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Amazon spending more than $100 million on original content in third-quarter

By Deepa Seetharaman SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc is spending more than $100 million on original video content in the third quarter, considerably higher than its spending a year ago and in the second quarter, Chief Financial Officer Tom Szkutak said on Thursday. The largest U.S. online retailer, which also reported a larger-than-expected second-quarter loss Thursday, is beefing up its digital content. Szkutak told analysts during a call that members of Amazon's Prime membership program are increasingly streaming free videos online.

Black box found at Air Algerie wreckage site

People work in the French Foreign Affairs ministry's crisis center in Paris Friday, July 25, 2014, after a plane crashed in Mali. At least 116 people were killed in Thursday’s disaster, nearly half of whom were French. One of two black boxes was recovered from the wreckage in the Gossi region of Mali near the border with Burkina Faso, and was taken to the northern city of Gao, where a French contingent is based. (AP Photo/Kenzo Tribouillard, Pool) PARIS (AP) — French soldiers secured a black box from the Air Algerie wreckage site in a desolate region of restive northern Mali on Friday, the French president said. Terrorism hasn't been ruled out as a cause, although officials say the most likely reason for the catastrophe that killed all onboard is bad weather.


Skol! It's Friday, and Gallup poll says beer makes comeback

Americans' Favorite Adult Beverage Is … Beer! More Americans say they prefer a pint over a glass of vino or a cocktail, according to a new Gallup poll. This year, 41 percent of U.S. drinking adults said they typically choose beer; This is the strongest showing for beer in the United States since the drink's popularity tumbled in 2005, though it still has a long way to go to climb back up to its heyday in the '90s when almost half of Americans said they preferred it, Gallup noted.


Israel kills senior Gaza militant, mulls next move

Smoke from an Israeli strike rises over the Gaza Strip, Friday, July 25, 2014. An Israeli defense official says the Israeli Security Cabinet is meeting to discuss international ceasefire efforts, but also the option of expanding its eight-day-old ground operation in Gaza. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis) JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli aircraft struck 30 houses in the Gaza Strip early Friday, killing a leader of the militant Islamic Jihad group and two of his sons, as Israel's Security Cabinet was to decide whether to expand its operation or consider ideas for a cease-fire.


Russian execs fear lasting damage from plane crash

FILE - In this Monday, July 21, 2014 pool file photo Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during a meeting in Samara, Russia. Having for months dismissed Western sanctions on Russia as toothless, business leaders here are now afraid that the crash of the Malaysian jetliner will bring about an international isolation that will cause serious and lasting economic damage. The U.S. and EU are still playing something similar to “good cop, bad cop” with Russia, said Chris Weafer of the Moscow-based Macro-Advisory, but it remains to be seen whether the Malaysian plane crash will be a game changer for Russia’s economy. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service, File) MOSCOW (AP) — Having for months dismissed Western sanctions on Russia as toothless, business leaders here are now afraid that the crash of the Malaysian jetliner will bring about an international isolation that will cause serious and lasting economic damage.


Cause sought for gunfight between patient, doctor

A hospital worker views police activity near the scene of a shooting at a wellness center attached to Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pa., on Thursday, July 24, 2014. A doctor grazed by gunfire from a patient who had entered his office in a suburban hospital's psychiatric unit stopped him by returning fire with his own gun and injuring him, authorities said. (AP Photo) DARBY, Pa. (AP) — Authorities are attempting to determine why a man identified as a patient fatally shot a caseworker at a hospital complex in a Philadelphia suburb and whether a psychiatrist who pulled out his own gun and wounded the patient had concerns about him.


Cause of South Korea ferry businessman's death indeterminate

FATAL SOUTH KOREA FERRY OWNER DEAD South Korea's has hit a possibly permanent forensic roadblock.


Ukraine on edge of political meltdown

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk gestures as he addresses members of parliament during a parliamentary session in Kiev on July 24, 2014 Shock resignation of prime minister, continued combat at MH17 site. What else can go wrong?


10 Things to Know for Today

FILE - In a Monday, Jan. 17, 2011 file photo, gun violence protesters participate in a lie-in during an anti-gun rally at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. Nearly six in 10 Americans want stricter gun laws in the aftermath of last month's deadly school shooting in Connecticut, with majorities favoring a nationwide ban on military-style, rapid-fire weapons and limits on gun violence depicted in video games and movies and on TV, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. A lopsided 84 percent of adults would like to see the establishment of a federal standard for background checks for people buying guns at gun shows, the poll showed. President Barack Obama was set Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 to unveil a wide-ranging package of steps for reducing gun violence expected to include a proposed ban on assault weapons, limits on the capacity of ammunition magazines and universal background checks for gun sales. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File) Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:


Iraq Sunni militias pinched by jihadis, corruption

FILE - In this Saturday, March 28, 2009 file photo, Sahwa, or Awakening Council members stand guard in the Dora area of southern Baghdad, Iraq. Over the past month, militants led by the extremist Islamic State group overpowered the military and the Sahwa, seizing control of most of the Sunni-dominated areas of Iraq. The jihadis have systematically killed dozens of former Sahwa leaders, forced others to flee and recruited the remaining foot soldiers through intimidation. (AP Photo/Loay Hameed, File) BAGHDAD (AP) — Wisam al-Hardan's cellphone rang late into the night. He let it ring on and on. He couldn't bear to answer.


'There are, alas, no survivors'

An arrival information screen shows the delayed Air Algerie flight 5017 The plane crashed in northern Mali, killing all 116 people on board.


Ukraine reports overnight rebel attacks on border

Pro-Russian fighters ride a airborne self-propelled artillery gun Nona in downtown Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Thursday, July 24, 2014. While the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 last week riveted international attention on the Ukraine conflict, locals have been struggling for months with spiraling violence. The Ukrainian military, buoyed after the fall of rebel stronghold Slovyansk this month, is now trying to encircle Donetsk and cut off any supply routes from Russia. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky) MOSCOW (AP) — The Ukrainian army on Friday claimed that soldiers came under artillery fire from the Russian side of the border overnight and were attacked by rebels in several other places in the restive east.


Central American leaders convening at White House

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, is seen with Guatemalan President Otto Molina, right, and Honduran President Juan Hernández on Thursday, July 24, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Obama administration is weighing giving refugee status to young people from Honduras as part of a plan to slow the influx of unaccompanied minors arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, White House officials said Thursday. The plan would involve screening youths in Honduras, one of the world's most violent nations, to determine whether they qualify for refugee status. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke) WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is summoning Central American leaders to the White House to discuss the influx of young immigrants from their countries to the U.S., hoping to show presidential action even as Congress remains deeply split over proposals to stem the crisis on the border.


Transcript shows concerns during Arizona execution

FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Arizona Department of Corrections shows inmate Joseph Rudolph Wood. Wood took nearly two hours to die and gasped for about 90 minutes during his execution in Arizona on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Arizona Department of Corrections, File) FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) — U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake was attending a ceremony for a judicial colleague when he received an urgent — and unusual — request: Lawyers for a condemned inmate wanted him to stop an execution that didn't seem to be working.


Hamas tunnel threat at center of war with Israel

FILE - In this Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013 file photo, Israeli soldiers walk through a tunnel discovered near the Israel Gaza border. They’ve been dubbed “lower Gaza,” compared to the Underground, the Metro or the subway and depicted as a bone-chilling, strategic threat to Israel. Hamas’ web of tunnels is taking center stage in the relentless conflict between the militant group and Israel, with Israel’s ground offensive placing their destruction as a key objective. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File) JERUSALEM (AP) — A network of tunnels Palestinian militants have dug from Gaza to Israel — dubbed "lower Gaza" by the Israeli military — is taking center stage in the latest war between Hamas and Israel.


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

A box from Amazon.com is pictured on the porch of a house in Golden By Deepa Seetharaman SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com 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.


Amazon's 'Fire' smartphone contains chips from Qualcomm, Samsung, NXP

An Amazon Fire smartphone is seen opened up during a teardown procedure in a handout picture provided by iFixit By Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc's new "Fire" smartphone contains chips from Qualcomm Inc, NXP Semiconductors NV, and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, according to repair and teardown specialists iFixit, which pried one open on Thursday. The Fire phone also houses chips from Synaptics Inc and Skyworks Solutions Inc, said the repair outfit, which made a name for itself taking apart devices like Apple Inc's iPhone and identifying its internal components.


House GOP clears way for anti-Obama lawsuit

U.S. President Barack Obama pauses while he delivers remarks about Ukraine while in the press briefing room at the White House in Washington Over Democratic objections, Republicans cleared the way Thursday for a House vote on legislation authorizing an election-year lawsuit accusing President Barack Obama of failing to implement the 4-year-old health care law as it was written.


Israeli shells kill 15 at U.N. school

A Palestinian family, who fled the UN school that was hit by an Israeli tank shell, arrive at the Beit Hanun hospital on July 24, 2014 Gaza death toll hits 788.


Gaza toll tops 800 as truce efforts intensify

Israeli fire pushed the Palestinian death toll in Gaza to above 800 Friday, as the US and UN pressed Israel and Hamas to agree a humanitarian ceasefire and thrash out a durable truce In the West Bank, demonstrations began as Palestinian factions declared a "Day of Rage" after a night of clashes over Israel's Gaza offensive that left one Palestinian dead.

Wreckage of Air Algerie plane carrying 116 people found in Mali

Air Algerie plane carrying 116 people disappears from radar Authorities said on Thursday they located the wreckage of an Air Algerie flight after it crashed in northern Mali carrying 116 passengers and crew, nearly half of them French, en route from Burkina Faso to Algeria. Two French Mirage fighter jets and United Nations helicopters on Thursday had for hours hunted for the wreck of the McDonnell Douglas MD-83 plane in remote northern Mali, a region prey to scattered Islamist militants and Tuareg separatist fighters. Malian state television said the wreckage of the flight was discovered between the town of Gossi and the Burkina Faso border.


Hospital attack: Doctor fired back

Investigators work the scene of a shooting Thursday, July 24, 2014, at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pa. A shooting at the suburban Philadelphia hospital campus has killed one worker and injured two other people. Prosecutor Jack Whelan says one of the injured is the gunman. (AP Photo) Police: A doctor grazed by a patient's gunfire returned fire with his own gun.


New videos add to scrutiny of police-administered chokeholds

New Chokehold Controversy For NYPD As Spike Lee Weighs In It is a potentially deadly maneuver that New York police have been banned from using for 21 years, but on Thursday the force confirmed it was probing what seemed to be a second case of an officer using a choke hold within a single week. The investigation of the incident comes just days after videos emerged showing police using a choke hold on a Staten Island man, Eric Garner, as he was being arrested for selling untaxed cigarettes. While trying to handcuff the suspect, identified as Ronald Johns, a police officer can be seen in the videos punching him in the head and using an arm to grip Johns around his neck during a struggle on the station floor.


Ohio woman gets 32 years for enslaving mentally disabled woman

FILE - This undated file photo released by the Ashland County Sheriff's Office shows Jessica L. Hunt. A jury in March found Jordie Callahan, 27, guilty of forced labor, conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and a drug charge. That jury found the girlfriend, Hunt, guilty of the same three charges. She is expected to be sentenced Thursday, July 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Ashland County Sheriffs Office, File) An Ohio woman convicted along with her boyfriend of enslaving a mentally disabled woman in their home for nearly two years through intimidation, threats and abuse was sentenced Thursday to 32 years in federal prison, the U.S. attorney's office said.


AH5017: Missing plane seen 'falling' in Mali

Météo, attentat, missile... quelles hypothèses après le crash de l'avion d'Air Algérie Official: Air Algerie flight that disappeared with 116 people on board seen "falling" in northern Mali.


Website lets donors pay Detroit residents' overdue water bills

People hold a banner against the mass water shut-offs to Detroit citizens behind in their payments, during a protest in downtown Detroit By Aaron Foley DETROIT (Reuters) - Widespread water shutoffs in Detroit have led to the creation of a website that allows donors to anonymously pay the overdue bills of residents in the bankrupt city, a site organizer said on Thursday. Recent efforts by the cash-strapped municipal water authority to collect tens of millions of dollars in overdue bills has attracted international attention and critics say the disconnections are inhumane and unfair to the poor. The donor site, DetroitWaterProject.org, was born from a Twitter conversation between programmer Tiffani Bell of Fayetteville, North Carolina and designer Kristy Tillman of Boston who were concerned about the water issue, Bell said in an email. Customers with delinquent bills share their account information with the site, where they are matched with donors.


Earth survived near-miss from 2012 solar storm: NASA

Back in 2012, the Sun erupted with a powerful solar storm that just missed the Earth but was big enough to "knock modern civilization back to the 18th century," NASA said. The extreme space weather that tore through Earth's orbit on July 23, 2012, was the most powerful in 150 years, according to a statement posted on the US space agency website Wednesday. "If the eruption had occurred only one week earlier, Earth would have been in the line of fire," said Daniel Baker, professor of atmospheric and space physics at the University of Colorado. Instead the storm cloud hit the STEREO-A spacecraft, a solar observatory that is "almost ideally equipped to measure the parameters of such an event," NASA said.

Zillow in talks to buy rival real-estate website Trulia: Source

(Reuters) - U.S. real estate website operator Zillow Inc Z.O is in advanced talks to buy smaller rival Trulia Inc TRLA.N, according to people familiar with the matter. Trulia shares jumped as much as 40.5 percent to $57 on Thursday, valuing the company at $2.10 billion, after Bloomberg News reported Zillow may reach a deal to buy the company as soon as next week. The stock ended up 32 percent at $53.74 on the New York Stock Exchange. The proposed acquisition would allow the company to corner a larger share of online spending on real estate listings and advertising.

Google under fire from regulators on EU privacy ruling

A Google search page is reflected in sunglasses in this photo illustration taken in Brussels By Julia Fioretti BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Google's GOOGL.O handling of "right to be forgotten" requests from European citizens came under fire by regulators after the search engine company restricted the removal of Internet links to European sites only, a person familiar with the matter said. Regulators quizzed Google over its decision to remove search results only from its European search engines such as google.co.uk, which means that anyone can easily access the same information by switching to the widely used google.com, said the source, who was present at the meeting. The European Union's top court in May ruled that people have a right to request that years-old personal information that is no longer relevant be removed from Internet search results. Google has so far approved more than half of roughly 90,000 incoming requests, sought additional information in about 15 percent of cases, and rejected around 30 percent of them, according to a source close to the company.


Islamic State blows up 'Jonah's tomb'

Iraqi jihadists have blown up 'Jonah's tomb,' one of Mosul's most well-known shrines, an official said. Official: Iraqi jihadists have destroyed one of Mosul's most well-known shrines.


Satellites show massive Southwest groundwater loss

California Drought Causes Largest Water Loss In State History Groundwater losses from the Colorado River basin appear massive enough to challenge long-term water supplies for the seven states and parts of Mexico that it serves, according to a new study released Thursday that used NASA satellites.


Facebook goes express to mega-cap status - now valued more than AT&T, Coke

A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Facebook logo as he poses with an Dell laptop in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica By Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) - In the days after its infamously mishandled initial public offering in May 2012, it looked as if Facebook would struggle to become a must-own for fund managers. The gains represent a reversal of fortune for the social media company.


U.S.: Russia planning more powerful attacks against separatists

Two pro-Russia separatists, one with a Russian national flag attached on his uniform, stand at a checkpoint near the front line in the northern outskirts of city of Donetsk, on July 22, 2014 The Obama administration on Thursday accused Russia of firing artillery from its territory into Ukraine to hit Ukrainian military sites and asserted that Moscow is boosting its supply of weaponry to pro-Russian separatists.


Police: 3 shot at Pennsylvania hospital, suspect in custody

1 dead, 2 injured on campus of hospital in Delaware County; 1 in custody Three people were shot at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pennsylvania, on Thursday and one person was in custody, according to NBC10 television station in Philadelphia. Darby Borough Police were at the scene of the hospital, about 7 miles (11 km) west of Philadelphia, according to NBC10. Authorities said a 911 call identified one of the victims as a doctor but police had not confirmed the identity, NBC10 reported.


Court throws out Chiquita terror payment claims tied to thousands of deaths

How the Chiquita Merger Will Change America's Fruited Plains A divided U.S. federal appeals court has thrown out claims against produce giant Chiquita Brands International made by thousands of Colombians killed during years of civil war.


'Horrifically botched' Phoenix execution prompts death penalty outrage

USA-ARIZONA/EXECUTION By David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - Lawyers for a double-murderer whose lethal injection in Arizona dragged on for two hours called for an outside review of the "horrifically botched execution" and prompted new calls on Thursday for the United States to abandon the death penalty. The ordeal in putting Joseph Wood to death on Wednesday at a prison facility southeast of Phoenix followed lethal injections that went awry this year in Ohio and Oklahoma, renewing the U.S. debate over capital punishment. Corrections officials said Wood was never in pain but Rob Freer, a U.S. researcher with human-rights group Amnesty International, asked, "How many more times do officials need to be reminded of the myth of the 'humane execution' before they give up on their experiment with judicial killing?" States that impose the death penalty have been scrambling to find new suppliers of chemical combinations to use in lethal injections after their former suppliers, primarily European drug makers, objected to having their products used to put people to death.


Dutch sending unarmed police to MH17 crash site

A convoy of hearses bearing the remains of passengers and crew killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 makes its way along a highway near Boxtel, Netherlands, Thursday, July 24, 2014. The second flight of two military aircraft carrying remains of victims arrived in the Netherlands on Thursday. The bodies are to be taken to a military barracks in Hilversum, where a team of 25 forensic experts and dozens of support staff began working to identify remains Wednesday evening after coffins of the first flight arrived. (AP Photo/Phil Nijhuis) The Dutch prime minister says he is sending 40 unarmed military police to eastern Ukraine as part of a ramped-up effort to find the last victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 still at the wreckage site.


1 killed, 2 injured in shooting at Pennsylvania hospital

Investigators work the scene of a shooting Thursday, July 24, 2014, at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pa. A shooting at the suburban Philadelphia hospital campus has killed one worker and injured two other people. Prosecutor Jack Whelan says one of the injured is the gunman. (AP Photo) A shooting at a suburban Philadelphia hospital campus has killed one worker and injured two other people.


Mother, daughter die of burns from food truck explosion

PHOTOS: Food truck explodes in Feltonville A mother and daughter have died from burns they suffered when a propane tank exploded in the family's food truck in Philadelphia earlier this month, authorities said on Thursday. Jaylin Landaverry Galdamez, 17, and her mother, Olga Galdamez, 42, each were burned on more than 50 percent of their bodies from the explosion on July 2, authorities said. They died just days apart, the mother on July 20 and the daughter on July 22, said Jeff Moran, spokesman for the Philadelphia Medical Examiners Office. The pair was working in the truck at the time of the blast, which sent a propane tank flying 150 feet and injured nine other people.


Expert: ‘I’ve never seen a week like this'

An Air Algerie Airways plane prepares to land at Houari Boumediene Airport in Algiers Aviation expert William J. McGee puts recent crashes in context.


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