With its purchase of left-leaning Current TV, the Pan-Arab news channel Al-Jazeera has fulfilled a long-held quest to reach tens of millions of US homes. But its new audience immediately got a little smaller. The nation’s second-largest TV operator, Time Warner Cable, dropped Current after the deal was confirmed on Wednesday, a sign that the channel will have an uphill climb to expand its reach. “Our agreement with Current has been terminated and we will no longer be carrying the service. We are removing the service as quickly as possible,’’ the company said in a statement. Still, the acquisition of Current, the news network that was co-founded by former vice-president Al Gore, boosts Al-Jazeera’s reach in the US beyond a few large US metropolitan areas, including New York and Washington, nearly nine fold to about 40 million homes.
Superstorm Sandy tops 2012 insurance claims
Natural disasters cost insurers $65 billion last year, with the US accounting for nine-tenths of the bill and Superstorm Sandy prompting payouts of $25 billion, a leading insurance company said on Thursday. However, Munich Re said the total insured losses worldwide were down from a record $119 billion in 2011, when devastating earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand cost the industry dear. The company said total economic costs in 2012 from natural disasters worldwide — including uninsured losses — amounted to $160 billion, compared with the previous year’s $400 billion.
Obama signs $633-bn defense bill for 2013
President Barack Obama has signed a
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