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Panama Canal turns 100 as expansion hits snags

PANAMA CITY (AP) — It was supposed to be a grand celebration of the engineering triumph that forged a nation.<p>Instead, the 100th anniversary of the …

Free Diving World Record Will Soon Be Pushed to 1,000 Feet, Author Says

James Nestor says diving the ocean shows how much we can learn about our planet and its inhabitants—including us.<p>When James Nestor first witnessed free diving, he nearly threw up. Then he got hooked. He learned to hold his breath for four minutes, hung out with a “shark whisperer,” and even …

'Nothing is ever dry down here. Ever.'

Sixty feet below the sea, in the world's only underwater habitat, a group of scientists is trying to unlock the ocean’s secrets. But how do the crew of the Aquarius stay sane?<p>What Houston is to space stations, a turquoise two-storey home in Key Largo is to Aquarius, the world’s only underwater …

D-day anniversary: Britain's Normandy veterans gather for last time

No more would Britain's Normandy veterans walk in their hundreds through the white serried rows of headstones. Never again would they encircle en masse the Cross of Sacrifice, their standards dipped in respect.<p>So as Bayeux war cemetery, a British shine and last resting place for 3,935 whom age …

World Cup Brazil Will Generate $4 Billion for FIFA, 66% More Than 2010 Tournament

How big of a business is soccer’s quadrennial tournament for FIFA (International Association of Federation Football), the sport’s international governing body?<p>World Cup Brazil will generate $4 billion in total revenue for FIFA, or 66% more than the previous tournament in South Africa in 2010. The …

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Letters to the Editor<p>On this day

Logos

From Utah Beach to Kabul: How Army gear changed since D-Day

At a distance, the two soldiers look pretty much the same. But up close, the parallels fall away as what was new and cutting edge in 1944 looks almost impossibly simple by comparison in 2014.<p>Today is June 6, the 70th anniversary of D-Day, perhaps the most important day in the history of American …

Military

Pfizer pulls out of fight for AstraZeneca

One of the most bitterly contested takeover battles for a British firm in years has ended in recrimination as the US drugmaker Pfizer was forced to walk away from a £69bn bid for AstraZeneca, sparking protests from some City institutions.<p>Scientists, unions and politicians on both sides of the …

GSK dodged millions in China drug tax scam - state media | Reuters

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A Chinese state-run newspaper has accused British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline Plc of evading at least 100 million yuan (9.53 million pounds) in taxes, adding to pressure on the firm which is already struggling with graft charges against executives.<p>A Chinese employee walks into a …

Anti-China riots turn deadly in Vietnam

Violent reaction in Vietnam to China's expansionist stance in disputed seas has turned deadly with reports that 20 or more people have been killed during rioting that began with attacks on foreign-owned factories.<p>A top Taiwanese diplomat said rioters had stormed a large Taiwanese steel mill in …

Samsung Apologizes And Offers Compensation To Sickened Workers

Samsung Electronics issued an official apology for the first time and promised today to compensate the families of semiconductor workers who suffered illnesses that may have been related to factory conditions.<p>“Several workers at our production facilities suffered from leukemia and other incurable …

Privacy groups demand rethink over HMRC plan to sell tax data

HM Revenue and Customs must rethink its plans to share millions of people's personal tax data with private companies and researchers, a prominent Lib Dem MP and privacy campaigners have said – as they handed in a petition of 300,000 signatures to the government.<p>Julian Huppert, a Lib Dem member of …

Cameron and Miliband clash at PMQs over Pfizer's AstraZeneca bid

David Cameron has accused Ed Miliband of placing the interests of the Labour party ahead of those of the nation after he declined to meet the head of Pfizer, which is launching a £63bn takeover of AstraZeneca.<p>The prime minister rejected suggestions that he has acted as a PR adviser for Pfizer, …

MPs give Pfizer stick as it waves carrot at AstraZeneca | Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker Pfizer hinted it could raise its proposed $106 billion (62.9 billion pounds) offer if AstraZeneca would only engage in talks, as its boss was grilled by MPs on his commitment to British research spending and jobs.<p>In response AstraZeneca said it would have to …

Kuwait signs $3 billion deal to buy gas from BP | Reuters

KUWAIT (Reuters) - Kuwait signed a five-year liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply deal with BP on Tuesday, worth an estimated $3 billion (1.7 billion pounds), as it seeks to meet rising energy demand to power air conditioning during the scorching Gulf summers.<p>BP logo is seen at a fuel station of …

Here's An Interview With The CEO Who Missed Out On The $3.2 Billion Apple-Beats Deal

Although you've undoubtedly seen the large, trendy headphones a time or two, you may never have heard of Monster, the audio company responsible for creating them.<p>Last year, Gizmodo's Sam Biddle wrote an exclusive story about how Monster inked a deal that cut it completely out of the company in 2011 …

Inked

Pfizer's bid for AstraZeneca shows that big pharma is as rotten as the banks

Countries around the world are seeking long-run, innovation-led growth in the "real economy". This is born of a wish to move away from speculative growth led by short-term financial markets. For this reason, industrial policy is back on the agenda after years of being a near blasphemy.<p>The …

Chinese Dairy Led By Billionaire Yang Kai In Joint Venture Talks With FrieslandCampina

China Huishan Dairy Holding, led by billionaire Yang Kai, is in joint venture talks with Dutch dairy supplier FrieslandCampina to produce and sell infant formula in China, according to a statement by FrieslandCampina yesterday.<p>The new business would set up a fully integrated supply chain in the …

Alibaba's IPO: If You Can Buy It, Should You Even Want It?

There’s a good rule of thumb for when initial public offerings get a lot of hype: if you want it, you can’t get it; if you can get it, you don’t want it.<p>That was the the view from Rick Schmidt, portfolio manager at Bridgewater, New Jersey’s Harding Loevner, when I recently asked him about the …

Three surprising business ventures of the Chinese tech giant Alibaba

The public filing of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba on May 6 gave investors a peek into the complex world of its myriad businesses and services that range from online shopping to cloud computing. Here are a few of the company’s oddball functions that caught our eye.<p>Finding fashion …

Singapore and US reach tax evasion deal

<b>Singapore has agreed to share information with the US under a new law aimed at preventing offshore tax evasion by American citizens.</b><p>The city-state is one of Asia's biggest financial centres and is forecast to overtake Switzerland as the world's largest wealth management centre.<p>It will participate …

Asian stocks nudge higher; Australia up after rate call

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Asian stocks were mostly higher on Tuesday, with the Australian index rising after the country’s central bank held interest …

Two scary new signs that shadow banking is spreading risk throughout China’s economy

New data out from China’s central bank shines some light on the worrying spread of shadow banking—as lending conducted off bank balance sheets is known—throughout the economy. Not only have city-level banks been on a shadow-lending spree, but so too have Chinese non-financial companies.<p>First, …

Ukraine crisis: Gunfire and explosions outside rebel-held town of Slavyansk

Insurgents claim "full-scale attack" has been launched by Ukrainian military as helicopter is shot down and the skies are filled with acrid smoke<p>Ukraine has launched a military assault on the flashpoint town of Slavyansk, raising the stakes in the showdown with Russia, which has promised …

Russia

Google Australia's $7.1m tax bill slashed to just $466,802, reports say

Google’s Australian operation may have had its $7.1m tax bill reduced to just $466,802 in the 2013 financial year.<p>Google Australia had its taxes reduced as a result of of a range of tax deductions, according to Fairfax Media.<p>But the company also reported it had made $46.5m in local pre-tax profits, …

The solution to carbon emissions is already here: natural gas

The fifth instalment of the UN Climate Change report was issued last week. A review of the commentary suggests more conviction that man-made greenhouse gases, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels, are at the root of rising global temperatures. It's not a surprising conclusion given the …

Ukraine rekindles Nato aspirations, angering Russia

Ukraine rekindled its aspirations to join Nato this week by ending its status as a non-aligned nation, drawing a quick rebuke from Russia.<p>Ukraine …

Russia

Bank Of America's Stock Plunges By 6% After $4 Billion Capital Plan Blunder

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan runs a financial firm that has 263,000 employees and $2.2 trillion of assets and investors on Monday appeared to wonder once again whether anyone can manage a bank of such enormous size.<p>Shares of Bank of America fell by 6.2% and changed hands for less than $15 on …

IMF Worries That Chinese Slowdown Could Damage Sub-Saharan Economies

Africa’s rising economic star is in danger of burning out from even a modest contraction in China’s economy as that country’s demand for natural …

Japan inflation heading for 22-year high

Inflation in Tokyo, a leading indicator for national price rises, climbed to 2.7pc in April<p>Japanese inflation is on course to hit a 22-year high in April, according to latest official data.<p>Prices for goods excluding fresh food rose 2.7pc in Tokyo this month, driven by a <b>sharp sales tax rise imposed</b> …

Economics