Chief correspondent, Seattle
Bill's Feed
Jun 6, 2012

Fed must be ready to act to help job market: Williams

BELLEVUE, Wash (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve must stand ready to take even more policy action to boost the ailing job market, the head of the San Francisco Fed said on Wednesday, but he stopped short of calling for monetary easing now.

John Williams, president of the Fed’s regional San Francisco bank and a voter on policy this year, lowered his GDP growth forecast and warned that Europe’s debt crisis and tighter fiscal policies in the United States are “wild cards” for the domestic economy.

May 31, 2012

Microsoft appears on track for autumn Windows 8

SEATTLE (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp appears to be on track to release its new Windows 8 operating system in time for the crucial U.S. holiday shopping season after making a “release preview” of the new code available for download on Thursday.

Windows 8 is the latest version of the flagship product, which still provides almost half of the world’s largest software company’s profit. It is the first version that will run on tablet computers as well as PCs, providing Microsoft’s first real challenge to Apple Inc’s iPad.

May 4, 2012

Lawyer for U.S. soldier accused of Afghan massacre objects to background check

SEATTLE (Reuters) – The lawyer representing Robert Bales, the U.S. Army staff sergeant accused of killing 17 Afghan villagers, is objecting to a routine background check required by the military.

Seattle-based attorney John Henry Browne, a self-described ex-hippie who has been married seven times and used to play bass in a rock band, said he has no secrets to hide but is opposed to the check on principle.

May 1, 2012

Lufthansa says new Boeing 747 overweight, but performance OK

SEATTLE, May 1 (Reuters) – The head of Deutsche Lufthansa
AG’s fleet management said he is not happy with the
weight of Boeing Co’s 747-8 jumbo, but that will not
restrict the use of the airline’s newest aircraft.

“On all our in-service fleet, even those in our fleet 10
years, we are never happy with the weight situation, so we are
always trying to reduce weight in order to save even more fuel,”
said Nico Buchholz, executive vice president of group fleet
management at Lufthansa, speaking at a Boeing plant north of
Seattle.

May 1, 2012

Microsoft buys Nook stake, Barnes & Noble shares soar

NEW YORK/SEATTLE (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp is jumping into the fast-growing e-books market by investing $605 million over five years 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 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.

    • 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."
    • More from Bill

    • Follow Bill