Apple agrees to conditional $450 million e-books antitrust accord

By Nate Raymond and Alison Frankel Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:21pm EDT (Reuters) – Apple Inc has agreed to pay $450 million to resolve U.S. state and consumer claims the iPad manufacturer conspired with five major publishers to fix e-book prices, according to court records filed Wednesday. The settlement, which would provide $400 million for consumers, is conditioned on the outcome of a pending appeal of a New York federal judge’s ruling last year that […]

Microsoft expected to announce thousands of job cuts Thursday

SEATTLE Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:03am EDT (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp is set to cut more than 6,000 jobs in an announcement expected early Thursday, according to sources familiar with the matter, as it trims its newly acquired Nokia phone business and reshapes itself as a cloud-computing and mobile-friendly software company. What could be the deepest job cuts in the company’s 39-year history come five months into the tenure of Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella, […]

Gene therapy creates ‘biological pacemaker’ cells for the heart

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:03pm EDT (Reuters) – Researchers have succeeded in turning ordinary cardiac muscle cells into specialized ones that deliver a steady heartbeat using a gene therapy procedure they predict could become an alternative to implanted electronic pacemakers. A study published on Wednesday involved pigs with a condition called heart block that makes their hearts beat too slowly. By injecting a human gene into a tiny region of the […]

Stress, depression may affect how the body processes fat

(Reuters Health) – Stress and depression have long been linked with a heightened risk of weight gain, but a new study sheds light on how those mental states may alter the way the body processes fatty foods. Compared to women without stress in the study, stressed-out women burned both calories and fat more slowly for seven hours after eating the equivalent of an average fast-food burger meal. ‚ÄúStress can promote weight gain by slowing your […]

Apple iPhone a danger to China national security: state media

BEIJING Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:19am EDT (Reuters) – Chinese state media branded Apple Inc’s iPhone a threat to national security because of the smartphone’s ability to track and time-stamp user locations. A report by broadcaster CCTV on Friday criticized the iPhone’s “Frequent Locations” function for allowing users to be tracked and information about them revealed. “This is extremely sensitive data,” said a researcher interviewed by the broadcaster. If the data were accessed, it could […]

As Ebola stalks West Africa, medics fight mistrust, hostility

By Saliou Samb and Adam Bailes CONAKRY Guinea/KENEMA Sierra Leone Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:36am EDT (Reuters) – Governments and health agencies trying to contain the world’s deadliest ever Ebola epidemic in West Africa fear the contagion could be worse than reported because suspicious locals are chasing away health workers and shunning treatment. From Guinea, where the four-month-old outbreak claimed the first of more than 500 lives, to Sierra Leone, scores of patients are hiding […]

Combining vaccines may help eradicate polio

By Kate Kelland LONDON Thu Jul 10, 2014 7:09pm EDT (Reuters) – Combining two types of polio vaccine, including one that is injected rather than given orally, appears to give better immunity and could speed efforts to eradicate the crippling disease, scientists said on Friday. British and Indian researchers said the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), which is given by injection, could provide better and longer lasting protection if given alongside the more commonly used live […]

World Trade Center cleanup workers may renew health claims: U.S. appeals court

By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:04pm EDT (Reuters) – A federal appeals court in New York has revived claims by 211 cleanup workers who sought compensation for their alleged exposure to toxic contaminants in buildings near the World Trade Center site after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday said a lower court judge erred in dismissing the claims, after the workers had answered […]

Apple targets rising water use, production partners’ emissions

SAN FRANCISCO Wed Jul 9, 2014 9:11pm EDT (Reuters) – Apple Inc acknowledged on Wednesday it needs to address manufacturing partners’ carbon emissions and its own rising water consumption, though the iPhone maker said it had cut back sharply on greenhouse gas output. Apple last year hired former Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson to push cleaner initiatives, amid past criticism over its emissions and use of toxic materials. Observers say it has improved its […]

New Harry Potter attraction opens at Florida theme park

(Reuters) – The new Harry Potter attraction at Universal Orlando opened on Tuesday to crowds of fans eager to be among the first to experience the theme park’s Diagon Alley expansion based on J.K. Rowling’s books and the popular films about the boy wizard. Fans began lining up before dawn for the public opening of the “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley” attraction, modeled after the London shopping district for wizards that […]