Samsung Electronics faces falling profits as succession looms

July 7, 2014 0
A woman takes a picture outside the Samsung stand at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

By Se Young Lee SEOUL (Reuters) – Smartphone leader Samsung Electronics Co Ltd faces a third straight quarter of profit decline that could become a fourth as cheaper models grab a bigger share of a slowing market and Apple Inc readies the launch of its iPhone 6. Samsung Electronics’ woes, exacerbated by a won that has risen to a six-year high against the dollar, come at an awkward time for the flagship of South Korea’s largest conglomerate. The maker of the Galaxy smartphone is expected to say on Tuesday that earnings likely fell 12.6 percent for the quarter ended June, according to a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll. “Samsung’s heyday has gone.

How to fix a broken market in antibiotics

July 6, 2014 0
An elderly man uses a magnifier to see the descriptions on a pack of medicine at a pharmacy in Dandong

By Ben Hirschler and Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) – The drugs don’t work – and neither does the market, when it comes to antibiotics. Just over a year ago, Johnson & Johnson won approval for the first drug in 40 years that provides a new way to treat TB, yet sales of Sirturo are forecast by analysts to total just $75 million this year.

More science than art to penalty shootout success

July 3, 2014 0
Costa Rica's Michael Umana scores during a penalty shootout against Greece in their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game at the Pernambuco arena

By Mitch Phillips RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Penalty shootouts have been used at the World Cup since 1982 but while every one of the 24 to date has routinely been described as “dramatic” there is a deal more science than art when it comes to converting successfully from 12 yards. The first penalty shoot-out to decide a major international match came after the final of the 1976 European championship when the Czechoslovakia beat West Germany 5-3 with the famously dinked final effort by Antonin Panenka. Uli Stielike did miss during their win over France in the first-ever World Cup shootout in the 1982 semi-final but in their three since they have converted every shot and have won four out of four. Brazil’s win over Chile last week took their record to 3-1, while Argentina also boast a 3-1 record.

Forget Benzema, Seville ’82, only Germany matter for France

July 1, 2014 0
France's coach Deschamps looks on before the start of their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game against Nigeria at the Brasilia national stadium in Brasilia

By Karolos Grohmann BELO HORIZONTE Brazil (Reuters) – France rightfully claimed their place in the World Cup quarter-finals and any talk of striker Karim Benzema sulking over his position or mentions of past defeats by Germany are without any substance, coach Didier Deschamps said on Tuesday. The French booked their last-eight spot with a 2-0 win over Nigeria and will face Germany in a high-profile quarter-final on Friday between two former World Cup winners. “The players realise that it is a quarter-final of the World Cup. They are finished with being careless,” Deschamps told reporters at their base in Ribeirao Preto.

Presidential race highlights Erdogan’s reshaping of Turkish politics

June 30, 2014 0
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addresses the audience at a meeting at his ruling Ak Party headquarters in Ankara

By Humeyra Pamuk and Jonny Hogg ISTANBUL/ANKARA (Reuters) – A quick glance at the emerging candidates for Turkey’s first direct presidential poll illustrates the dramatic change wrought in the country by Tayyip Erdogan’s 11-year premiership; “It is certainly novel, a new republic,” says Soli Ozel, a professor in political science at Istanbul’s Kadir Has University. “We really are in uncharted waters.” Prime Minister Erdogan, his popularity unscathed by a flare-up of anti-government riots and a corruption scandal, is widely expected to announce his presidential bid on Tuesday for August elections that could further strengthen his hold on power.

China to try top military officer in strike against corruption

June 30, 2014 0
Then member of Central Military Commission Xu attends a meeting in Changchun

By Sui-Lee Wee and Michael Martina BEIJING (Reuters) – China will court-marshal one of its most senior former military officers on charges of corruption, state media said on Monday, the highest-ranking official to date felled in President Xi Jinping’s battle against deep-rooted and pervasive graft. Xu Caihou retired as vice chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission last year and from the party’s decision-making Politburo in 2012. Xi heads the Central Military Commission, which controls the 2.3 million strong armed forces, the world’s largest, and has repeatedly reminded them to be loyal to the ruling Communist Party. Xi has made weeding out corruption in the military one of the top goals in his administration.

Insight – Google, Detroit diverge on road map for self-driving cars

June 30, 2014 0
Google presents self-driving car in Mountain View

By Alexei Oreskovic and Ben Klayman SAN FRANCISCO/DETROIT (Reuters) – In 2012, a small team of Google Inc engineers and business staffers met with several of the world’s largest car makers, to discuss partnerships to build self-driving cars. As Google expands beyond Web search and seeks a foothold in the automotive market, the company’s eagerness has begun to reek of arrogance to some in Detroit, who see danger as well as promise in Silicon Valley. For now Google is moving forward on its own, building prototypes of fully autonomous vehicles that reject car makers’ plans to gradually enhance existing cars with self-driving features. “The auto companies are watching Google closely and trying to understand what its intentions and ambitions are,” said one person familiar with the auto industry, who asked to remain anonymous because of sensitive business relationships.

China official cancels events in Taiwan amid violent protests

June 29, 2014 0
Security personnel protect Zhang with bullet-proof suitcases after anti-China protesters attempted to pour white paint on him, in Kaohsiung

By Faith Hung TAIPEI (Reuters) – China’s top official in charge of relations with Taiwan has returned to Beijing, hailing his visit to the self-ruled island as “historic”, despite violent protests that forced him to cancel several meetings. The visit by Zhang Zhijun, director of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, marked the first such trip by such a senior mainland official in 65 years since the Nationalists fled after losing a civil war to China’s Communists in 1949. Throughout his four-day tour of the island, Zhang was greeted by protesters, including at the high-speed train station in the pro-independence southern port of Kaohsiung on Friday. There hundreds of demonstrators gathered, some waving placards reading “Communist Zhang Zhijun, get the hell back to China”.

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Algerian frenzy after Desert Foxes advance in World Cup

June 29, 2014 0

Algerian fans turned their capital into a frenzy of fireworks, chants and dancing on Thursday night to celebrate their team’s passage into the World Cup’s final 16 for the first time. Draped in Algeria’s green and white flags, fans packed downtown Algiers watching their team draw 1-1 with Russia on a large screen near the historic Grande Poste among the city’s white-washed colonial buildings. The point secured second-place behind Belgium in Group H and Algiers erupted into an explosion of fireworks, car horns, singing and chants of “1, 2, 3 Viva L’Algerie”. It’s our first time, we are representing all Arabs and Muslims,” said Hassan Saheb, discussing Algeria’s progress to the tournament’s knockout stages with neighbours on Friday.

Scatological science: oldest human poop fossils no laughing matter

June 29, 2014 0
An exhibit shows the life of a neanderthal family in a cave in the new Neanderthal Museum in the northern town of Krapina

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Don’t laugh, but the discovery of the oldest known human poop is offering valuable scientific insight into the life of Neanderthals who lived in Spain some 50,000 years ago. Analysis of the samples provided a new understanding of the diet of this extinct human species, offering the first evidence that Neanderthals were omnivores who also ate vegetables as part of their meat-heavy diet, they said. “So far, it is the only fossil evidence that gives us information of the ingestion and the regular meals of our ancestors,” said Ainara Sistiaga, a geoarchaeologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of La Laguna who was one of the researchers. “Understanding the diet of past human species closely related to our own will help us gain perspective on our evolutionary constraints and adaptability,” Sistiaga added.