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Defense: FBI probe in 9/11 trial has implications

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) — The defense team for five people accused before a Sept. 11 war crimes tribunal says implications of the FBI's questioning of one of its members are "staggering" and is calling on the court to aggressively probe the incident.

Apple expands buybacks by $30 billion, OKs seven-for-one stock split

The Apple logo is pictured on the front of the company's flagship retail store near signs for the central subway project in San Francisco, California By Edwin Chan SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc has approved another $30 billion in share buybacks till the end of 2015 and authorized a rarely seen seven-for-one stock split, addressing calls to share more of its cash hoard while broadening the stock's appeal to individual investors. Activist investor Carl Icahn, who had famously called on the iPhone maker to boost its buyback program, tweeted his approval of the move on Wednesday. On Wednesday, Apple reported sales of 43.7 million iPhones in the quarter ended March, far outpacing the roughly 38 million that Wall Street had predicted. But whether Apple can again produce a revolutionary new product remains the central question in investors' and Silicon Valley executives' minds.

Facebook first-quarter revenue grows 72 percent on rising mobile ads

A smartphone user shows the Facebook application on his phone in Zenica, in this photo illustration By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc's mobile advertising business accelerated in the first three months of the year, helping the Internet social networking company top Wall Street's financial targets. Shares of Facebook were up nearly 3 percent at $63.05 in after-hours trading on Wednesday. Facebook said that mobile ads represented 59 percent of its ad revenue in the first quarter, up from 30 percent in the year-ago period. Facebook's overall revenue grew 72 percent year-on-year to $2.5 billion in the first quarter, above the $2.36 billion expected by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. "They've got the right products for what advertisers are looking for and that's manifesting itself in the results you're seeing," said JMP Securities analyst Ronald Josey.

High court nixes $3.4M award to child porn victim

FILE - This Oct. 13, 2013 file photo shows Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy speaking in Philadelphia. The Supreme Court on Wednesday said a federal law limits how much money victims of child pornography can recover from people who viewed their images online, throwing out a nearly $3.4 million judgment in favor of a woman whose childhood rape has been widely seen on the Internet. Kennedy said for the court that federal judges should exercise discretion in awarding restitution. The case involved a woman known in court papers by the pseudonym "Amy." Her losses have been pegged at nearly $3.4 million, based on the ongoing Internet trade and viewing of images of her being raped by her uncle when she was 8 and 9 years old. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File) WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a plea to make it easier for victims of child pornography to collect money from people who view their images online, throwing out a nearly $3.4 million judgment in favor of a woman whose childhood rape has been widely seen on the Internet. Two dissenting justices said Congress should change the law to benefit victims.

Convicted murderer arraigned in prison escape

IONIA, Mich. (AP) — A convicted murderer who broke out of a Michigan prison in February was arraigned on escape, carjacking and kidnapping charges Wednesday.

Buffett disapproves of Coca-Cola's pay plan

NEW YORK (AP) — Warren Buffett says he disapproves of Coca-Cola's highly contested pay plan for its executives.

Hillary Clinton dares women to compete

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers her Simmons College Leadership Conference keynote address at the Seaport World Trade Center Wednesday, April 23, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia) BOSTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton is daring women to compete, but not saying whether she will herself in 2016.

US Sen. Boozman recovering from heart surgery

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — U.S. Sen. John Boozman's office says the Republican senator from Arkansas remains hospitalized Wednesday after undergoing unexpected heart surgery a day earlier for a tear in his aorta.

NTSB head: Action needed now on oil train safety

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the National Transportation Safety Board says the Obama administration needs to take steps immediately to protect the public from potentially catastrophic oil train accidents even if it means using emergency authority.

New Zealand raises key interest rate to 3 percent

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — With its economy continuing to improve, New Zealand on Thursday raised its benchmark interest rate for the second time in six weeks, to 3 percent.

Soldier convicted in WikiLeaks case gets new name

U.S. Army, Pfc. Chelsea Manning LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) — An Army private convicted of providing classified documents to WikiLeaks won an initial victory Wednesday toward living as a woman when a Kansas judge granted a petition to change her name to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning.

Top Asian News at 9:31 p.m. GMT

TOKYO (AP) — Facing fresh questions about his commitment to Asia, President Barack Obama will seek to convince Japan's leaders Thursday that he can deliver on his security and economic pledges, even as the crisis in Ukraine demands U.S. attention and resources elsewhere. The ominous standoff between Ukraine and Russia is threatening to overshadow Obama's four-country Asia swing that began Wednesday. He may decide during the trip whether to levy new economic sanctions on Moscow, a step that would signal the failure of an international agreement aimed at defusing the crisis.

California city sees spike in whooping cough cases

A Southern California city has seen a spike in reported whooping cough cases so far this year, with the number of infections nearly tripling compared to all of last year, possibly due to a less potent vaccine or lower vaccination rates, officials said on Wednesday. Some 43 cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, have been documented since January in Long Beach, a city of about 470,000, up from 15 cases reported in all of 2013 and four cases reported in 2012, Long Beach Health Officer Michael Kushner said. Whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial infection that often begins with cold-like symptoms and a mild cough, followed by severe coughing that can last for several weeks. Kushner said the rise in whooping cough cases in Long Beach was likely due to a drop in vaccinations or booster shots, a weakened vaccine or infections that are left untreated.

US weighs clemency for inmates jailed for 10 years

Deputy Attorney General James Cole concludes his news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. Cole announced the new standards that will be considered in deciding whether to recommend clemency for certain non-violent drug prisoners. Wednesday's announcement is part of an ongoing effort to trim the nation’s prison population and help convicts who were given what the Obama administration says were unduly harsh sentences for drug crimes. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is encouraging many nonviolent federal prisoners to apply for early release — and expecting thousands to take up the offer. It's an effort to deal with high costs and overcrowding in prisons, and also a matter of fairness, the government says.

Britain's Camilla 'devastated' by brother's death in fall

Mark Shand during a press conference in New Delhi, India, on October 5, 2006 Camilla, wife of Britain's Prince Charles, was on Wednesday left "utterly devastated" after her brother died in an accident during a night out in New York, Clarence House said. Environmental campaigner Mark Shand, 62, fell and hit his head on the pavement outside the Rose Bar at Manhattan's Gramercy Park Hotel late Tuesday after attending a charity event. "It is with deep sadness that we have to confirm that the Duchess of Cornwall's brother, Mark Shand, has today passed away in New York," said a spokesman for Clarence House, Charles's official office. "Mr Shand died in hospital as a result of a serious head injury which he sustained during a fall last night.

6 fired for closing Arizona child abuse reports

This Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 photo shows Charles Flanagan, director of the newly established Division of Child Safety and Family Services. On Wednesday, April 23, 2014, Flanagan announced the firing of five senior employees who orchestrated a plan that led to more than 6,500 abuse and neglect cases being closed without investigations, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) PHOENIX (AP) — Five senior Arizona child welfare employees who officials said orchestrated a plan that led to more than 6,500 Arizona child abuse and neglect cases being closed without investigations were fired Wednesday in the first major personnel action since the cases were discovered in November.

Miami detective faces drug, conspiracy charges in New Jersey federal court

A Miami-Dade Police Department internal affairs detective appeared in federal court in Newark, New Jersey, on Wednesday to face charges of aiding a drug smuggling gang, conspiring to distribute cocaine and trying to arrange a murder for hire. The detective, Lieutenant Ralph Mata, 45, who was known as "The Milk Man," was arrested in a Miami suburb on April 8 after trying to arrange for two assassins dressed in police uniforms to kill two members of a rival gang, prosecutors said. "His reaction was that he is not guilty of doing anything and he should not have been charged," said Jay Surgent, Mata's New Jersey attorney. "He is going to fight it to the last breath." According to court documents, in 2011, a rival drug gang threatened to kill members of the drug organization whose members Mata knew.

Senegal police disperse crowds as ex-president's return delayed

Senegalese police dispersed hundreds of supporters of former President Abdoulaye Wade who gathered at Dakar airport on Wednesday to welcome him back two years after losing power, but his return was delayed after his flight was stuck in Morocco. The return of Wade, whose son Karim is awaiting trial on corruption charges, is eagerly awaited by his Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS), which heads to local elections in June looking to capitalize on frustration at stubborn unemployment under his successor President Macky Sall. Thousands of PDS supporters later gathered outside the party's headquarters in central Dakar, some waving placards reading 'Movement to Liberate Karim'. "President Wade's plane has not received authorization to take off from Morocco to come to Senegal," Oumar Sarr, coordinator of the PDS, told Reuters, condemning the decision to ban the rally.

Chief has few answers on latest police shooting

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A news conference called to address the latest shooting by the troubled Albuquerque Police Department raised more questions than answers Wednesday about the killing of a suspected car thief during a foot chase.

Five Keys To BRAVE Innovation

In most industries, the lowest cost player makes money selling large quantities of product or service at a low price with great discipline. The differentiated player makes money selling smaller quantities of product or service at a relatively high price fueled by value-creating innovation. Those in the middle lose. This note provides a look at the five keys to BRAVE Innovation, a cross between the ideas in Peter Skarzynski and David Crosswhite's The Innovator's Field Guide, with my own BRAVE leadership framework. ...

Ex-Nvidia manager settles U.S. SEC charges on illegal tips

The headquarters of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are seen in Washington By Emily Flitter and Sarah N. Lynch NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A former accounting manager for Nvidia Corp has settled with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over allegations he leaked non-public information about the chipmaker that allowed a group of Wall Street analysts to make millions through illegal trades, the SEC announced on Wednesday. The SEC said Chris Choi of San Jose, California will pay $30,000 to settle civil charges that he shared confidential tips with a friend who passed them on to a circle of hedge fund employees. The Wall Street circle that benefited from Choi's tips included two former portfolio managers, Todd Newman and Anthony Chiasson, whose insider trading convictions are being examined by a federal appeals court. Another one of the portfolio managers who eventually received information leaked from Choi was former SAC Capital employee Michael Steinberg, who was convicted in December on criminal charges related to insider trading.

Hagel seeking to deepen US-Mexico ties

MEXICO CITY (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says he is exploring ways to deepen U.S.-Mexican defense ties, including the possibility of training exercises with Mexican forces.

US lifting aid freeze to Egypt

Egyptian police relax while on standby on a street in the capital Cairo on April 16, 2014 The United States is partially lifting its freeze on funding to Egypt, with plans to deliver 10 Apache helicopters and release some $650 million in military aid this year, officials said. Despite concerns about Egypt's failure to embrace democratic reforms following the July ouster of president Mohamed Morsi, the US government will go ahead with easing its funding freeze, officials said. After news of the Apache aircraft was released late Tuesday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed Wednesday the US administration would also seek Congress' approval to release some $650 million out of a planned $1.5 billion in aid for Egypt in the fiscal year 2014. The funds would be primarily used for programs such as counterterrorism, border security and non-proliferation, Psaki said, including in the volatile Sinai peninsula where Egyptian authorities are trying to crack down on militant groups.

Oregon investigates mysterious honeybee deaths along state highway

By Shelby Sebens PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - Oregon agriculture authorities are investigating the mysterious deaths of potentially thousands of honeybees along a highway, the second die-off of bees in the state in less than a year. Officials said on Wednesday that they did not reach the site along highway 99 in Sherwood, a small city southwest of Portland, in time to document the precise number of bees. "From what I've learned, when bees swarm, there can be anywhere from one to 10,000 in a swarm, so if that indeed was a case of a swarm of bees in the area, it could be in that range," said Oregon Department of Agriculture spokesman Bruce Pokarney.

Wall Street snaps six-day run; Apple to split stock

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange By Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks dipped on Wednesday to snap a six-session winning streak as gains in Boeing and Gilead were offset by slides in AT&T and the wider biotech sector. AT&T Inc fell 3.8 percent to $34.92 a day after the Dow component reported earnings that beat expectations, offset by weak service revenue growth. Verizon Communications shed 1 percent to $47.43 while the S&P telecom sector index dropped 2.2 percent, easily making it the session's worst-performing sector. Biotech shares pulled the Nasdaq lower.

Airport official: Teen had no clue he was in Maui

A plane takes off at Mineta San Jose International Airport, Monday, April 21, 2014, in San Jose, Calif. A 15-year-old boy scrambled over a fence at the airport, crossed a tarmac and climbed into a jetliner's wheel well, then flew for five freezing hours to Hawaii, Sunday. FBI spokesman Tom Simon in Honolulu said the teen did not remember the flight from San Jose. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) HONOLULU (AP) — The head of Maui's main airport says a 15-year-old stowaway aboard a flight from San Jose had no clue he was in Maui after jumping from a jetliner's wheel well to the tarmac.

All Reputation Management Tools Are Not Created Equal

All Reputation Management Tools Are Not Created Equal An over-reliance on a familiar tool is a concept made famous by American psychologist Abraham Maslow who in 1966 said: "I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail." Recently, I worked on two interesting yet vastly different online reputation problems, and the experiences affirmed to me that even though online reputation management issues are diverse, "hammers" are very popular. The first involved a company that was fighting a disparaging and defamatory online forum posting. ...

Bipartisan group slams U.S. SEC for resisting email privacy reform

To match Special Report SEC/INVESTIGATIONS By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A coalition of liberals and conservatives is lashing out at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for pushing back against legislation that would force government agencies to get warrants before they access the email of people under investigation. The group, Digital 4th, on Wednesday launched, a website urging the public to lobby the White House to support sweeping changes to federal privacy laws proposed in Congress in 2013. In a conference call with reporters, the group singled out the SEC for stalling the reforms. It also called on President Barack Obama to respond to a petition with more than 100,000 signatures in support of the bill, saying the SEC's opposition has caused the White House to ignore a groundswell of support.

Transcript: Man shot by US marshal vowed to behave

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A man who was fatally shot by a U.S. marshal while attacking a witness during a federal trial in Utah this week promised the judge at the start of the hearing that he behave.

Imperial pomp to start Obama's Japan visit

This picture released by Japan's Cabinet Public Relations Office on April 23, 2014 shows Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (2nd R) talking with US President Barack Obama (R) at Sukiyabashi Jiro restaurant in Tokyo The first state visit to Japan by a US President in nearly two decades gets under way in earnest Thursday when Barack Obama is treated to the pomp and ceremony of an imperial reception. Obama, whose arrival in Tokyo on Wednesday evening brought parts of the Japanese capital shuddering to a halt amid tight security, will be hoping to capitalise on the enthusiastic welcome he received to shore up the cross-Pacific alliance at a time of uncertainty in Asia. The president will open his day Thursday with a welcoming ceremony at Japan's imperial palace hosted by Emperor Akihito. After talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe he will tour the Meiji Jingu shrine and be guest of honour at a state dinner.

NC fines state fair ride operators over injuries

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina regulators have fined thrill ride operators more than $114,000 after a mishap at the 2013 state fair that left five people injured, three of them critically.

Senegal's exile ex-president comes home to support son

Former Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade gives a press conference in Dakar, on May 25, 2012 Senegal's former president Abdoulaye Wade will make a controversial return to his homeland on Thursday -- a day later than planned -- after his plane was held up in Morocco, with supporters claiming foul play by his political rivals. Wade, who held power from 2000 to 2012, was expected in Dakar on Wednesday for his first trip back to the west African nation since he moved to France after a bitter defeat to arch rival and current leader Macky Sall. He was forced to delay his homecoming to Thursday afternoon after his flight was grounded in Morocco, a move his aides blamed on authorities in Senegal. But a Moroccan aviation source said Wade's plane had been grounded in Casablanca and was waiting for an "indispensible" green light from Senegal to continue to Dakar.

Miss. governor signs mid-pregnancy abortion ban

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant on Wednesday signed a bill to ban abortion starting at the midpoint of a full-term pregnancy.

Northwestern University football players to vote on Friday on union

Football players at Northwestern University on Friday are to become the first U.S. student athletes to vote on whether to join a union. Those players on scholarship at the Evanston, Illinois, school are deciding whether they want the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA) to negotiate with Northwestern on their behalf. CAPA was founded by Kain Colter, a senior and quarterback at the Chicago-area university, along with Ramogi Huma, a former University of California-Los Angeles football player who advocates for student athletes. Colter and Huma have said improved safety protections, scholarships that cover the full cost of attendance and ongoing medical coverage after graduation for sports-related injuries would be among CAPA's priorities.

Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern

Real's Karim Benzema, right, scores the opening goal past Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer during a first leg semifinal Champions League soccer match between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki) MADRID (AP) — A goal from Karim Benzema gave Real Madrid a 1-0 victory over title holder Bayern Munich on Wednesday and a slender advantage in their Champions League semifinal.

Facebook 1Q results soar; CFO to step down

FILE - This Tuesday, July 16, 2013 file photo shows a sign at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook reports quarterly earnings on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File) NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook's earnings and revenue grew sharply in the first quarter, surpassing Wall Street's expectations thanks to an 82 percent increase in advertising revenue.

Facebook 1Q results soar; CFO to step down

FILE - This Tuesday, July 16, 2013 file photo shows a sign at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook reports quarterly earnings on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File) NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook's earnings and revenue grew sharply in the first quarter, surpassing Wall Street's expectations thanks to an 82 percent increase in advertising revenue.

Japan attack on wireless 'oligopoly' awkward for SoftBank's U.S. plans

A man holding his mobile phone walks past the logo of Softbank Corp at its branch in Tokyo By Yoshiyasu Shida TOKYO (Reuters) - For Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son, who wants to build the world's largest mobile Internet company, criticism of his operations from regulators in his home market could not come at a worse time. The feisty entrepreneur is lobbying skeptical Washington officials to let him buy a second U.S. mobile operator, saying he would help to break up a cozy U.S. wireless oligopoly. So it must be galling to hear regulators in Tokyo chide his SoftBank Corp , along with NTT DoCoMo , Japan's mobile industry leader, and No.2 KDDI Corp , for lack of competition in the domestic smartphone market. His ministry is preparing long-term proposals to bring lower prices and faster services, including fostering growth of mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), cut-rate providers that lease network access from the big carriers.

Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock

FILE - In this Dec. 23, 2013 file photo, a woman using a phone walks past Apple's logo near its retail outlet in Beijing. Apple reports quarterly earnings on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File) CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple plans to buy back an additional $30 billion of its stock, raise its quarterly dividend by 8 percent and split its stock for the first time in nine years.

Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock

FILE - In this Dec. 23, 2013 file photo, a woman using a phone walks past Apple's logo near its retail outlet in Beijing. Apple reports quarterly earnings on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File) CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple plans to buy back an additional $30 billion of its stock, raise its quarterly dividend by 8 percent and split its stock for the first time in nine years.

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