Source Match Local News
By Svea Herbst-Bayliss BOSTON (Reuters) - The homemade bombs that ripped through the crowd at the finish line of last year's Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring 264, showcased the city's medical talent but also taught valuable lessons in responding to a mass disaster. By all accounts, Boston's hospitals performed well after the attacks on April 15, 2013. Looking back, a year after their hospitals were packed with blast victims, Boston officials have tweaked how they prepare for a disaster, now requiring city emergency medical personnel to carry tourniquets and developing a standard method for one city agency to track disaster victims in hospitals.
By Paul Carrel FRANKFURT (Reuters) - As recently as last November, Jens Weidmann steadfastly opposed any move by the European Central Bank to print money to buy assets and buoy the euro zone economy. The Bundesbank chief, known for his hardline stances at the ECB and as head of the German central bank, is now ready to support such quantitative easing (QE) if he and his ECB colleagues deem it necessary. Euro zone inflation has slowed to 0.5 percent from 0.9 percent in November, falling far below the ECB's target of just under 2 percent and stoking fears the bloc could become stuck in a prolonged period of so-called "low-flation", or even sink into outright deflation. Seeking to head off such a drop in inflation expectations, the ECB's governing council said earlier this month it was unanimous in its commitment to use unconventional tools - central bank-speak for things like QE - to counter a protracted period of low inflation.
By Michel Rose and Joe Bavier PARIS/ABIDJAN (Reuters) - France's Total said on Thursday it had discovered oil in a deep offshore area in the west of Ivory Coast, the company's second oil find in a year in the West African country. "This well is the first discovery in the San Pedro Basin, a frontier exploration area in Ivory Coast," Total senior vice president for exploration Marc Blaizot said in a statement. "Having confirmed the presence of a petroleum system containing light oil, we will next evaluate this very promising find and focus on its extension to the north and east." Oil and gas exploration in West Africa's Gulf of Guinea has risen sharply since Ghana discovered its giant Jubilee field in 2007 and brought it to production in record time in late 2010. Ivory Coast, French-speaking West Africa's largest economy, is seeking to accelerate development of its energy sector, neglected during a decade-long political crisis that ended in a brief civil war in 2011.
(Reuters) - Deportations through U.S. immigration courts have fallen 43 percent in the past five years as the federal government brought fewer cases before those courts, according to Justice Department data analyzed by the New York Times on Wednesday. The figures come as President Barack Obama and House of Representatives Republicans clashed openly over immigration- reform legislation that remains stalled in the Republican-led House. Obama, who has made immigration reform a priority, has drawn fire from advocacy groups and been called "deporter in chief" for presiding over an administration that has deported some 2 million people. But his administration brought 26 percent fewer cases in immigration courts in 2013 than in 2009, the New York Times reported.
By Linda Sieg and David Brunnstrom TOKYO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - When U.S. President Barack Obama meets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a summit next week, they will be battling negative undercurrents that could undermine their message that Asia's most important security alliance is firm. Obama, stopping in Tokyo at the beginning of a four-nation Asian trip, must counter worries in Japan that his commitment to its defense in the face of an increasingly assertive China is weak. Abe will be trying to soothe U.S. concerns that his conservative push to recast Japan's war record with a less apologetic tone is overshadowing his pragmatic policies on the economy and security. The two leaders will also need to demonstrate at least the prospect of progress on the economic centerpiece of what the Obama administration calls its strategic "rebalance" to Asia - a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact that would bring together Japan, the United States and 10 other economies.
By Leika Kihara TOKYO (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan maintained its upbeat view on most of the country's regional economies, adding to reassurances from its governor that the world's third-largest economy can ride out the pain from a sales tax hike without additional stimulus. Also on Thursday, a Reuters survey showed manufacturers were more confident about business conditions in April and saw a more moderate dip over the next three months, suggesting the damage from the tax hike may be less pronounced than thought. The optimism may add to a growing consensus in financial markets that the central bank will hold off on easing policy until around July to spend more time scrutinizing the impact from the April 1 tax hike on domestic consumption. In a quarterly report analyzing nine regional sectors of Japan, the BOJ raised its assessment for one and left unchanged its view for the rest to say they are all recovering moderately.
By David Stanway BEIJING (Reuters) - China's capital has ordered more than 50 companies to shut down this year in an effort to cut pollution but pushing factories out could raise objections in surrounding areas reluctant to host Beijing's polluters. Smog-shrouded Beijing and the surrounding province of Hebei have become a front in a "war against pollution" declared by Premier Li Keqiang last month. But experts say efforts to cut coal consumption and industrial output in big cities like Beijing is likely to put pressure on other regions to endure more pollution to keep the economy growing, with overall coal consumption expected to rise by a quarter from 2011 to 2015. "Moving Beijing's plants to Hebei isn't the best way," said Yang Fuqiang, a former government researcher and senior energy and environment adviser with the National Resources Defense Council, a U.S.-based think-tank.
Thursday's hearing in Denver is the second of two hearings on gay marriage that are weighted with legal significance. The cases are the first time an appellate court has considered the ramifications of last year's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The 30-minute hearing on the legality of Oklahoma's gay marriage ban comes one week after a three-judge panel heard a similar case originating from Utah.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Lawyers for two Oklahoma women and the county clerk who would not give them a marriage license go before a federal appeals court with a familiar question for the judges: Did the state's voters single out gay people for unfair treatment when they defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman?
By Kiyoshi Takenaka TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe criticized Beijing for trying to "change the status quo" with force in maritime disputes but said China was a vital economic partner, as a series of visits suggested a possible thaw in ties between the Asian rivals. Sino-Japanese ties have been strained by a territorial row over tiny disputed isles in the East China Sea and perceptions in Beijing that Abe wants to rewrite Japan's wartime history and tone down past apologies. "China's growth is a chance for Japan, and for the world as well. China is Japan's largest trading partner and we are in inseparable relations economically," Abe said at a symposium.
By Alexei Oreskovic and Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Disappointing results from Google Inc and IBM may unnerve investors shaken by a strong recent selloff in tech stocks, underscoring the challenges the Internet and IT sectors face as corporate report cards come due in coming weeks. IBM blamed weak hardware sales for its lowest quarterly revenue in five years, worsened by an 11 percent slide in overall sales in emerging markets including China, Brazil, Russia and India. Like IBM, they have struggled to grow their businesses, particularly in China, whose economy is down-shifting after years of hyper-growth.
By Aileen Wang and Adam Rose BEIJING (Reuters) - China's economy is doing better than official data suggests, the Commerce Ministry said a day after figures showed growth at an 18-month low, adding that targets for exports and imports this year should be met despite some caution over the trade outlook. Ministry spokesman Shen Danyang said a rise in export deliveries, a customs department poll of exporters and growth in trade in individual provinces all showed that the economy was in good shape.
By Lisa Maria Garza WEST, Texas (Reuters) - Still healing from multiple broken bones after the force of the deadly explosion lifted him out of his boots, one volunteer firefighter is missing a few teeth and suffers nerve damage to his right shoulder. "Right now I'm just dealing with the mental aspect of it, the emotional aspect, both of those things I've put off until the very end," said firefighter Robert Payne. In many ways, the tiny, central Texas city of West looks much like it did before a fertilizer plant explosion leveled the surrounding neighborhood on April 17, 2013, killing 15 people and injuring hundreds. The source of the explosion was ammonium nitrate being stored in a wooden container at the plant, investigators said, but they have not identified the cause of the fire that set it off.
IBM Corp, the world's biggest technology services company, reported its lowest quarterly revenue in five years on Wednesday, as Big Blue struggles with falling demand for its hardware and faces challenges in growth markets like China. That has undercut business at some U.S.-based multinationals operating in the world's second-biggest economy.