• India turns to 'satellite god' for crop mapping

    Reuters - 22 minutes ago

    By Ratnajyoti Dutta NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Sher Singh, a farmer from Rajasthan, prays to Varuna, the Hindu god of water, for a bountiful harvest. Now, he is also looking to the heavens for satellite imaging to boost his crop. Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to promote a "per drop, more crop" approach to farming to make better use of scarce water, and aims to have a new satellite crop monitoring system working in time for the peak of this year's monsoon in July. Using remote analysis to assess soil moisture and crop development has the potential to cut input costs and raise yields, say experts, in a country of 1.25 billion where half of workers make a living from agriculture. More »India turns to 'satellite god' for crop mapping

  • Oil prices fall more than $1 as supply threat eases

    Reuters - 28 minutes ago

    By Henning Gloystein SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices fell more than $1 on Friday, after sharp gains in the previous session, as worries of a disruption to crude supplies due to Saudi Arabia-led air strikes in Yemen eased. Goldman Sachs said in note that the strikes in Yemen would have little effect on oil supplies as the country was only a small crude exporter and tankers could avoid passing its waters to reach their ports of destination. Brent crude was at $58.18 a barrel at 0421 GMT, down $1. Oil jumped around 5 percent on Thursday, the biggest daily gain in a month, as air strikes in Yemen by Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies sparked fears that escalation of the Middle East battle could disrupt world crude supplies. More »Oil prices fall more than $1 as supply threat eases

  • Amazon in talks to buy online luxury retailer Net-a-Porter - Forbes

    Reuters - 35 minutes ago

    Amazon.com is in talks to buy online luxury retailer Net-a-porter in what could be the biggest acquisition yet for the e-commerce giant, but the negotiations are in early stages and could fall apart, Forbes reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. The potential deal, first reported by Women's Wear Daily, could value Net-a-Porter lower than the valuation of 2 billion euros reported by the fashion industry trade journal, Forbes said, citing the person. More »Amazon in talks to buy online luxury retailer Net-a-Porter - Forbes

  • This is how human immune system protects itself from TB bacteria

    ANI - 52 minutes ago

    Washington, March 27 (ANI): Scientists have explained via a model, how human immune system keeps at bay from TB. The new tissue culture model using human white blood cells shows that people with a latent, or symptom-free, tuberculosis infection are protected from active disease by a critical early step in their immune response. The model also shows, however, that some TB bacteria can find a way to get around that protection, which helps explain how latent infections turn into active and transmissible disease. More »This is how human immune system protects itself from TB bacteria

  • White House crafts first-ever plan to fight superbugs

    Reuters - 2 hours 24 minutes ago

    By Yasmeen Abutaleb and Lisa Baertlein NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The White House is due to issue an ambitious plan to slow the growing and deadly problem of antibiotic resistance over the next five years, one that requires massive investments and policy changes from a broad array of U.S. government health agencies, according to a copy of the report reviewed by Reuters. The 60-page report is the first ever to tackle antibiotic resistance so broadly. A White House official confirmed that it would release the plan on Friday. Doctors and health experts have warned for decades that rising rates of resistant bacteria are leading to tens of thousands of deaths, threatening to nullify modern medical advancements. More »White House crafts first-ever plan to fight superbugs

  • Apple's Tim Cook will give away all his money - Fortune

    Reuters - 2 hours 27 minutes ago

    (Reuters) - Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook is joining the roster of the very rich who are giving away their wealth. Fortune magazine cited the head of the world's largest technology corporation as saying he planned to donate his estimated $785 million fortune to charity - after paying for his 10-year-old nephew's college education. "You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripples for change," Cook told the magazine. Fortune estimated Cook's net worth, based on his holdings of Apple stock, at about $120 million. More »Apple's Tim Cook will give away all his money - Fortune

  • With Yemen strikes, Saudis show growing independence from U.S

    Reuters - 3 hours ago

    By Matt Spetalnick, Warren Strobel and Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia kept some key details of its military action in Yemen from Washington until the last moment, U.S. officials said, as the kingdom takes a more assertive regional role to compensate for perceived U.S. disengagement. The Middle East's top oil power told the United States weeks ago it was weighing action in Yemen but only informed Washington of the exact details just before Thursday's unprecedented air strikes against Iran-allied Houthi rebels, the officials said. U.S. President Barack Obama's Middle East policy increasingly relies on surrogates rather than direct U.S. military involvement. More »With Yemen strikes, Saudis show growing independence from U.S

  • Japan makes a start on sharing lessons from nuclear crisis

    Reuters - 4 hours ago

    By Megan Rowling SENDAI, Japan (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When professional boxer and model Tomomi Takano heard that children in Japan's Fukushima prefecture were becoming unfit and overweight as the 2011 nuclear crisis there limited the time they could play outside, she decided to use her skills to help. "They really concentrated on the boxing and tried hard," she said at a recent U.N. conference on disasters in the northeastern city of Sendai. The boxer hopes to run more sessions in Fukushima to improve children's agility and provide an outlet for their emotions. Takano and civil society activists in Sendai said they wanted to communicate to the rest of the world the human impacts of the crisis sparked when a huge earthquake and tsunami caused nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant to melt down four years ago. More »Japan makes a start on sharing lessons from nuclear crisis

  • Insight - The $50 device that symbolises a shift in North Korea

    Reuters - 4 hours ago

    By James Pearson SEOUL (Reuters) - A $50 portable media player is providing many North Koreans a window to the outside world despite the government's efforts to keep its people isolated - a symbol of change in one of the world's most repressed societies. By some estimates, up to half of all urban North Korean households have an easily concealed "notel", a small portable media player used to watch DVDs or content stored on USB sticks that can be easily smuggled into the country and passed hand to hand. People are exchanging South Korean soaps, pop music, Hollywood films and news programmes, all of which are expressly prohibited by the Pyongyang regime, according to North Korean defectors, activists and recent visitors to the isolated country. "The North Korean government takes their national ideology extremely seriously, so the spread of all this media that competes with their propaganda is a big and growing problem for them," said Sokeel Park of Liberty in North Korea (LiNK), an organisation that works with defectors. More »Insight - The $50 device that symbolises a shift in North Korea

  • GameStop profit forecast falls short on weak demand for consoles

    Reuters - 4 hours ago

    GameStop Corp's full-year profit forecast missed Wall Street expectations as the dollar strengthened and demand for new PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles failed to make up for falling sales of earlier versions. Shares of the world's largest retailer of video game products, which also reported a quarterly profit that missed estimates, fell 6 percent in after-market trading on Thursday. Demand for Microsoft Corp's Xbox One and Sony Corp's <6758.T> PlayStation 4 consoles have also cooled off since the holiday shopping season. "It just feels like things are going to be a little bit softer than what the initial model had projected." The eighth-generation video game consoles followed PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. More »GameStop profit forecast falls short on weak demand for consoles

  • Yahoo says it will buy back $2 billion in stock

    Associated Press - 6 hours ago

    Yahoo says it will buy back $2 billion in company stock as it prepares to spin off its stake in Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba. Investors were pushing Yahoo to use some of the proceeds from the Alibaba ... More »Yahoo says it will buy back $2 billion in stock

  • Google's new CFO gets $70M for defecting from Morgan Stanley

    Associated Press - 6 hours ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google just found out that luring a top executive from Wall Street to Silicon Valley is expensive. More »Google's new CFO gets $70M for defecting from Morgan Stanley

  • Google to pay CFO Porat more than $70 million in two years

    Reuters - 6 hours ago

    (Reuters) - Google Inc said it would pay its new Chief Financial Officer, Ruth Porat, more than $70 million in the next two years through a combination of restricted stock units and a biennial grant. The company hired Morgan Stanley CFO Porat as its finance chief earlier this week, a sign it is aiming to rein in costs as it invests in new businesses such as self-driving cars and Internet-connected eyeglasses. Porat's compensation package includes a grant of $25 million through restricted stock units, a $40 million biennial grant in 2016 and a special one-time $5 million sign-on bonus, Google said in a regulatory filing on Thursday. More »Google to pay CFO Porat more than $70 million in two years

  • Facebook talks up need for virtual reality, big tech bets

    Reuters - 6 hours ago

    By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Virtual reality, artificial intelligence and drones will enable Facebook Inc to create a more lifelike and useful social network, the company said in its clearest explanation so far for technology projects that have puzzled some investors and analysts. Facebook executives made the case on Thursday, at its annual developer conference in San Francisco, that initiatives such as its $2 billion purchase of virtual reality headset maker Oculus last year, and the hiring of aerospace experts make sense for the 1.4-billion member social network. While virtual reality headsets such as the Oculus Rift suggest video games and entertainment, the gadgets could transform how people communicate on Facebook, they said. More »Facebook talks up need for virtual reality, big tech bets

  • Meerkat vs. Periscope: Live-streaming app battle & buzz

    Associated Press - 7 hours ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Download Periscope, Twitter's just-launched live video-streaming app, and you'll find people broadcasting all sorts of mundane stuff: waiting for AT&T to fix their wiring, getting out of bed in Silicon Valley, looking outside their office window in Chicago. More »Meerkat vs. Periscope: Live-streaming app battle & buzz

  • Microsoft wants US suppliers to give employees paid time off

    Associated Press - 7 hours ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft said Thursday that it will push its U.S. suppliers to give their employees paid time off — but that only applies for the staffers that do work for Microsoft. More »Microsoft wants US suppliers to give employees paid time off

  • Oil leaps 5 percent, most in a month, on air strikes in Yemen

    Reuters - 8 hours ago

    By Barani Krishnan NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil jumped about 5 percent on Thursday, the biggest daily gain in a month, as air strikes in Yemen by Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies sparked fears that escalation of the Middle East battle could disrupt world crude supplies. The Saudi military operation against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who have driven Yemen's president from the capital Sanaa, has not affected oil facilities of major Gulf producers. Some analysts said the chance of an all-out proxy war between the Saudis and Iran looked remote. "You don't want to be short oil when there are stories about bombings next door to Saudi Arabia, even if it's the Saudis who are leading the charge," said Joseph Posillico, senior vice president of energy futures at Jefferies in New York. More »Oil leaps 5 percent, most in a month, on air strikes in Yemen

  • New Samsung, HTC phones coming April 10 in US

    Associated Press - 8 hours ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — New phones from Samsung and HTC will be available in U.S. stores starting April 10. More »New Samsung, HTC phones coming April 10 in US

  • U.N. says Libyan parties need more time to agree unity government

    Reuters - 10 hours ago

    Libya's warring factions need more time to agree on a unity government to end growing conflict and chaos in the oil producer, a U.N. envoy said on Thursday. Two rival governments and armed factions are battling for control of Libya and Islamist militants are gaining ground. Last week, the U.N. Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), mediating at peace talks in Morocco, said a preliminary deal could be reached in a few days. "I was very realistic, and I said we were making progess," U.N. special envoy to Libya Bernadino Leon told reporters in Morocco. More »U.N. says Libyan parties need more time to agree unity government

  • New U.N. investigator to probe digital spying

    Reuters - 11 hours ago

    By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations top human rights body agreed on Thursday to appoint a special investigator to probe digital spying and violations of online privacy. Brazil and Germany spearheaded the resolution, which voiced deep concern over electronic surveillance and the interception of digital communications, as well as data collection by governments and private companies. Former U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden exposed mass surveillance of private emails and phone data across the world two years ago, sparking outrage. More »New U.N. investigator to probe digital spying

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