, memory, camera power, and, battery life. The key to a market success, is choosing the right elements to focus on, at the right time (and taking into account the strengths and weaknesses of previous generations and competitors).

Goodbye removable battery, microSD slot. Hello glass back

The biggest faults of the Samsung S6: Samsung has dumped two options which set it apart from other flagship smartphones: the removable battery, and the expandable memory microSD slot. Instead Samsung has sacrificed function for form a form that does not much more than mimic its rivals. The new S6 form with its metal frame and glass back will more often than not become hidden by a smartphone case. Furthermore, this form is very similar to Samsung’s Alpha, which was not a market success.

Quad HD screen and the dual curved edge

This year, the S6 was launched alongside the S6 edge. The ‘edge’ having a display which has a curved edge on both sides. The phone is crafted with curved glass and carved metal to come together for a ‘revolutionary’ (as Samsung calls it) display.

The S6 and the S6 edge do indeed carry a top of the line range of hardware components. The Quad-HD super AMOLED display will certainly take your breath away with its increased pixel density over the S5 (577 vs 432ppi). But let’s face it, most of the time (projected at over 90%) the average consumer, even the average power consumer, is not watching video at over 720p. Content over 1080p is just not available on the web, and even if it is, consumers are reluctant to spend the extra data bandwidth to get the extra quality.

Processing and memory blitz

The S6 is a beast under the hood. The 2.5GHz quad core Snapdragon of the S5 has been upgraded to an octa core 2.1 GHz Exynos processor, and the 2GB of RAM have now become 3GB.

While users were hoping this processing upgrade would be made last year, the S5’s processor and RAM proved more than adequate, and are likely to serve power users until the next Samsung flagship next year.


Our greatest disappointment: a fixed 2550mAH battery (2600mAH for the edge), which is smaller than that of the S5 (2800mAH). One of the biggest perks of the Samsung S-line, has always been the ability to buy an extra battery which you can keep with you, at full charge, at a very low cost from Amazon.

On the up side, charging is expected to take half the time of an iPhone 6 according to Samsung, and users can get four hours of battery with a ten-minute charge (or two hours of HD video viewing). The S6 also incorporates built-in support for wireless charging standards as well. While the S5 was compatible with wireless charging, the S6 comes ready-to-play out of the box.

In short: keep your micro USB cable (or charging pad) with you at all times. You’ll need to plug it in for 10 minutes every two-four hours (the pad will probably take longer).



Our second biggest disappointment was in fact not the removal of the microSD slot. After all, buying a 128GB version would guarantee you don’t need a memory expansion. Returning to focus: Samsung has with paying little attention to upgrading the camera, let its competitors gain a significant edge (yes, a smartphone pun).  The S6 retains the 5-megapixel front camera and 16-megapixel rear camera arrangement.

Indeed the new HTC One M9 has done focused on just that: a 20megapixel rear camera upgrade, and a fantastic move to bring its previous main (rear) camera to the front to power the best selfies a user can hope for.

On yet another critical chapter, Samsung has not delivered. It’s f1.9 lenses brings 34 percent more light to the sensor,  it’s wide-angle selfie and real-time front-camera HDR mode can help, but they will not drive sales. There is also a new camera application that loads at a blazingly fast speed.





The previously rear-mounted speaker has been moved to the bottom and is reportedly 1.5x louder than the Galaxy S5. An amplifier has also been built in for best quality sound. These are both very welcome moves by Samsung.

Dimensions and weight

S6: 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8mm: weighing 138g

S6: Edge 142 x 70.1 x 70mm: weighing 132g

Samsung will make everyone but Samsung users happy

The Samsung S6 and S6 edge variant might make you upgrade if you currently own a Samsung S4 and are a die-hard Samsung fan. If you own an HTC M7 or M8 you won’t consider a Samsung switch, even if you prefer the new look: The HTC is simply sturdier and the Samsung glass back sounds like an extra glass surface one can shatter.

iPhone users will look at the Samsung and for once gloat that it is Samsung that has copied Apple’s design features. Huawei users will happily tell you that their device specs have an unrivaled value for money compared to Samsung, and can still compete on a performance level, and finally, OnePlus One owners will just look at an S6 owner and chuckle.


Despite this somewhat negative review, If you get an S6, you won’t be miserable. In fact, the S6 and S6 edge are excellent devices which will perform fantastically well in all circumstances, that is to say, as a flagship phone should perform.

Samsung just could have done more, and is expected to pay for it, much like HTC did last year with the underwhelming M8.

Categories: News