sexta-feira, 26 de agosto de 2011

State Of Emergency: New York City Prepares for Hurricane Irene

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency as Hurricane Irene nears.

"In this emergency I am activating all levels of state government to prepare for any situation that may be caused by Hurricane Irene," Cuomo said in a statement obtained by the New York Daily News. "We are communicating with our federal and local partners to track the storm and to plan a coordinated response, and we will deploy resources as needed to the areas expected to be hit the hardest. I urge New Yorkers to personally prepare for hurricane conditions and to cooperate with emergency officials if needed."

The storm, which has forced 200,000 to evacuate North Carolina, may hit New York City this weekend. If the storm passes over the city, the MTA, fearing floods, might have to shut down operations.

On Thursday, the "cone" of the storm moved West, so that it currently looks like the storm will pass over Queens and Brooklyn, not Long Island.

Mayor Bloomberg said Thursday that senior homes and hospitals in designated "Zone A" areas must evacuate, unless the particular facility can withstand such a storm. "We're trying to take precautions for the most vulnerable."

The mayor also said that by 8am Saturday, the city will decide whether or not to enforce a mandatory evacuation for Zone A residents.

New York, unlike Florida or other Hurricane-prone cities, appears to be unprepared for such an event, though the Office of Emergency Management released an enlightening PDF on preparing for a natural disaster. Or you could browse a list of evacuation routes here. The International Business Times also has a good story on the dangers of a hurricane hitting New York.

While the category 3 hurricane of 1938 in Long Island killed 50, a new storm would wreak far worse havoc in those areas, according to the New York Times. "The dense development of towns on eastern Long Island in the decades since the 1938 storm could mean tremendous losses in a future storm."

Reuters writes that the last serious storm to hit New York was in 1821, "causing a 13 feet storm surge that inundated the entirety of lower Manhattan."

Mayor Bloomberg is urging New York City residents living in low-lying areas to line up a place to stay on high ground ahead of possible evacuations this weekend due to Hurricane.

quinta-feira, 25 de agosto de 2011

Apple stock drops as Steve Jobs resigns chief executive role

Steve Jobs's resignation as Apple chief executive has wiped billions of dollars off its stock market value as traders fret over the company's long-term future without its visionary leader.

The news of Jobs' departure came after the close of New York trading, but Apple shares fell 5% in after-hours trading on Wednesday night. Apple shares traded in Frankfurt dropped 4.5% in early trading on Thursday.

A 5% decline wipes more than $17bn (£10.3bn) off Apple's stock market value, sending it down from $348bn to $330.5bn, just two weeks after it briefly became the world's most valuable company.

Apple stock has enjoyed a stellar run under Jobs. The shares had hit a low of $3.19 in July 1997, a few months after Jobs rejoined the company he had co-founded in 1976. They climbed steadily to almost $200 by the end of 2007 thanks to the success of the iPod and the iPhone, and resurgent demand for Apple's desktop and laptop computers.

Apple stock fell back below $90 in early 2009, as shares slumped around the world, but quadrupled after that – thanks to a stream of record-breaking profits and impressive new launches, notably the iPad.

Shares in some of Apple's rivals rose in Asia overnight, as investors anticipated that Apple might stumble. Samsung Electronics, which is embroiled in a legal battle with Apple over its tablet computer, gained 2.4%, while smartphone maker HTC closed 1.35% higher.

Jobs's departure has been anticipated for some time, and his successor Tim Cook is highly respected. Many analysts believe Apple remains in safe hands, especially as Cook has been running Apple since the start of 2011, when Jobs took his third period of medical leave since being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2004.

"While this marks the end of an era for Apple, it's important to remember the there's more to Apple than any one person, even Steve Jobs," said Michael Gartenberg, research director at Gartner. "Continuing as chairman, Mr Jobs will continue to leave his mark on both the company and products even as he transfers the reigns to Mr Cook."

Ovum chief analyst Jan Dawson believes it would be illogical for Apple's value to fall immediately.

"The short-term selloff of Apple shares immediately after the announcement is driven by fears that Apple will not continue to perform as it has, once Steve Jobs leaves the CEO role. However, these fears appear relatively unfounded at least in the short-term. Tim Cook, formerly COO [chief operating officer] and now CEO, has been in day-to-day charge of Apple not only since January, but during two previous periods when Steve Jobs's health prompted extended absences. On all three occasions, Steve Jobs was nevertheless involved in major decisions and continued to set strategy for the company. His new role as chairman suggests this will continue to be the case even if he does not sit at a desk in Cupertino for eight hours every day."

Dawson acknowledged, though, that Jobs's move has long-term ramifications for the company.

"Steve Jobs has provided both strategic vision and personal leadership at the top of the company, as arguably the most visible and well-known CEO of any technology company today. Tim Cook will not step easily into either of these roles, as a safe pair of hands but hardly a visionary or a charismatic figure."

terça-feira, 23 de agosto de 2011

Back To School Tech Supplies: Gadgets For Students

Summer is coming to an end and that means students across the country are prepping for the trek back to school.

Pencils, notebooks, and binders are the basic necessities for any pupil, but students shouldn't forget to gear-up with this year's latest tech as well. From note-taking apps and noise-canceling headphones to soda-powered alarm clocks and digital textbooks, we've compiled a wide-ranging list of high-tech school supplies for students to help them ease the stress of a busy schedule, study for exams, write papers, take notes in class, and much more. The items in this guide are meant to be practical, affordable, and fun.

Whether you're in college, high school, middle school or simply a caring parent, these tech accessories will help any student achieve high-marks in class--and unwind when the cramming is over.

Libya Rebels Attack Qaddafi Compound

BENGHAZI, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Libyan rebels have launched heavy attacks at the Bab al-Aziziyah compound of embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi in Tripoli, Arab television Al Arabiya reported Tuesday.

A rebel official told the Dubai-based channel that rebel forces "are trying to enter the fortified stronghold through the Old Gate on the western side."

segunda-feira, 22 de agosto de 2011

Strauss-Kahn case 'may be dropped´

The sexual assault case against former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn is likely to be dropped by New York prosecutors, an official close to the case said.

The source claimed prosecutors will probably tell his accuser that they will not pursue the case because of doubts about her credibility and a lack of evidence proving a forced sexual encounter.

A lawyer for Strauss-Kahn did not immediately respond after the New York Post first reported prosecutors' likely decision. The Manhattan District Attorney's office has also declined to comment.

Strauss-Kahn has been accused of trying to rape a hotel maid. He denies the charges.

The likely developments would bring a formal end to the case at Strauss-Kahn's next court date on Tuesday, when prosecutors may ask a judge to dismiss the charges and might elaborate on their reasoning.

The case had teetered after capturing international attention as a seeming cauldron of sex, violence, power and politics: A promising French presidential contender, known in his homeland as "the Great Seducer", accused of a brutal and contemptuous attack on an African immigrant who came to clean his plush hotel suite.

The stakes were high for both Strauss-Kahn - who resigned his IMF post, spent nearly a week behind bars and then spent possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars on house arrest - and for District Attorney (DA) Cyrus R Vance Jr, who was handling the biggest case he has had during his 18 months in office.

One of Strauss-Kahn's lawyers, Benjamin Brafman, did not immediately respond to an email message on Sunday, after the New York Post first reported prosecutors' likely decision to drop the case. The DA's office declined to comment.

The hotel maid's lawyer had predicted prosecutors would tell her on Monday they were dropping the case. The attorney, Kenneth Thompson, told France's RTL radio on Sunday that the woman, Nafitassou Diallo, "feels abandoned by the Manhattan District Attorney". The questions raised about her credibility have made her feel "that she's being investigated more than Strauss-Kahn", he said.

Then considered a promising Socialist candidate for the French presidency, Strauss-Kahn, 62, was arrested in May. Diallo, 32, said the diplomat chased her down and forced her to perform oral sex when she arrived to clean his plush suite at the Sofitel hotel in New York. Strauss-Kahn denied the allegations.

domingo, 21 de agosto de 2011

Obama Accuses Congress of Holding Back Recovery

A vacationing President Barack Obama accused Congress on Saturday of holding back the economic recovery by blocking "common sense" measures he said would create jobs and help growth

sábado, 20 de agosto de 2011

Bank of America, the nation's largest bank, plans to eliminate 3,500 jobs during the third quarter, part of a broader effort to cut costs at the bank, whose stock has fallen more than 50 percent since January. The bank has already cut 2,500 jobs this year.

CEO Brian Moynihan told the bank's senior leadership of the plan in a memo sent Thursday. The memo, obtained by several news outlets, suggests that 10,000 more layoffs could be announced next month.

“I know it is tough to have to manage through reductions," Moynihan wrote in the memo, according to The New York Times. “But we owe it to our customers and our shareholders to remain competitive, efficient and manage our expenses carefully.”

According to the Times, Moynihan has pledged to trim quarterly expenses by $1.5 billion, and said in the memo that some of the 3,500 employees have already been notified that their jobs will be cut.

Two sources told Bloomberg that the investment-banking unit will lose 5 percent of its employees, about 600 people.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Bank of America has been under pressure from investors who worry the bank will have trouble meeting new global capital standards.

During the prior week's stock drop, Mr. Moynihan participated in a conference call with 6,000 investors hosted by billionaire investor Bruce Berkowitz, who invited all "skeptics" to join. During the call, Mr. Moynihan promised cost cuts and more noncore asset sales, but the company's shares kept falling. For the week ended Aug. 12, Bank of America shares tumbled 12%.

In his memo Thursday, Moynihan acknowledged "turbulence" but said the company will make it through the current challenges.

The Times adds that pressure has also come from investors "pressing the bank to buy back billions of dollars in securities it assembled from mortgages that later soured." In June, Bank of America agreed to pay $8.5 billion to investors including Pimco, BlackRock and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to settle some of these claims. But since then insurance giant American International Group has filed a lawsuit against Bank of America.

"Investors fear the June settlement may actually spur more litigation, rather than resolve it," the Times reports.

The 6,000 cuts already announced this year represent 2 percent of Bank of America's approximately 287,000 workers, but the bank will remain the nation's largest bank employer, according to Bloomberg. Wells Fargo and Citigroup each employ over 260,000 people.

quinta-feira, 18 de agosto de 2011

Standard & Poor's mortgage ratings investigated by US

The US justice department is investigating Standard & Poor's rating of mortgage securities in the run-up to the financial crisis.

The New York Times reported the investigation began before S&P, the nation's largest credit ratings agency, cut the US's highly prized AAA credit rating earlier this month.

The justice department has been asking about instances in which the agency's analysts wanted to award lower ratings on mortgage bonds but may have been overruled by other S&P business managers.

It is unclear whether the investigation also involves the other two credit ratings agencies, Moody's and Fitch.

During the boom years, the ratings agencies made bumper profits as they awarded top ratings to bundles of troubled mortgage loans, which made them appear less risky. The agencies have been heavily criticised for failing to anticipate problems with the mortgages, which triggered the global financial crisis.

quarta-feira, 17 de agosto de 2011

Opening Post

Hi, im a 31 years old teacher of University of Minho.
I'm opening this blog to let you know a little bit more about world news.
If possible i will post informations frequently , but it depends. If i have work to do i will not post, but if i have time i will make an effort to bring you fresh and updated news.
If you have any questions you can email me to or leave a comment on this blog :D
Manu da Silva