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  • Obama seeks to ease Asian allies' doubts during visit to Japan

    Wednesday, 8:02 AM

    President Obama watches South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe move to their seats at the opposite ends of the tableBy Linda Sieg and Matt Spetalnick TOKYO (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will use a state visit to Japan on Thursday to try to reassure Tokyo and other Asian allies of his commitment to ramping up U.S. engagement in the region, despite Chinese complaints that Washington's real aim is to contain Beijing's rise. Obama will be treated to a display of pomp and ceremony meant to show that the U.S.-Japan alliance, the main pillar of America's security strategy in Asia, remains solid at a time of rising tensions over growing Chinese assertiveness and North Korean nuclear threats. It was unclear, however, whether a last-ditch round of talks between U.S. and Japanese negotiators would yield a breakthrough on a two-way trade pact seen as crucial to a broader trans-Pacific agreement that Obama has championed. The challenge for Obama during his week-long, four-nation tour will be to convince Asian partners that Washington is serious about its promised strategic "pivot" towards the region, while at the same time not harming U.S. ties with China, the world's second-biggest economy.


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  • Russia says it will respond if Ukraine interests attacked

    Wednesday, 12:43 PM

    By Pavel Polityuk and Alastair Macdonald KIEV (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the United States of being behind the political upheaval in Ukraine and said Moscow would respond if its interests came under attack. Lavrov's comments came a day after U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was in the Ukrainian capital with promises of support for the pro-Western government, and a warning to Russia not to interfere in Ukraine. The crisis in Ukraine, now in its fourth month, has dragged Russia's relations with the West to their lowest since the Cold War. In the east, pro-Russian armed separatists have seized about a dozen public buildings and are defying Kiev's authority.... read more

  • Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

    Wednesday, 11:47 AM

    Senior Fatah official Azzam Al-Ahmed, head of the Hamas government Ismail Haniyeh and senior Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouq hold their hands after announcing a reconciliation agreement in Gaza CityBy Nidal al-Mughrabi and Noah Browning GAZA/RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact, both sides announced in a joint news conference. "This is the good news we tell our people: the era of division is over," Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh said to loud applause at a Palestinian press conference also attended by representatives of the PLO. Israel said after the announcement that Abbas had chosen Hamas over peace, and canceled a session of U.S.-brokered talks with the Palestinians that had been scheduled for Wednesday night in Jerusalem.


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  • South Sudan sacks army chief after rebels seize oil hub

    Wednesday, 12:53 PM

    This picture taken on April 15, 2014 and released by the the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) shows debris outside a mosque in the town of BentiuSouth Sudan's President Salva Kiir sacked his army chief on Wednesday after rebels seized a major oil hub, unleashing two days of ethnic slaughter in which the UN says hundreds of civilians were massacred. Rebels loyal to sacked vice president Riek Machar seized the oil hub of Bentiu last week. The United Nations says they hunted down civilians sheltering in mosques, churches and a hospital, in a wave of ethnic killings. The president gave no reason for removing general James Hoth Mai, a move announced on national television, but sources attributed the decision to recent military setbacks in the oil-rich north of the country.


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  • First lady announces one-stop job site for vets

    Wednesday, 12:53 PM

    FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) — To help veterans leaving the military as it downsizes, the government on Wednesday started a one-stop job-shopping website for them to create resumes, connect with employers and become part of a database for companies to mine.... read more

  • Georgia governor signs gun carry rights expansion into law

    Wednesday, 12:41 PM

    Georgia Governor Deal speaks to the media as Public Safety Director McDonough and Georgia National Guard Director Butterworth listen at the State Capitol in AtlantaBy David Beasley ATLANTA (Reuters) - Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed a broad expansion of gun carry rights into law on Wednesday, allowing legal gun owners to take weapons into bars, churches and government buildings under certain conditions. Critics said the law gives gun owners too much leeway, but the state's Republican governor said it will protect the constitutional right to bear arms for those with proper carry licenses. The Republican-controlled legislature, which passed the measure in March, opted not to allow gun owners to take weapons onto college campuses but approved firearms in bars unless the business owner objects and posts a sign at the door. Previous Georgia law banned firearms from churches and bars.


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  • Bashtag: NYPD Twitter campaign backfires

    Wednesday, 12:54 PM

    FILE - In this May 1, 2012, file photo, a police lieutenant swings his baton at Occupy Wall Street activists in New York. This photo is among the many put on Twitter in response to a New York Police Department request for Twitter users to share pictures of themselves posing with police officers. The NYPD sent a tweet on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, saying it might feature the photographs on its Facebook page. The responses soon turned ugly when Occupy Wall Street tweeted a photograph of cops battling protesters with the caption "changing hearts and minds one baton at a time." Similar photos of harsh treatment by the New York City police followed. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)NEW YORK (AP) — To put it in social media terms, the New York Police Department got trolled.


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  • APNewsBreak: Oklahoma court could face impeachment

    Wednesday, 12:38 PM

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A member of the Oklahoma House is drafting a resolution seeking the impeachment of state Supreme Court justices who granted a delay of execution to two death-row inmates... read more

  • Connecticut police charge man in Yale gunman hoax

    Wednesday, 12:34 PM

    A Connecticut man was charged Wednesday with threatening and reckless endangerment in connection with a hoax telephone call to Yale University last year claiming a gunman was going to shoot people at the Ivy League school, police said. Jeffrey Jones, 50, a homeless man who told police he was from Westbrook, turned himself into police on Tuesday after a five month investigation to determine the caller's identity, said Officer David Hartman of the New Haven Police Department. Jones was formally charged Wednesday with falsely reporting an incident, reckless endangerment, threatening, misuse of the emergency 911 system and breach of peace, Hartman said. If convicted of the most serious charges, including a felony count of reckless endangerment, he could face up around 10 years in prison, a court official said... read more

  • Buffett says abstained from voting on Coca-Cola's compensation plan

    Wednesday, 12:55 PM

    Buffett, co-chair of the 10,000 Small Businesses Advisory Council, takes part in a panel discussion in Detroit, Michigan(Reuters) - Warren Buffett, chairman of conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway , on Wednesday said he thinks Coca-Cola's controversial equity compensation plan was excessive, but that Berkshire Hathaway abstained in the shareholders vote. Earlier on Wednesday, Coca-Cola said 83 percent of shareholders approved the plan. Critics, most notably activist investor David Winters, said the plan would dilute the holdings of current shareholders too much. As of December 31, Berkshire owned 400 million shares of the company, just over 9 percent of the shares outstanding.


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  • Judith Rodin: Director of the Day

    Wednesday, 12:35 PM

    Co-authored with Arthur Phillips, research associate at the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Directorships, 2008 - 2012: 3 Total director compensation, 2008 - 2012: $3,209,317* Average annual director compensation, 2008 - 2012: $641,863 Average compensation per full year of service as director: $229,237 Judith Rodin is president of The Rockefeller Foundation, which held $3.7 billion in assets as of its 2012 annual report. That year, the foundation distributed $130 million in grants and charitable activities while taking in a net investment income of $283 million. ...... read more

  • Amazon grabs rights to stream older HBO shows

    Wednesday, 12:18 PM

    The logo for HBO is pictured at the Cable portion of the Television Critics Association Summer press tour in Beverly HillsAmazon.com's streaming video service will offer some older shows from premium-cable channel HBO starting next month, a deal that intensifies both companies' competition with subscription-video service Netflix. This is the first time HBO, owned by Time Warner Inc, has licensed its award-winning programming to an online subscription streaming service, the companies said in a statement on Wednesday. HBO shows are not available through Netflix. Netflix shares fell 4.7 percent to $355.31 on Nasdaq.


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  • Paramedics called to Canada PM Harper's home on Sunday

    Wednesday, 12:46 PM

    Canada's PM Harper takes part in a news conference following the news of former Finance Minister Flaherty's death on Parliament Hill in OttawaBy Louise Egan OTTAWA (Reuters) - Paramedics were called to the residence of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the weekend, police and municipal officials said on Wednesday, but circumstances of the emergency, which did not involve Harper or his family, were unclear. The Globe and Mail and other local media reported that an 18-year old girl was taken to the hospital for severe intoxication after a party at the residence, citing the Ottawa Paramedic Service. The Paramedic Service was not immediately available to confirm the reports and a spokeswoman for the City of Ottawa, which oversees the paramedics, said confidentiality prevented her from disclosing details. "We can confirm that Ottawa Paramedic Services responded to a call for service on Sussex Drive in the early morning of Sunday, April 20," the spokeswoman said, referring to the official residence.


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  • Study: Gene therapy may boost cochlear implants

    Wednesday, 12:30 PM

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Australian researchers are trying a novel way to boost the power of cochlear implants: They used the technology to beam gene therapy into the ears of deaf animals and found the combination improved hearing.... read more

  • Exclusive: FBI warns healthcare sector vulnerable to cyber attacks

    Wednesday, 12:15 PM

    A lock icon, signifying an encrypted Internet connection, is seen on an Internet Explorer browser in ParisBy Jim Finkle BOSTON (Reuters) - The FBI has warned healthcare providers their cybersecurity systems are lax compared to other sectors, making them vulnerable to attacks by hackers searching for Americans' personal medical records and health insurance data. Health data is far more valuable to hackers on the black market than credit card numbers because it tends to contain details that can be used to access bank accounts or obtain prescriptions for controlled substances. "The healthcare industry is not as resilient to cyber intrusions compared to the financial and retail sectors, therefore the possibility of increased cyber intrusions is likely," the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a private notice it has been distributing to healthcare providers, obtained by Reuters.


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