Servando “La Tuta” Gomez, head of the Knights Templar cartel, was a major target in president Enrique Peña Nieto’s efforts to crack down on drug-related violence in the western state of Michoacan. It’s a timely win for Peña Nieto, who was recently slammed by business groups for failing to halt crime and corruption.
3 hours ago
Italy symbolically acknowledges a Palestinian state.
Lawmakers passed a non-binding resolution recognizing Palestine as a state, in the hopes of encouraging fresh negotiations “to reach a two-state solution” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. This doesn’t change the government’s official stance, which is that a Palestinian state cannot exist unless it results from talks with Israel.
5 hours ago
UnitedHealth plans to regulate hysterectomies.
America’s largest health insurance company now has a “preferred method” for the gynecological procedure (pdf, p. 5), and will only cover alternative methods if a patient’s doctor obtains prior authorization. The decision is partly based on the newly realized risks associated with a particular surgical device used in some laparoscopic hysterectomies.
6 hours ago
The US attorney general says it’s time for shopping malls to “step up” security.
Referencing a recent video from terrorists threatening attacks on shopping centers in the US and other western countries, Eric Holder said that malls should “increase their capabilities when it comes to keeping people safe who are just going about their everyday lives.” Holder, who will soon be out of office, was giving an exit interview to CNN.
February 27, 2015
Apple’s patent troll strikes again.
One day after a jury in Tyler, Texas, ordered Apple to pay Smartflash $533 million for using its patents without permission, Smartflash sued Apple again. This time it wants damages based on sales of Apple’s newer devices. Apple was also hit with a fresh patent infringement suit from Swedish telecom giant Ericsson.
February 27, 2015
Alibaba’s payment arm is preparing for an IPO.
Ant Financial, controlled by Alibaba executives but separate from the Chinese e-commerce giant, could go public in mainland China as early as 2016, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall). The company, which owns Alibaba’s massive e-payment service Alipay, is currently worth “tens of billions of dollars.”
2 hours ago
Chart of the Moment
Brazil’s unemployment rate is spiking after a long decline.
An atheist blogger is hacked to death in Bangladesh.
Avijit Roy, an American of Bangladeshi origin who wrote about liberal secularism, was attacked by men with machetes who also seriously injured his wife. Roy is the second atheist blogger to be killed in Bangladesh in the past two years.
1 hour ago
Leonard Nimoy dies at his home in Los Angeles.
The actor played Mr. Spock in the original Star Trek franchise. It was a character that defined his career and a role which he reprised several times, including in the 2009 Star Trek remake. He died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, attributed to years of smoking.