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07-25-2014 Science&Technology
Qualcomm accuses Chinese firms of misrepresenting sales

Smartphone chip giant Qualcomm is facing several setbacks in China, causing its share price to fall.

The US firm has revealed that it believes several Chinese manufacturers are misrepresenting the number of devices they have made to reduce the patent royalty feesthey owe.

In addition, a state-run newspaper has reported that a Chinese regulator has decided the company's patents have given it a monopoly position.

That could lead to a huge fine.

Qualcomm has been under investigation by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) over claims that it had overcharged for the right to use its standard-essential patents and had abused its market position.

Standard-essential patents refer to innovations that are critical to a specification adopted as an industry-shared technology.

Qualcomm owns many inventions that lie at the heart of 3G, 4G and other wireless data technologies.

As a result, device manufacturers must pay it a fee to ensure their products can communicate with others devices even if they do not include any of the various chips that Qualcomm manufactures itself. Potential penalty

The NDRC said in February that one of the complaints it was looking into was a claim that Qualcomm was charging higher prices in China than elsewhere.

If it finds the company guilty, it can fine it up to 10% of its local revenue for the past financial year. Nearly half of Qualcomm's sales came from China last year, meaning its penalty could total $1.2bn (£723m).

The state-run Securities Times newspaper has reported that the watchdog has indeed decided the company has a monopoly.

However, the NDRC would first have to rule the company had abused its position to impose a penalty - simply having a monopoly is not prohibited in China.

"We have met with and are continuing to fully co-operate with the NDRC, as it conducts its investigation, but the timing and outcome of any resolution remains uncertain, as does the impact on our future business in China," Qualcomm's president, Derek Aberle, said during a conference call following the firm's latest earnings release on Wednesday.

He added that his firm expected it would have to make some kind of payment, but was not able to estimate its size at this time. Misreported sales

While the probe continues, Qualcomm revealed that it was experiencing problems obtaining the fees it believed were due.

Mr Aberle told bank analysts that he believed some of the company's Chinese licensees were under-reporting the number of 3G and 4G devices they had made for local and international sale, and had ordered its own investigation as a consequence.

"We believe we will find that they are only reporting something less than 100% of their sales, and hoping they are going to be able to get away with it," he explained.

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Source: BBC

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07-25-2014 Science&Technology
Nasa seeks help with Earth-Mars data links

Nasa is asking for help to get data back from its science missions orbiting Mars or roaming its surface.

The US space agency is acting now to close a potential communications gap that is set to occur in 2020.

It currently has no plans to launch orbiters capable of taking over data relay duties from existing, ageing spacecraft.

Nasa is seeking input from universities and companies about better ways to relay the data back to Earth. Path to Mars

Nasa currently relies on two craft orbiting Mars, Odyssey and the Reconnaissance Orbiter, to pass on data beamed to them from the Curiosity rover.

The two spacecraft can send data back to Earth at a rate of about 2Mbps - much faster than the 500bps the rover can manage by itself.

Data relay duties are set to be taken over by two newer spacecraft that are due to arrive at Mars in 2014 and 2016. Nasa's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (Maven) satellite will go into service in September 2014 and Europe's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter craft will turn up in 2016.

Currently, Nasa has no plans to launch science orbiters to Mars beyond Maven - but there are plans to land more rovers on the planet, potentially creating a problem retrieving data gathered by the robots.

Commercial partners could help overcome this shortfall, Nasa said in a statement.

"We are looking to broaden participation in the exploration of Mars to include new models for government and commercial partnerships," said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator of Nasa's Science Mission Directorate, in a statement.

The partnership could mean Nasa tries novel ways to transport data. Future communication systems might make greater use of lasers, as they could massively boost data transfer rates.

Laser data transfer was trialled in October 2013 during the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer mission. During that test, data rates between the Moon and Earth hit 622Mbps.

"Depending on the outcome, the new model could be a vital component in future science missions and the path for humans to Mars," said Mr Grunsfeld.

Source: BBC

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07-25-2014 Science&Technology
In China, Apple's focus pays off while Samsung feels squeeze

The mobile industry has long held that Samsung's broad range of mobile devices makes it nimble in changing markets, while Apple loses out by rigidly sticking to its high-end gadgets.

But manufacturers' recent earnings reports challenge those assumptions, at least in China, the world's biggest mobile market - where the roll-out of the next-generation 4G wireless network has been touted as a booster for smartphone makers seeking growth as demand in advanced countries falters.

Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) latest quarterly results showed sales of its high-end phones in China grew at nearly twice the pace analysts had expected. Meanwhile, budget offerings from Chinese firms won at the cheaper end, effectively squeezing industry leader Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS).

Even as Apple posted strong China sales, the South Korean tech giant warned this month that quarterly earnings could drop 25 percent due to an inventory build-up of cheaper phones and weaker demand for 3G products in China.

That could suggest that Samsung's strategy of offering everything to counter every price point may actually have left it stranded between being a price competitive brand and a premium gadget seller. By contrast, Apple has studiously cultivated its high-end aura, and its iPhones and iPads continue to command a higher price tag on average than its rivals.

Samsung has strong brand loyalty in China, but charges 60-100 percent more than Chinese-made phones with similar features, said Tom Kang, an analyst at Counterpoint Research in Seoul. "Even though they have a brand premium, that's a bit too much."

Samsung declined to comment for this article.

Samsung's high-end smartphones and tablets such as its Galaxy S range, its answer to the iPhone and iPad, accounted for just a quarter of its January-March sales volume in China, while devices priced below 500 yuan ($80.75) made up the vast majority, according to data firm Canalys.

At the same time, Samsung has come under pressure from the rise of Chinese budget handset makers like Xiaomi, which this week released the Mi 4, its new 1,999 yuan 4G handset.

Underscoring the challenges Samsung faces, it had just one model in China's top-5 best sellers in May and June - with its big-screen Galaxy Note 3 tied in fifth place with a Lenovo Group (0992.HK) phone, according to Counterpoint.


Apple said this week its third-quarter revenue was buoyed by unexpectedly strong results in China, where iPhone sales jumped nearly 50 percent in April-June.

"China, honestly, was surprising to us ... we thought it would be strong, but it went well past what we thought. The unit growth was really off the charts across the board," CEO Tim Cook told analysts on Tuesday.

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Source: Reuters

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07-25-2014 Politics
Gaza UN shelter shelled, 'killing 15'

At least 15 people have been killed and more than 200 injured when a UN-run school used as a shelter in Gaza was shelled, the Gaza health ministry says.

Hundreds of Palestinians were in the school in Beit Hanoun, fleeing heavy fighting in the area.

It is the fourth time that a UN facility has been hit in Israel's offensive against Hamas militants.

In the past 16 days of fighting, more than 750 Palestinians and 33 Israelis have been killed, officials say.

Israel launched its military offensive on 8 July with the declared objective of stopping Hamas firing rockets from Gaza. Pools of blood

Earlier on Thursday, UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said that it was "vital" to have a ceasefire.

"We have over 118,000 people now who are sheltering in UN schools... people are running out of food. Water is also a serious concern," she said. She said the conflict meant 44% of Gaza was a no-go area for Palestinians, and residents were running out of food.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday he regretted each Palestinian civilian death, but said they were "the responsibility of Hamas".

Correspondents say pools of blood lay on the ground in the courtyard of the school in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza.

There was a large scorch mark where it appeared a shell had hit, the Associated Press news agency reports. UN officials said that during the course of the day they had been trying to negotiate a window of time with the Israeli army for civilians to leave the area because of the heavy fighting.

But Chris Gunness, a spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (Unrwa), said it was never granted.

He said the Israeli army had been formally given the co-ordinates of the shelter in Beit Hanoun.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement that it was in the midst of combat "with Hamas terrorists in the area of Beit Hanoun, who are using civilian infrastructure and international symbols as human shields".

"In the course of the afternoon, several rockets launched by Hamas from within the Gaza Strip landed in the Beit Hanoun area. The IDF is reviewing the incident," it said.

The BBC's Chris Morris in Gaza says casualties from the attack have been taken to several local hospitals.

But at the school itself journalists trying to reach the scene have had to pull back, after small arms fire broke out nearby, he says.

The UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) says a 1.9 mile (3km) wide strip, encompassing 44% of Gaza, has been designated as a no-go zone by the Israeli military.

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Source: bbc

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07-25-2014 Science&Technology
Google to face data watchdogs over 'right to be forgotten'

Google is to meet data regulators from across the European Union to discuss the implications of the recent "right to be forgotten" ruling.

An EU court ruled in May that links to "irrelevant" and outdated data should be erased from searches on request, leading to censorship concerns.

The decision, and Google's handling of requests, has been heavily debated.

The UK's information commissioner said he expects a "tsunami" of complaints relating to links people want removed.

Speaking to Radio 5 Live's Wake Up To Money, Christopher Graham said Google had a responsibility to deal with the issue. Google is to meet data regulators from across the European Union to discuss the implications of the recent "right to be forgotten" ruling.

An EU court ruled in May that links to "irrelevant" and outdated data should be erased from searches on request, leading to censorship concerns.

The decision, and Google's handling of requests, has been heavily debated.

The UK's information commissioner said he expects a "tsunami" of complaints relating to links people want removed.

Speaking to Radio 5 Live's Wake Up To Money, Christopher Graham said Google had a responsibility to deal with the issue. "Google is a massive commercial organisation making millions and millions out of processing people's personal information. They're going to have to do some tidying up."

Google, which has publicly expressed its disagreement with the court's decision, is understood to have received more than 70,000 requests for links to be taken down since the court ruling was made. Working party

Thursday's meeting in Brussels will also include representatives from other search engines, such as Yahoo, and Microsoft's Bing.

They will meet with a group known as the Article 29 Working Party, a gathering of data commissioners from across Europe concerned about the future direction of the "right to be forgotten" ruling. Ahead of it, the Society of Editors - a group representing media organisations in the UK - has written a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron urging that the UK resists the ruling.

The society has warned that a "vital principle" over the free publishing, and archiving, of information is at stake.

As part of the "right to be forgotten" process, Google began notifying media organisations about links it was removing - including one relating to a blog post made by the BBC business editor Robert Peston. Spent conviction

Many organisations have been publishing new articles, highlighting the old ones that have been the subject of "right to be forgotten" requests.

Furthermore, a website has been set up to log requests made under the EU ruling.

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Source: BBC

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07-25-2014 Religion
Sudan 'apostasy' woman Meriam Yahia Ibrahim meets Pope

A Sudanese woman who fled to Italy after being spared a death sentence for renouncing Islam has met the Pope.

Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag flew to Rome with her family after more than a month in the US embassy in Khartoum.

There was global condemnation when she was sentenced to hang for apostasy by a Sudanese court.

Mrs Ibrahim's father is Muslim so according to Sudan's version of Islamic law she is also Muslim and cannot convert.

She was raised by her Christian mother and says she has never been Muslim.

Welcoming her at the airport, Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said: "Today is a day of celebration." Mrs Ibrahim met Pope Francis at his Santa Marta residence at the Vatican soon after her arrival.

"The Pope thanked her for her witness to faith," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi was quoted as saying.

The meeting, which lasted around half an hour, was intended to show "closeness and solidarity for all those who suffer for their faith," he added. 'Mission accomplished'

The BBC's Alan Johnston in Rome says there was no prior indication of Italy's involvement in the case.

Lapo Pistelli, Italy's vice-minister for foreign affairs, accompanied her on the flight from Khartoum and posted a photo of himself with Mrs Ibrahim and her children on his Facebook account as they were about to land in Rome.

"Mission accomplished," he wrote.

A senior Sudanese official told Reuters news agency that the government in Khartoum had approved her departure in advance.

Mrs Ibrahim's lawyer Mohamed Mostafa Nour told BBC Focus on Africa that she travelled on a Sudanese passport she received at the last minute.

"She is unhappy to leave Sudan. She loves Sudan very much. It's the country she was born and grew up in," he said. "But her life is in danger so she feels she has to leave. Just two days ago a group called Hamza made a statement that they would kill her and everyone who helps her," he added.

Mrs Ibrahim's husband, Daniel Wani, also a Christian, is from South Sudan and has US nationality.

Their daughter Maya was born in prison in May, shortly after Mrs Ibrahim was sentenced to hang for apostasy - renouncing one's faith.

Under intense international pressure, her conviction was quashed and she was freed in June.

She was given South Sudanese travel documents but was arrested at Khartoum airport, with Sudanese officials saying the travel documents were fake.

These new charges meant she was not allowed to leave the country but she was released into the custody of the US embassy in Khartoum.

Last week, her father's family filed a lawsuit trying to have her marriage annulled, on the basis that a Muslim woman is not allowed to marry a non-Muslim.

Source: BBC

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07-25-2014 Health
Paracetamol for low back pain 'no better than placebo'

Paracetamol used to treat acute lower back pain is no better than a dummy pill, research in the Lancet suggests.

The largest trial to date suggests the drug does not improve recovery time or provide greater pain relief than a placebo.

The study questions whether paracetamol should remain a first-choice drug on most national guidelines.

But experts caution anyone considering a change of medication should seek medical advice.

About 26 million people suffer from lower back pain each year in the UK, and it remains a leading cause of disability worldwide. Sleep quality

Researchers studied more than 1,650 people across several primary care centres in Australia, who had experienced back pain for six weeks or less.

A third received regular doses of paracetamol A third took the drug as needed A third were given a dummy pill (placebo) for one month

Paracetamol did not reduce the intensity of the pain, nor did it improve sleep quality. And scientists found there was no difference in recovery time for all three groups - an average of 17 days.

Lead author Dr Christopher Williams, from the University of Sydney, said: "The results suggest we need to reconsider the universal recommendation to provide paracetamol as a first-line treatment."

'Remain active'

The researchers say the mechanisms behind lower back pain may differ to those in pain felt in other conditions such as headaches, toothaches and post-surgery discomfort - where there is evidence that paracetamol can provide relief.

And as people in the trial recovered more quickly than those in some previous studies, they suggest the advice and reassurance provided during their trial may be more effective than medication.

Dr Andrew Moore, a senior researcher at the Churchill Hospital, Oxford, who was not involved in the research, told the BBC: "Paracetamol does not work for every type of pain, nor does it work for every person.

"There has been evidence emerging for some time that paracetamol does not benefit most people with chronic back pain for example.

"And I'm willing to bet in 10 years' time national guidelines will have changed."

However, the researchers were unsure what to recommend instead due the side-effects of some anti-inflammatory pain killers and say people should discuss their options with their doctor.

Prof Roger Knaggs of the British Pain Society, told the BBC: "Despite how common paracetamol use is, this is a question that hasn't been studied in such a rigorous way before.

"For people who feel no benefit, there are alternative strategies. They should speak to their pharmacists or doctors and discuss any side-effects of other medication."

Prof Christine Lin, an author on the study, said: "Other ways to ease back pain include remaining as active as possible and avoiding bed rest."

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Source: BBC

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07-25-2014 General
French warplanes search Mali desert for crashed Air Algerie plane

An Air Algerie flight with 110 passengers onboard, nearly half of them French citizens, crashed on Thursday after the jet disappeared over northern Mali en route from Burkina Faso to Algiers, an Algerian official said.

There were few clear indications of what might have happened to flight AH5017, or whether there were casualties, but Burkina Faso's transport minister said the crew asked to adjust their route at 9.38 p.m. EDT because of a storm in the area.

"I can confirm that it has crashed," the Algerian official told Reuters, declining to be identified or give any details about what had happened to the aircraft on its way north.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the Air Algerie flight was still missing, but had probably crashed. "Despite intensive search efforts no trace of the aircraft has yet been found," Fabius told journalists in Paris. "The plane probably crashed."

French President Francois Hollande canceled a planned visit to overseas territories and said all military means on the ground would be used to locate the aircraft.

Two French Mirage warplanes have been scouring the vast desert area around the northern Malian city of Gao for the aircraft, which had 51 French nationals on board.

"The search will take as long as needed," Hollande told reporters. "Everything must be done to find this plane. We cannot identify the causes of what happened," he said.

Niger security sources said planes were flying over the border region with Mali to search for the flight.

Two Mali-based diplomats said in addition to the area around Gao, where the plane is believed to have last been in contact with authorities, searcher were also scouring the rugged region around Aguelhoc toward the Algerian borders.

An aid worker in Mali who asked not to be named said his organization had received several calls from residents based in the villages of Tessalit and Tinzawaten in the northeastern region of Kidal after hearing a loud explosion.

It was not immediately clear if this was linked to the crash.

But searching in northern Mali will be complex task.

The area where the flight is suspected to have crashed is a vast, sparsely inhabited region of scrubland and desert dunes stretching to the foothills of the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains.

It is a stronghold of Tuareg separatist rebels, who rose up against the government in early 2012, triggering an Islamist revolt that briefly seized control of northern Mali.

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Source: Reuters

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07-24-2014 Science&Technology
Harold Edgerton: The man who froze time

Every time you use the flash on your smartphone or camera, you should give silent praise to Harold Eugene Edgerton. In the era of vacuum tubes and radios the size of tables, Edgerton created a way to stop the world; a bullet passing through an apple; a footballer’s boot connecting with a ball; the crown-like splash created from a single drop of milk. He was the first man to harness electricity to freeze time to an instant.

Edgerton’s iconic images would be difficult enough to create today, even with computers on hand to open and close the shutter and fire the flash. But Edgerton took his pictures in the days of analogue, recording them on a motion picture camera converted to shoot at previously impossible speeds, and lighting them with an electric flash he invented himself. Intricate geometries happening so fast the human eye is incapable of comprehending them were suddenly captured for all to marvel at.

“He captured wonderful, captivating images that transcend the boundaries between science, art and entertainment,” says Colin Harding, a curator at the UK’s National Media Museum in Bradford.

To decades of students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) he was known as ‘Doc’. To the pioneering underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau, who collaborated with him, ‘Papa Flash’. Edgerton was born in 1903 in Nebraska, and became passionate about two things – photography and electricity. He was taught how to use a camera by his uncle, and worked for a local power company before being accepted as a student at MIT.

During an experiment using a rudimentary computer, Edgerton found the overheating warning lights (blinking at 60 times a second) seemed to freeze the moving parts of its motor as if they were standing still.

It gave Edgerton the idea that bright, split-second bursts of light could illuminate this high-speed world. In those days, there were no high-speed films allowing you to shoot with ambient light unless you used a shutter speed lasting many seconds - pretty useless unless your subject was stock still. Flash was vital in giving enough light for these 'slow' films to capture moving objects.

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Source: BBC

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07-24-2014 Politics
Israel pummels Gaza; Kerry steps up diplomatic push

Israeli forces pounded the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, sending thousands of residents fleeing, and said it was meeting stiff resistance from Hamas Islamists, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Tel Aviv to push ceasefire talks.

In a blow to Israel's economy, U.S. and many European air carriers halted flights to the country citing security worries after a militant rocket from Gaza hit a house near Ben Gurion airport. Israel urged a re-think, saying its airspace was safe.

Making an unannounced, one-day visit, Kerry was due to see Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, signaling an intensification of efforts to end the bloodshed.

Israel launched its offensive on July 8 to halt missile salvoes by Hamas Islamists, who were struggling under the weight of an Israeli-Egyptian economic blockade and angered by a crackdown on their supporters in the nearby occupied West Bank.

After failing to halt the militant barrage through days of aerial bombardment, Israel sent ground troops into Gaza last Thursday, looking to knock out Hamas's missile stores and destroy a vast, underground network of tunnels.

Some 643 Palestinians, many of them children and civilians have died in the conflagration, including a seven-year-old hit by a shell in southern Gaza early Wednesday, a medic said.

Some 29 Israeli soldiers have been killed, including a tank officer shot by a Palestinian sniper overnight. Two civilians have been slain by rocket fire. The military says one of its soldiers is also missing and believes he might be dead. Hamas says it has captured him, but has not released his picture.

Clouds of black smoke hung over the densely populated Mediterranean enclave, with the regular thud of artillery and tank shells filling the air.

"We are meeting resistance around the tunnels ... they are constantly trying to attack us around and in the tunnels. That is the trend," said Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner.

He said 30 militant gunman had been killed overnight, bringing the total to 210 since the offensive started.

Hamas's armed wing, the Izz el-Deen Al-Qassam, said its fighters had detonated an anti-personnel bomb as an Israeli army patrol passed, killing several troops. There was no immediate confirmation from Israel.

There was also violence in the occupied West Bank, where a Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli troops near Bethlehem. The army said soldiers fired a rubber bullet at him during clashes with Palestinians hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails.

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Source: Reuters

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07-24-2014 General
MH17 crash: First set of bodies en route to the Netherlands

Kharkiv, Ukraine (CNN) -- After spending days exposed to the elements on a Ukrainian field and then inside a refrigerated train, the first group of victims from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is one step closer to home.

The remains of 50 victims are expected to arrive in the Netherlands on Wednesday, Ukrainian officials said.

The arrival will mark a homecoming for many of the victims. Most of the 298 people on board the plane were from the Netherlands, which has declared Wednesday a national day of mourning.

At least two aircraft -- a Dutch and an Australian jet -- will be transferring the remains Wednesday. It was not clear how many bodies will be on each plane. Dutch royals, government officials and families of the passengers will be at the tarmac when the remains arrive. After a solemn ceremony, the bodies will be taken to a military facility for forensic testing.

But Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said it could take weeks or even months to identify the remains.

Some bodies unaccounted for

Officials gave conflicting reports about how many bodies were on the train that traveled from the crash site in rebel-held eastern Ukraine to the Ukrainian-controlled city of Kharkiv on Tuesday.

Malaysian official Mohd Sakri, who traveled on the train with the remains, said there were 282 corpses and 87 body parts aboard -- the same tally Ukrainian officials earlier gave to describe the remains recovered from the crash site.

But Dutch investigators only confirmed there were at least 200 bodies transported from the crash site, according to Jan Tuinder, head of the Dutch delegation

Another Dutch official said investigators were still going through the train cars and it was possible all the crash victims were on the train.

But as of Monday, at least bodies of 16 people were still unaccounted for. Their remains may still be scattered across a debris field spanning several miles.

Bodies landed near orphans

The massive debris field means many residents are traumatized from the ghastly scene.

Children at an orphanage in Rozsypne village were playing outside when the plane exploded. They saw the body of one boy hit the earth.

One of their teachers, Valentina, remembers their horror.

"These are dead bodies!" they screamed, Valentina said.

She points to a large divot in the grass where a woman's body had landed -- not far from where the children were playing.

Some of the orphans screamed, Valentina said. Others just sat and cried.

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Source: CNN

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07-23-2014 Science&Technology
Fund managers unconvinced by Apple rebound

Apple, once a can't-miss stock, is finding it tough to persuade portfolio managers to come back into the fold.

The company's shares are up 17 percent for the year, nearly three times the performance of the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 stock index over the same time. Yet the company remains one of the most significantly underweighted stocks among large cap fund managers, according to a Goldman Sachs report.

Part of the reason for a lack of portfolio manager enthusiasm is that Apple Inc no longer seems to be the hot growth company of old, fund managers say. It has not introduced a truly new device since the iPad in 2010. In 2012, it began paying a dividend, typically a sign of a company whose days of rapid growth are behind it.

Apple reports results for its fiscal third quarter on Tuesday, July 22. Wall Street is expecting revenue of $38 billion in the June quarter, up about 7.5 percent from a year earlier. The company will also provide a forecast for the current quarter: on average, analysts are estimating revenue in the quarter will grow 8 percent to $40.4 billion.

The company's profits come mainly from its line of iPhones, which faces more competition from Samsung and a coterie of up-and-coming Chinese companies such as Huawei and Xiaomi, smartphone makers that are grabbing market share - particularly in Asia - with reasonably priced yet capable devices.

"The company has been in a new-product slump for a while here, and although it's still growing, it's becoming more of a value play than a growth play at this point," said Skip Aylesworth, a co-manager of the Hennessy Technology fund.

Aylesworth has owned Apple shares for 12 of the past 15 years but does not hold any now because the company does not have any new products that can bring about sustainable high growth rates, he said.

"(Apple's) growth doesn't look that exciting when we can buy into a company that is growing 15 to 25 percent," he said. Aylesworth noted he has positions in companies such as SanDisk and Netflix, both of whose revenue has grow by 10 percent or more in their most recent quarters.

Apple is the largest holding in the $622 million Buffalo Growth Fund, where co-portfolio manager Chris Carter said the company's smartphone business should provide sustainable profit increases.

But Carter said Apple's slowed growth in recent years is a factor "potentially scaring off some growth managers," while its dividend may not be enough to attract value managers.

Apple’s forward price-earnings ratio, which is somewhat reflective of expectations of slowing growth, stands at below 14, compared with the nearly 82 that ultra-growth stock Netflix commands.

Source: Reuters

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Breaking news headlines from world's most important newspapers

07-25-2014 |

Top News At Least 10 Die at U.N. School Used as Gazan Civilian Shelter


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07-25-2014 |

90% of human DNA 'does nothing'

Israeli air strike kills at least 15 at United Nations school

David Lynch 'I've always loved Laura Palmer'

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07-25-2014 |

Las tensiones geopolíticas castigan la lenta reactivación global

El Ejército de Israel choca con la defensa de Hamás en la franja

Un caso de corrupción en Sanidad acosa al partido de Mujica

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07-25-2014 |

La voz del estadio de San Lorenzo pidió un 5-0 y Francisco cumplió

Desmienten que la sobrina de Fidel fuera en el avión:

Schumacher ya se comunica con su familia

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Top 100 World Newspapers (*)

No. Newspaper / Country No. Newspaper / Country No. Newspaper / Country No. Newspaper / Country
1 The New York Times / United States 2 The Guardian / United Kingdom 3 The Daily Mail / United Kingdom 4 The Wall Street Journal / United States
5 The Washington Post / United States 6 The People's Daily / China 7 The Daily Telegraph / United Kingdom 8 USA Today / United States
9 Los Angeles Times / United States 10 El Mundo / Spain 11 La Repubblica / Italy 12 The Times of India / India
13 Bild / Germany 14 Corriere della Sera / Italy 15 The Examiner / United States 16 The Independent / United Kingdom
17 El País / Spain 18 The Financial Times / United Kingdom 19 The Sydney Morning Herald / Australia 20 Daily News / United States
21 Chicago Tribune / United States 22 Le Monde / France 23 Marca / Spain 24 Hürriyet / Turkey
25 Die Welt / Germany 26 Asahi Shimbun / Japan 27 The Sun / United Kingdom 28 New York Post / United States
29 The Age / Australia 30 Gazeta Wyborcza / Poland 31 The Philadelphia Inquirer / United States 32 The Washington Times / United States
33 Die Zeit / Germany 34 Yomiuri Shimbun / Japan 35 The New Zealand Herald / New Zealand 36 The Onion / United States
37 Milliyet Gazetesi / Turkey 38 Il Sole 24 Ore / Italy 39 The Chicago Sun-Times / United States 40 Al-Ahram / Egypt
41 Le Figaro / France 42 Süddeutsche Zeitung / Germany 43 The Hindu / India 44 Houston Chronicle / United States
45 The Seattle Times / United States 46 Libération / France 47 The Globe and Mail / Canada 48 De Standaard / Belgium
49 The Irish Times / Ireland 50 The Toronto Star / Canada 51 Le Nouvel Observateur / France 52 Mercury News / United States
53 The Australian / Australia 54 The Denver Post / United States 55 The Christian Science Monitor / United States 56 The Dong-a Ilbo / Korea
57 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution / United States 58 Aftonbladet / Sweden 59 Kommersant / Russia 60 Bangkok Post / Thailand
61 Star Tribune / United States 62 The Hollywood Reporter / United States 63 Daily Mirror / United Kingdom 64 Dawn / Pakistan
65 El Universal / Mexico 66 The Miami Herald / United States 67 Mladá fronta Dnes / Czech Republic 68 DNA - Daily News & Analysis / India
69 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette / United States 70 Sports Nippon / Japan 71 L'Equipe / France 72 Die Presse / Austria
73 Detroit Free Press / United States 74 Neue Zürcher Zeitung / Switzerland 75 Clarín / Argentina 76 Chosun Ilbo / Japan
77 The Sacramento Bee / United States 78 China Daily / China 79 Nihon Keizai Shimbun / Japan 80 AS / Spain
81 The Baltimore Sun / United States 82 Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung / Germany 83 La Gazzetta dello Sport / Italy 84 Mainichi Shimbun / Japan
85 Boston Herald / United States 86 The Dallas Morning News / United States 87 The Times / United Kingdom 88 Newsday / United States
89 Orlando Sentinel / United States 90 St. Louis Post-Dispatch / United States 91 Taipei Times / Taiwan 92 The Hindustan Times / India
93 The Economic Times / India 94 Kompas / Indonesia 95 The Observer / United Kingdom 96 Jornal de Notícias / Portugal
97 South Florida Sun-Sentinel / United States 98 ABC / Spain 99 Le Soir / Belgium 100 The Kansas City Star / United States

(*) Selected by 4International Media & Newspapers

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