Senate Democrats prepare government funding bill
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats are preparing a catchall government funding bill that denies President Barack Obama money for implementing signature first-term accomplishments like new regulations on Wall Street and his expansion of government health care subsidies but provides modest additional funding for domestic priorities like health research.
The measure is the product of bipartisan negotiations and is the legislative vehicle to fund the day-to-day operations of government through Sept. 30 — and prevent a government shutdown when current funding runs out March 27.
Passage in the Senate this week would presage an end to a mostly overlooked battle between House Republicans and Obama and his Senate Democratic allies over the annual spending bills required to fund federal agency operations.
Sheryl Sandberg: On a mission to elevate women
Sheryl Sandberg is not backing down.
The Facebook chief operating officer’s book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” goes on sale Monday amid criticism that she’s too successful and rich to lead a movement. But Sandberg says her focus remains on spurring action and progress among women.
With “Lean In,” Sandberg aims to arm women with the tools and guidance they need to keep moving forward in the workforce. The book’s release is coupled with the launch of Sandberg’s LeanIn.org, a non-profit that will receive all of the book’s proceeds.
America’s new love: Water
NEW YORK (AP) — It wasn’t too long ago that America had a love affair with soda. Now, an old flame has the country’s heart.
As New York City grapples with the legality of a ban on the sale of large cups of soda and other sugary drinks at some businesses, one thing is clear: Soda’s run as the nation’s beverage of choice has fizzled.
In its place? A favourite for much of history: Plain old H2O.
For more than two decades, soda was the No. 1 drink in the U.S. with per capita consumption peaking in 1998 at 54 gallons a year, according industry tracker Beverage Digest. Americans drank just 42 gallons a year of water at the time.
But over the years, as soda increasingly came under fire for fueling the nation’s rising obesity rates, water quietly rose to knock it off the top spot.
Recovery slow as Japan marks 2 years since tsunami
TOKYO (AP) — Amid growing dissatisfaction with the slow pace of recovery, Japan marked the second anniversary Monday of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that left nearly 19,000 people dead or missing and has displaced more than 300,000.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the government intends to make “visible” reconstruction progress and accelerate resettlement of those left homeless by streamlining legal and administrative procedures many blame for the delays.
At observances in Tokyo and in still barren towns along the northeastern coast, those gathered bowed their heads in a moment of silence marking the moment, at 2:46 p.m. on March 11, 2011, when the magnitude 9.0 earthquake — the strongest recorded in Japan’s history — struck off the coast.
What you ‘like’ on Facebook can be revealing
LONDON (AP) — Clicking those friendly blue “like” buttons strewn across the Web may be doing more than marking you as a fan of Coca-Cola or Lady Gaga.
It could out you as gay.
It might reveal how you vote.
It might even suggest that you’re an unmarried introvert with a high IQ and a weakness for nicotine.
That’s the conclusion of a study published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers reported analyzing the likes of more than 58,000 American Facebook users to make guesses about their personalities and behaviour, and even whether they drank, smoked, or did drugs.
EU bans cosmetics with animal-tested ingredients
BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union banned the sale of new cosmetic products containing ingredients tested on animals Monday.
Animal rights groups were quick to cheer the measure, but Cosmetics Europe, a trade body representing the EU’s $93 billion industry, said the ban “acts as a brake on innovation.”
While the industry’s rabbits, mice or guinea pigs used in testing will now be spared, consumers are unlikely to notice immediate changes because products containing ingredients that were tested on animals before the ban can remain on the shelves.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba names new CEO
BEIJING (AP) — Alibaba Group, one of the world’s biggest e-commerce companies, said Monday its executive vice-president will succeed founder Jack Ma as chief executive.
Ma, 48, announced in January he was stepping down as CEO to make way for younger leaders. He stayed on as chairman.
Jonathan Lu Zhaoxi, a 13-year veteran of the company, will take over in May as CEO, said the company, based in the eastern city of Hangzhou.
Icahn signs confidentiality agreement with Dell
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who is fighting Dell Inc. founder Michael Dell’s plan to take the struggling company private, has entered a confidentiality agreement that would give him access to the computer maker’s financial records.
Michael Dell, who is also Dell’s CEO, is planning a $24.4 billion buyout that would make the Round Rock, Texas, company a privately-owned business. But Icahn and other investors say the price of $13.65 per share is too low.
Icahn’s company, Icahn Enterprises, has said it holds a substantial stake in the company.
New BlackBerry coming to the US on March 22
TORONTO (AP) — BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion will launch its new touchscreen smartphone in the U.S. with AT&T on March 22. The release will come several weeks after RIM launched the much-delayed devices elsewhere.
AT&T said Monday that the Z10 will be available for $199.99 with a two-year contract. Sales of the device began in the U.K. and Canada shortly after RIM unveiled the phone in late January.
The redesigned BlackBerry is RIM’s attempt at a comeback. The pioneering brand lost its cachet not long after Apple’s 2007 release of the iPhone, which reset consumers’ expectations for what a smartphone should do.
By The Associated Press(equals)
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 50.22 points to end the day at 14,447.29, an increase of 0.3 per cent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index edged up 5.04 points, or 0.3 per cent, to close at 1,556.22. The Nasdaq composite added 8.51 points to 3,252.87.
Benchmark oil rose 11 cents to end at $92.06 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price many kinds of oil imported by U.S. refineries, fell 63 cents to finish at $110.22 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
Wholesale gasoline fell 5 cents to end at $3.15 a gallon. Heating oil slipped 1 cent to finish at $2.97 a gallon. Natural gas rose 2 cents to end at $3.65 per 1,000 cubic feet.