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Apr 30, 2012

Microsoft eyes tablet lift via Barnes & Noble deal

NEW YORK/SEATTLE (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp is jumping into the fast-growing e-books market by investing $300 million in Barnes & Noble Inc’s Nook e-reader and college business, as it looks to unlock Amazon.com and Apple Inc’s grip on the exploding tablet computer market.

The move comes just six months before the world’s largest software maker is due to launch its new touch-enabled Windows 8 operating system, and the inclusion of a Nook app on Windows tablets should allow them to compete with Apple’s iPad and Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

Apr 26, 2012

Army beefs up leadership at troubled Lewis-McChord base

SEATTLE (Reuters) – The U.S. Army announced a new layer of command at Joint Base Lewis-McChord on Thursday as it looks to strengthen leadership at the Tacoma, Washington-area post which has earned a reputation as one of the most troubled in the U.S. military.

The joint Army-Air Force base, with 43,000 active-duty military personnel and some 14,000 civilian employees, most recently attracted attention as the home base of Robert Bales, the staff sergeant accused of massacring 17 Afghan villagers in March. It was also home for a so-called “kill team,” convicted of wartime atrocities in 2010.

Apr 19, 2012

Microsoft beats Street profit view, shares up

By Bill Rigby

(Reuters) – Microsoft Corp beat Wall Street’s profit forecast as computer sales held up better than expected, lifting its shares 2.5 percent after hours.

The world’s largest software maker reported quarterly profit of $5.11 billion, or 60 cents per share, compared with $5.23 billion, or 61 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter when it posted a one-time tax gain.

Apr 6, 2012

Accused Afghan shooter’s lawyer wants military counsel fired

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The civilian attorney representing the U.S. soldier accused of murdering 17 Afghan villagers wants to replace the military lawyer assigned to the case after disagreements over how to handle his defense.

“You are fired, sorry, but we have much more experience than you,” Seattle-based John Henry Browne, the outspoken lawyer who has been the public face of the defense of Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, said in an email to military lawyer Major Thomas Hurley.

Mar 30, 2012

Lawyer says U.S. blocks investigation of Afghan massacre

SEATTLE (Reuters) – The lawyer defending the U.S. soldier accused of murdering 17 Afghan civilians claims U.S. authorities are blocking his ability to investigate the incident.

John Henry Browne, the lawyer for Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, said U.S. forces in Afghanistan have prevented his team from interviewing injured civilians at a hospital in Kandahar, and are allowing other potential witnesses to scatter, making it difficult to track them down.

Mar 27, 2012

‘Ghost ship’ off Canada heralds arrival of Japan tsunami debris

SEATTLE (Reuters) – An empty Japanese fishing boat drifting off the coast of western Canada could be the first wave of 1.5 million tons of debris heading toward North America from Japan’s tsunami last March.

The wreckage from flattened Japanese coastal towns – including refrigerators, washing machines, televisions, roofs and fishing nets – is heading inexorably east across the Pacific and could arrive sooner than expected, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Mar 27, 2012

‘Ghost ship’ off Canada heralds arrival of tsunami debris

SEATTLE, March 26 (Reuters) – An empty Japanese fishing boat
drifting off the coast of western Canada could be the first wave
of 1.5 million tons of debris heading toward North America from
Japan’s tsunami last March.

The wreckage from flattened Japanese coastal towns -
including refrigerators, washing machines, televisions, roofs
and fishing nets – is heading inexorably west across the Pacific
and could arrive sooner than expected, according to the U.S.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Mar 20, 2012

Wife of Afghan shooting suspect: how could this be?

SEATTLE/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The wife of the U.S. soldier suspected of gunning down 16 Afghan civilians broke her silence on Monday to say she did not know what happened half a world away, but felt for the families of the victims while loving her husband very much.

U.S. authorities say Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, 38, walked out of his camp in Kandahar province just over a week ago to kill the Afghans, including nine children, before turning himself in.

Mar 19, 2012

Afghan shooting suspect called to duty repeatedly

TACOMA, Washington (Reuters) – Robert Bales built a life around a call to arms. A call that emanated from the ashes of the World Trade Center in New York and took him to the mayhem of faraway Iraq and Afghanistan. A call he may have heard one time too many.

The 38-year-old U.S. Army staff sergeant suspected of gunning down 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children, had struggled to make financial ends meet and was disappointed at being sent back into a war zone for a fourth time rather than an easier posting in Germany or Hawaii.

Mar 18, 2012

Afghan shooting suspect called to duty again and again

TACOMA, Washington (Reuters) – Robert Bales built a life around a call to arms. A call that emanated from the ashes of the World Trade Center in New York and took him to the mayhem of faraway Iraq and Afghanistan. A call he may have heard one time too many.

The 38-year-old U.S. Army staff sergeant suspected of gunning down 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children, had struggled to make financial ends meet and was disappointed at being sent back into a war zone for a fourth time rather than an easier posting in Germany or Hawaii.

    • About Bill

      "Bill Rigby is Reuters' chief correspondent in Seattle, reporting on Microsoft and Boeing and overseeing coverage of general news in Washington state, Oregon and Alaska. He has been a Reuters journalist since 1998, reporting on banks, insurers, stock markets, defense companies and airlines from Reuters bureaux in London, New York and Seattle."
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