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- Lehman Reaches Beyond Grave to Grab Millions From Nonprofits.
Almost five years after Lehman Brothers Holding Inc. filed for bankruptcy and set off the global financial crisis, managers of the bank’s estate are demanding millions of dollars from retirement homes, colleges and hospitals.
After selling most of its assets, Lehman now says it was shortchanged by scores of nonprofits that were forced to pay to exit derivatives that were unwound after the firm filed for Chapter 11 protection.
The Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, California, gave Lehman $2 million in October 2008 to cancel a swap contract used to manage fluctuating interest rates. Lehman says it wants $12.1 million more and has assessed at least an additional $4.7 million in interest, the research center said in its most recent financial statement. The amount Lehman is seeking is more than half of what Buck spent last year researching Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other diseases.
After over four hours of debate, the Minnesota Senate voted 37-30 on Monday to pass marriage equality legislation, cementing Minnesota as the 12th state to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples. The vote was largely along party lines, with only three Democrats voting no and only one Republican, Sen. Branden Petersen, voted yes. The House passed the bill on Thursday with a 75-59 vote, and Gov. Mark Dayton (DFL) has promised to sign it as early as Tuesday. It will take effect August 1st.
Throughout the discussion, conservative opponents attempted to amend the bill to create religious exemptions from the state’s nondiscrimination protections. These efforts would have allowed private businesses like bakers, florists, and photographers — which are not inherently religious — to willfully deny service to same-sex couples. These attempts to legalize discrimination failed.
(Reuters) - The Associated Press said on Monday the U.S. government secretly seized telephone records of AP offices and reporters for a two-month period in 2012, describing the acts as a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into news-gathering operations.
AP Chief Executive Gary Pruitt, in a letter posted on the agency's website, said the AP was informed last Friday that the Justice Department gathered records for more than 20 phone lines assigned to the news agency and its reporters.
"There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters," Pruitt said in the letter addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder.
An AP story on the records seizure said the government would not say why it sought them.
(Reuters) - New Orleans police on Monday identified a suspect in connection with a shooting at a Mother's Day parade that injured 19 people, including two children, as residents expressed outrage over the violence.
Police said the suspect, 19-year-old Akein Scott, remained at large but had been identified by multiple people.
"The time has come for him to turn himself in," New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said.
Serpas said Scott was last arrested in March and has a criminal history that includes charges for possessing narcotics and a firearm and resisting arrest. Police investigated three addresses linked to Scott but could not find him, Serpas said.
A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Monday that an Indiana farmer infringed on Monsanto's patent when he planted soybeans that had been genetically modified by Monsanto without buying them from the agribusiness giant.
In the decision, written by Justice Elena Kagan, the nine justices ruled that "patent exhaustion does not permit a farmer to reproduce patented seeds through planting and harvesting without the patent holder's permission."
Monsanto's "Roundup Ready" soybeans can survive sprayings of the nation's most popular weedkiller.
(Reuters) - Retail sales unexpectedly rose in April as households bought automobiles, building materials and a range of other goods, pointing to underlying strength in the economy in the face of government austerity.
The Commerce Department said on Monday retail sales edged up 0.1 percent after a 0.5 percent decline in March. Economists had expected retail sales, which account for about 30 percent of consumer spending, to drop 0.3 percent last month.
"The overall tone of this report was quite encouraging as it suggests that U.S. consumers are continuing to successfully navigate against the steady fiscal headwinds," said Millan Mulraine at TD Securities in New York.
The dollar rose against the yen and the euro, while prices for U.S. Treasury debt fell. U.S. stocks retreated from record highs in the previous session, but the retail sales data helped to limit losses.
So-called core sales, which strip out automobiles, gasoline and building materials and correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product, increased 0.5 percent after nudging up 0.1 percent in March.
The increase in core sales, coming on the heels of relatively strong job growth over the last three months, should help to ally fears of an abrupt slowdown in the economy early in the second quarter even as government budget cuts are starting to put a strain on manufacturing.
Last week, the mother of a seventh-grader in Northville, Mich., filed a complaint seeking to keep an unexpurgated version of Anne Frank's Diary off of middle school shelves because she felt a passage describing the female genitalia was "pornographic." But a review committee has decided to keep the book in the curriculum. In a letter excerpted by the Observer & Eccentric, Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services Robert Behnke states that "the committee felt strongly that a decision to remove the use of 'Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl – The Definitive Edition' as a choice within this larger unit of study would effectively impose situational censorship by eliminating the opportunity for the deeper study afforded by this edition."
Hunger-strikers being force fed at Guantánamo Bay are shackled to a chair, fitted with a mask and have tubes inserted through their nose and into their stomachs for up to two hours at a time, according to revised guidelines in use at the camp.
The guidelines, which were updated after the latest protest by inmates began in February, detail the process of involuntary feeding and how after the sessions, detainees are kept in a "dry cell" to prevent them vomiting. News of the 30-page Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) manual – which was first published on Monday, by al-Jazeera, and has since been confirmed to be genuine by the US military – comes amid fresh questions over the ethics of force-feeding protesters at the prison.
An editorial published earlier this month in the medical journal the Lancet suggests that there is a distinct moral line between force-feeding people who are refusing meals through impaired mental capacity and those doing so as a protest. It states: "In the latter case, the individual has weighed up the facts, and come to the conclusion that they will refuse nutrition, and risk death in order to correct a perceived injustice. Whether or not one agrees with this decision, to force-feed infringes the principle of patient autonomy."
A military judge found US army sergeant John Russell guilty of premeditated murder Monday in the 2009 killings of five fellow service members at a combat stress clinic in Iraq.
Russell now faces a sentencing phase of his court martial to determine whether he will face life in prison with or without the possibility of release.
The 14-year veteran from Sherman, Texas, had previously pleaded guilty to unpremeditated murder in exchange for prosecutors taking the death penalty off the table. Under the agreement, prosecutors were allowed to try to prove to an army judge at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state that the killings were premeditated.
The Washington Post's financials provide a good glance at the current status of legacy media struggling with the shift to digital. Unlike others large dailies, the components of the Post's P&L clearly appear in its statements, they are not buried under layers of other activities.
Product-wise, the Post remains a great news machine, collecting Pulitzer Prizes with clockwork regularity and fighting hard for scoops. The Post also epitomises an old media under siege from specialised, more agile outlets such as Politico, ones that break down the once-unified coverage provided by traditional large media houses. In an interview to the New York Times last year, Robert G Kaiser, a former editor who had been with the paper since 1963, said this:"When I was managing editor of the Washington Post, everything we did was better than anyone in the business," he said. "We had the best weather, the best comics, the best news report, the fullest news report. Today, there's a competitor who does every element of what we do, and many of them do it better. We've lost our edge in some very profound and fundamental ways."
Philadelphia abortion provider Kermit Gosnell was convicted Monday of three counts of first-degree murder for the death of three babies that prosecutors said were delivered alive and subsequently killed.
Gosnell, 72, could face the death penalty when the jury reconvenes for the sentencing phase next week.
"He's disappointed and he's upset," defense lawyer Jack McMahon said of his client, who appeared calm in the courtroom.
Gosnell was acquitted of one count of first-degree murder in a fourth abortion, NBCPhiladelphia.com reported.
(Reuters) - Bangladeshi salvage workers on Monday neared the end of their search for victims of the collapse of a factory building, scouring the basement of the complex that crumbled in on itself and killed 1,127 people.
A series of deadly incidents at factories, including a fire in November that killed 112 people, has focused global attention on safety standards in Bangladesh's booming garment industry.
The toll of 1,127 - the world's most deadly industrial accident since 1984 Bhopal disaster in India - could be the final one as no more bodies were found on Monday, a spokesman at the army control room coordinating the salvage operation said.
"The rescuers have reached the basement where the chances of finding more dead bodies are very low," said Captain Tazul Islam.
The site will be handed over to the district administration on Tuesday on completion of salvage work, according to army spokesman Shahinul Islam.
Reshma Begum, 19, a Bangladeshi woman who spent 17 days buried alive under factory rubble until her dramatic rescue on Friday, made her first public appearance on Monday and said she drew on mental fortitude to survive.
Eating more insects could help fight world hunger, according to a new UN report.
The report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization says that eating insects could help boost nutrition and reduce pollution.
It notes than over 2 billion people worldwide already supplement their diet with insects.
However it admits that "consumer disgust" remains a large barrier in many Western countries.
Wasps, beetles and other insects are currently "underutilised" as food for people and livestock, the report says. Insect farming is "one of the many ways to address food and feed security".
A transgender woman in Hong Kong has won a groundbreaking court appeal allowing her to marry her boyfriend and forcing the government to rewrite the city's marriage laws.
The woman in her 30s, known in the Court of Final Appeal as "W" under anonymity rules, successfully overturned earlier verdicts that said marriage is only allowed between couples who were of the opposite sex at birth.
W, who underwent sex realignment surgery more than five years ago, argued that her post-operative gender was recognised by the law and that previous rulings were a violation of her constitutional rights
She also said that her reassignment surgery had been government-subsidised.
In a SPIEGEL interview, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi discusses the civil war in Syria, his government's "condemnation" of chemical weapons and his belief that Tehran is in a strong position to initiate negotiations for a settlement between the opposition and government in Damascus.
Ali Akbar Salehi looks exhausted. In the last 48 hours, the Iranian foreign minister had a lengthy meeting in Jordan with King Abdullah II before flying to beleaguered Damascus to discuss the situation in Syria with President Bashar Assad. He had hardly returned to Tehran when he accompanied his own president on a campaign trip within Iran, which is in the middle of an election campaign.
(Reuters) - A car bomb killed at least three people outside a hospital in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Monday, witnesses said, in a further sign of the violent disorder plaguing the country since the 2011 revolution that toppled Muammar Gaddafi.
Only one of the dead was carried into the hospital intact, a doctor told Reuters, which made it difficult to immediately establish the number of people killed. Another doctor said three deaths were confirmed including a child, along with 17 injuries.
"I saw people running and some of them were collecting parts of bodies," said a witness, who declined to be identified.
The former Prime Minister, who left office three years ago, said the best reasons for countries in the UK to stay together are based on "social, poltiical and economic rights".
Making a rare speech at United with Labour conference, Mr Brown said he had time on his hands "to reflect, courtesy of the British people".
He now wants to "put the positive, principled, forward-looking case for a strong Scottish Parliament inside a strong United Kingdom"."I want to to put the case for the pooling and sharing of resources right across the United Kingdom, and the benefit we all get in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland from UK pensions, from UK National Insurance, from UK funding of healthcare, from the UK minimum wage," he said.
British prime minister will tell Barack Obama he believes Vladimir Putin is now more open to putting pressure on Assad regime
The prime minister will tell the president, in talks being convened ahead of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland for June, that he was greatly encouraged by his meeting with Putin at the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Friday.
A bilateral meeting between Cameron and Putin, attended only by their respective national security advisers, overran after being dominated by Syria. Cameron was struck when the Russian president made a point of moving his briefing notes to one side and asking to hear the prime minister's thoughts on the Syrian crisis.
The US and the UK say they will work to strengthen the moderate opposition in Syria and create a transitional body to replace President Bashar al-Assad.
US President Barack Obama said such a body would be be the goal of a meeting in Geneva in "the coming weeks".
The US recently won Russian support for the conference.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, in Washington for talks, said there was an "urgent window of opportunity before the worst fears are realised" in Syria.
Since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's rule began more than two years ago, at least 70,000 people are believed to have been killed and more than 1.2 million are living outside Syria as refugees.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at the weekend that more than 80,000 people had died, a figure cited by Mr Cameron on Monday.
The emergence of this new coronavirus is globally recognized as an important and major challenge for all of the countries which have been affected as well as the rest of the world.
The Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has recognized this and invited the World Health Organization (WHO) to help them assess the situation and to provide guidance and recommendations. WHO is pleased to be here to work together with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
At this time there are some things about this new disease we understand. However I would like to remind everyone that this is a new infection and there are also many gaps in our knowledge that will inevitably take time to fill in.
When she was just 6, Emily Gorospe became very tired and sick. The spunky girl, now 8, developed a fever that wouldn't go away, and red blotches appeared across her body.
"She's got so much energy usually," says Emily's mother, Valerie Gorospe. "Just walking from one part of the house ... she was drained." The little girl was also very pale. "She just didn't look like herself," Valerie recalls.
Emily, who lives in Delano, in California's Central Valley, was eventually diagnosed with valley fever, also known as coccidioidomycosis. She's one of an estimated 150,000 people nationwide who get the fungal disease every year. There is no cure and no vaccine.
Valley fever is a fact of life in parts of California and Arizona. Tiny fungal spores live in the soil throughout much of this arid region. When the spores are disturbed, they can be inhaled into the lungs.
James McCarty, the medical director of infectious diseases at Children's Hospital Central California, says most people feel nothing, or experience symptoms similar to the flu. Common symptoms include fever, night sweats, weight loss, chest pain, cough and sometimes skin rashes.
Google Glass isn't even for sale yet, but it's already facing backlash.
There have been articles in the Atlantic and Wired mocking techies who have a pair, and even Saturday Night Live got in on the jabbing at the technology.
The New York Times ran a front-page story about Google Glass and privacy, and the gadget has been banned from a bar in Seattle and casinos in Las Vegas.
But for the earnest Googlers who helped create Glass, and the enthusiastic techies who already have their hands on a pair, all this hate can be a little bewildering. Most of the people I've talked to who have the fancy eyewear just love them.
"Just taking a hike on a Sunday, I've been blown away by taking pictures and taking video," said Javier Echeverria.
Mary Lambert got cooking instructions using Glass. "The friend who I was doing it with could see what I was doing and was like 'No no no, that's all wrong,' which was really helpful and I didn't expect it," she says.
The e-commerce giant marks the launch by disbursing 500 free Amazon Coins -- which buys as much as does a $5 bill -- into the Amazon accounts of existing and new Kindle Fire customers in the U.S.
That jingling sound you hear is the arrival of Amazon Coins for Kindle Fire users.
Amazon on Monday announced that customers can use its new coins to purchase apps, games, and in-app items in the Amazon Appstore and on the company's Kindle Fire tablet.
Microsoft made available for download minor updates for its Skype application for Windows Phone 8 and Windows desktop as well as its SkyDrive storage cloud service.
Microsoft's Skype unit made available for download on Monday Skype updates for Windows Phone 8 and Windows desktop.
Skype 2.6 for Windows Phone 8, which the team calls a "minor" update, is available for download from the Windows Phone Store. The 2.6 update includes improvements around the reliability of chat and call notifications, of calls to phone numbers, and resolution to "occasional missing message preview in the recent conversations list," according to the Skype site.