Apple wins dismissal of lawsuit over MacBook logic boards

Apple Inc won the dismissal on Thursday of a lawsuit accusing it of defrauding consumers by selling MacBook laptop computers that contained "logic boards" it knew were defective, and which routinely failed within two years.U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco said the plaintiffs, Uriel Marcus and Benedict Verceles, failed to show that Apple made "affirmative misrepresentations," despite citing online complaints and Apple marketing statements calling the laptops "state of the art" or the "most advanced" on the market."Plaintiffs have failed to allege that Apple's logic boards were unfit for their ordinary purposes or lacked a minimal level of quality," Alsup wrote. "Both plaintiffs were able to adequately use their computers for approximately 18 months and two years, respectively."Alsup gave the plaintiffs until Jan. 22 to amend their lawsuit, which sought class-action status, against the Cupertino, California-based company. Omar Rosales, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Apple did not immediately respond to a similar request.The plaintiffs claimed that Apple's sale of MacBooks since May 20, 2010, violated consumer protection laws in California and Texas, where the lawsuit began last May before being moved.They also contended that Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook was told about the defective logic boards in 2011, but did nothing. Logic boards contain computer circuitry and are sometimes known as motherboards.A separate and still pending lawsuit in California accuses Apple of defrauding consumers by selling MacBook Pro laptops in 2011 that contained defective graphic cards, causing screen distortions and system failures. MacBooks are part of Apple's Mac line of desktop and laptop computers. The company reported unit sales in that business of 18.91 million in its latest fiscal year.The case is Marcus et al v. Apple Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 14-03824. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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Exclusive: Skeptical Trump says would renegotiate global climate deal

NEW YORK Republican presidential contender Donald Trump said on Tuesday he would renegotiate America’s role in the U.N. global climate accord, spelling potential doom for an agreement many view as a last chance to turn the tide on global warming.A pull-out by the world’s second biggest carbon-emitting country would hobble the deal reached in Paris last December by 177 nations, who for the first time in more than two decades found a common vision for curbing greenhouse gas emissions."I will be looking at that very, very seriously, and at a minimum I will be renegotiating those agreements, at a minimum. And at a maximum I may do something else," the New York real estate mogul said in an interview with Reuters. "But those agreements are one-sided agreements and they are bad for the United States."Trump said he did not believe China, the world’s top emitter of the carbon dioxide gas that many scientists believe is contributing to global climate change, would adhere to its pledge under the Paris deal.“Not a big fan because other countries don’t adhere to it, and China doesn’t adhere to it, and China’s spewing into the atmosphere,” he said. The accord to transform the world's fossil-fuel driven economy was a potent signal to investors. It seeks to limit a rise in global temperatures to less than 2 degrees Celsius through combined national pledges to cut emissions, and provide funding for developing nations to mitigate the damaging effects of a sea level rise and climate change.The Obama administration pledged a 26 to 28 percent domestic reduction in greenhouse gases by 2025 compared to 2005, while China promised it would halt increases in carbon emissions by 2030. Both countries have promised to ratify the deal this year. Many U.S. Republicans have found fault with the deal for overreacting to what they see as an uncertain threat.Former French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, who helped broker the deal, said this month that the U.S. election was critical to its future. "If a climate change denier was to be elected, it would threaten dramatically global action against climate disruption," he said.Trump has said that he believes global warming is a concept that was invented by China to hurt the competitiveness of U.S. business. One of his energy policy advisers is a climate change skeptic, U.S. Congressman Kevin Cramer of North Dakota. Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic contender for the White House, has advocated shifting the country to 50 percent clean energy by 2030.The Paris agreement has an article built into it meant to protect countries in the accord in the event that a new government comes in and wants to dismantle it. The clause says any nation wanting to withdraw will first have to wait four years.U.S. chief climate envoy Jonathan Pershing said last week that regardless of the outcome of the U.S. election, other countries were likely to be bound by the pact. (Additional reporting by Valerie Volcovici, writing by Richard Valdmanis, editing by Ross Colvin)

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Curry voted NBA's first unanimous Most Valuable Player

Stephen Curry on Tuesday scaled heights never reached by NBA greats such as Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and LeBron James when he became the first unanimous winner of the league's Most Valuable Player award.A day after returning from injury to playoff action with an explosive performance for the Golden State Warriors, Curry swept all 131 first-place votes to earn the game's highest individual honor for a second straight season.He joined Johnson, Jordan and Steve Nash as the only guards to win the honor in consecutive campaigns, having dazzled NBA fans during the regular season with one astonishing display of shot-making after another.Already established as one of the league's greatest ever three-point shooters, Curry led the NBA in scoring with an average of 30.1 points and a record 402 three-point baskets as he led the Warriors to an unprecedented 73-9 mark.The 28-year-old shot a career-high 50.4 percent from the field and achieved a free throw percentage of 90.8 while averaging 6.7 assists and a career-high 5.4 rebounds in 79 games.Curry became just the fourth player in NBA history to average at least 30 points, six assists, five rebounds and two steals in a season, following Rick Barry (1974-75), Jordan (three times) and Dwyane Wade (2008-09). A pivotal figure for the Warriors as they clinched the NBA championship last season, Curry earned a total of 1,310 points in balloting for the 2015-16 MVP award.San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (634) was second, followed by Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (631). Curry's 2015-16 season is by no means done as he bids to lead the Warriors to a successful defense of their NBA title.Having played in only two of Golden State's first eight playoff games after being sidelined by an ankle injury and then a sprained knee, the inspirational point guard returned to action with devastating effect on Monday.After a successful warmup, he came off the bench and poured in 40 points to lift the Warriors to a 132-125 overtime win against the Portland Trail Blazers and a commanding 3-1 lead in their Western Conference semi-final. "I don't think anyone could have predicted the explosion," Golden State coach Steve Kerr said of Curry, who scored an NBA-record 17 points in overtime. "That was crazy."The guy had played one basketball game in three weeks." (Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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Michelle Obama helps Prince Harry launch second Invictus Games

ORLANDO, Florida Britain's Prince Harry and U.S. first lady Michelle Obama mixed with headline acts from music and film to launch the second edition of the Invictus Games for wounded military personnel on Sunday.British singers James Blunt and Laura Wright performed at the two-hour ceremony before Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman led the crowd at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Champion Stadium in reciting the Invictus Games pledge.Former U.S. President George W Bush, the honorary chairman of this year’s Games, also spoke on stage to the near 500 athletes from 14 different countries who will compete over four days from Monday in 11 Paralympic sports.Harry, who started the Games two years ago in London, paid tribute to the courage of the athletes, who paraded through an interactive 3-D cube decorated in their country's colors to warm applause. "When we give a standing ovation to the competitor with the missing limbs, let's also cheer our hearts out for the man who overcame anxiety so severe he couldn't leave his house," the 31-year-old royal told the crowd. "Let's cheer for the woman who fought through post-traumatic stress." That spirit was echoed by Obama, who thanked U.S. veterans for their service. "I'm here and honor all of you: our extraordinary service members, our veterans, and of course our military families. You all are amazing. Truly amazing," she said. (Reporting by Gavino Garay. Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore. Editing by Ed Osmond)

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Durant, Thunder surge in fourth, even series

(The Sports Xchange) - Kevin Durant tied a playoff career high with 41 points, leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 111-97 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday that tied the Western Conference semi-final series at 2-2.Down by four points after three quarters, Durant and the Thunder outscored the Spurs 34-16 in the fourth to pull away. Durant personally outscored the visitors 17-16 over the last 12 minutes.Durant shot 14-for-25 from the field and was 10-for-13 from the free-throw line. In the second half alone, he scored 29 points on 10-of-13 shooting."When you have a deep team, those 40-point nights, they don't come a lot," Durant said. "I just try to be consistent in what I do. I know that at any given moment, I can go off and hit a few shots. I just try and stay with it and play as hard as I can on both ends of the floor and leave it all out there and live with the results."Russell Westbrook added 14 points, 15 assists and seven rebounds for the Thunder. Steven Adams racked up 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Dion Waiters came off the bench to score 17 points.Tony Parker paced the Spurs with 22 points on 10-of-16 shooting. Kawhi Leonard posted 21 points and six rebounds. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 20 points and grabbed six boards in the loss.Game 5 is on Tuesday in San Antonio."You have to give him credit, he was great," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Durant. "I don't know what else to say. He was fantastic."Waiters buried a 3-pointer to put the Thunder up 98-91 with 5:36 left, but Parker answered with a layup in traffic.An Enes Kanter fastbreak dunk put Oklahoma City up by seven. With 3:14 left, Parker completed a three-point play to close gap to 100-96. Durant was fouled and hit one of two from the line. Aldridge did the same when he went to the free-throw line.Oklahoma City led by four before Durant scored four consecutive points to put the Thunder up 105-97 with 2:04 left."I just tried to stay in the moment," Durant said. "We still had a couple of minutes left in the game, our crowd was phenomenal tonight. Probably the loudest I've ever heard them."Leonard tried to answer, but he missed back to back 3-pointers. Durant made the Spurs pay with a corner 3-pointer. Westbrook and Durant then put the game away with consecutive scoring trips."I think down the stretch in the fourth quarter, we made too many mistakes," Popovich said. "Just not remembering who we were guarding and how we wanted to play. "But having said that, they out-toughed us. They battered us on the boards. At the same time, they had some other players that joined in and made shots."The Thunder won the rebounding battle 40-34. Each team turned the ball over 14 times.Westbrook started Game 4 with an agenda to be even more aggressive and intense. That led to him taking some questionable shots in the first quarter and getting into a verbal confrontation with referee Danny Crawford in which he had to be pulled away by assistant coach Mo Cheeks.More than anything else, it was the Spurs' defense that controlled the contest in the early stages. San Antonio did not allow the Thunder any easy or open shots in the half-court and forced five turnovers as it took a 27-17 lead through one period. It was a completely different story in the second quarter.The Thunder defense locked down San Antonio. Oklahoma City went on a 28-17 run to take a one-point lead, but the veteran-laden Spurs answered with a 9-0 run to close out the half with a 53-45 advantage."Our defense wasn't as good as it was in past games," San Antonio's Boris Diaw said. "We've been relying on our defense all regular season, so it should be the same in the playoffs."After a slow first half, Durant picked it up in the third quarter. He scored 12 points in the period and attacked the Spurs' defense with his jump shot and drives to the basket.Whether it was Danny Green or Leonard guarding him, Durant had his way in the second half."My team mates set great screens for me," Durant said. "Just moving around. If I stay stationary, I'm easy to guard. They are going to send two or three people at me."I have to be strong the next game. Shots were going in. I just have to stick to my routine and next game, hopefully it's better." (Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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