Macedonia declares state of emergency after 21 die in flash floods

2016-08-08 20:12:47

SKOPJE Macedonia declared a state of emergency in its capital Skopje and neighboring districts on Sunday, a day after at least 21 people were killed in flash floods caused by a storm.Torrential rains flooded homes, swept away a section of the ring road around Skopje and wrecked cars late on Saturday evening. Northern suburbs of the capital were particularly hard hit, though the city center also suffered flash floods.Children were among those killed, a police spokesman said, adding that searches were continuing for six people who have been reported missing.Macedonia, a small former Yugoslav republic of about two million people, has declared Monday a day of national mourning. "This is a catastrophe of unprecedented magnitude," Deputy Prime Minister Nikola Todorov told reporters.Special police forces and trucks loaded with drinking water were sent to the worst affected areas, where there also have been some electricity outages and where scattered debris of furniture swept away from houses could be seen on the streets, a Reuters reporter said. The rain had stopped by Sunday morning and water levels were receding, though there was some more rain on Sunday evening in Skopje. There were no reports of further flash flooding. European Union Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn said on Twitter that the EU stood ready to help Macedonia, which is a candidate to join the bloc. Further north in the Balkans, in Croatia, heavy winds caused disruptions on some roads, including the closure of the highway linking the capital Zagreb to southern coast for lorries and buses, local media said. (Additional reporting by Igor Ilic in Zagreb; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Gareth Jones)

Typhoon Nida shuts Hong Kong, more than 150 flights canceled

2016-08-02 11:59:01

HONG KONG Typhoon Nida swept through Hong Kong on Tuesday, shutting down most of the financial hub and disrupting hundreds of flights with gale-force winds, while low-lying areas were put on flood alert. Hong Kong's first major typhoon this year brought gusts of more than 100 km per hour (62 mph) and prompted authorities to issue an amber warning, signifying heavy rain, at 5.20 a.m. Hong Kong time. More than 150 flights were canceled, the Airport Authority said, with Cathay Pacific and Dragonair warning none of their flights would be operating until 2 p.m. at the earliest. Thousands of passengers were stranded at the airport and about 325 flights are expected to be rescheduled. The city's ferry, tram and bus services gradually resumed in the afternoon after the Hong Kong Observatory lowered the tropical cyclone warning to 3 from 8, shortly after midday. Trading in Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx), including Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect trading, and the derivatives market, would be suspended for the rest of the day.The Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange Society suspended trading on Tuesday morning.Streets had been largely deserted and shops shuttered since Monday evening when the typhoon signal 8 was hoisted, prompting many people to leave work early. Nida was moving inland and winds near its center had showed signs of weakening, the Hong Kong Observatory said.Across the border, part of Guangdong province closed offices, factories and schools as the typhoon swept across the southern part of the metropolis of Guangzhou. Airports in the southern part of the province, including Shenzhen and Zhuhai, canceled most flights while more than 35,000 people were evacuated, state media reported. Last month, Typhoon Nepartak drove at least 420,000 people from their homes and caused more than 7.1 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) in losses in China's Fujian province alone. (Reporting By Anne Marie Roantree; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Beijing and Yimou Lee in Hong Kong; Editing by Michael Perry, Robert Birsel)

Apple wins dismissal of lawsuit over MacBook logic boards

2016-07-25 16:43:16

Apple Inc won the dismissal on Thursday of a lawsuit accusing it of defrauding consumers by selling MacBook laptop computers that contained "logic boards" it knew were defective, and which routinely failed within two years.U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco said the plaintiffs, Uriel Marcus and Benedict Verceles, failed to show that Apple made "affirmative misrepresentations," despite citing online complaints and Apple marketing statements calling the laptops "state of the art" or the "most advanced" on the market."Plaintiffs have failed to allege that Apple's logic boards were unfit for their ordinary purposes or lacked a minimal level of quality," Alsup wrote. "Both plaintiffs were able to adequately use their computers for approximately 18 months and two years, respectively."Alsup gave the plaintiffs until Jan. 22 to amend their lawsuit, which sought class-action status, against the Cupertino, California-based company. Omar Rosales, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Apple did not immediately respond to a similar request.The plaintiffs claimed that Apple's sale of MacBooks since May 20, 2010, violated consumer protection laws in California and Texas, where the lawsuit began last May before being moved.They also contended that Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook was told about the defective logic boards in 2011, but did nothing. Logic boards contain computer circuitry and are sometimes known as motherboards.A separate and still pending lawsuit in California accuses Apple of defrauding consumers by selling MacBook Pro laptops in 2011 that contained defective graphic cards, causing screen distortions and system failures. MacBooks are part of Apple's Mac line of desktop and laptop computers. The company reported unit sales in that business of 18.91 million in its latest fiscal year.The case is Marcus et al v. Apple Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 14-03824. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York. Editing by Andre Grenon)

Apple wins dismissal of lawsuit over MacBook logic boards

2016-07-19 14:09:09

Apple Inc won the dismissal on Thursday of a lawsuit accusing it of defrauding consumers by selling MacBook laptop computers that contained "logic boards" it knew were defective, and which routinely failed within two years.U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco said the plaintiffs, Uriel Marcus and Benedict Verceles, failed to show that Apple made "affirmative misrepresentations," despite citing online complaints and Apple marketing statements calling the laptops "state of the art" or the "most advanced" on the market."Plaintiffs have failed to allege that Apple's logic boards were unfit for their ordinary purposes or lacked a minimal level of quality," Alsup wrote. "Both plaintiffs were able to adequately use their computers for approximately 18 months and two years, respectively."Alsup gave the plaintiffs until Jan. 22 to amend their lawsuit, which sought class-action status, against the Cupertino, California-based company. Omar Rosales, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Apple did not immediately respond to a similar request.The plaintiffs claimed that Apple's sale of MacBooks since May 20, 2010, violated consumer protection laws in California and Texas, where the lawsuit began last May before being moved.They also contended that Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook was told about the defective logic boards in 2011, but did nothing. Logic boards contain computer circuitry and are sometimes known as motherboards.A separate and still pending lawsuit in California accuses Apple of defrauding consumers by selling MacBook Pro laptops in 2011 that contained defective graphic cards, causing screen distortions and system failures. MacBooks are part of Apple's Mac line of desktop and laptop computers. The company reported unit sales in that business of 18.91 million in its latest fiscal year.The case is Marcus et al v. Apple Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 14-03824. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York. Editing by Andre Grenon)

Masterful Murray delivers again for grateful nation

2016-07-12 02:14:07

LONDON Cometh the hour, cometh the man -- Andy Murray proved himself the bastion of British tennis once again as he outclassed Canadian powerhouse Milos Raonic to claim a second Wimbledon title in masterful fashion on Sunday.Three years after a nation held its breath, more in hope than expectation, as Murray took on and defeated ironman Novak Djokovic to end 77 years of pain, the 29-year-old delivered another command performance, winning 6-4 7-6(3) 7-6(2).It was more comfortable than the scoreline suggested as a razor-sharp Murray dictated play from start to finish.He committed a miserly 12 unforced errors, blunted the 140mph first serves whizzing his way and even reduced the normally Zen-like Raonic to venting his frustration.The near hysteria of 2013 turned to expectation this time as defending champion Djokovic, Murray's bogeyman who beat him in this year's Australian and French Open finals, lost early.It left the door open for Murray and when sixth seed Raonic knocked out seven-times champion Roger Federer to scupper hopes of a dream finale, many appeared to take for granted that the Scot would be hugging the Challenge Cup again before he walked on Centre Court to contest his 11th grand slam final.Understandably so, seeing as he had started the previous 10, all against Djokovic and Federer, as underdog.That created its own pressure but Murray hid it well in a near-faultless two hours 48 minutes in the Centre Court sunshine as he added a second Wimbledon crown to his 2012 U.S. Open title and gold medal from the London Olympics.He is expected to head to Serbia next week for a Davis Cup quarter-final, having almost single-handedly won the trophy for Britain last year. Then it's on to Rio to defend his Olympic crown.No wonder the player once regarded as a surly teenager with bad hair is now a British sporting icon. DELIRIOUS MURRAYWhen Raonic shoved a backhand into the net to end the contest, a delirious Murray roared to the sky before bursting into tears as his latest achievement sunk in."I feel happier this time. I feel like this was sort of more for myself," Murray, who became a father in February with wife Kim, who watched from the front row of his box, told reporters."The last time it was just pure relief and I didn't really enjoy the moment as much."I'm going to make sure I enjoy this one more."For Raonic, who had been hoping to become Canada's first grand slam singles champion, there were no regrets. He knew he had been beaten by the better player, although there was much in his grand slam final debut to admire."This one is going to sting so I'm going to make sure that as long as these courts are green I'll do everything I can to be back here for another chance," the 25-year-old said on court."Andy has been playing great and he deserves to be winning here for the second time."I was keeping up with him. But when it counted, I wasn't able to get on top."FINAL SHOWDOWN The final was billed as a showdown between one of the world's biggest servers and arguably the best returner.Raonic did blast one down at 147mph, the fastest delivery of the tournament, but the free points he usually enjoys were missing as Murray sent the ball hurtling back time and again.Murray only broke serve once but always seemed in control as the Canadian struggled to apply any sustained pressure.The first chink in Raonic's armor came in the seventh game when Murray went 15-40 ahead. The Scot just missed with one attempted pass but converted his second break point when a powerful forehand forced a Raonic volley error.Murray had break points in the first, seventh and ninth games of the second set as he tightened his grip, but Raonic was cool under pressure and took it to a tiebreak.Upping the ante, Murray found another gear to move two sets clear and within sight of victory.The match was more than two hours old when Raonic finally had two break points at 2-2 in the third set, but Murray saved both to hold -- gesticulating wildly toward his coach Ivan Lendl who sat impassively throughout the match.Raonic held to stay alive at 4-5 and 5-6 but rock solid Murray was relentless, winning the first five points of the day's second tiebreak and wrapping it up without any drama.(This version of the story has been refiled to correct speed of serve to 147mph in para 21) (Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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