Category Archives: consumer

U.S. proposes effort to analyze DNA from 1 million people

By Toni Clarke and Sharon Begley By Toni Clarke and Sharon Begley WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers as part of a new initiative to understand human disease and develop medicines targeted to an individual’s genetic make-up. At the heart of the initiative, to be announced on Friday by President Barack Obama, is the creation of a pool of people – healthy and ill, men and women, old and young – who would be studied to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Officials hope genetic data from several hundred thousand participants in ongoing genetic studies would be used, and other volunteers recruited to reach the 1 million total. Continue reading

Police: Teen who demanded airtime on Dutch TV acted alone

By MIKE CORDER, Associated Press THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A 19-year-old student carrying a fake pistol who forced his way into the Dutch national broadcaster and demanded airtime has told detectives he was acting alone and had no links to any terror organization, police said Friday. Continue reading

Russia cuts key rate to help economy, leaving ruble to drop

By NATALIYA VASILYEVA, Associated Press MOSCOW (AP) — In a surprise decision, Russia’s central bank on Friday cut its key interest rate, which it had hiked in previous months to support the collapsing ruble, in order to help the fading economy. Continue reading

Markets brace for Big Oil profit plunge

By BERNARD CONDON and JONATHAN FAHEY, AP Business Writers NEW YORK (AP) — It’s just a forecast, and for only one of 10 industry groups in the stock market. Yet it has almost singlehandedly turned what had been a promising earnings season into a grim one. Profits for companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index are expected to grow at one of the lowest rates in years, just 1.4 percent Continue reading

Israeli conductor collapses at Swiss concert, dies

BERLIN (AP) — Organizers of a Swiss music festival say Israeli conductor Israel Yinon collapsed during a performance and died. Yinon was conducting a piece by Richard Strauss on Thursday night when he collapsed, said Marc Reinhardt, a spokesman for the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, whose students were performing. Reinhardt told The Associated Press on Friday an audience member tried to save Yinon, but he died in the ambulance on his way to a hospital Continue reading

Death toll in southern Pakistan bomb blast rises to 20

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — A Pakistani medical official has raised the death toll from a bombing at a Shiite mosque in country’s south to 20 killed. The explosion went off during midday prayers Friday in Shikarpur, is in Sindh province, roughly 500 kilometers (310 miles) north of the port city of Karachi Dr Continue reading

Ahead of election, Israel issues West Bank building tenders

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s settlement watchdog group says the government has issued hundreds of tenders for housing units in the West Bank, an area the Palestinians demand for their future state. Peace Now said on Friday that 450 tenders have been issued. Continue reading

Eurozone prices plunge 0.6 pct amid weak growth, cheap oil

By DAVID McHUGH, Associated Press FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Falling oil prices and a weak economy have sent prices in the eurozone even lower ahead of the start of a 1 trillion euro ($1.1 trillion) stimulus effort by the European Central Bank. Consumer prices fell 0.6 percent in the 12 months to January, accelerating the 0.2 percent annual drop from December. Continue reading

EPA administrator at Vatican ahead of encyclical.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Obama administration is seeking to hitch its climate change message onto that of the ever-popular Pope Francis, whose upcoming environmental encyclical has drawn more speculation than any papal document in recent memory. The head of the Environmental Protection Agency met Friday with senior Vatican officials who helped draft the document, which is expected to be released in June or July. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told reporters that her aim was to show how aligned President Obama and Francis are on climate change, emphasize actions the U.S. Continue reading

Former Bulgarian president dies at 79

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Zhelyu Zhelev, a philosopher and communist-era dissident who became Bulgaria’s first democratically elected president, died Friday, his family said. He was 79. A dissident under communism, Zhelev was the founder and first leader of the pro-democracy Union of Democratic Forces after the demise of the country’s Stalinist regime in 1989 Continue reading