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EU regulators to decide on Oracle, Micros deal by Aug. 29

Company logo shown at headquarters for Oracle Corp shown in Redwood City BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union antitrust regulators will decide by Aug. 29 whether to clear world No. 2 software maker Oracle Corp's $5.3 billion bid for Micros Systems , the European Commission said on Friday. The deal, Oracle's biggest in five years, is in line with Oracle's strategy to boost its fast-expanding cloud business. Micros makes point-of-sale hardware and software for restaurants and hotels. The Commission can now either clear the deal unconditionally or demand concessions to resolve competition issues. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Robin Emmott)

Shares in Britain's RBS soar after surprise profit

A sign is seen outside a Royal Bank of Scotland building in central London By Steve Slater LONDON (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Scotland posted a surprise 1 billion pound ($1.7 billion) pretax profit for the second quarter thanks to a turnaround in losses from bad loans, prompting it to release earnings a week early. It sent RBS shares soaring by 14 percent to 376 pence, on course for their biggest one-day gain since April 2009 and boosting chances of the taxpayer recouping what it invested - though maybe not for several more years because the price is still 25 percent below what the state paid. RBS said the profit was mainly because of an economic upturn that allowed it to write back losses that had been booked on bad loans, giving it a net release of 93 million pounds. 'STRONGER BANK' RBS said it was obliged to release headline numbers early because they were far better than market expectations.

German business confidence drops again

BERLIN (AP) — German business confidence is down for a third month in a row amid ongoing concerns about the economic impact of the crises in Ukraine and Iraq.

BSkyB to take over Italian, German pay TV networks

LONDON (AP) — London-based satellite broadcaster BSkyB has announced agreements to purchase Sky Italia and 57 percent of Sky Deutschland from 21st Century Fox.

German airlines cancel more Tel Aviv flights

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's two largest airlines say they are not yet resuming flights to Israel even though the European Aviation Safety Agency has lifted a recommendation that airlines refrain from flying to Tel Aviv airport.

McDonald's Japan stops sourcing all chicken from China

Customers are seen through the windows of a McDonald's store in Tokyo McDonald's Holdings Co (Japan) said it halted sales of all products that use chicken meat that originates in China on Friday, switching its sourcing completely to Thailand. McDonald's Japan had already stopped selling items that used meat sourced from Shanghai Husi Food Co, a China-based supplier that had been shut down over food safety concerns. Shanghai Husi had supplied about 20 percent of its Chicken McNuggets. "We made this decision in view of the growing concern over McDonald's chicken products made in China," McDonald's Japan Chief Executive Sarah Casanova said in a statement.

BSkyB to pay $8 billion to create Sky Europe

File photo of Sky Deutschland headquarters in Unterfoehring By Kate Holton LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's BSkyB has agreed to pay 4.9 billion pounds ($8.3 billion) in cash to buy Rupert Murdoch's pay-TV assets in Germany and Italy, responding to slowing growth at home by creating a European media powerhouse. BSkyB, in which Murdoch's 21st Century Fox is also the top shareholder, will pay for the deal using cash, debt and a placing of shares that represents around 10 percent of its issued share capital. 21st Century Fox is expected to use the proceeds from its partial exit from Europe to fuel its pursuit in the United States of Time Warner, which recently rejected Fox's initial $80 billion bid. Fox owns 100 percent of Sky Italia, 57 percent of Sky Deutschland and 39 percent of BSkyB.

Vodafone revenue dragged lower by Spain and South Africa in first quarter

A pedestrian passes a Vodafone store on Oxford Street in central London Vodafone received no relief from tough market conditions in the first quarter, with a slowdown in Spain and South Africa resulting in another heavy drop in its key revenue measure. The world's second-biggest mobile operator said the pace of decline in organic service revenue, which strips out items such as handset sales and currency movements, accelerated to 4.2 percent in the three months to June 30. Chief Executive Vittorio Colao said the year had started in line with the company's expectations and its performance had improved in markets such as Germany. The limited number of analysts who provide forecasts for the first quarter had on average expected group service revenue to decline by 4.2 percent.

Turning Ethiopia Into China's China

Ethiopian workers walking through the parking lot of Huajian Shoes’ factory outside Addis Ababa in June chose the wrong day to leave their shirts untucked. The company’s president, just arrived from China, spotted them through the window, sprang up, and ran outside.

Asian shares pull away from three-year highs but gain on week

A pedestrian holding an umbrella walks past an electronic board showing the graph of the recent fluctuations of Japan's Nikkei average outside a brokerage in Tokyo By Lisa Twaronite TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian shares pulled back from this week's three-year highs on Friday after a mostly flat day on Wall Street, though a fresh S&P closing record and upbeat U.S. employment data underpinned sentiment. "The German Ifo current assessment index and expectations index are both expected to decline, which could weaken euro/dollar," said Marshall Gittler, global head of FX strategy at IronFX Global. "The Ifo index is in contrast to Thursday's positive PMI figures, perhaps because the Ifo incorporates more recent data on the impact that sanctions on Russia are likely to have on the German economy," Gittler said in a note to clients. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down about 0.3 percent, though still on track for solid weekly gain of more than 1 percent.

Family feud sparks revolt at grocery store chain

Shoppers encounter empty shelves as they shop Thursday, July 24, 2014 at the Market Basket supermarket in Haverhill, Mass. A decades-long family feud, which brought about the ouster of Arthur T. Demoulas as CEO of the privately held company, led to a worker revolt, customer boycotts and empty shelves in the grocery chain's stores in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. More than 100 Massachusetts legislators and mayors, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, and New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan have publicly supported the employees. (AP Photo) WEST BRIDGEWATER, Mass. (AP) — It's been called a David vs. Goliath story, a "Tale of Two Arthurs" and even the "ultimate Greek tragedy," but the characters in this drama are not Biblical or literary figures.

Air Algerie jet with 116 on board crashes in Mali

An arrival information screen shows the delayed Air Algerie flight 5017 (top) at the Houari Boumediene airport near Algiers, Algeria, Thursday, July 24, 2014. An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali and "probably crashed" according to the plane's owner and government officials in France and Burkina Faso. (AP Photo/Sidali Djarboub) OUAGADOUGO, Burkina Faso (AP) — An Air Algerie jetliner carrying 116 people crashed Thursday in a rainstorm over restive Mali, the third major international aviation disaster in a week.

Fast food workers prepare to escalate wage demands

FILE - In this May 22, 2014 file photo, protesters gather outside of the McDonald's Corporation headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., the annual shareholders meeting demonstrating for higher wages and the right to unionize. On Friday, July 25, 2014, in Chicago, organizers are holding what they're calling the first national convention of fast-food workers. They’ll be discussing how to move forward with the protests and other actions calling for higher wages that have been taking place in cities around the country since late 2012.  (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File) CHICAGO (AP) — Fast food workers say they're prepared to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation, starting with a national convention in suburban Chicago where more than 1,000 workers are expected to discuss the future of the effort that has spread to dozens of cities in less than two years.

Sluggish Latin American results show risks for U.S. companies

Workers check new cars before they are transported to dealers in Sao Bernardo do Campo U.S. companies are reporting sluggish financial results in Latin America, showing the risks they face in relying on Brazil and other emerging markets in the region for growth. Companies ranging from Ford Motor Co to 3M Co and Caterpillar Inc reported second quarter earnings that highlighted weakness in their Latin or South American operations. Several companies reported tepid performance in Brazil, the biggest economy in Latin America, where some economists fear the country is on the verge of a recession. "The place where we see a little bit more of a challenge is Latin America," 3M Chief Executive Officer Inge Thulin told analysts on the company's quarterly conference call on Thursday.

Asian stocks bolstered by US economic data

Men walk by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Thursday, July 24, 2014. Asian shares were subdued Thursday despite an improvement in China’s manufacturing as a wait-and-see mood prevailed ahead of earnings reports from some of the region’s top companies. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko) MUMBAI, India (AP) — Most major Asian stock markets rose Friday after U.S. unemployment claims fell to an eight-year low and tensions over the downing of a Malaysia Airlines jet eased.

Scientists to excavate Wyoming cave with trove of Ice Age fossils

Scientists will begin excavation early next week of an ancient Wyoming sinkhole containing a rare bounty of fossil remains of prehistoric animals, such as mammoths and dire wolves, preserved in unusually good condition, researchers said on Thursday.    The two-week dig, set to begin next Monday under the direction of Des Moines University paleontologist Julie Meachen, marks the first exploration of Natural Trap Cave in north-central Wyoming since its initial discovery in the 1970s.

Amazon's heavy investing eats into bottom line, shares drop

A box from is pictured on the porch of a house in Golden By Deepa Seetharaman SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Inc posted a much larger-than-expected loss in the second quarter as it continues its rapid pace of investment in new businesses such as digital content and consumer electronics. Amazon's stock price has dropped 10 percent so far in 2014, with investors leery of betting on its long-term growth at the expense of little to no profit. Amazon is investing heavily in new businesses and hardware products, as it prepares to take on major tech rivals from Apple Inc and Google Inc to Netflix. Chief Financial Officer Tom Szkutak said Amazon had a "tremendous amount of opportunities" and its investments were "certainly impacting short-term results." The company is spending more than $100 million on original video content in the third quarter, a substantial increase compared to last year and the second quarter, Szkutak said.

Exclusive: China meat supplier faced claims last year over unethical work practices

Security guards stand inside the Husi Food factory in Shanghai By Kazunori Takada SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Shanghai Husi Food, the U.S.-owned Chinese food supplier at the center of a meat safety scandal, won a court case earlier this year against a former quality control officer whose claims included that he was made to forge meat production dates. Wang Donglai, who worked at Shanghai Husi Food from 2007 to 2013, sought around 38,000 yuan ($6,100) in compensation for damage to his health from exposure to chlorine used as a cleaning agent by the meat processor. He also sought to terminate his contract at Shanghai Husi, claiming he was forced to work overtime and made to do "unethical work" that violated food safety laws, court documents showed. At his hearing last October, Wang said he was unwilling to illegally forge dates at the plant, adding that he repeatedly urged his employer to change a practice which he said violated food safety laws and hurt consumer interests, according to court documents seen by Reuters.

Argentine debt mediator says time running short for deal

Argentina's Finance Secretary Pablo Lopez arrives for debt negotiation talks with court-appointed mediator Daniel Pollack in New York By Daniel Bases NEW YORK (Reuters) - Less than a week before Argentina could default on its sovereign bonds, the government and holdout creditors have yet to meet face-to-face despite an urgent plea from the U.S. court-appointed mediator on Thursday that they start direct talks. The time for the Republic to avoid default (July 30) is short," mediator Daniel Pollack said in a statement following three hours of shuttle diplomacy. "After speaking with both sides, separately, I proposed and urged direct, face-to-face talks between the parties. The representatives of the bondholders were agreeable to direct talks. The representatives of the Republic declined to engage in direct talks," Pollack said.

Very bad week: Airline disasters come in a cluster

A forensic team recovers human remains among the wreckage of crashed TransAsia Airways flight GE222 on the outlying island of Penghu, Taiwan, Thursday, July 24, 2014. Stormy weather on the trailing edge of Typhoon Matmo was the likely cause of the plane crash that killed more than 40 people, the airline said. Aviation has suffered one of its worst weeks in memory, a cluster of disasters spanning three continents. (AP Photo/Wally Santana) WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 300 passengers perish when their plane is shot out of the sky. Airlines suspend flights to Israel's largest airport after rocket attacks. Two airliners crash during storms. Aviation has suffered one of its worst weeks in memory, a cluster of disasters spanning three continents.

One Parent May Have Bigger Role in a Girl's Puberty Age

The age at which girls reach puberty is influenced by a set of genes that were previously only known to be involved in the development of a fetus before birth, according to a new study. Scientists are interested in understanding the factors that influence when people enter puberty, because this timing has been linked with the risk of developing health conditions — such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and breast cancer — later in life. To find the genes that influence puberty in girls, researchers analyzed the genomes of more than 180,000 women of European descent, and found more than 100 genetic variations that were associated with the age at which girls experienced their first menstrual period. Six of these genetic differences were found within a set of genes known as "imprinted" genes, according to the study, published today (July 23) in the journal Nature.

The Pill May Affect Your Perception of Other Women

The amount of estrogen in women's birth control pills may affect how they perceive other women, a small new study suggests. The study included 42 women who were using birth control that contained both estrogen and progesterone. Most of the women were taking birth control pills, but four of them were using a vaginal ring such as NuvaRing. Half of the women were taking ultra-low dose contraceptives (that contain between 0.015 mg and 0.020 mg of estrogen), and the other half were taking low-dose contraceptives (containing 0.030 mg to 0.035 mg of estrogen).

Keryx drug improves phosphorus, iron in kidney patients: trial

(Reuters) - A pivotal trial of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Inc's experimental drug Zerenex showed that it improved levels of serum phosphorus and iron in patients on kidney dialysis, according to results published on Thursday. The trial involved 441 patients, according to the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, which published the results. Over the four-week efficacy assessment period, mean serum phosphorus for Zerenex patients dropped by 2.2 milligrams per deciliter compared with placebo patients, the trial showed. Most patients with kidney disease that requires dialysis need chronic treatment with phosphate-binding agents to lower and maintain serum phosphorus at acceptable levels.

Researchers practice living on Mars - without leaving Earth

For the most part, expedition leader Casey Stedman and his five crewmates have stayed inside their 1,000-square foot (93-square meter) solar-powered dome, venturing out only for simulated spacewalks and doing so only when fully attired in mock spacesuits. "I haven’t seen a tree, smelled the rain, heard a bird, or felt wind on my skin in four months,” Stedman wrote in a blog on Instagram. Stedman is a U.S. Air Force Reserve officer, graduate student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide. “We are simulating a long-duration mission on Mars, with a focus on crew psychology in isolation,” the crew said during an online interview with Reddit on Sunday.

Obama wants limits on US company mergers abroad

President Barack Obama speaks about the economy at the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College in Los Angeles, Thursday, July 24, 2014, on the final day of his three-day West Coast trip. Striking a populist stand ahead of the midterm elections, Obama is demanding "economic patriotism" from American corporations that seek overseas mergers to avoid U.S. taxes. Obama and congressional Democrats are pushing to severely limit such deals, a move resisted by Republicans who argue the entire corporate tax code needs an overhaul. (AP Photo) LOS ANGELES (AP) — Staking out a populist stand ahead of the midterm elections, President Barack Obama on Thursday demanded "economic patriotism" from U.S. corporations that use legal means to avoid U.S. taxes through overseas mergers.

Rally against factory farming marks four weeks of suffering - SAFE

Animal advocates and members of the public all over New Zealand will unite for a ‘National Day of Action Against Factory Farming’ Saturday, tomorrow 26 July in response to two recent exposés that showed horrific conditions on pig factory farms.

Cheesecake Factory Misses on Q2 Earnings, Lowers Guidance - Analyst Blog

Cheesecake Factory Misses on Q2 Earnings, Lowers Guidance - Analyst Blog

The star stocks and stellar returns of the US refining industry

The U.S. refining industry is the largest in the world in terms of capacity. It also has the good fortune of being in the most profitable region for this business.

Chasing Alligators, Dodging Parrots: A Zookeeper's Life (Op-Ed)

Chasing Alligators, Dodging Parrots: A Zookeeper's Life (Op-Ed) Christopher Scoufaras is a zookeeper at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)'s Queens Zoo. Growing up, I regularly visited the WCS's Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium and knew from a young age that I was interested in working with animals. I studied animal biotechnology and conservation at Delaware Valley College in Pennsylvania, but I was on track to being a zookeeper even before that — as a student at John Bowne High School in Queens.

Apollo 11's Vintage Tech: The Most Amazing Moon Landing Innovations

Apollo 11's Vintage Tech: The Most Amazing Moon Landing Innovations The computing technology of the average cell phone far exceeds the combined computing power of the two spacecraft that got humans to the moon and home safely. The lunar module, for example, flew only twice with astronauts inside before Apollo 11. There were several modes of transportation that NASA could have chosen to take to the moon. For example, engineers could have launched two big rockets and then docked the various spacecraft and components in Earth orbit.

Satellites Track Malaysian Airlines MH17 Crash Site from Space (Images)

Satellites Track Malaysian Airlines MH17 Crash Site from Space (Images) Satellite images captured the smoldering wreckage of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 that was shot down by a missile on July 17 in eastern Ukraine. The bird's-eye view of the site was imaged by DigitalGlobe, a company based in Colorado that programmed three of its five satellites to track the area after reports of the plane crash came flooding in. [See the top images from the DigitalGlobe contest in 2013] The plane was shot down amid the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict by a surface-to-air missile fired from an area in Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian separatists. The attack on the plane has brought global attention to the war in Ukraine.

Across US job market, layoffs are becoming rare

In this photo taken Wednesday, July 16, 2014, job seeker U.S. Army veteran John Godman, right, talks to recruiters Nicole Rushton, left, and Megan Hogan, center, at a Hiring Fair For Veterans in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims on Thursday, July 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz) WASHINGTON (AP) — The risk of losing your job is getting smaller and smaller.

Cheesecake Factory Misses on Q2 Earnings, Lowers Guidance

The Cheesecake Factory Inc. (CAKE) posted second quarter 2014 results wherein both earnings and revenue missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

People Use Just 8.2% of Their DNA, Study Finds

More than a decade has passed since the completion of the Human Genome Project, the international collaboration to map all of the "letters" in our DNA. The huge effort led to revolutionary genomic discoveries, but more than 10 years later, it's still unclear what percentage of the human genome is actually doing something important. The results are higher than previous estimates of 3 to 5 percent, and significantly lower than the 80 percent reported in 2012 by the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements Project (ENCODE), a public research project led by the U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute to study the role of the 3 billion total letters in human DNA. The differences may stem from the nuanced definition of "functional DNA," said the study's co-lead researcher Chris Ponting, a professor of genomics at the University of Oxford in England.

Churches Divest From Fossil Fuels: Will Industry Evolve to Survive?

The divestment effort is picking up steam, and now churches are jumping on board. Will the fossil fuel industry need to evolve to survive?

Industrial corridors will change North India: Kant

New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) The planned industrial corridors, including the $100-billion Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project, will be the game changer for North India, secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Amitabh Kant said Thursday. "Northern India has the youngest population in the world with great enterprising spirit that could lead to transformation ...

Midokura Garners More Industry Recognition for Disruptive Technology and Growth

Midokura, a global company focused on network virtualization, today announced several new industry accolades within the last month. For network virtualization innovation and overall company success, Midokura ...

Research and Markets: Global Industrial UPS Market 2014-2018: Eaton Corp, Emerson Electric Co. & Schneider Electric SA ...

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global Industrial UPS Market 2014-2018" report to thei

Lord Industrial Constructs New Plant in Brazil, an Industrial Info News Alert

Researched by Industrial Info Resources Latin America -- Lord Industrial Ltda. , the Brazilian subsidiary of Lord Corporation , plans to construct a new adhesives and coatings plant in Itupeva City, Sao ...

Research and Markets: Global Construction Industry 2014-2019: Market is Expected to Reach an Estimated Value of $10 ...

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global Construction Industry 2014-2019: Trends, Profits and Forec

Aerospace industry 'jewel in crown'

The aerospace industry in north Wales is the jewel in the crown of the Welsh economy, says Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb.

International Aspherical Lense Industry Report 2014 (Focus on China)

Dublin -- Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of the "Global and Chinese Aspherical Lense Industry Report 2014" report ...

International Spray Polyurea Elastomer (SPUA) Industry Report 2014 (Focus on China)

Dublin -- Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of the "Global and Chinese Spray Polyurea Elastomer (SPUA) Industry Report ...

International Ceramic Tiles Industry Report 2014 (Focus on China)

Dublin -- Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of the "Global and Chinese Ceramic Tiles Industry Report 2014" report ...

International Automotive Lubricants Industry Report 2014 (Focus on China)

Dublin -- Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of the "Global and Chinese Automotive Lubricants Industry Report 2014" ...

International Benzoyl Peroxide Industry Report 2014 (Focus on China)

Dublin -- Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of the "Global and Chinese Benzoyl Peroxide Industry Report 2014" report ...

Research and Markets: Industrial And Commercial LED Lighting Market 2013 - 2019 - Global Forecasts and Opportunities ...

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Industrial And Commercial LED Lighting Market - Global In

Paracetamol no better than placebo for low back pain, study finds

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Paracetamol, a painkiller universally recommended to treat people with acute low back pain, does not speed recovery or reduce pain from the condition, according to the results of a large trial published on Thursday. A study published in The Lancet medical journal found that the popular pain medicine was no better than placebo, or dummy, pills for hastening recovery from acute bouts of low back pain or easing pain levels, function, sleep or quality of life. Researchers said the findings challenge the universal endorsement of paracetamol as the first choice painkiller for lower back pain. "We need to reconsider the universal recommendation to provide paracetamol as a first-line treatment," said Christopher Williams, who led the study at the University of Sydney in Australia.

NASA puts out call for satellite communication services – on Mars

Handout of NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft passing above Mars' south pole in this artist's concept illustration released by NASA By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL Fla. (Reuters) - In what may be the ultimate in long-distance telephone service, NASA on Wednesday put out a call for a commercially owned and operated satellite network on Mars. The robotic probes, however, are useless if they cannot relay their results, and the two communication satellites currently in orbit are getting old. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter followed in 2005. The aging of NASA’s Mars communications system comes as the United States, Europe, Russia and India mount a fresh wave of science campaigns, including two atmospheric probes slated to arrive at Mars in September and two life-hunting rovers due to launch in 2018 and 2020.

Happy Birthday, Landsat: Space Science Project Turns 42

Happy Birthday, Landsat: Space Science Project Turns 42 The Landsat 1 satellite, a joint project of NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, flew into orbit on July 23, 1972, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The camera was designed to be the primary observation instrument, according to NASA, but scientists soon discovered that the scanner was sending back far better data. In 1976, scientists combing through Landsat images found a tiny scrap of land never seen before. To verify the island's existence, Canadian Hydrographic Service hydrologist Frank Hall took a helicopter to the island. Camping World