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In Michigan, Obama presses for higher minimum wage PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press   
Thursday, 03 April 2014 06:12

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Pressing his economic case in an election year, President Barack Obama came to Michigan on Wednesday to praise the state's ongoing effort to raise the minimum wage — and to accuse Republicans who oppose that step in Michigan and in Congress of standing in the way of prosperity for millions of Americans.

An upbeat Obama struck a distinctly partisan tone at the University of Michigan, a day after his administration received an unexpected burst of good news when his health care law beat expectations for its first year of enrollment. Addressing a crowd of about 1,400 in a stadium crowd that included many students, Obama cracked jokes about his GOP foes as he touted his plan to raise federal wages to $10.10 per hour.

"You've got a choice. You can give America the shaft, or you can give it a raise," Obama said.

At Obama's side for his three-hour visit to this Midwest battleground state was Rep. Gary Peters, a Senate candidate embracing the chance to appear with the president before voters this year. Some other Democrats have shied away from Obama amid controversy over his health care plan, but Peters opted to appear with Obama as the president echoed his State of the Union affirmation that no American working full time should live in poverty.

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FDA OKs first hay fever allergy immunotherapy tablet PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by The Associated Press   
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 11:46

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first tablet for gradually reducing hay fever allergy symptoms, an alternative to uncomfortable allergy-desensitizing shots.

Oralair, a tablet that dissolves quickly under the tongue, is approved for patients aged 10 through 65. It's to be taken daily starting four months before grass pollen season to reduce allergic reactions to five grass types.

In patient testing, it reduced symptoms and need for medications by up to 30 percent, compared with dummy pills. Common side effects include throat irritation, mouth swelling and the possibility of severe allergic reactions.

Oralair is made by France's Stallergenes SA.

Meanwhile, drugmaker Merck & Co. of Whitehouse Station, N.J., expects an FDA ruling by midyear on two immunotherapy tablets, one for ragweed and one for grass pollen allergies.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Yahoo adds more security to thwart surveillance PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MICHAEL LIEDTKE, AP Technology Writer   
Thursday, 03 April 2014 06:05

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Yahoo has added more layers of security in its effort to shield people's online lives from government spying and other snooping.

The measures announced Wednesday include the completion of a system that encrypts all information being transmitted from one Yahoo data center to another. The technology is designed to make the emails and other digital information flowing through data centers indecipherable to outsiders.

Search requests made from Yahoo's home page are also now automatically encrypted, and the Sunnyvale, Calif., company is promising to make it more difficult for unauthorized intruders to hack into other services, including video chats, within the next few months. Yahoo strengthened the security of its email in January.

"Whether or not our users understand it, I feel it's our responsibility to keep them safe," Alex Stamos, Yahoo's recently hired chief information of security, told a small group of reporters.

Stamos, a former security consultant, joined Yahoo Inc. less than a month ago as part of the company's anti-snooping crusade.

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Amazon unveils Fire TV set top streaming device PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by The Associated Press   
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 11:44

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is introducing a set top box that allows streaming of online video content.

The company says the Amazon Fire TV device has better speed, performance and search functions than other streaming services such as Apple TV and Google Chromecast.

The device runs Google's Android operating system and will offer Netflix, Hulu and other streaming channels in addition to Amazon Prime instant video. It has voice search via its remote control to make searching easier.

The announcement comes as the online retailer faces increasing pressure to boost its bottom line after years of furious growth. As more Americans shop online, Amazon has spent heavily to expand its business into new areas — from movie streaming to e-readers and groceries — often at the expense of its profit.

Meanwhile, Amazon.com Inc. has invested heavily on making TV shows and movies available to customers who pay $99 a year for Amazon Prime. Amazon recently boosted the annual fee to $99 from $79 annually. Members benefit from two-day shipping of certain items and access to videos including original series like "Betas" and "Alpha House."

Currently, the service relies on third-party devices like the Roku box to stream its programs to TVs.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
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