TIME White House

Obama Defends U.S. Intelligence After Hostage Deaths

US President Barack Obama speaks at a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the formation for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, at it's headquarters in McClean, Va., on Apr. 24, 2015.
Kevin Dietsch—Pool/Getty Images Obama speaks at a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the formation for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, at its headquarters in McClean, Va., on Apr. 24, 2015.

"We don't take this work lightly"

(MCLEAN, Va.)—A day after revealing an intelligence failure that cost the lives of two al-Qaeda hostages, President Obama on Friday praised the nation’s spying operations as the most capable in the world while promising a review aimed at preventing future mistakes.

“We all bleed when we lose an American life,” Obama said in a speech at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to mark its 10th anniversary. “We all grieve when any innocent life is taken. We don’t take this work lightly. And I know that each and every one of you understand the magnitude of what we do and the stakes involved and these aren’t abstractions and we’re not cavalier about what we do.”

Obama said he knows the U.S. intelligence community has faced criticism but they can take great pride that their work has made America more secure. “You do an outstanding job,” he said.

“The world doesn’t always see your successes, the threats that you prevent or the terrorist attacks you thwart, or the lives that you save,” Obama told a couple hundred intelligence officials gathered in an auditorium at the sprawling gray building outside Washington. He said their intelligence helped take out Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders, showed that Syria had chemical weapons, revealed Russian aggression in Ukraine and supported nuclear negotiations with Iran.

“It’s been 10 long and challenging years, but when we look back on those 10 years, the American people have been a whole lot safer,” Obama said.

Obama’s praise came one day after the announcement that a counterterrorism operation in January against an al-Qaeda compound accidentally killed two aid workers being held hostage — American Warren Weinstein and Italian Giovanni Lo Porto. Obama said the U.S. was unaware the hostages were in the targeted position, despite hundreds of hours of surveillance of the compound.

The White House said the attack also killed two American al-Qaeda leaders, Ahmed Farouq and Adam Gadahn, without the U.S. knowing in advance they were there. Targeting an American with a drone strike would have triggered a more intense review in consideration of constitutional due process protections.

“We’re going to review what happened,” Obama said Friday. “We’re going to identify the lessons that can be learned and any improvements and changes that can be made. And I know those of you who are here share our determination to continue doing everything we can to prevent the loss of innocent lives.

“This self-reflection, this willingness to examine ourselves, to make corrections, to do better, that’s part of what makes us Americans. It’s part of what sets us apart from other nations,” Obama said.

“The United States is the most professional, most capable, most cutting-edge intelligence community in the world,” he said, adding that they are sharing more intelligence than ever with partners around the world while tapping new technologies and satellites.

The White House said Obama’s speech was planned long before the drone revelation to mark the office’s anniversary. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence was created by President George W. Bush after the 9/11 terrorist attacks to coordinate the vast amounts of intelligence produced by 17 different government organizations, including the CIA, Pentagon, Cabinet departments and law enforcement agencies.

Obama said Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is one of the people he wakes up to every morning, as Clapper delivers the intelligence report known as the President’s Daily Brief. “He gives me his honest assessment, free of politics, free of spin. I trust his integrity and I can’t tell you how invaluable that is in the job that he has,” Obama said.

Obama said his only complaint is Clapper’s habit of leaving paper clips all over the Oval Office when he shuffles through papers. The president then held up a see-through jar of paper clips and said he was returning them. “This will be available to you. DNI’s budget’s always a little tight,” Obama said.

TIME technology

Cable’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year

At this time last year, the powerful cable industry seemed to be at the top of its game.

An appeals court, in January 2014, had chucked out the Federal Communications Commission’s latest attempt to establish net neutrality rules, and a month later, in February, the two biggest cable companies in the country, Comcast and Time Warner Cable, announced a massive, $45.2 billion merger.

Meanwhile, the industry’s powerful influence machine, led in part by the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, was working overtime in the nation’s capital. In 2013-2014, the industry spent $33 million on lobbying alone—more than it spent in the entire previous decade—and divvied out millions more in campaign contributions, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In 2013, Comcast alone spent more on lobbying than any other company in the U.S. except Northrop Grumman, the defense contractor that makes the B-2 bomber.

And it wasn’t just money. The cable industry also enjoyed a Rolodex of almost comically well-connected friends: the president of the NCTA was a former FCC chairman, and the current FCC chairman was a former president of the NCTA—and President Obama’s golfing buddy, to boot.

With those sorts of connections—judicial, monetary, and personal—what could go wrong?

A lot, it turns out. And almost anything that could, did.

Things started getting bad for the industry in late summer, when an unprecedented 4 million people wrote into the FCC to comment on the agency’s proposed net neutrality rules. The vast majority opposed what they saw as an anemic attempt to protect the Internet from manipulation by large cable and telecom companies. Much of the public debate centered on whether a large Internet service provider, like Comcast, should be allowed to collect fees from web companies, such as Netflix, to deliver its content, like “House of Cards,” more quickly and in higher quality to customers.

Obama, who had campaigned 2008 against so-called fast lanes on the Internet, had only hinted that he would prefer to see stronger net neutrality provisions. But by mid-fall, the White House was ready to go to the mat. When Comcast heard rumors that Obama was considering calling for stronger rules, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts pulled out all the stops, calling up Obama’s senior adviser, Valerie Jarrett, and making it clear that Comcast opposed the move, according to the Wall Street Journal. It was no use. A few days later, Obama all but demanded that the FCC propose the strongest possible rules on net neutrality, and three months later, it was done.

Consumer and public interest organizations, and Internet advocates celebrated the FCC’s decision, calling it not only a blow to the cable lobby, but a staggering success for grassroots organizing power.

And the cable industry’s bad year wasn’t over yet. Last week, FCC and Justice Department officials began whispering about major objections to the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal, which would tie the two largest cable company in the country and give one company control over roughly 60% of all broadband Internet connections nationwide. On Wednesday this week, officials held a private meeting with Comcast and Time Warner Cable executives to express doubt that the deal was “in the public interest,” according to sources briefed about the meeting, and this morning, the companies formally announced that the deal is off.

Again, consumer and public interest organizations, and Internet advocates celebrated the decision as victory for grassroots organizing power. “Big Cable learned the hard way that their lobbyists can’t silence the voice of the people,” crowed Todd O’Boyle, a program director at Common Cause. “Once again this year, grassroots activists spoke out and Washington regulators listened. Comcast’s insider politics can’t beat us when we stand together.”

David Segal of Demand Progress said the strong net neutrality rules, combined with collapse of the merger, “underscores the importance of an engaged public.”

“We like to identify with the underdog,” he added, cheekily, in a statement, “and Comcast’s recent losing streak almost has us feeling sorry for them.”

TIME

Morning Must Reads: April 24

Capitol
Mark Wilson—Getty Images The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

Armenia Massacre Marks Century

The Presidents of Russia and France joined other leaders on Friday at ceremonies commemorating the massacre 100 years ago of 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks, an event which remains a diplomatic sore point for both sides

Petraeus Avoids Prison

Former CIA Director David Petraeus was sentenced to two years of probation and fined $100,000 for giving his mistress classified material

Clinton Makes First GOP Attacks

The Democratic candidate aimed the first big attacks of her run at GOP policies on immigration, health care and the delayed Attorney General process

Obama Apologizes Over Hostages Killed in Drone Strike

President Barack Obama took “full responsibility” for the death of two hostages held by al-Qaeda in a drone strike in January. The two were killed in a counterterrorism operation on an al-Qaeda compound in the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan

The Next Fast and Furious Film Gets a Release Date

One of the film’s stars, Vin Diesel, made the announcement at CinemaCon on Thursday in Las Vegas. It will arrive as a follow-up to this month’sFurious 7, which, since its April 3 opening, has grossed more than $1 billion worldwide

Amazon Web Services Is a $5 Billion Business

Amazon broke out Amazon Web Services sales and revenue for the very first time on its first quarter earnings call. For the quarter, AWS logged $1.57 billion in revenue, up 49% from the year-ago period. It also logged operating income of $265 million for the quarter

Ash Piles Up From Eruption of Chile’s Calbuco Volcano

Twin blasts from the Calbuco volcano in southern Chile sent vast clouds of ash into the sky, covering this small town with thick soot and raising concerns on Thursday that the dust could contaminate water, cause respiratory illnesses and ground more flights

Loretta Lynch Confirmed as Attorney General

New York U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch was confirmed as the next Attorney General, the first African-American woman to hold the position. President Obama said the country will be “better off” now that Lynch has “finally” been confirmed

Scientists Sequence Woolly Mammoth Genome

An international team of scientists has sequenced the whole genome of the woolly mammoth, a breakthrough that could help our understanding of why these hairy cousins of the elephant went extinct

Three More Women Accuse Bill Cosby of Sexual Assault

At a news conference on Thursday, civil rights attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing the accusers, said they are speaking out now against Cosby because the comedian still refuses to “acknowledge and take responsibility for his conduct towards women”

The Internet Is Begging Indonesia to Spare a Filipina’s Life

As the executions of 10 drug convicts loom in Indonesia, a massive social-media campaign has kicked off in support of Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipina maid set to face the firing squad. The hashtag #MaryJane is the No. 2 trending topic on Indonesia’s Twittersphere

Cobie Smulders Opens Up About Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis

How I Met Your Mother actress Cobie Smulders revealed publicly for the first time that she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 25. “I had tumors on both ovaries and the cancer had spread into my lymph nodes and surrounding tissues,” Smulders said

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TIME National Security

Widow of American Captive Killed in Strike Criticizes U.S. Hostage Support

The wife of Warren Weinstein joins a number of families calling for more centralized support and communication

The wife of an American captive of al-Qaeda who after more than three years was killed during a counterterrorism operation in January, the Obama administration acknowledged Thursday, called on the government to improve the “inconsistent and disappointing” help it offers the families of hostages.

“We hope that my husband’s death and the others who have faced similar tragedies in recent months will finally prompt the U.S. government to take its responsibilities seriously and establish a coordinated and consistent approach to supporting hostages and their families,” Elaine Weinstein, now the widow of Warren Weinstein, said in a statement, according to McClatchyDC. Her husband, who was held alongside Italian hostage Giovanni Lo Porto, also killed in the operation, was working as a development adviser in Pakistan when he was captured in 2011.

Weinstein’s comments echo calls from a number of families of U.S. captives for more frequent communication from the government, more centralized negotiation efforts—no single person is in charge of trying to free hostages—as well as a more case-by-case approach to freeing captives. Some families, including those of journalist James Foley and aid worker Kayla Mueller, have also criticized the U.S. ban on paying ransoms, which State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said would remain in place.

The Obama administration began an internal review of its hostage policies last summer, she told reporters, and has reached out to 82 families involved in hostage situations as far back as 2001.

“These families have gone through the worst thing they will ever have to go through, and I think you hear a lot of different statements from them. We’ve heard people talk about how supportive the U.S. government has been,” Harf said. “But we know this is an incredibly challenging issue. That’s why we’re doing a review of how we deal with all of these issues.”

[McClatchyDC]

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Makes First Attacks on GOP

Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses the Women in the World Conference on April 23, 2015 in New York City.
Andrew Burton—Getty Images Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses the Women in the World conference on April 23, 2015, in New York City

"It is not leadership," she said

Hillary Clinton aimed the first substantial attacks of her new candidacy at Republican policies during a speech in New York City on Thursday, criticizing the GOP on immigration, health care and the delayed nomination of Loretta Lynch to Attorney General.

“There are those who offer themselves as leaders who would deport mothers working to give their children a better life rather than risk ire of talk radio,” Clinton said at the annual Women in the World conference in Manhattan.

“There are those who offer themselves as leaders who even play politics with the nomination of our nation’s chief law-enforcement officer and victims of human-rights trafficking,” Clinton continued to raucous applause from the friendly audience, referring to the months-long delay in Congress over Lynch’s nomination, which ended Thursday.

“This is not the way to move America forward. It’s not going to create a single job, raise anyone’s wages or strengthen our families,” she said.

Clinton’s keynote address Thursday night at the conference in New York City had been planned before she launched her campaign, a spokesperson for her campaign said.

With the second week of her candidacy reaching its end, Clinton has thus far avoided attacking Republicans and instead focused on her small-grain campaign rollout in Iowa and New Hampshire, where she spoken at roundtables, visited factories and local businesses.

Read more: How New Hampshire’s Women Paved the Way for Hillary Clinton

When Republicans last weekend impugned Clinton for controversies surrounding her philanthropies acceptance of foreign donations, she called the attacks “distractions.”

Clinton said earlier this week in New Hampshire she wants to rise above partisan attacks during her campaign. “I am tired of people running to elect their fellow citizens by being nasty to each other,” she said at a house party in Claremont, New Hampshire. “That doesn’t solve a problem. Enough with the attacks and the anger, let’s find answers together and figure out what we’re going to do.”

Now, however, as her campaign ramps up, Clinton appears ready to offer more direct criticism over GOP policies.

“We have to have leaders who recognize that the time has come. There are those who offer themselves as leaders who see nothing wrong with denying women equal pay,” Clinton said, “or would defund the country’s leading provider of family planning, and want to let health insurance companies charge women once again just because of our gender” — a reference to Republican efforts to defund Obamacare.

“It isn’t leadership,” she said.

TIME justice

Trust-Busting Isn’t Back. Comcast Was Just Unlucky.

The Comcast Corp. logo is seen as Brian Roberts, chairman and chief executive officer of Comcast Corp. (R) speaks during a news conference in Washington on June 11, 2013.
Bloomberg/Getty Images The Comcast Corp. logo is seen as Brian Roberts, chairman and chief executive officer of Comcast Corp. (R) speaks during a news conference in Washington on June 11, 2013.

Comcast walked away from its $45.2 billion proposed merger with Time Warner Cable, according to a statement released Friday.

The unexpected change of heart—attributed to unnamed sources by Bloomberg News, CNBC and the New York Times (Comcast declined to comment to TIME)—comes just a day after government officials at the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department expressed doubt this week that a marriage between the nation’s two largest cable companies would serve the public interest.

But advocates for robust antitrust action shouldn’t celebrate too much. The collapse of the merger had more to do with the specifics of this particular deal than a return to the 1970s, when the federal government last engaged in energetic trust busting.

For starters, the two companies involved in this particular marriage are uniquely unpopular. In poll after poll, Americans ranked both Comcast and Time Warner Cable as among the most-hated companies in the country. The prospect of two nationally despised companies merging into one bigger despised company did not earn much public support. Though 97 members of Congress signed a letter in 2011 in support of the unprecedented merger between Comcast and the much less-hated NBC Universal, this time around, there was hardly a peep.

Weak public support for the deal was also exacerbated by bad timing. The announcement of the proposed merger in February 2014 just happened to coincide with what became, over the course of the last year, a frothy, nationwide debate over net neutrality, the idea that all web traffic should be treated equally. While Comcast did its very best to separate its proposed merger from the hubbub over a free and open Internet, it was a tough sell. Comcast, which charged Netflix for faster delivery of its content—a violation of many people’s idea of net neutrality—found itself constantly in the news.

But even if the environment had been pristine for a merger of two giant companies, the fact that Comcast and Time Warner Cable are regulated by the FCC meant that, unlike with most mergers, this one always had to clear two separate hoops: one with the FCC and one with the Department of Justice.

The FCC was charged with determining whether the transaction would serve “the public interest, convenience, and necessity”—a nebulous standard that only exacerbated the companies’ problems. Meanwhile, the Justice Department had to decide whether the larger, combined Comcast would constitute a monopoly—another vaguely worded mandate that left room for interpretation.

The FCC, while technically an independent agency, doesn’t operate in a vacuum. Just weeks after President Obama expressed support for the strongest-possible net neutrality rules last November, the FCC proposed them. So it’s perhaps not insignificant to mention that Obama, a second-term Democrat who’s currently going to battle with liberals by supporting the biggest free-trade deal of all time, would throw the left a bone by quietly encouraging both agencies to slow-roll a merger that most Americans hated anyway.

If Comcast walks away from the Time Warner Cable merger as reported, anti-trust groups who vehemently opposed the deal will celebrate.

But there’s no reason to believe that the $49 billion merger between AT&T and DirecTV—or any of the other huge marriages coming down the pike—won’t go through without a hitch. Anti-trust organizations may have won a battle, but they’re still losing the war.

TIME Congress

Hillary Clinton Called to Testify Before House Benghazi Committee

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Bebeto Matthews—AP In this Nov. 21, 2014, file photo, Hillary Rodham Clinton is seen in New York.

The Presidential candidate was called to testify the week of May 18

(WASHINGTON)—The chairman of a House committee investigating the 2012 attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya, has called former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to testify next month, setting up a high-profile showdown over Clinton’s use of a private email account and server while she was secretary of state.

Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina says he wants Clinton to testify the week of May 18 and again before June 18. The first hearing would focus on Clinton’s use of private emails; the second on the September 2012 attacks that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

Gowdy’s action comes a day after the GOP-led panel signaled its final report could slip to next year, just months before the presidential election. Clinton is the leading Democratic candidate.

TIME justice

What’s the Deal With the Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger?

The Comcast Corp. logo is seen as Brian Roberts, chairman and chief executive officer of Comcast Corp. (R) speaks during a news conference in Washington on June 11, 2013.
Bloomberg/Getty Images The Comcast Corp. logo is seen as Brian Roberts, chairman and chief executive officer of Comcast Corp. (R) speaks during a news conference in Washington on June 11, 2013.

The gargantuan, $45.2 billion merger between the nation’s two largest cable companies, Comcast and Time Warner Cable appears to be hitting a regulatory wall.

Here’s the quick-and-dirty on what’s going down:

Wait, I thought this thing was a done-deal?

You and everyone else. When Comcast first announced the proposed merger 14 months ago, in February 2014, industry insiders thought it was a slam dunk. But late last week, news broke that officials at the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice would hold a meeting this week that, at the very least, would slow the approval process down.

What are the FCC and the Justice Department worried about?

If the merger goes through, a combined Comcast-TWC would control 30% of the pay-TV market, with roughly 30 million subscribers — three times the number of its closest cable competitor. It would also control almost 60% of the country’s market for broadband Internet, the pipe through which an increasing number of Americans watch TV, thanks to companies such as Netflix and Hulu (which Comcast also owns in part). FCC officials have expressed concern that such a merger would “not be in the public interest,” while Justice Department lawyers have whispered that it just might be big enough to trigger anti-trust actions.

So what happened this week?

On Wednesday, the FCC and Justice Department officials met with muckety-mucks at Comcast and TWC to cordially express their misgivings, according to a source familiar with the meeting. FCC officials said they may recommend that the merger be subject to an additional round of scrutiny, which means more meetings, more hearings, and more airing of Comcast’s laundry.

Uh-oh. That doesn’t sound good for the merger.

It’s definitely not. But it’s also hardly a death knell. While FCC and Justice Department officials stress that the merger could still go through, regulatory experts say the process will likely be long and tedious, since there’s no official timeline for when a decision will be made.

So what happens now?

Top lobbyists at Comcast and TWC are expected to spend the next few months doing their very best to cajole officials at the FCC and Justice Department to just push the deal through.

What’s Comcast and TWC’s very best argument in favor of the merger?

The two companies don’t overlap geographically. If you’re a TWC subscriber in New York City, for example, you couldn’t switch over to Comcast even if you wanted to; Comcast doesn’t offer service there. So combining the two companies doesn’t reduce cable and broadband Internet customers’ choices. And, anyway, since Comcast’s broadband service is faster than TWC’s in some places, some current TWC customers could actually see their service improve under Comcast. Comcast, which also owns NBC Universal, also argues that it has to be big in order to compete with enormously popular web streaming companies, such as Netflix and Apple TV.

So what are some government officials and public interest groups’ argument against the merger?

The biggest issue is the power that a combined Comcast-TWC would have on the greater TV/Internet marketplace. It could, for example, wield an unfair competitive advantage against both TV producers, who negotiate to license their content to cable companies, and online video streaming companies, like Netflix, which rely on broadband service providers to deliver their content quickly. Comcast already owns NBC Universal, one of the biggest TV producers, and part of Hulu, one of the biggest streaming TV producers.

What happens next?

At this point, what’s happening inside the FCC and the Justice Department is unclear. Neither agency is under any obligation to make its thinking public at this stage. And while industry insiders say the best weathervane is Wall Street, that’s much help these days either: Comcast stock dropped precipitously on Friday, when news of this week’s meeting with the FCC broke, but skyrocketed again at the close of business Wednesday, stretching up close to a five-year high.

TIME White House

Obama Apologizes to Families of al-Qaeda Hostages Killed in U.S. Drone Strike

'No words can fully express our regret over this terrible tragedy.'

President Barack Obama took “full responsibility” for the death of two hostages held by al-Qaeda in a drone strike in January.

Speaking at the White House on Thursday, Obama said that Dr. Warren Weinstein, an American held since 2011, and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian national held since 2012, were killed in a counter-terrorism operation on an al-Qaeda compound in the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“It’s a cruel and bitter truth that in times of war mistakes, sometimes deadly mistakes, can occur,” he said. “I offer our deepest apologies to the families.”

Weinstein’s family issued a statement on a website called Bring Warren Home, noting their disappointment

“We do not yet fully understand all of the facts surrounding Warren’s death but we do understand that the U.S. government will be conducting an independent investigation of the circumstances,” they wrote. “We look forward to the results of that investigation. But those who took Warren captive over three years ago bear ultimate responsibility.”

The White House said the same strike is believed to have killed Ahmed Farouq, an al-Qaeda who held American citizenship. Another U.S. strike in January killed American al-Qaeda member Adam Gadahn, Earnest revealed.

“While both Farouq and Gadahn were al-Qaeda members, neither was specifically targeted, and we did not have information indicating their presence at the sites of these operations,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

As of Thursday morning, Gadahn was still listed on the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” list.

In 2011, a U.S. drone strike targeted and killed Anwar al-Awlaki, a leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a case that stirred vigorous debate in the U.S. over the killings of Americans fighting alongside terrorist groups without trial.

In his brief statement to reporters, Obama said that after reviewing “hundreds of hours of surveillance, we believed that this was an al-Qaeda compound, that no civilians were present and capturing these terrorists was not possible.”

He added that he has ordered the operations to be declassified so that they could be publicly reviewed.

He also praised the two men, noting they had traveled to Pakistan as aid workers to help those facing poverty.

“There could be no starker contrast between these two selfless men and their al Qaeda captors,” he said.

TIME

Morning Must Reads: April 23

Capitol
Mark Wilson—Getty Images The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

E.U. Looks to Stem Migrant Crisis

E.U. leaders gathering for an extraordinary summit are facing calls from all sides to take emergency action to save lives in the Mediterranean, where hundreds of migrants are missing and feared drowned in recent days

Clinton Allies Come to Her Defense

Hillary Clinton’s allies are rebuffing allegations that donations to the Clinton Foundation influenced the handling of the sale of uranium mines

Judge Approves Concussion Deal

A federal judge has approved a plan to resolve thousands of NFL concussion lawsuits that could cost the league $1 billion over 65 years

Dr. Oz Responds to Critics: ‘I’m Not Going Anywhere’

The physician and TV personality slams his detractors and responds to their critiques. “In some instances, I believe unconventional approaches appear to work in some people’s lives,” Dr. Mehmet Oz writes in an exclusive for TIME

Civil Lawsuit to Be Filed in Michael Brown’s Death

Lawyers for the parents of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old who was fatally shot by a white police officer in a St. Louis suburb, have announced that they plan to file a civil lawsuit against the city of Ferguson on Thursday

143 Million Americans Now Live in Earthquake Zones

Around 143 million Americans in the lower 48 states are at risk of experiencing an earthquake — with 28 million being in danger of “strong shaking.” The increase is due to population migration, with more people moving to earthquake hot zones on the West Coast

India Suspends al-Jazeera Broadcast Over Map Dispute

Al-Jazeera English has had its broadcast in India suspended for five days, with the Indian government ruling that the Qatar-based international news channel had previously shown maps that misrepresented the disputed border region of Kashmir

Animated Spider-Man Movie Announced

Fans of the original Spider-Man cartoon and comics can rejoice — an animated feature film will hit the screens in 2018, Sony Pictures chairman Tom Rothman announced. The $4 billionSpider-Man franchise has spawned a devoted following in recent years

In Prelude to Spin-Off, PayPal Eclipses eBay’s Marketplace

As it prepares to spin off PayPal over the summer, eBay reported stronger than expected first-quarter earnings on Wednesday thanks to its growing payments business. But eBay’s marketplace is declining, which doesn’t bode well for its future success

Bonds’ Obstruction Conviction Thrown Out by Appeals Court

Barry Bonds has been cleared legally after 11½ years in court. A federal court of appeals threw out Bonds’ obstruction-of-justice conviction on Wednesday, ruling that his answer before a grand jury in 2003 was not material to the government’s investigation

U.K. Ruling Party Boss in Wikipedia Scandal

British Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps was in an all-out denial mode on Wednesday, after a story broke in a U.K. newspaper this week claiming he had edited his own Wikipedia page and those of rival politicians

Robin Williams’ Last Drama Gets Summer Release Date

Starz Digital announced on Wednesday that it picked up the North American rights to Boulevard, Robin Williams’ final dramatic film, with plans to release it on July 17. Boulevard had its world premiere at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival

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