News

Amazon shows investors big spending doesn't have to mean small profits _ widely beats forecast

New Europe News - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 21:40
by  Associated Press Amazon shares spike as 4Q profit beats by a mile Associated Press - 29 January 2015 16:40-05:00

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Amazon.com jumped over 8 percent in aftermarket trading after the e-commerce giant beat quarterly profit expectations by a mile.

Amazon's strategy always has been to spend a big chunk of the money it makes to grow and expand into new areas like cloud computing, streaming video and hardware — and that has affected profitability to investors' sometime chagrin. But Thursday's results seem to show the company has the reins in hand when it comes to spending big and being profitable.

Investors sent shares up $26.92, or 8.6 percent, to $338.60 in aftermarket trading.

Amazon Prime membership surged 53 percent during 2014, even though the Seattle-based company raised prices.

Amazon earned 45 cents per share for the three months ended in December, easily topping Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 24 cents per share. The online retailer posted revenue of $29.33 billion in the period, missing Street forecasts. Analysts expected $29.84 billion, according to Zacks. Amazon said the strong dollar pared nearly $900 million from revenue during the quarter.

For the current period ending in March, Amazon forecast revenue in the range of $20.9 billion to $22.9 billion. Analysts surveyed by Zacks expected revenue of $23.23 billion.

Amazon shares have increased slightly since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has decreased almost 2 percent. In the final minutes of trading on Thursday, shares hit $311.87, a decrease of 19 percent in the last 12 months.

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Elements of this story was generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on AMZN at http://www.zacks.com/ap/AMZN

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Keywords: Amazon, Earnings Report, Priority Earnings

News Topics: Business, Technology, Earnings estimates, Earnings reports, Earnings, Financial performance, Corporate news

People, Places and Companies: Amazon.Com Inc

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Federal appeals court in DC to hear oral arguments in American Samoa citizenship case

New Europe News - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 21:38
by  Associated Press Oral arguments scheduled in American Samoa citizenship case Associated Press - 29 January 2015 16:38-05:00

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. will be hearing oral arguments in a case involving citizenship rights of American Samoa residents.

Oral arguments are scheduled for Feb. 9.

In 2013, former Guam resident Neil Weare filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of American Samoa residents, arguing they have a right to be United States citizens.

The lawsuit was thrown out but Weare appealed.

The lawsuit centers on rights belonging to residents of U.S. territories. Congress has passed laws giving only specific rights to individual territories.

Unlike Guam, those born in American Samoa aren't U.S. citizens.

Pacific Daily News (http://ow.ly/Ib8Ex ) reports the case has ramifications for other territories because it also involves obtaining full representation in Congress. Guam currently only has a non-voting delegate in Congress.

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Information from: Pacific Daily News: http://www.guampdn.com

News Topics: General news, Government and politics

People, Places and Companies: American Samoa, Hagatna, Guam, United States, Oceania, North America

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

Categories: News

Freestyle Moguls World Cup Results

New Europe News - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 21:20
by  Associated Press Freestyle Moguls World Cup Results Associated Press - 29 January 2015 16:20-05:00

LAKE PLACID, New York (AP) — Results Thursday in a freestyle World Cup:

Moguls Men Final 2

1. Mikael Kingsbury, Canada, 90.54 points.

2. Alexandr Smyshlyaev, Russia, 87.97.

3. Marc-Antoine Gagnon, Canada, 87.69.

4. Anthony Benna, France, 85.96.

5. Simon Pouliot-Cavanagh, Canada, 85.29.

6. Philippe Marquis, Canada, 84.45.

World Cup Moguls Standings (After five of 12 events)

1. Mikael Kingsbury, 429 points.

2. Philippe Marquis, Canada, 225.

3. Alexandr Smyshlyaev, Russia, 221.

4. Simon Pouliot-Cavanagh, Canada, 185.

5. Matt Graham, Australia, 181.

6. Anthony Benna, France, 181.

7. Marc-Antoine Gagnon, Canada, 173.

8. Sho Endo, Japan, 156.

9. Patrick Deneen, United States, 138.

10. Jeremy Cota, United States, 120.

Women Final 2

1. Justine Dufour-Lapointe, Canada, 86.86.

2. Hannah Kearney, United States, 86.43.

3. Andi Naude, Canada, 76.51.

4. Deborah Scanzio, Switzerland, 76.08.

5. Nikola Sudova, Czech Republic, 75.51.

6. Audrey Robichaud, Canada, 73.69.

World Cup Moguls Standings (After five of 12 events)

1. Justine Dufour-Lapointe, Canada, 385.

2. Hannah Kearney, United States, 326.

3. Chloe Dufour-Lapointe, Canada, 252.

4. Andi Naude, Canada, 188.

5. Deborah Scanzio, Switzerland, 183.

6. K.C. Oakley, United States, 178.

7. Maxime Dufour-Lapointe, Canada, 177.

8. Nikola Sudova, Czech Republic, 175.

9. Audrey Robichaud, Canada, 175.

10. Britteny Cox, Australia, 164.

News Topics: Skiing, Women's skiing, Men's skiing, Women's freestyle skiing, Men's freestyle skiing, Freestyle skiing, Sports, Women's sports, Men's sports

People, Places and Companies: Deborah Scanzio, Nikola Sudova, Canada, New York, United States, North America

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

Categories: News

US stock market finishes higher after goods news on earnings and jobs market

New Europe News - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 21:18
by  Associated Press Stock market rises after good news on earnings, job market Associated Press - 29 January 2015 16:18-05:00

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. stock market is closing sharply higher after investors received encouraging news on corporate earnings and the jobs market.

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 225 points, or 1.3 percent, to close at 17,416 Thursday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 19 points, or 1 percent, to 2,021.

The government reported Thursday that weekly claims for unemployment benefits dropped to a 15-year low. Ford, Harley-Davidson, Coach and Ally Financial were among the companies that reported quarterly results that exceeded Wall Street's expectations

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged up to 1.76 percent from 1.72 late Wednesday.

News Topics: Business, General news, Stock prices, Earnings reports, Stock indices and averages, Financial markets, Leading economic indicators, Economy, Earnings, Financial performance, Corporate news, Stock markets

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

Categories: News

Republican-led US Senate passes bill authorizing Keystone XL oil pipeline, defying veto threat

New Europe News - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 21:13
by  Associated Press Republican-led US Senate passes bill authorizing Keystone XL oil pipeline, defying veto threat Associated Press - 29 January 2015 16:13-05:00

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican-led US Senate passes bill authorizing Keystone XL oil pipeline, defying veto threat.

News Topics: Business, General news, Oil and gas industry, Oil and gas transportation, Bills, Legislature, Executive vetoes, Energy and utilities regulation, Energy industry, Industries, Legislation, Government and politics, Industry regulation, Government business and finance, Government regulations

People, Places and Companies: United States, North America

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

Categories: News

BC-WEA--Global Weather-Celsius

New Europe News - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 20:54
by  Associated Press BC-WEA--Global Weather-Celsius Associated Press - 29 January 2015 15:54-05:00

NEW YORK (AP) — Minimum and maximum temperatures in Celsius, precipitation in centimeters and weather conditions as recorded for the previous day and forecast for the current and following day in each city as of 2000 GMT:

;MIN;MAX;COND;PRECIP;MIN;MAX;COND;MIN;MAX;COND

Amsterdam;3;7;rn;0.4;0;5;rn;-2;4;sn

Athens;3;13;rn;0.0;6;14;rn;6;15;pc

Atlanta;-1;12;clr;0.0;0;14;pc;2;9;pc

Auckland;19;26;rn;0.0;18;26;pc;18;24;rn

Basra;14;35;clr;0.0;14;25;clr;13;28;pc

Bahrain;16;23;clr;0.0;17;25;clr;18;26;clr

Bangkok;23;32;pc;0.0;22;34;pc;23;33;pc

Barbados;23;29;rn;0.0;23;29;pc;23;29;rn

Barcelona;4;13;clr;0.0;7;16;pc;9;16;rn

Beijing;-9;1;clr;0.0;-7;2;clr;-8;2;clr

Beirut;11;19;pc;0.0;12;21;pc;12;18;rn

Belgrade;0;2;sn;0.0;12;21;pc;12;18;rn

Berlin;-2;5;rn;5.0;0;4;rn;0;3;sn

Bermuda;15;21;rn;2.0;0;4;rn;0;3;sn

Bogota;7;19;pc;0.0;7;22;rn;8;21;rn

Boston;-11;-4;sn;0.0;-17;-2;pc;-2;2;sn

Brasilia;17;26;rn;4.0;18;30;rn;17;31;rn

Brisbane;19;26;rn;1.0;19;27;rn;21;30;clr

Brussels;2;7;rn;2.0;1;5;rn;-1;4;sn

Bucharest;1;3;sn;3.0;0;5;pc;-2;9;pc

Budapest;-5;5;pc;0.0;-2;2;sn;0;7;rn

Buenos Aires;19;23;rn;26.0;16;24;clr;17;23;pc

Cairo;11;18;clr;0.0;9;18;clr;9;17;clr

Calgary;-2;5;pc;0.0;1;8;pc;1;7;pc

Caracas;25;33;clr;0.0;24;32;rn;24;31;rn

Chicago;-4;2;rn;0.0;2;6;rn;-4;-2;pc

Colombo;25;32;rn;0.0;23;33;rn;22;33;rn

Copenhagen;-2;4;rn;0.9;1;3;rn;0;2;sn

Dhahran;x;x;x;12;28;clr;14;28;clr

Dhaka;14;27;clr;0.0;18;22;pc;13;21;clr

Dili;24;29;rn;6.0;23;29;rn;24;30;clr

Dubai;16;26;clr;0.0;17;28;clr;18;29;clr

Dublin;1;7;sn;2.0;1;4;rn;2;6;rn

Frankfurt;1;5;rn;0.0;-1;4;rn;0;3;rn

Geneva;-3;3;sn;0.2;2;6;rn;0;3;sn

Guatemala;9;21;clr;0.0;9;21;pc;9;22;clr

Hanoi;20;26;pc;0.0;17;21;pc;17;21;rn

Harare;15;27;rn;0.0;19;22;rn;17;21;pc

Havana;10;23;pc;0.0;12;24;pc;12;23;rn

Helsinki;-1;1;sn;0.0;-2;2;sn;-2;1;sn

Hong Kong;16;21;clr;0.0;14;22;clr;13;20;clr

Honolulu;21;27;pc;0.0;18;27;rn;18;26;rn

Islamabad;1;16;clr;0.0;2;16;clr;3;17;pc

Istanbul;5;7;rn;3.0;4;11;rn;7;13;clr

Jakarta;24;30;rn;0.3;23;30;rn;23;30;rn

Jerusalem;11;18;rn;0.3;12;19;pc;11;17;clr

Johannesburg;15;20;rn;1.0;16;24;rn;14;22;rn

Kabul;-6;2;pc;0.0;-4;10;pc;-2;11;pc

Kiev;-3;0;sn;0.0;-3;2;pc;-1;5;sn

Kuala Lumpur;24;34;pc;0.2;23;33;rn;22;34;clr

Kuwait;12;23;clr;0.0;11;27;clr;12;29;clr

La Paz;2;17;rn;0.4;4;16;rn;4;13;rn

Lima;21;28;clr;0.0;22;27;pc;22;26;pc

Lisbon;10;15;clr;0.0;11;15;rn;12;15;rn

London;3;11;rn;1.0;1;7;rn;0;6;rn

Los Angeles;13;24;clr;0.0;12;25;pc;12;21;rn

Madrid;-2;14;clr;0.0;0;16;pc;7;18;rn

Managua;20;33;clr;0.0;21;32;clr;22;32;clr

Manila;23;30;pc;0.0;22;30;clr;22;28;clr

Mecca;23;26;clr;0.0;22;36;clr;22;36;pc

Melbourne;11;25;pc;0.0;22;36;pc;22;36;pc

Mexico City;8;23;clr;0.0;7;23;clr;6;21;pc

Miami;13;21;clr;0.0;12;23;pc;12;24;clr

Montevideo;19;20;rn;3.0;17;26;clr;17;24;pc

Montreal;-15;-8;sn;0.0;-17;-3;pc;-6;-2;sn

Moscow;-6;-4;sn;0.0;-3;0;sn;-2;0;sn

Nairobi;14;29;pc;0.0;13;30;clr;13;30;clr

Nassau;17;24;pc;0.0;17;23;rn;17;24;rn

New Delhi;7;18;clr;0.0;7;18;pc;8;18;clr

New York;-9;1;clr;0.0;-7;2;pc;2;4;sn

Nice;4;12;pc;0.0;4;15;pc;6;11;clr

Osaka;1;6;sn;0.0;6;11;clr;3;12;clr

Oslo;-1;3;sn;7.0;-3;1;sn;-6;-1;sn

Panama;25;31;clr;0.0;24;32;clr;23;33;rn

Paris;4;8;rn;6.0;2;6;rn;2;7;rn

Perth;22;38;clr;0.0;24;37;pc;22;37;clr

Prague;0;3;sn;0.0;-1;3;clr;-1;3;sn

Rio de Janeiro;26;35;pc;0.0;24;37;rn;24;35;rn

Rome;1;9;clr;0.0;0;10;rn;8;14;rn

San Francisco;9;18;clr;0.0;12;19;pc;11;18;pc

San Jose;19;27;clr;0.0;19;25;rn;18;28;clr

San Juan;23;32;clr;0.0;22;30;rn;22;29;rn

San Salvador;16;31;clr;0.0;16;31;clr;17;31;pc

Santiago;13;31;clr;0.0;13;32;clr;14;31;pc

Sao Paulo;20;28;rn;2.0;21;31;rn;19;26;rn

Sapporo;-7;-2;sn;0.0;19;26;rn;17;27;rn

Seoul;-9;1;clr;0.0;-4;0;clr;-9;-1;pc

Singapore;24;31;pc;0.0;24;30;rn;24;30;rn

Sofia;0;5;cdy;0.0;-2;7;pc;-1;9;pc

Stockholm;-1;3;sn;0.0;1;3;rn;-1;1;sn

Sydney;16;21;rn;5.0;14;25;clr;16;25;clr

Taipei;14;16;rn;0.0;14;17;rn;12;16;rn

Tegucigalpa;14;23;pc;0.0;12;24;pc;12;24;pc

Tehran;1;11;pc;0.0;6;15;pc;4;13;rn

Tel Aviv;11;18;rn;0.3;7;18;clr;7;17;rn

Tokyo;3;8;rn;0.0;2;6;rn;4;9;clr

Turin;-4;9;clr;0.0;-1;6;sn;-1;8;sn

Toronto;-12;-1;clr;0.0;-7;2;sn;-8;-8;sn

Tunis;9;13;rn;6.0;7;15;rn;8;16;rn

Valletta;8;12;rn;7.0;7;14;clr;11;16;pc

Vancouver;2;10;pc;0.0;2;10;pc;2;10;pc

Vienna;-3;5;pc;0.0;1;3;sn;0;4;sn

Warsaw;-1;1;rn;0.1;-1;4;sn;-2;5;rn

Washington;-4;4;clr;0.0;-4;5;rn;0;2;sn

Zurich;-5;3;sn;0.1;0;4;sn;0;1;sn

Baghdad;10;20;cdy;0.0;11;21;rn;11;22;pc<

x - Indicates missing information.

clr - clear

pc - partly cloudy

cdy - cloudy

rn - rain

sn - snow

Source: Weather Underground

END

News Topics: Weather forecasts, Weather, General news

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

Categories: News

Lawyers snipe as jury selection resumes in Boston Marathon bombing trial after 2-day break

New Europe News - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 20:45
by  Associated Press Lawyers snipe as jury selection resumes in Tsarnaev trial Associated Press - 29 January 2015 15:45-05:00

BOSTON (AP) — A federal prosecutor has accused a lawyer for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev of trying to "encourage" a hung jury.

As jury selection resumed Thursday, Assistant U.S. Attorney William Weinreb said attorney David Bruck asked a "wholly inappropriate" question when he probed a man with a supervisory job about whether he would listen to the opinions of other jurors.

Weinreb told Judge George O'Toole Jr. he viewed Bruck's question as an "instruction" that no juror could change another juror's view about whether the death penalty would be an appropriate punishment.

Bruck said he was merely asking the juror if he understood that in the end, all jurors have to make their own decisions.

Tsarnaev is accused in the 2013 bombings that killed three people and injured more than 260.

News Topics: General news, Trials, Legal proceedings, Boston Marathon bombing, Juries, Bombings, Law and order, Events

People, Places and Companies: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Boston, Massachusetts, United States, North America

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

Categories: News

New Saudi king reshuffles cabinet a week after assuming throne

New Europe News - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 20:44
by  Associated Press New Saudi king reshuffles cabinet Associated Press - 29 January 2015 15:44-05:00

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia's official news agency says King Salman has reshuffled the cabinet after assuming the throne last week.

The Saudi Press Agency said the monarch issued 30 royal degrees, one outlining the new makeup of the cabinet. The key posts of oil and foreign minister remained unchanged.

He also replaced the head of intelligence and sacked the prince of Mecca. The king eliminated a dozen councils and specialized committees while creating two main bodies for security and economy affairs.

News Topics: General news

People, Places and Companies: Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, Saudi Arabia, Middle East

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

Categories: News

Senators renew push for more oversight of global deals by little-noticed US development agency

New Europe News - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 20:44
by  Associated Press New push in Congress for more oversight of US aid agency by RONNIE GREENE, Associated Press - 29 January 2015 15:44-05:00

WASHINGTON (AP) — Key senators are telling The Associated Press they want to see more rigorous oversight of the U.S. government's development agency, called the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. The agency was the subject of an AP investigation earlier this week into a failed $217 million energy project in West Africa that was marked by insider connections and questionable due diligence.

The AP's scrutiny brings renewed attention to earlier proposals in Congress to create the job of inspector general inside the agency to review its activities. Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill said inspectors general serve as the eyes and ears of taxpayers to prevent waste, fraud and abuse, and every agency should have one.

A spokesman for the agency said it supports creation of an inspector general, too.

News Topics: General news, Legislature, Government and politics

People, Places and Companies: Claire McCaskill

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

Categories: News

Humans of New York photo blogger helps raise $1 million to send poor NYC kids to visit Harvard

New Europe News - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 20:43
by  Associated Press Blogger helps raise $1 million so NYC kids can visit Harvard Associated Press - 29 January 2015 15:43-05:00

NEW YORK (AP) — A fundraising campaign inspired by the popular photo blog Humans of New York has raised more than $1 million to send middle-school students from a high-poverty Brooklyn school on field trips to Harvard.

Blogger Brandon Stanton featured 13-year-old Vidal Chastanet on Jan. 20.

Vidal told Stanton about Nadia Lopez. She's his principal at Mott Hall Bridges Academy in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn.

He said Lopez inspires students by telling them that they all matter.

Stanton went to meet Lopez and found she was busy raising money to send her sixth-graders on a trip to Harvard.

Stanton started a crowdfunding effort on Indiegogo.com. The campaign has raised $1,064,189 for students as of Thursday afternoon.

The money will send Mott Hall sixth-graders on trips to Harvard for the next 10 years.

News Topics: Arts and entertainment, General news, Lifestyle, Technology

People, Places and Companies: Nadia Lopez, New York, New York City, Brooklyn, United States, North America

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

Categories: News

Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch gives most extensive answers of Super Bowl week

New Europe News - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 20:33
by  Associated Press Lynch gives most extensive answers of Super Bowl week by ROB MAADDI, Associated Press - 29 January 2015 15:33-05:00

PHOENIX (AP) — After a couple of days of giving only scripted answers, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch made his most extensive comments of Super Bowl week.

"All week I told y'all what's up and for some reason y'all continue to come back," he said at a news conference on Thursday.

"I don't know what story you want. I don't know what image y'all wanna portray me. But it don't matter what y'all think, what y'all say about me. When I go home at night, the same people I look in the face, my family that I love, that's all I need. So y'all can make up whatever you wanna make up. I don't say enough."

He also praised his teammates, Oakland, California, and the Family First Foundation. When asked who was the best player on the Seahawks, he said: "All of them."

As he has all week, Lynch stayed five minutes before leaving.

On Wednesday, to every question except one, he replied, "You know why I'm here."

On Tuesday, Lynch repeated: "I'm just here so I don't get fined."

In November, the NFL fined Lynch $50,000 for violations of the league's media policy in addition to collecting the $50,000 fine that was imposed against him for violations last season. The fine from 2013 was held in anticipation of future cooperation from him.

Despite barely saying a word this week, Lynch has created a run on the "Beast Mode" caps he's been wearing at the Super Bowl. The two baseball caps have sold out on his website, where they're part of his own Beast Mode apparel line. The cap manufacturer says more are on the way.

The gray-billed navy cap he wore on Tuesday retails for $33. Lynch could be fined for wearing that hat if the NFL deems it broke the rule requiring players to wear team-issued apparel on media day.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy declined to comment.

On Wednesday, Lynch wore a black and charcoal version, listed for $40.

News Topics: Sports, Professional football, NFL football, NFL Super Bowl, Football, Events

People, Places and Companies: Marshawn Lynch

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

Categories: News

Much confusion, few answers, in mysterious death of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman

New Europe News - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 20:29
by  Associated Press Much confusion, few answers, in Argentine prosecutor's death by PETER PRENGAMAN, Associated Press - 29 January 2015 15:29-05:00

BUENOS AIRES (AP) — Argentina has been rocked by the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was found in a pool of blood on Jan 18 hours before he was to elaborate on his findings that President Cristina Fernandez protected those responsible for a 1994 terror bombing. The case is shrouded in allegations of a high-level cover-up and government suggestions that Nisman's death was orchestrated by rogue intelligence agents. More than a week after he was found with a bullet in his head, there are more questions than answers.

Here is a look at what is known about the case:

___

WHAT ARE THE ALLEGATIONS?

Several days before he was found dead, Nisman leveled claims against Fernandez, accusing her of shielding Iranian officials wanted in a 1994 bombing that killed 85 people and injured more than 200 at a Jewish community center. Wiretaps allegedly recorded Fernandez discussing a deal to protect the Iranians in 2013, about the same time Argentina approved a "Memorandum of Understanding" in which the two countries agreed to cooperate in investigating the bombing, which has never been solved.

According to Nisman, Fernandez did this in exchange for favorable economic deals with the Middle Eastern country. Fernandez has rejected Nisman's claims, arguing Argentina had little to gain from such a deal. Iran repeatedly has denied involvement in the bombing.

___

WAS IT SUICIDE OR MURDER?

The morning after Nisman was found, prosecutor Viviana Fein, the lead investigator in the case, said it appeared Nisman had committed suicide. That same day, Fernandez published a letter on several social media sites suggesting Nisman had taken his own life. Several lawmakers and Nisman's colleagues immediately rejected the possibility of suicide, arguing it simply didn't make sense.

Three days later, Fernandez wrote another letter suggesting Nisman's death had been orchestrated by rogue elements in the intelligence community. Around the same time, Fein and other government officials began saying they were investigating a possible homicide.

___

ARE THERE ANY SUSPECTS?

The 10 federal policemen assigned to protect Nisman have been put on leave while the case is investigated, but no one has been arrested or named as a possible suspect. Fernandez and other government officials have cast doubt on Diego Lagomarsino, a Nisman aide who has acknowledged that, the day before the death, he gave the prosecutor the gun used to kill him. However, Fein has said there is no indication that Lagomarsino was behind Nisman's death.

___

WHAT IS THIS ABOUT ROGUE AGENTS?

In her letters, and during a national address on Jan. 26, Fernandez suggested rogue elements in the intelligence services orchestrated a hit on Nisman to destabilize her government. She did not say who or what their ultimate reason might have been. However, she suggested responsibility may lay with Antonio "Jaime" Stiuso, a recently deposed top intelligence operative who, according to news reports, oversaw a vast wire-tapping operation.

Fernandez said Stiuso fed Nisman false information about alleged spies and even suggested that Stiuso had written Nisman's 289-page report detailing his case against Fernandez. However, Fernandez has not elaborated, and Stiuso's whereabouts are unknown.

___

WHY REFORM INTELLIGENCE SERVICES?

During her national address, Fernandez called on Congress to overhaul the Secretary of Intelligence, saying doing so was a "national debt" the country had pending since its return to democracy in 1983. She said the country's spy agencies operated similar to the way they did during the military dictatorship and often were used for political ends. Opposition parties have rejected her calls, arguing that intelligence services already report to the president and Fernandez's party has been in power since 2003.

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

People, Places and Companies: Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Argentina, Iran, South America, Latin America and Caribbean, Middle East

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

Categories: News

Canada's top court decides $27-million winning lottery ticket bought 7 seconds late invalid

New Europe News - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 20:29
by  Associated Press 7 seconds delay cost Quebecer lottery ticket winnings Associated Press - 29 January 2015 15:29-05:00

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — A Quebec man who bought a lottery ticket seven seconds too late to be declared the winner has lost his Supreme Court of Canada bid to appeal a decision denying him half of the $27-million prize.

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to accept Joel Ifergan's appeal.

Ifergan bought two Super 7 tickets in May 2008, seconds before the 9 p.m. cutoff.

The first ticket was printed showing the May 23 date — that night's draw. The second ticket with the winning numbers for that night's jackpot, was printed a few seconds later with a date for the following week's draw.

Ifergan blamed the delay on Loto-Québec's central computer system and sued the province's lottery regulator for half of the jackpot because there was another a winning ticket.

News Topics: General news, Lotteries

People, Places and Companies: Ontario, Canada, North America

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

Categories: News

Decision looms over captive US orca, but likely to prompt new fights over Lolita the whale

New Europe News - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 20:21
by  Associated Press Decision looms over captive US orca; fate of Lolita unclear by PHUONG LE, Associated Press - 29 January 2015 15:21-05:00

SEATTLE (AP) — For years, animal activists have campaigned to free a killer whale that was captured off the Northwest coast in 1970 and has been performing at Miami Seaquarium in Florida for over four decades.

They say the orca known as Lolita belongs to a small population of endangered killer whales and should receive the same federal protection as those wild animals.

A decision from the federal government is expected next week at the earliest. But far from ending debate, it's likely to prompt a new round of battles over the fate of the whale, who was four or six years old when she was legally rounded up from Puget Sound off Washington state waters and later sent to the Miami facility.

Robert Rose, curator of the Miami Seaquarium, said he anticipates that the National Marine Fisheries Service will include Lolita in that endangered group.

"Regardless of what happens with the listing, she's not going to be released," Rose said in an interview Wednesday.

Lolita is a healthy, vibrant animal, has been well cared for by the Seaquarium for 45 years and would endure more harm if she's released into the wild, Rose said. Thousands of visitors who would never see a killer whale in the wild are introduced to killer whales through Lolita, according to the Seaquarium.

Activists say, however, that she belongs in the wild, not a small pool, and should be returned to her home waters. She has become a rallying cry for activists, who have led a decades-long campaign to get her freed.

The whale would have more freedom and the chance to bond with others in the tightly-knit pod of orcas that spend time in Washington state waters, activists said. Her probable mother is still alive, they say.

"She is suffering in that cramped confinement," said Howard Garrett, executive director of the nonprofit Orca Network, based on Whidbey Island. "We would like to see her enjoy her life. We would like to see her be able to swim free in the waters where she grew up."

The group wants Lolita released into a protected marine pen near the San Juan Islands north of Seattle, where she will be monitored and cared for until she can gradually reconnected with other wild orcas.

Rose noted the case of the captive killer whale Keiko, who was released into the wild and whose story was dramatized in the 1993 film, "Free Willy."

"He didn't have Hollywood movie ending," Rose said. He died in Norway, presumably of pneumonia.

Garrett said Keiko lived for five years in the wild before his death. There's minimal risk of harm to Lolita or other orcas if she's returned to her home waters, he said.

News Topics: General news, Endangered and extinct species, Dolphins, Animals, Hostage situations, Species reintroduction, Political activism, Environmental concerns, Environment, Environment and nature, Wildlife, Mammals, Species conservation and preservation, Wildlife management, Natural resource management, Environmental conservation and preservation, Political issues, Government and politics

People, Places and Companies: Miami, Washington, Seattle, Florida, United States, North America

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

Categories: News

NOS reporter: Gunman who stormed studio claimed to be from a 'hackers' collective'

New Europe News - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 20:19
by  Associated Press NOS reporter: Gunman who stormed studio claimed to be from a 'hackers' collective' Associated Press - 29 January 2015 15:19-05:00

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — NOS reporter: Gunman who stormed studio claimed to be from a 'hackers' collective'

News Topics: General news

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

Categories: News

Report: Armed man enters Dutch national broadcaster, demands airtime

New Europe News - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 19:49
by  Associated Press Report: Armed man enters Dutch national broadcaster Associated Press - 29 January 2015 14:49-05:00

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The director of Dutch national broadcaster NOS says an armed man entered the building of the broadcaster and demanded airtime on television.

Jan de Jong, director of the NOS, told national radio "Someone got into the building" and added that the man had been detained.

The Thursday evening edition of the NOS news was not broadcast. Further details were not immediately available.

Police didn't immediately return calls seeking comment.

News Topics: General news

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

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

Categories: News

Rights groups: Free 3 detained for protest at Equatorial Guinea hosting Africa soccer event

New Europe News - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 19:48
by  Associated Press 3 men detained for protesting E. Guinea soccer tournament Associated Press - 29 January 2015 14:48-05:00

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Human rights groups demanded Thursday that Equatorial Guinea free three men allegedly detained for protesting the country's hosting of Africa's premier soccer championship while half the population has no access to clean water.

Amnesty International and rights groups from Spain, Portugal and the United States called the three prisoners of conscience.

They urged the government to protect them from the torture for which the West African nation's prisons are notorious, and to allow them adequate access to lawyers, their families and health care.

Political activist Celestino Okenve was arrested Jan. 14 for distributing leaflets calling for a boycott of the African Cup of Nations, which started Jan. 17 and lasts three weeks. Two others were arrested in connection with the leaflets.

They said the country's ruler for 35 years, President Teodoro Obiang, was wasting money while people suffer. Equatorial Guinea has the highest per capita income in Africa but its oil money benefits only a small elite and Obiang stifles the opposition.

"Exercising freedom of expression should never be the basis for imprisonment," Amnesty's Steve Cockburn said in the statement.

News Topics: General news, Men's soccer, Arrests, Soccer, Men's sports, Sports, Law and order, Crime

People, Places and Companies: Senegal, Africa, Equatorial Guinea, West Africa, Central Africa

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

Categories: News

Long-awaited trial set to open in missing-child case of Etan Patz, who vanished in 1979

New Europe News - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 19:47
by  Associated Press Long-awaited trial to open in Etan Patz missing-child case by JENNIFER PELTZ, Associated Press - 29 January 2015 14:47-05:00

NEW YORK (AP) — The teenage stock clerk was just a name in a file for decades, one of many people police encountered while searching for a 6-year-old boy named Etan Patz. Thirty-five years later, Pedro Hernandez is going on trial in a case that defined the nation's approach to missing children.

Opening statements are set for Friday in Hernandez's murder and kidnapping trial. He emerged as a suspect in 2012, based on a tip and a videotaped confession that prosecutors say was foreshadowed by remarks he made to friends and relatives in the 1980s.

His defense will hinge on convincing jurors that the confession is false, along with suggesting that the real killer is a convicted child molester who was a prime suspect for years.

"It will be, I think, an extremely interesting case," state Supreme Court Justice Maxwell Wiley told prospective jurors earlier this month, adding that those chosen would be in for "an experience they'll never forget."

In considering evidence that reaches back to 1979, jurors will delve into a missing child case that helped inject a new protectiveness into American parenting. Last seen walking alone to his school bus stop, Etan became one of the first missing children featured on milk cartons. His parents helped advocate for legislation that created a nationwide law-enforcement framework to address such cases, and the anniversary of his disappearance became National Missing Children's Day.

The trial is expected to last up to three months and feature witnesses including Etan's mother, psychologists, inmate informants and, possibly, the earlier suspect.

Prosecutors have spotlighted Hernandez's videotaped, hours-long confessions, in which he says he offered Etan a soda to entice him into the basement of the Manhattan convenience store where Hernandez worked. Then, Hernandez said, he choked the boy and dumped him, still alive, in a box with some curbside trash. Etan's body has never been found.

"Something just took over me, and I was just choking him," said Hernandez, 54. "He just kind of stood there, and I just felt bad, what I did."

Defense lawyers say Hernandez' confession is fiction, dreamed up by a mentally ill man with a low IQ and a history of hallucinations — and fueled by over six hours of police questioning before Hernandez was read his rights.

Hernandez's lawyers also plan to point to longtime suspect Jose Ramos, a Pennsylvania prisoner who dated a woman who sometimes cared for Etan. Authorities said Ramos made incriminating statements when questioned about Etan in the 1980s, though he never confessed to killing the boy. Ramos has denied it, but a civil court found him liable for Etan's death in 2004 after Ramos stopped cooperating with questioning.

___

Associated Press writer Colleen Long contributed to this report. Reach Jennifer Peltz on Twitter @jennpeltz.

News Topics: General news, Trials, Missing persons, Homicide, Kidnapping, Crime, Legal proceedings, Law and order, Violent crime

People, Places and Companies: Etan Patz, Pedro Hernandez, Jose Ramos, New York City, New York, United States, North America

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

Categories: News

Report: Armed man enters Dutch national broadcaster, demands airtime

New Europe News - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 19:43
by  Associated Press Report: Armed man enters Dutch national broadcaster, demands airtime Associated Press - 29 January 2015 14:43-05:00

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Report: Armed man enters Dutch national broadcaster, demands airtime.

News Topics: General news

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

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

Categories: News

Balloon crew shifting course due to weather, now planning landing in Mexico

New Europe News - Thu, 29/01/2015 - 19:39
by  Associated Press Balloon crew shifting course toward Mexico due to weather by SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press - 29 January 2015 14:39-05:00

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The pilots of a helium balloon attempting a record-breaking flight across the Pacific Ocean were aiming for Canada, but now the weather has forced them to make a sweeping right turn toward Mexico.

The Two Eagles pilots Troy Bradley of Albuquerque and Leonid Tiukhtyaev of Russia are trying to break two world records, for distance and duration.

They set off from Saga, Japan, shortly before 6:30 a.m. Sunday Japan time, and were aiming for Canada until a high-pressure ridge formed off the U.S. West Coast as they approached North America.

"Think of it as hitting a wall: It will have to go left or right," their mission control said in a statement.

The northerly course would have taken them over the Canadian Rockies to somewhere in the northern U.S., possibly Montana or North Dakota.

Instead, they're headed south, to a Saturday landing in Mexico, possibly on the peninsula of Baja California, mission control said.

Baja California had been ruled out earlier because of bad weather there, but conditions shifted and "the balloon should have good weather coming into the Mexican coast," mission control said.

No one has crossed the Pacific Ocean in a gas balloon since 1981. But to break the distance record, the balloonists need exceed the current records by 1 percent to claim a new world record. That means they need to travel 5,260 miles to break the mark.

Another important record is the duration of the flight, set in 1978 when Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson and Larry Newman made the first trans-Atlantic balloon flight. That record of 137 hours in the air in a traditional gas balloon is considered the "holy grail" of ballooning achievements.

The balloon is outfitted with an array of monitors and other instruments that are tracking its course. After they land, the data will be forwarded to the keeper of such records, the Federation Aeronautique Internationale, for consideration.

The balloon's speed has slowed significantly, which is something forecasters had expected. The balloon, made up of a massive envelope and a specially-designed carbon fiber-composite capsule, is capable of staying aloft for as many as 10 days.

The team says the very last task will be a safe landing. With no certainty about their destination, their team established a network of balloonists across the U.S. and in southern Canada to serve as chase crews, traveling as much as 200 miles to help tether the capsule and round up the balloon's envelope as it deflates.

But not even the pilots know where they will land. It depends on the winds encountered along the way.

And if those winds blow them beyond the Baja peninsula, it wasn't immediately clear if they'll be able to land in a place where a team on the ground can help them.

___

Online:

http://pacificballoon.com/tracking/index.php

https://twitter.com/twoeaglesteam

News Topics: General news, Weather forecasts, Weather

People, Places and Companies: Canada, Japan, North America, Albuquerque, United States, Pacific Ocean, East Asia, Asia, New Mexico

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

Categories: News