House Republicans accuse IRS of wasting money and hanging up customer service this year

House Republicans accuse IRS of wasting money and hanging up customer service

According to a new report released Wednesday by House Republicans, the IRS deliberately cut its customer service this year and made the tax season more painful than it had to be for millions of taxpayers.

The report has accused the agency of wasting money on pet projects while hanging up on millions of callers.

On average, the wait times witnessed by callers spiked to 34.4 minutes before callers got through. Less than half of all callers got the opportunity in the first place and most calls were rejected by an overloaded system.

According to the House Ways and Means GOP staff , the IRS cut its funding for customer service and continued to spend money in areas which questionable by GOP lawmakers.

Report: Comcast-Time Warner deal faces Setback

Report: Comcast-Time Warner deal faces Setback

Late Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the proposed merger between Comcast (CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (TWC) has faced a major setback. This is because Federal Communications Commission staff has recommended that the $45.2 billion deal should be sent to an administrative hearing.

According to people familiar with the situation, the FCC staff has proposed to issue a 'hearing designation order' that will put the cable companies' merger in the hands of an administrative judge.

The hearing would most probably be a protracted process, which as per the regulatory experts could effectively kill the deal.

Facebook’s Net Income declines due to increase in expenses

Facebook’s Net Income declines due to increase in expenses

At present, about three-quarters of Facebook's advertising revenue comes from mobile ads, as a lot of users access the social network on smartphones and other handheld devices.

Facebook has been coming out with its own stand-alone mobile apps to capture more of the time people spend on phones. Though, leaving aside Facebook's Messenger app, its home-grown efforts have had limited success.

Facebook has bought the popular photo-sharing app Instagram and the messaging service WhatsApp.

Yesterday, the company had introduced 'Hello', which is a voice-calling app designed for Android phones. In essence, it's meant for replacing the voice dialer on your phone.

Three Passengers aboard Skywest Airlines Flight fell Unconscious, Forcing Emergency Landing

Three Passengers aboard Skywest Airlines Flight fell Unconscious, Forcing Emerge

Three passengers aboard a SkyWest airlines flight travelling to Connecticut went unconscious on Wednesday forcing an emergency landing on Buffalo, New York.

The flight carrying 75 passengers was on its way to Bradley International Airport in Connecticut when it landed in Buffalo on Wednesday before noon.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that the crew of the Embraer E170 reported a possible pressurization problem on the plane.

A spokesperson for the SkyWest said that all the passengers, including two children were evacuated upon landing and were released after being checked for any medical condition.

The spokesperson said that they came across no such situations under which they need to hospitalize the passengers.

AT&T reports Higher than Expected Profits

AT&T reports Higher than Expected Profits

Telecommunications major AT&T on Wednesday reported a higher-than expected earnings. The company also stated that very few of its wireless customers switched to other networks at a rate that was not seen in any first quarter.

The telecommunication company that has been awaiting regulatory approval for its $48.5 billion proposal to buy DirecTV is expecting additional cost savings of more than double than its previous forecast from the deal.

AT&T also stated that it added nearly 441,000 postpaid or contract subscribers and almost 1.2 million new wireless customers in the quarter.

Novartis' net profit jumps in Q1

Novartis' net profit jumps in Q1

On Thursday, Novartis, a Swiss-based pharmaceutical company, reported an enormous jump in first-quarter net profit.

The company's net profit rose to $13.005 billion from $2.968 billion in the year-ago quarter. Profit was boosted by a $10.8 billion gain from transactions with GlaxoSmithKline PLC and Eli Lilly and Co.

Novartis' animal health business was sold to American global pharmaceutical company Lilly. Novartis also bought cancer drugs from British multinational healthcare company GSK and sold its non-flu vaccines business.

Both the companies combined their consumer health care businesses. These deals helped the company to focus on three core businesses, which include pharmaceuticals, generic drugs and eye care.

Hyundai to boost production of sport utility vehicles in US and China

Hyundai to boost production of sport utility vehicles in US and China

South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co. reported a decline in profit for a fifth consecutive quarter.
The profits declined in China and United States due to the cost of promotions that were done to strengthen car sales and unfavorable foreign exchange trends.

Net income fell 1% to 1.91 trillion won ($1.76 billion) in the quarter that ended in March. It has beaten the 1.71 trillion won average of 23 analyst estimates that were compiled by Bloomberg.

The Seoul-based company's operating profit declined 18% to 1.59 trillion won, missing the 1.71 trillion won average of analyst estimates.

McDonald's will announce changes to Menu Next Month, says Steve Easterbrook

McDonald's will announce changes to Menu Next Month, says Steve Easterbrook

The Fast food restaurant company McDonald's reported first quarter results on Friday. The company reported that sales have declined and earnings per share missed Wall Street expectations. Steve Easterbrook, new chief executive of McDonald's, said that the company will announce changes to its menu in May. According to Easterbrook, the change in menu is a part of a company-wide turnaround bid.

On a call after the company’s announcement, Easterbrook told investors that it is necessary to fix the fundamentals right now. Easterbrook also said that he is not looking for incremental steps.

Barack Obama’s Trade Agenda to face Objections of House Democrats

Barack Obama’s Trade Agenda to face Objections of House Democrats

President Barack Obama’s trade agenda is all set to face objections of White House Democrats. Supporters of president’s trade agenda hope that endorsement by a Senate’s committee will help deal with partisan divides in the House.

On Thursday, Ways and Means Committee, a government body that reviews and makes recommendations for government budgets, will vote on ‘fast track’ bill, which is similar to a bill endorsed by the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday. The bill will renew presidential authority to present trade deals that can be sanctioned or rejected by Congress. Congress will not be able to amend the trade deals.

NASA climatologists join Search for life beyond Solar System

NASA climatologists join Search for life beyond Solar System

Scientists have been trying to discover life beyond the solar system from a long time. Now, the hunt has gained a new partner, United States National Aeronautic Space Agency (NASA) climatologists.

After studying earth for more than three decades, a team at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) has decided to adapt its global climate model to replicate conditions on habitable exoplanets.

As per the report published in Nature, the effort by GISS is a part of a broader push to recognize Earth-like planets that the United States space agency launched on April 20 at a meeting in Washington DC.

Mary Doyle Keefe, model of Norman Rockwell's ‘Rosie the Riveter’, dies

Mary Doyle Keefe, model of Norman Rockwell's ‘Rosie the Riveter’, dies

Mary Doyle Keefe, who was model for 1943 ‘Rosie the Riveter’ painting of Norman Rockwell, died on Tuesday in Simsbury. ‘Rosie the Riveter’ painting symbolized the American women who had gone to work on the home front during World War II. According to reports, Keefe died at the age of 92 after a brief illness.

On Tuesday, she Keefe died peacefully in Simsbury, Connecticut. According to the Carmon Community Funeral Homes obituary, Keefe lived last eight years of her life at the McLean Village Community. Keefe’s death was confirmed by her daughter on Wednesday.

Michael Brown's parents to file Lawsuit against city of Ferguson

Michael Brown's parents to file Lawsuit against city of Ferguson

Legal representatives of Michael Brown’s parents said they have planned to file a civil lawsuit against the city of Ferguson. Michael Brown was the unarmed black 18-year-old guy who was fatally shot by a white police officer in a St. Louis suburb.

In a statement on Wednesday, lawyers for the parents of Michael Brown said the illegal death court case would be filed the next day. Officer Darren Wilson shot Brown in August. The black guy’s shooting death led to a number of protests, which were renewed in November. The sometime-violent protests were renewed after a jury declined to charge the officer Wilson.

Tigress gives birth to three cubs at Columbus zoo

Tigress gives birth to three cubs at Columbus zoo

On April 21, three Amur tiger cubs were born at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Powell, Ohio.

According to zoo staff, each tiger weighed 2.5 pounds (1.1 kilograms) at birth, which falls within the typical range of 1.5 to 3 pounds (0.7 to 1.4 kg) for tiger cubs.

The babies were monitored closely by an animal care team over a live video feed. The team rushed in to nurse and care for the baby cubs when their mother’s maternal instincts didn’t kick in.

The zoo officials said the cubs are now in an incubator. However they are now feeding vigorously and are already looking strong.

Yogurt hardly helps improve health

Yogurt hardly helps improve health

According to a research team from Autonomous University of Madrid, regular consumption of yogurt is not linked to improved health and quality of life. The study was carried out to gauge whether there is a link between the regular consumption of yogurt and the physical and mental improvement in health-related quality of life (HRQL).

The research claims that if people take yogurt on daily basis in the hope to lose weight and strengthen their bones, it is a futile endeavor. The study has found no link between the regular intake of yogurt and improvement in physical health.

Health officials use technology to track outbreak of Listeria linked to Blue Bell products

Health officials use technology to track outbreak of Listeria linked to Blue Bel

Health officials have decided to use a new technology to follow the outbreak of listeria linked to Blue Bell ice cream products. Earlier this week, Blue Bell Creameries, manufacturer of Blue Bell brand ice cream, announced that it will recall all its products as listeria was found in the company's frozen treats.

After the massive recall by the Texas-based company, a number of smaller recalls were announced as health officials have tracked the outbreak. The health officials found that the outbreak was linked to about 10 listeria illnesses, which include three deaths.

Pets could be source of several health conditions for few vulnerable

Pets could be source of several health conditions for few vulnerable

According to some medical experts, pets can be one's partners of love, joy and happiness, but these furry friends can also be a source of some diseases.

In a recent article published this week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal two veterinarians and a physician from the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario elaborated about a variety of diseases that can be caused to people from pets.

In certain combinations the risks to pet owners are low and the benefits of keeping a pet are high. But there are some cases that are odd one out.

These medical experts in their article recommended families to forgo the allure of puppies and kittens if someone in their household has a bad immune system.

Psychologist describes Wellness blogger Belle Gibson's Actions

Psychologist describes Wellness blogger Belle Gibson's Actions

A clinical psychologist has described Australian app developer and disgraced wellness blogger Belle Gibson's actions. While talking to AAP, Joe Lamble said that the blogger has been putting a number of people's lives at risk. According to Lamble, it is wrong to gain heaps of attention, glory and fame by keeping the truth hidden.

Earlier, Gibson had revealed that she lied about having cancer. According to reports, the claim of having cancer has been used by the blogger to promote her wellness blog The Whole Pantry. Lamble further said that what she has read about the Australian blogger she has the symptoms of serious personality disorder.

Twitter, Google ex-executives support Burlingame startup genetic sequencing test

Twitter, Google ex-executives support Burlingame startup genetic sequencing test

Former Twitter and Google executives Elad Gil and Othman Laraki have decided to support a Burlingame startup pushing, a genetic sequencing test for breast and ovarian cancers for $249.

According to Color Genomics, its Color Test is going to analyze 19 genes connected to an inherited predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer, involving the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.

Angelina Jolie has tested for BRCA1, and had a preventative double mastectomy. Most recently, she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed. Most famously actor-director Angelina Jolie helped to bring attention to the importance of getting genetic testing for cancer risk. According to critics, genetic tests can be complex to interpret and can also lead to unnecessary surgeries.

Paralyzed girl's parents film reaction of their daughter's nurse as she walks again

Paralyzed girl's parents film reaction of their daughter's nurse as she walks

A girl who was paralyzed for two weeks from the waist down surprised a nurse by filming her reaction when the girl stood up from her wheelchair after regaining feeling in her legs.

According to Becky Murrill, her daughter Bailey inexplicably became paralyzed from the waist down and remained hospitalized in this condition for 11 days. Even doctors failed to explain the reason behind her condition.

However, when Bailey started to feel her legs again and was able to start walking, she waited to surprise a favorite nurse when she started her shift. As the nurse moved in for a hug, she stood up.

The emotional and ecstatic reaction of the nurse was captured on a cell phone video posted by her parents. The nurse's reaction has been viewed nearly one million times.

3-year-old girl born without feet gets new companion, puppy born without one paw

3-year-old girl born without feet gets new companion, puppy born without one paw

The three-year-old girl born without feet got a new friend, a nine-week-old white German shepherd puppy born without one paw. Sapphyre Johnson and Lt. Dan are now best friends.

Sapphyre Johnson was born without fingers or feet and Lt. Dan, white German shepherd puppy, was born without one of his paws. According to mom Ashley Johnson mother of Sapphyre, it was love at first sight.

She instantly noticed that that his paw was missing and said he has a foot similar to her. The dog's breeder, Karen Riddle said he wants Lt. Dan to grow with a child living with similar situation.

"It was awesome yesterday. We said, 'Sapphyre show him your feet' and, oh boy, she threw off her prosthetics and her socks and said, 'Look!' Then Lt. Dan put his paw up at the exact same time", said Riddle.

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