February 1, 2016

Top News Stories –

Alphabet – owner of Google – takes top spot from Apple –
Alphabet- Google’s parent company- has surpassed Apple as the world’s most valuable company after its latest earnings report. The company made a profit of $4.9bn (£3.4bn) for the fourth quarter, an increase from $4.7bn a year ago. The announcement sent its share price up as much as 9% in after-hours trading.
That means that Alphabet is now worth around $568bn, compared with Apple, which has a value of $535bn. [BBC] Alphabet was launched in August 2015
Alphabet_Chart Structure of Alphabet companies

Zika-linked condition: Rio Olympics ‘to go ahead’ despite virus –
There is no chance that the Rio Olympics will be cancelled because of a Zika virus outbreak, Brazil has said. The authorities said there was no risk to athletes and spectators – except pregnant women – at the August event. Earlier, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned a disease linked to Zika posed a global public health emergency requiring a united response. The infection has been linked to cases of microcephaly, in which babies are born with underdeveloped brains. Experts are worried that the mosquito-borne virus in Latin America is spreading far and fast, with devastating consequences. Meanwhile, WHO Director General Margaret Chan called Zika an “extraordinary event” that needed a co-ordinated response. The WHO alert puts Zika in the same category of concern as Ebola. It means research and aid will be fast-tracked to tackle the infection. [BBC]

Video of the Day –

Flight Over Dwarf Planet Ceres
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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Other News Stories –

Armed conflicts and attacks
Disasters and accidents
Health
Law and crime
  • Chinese authorities arrest 21 people involved in the Ezubao online finance scheme accused of allegedly defrauding 900,000 people of 50bn yuan ($7.6bn; £5.3bn) in a Ponzi scheme. (BBC)
  • Two men are sentenced to death for the murder of Tibetan religious leader Akong Rinpoche, his nephew and his driver in 2013. (Reuters)
Politics and elections

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