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Amazon's revenue increases even as spending rises

A parcel moves on the conveyor belt at Amazon's logistics centre in Graben By Deepa Seetharaman SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc's revenue grew more than expected for the first quarter, largely offset by a sharp increase in spending on technology, content and new warehouses as the e-commerce company branches into new businesses. Amazon's international unit, which accounts for 40 percent of sales, continued to be a drag as sales growth slowed to 18 percent during the quarter. Global unit sales, a closely watched measure of how many items Amazon has sold, also decelerated, rising only 23 percent. ...


Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street

FILE - In this April 2, 2014 file photo, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gestures during the keynote address of the Build Conference in San Francisco. Microsoft reports quarterly earnings on Thursday, April 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File) LOS ANGELES (AP) — Results from Microsoft's first quarterly earnings release under new CEO Satya Nadella offered fresh justification for his focus on cloud computing.


What Emerging Market Start-ups Need Most Is Mentorship

What Emerging Market Start-ups Need Most Is Mentorship The entrepreneurs complain about the slow flow of investment capital. The investors complain about the lack of good deals. Both groups are right. While there is plenty of money out there, early stage investment in emerging market companies is sluggish at best. Here is where the paradox can be explained.


Starbucks eyes soda and lunch as US sales climb

FILE - In this March 19, 2014 file photo, Sandy Roberts, Starbucks strategy manager for global coffee engagement, pours samples of coffee for shareholders and other guests, at Starbucks' annual shareholders meeting in Seattle. Starbucks reports quarterly earnings on Thursday, April 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File) NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks keeps finding ways to squeeze more money out of people.


New York's 'Dr Vodka' dies in Miami Beach high-speed car crash

By Zachary Fagenson MIAMI BEACH, Florida (Reuters) - New York alcohol entrepreneur Malcolm Lloyd, founder of the Double Cross vodka brand, was killed early Thursday morning in a high speed car crash near Miami Beach, police said. Lloyd, 42, was a passenger in a Lamborghini that police say was traveling at more than 100 miles per hour at 2.50 a.m. local time when it hit a Chevrolet Suburban SUV that was stopped at a red light, according to Miami Beach police. Known by some in the industry as "Doctor Vodka" after he switched from a medical career to the spirits industry, Lloyd was honored by Goldman Sachs in 2012 as one of the top 100 innovative entrepreneurs in the country. The driver of the sports car was named as Miami resident, Andres Esteban Toro, 53, who faces "pending criminal charges" said Miami Beach Police spokeswoman Vivian Thayer.

Bolivia fires hundreds of protesting soldiers

Low ranking soldiers march on the third day of protests in La Paz, Bolivia, Thursday, April 24, 2014. Enlisted soldiers are protesting the military high command's dismissal of four of its leaders who defended their call for changes so that non-commissioned officers may study to become career officers. (AP Photo/Juan Karita) LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Bolivia's military leaders on Thursday ordered the dismissal for sedition of 702 enlisted men who had been protesting to demand they have the option of rising to the rank of officer.


Seattle stymied in efforts to raise minimum wage

SEATTLE (AP) — Mayor Ed Murray says business and labor interests have not been able to reach an agreement on raising Seattle's minimum wage.

Top Asian News at 11:00 p.m. GMT

TOKYO (AP) — When President Barack Obama arrives in South Korea on Friday, he will be thrust anew into the role of consoler in chief in a time of crisis, a responsibility he has become all too accustomed to in the United States. South Korea is reeling from the ferry disaster that has left more than 300 dead or missing, with the vast majority of the victims students from a high school near the capital of Seoul. The tragedy has consumed South Korean President Park Geun-hye in the lead-up to Obama's visit and could distract from the security and economic agenda she had been expected to highlight during her meetings with the U.S. president.

Vanska returns as Minnesota Orchestra music head

FILE - This undated file photo shows Minnesota Orchestra conductor Osmo Vanska during a performance in Minneapolis. Vanska is returning as music director of the Minnesota Orchestra. The orchestra's board said Thursday, April 24, 2014, that Vanska will lead at least 10 weeks of concerts for each of the next two seasons. Vanska resigned in October during a lockout of the orchestra's musicians that lasted more than a year. The dispute ended in January, when musicians agreed to pay cuts in a new three-year contract. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Tom Wallace, File) MANDATORY CREDIT; ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS OUT; MAGS OUT; TWIN CITIES TV OUT MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Finnish conductor Osmo Vanska is returning as music director of the Minnesota Orchestra.


Major oil and gas firm to list fracking chemicals

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A major supplier to the oil and gas industry says it will begin disclosing 100 percent of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluid, with no exemptions for trade secrets. The move by Baker Hughes of Houston is a shift for a major firm; it's unclear if others will follow suit.

Ex-soldier convicted in daughter's beating death

HONOLULU (AP) — A federal jury on Thursday convicted a former Hawaii soldier of murder in the beating death of his 5-year-old daughter, a capital offense in a state that doesn't have the death penalty.

Northwestern players to cast historic union vote

FILE - In this April, 2, 2014 file photo, former Northwestern football quarterback Kain Colter, right, and Ramogi Huma, founder and president of the National College Players Association, arrive on Capitol Hill in Washington. Northwestern football players will cast secret ballots Friday, April 25, 2014, on whether to form the nation’s first union for college athletes, a potentially landmark vote that will, however, be kept sealed for weeks or months, and possibly years. Colter announced in January that he would lead the drive to unionize. The CAPA would represent the players at the bargaining table if the pro-union side prevails. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke, File) EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Northwestern University's football players will cast ballots Friday on whether to form the nation's first union for college athletes — a potentially landmark vote that will be kept sealed for months and possibly years.


Kerry: window closing for Russia to change course in Ukraine

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry suggested on Thursday that the United States is drawing closer to imposing more sanctions on Russia by saying time was running out for Moscow to change its course in Ukraine. "The window to change course is closing," he told reporters. "(Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin and Russia face a choice. If Russia chooses the path of de-escalation ... all of us will welcome it. But if Russia does not, the world will make sure that the costs for Russia will only grow." (Reporting By Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Arkansas judge voids state voter ID law

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas judge struck down the state's new voter ID law on Thursday, saying it violates the state constitution by adding a requirement that voters must meet before casting a ballot.

Sailors with pellet gun prompt alert at San Diego-area naval base

Two sailors playing with a pellet gun caused officials at a San Diego-area naval base to issue a shelter-in-place warning for part of the facility on Thursday, and were taken into custody, Navy officials said. The two sailors were shooting at a mirror with an Airsoft pellet gun in a parking structure at Naval Base Point Loma, which led to a report of an individual with a gun and the alert, said Navy spokeswoman Petty Officer Carla Ocampo. No malicious intent is suspected, but the two men remain in custody as the Naval Criminal Investigative Service probes the incident, and they are likely to be charged, said Navy spokesman Lieutenant Commander Steve Ruh. Naval Base Point Loma is one of three main U.S. Navy bases in San Diego and is home port to six active duty U.S. submarines.

Convicted KPMG inside trader sentenced to prison

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former partner at the accounting firm KPMG has been sentenced to 14 months in federal prison for insider trading.

Kerry warns Russia of expensive new sanctions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry is accusing Russia of failing to live up to commitments it made to ease the crisis in Ukraine.

Kerry warns Russia of expensive new sanctions

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks about the situation with Ukraine and Russia from the State Department in Washington, Thursday, April 24, 2014. Kerry is accusing Russia of failing to live up to commitments it made to ease the crisis in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry is accusing Russia of failing to live up to commitments it made to ease the crisis in Ukraine.


STORY REMOVED: BC-US--Slave Labor-Charges

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — The Associated Press has withdrawn its story about the sentencing of Dezerah Silsby in an Ohio forced-labor case. Previous versions of the story incorrectly said Silsby pleaded guilty to four counts. Silsby pleaded guilty to two: a conspiracy count and a count of acquiring controlled substances by deception. A forced-labor charge and a charge alleging theft of government benefits were dismissed under a plea deal.

Improving Communication for Your Business Through Technology

Improving Communication for Your Business Through Technology When you outline the biggest challenges facing your business today, having the right technology for communications is probably not the top item on your list. But along with making sure you have an effective communication style (more on that in this earlier post), choosing the right technology really should be a top priority. An organization that does not effectively communicate -- to its customers, prospects, employees, partners and vendors -- will likely not survive. ...


New Jersey forest fire burns half a square mile

A large brush fire has burned about a half a square mile in central New Jersey, yet some residents are being allowed back into their homes after earlier evacuations.

Washington loses waiver on No Child Left Behind

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state is losing its independence to decide the best way to spend about $40 million in federal dollars to improve how students perform in its public schools, education officials said Thursday.

Keystone XL pipeline part of larger Senate fight

FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2014, file photo, Democratic Senatorial candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, addresses a group of supporters at a fundraiser in Louisville, Ky. Grimes is the latest Democratic Senate candidate to call for building the Keystone XL oil pipeline. But the move hasn't cost her support among some environmentalists as she tries to win the seat now held by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.(AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File) FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Alison Lundergan Grimes is the latest Democratic Senate candidate to call for building the Keystone XL oil pipeline, but the Kentucky secretary of state's move doesn't seem to have cost her support among environmental groups who want to unseat Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.


Google, Apple settle high-tech workers' lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe Systems have settled a class-action lawsuit alleging they conspired to prevent their engineers and other highly sought technology workers from getting better job offers from one another.

Landslide threatening Wyoming resort town slows to a crawl

A slow moving landslide buckles the pavement of a new drugstore parking lot in Jackson Hole A Wyoming landslide menacing houses and businesses in an upscale resort town has slowed to a crawl, giving crews time to prevent the rupture of a water main, although one official cautioned on Thursday that the respite could prove temporary. The slow collapse of the East Gros Ventre Butte in Jackson, a popular international ski destination and gateway to the Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, has torn a house in two, buckled roads, displaced dozens of residents from their homes and shuttered several businesses. George Machan of Landslide Technology, a geotechnical firm that provides landslide evaluation and mitigation services, said the slide had "a significant slowing" amid efforts to reinforce the bottom of the butte with six million pounds of concrete and other materials. Jackson Police Lieutenant Cole Nethercott said it was possible some residents might be able to use a temporary road as early as next week to gain access to their houses.


Landslide threatening Wyoming resort town slows to a crawl

A slow moving landslide buckles the pavement of a new drugstore parking lot in Jackson Hole A Wyoming landslide menacing houses and businesses in an upscale resort town has slowed to a crawl, giving crews time to prevent the rupture of a water main, although one official cautioned on Thursday that the respite could prove temporary. The slow collapse of the East Gros Ventre Butte in Jackson, a popular international ski destination and gateway to the Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, has torn a house in two, buckled roads, displaced dozens of residents from their homes and shuttered several businesses. George Machan of Landslide Technology, a geotechnical firm that provides landslide evaluation and mitigation services, said the slide had "a significant slowing" amid efforts to reinforce the bottom of the butte with six million pounds of concrete and other materials. Jackson Police Lieutenant Cole Nethercott said it was possible some residents might be able to use a temporary road as early as next week to gain access to their houses.


Russia has not taken 'single step' to meet Ukraine deal

US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at the US State Department in Washington, DC on April 24, 2014 Washington (AFP) - Russia has not taken a "single step" to uphold the terms of a deal struck a week ago to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday.


DHS sec'y puts ex-watchdog on leave after report

This undated photo obtained from the Department of Homeland Security shows former Acting Inspector General Charles Edwards. A Senate subcommittee says Edwards was too cozy with the political appointees of President Barack Obama whose activities he was supposed to oversee. A 27-page report from a Senate homeland security subcommittee says Charles Edwards improperly rewrote, delayed or classified reports to accommodate the department. It says he also asked for guidance from senior Homeland Security Department officials instead of his own staff. (AP Photo/Homeland Security) WASHINGTON (AP) — The secretary of the Homeland Security Department put the agency's former internal watchdog on administrative leave Thursday following the release of a Senate report that concluded he was too cozy with senior agency officials and improperly rewrote, delayed or classified some critical reports to accommodate President Barack Obama's political appointees.


U.S. Justice Department seeks over $13 billion from BofA: Bloomberg

A Bank of America sign is shown on a building in downtown Los Angeles, California By Aruna Viswanatha, Karen Freifeld and Peter Rudegeair (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Justice is asking Bank of America Corp to pay more than $13 billion to settle allegations the bank overstated the quality of mortgage bonds it sold during the housing bubble, according to Bloomberg News. CNBC News reported that Bank of America's mortgage securities settlement could exceed $10 billion.


FBI seeks victims of major international pedophile

The FBI is hastily seeking to identify victims of a serial pedophile who drugged and molested dozens of children over four decades teaching at international schools around the world The FBI was Thursday hastily seeking to identify victims of a serial pedophile who drugged and molested dozens of children over four decades teaching at international schools around the world. William James Vahey, 64, committed suicide in March in a Minnesota hotel room while the subject of an international sex crimes probe covering his teaching in nine countries, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said. "When Vahey was confronted about the images, he reportedly admitted molesting boys throughout his entire life and said he gave the minors sleeping pills prior to the molestation," the FBI said in an alert. Vahey taught overseas from 1972 until days before his death including at private academies that served children of American diplomats and military personnel, as well as locals, according to the FBI.


Top Asian News at 10:30 p.m. GMT

TOKYO (AP) — When President Barack Obama arrives in South Korea on Friday, he will be thrust anew into the role of consoler in chief in a time of crisis, a responsibility he has become all too accustomed to in the United States. South Korea is reeling from the ferry disaster that has left more than 300 dead or missing, with the vast majority of the victims students from a high school near the capital of Seoul. The tragedy has consumed South Korean President Park Geun-hye in the lead-up to Obama's visit and could distract from the security and economic agenda she had been expected to highlight during her meetings with the U.S. president.

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for 2015 unveiling: alumni

File photo of Penn State head coach Joe Paterno with his team in Columbus By David DeKok HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach" is set to begin two years after his image was removed from Penn State University because of a child sex abuse scandal involving a long-time assistant coach. The Kickstarter.com campaign to raise $300,000 for a new sculpture of the late legendary coach that would be placed on private land in downtown State College, Pennsylvania, was set to begin on July 7, organizer Ted Sebastianelli, a Penn State alumnus, said on Thursday. Two years ago, on July 22, 2012, a statue of Paterno outside the football stadium on the State College campus was pulled down by the university after former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky's conviction for sexually abusing boys.


Water picture improves for some California towns

FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2014 file photo, Forrest Clark loads five-gallon bottles of water purchased at a local store into his car in Willits, Calif. State public health officials have reduced the number of communities at risk of losing their drinking water due to California's drought from 17 to three. In the Mendocino County town of Willits, which was two months from losing its drinking water, well drilling efforts and rain have helped officials ease restrictions. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, file) SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — While much of California remains in the grips of extreme drought, spring storms have eased pressure slightly and reduced the number of rural communities considered at risk of running dry.


Chicago doctor among those killed in Afghanistan

Chicago Doctor Shot And Killed In Afghanistan CHICAGO (AP) — From Chicago to Afghanistan, Dr. Jerry Umanos dedicated his service to poor children.


US unwilling to give up Mideast peace process yet

Secretary of State John Kerry addresses a gathering of the Export-Import Bank at the Omni-Shoreham Hotel in Washington, Thursday, April 24, 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) WASHINGTON (AP) — The suspension of peace talks between Israel and Palestinians on Thursday delivered the harshest blow yet to Secretary of State John Kerry's ambitious, if perhaps quixotic, hope of ending the decades-long impasse at the cost of focusing on other crises around the world. But Kerry refused to accept defeat, saying "we will never give up our hope or our commitment for the possibilities" of Mideast peace.


Obama administration may unveil new deportation policy in two stages

A woman holds a cluster of U.S. flags during a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalization ceremony in Oakland By Julia Edwards and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House is considering small steps in the near term to ease the threat of deportation for some undocumented immigrants, but advocates in communication with the administration expect President Barack Obama to make bigger changes later in the year. With legislation to reform U.S. immigration policy stalled in Congress, Obama has come under increasing pressure from the immigrant community to take executive action to curb the rate of deportation that has reached a record level under his presidency. In the coming weeks, an Obama-ordered review of deportation enforcement at the Department of Homeland Security is expected to conclude that certain steps should be taken to ensure that some immigrants who have not committed serious crimes should be allowed to remain in the United States, according to several sources familiar with the review.


NJ fire burns 300 acres; some let back into homes

A large brush fire had burned more than 300 acres in central New Jersey, yet some residents are being allowed back into their homes after earlier evacuations.

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy defends race remarks

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada rancher at the center of a feud over cattle grazing on public land is defending himself from sharp criticism over comments he made about slavery.

FDA backs off animal feed rule affecting brewers

FILE - In this April 2, 2014 file photo Calvin West, from Meyer Dairy Farm, watches spent grain bound for the farm fill a trailer at Empyrean Brewing in Lincoln, Neb. The federal government is backing off proposed regulations aimed at preventing livestock contamination that brewers say would add to their costs without improving the safety of grain used to feed livestock. Many beer makers sell or give grain leftover from the brewing process to farmers, who use it as feed for dairy cows and other animals. (AP Photo/The Journal-Star, Gwyneth Roberts, File) MILWAUKEE (AP) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it will revise proposed livestock feed rules after hearing objections about the potential cost from brewers who sell grain leftover from making beer to ranchers and dairy farmers.


US threatens to pull aid to Haiti over late vote

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — The U.S. government has warned Haiti that it risks losing aid if it doesn't hold elections that are more than two years overdue.
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