National / International News
Like the march of fire ants and juniper trees across Texas, a trio of hardy cuisines is edging out the state's gastro-diversity. Classic Lone Star dishes like Frito pie are becoming harder to find.
Although important strides have been made, a children's rights expert says the world has a long way to go before Malala Yousafzai's vision of meaningful education for all is realized.
Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, who seized power in a May coup, had originally said that elections would be held by late 2015. Now he suggests the date could be pushed back.
Another health care worker from Dallas was diagnosed with Ebola Wednesday morning, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are trying to find passengers on a flight she took Monday. The unidentified patient flew from Cleveland to Dallas with about 130 others just before she reported symptoms. The CDC is asking those passengers to call 1-800-CDC-INFO.
Vox has an explainer with five ways you can catch Ebola on a plane, and the many more ways you can't. In short: it's pretty difficult. Here are some other stories we're reading — and numbers we're watching — Wednesday:130 million
That's how many people subscribe to HBO worldwide. The network — once resistant to cord-cutting and blasé about password sharing — will uncouple its streaming service, HBOGo, from cable packages next year. Time Warner stock rallied at the news.5,000
The number of chemical weapons secretly discovered in Iraq in the years after the 2003 U.S. invasion, according to an extensive New York Times investigation. The abandoned weapons — and injuries sustained by the soldiers that found them — were reportedly kept hidden until now, even within the military.$20,000
That's how much Facebook is offering female employees to cover the costs of freezing their eggs, TechCrunch reported. Apple will begin offering the ostensible perk next year. The tech industry has a well-documented gender gap the move is seemingly addressing, but critics say egg freezing is just another way — along with free food, shuttles, laundry, massages and so on — for tech companies to keep employees content and working without distractions.
A $54 billion pharmaceutical merger is up in the air after the U.S. Treasury Department said it would crack down on so-called corporate inversions — that’s when a U.S. business merges with a foreign company to save money on taxes. Illinois-based AbbVie Inc. is reconsidering an agreement to buy UK rival Shire PLC.
AbbVie hasn’t called off the merger, but the company says its board is rethinking the deal in light of new tax regulations. The Treasury Department announced changes last month that make inversions less attractive.
It’s likely that AbbVie will renegotiate rather than walk away, says tax consultant Robert Willens, and not just because the company risks a $1.6 billion breakup fee.
“They’re going to lose a lot of credibility if they pull out of the deal in response to the Treasury announcement, after telling the market for weeks that the deal was primarily motivated by business reasons,” he says.
To comply with the Treasury rules, AbbVie could restructure the deal so that Shire shareholders had more control.
“But that’s not necessarily a desirable result for the acquirers,” says Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. “I’m not sure we’re going to see a lot of those kinds of deals go through.”
Still, several high profile inversions are moving forward, including Burger King’s acquisition of Canadian chain Tim Horton’s. Medical device maker Medtronic said it would refinance its deal to buy Irish company Covidien to comply with the new rules.
Willens says new inversions have slowed down since the regulations changed, but stopping them would require tougher action by Congress. The rules do not address a practice known as “earnings stripping,” for example, which allows a foreign parent company to essentially lend money to its American subsidiary, and then deduct the interest payments from its taxes.
The congressional Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated that a bill to stop corporate inversions would save the U.S. Treasury about $20 billion over ten years.