TIME Retail

Walmart Blames Profit Drop on Cold Winter

Walmart is the latest retailer--and the largest--to say the colder than usual winter hurt sales and pushed up costs.

Walmart said Thursday that quarterly profits fell 5%, attributing much of the drop to a colder-than-usual winter.

Net income attributable to Walmart fell to $3.59 billion, from $3.78 billion a year earlier.

“Like other retailers in the United States, the unseasonably cold and disruptive weather negatively impacted U.S. sales and drove operating expenses higher than expected,” said Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon in a statement.

Stock of the world’s largest retailer was down more than 3% in premarket trading.

TIME Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s Presidential Elections Headed for a Runoff

Frontrunner Abdullah Abdullah, a former leader of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, received 45% of the vote, missing the majority marker necessary for an outright win. He'll face Ashraf Ghani on June 14.

Afghanistan’s election commission announced Friday the long-awaited results of last month’s presidential vote, slightly tweaking the final numbers but still sending the vote to a two-candidate runoff.

Frontrunner Abdullah Abdullah, a former leader of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, received 45% of the vote, missing the majority marker necessary for an outright win, the Independent Election Commission said. He’ll face Ashraf Ghani, who received 31.6% of the vote, in a June 14 decision.

More than seven million Afghans went to the polls last month in the country’s election to replace President Hamid Karzai, who has been in power since 2001. Election day was mostly peaceful despite Taliban threats to disrupt the vote. It’s unclear, however, if the runoff elections will draw the same turnout. The runoff will take place during the height of the country’s so-called “fighting season,” during which insurgent attacks typically spike.

Both candidates have said they will sign a security deal with the U.S. to allow some American troops to stay beyond 2014, which Karzai has refused to do. They have also both said they are open to a peace deal with the Taliban.

The results of the runoff are expected to be announced July 22.

[New York Times]

TIME Family

Here’s How 9 Other Countries Celebrate Mother’s Day

The holiday has roots in America, but it's celebrated around the world

Sons, daughters and husbands across the U.S. were picking up their last-minute gifts this week ahead of the annual ritual to honor mothers. Like every year since it became a national holiday a century ago, moms will be showered with cards, chocolates and flowers on Sunday.

But Mother’s Day, unlike those All-American dates of Thanksgiving and July 4, is not exceptional to the U.S. In many countries, religious or cultural holidays revolving around women and families have evolved into the their own celebrations of motherhood. In other countries, the Hallmark-card-giving American holiday has merely been imported. And in still others, it’s something of a mix.

Here’s a look at how nine countries around the world honor their moms.

France

A 1950 law in France establishes the “fetes des meres” on the fourth Sunday in May (May 25 this year), except when it overlaps with Pentecost, in which case it’s pushed back a week. But beyond the date, Mother’s Day in France looks very similar to in the U.S.—cards and flowers are bestowed and family dinners are had.

China

While relatively new to the country, the imported holiday of Mother’s Day aligned with traditions of filial piety in China, as it has in countries the world-over. On the second Sunday of May, an increasing number of Chinese celebrate the day with gifts and festivities.

U.K.

As early as the 16th century, the U.K. observed on the fourth Sunday of Lent a day called Mothering Sunday, when families came together to attend church. In the early 20th century, Mothering Sunday—which had evolved into a tradition of spending family time at home—was fused with the Hallmark-card-giving American holiday, but it has retained its traditional name and date (March 15 this year).

Mexico

Mexico takes very Mother’s Day very seriously. In fact, Manuel Gutierrez, president of the national association of restaurateurs, told the Washington Post in 2012 that May 10—whatever the day of the week—is the busiest day of the year for Mexican restaurants. Flowers are a must, but the day is also filled with music, food, celebrations, and often a morning serenade of the song “Las Mananitas” from mariachi singers:

“Awaken, my dear, awaken/ and see that the day has dawned/ now the little birds are singing/ and the moon has set.”

India

Mother’s Day is a rather new phenomenon in India, but the imported holiday is making up for lost time. On the second Sunday of May (May 11 this year, just like in the U.S.), mothers are showered with flowers, cards and gifts.

Japan

Japan initially aligned Haha no Hi with the birthday of Empress Koujun, whose tenure spanned most of the 20th century. But Mother’s Day has since been moved to the second Sunday in May, when the Japanese load their mothers with gifts—primarily flowers. A recent poll of 1,000 adult men found that 87% planned to give something to their moms.

Russia

In the former Soviet Union, mothers were celebrated on International Women’s Day on March 8, a celebratory date that has since become an internationally-observed day to honor women and reflect on the goal for gender equality. In 1998, post-Soviet Russia introduced Mother’s Day on the last Sunday in November, but most of the gift giving still happens in March.

Egypt

Mother’s Day in Egypt and several other Arab countries falls on March 21, the first day of spring. The widely observed unofficial national holiday is a day of gift-giving and celebration.

Thailand

The holiday is observed on Aug. 12 to mark the birthday of the revered Queen Sirikit. Ceremonies and parades celebrate the dual intentions of the holiday, with jasmine the go-to gift.

TIME Civil Rights

Judge Strikes Down Arkansas Gay Marriage Ban

Arkansas Judge Gay marriage
Circuit Judge Chris Piazza Danny Johnston—AP

A federal judge in Arkansas said Friday that the state’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional, paving the way for same-sex couples to marry. Federal judges in five other states have struck down gay marriage bans since late last year

A judge in Arkansas said Friday that the state’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional, paving the way for same-sex couples to marry.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza struck down the ban, which voters overwhelmingly supported in 2004, the Associated Press reports.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel last week became the first elected official in the state to support marriage equality, but he said he would continue to defend the ban. His office is expected to appeal Friday’s ruling.

Judges in federal courts in five other states have struck down gay marriage bans since late last year, after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a law forbidding the federal government from recognizing gay marriage.

In Arkansas, the defense argued that an amendment to the state constitution cannot be deemed unconstitutional, while the plaintiffs said even the state constitution cannot supersede their rights to due process and equal protection. A separate case has challenged the state’s law in federal court.

[AP]

TIME Television

The Odd Couple Is Coming Back to TV

The television classic first aired in 1970.

CBS announced that it ordered a reboot of The Odd Couple, more than four decades after the classic sitcom first aired.

The half-hour show, which will be shot with multiple cameras like most seasons of its predecessor, will star Matthew Perry as Oscar and Thomas Lennon as Felix, Entertainment Weekly reports. CBS picked up the pilot in February.

The much-loved series, which first aired in 1970 on ABC, followed two divorced men sharing a New York City apartment and was based on a play by Neil Simon.

Announcing more of its 2014-2015 lineup, CBS said it had ordered another NCIS spinoff: NCIS: New Orleans with Scott Bakula. Also on the lineup: Madam Secretary, about a female Secretary of State (Tea Leoni), and Battle Creek, which follows a team of two detectives with different world views.

[Entertainment Weekly]

TIME stocks

Dow Jones Notches at Another Record High

The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached a new all-time high Friday, topping its record from April 30, as Internet stocks rebounded from three days of losses. The index increased 32.37 points, or .2 percent, to 16,583.34

The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached an all-time high Friday, as the market fluctuated and Internet stocks bounced back from three days of losses.

“The market is just trying to find footing,” Jerry Braakman, chief investment officer of First American Trust, told Bloomberg News.

The Dow Jones increased 32.37 points, or .2 percent, to 16,583.34, above its previous high on April 30. The S&P 500 was also up .2%, closing at 1,878.46, and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose .5 percent after a dismal week in which it fell 1.3%. The S&P 500 was down .1 percent on the week.

Internet stocks like Facebook and Twitter reversed recent drops, with the Dow Jones Internet Composite rising 1.3% but ending the week 3.6% down.

 

TIME

Dick Parsons Named Interim CEO of LA Clippers

Dick Parsons LA Clippers
Richard Parsons attends the "Short Term 12" New York special screening at Dolby 88 Theater in New York City on July 16, 2013. Michael Loccisano—Getty Images

The former Citigroup chairman has been named the team's interim CEO, after the NBA banned owner Donald Sterling for racist comments. Clippers president Andy Roeser is also taking an indefinite leave of absence to give the team a "clean slate" after the scandal

The NBA named former Citigroup chairman Dick Parsons the interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers Friday, more than a week after the league banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling from his team for making racist comments.

The league said earlier this week that it would look for someone to manage day-to-day operations after it suspended Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million for the remarks, which were made public on April 25. On Tuesday, the NBA said team president Andy Roeser was taking an indefinite leave of absence to “provide an opportunity for a new CEO to begin on a clean slate.”

“I believe the hiring of Dick Parsons will bring extraordinary leadership and immediate stability to the Clippers organization,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.

Parsons was brought into Citigroup during the recession to help the struggling bank rebound, and he was previously named Time Warner CEO in 2002 after its unsuccessful merger with AOL. TIME parent company Time Inc. is being spun off from Time Warner this year.

A lawyer by training, he is currently a senior advisor at Providence Equity Partners.

“A lifelong fan of the NBA, I am firmly committed to the values and principles it is defending, and I completely support Adam’s leadership in navigating the challenges facing the team and the league,” Parsons said in a statement. “The Clippers are a resilient organization with a brilliant coach and equally talented and dedicated athletes and staff who have demonstrated great strength of character during a time of adversity.”

The Clippers play the Oklahoma Thunder Friday night in game three of the second round of the NBA playoffs. The series is tied 1-1.

TIME 2016 Summer Olympics

Olympic Committee: No Truth To Rumors About Moving 2016 Games To London

The International Olympic Committee flatly denied rumors circulating in the British press that the 2016 Summer Olympics may be moved from Brazil to London because of construction delays in host city Rio de Janeiro

A spokesperson for the International Olympic Committee flatly denied Friday rumors circulating in the British press that London had been approached about taking over the 2016 Summer Olympics from Brazil.

“Not a shred of truth to it,” IOC spokesperson Mark Adams told the Associated Press in an email. “Simply a non-starter –totally without foundation and totally unfeasible.”

The London Evening Standard reported earlier Friday that London, which hosted the 2012 Olympics but has already begun dismantling or converting some of the sporting venues, “has been secretly asked” to take over.

Brazil, which is also hosting the FIFA World Cup this summer, has drawn criticism for massive construction delays and other issues. ICO vice president John Coates said last week the country’s preparations were “the worst I have ever experienced,” but he also said there was no “plan B.”

[AP]

TIME South Sudan

Human-Rights Abuses Rampant in South Sudan

South Sudan Human Rights Violations
Jikany Nuer White Army fighters walk in a rebel-controlled territory in Upper Nile State, South Sudan, on Feb. 13, 2014. Goran Tomasevic—Reuters

A U.N. report found "reasonable grounds to believe" that both rebels and the government committed crimes against humanity

The U.N. on Thursday accused both the government and the rebels in South Sudan of human-rights abuses and suggested they committed crimes against humanity.

In a 62-page report based largely on more than 900 interviews with eyewitnesses and victims, the U.N. found both sides committed rape, mass killings and torture, often targeting civilians along ethnic lines.

“In light of the widespread and systematic nature of many of the attacks, and information suggesting coordination and planning, there are also reasonable grounds to believe that the crimes against humanity of murder, rape and other acts of sexual violence, enforced disappearance, and imprisonment have occurred,” the report found.

Fighting broke out in December in the world’s newest nation between government troops under President Salva Kiir and rebel fighters backing Kiir’s former deputy, Riek Machar. The conflict has exasperated underlying ethnic tensions between Kiir’s Dinka tribe and Machar’s Nuer, and the U.N. said in the report that thousands of civilians have likely been killed.

Kiir and Machar are expected to meet Friday in Ethiopia to try to negotiate an end to nearly five months of fighting.

On Tuesday, the Obama Administration imposed economic sanctions targeting a top official from each side in an effort to pressure both sides to the negotiating table.

TIME ken burns

New Ken Burns Doc Will Cover the Roosevelts

Franklin Roosevelt Eleanor Roosevelt
This June 12, 1919 photo provided by PBS shows Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt with their children in Washington. PBS announced Thursday, May 8, 2014, its fall season will open with the seven-part Ken Burns' documentary, "The Roosevelts: An Intimate History." Daniel J. White—AP

PBS will air a 14-hour piece by the acclaimed documentarian about the famous family that produced two American presidents and one quotable first lady, to run in seven two-hour parts beginning Sept. 14

Fans of Ken Burns can rejoice this fall when the acclaimed documentarian returns to the Public Broadcasting Service with a 14-hour study on one of America’s dynasties.

“The Roosevelts: An Intimate History” will cover the lives of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor, airing in seven two-hour sittings starting Sept. 14. Each installment will become available online after it airs.

“The viewer experience is changing and we’re trying to dish this up as an epic binge,” Beth Hoppe, PBS’s chief programming executive, said in the Associated Press.

And lest you think that Ken Burns got all the talent (and the public television love) in the family, the broadcasters will air a piece by Ken’s brother, Ric, called “The Pilgrims,” scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend.

[AP]

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