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Director hits back at critics of Taylor Swift's African video
Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:56:46 -0400

Director Kahn speaks as Swift accepts the award for best female video for "Blank Space" at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards in Los AngelesThe director of Taylor Swift's new music video set in Africa struck back on Wednesday at mounting criticism of the scarcity of black people in the mini-film and its romanticized portrayal of the continent. "Wildest Dreams," a love story filmed against a backdrop of giraffes, lions, waterfalls and stunning sunsets, has been viewed more than 15 million times since it was released on Monday to accompany the American pop superstar's latest single. Although Swift is donating all proceeds to the African Parks Foundation of America, critics have seized on the video as portraying a stereotyped colonial-era view of Africa.


Syria's ailing water network could spark epidemics: Red Cross
Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:53:59 -0400

Residents fill containers with water in Aleppo's eastern district of Tariq al-Bab, SyriaBy Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - Syria's water network, heavily damaged by bombs and shelling, is at risk of collapse as its civil war drags on, increasing the threat of deadly typhoid or cholera outbreaks, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Wednesday. Millions of people in Aleppo and Damascus are cut off from water supplies for days at a time, a tactic used by all warring sides to exert control in divided cities, the ICRC said. ICRC aid workers have helped water boards and engineers to maintain and repair aging pumping stations throughout Syria since the conflict began in March 2011.


Disney unboxes the Force to drive buzz for 'Star Wars' toys
Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:07:14 -0400

File photo of the costume of character Darth Vader from the "Star Wars" film series as seen during press day for the "Star Wars Identities" at the "Cite du Cinema" movie studios in Saint-DenisBy Piya Sinha-Roy and Lisa Richwine LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When technology and geek culture enthusiast Chris Pirillo purchased his iPhone 6 last year, he rushed home to broadcast himself unboxing the item live on YouTube. The video has garnered nearly 50,000 views and is part of the growing craze of 'unboxing' that is a centerpiece of a live global Walt Disney event, starting on Wednesday evening in Australia, to unveil new toys from its December movie "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." The goal? The Disney event, to be live-streamed online, is the most high-profile embrace to date of unboxing, where people film themselves opening and trying out new toys and gadgets.


Net-A-Porter founder quits, will not be on merged group's board
Wed, 02 Sep 2015 15:29:09 -0400

Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet arrives for the Burberry Prorsum Autumn/Winter 2015 show during "London Collections: Men" in LondonMILAN/PARIS (Reuters) - Natalie Massenet, founder and executive chairman of online fashion group Net-A-Porter (NAP) abruptly resigned on Wednesday ahead of its planned acquisition by Italy's Yoox. Massenet, regarded as the fashion visionary of the soon-to-be-merged business, was to become its executive chairman and oversee its editorial content, one of NAP's main strengths. In a statement Yoox said that Massenet would not be a member of the merged group's board.


Young and quirky YouTube stars lift traditional book publishers
Wed, 02 Sep 2015 14:07:26 -0400

By Lisa Richwine LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Videos like "Walking Around Naked" and "Apps That Need to Be Invented" made Connor Franta a star on YouTube. With that kind of appeal to young readers, Franta is part of a generation of YouTube stars giving a boost to the book publishing industry. More than a million books, both physical and digital, by online stars have been produced globally by Franta's publisher, Keywords Press, alone.

Texas teen fatally shoots himself while taking selfie
Wed, 02 Sep 2015 11:32:29 -0400

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A 19-year-old Texas man who was posing with a gun for a social media selfie photo accidentally shot himself and died from the wounds, Houston police said on Wednesday. "A witness told police he was taking a selfie with a gun and the gun accidentally discharged," Houston police spokeswoman Jodi Silva said. The identity of the man killed in the Tuesday incident in Houston has been withheld pending an investigation by the coroner. He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. He had shot himself in the upper body, police said. ...

Twitter announces global expansion of self-service ads platform
Wed, 02 Sep 2015 11:22:16 -0400

The Twitter logo is shown at its corporate headquarters in San Francisco(Reuters) - Microblogging website operator Twitter Inc said it had expanded its self-service ads platform to more than 200 countries and territories from 33 countries. Small and medium-sized businesses can now reach their target audiences on Twitter in 15 languages, Twitter said in a blog post on Wednesday. (http://bit.ly/1hygFYa) The company said it had about 100,000 advertisers. (Reporting by Abhirup Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey)


Founder of British online retailer ASOS steps down as CEO
Wed, 02 Sep 2015 05:42:29 -0400

A model walks on an in-house catwalk at the ASOS headquarters in LondonBy James Davey LONDON (Reuters) - Nick Robertson, the founder of British online fashion retailer ASOS, has stepped down as chief executive after 15 years in which he transformed the internet start-up into a retail powerhouse with millions of fans around the world. ASOS, popular with Internet savvy twentysomethings and high-profile supporters such as British singer Rita Ora and U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, said on Wednesday that Nick Beighton, the company's chief operating officer, would take over from Robertson with immediate effect. ASOS shares fell as much as 5.7 percent in early trading reflecting uncertainty whether the loss of the retailer's driving force could hinder its growth.


Online advertising shines in sputtering Thai economy
Wed, 02 Sep 2015 03:17:01 -0400

By Khettiya Jittapong BANGKOK, (Reuters) - Unfazed by Thailand's faltering economy, businesses are penciling in bigger budgets for digital advertising as they target Thai consumers via smartphone apps, social networking forums and video-sharing websites. Digital advertising spending this year is forecast to jump by two-thirds to a record 9.9 billion baht ($277.47 million) in Southeast Asia's second-largest economy, according to the Digital Advertising Association (Thailand) (DAAT). While that lags the 44 percent and 53 percent growth in 2014 and 2013, respectively, the near-term outlook for online advertising looks sharp as advertisers increasingly target Thai consumers in the virtual world.

Uber drivers granted class action status in lawsuit over employment
Tue, 01 Sep 2015 19:36:20 -0400

Uber logo is seen on a vehicle near Union Square in San Francisco, CaliforniaBy Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Uber drivers are entitled to class action status in litigation over whether they are independent contractors or employees, a key development in a case threatening Uber's business model and that of other hot startups dependent on similar service workers. Three drivers sued Uber in a federal court in San Francisco, contending they are employees and entitled to reimbursement for expenses, including gas and vehicle maintenance. The results of Uber's legal battle could reshape the sharing economy, which is built around Internet companies that serve as marketplaces matching people who provide a service with others looking to pay for it.


For many refugees, journey to Europe begins on Facebook
Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:55:48 -0400

By Naline Malla, Ayla Jean Yackley, Marton Dunai and Aleksandar Vasovic BEIRUT/ISTANBUL/BUDAPEST/BELGRADE (Reuters) - Would-be refugees hoping to flee war in the Middle East are using Facebook as their compass for finding the people smugglers they hope will get them to a better life in Europe. The U.S.-based website and other social media that were once used to help mobilize the "Arab Spring" uprisings now host information services for those escaping the Syrian civil war and other conflicts in the region. In Facebook groups set up in Arabic, users post phone numbers of contacts they say can take refugees from the Turkish coast to nearby Greek islands or even further into Europe, a continent struggling to cope with the migration crisis.

New SAP software aims to help companies make sense of data deluge
Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:36:14 -0400

A bag with SAP logo is pictured before the company's annual general meeting in MannheimBy Eric Auchard TUEBINGEN (Reuters) - SAP unveiled a new product on Tuesday that promises to help businesses make sense of a deluge of real-world data from retail transactions, transport systems and social media, hoping to persuade customers to switch from rival database suppliers.SAP HANA Vora, as the database query software will be known, aims to give businesses greater insights into the vast volumes of data organizations are collecting from customer feedback, along with sensors installed in products, vehicles and networks. HANA Vora will work along with Apache Hadoop, an open source framework popular with serious software developers for handling huge sets of data, from government statistics to scientific results to shopping or credit data. "The new datasets that are emerging are going to have a profound impact on how a business is going to function, and what its options are," said SAP Chief Technology Officer Quentin Clark, who until last year was in charge of rival Microsoft Corp's data product business.


Instagram adds features to keep up with young, messaging users
Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:23:05 -0400

Tourists take a photo of themselves in front of Siam Paragon Department Store in central BangkokFacebook Inc's Instagram added new features on Tuesday allowing users to exchange messages in private and group conversations as the photo and video-sharing service aims to keep up with growing messaging service Snapchat. The upgrade by Instagram, which has more than 300 million users, is the latest move in the escalating battle for a young audience addicted to messaging with younger and hipper rival Snapchat, which has 100 million users and growing. The new features mean Instagram users can share pictures directly with one friend or a group of people and send back text responses or pictures, which Instagram hopes will make users want to stay on its mobile app or web site longer.


Google redesigns iconic logo for the fifth time
Tue, 01 Sep 2015 13:46:03 -0400

googlecombo800(Reuters) - Google Inc unveiled a redesign of its iconic logo on Tuesday, the fifth such modification since the search engine giant started in 1998, the company said in a blog post. The revamped logo, displayed as a Google Doodle on its homepage, spells 'Google' in a sans-serif typeface, similar to the one being used by Google's newly created holding company, Alphabet. The new brand identity "aims to make Google more accessible and useful to our users", the company said in a blog post explaining the logo.


Icelanders tell government to take in more Syrian refugees
Tue, 01 Sep 2015 11:12:10 -0400

Four percent of Iceland's population has joined a Facebook page seeking to have the country take in more people escaping the Syrian conflict, prompting the government to consider it. The government had earlier announced plans to take in 50 refugees from the Syrian conflict. Prime Minister Sigmund David Gunnlaugsson now says a special council comprised of several ministers will map Iceland's resources to see how many refugees could be taken and said the government now had no fixed number.

LinkedIn rolls out overhauled messaging service
Tue, 01 Sep 2015 08:09:51 -0400

The logo for LinkedIn Corporation, a social networking networking website for people in professional occupations, is shown in Mountain View(Reuters) - LinkedIn Corp on Tuesday rolled out a revamped messaging service along the lines of modern chat apps, departing from its unpopular design that resembled email. LinkedIn, which operates the biggest social networking site for professionals, has started to roll out the new messaging service to English-language users accessing its platform via a desktop or through an app. LinkedIn plans to make the revamped messaging feature available in other languages in the coming weeks.


Law firm targets Google foes for private damages claims
Tue, 01 Sep 2015 06:47:08 -0400

A logo is pictured at Google's European Engineering Center in ZurichBy Foo Yun Chee BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. law firm and class action specialist Hausfeld launched a platform on Tuesday to help pursue claims against Google, posing a potential headache for the world's No. 1 Internet search engine amid its regulatory troubles in Europe. Hausfeld has coordinated various high-profile class action cases, including for companies affected by an air cargo pricing cartel, investors impacted by currency-rigging by banks and firms fighting fees levied by MasterCard and Visa Europe. The law firm said the Google Redress & Integrity Platform (GRIP) is aimed at those affected by alleged anti-competitive behavior by Google in Europe.


Springer, Samsung to partner in mobile media
Tue, 01 Sep 2015 04:35:52 -0400

Logo of German publisher Axel Springer is seen outside its headquarters in BerlinFRANKFURT (Reuters) - Bild tabloid publisher Axel Springer and Korean electronics group Samsung announced a partnership in mobile media including news. The two companies said on Tuesday they would collaborate to produce digital media exclusively for Samsung customers, beginning with a news platform in Germany and Poland that will be rolled out in other European markets next year. Newspaper publisher Springer, which owns several publications in Poland, now makes about two thirds of its sales and three quarters of its core profit from digital offerings. ...


Exclusive: U.S. weighs sanctioning Russia as well as China in cyber attacks
Tue, 01 Sep 2015 01:19:25 -0400

A map of China is seen through a magnifying glass on a computer screen showing binary digits in SingaporeBy Arshad Mohammed, Matt Spetalnick and Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is considering sanctions against both Russian and Chinese individuals and companies for cyber attacks against U.S. commercial targets, several U.S. officials said on Monday. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said no final decision had been made on imposing sanctions, which could strain relations with Russia further and, if they came soon, cast a pall over a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping in September. It did not mention Russia.


Ashley Madison owner says website still adding users after data hack
Mon, 31 Aug 2015 19:09:08 -0400

A photo illustration shows the Ashley Madison website displayed on a smartphone in TorontoHundreds of thousands of people signed up for infidelity website Ashley Madison in the last week, parent company Avid Life Media said on Monday, even after hackers leaked data about millions of its clients. "Recent media reports predicting the imminent demise of Ashley Madison are greatly exaggerated," the company said in a statement. "Despite having our business and customers attacked, we are growing." On Aug. 18, hackers who claimed to be unhappy with Avid Life's business practices released Ashley Madison customer data.


Kanye West gets political action committee, presidential jokes go viral
Mon, 31 Aug 2015 15:36:29 -0400

Kanye West accepts the Video Vanguard Award at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards in Los AngelesImages of Kanye West's face on Mount Rushmore and a potential White House takeover by the Kardashian reality TV clan fired up social media on Monday, a day after the rapper virtually hijacked a rambunctious MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) show as he declared he planned to run for U.S. president in 2020. West, who is married to Kim Kardashian, sparked dozens of satirical memes on social media after his rambling, 13-minute speech on Sunday - when he admitted he had "rolled up a little something earlier in the night - while accepting the Video Vanguard award for lifetime achievement. Although most viewers saw West's presidential declaration as a joke, a Maryland college student on Monday filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to set up a political action committee called Ready for Kanye.


Dating site eHarmony aims to mix work with pleasure
Mon, 31 Aug 2015 08:04:49 -0400

As a marriage counselor years ago, Neil Clark Warren saw first-hand how incompatibility led to unhappy matches. "(The career market) is such a big market that we do expect it to grow faster than our core product," the octogenarian clinical psychologist and eHarmony CEO said in an interview. The market is dominated by Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp, owner of Match.com as well as other sites for the lovelorn.

U.S. considering sanctions over Chinese cyber theft: Washington Post
Mon, 31 Aug 2015 06:01:04 -0400

A map of China is seen through a magnifying glass on a computer screen showing binary digits in SingaporeThe White House is considering applying sanctions against companies and individuals in China it believes have benefited from Chinese hacking of U.S. trade secrets, the Washington Post reported on Sunday. The newspaper, citing several unidentified Obama administration officials, said a final determination on whether to issue the sanctions was expected soon, possibly as early as the next two weeks. Suspicions that Chinese hackers were behind a series of data breaches in the United States have been an irritant in relations between the world's two largest economies as President Xi Jinping prepares to make his first visit to the United States next month.


Hulu to become Epix's streaming partner after Netflix opts out
Mon, 31 Aug 2015 01:52:34 -0400

The HULU Plus app is played on a Samsung Galaxy phone in this photo-illustration in New York(Reuters) - Major films such as Hunger Games: Catching Fire, World War Z, and Transformers: Age of Extinction will move to online video service Hulu from Netflix starting in October when cable network Epix switches streaming partners. Hulu and Epix said on Sunday they had signed a multi-year deal that would bring Epix films to Hulu from Oct. 1. Netflix Inc said earlier on Sunday it had decided not to renew its agreement with Epix when it expires at the end of September as it focuses more on original programming and exclusive rights to movies, and less on non-exclusive content.


Paypal seen rising 40 percent from post spinoff lows: Barron's
Sun, 30 Aug 2015 15:44:59 -0400

The PayPal logo is seen during an event at Terra Gallery in San FranciscoNEW YORK (Reuters) - PayPal Holdings Inc , the e-commerce group trading sharply off its recent offering price, could rise 40 percent to $46 a share if it succeeds with investments tied to payments systems innovation, the Aug. 31 edition of Barron's said. Spun off in July by auctioneer eBay Inc , PayPal is now clear to do deals with big vendors like Staples and move into back office operations and other services, according to Barron's. PayPal shares last week traded at $34.60, or over $4 less than its offering price in July, Barron's said. ...


To regulate or not to regulate? EU to launch study on Uber
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 18:10:59 -0400

Photo illustration of logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone over a reserved lane for taxis in a street in MadridBy Julia Fioretti , Brussels (Reuters) - - The European Commission will launch a study in September of the ride-hailing app Uber in an effort to settle legal disputes that have pitched the U.S. start-up against conventional taxis across Europe, three people familiar with the matter said on Friday. Since opening in Paris in 2011, San Francisco-based Uber has run into vehement opposition from taxi drivers, who complain it competes unfairly by bypassing local laws on licensing and safety. Uber has responded by submitting complaints to the European Commission against German and Spanish court bans, as well as a new French law on taxis.


Man linked to JPMorgan hacking in talks to resolve U.S. case: filing
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 16:56:10 -0400

People pass the JP Morgan Chase & Co. Corporate headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New YorkBy Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Florida man accused of running an unlicensed bitcoin exchange and who is among five defendants linked to last summer's massive data breach at JPMorgan Chase & Co is in talks to resolve his criminal case, according to court papers filed Friday. In a court filing in federal court in Manhattan, a prosecutor said Yuri Lebedev, one of two men charged with operating the bitcoin exchange service, was in discussions "regarding a possible disposition of this case." The filing used language that is usually indicative of plea talks, though cases in some instances can be resolved with deferred prosecution agreements or with charges being dropped. Eun Young Choi, a prosecutor under Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara who made the submission, said negotiations were not yet complete and sought an extension until Sept. 28 for when a grand jury would need to indict Lebedev.


Ashley Madison parent CEO quits after huge infidelity data hack
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 13:22:35 -0400

Ashley Madison founder Noel Biderman poses with a poster during an interview in Hong KongBy Alastair Sharp TORONTO (Reuters) - The chief executive of infidelity website Ashley Madison's parent company Avid Life Media has left, just over a week after hackers leaked data about millions of its clients in a massive cyber assault. Avid Life said on Friday the departure of Noel Biderman was by "mutual agreement" and its existing senior management team would take over until a new CEO is appointed. On Aug. 18, hackers who claimed to be unhappy with its business practices released the Ashley Madison customer data, and police probing the breach said it had sparked extortion attempts and at least two unconfirmed suicides.


Angry Birds maker's float seen less likely despite mobile games growth
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 12:45:42 -0400

Rovio Entertainment Senior Vice-President Holm wears Angry Birds jacket during news conference in Hong KongBy Liisa Tuhkanen LONDON (Reuters) - The often touted but regularly delayed stock-market listing of Rovio, creator of the hugely popular "Angry Birds" mobile game, could be even more distant after this week's warning of lower earnings and a planned cull of more than a third of its staff. While the mobile games market as a whole is thriving and looks set to grow to more than $35 billion in 2017, according to research firm Newzoo, Rovio's woes typify the difficulty established players have in changing with the times. "They lost their moment ... You need to list when your games are working well," said Thomas Alzuyeta, analyst at Gilbert Dupont, noting a drop in interest in the game franchise that debuted in 2009.


Facebook must obey German law even if free speech curtailed: minister
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 11:57:53 -0400

A Facebook logo reflected in the eye of a woman is seen in this picture illustrationBy Erik Kirschbaum BERLIN (Reuters) - Facebook will have to abide by German laws banning racist sentiment even if it might be allowed in the United States under freedom of speech, Justice Minister Heiko Maas said in an interview with Reuters. Maas, who has accused Facebook of doing too little to thwart racist and hate posts on its social media platform, said that Germany has zero tolerance for such expression and expects the U.S.-based company to be more vigilant. "One thing is clear: if Facebook wants to do business in Germany, then it must abide by German laws," Maas told Reuters.


Russia's MTS teams up with Google to promote mobile Internet
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 10:39:57 -0400

Woman walks past a logo of Google at the Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) 2015 in BeijingRussia's biggest mobile phone operator MTS said on Friday it had teamed up with Google Inc to help grow the use of mobile Internet and will get a share of the search site's advertising revenues in Russia. Under a strategic agreement, MTS will feature Google's voice search in its ad campaigns and retail stores, and a relevant application will be pre-installed on the main screen of Google's Android-based smartphones sold in the MTS retail chain. "MTS will share with Google the cost of mobile Internet promotion and get money from Google's search services under a revenue-sharing scheme," an MTS spokesman said.


Investors still in the dark as cyber threat grows
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 10:38:01 -0400

An illustration picture shows projection of binary code on man holding aptop computer in WarsawBy Simon Jessop and Ross Kerber LONDON/BOSTON (Reuters) - Investors are being poorly served by a haphazard approach from fund managers to the growing threat of cyber crime damaging the companies in which they invest, with a lack of clarity from the businesses themselves compounding the problem. Banks have led the way in developing cyber defenses and some top fund managers have ramped up pressure on companies to do more, but the broader picture is less encouraging. "I don't see any visible stand asset managers are taking, like they do on other social responsibility items," said Malcolm Harkins, information security chief at U.S. cyber security start-up Cylance Inc. The soft underbelly of companies outside the banking sector was exposed again this month when hackers leaked details of nearly 37 million clients of Ashley Madison.


Father of Virginia TV reporter slain on air vows to fight for gun control
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 15:44:35 -0400

Chris Hurst, a journalist at the station and boyfriend of killed journalist Alison Parker pauses for a moment as Jeff Marks, general manager for WDBJ7 looks onBy Ian Simpson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The father of a Virginia journalist killed in an on-air shooting said on Thursday he would become a crusader for gun control, but analysts said there was little likelihood of legislation on the federal level any time soon, despite changes in some states. Two journalists, reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward of Roanoke CBS affiliate WDBJ7, were shot during a live interview on Wednesday by a disgruntled former station employee who later killed himself. Parker's father, Andy Parker, urged state and federal lawmakers to take action on gun control, especially to keep firearms out of the hands of people who were mentally unstable.


Google rejects 'unfounded' EU antitrust charges of market abuse
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 13:54:11 -0400

Euro coins are seen in front of a Google logo in this picture illustration taken in ZenicaGoogle Inc has rejected EU antitrust charges that it abused its market power, exposing the company to the risk of a hefty fine if it does not alter its business practices. The company's comments came after the European Commission in April accused it of distorting internet search results to favor its shopping service, harming both rivals and consumers. "Economic data spanning more than a decade, an array of documents and statements from complainants all confirm that product search is robustly competitive," Kent Walker, Google's general counsel, wrote in a blog on Thursday.


Manspreading, hangry, Grexit join Oxford online dictionary
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 11:20:09 -0400

(Reuters) - Feeling hangry? Can't find a seat on the subway because of manspreading? Annoyed by people butt-dialing you? All three slang words officially joined OxfordDictionaries.com on Thursday in a quarterly update of popular phrases that also included Grexit (a potential Greek exit from the Eurozone) and brainfart (a momentary mental lapse). Manspreading was coined to describe men who take up extra room on public transport by sitting with their legs wide apart. Last year, New York City transport authorities launched a poster campaign on the subway in a bid to discourage it. ...

Malaysia to block websites promoting anti-government rally
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 04:31:23 -0400

Malaysia's PM Najib is pictured during the 19th Annual Leaders Consultation at Nurul Iman Palace in Bandar Seri BegawanMalaysia will block websites attempting to spread information about a two-day rally due to be staged in three cities this weekend by a pro-democracy group demanding Prime Minister Najib Razak's resignation. The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said in a post on its official Facebook page on Thursday that it would block websites that "promote, spread information and encourage people to participate" in the protest organized by the civil society group Bersih. Najib has been embroiled in a political storm amid allegations of graft and financial mismanagement at debt-laden state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), whose advisory board he chairs.


Gunman in Virginia TV shooting had history of workplace issues
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 02:11:35 -0400

While authorities said they had not determined a motive, perceived racism appeared to be a factor in the shootings, according to posts on social media attributed to the shooter and a fax that ABC News said had been sent by the gunman. Vester Flanagan, 41, who went on the air under the name Bryce Williams, was a former employee of WDBJ7 in Virginia, where both of the slain journalists worked.

Virginia TV journalists killed by suspect with 'powder keg' of anger
Wed, 26 Aug 2015 22:08:25 -0400

Flowers are seen at a memorial outside of the offices of WDBJ7 in Roanoke, VirginiaBy Gary Robertson MONETA, Va. (Reuters) - Two television journalists were shot to death during a live broadcast in Virginia on Wednesday, slain by a former employee of the TV station and who called himself a "powder keg" of anger over what he saw as racial discrimination at work and elsewhere in the United States. The suspect, 41-year-old Vester Flanagan, shot himself as police pursued him on a Virginia highway hours after the shooting. Flanagan, who was African-American, died later at a hospital, police said.


Dead rats anyone? Hollywood gets creative to promote movies
Wed, 26 Aug 2015 19:26:41 -0400

Handout photo of actor Matt Damon leaving handprints at JPL in PasadenaHollywood studios are going to ever more creative lengths to attract attention in a jam-packed entertainment market where social media plays a key role in promoting content. For Matt Damon's October film "The Martian," in which an astronaut is stranded on Mars, 20th Century Fox Studios hosted a media day last week at the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California just to promote a trailer. Journalists got a sneak peek at the first 50 minutes of the film, toured the lab and interviewed Damon at its Mission Control which is usually reserved for scientists working on operations such as landing the Curiosity rover on Mars in 2012.


Suspect in Virginia TV shooting had history of workplace issues
Wed, 26 Aug 2015 18:23:30 -0400

By Brendan O'Brien and Letitia Stein (Reuters) - The suspected gunman in the shooting deaths of two television journalists in Virginia on Wednesday was a veteran anchorman with a history of workplace grievances who had previously sued a Florida station alleging discrimination because he was black. Vester Flanagan, 41, who went on the air under the name Bryce Williams, was a former employee of WDBJ7 in Virginia, where both of the slain journalists worked.


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