By David Shepardson, Alexandria Sage and Bernie Woodall WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A fatal accident in which the driver of a Tesla Motors Inc Model S car operating in Autopilot mode was killed in a collision with a truck has prompted an investigation by federal highway safety regulators, the U.S. government and Tesla disclosed on Thursday. The investigation of the first known fatality to involve a Model S operating on Autopilot comes as Tesla and other automakers are gearing up to offer systems that allow vehicles to pilot themselves under certain conditions across a wide range of vehicles over the next several years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it is investigating 25,000 Model S sedans that are equipped with the Autopilot system.
A California jury ordered Oracle Corp to pay Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Co $3 billion in damages in a case over HP's Itanium servers, an Oracle spokeswoman said on Thursday. The Itaniuum processor is made by Intel Inc . In the first phase of trial in 2012, Santa Clara Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg ruled that there had been a contract.
The snub underscores the challenges Mondelez Chief Executive Irene Rosenfeld faces in wooing Hershey's controlling shareholder, the Hershey Trust, a $12 billion charity created by the eponymous company's founder a century ago. The maker of Hershey's Kisses and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups saw its shares trade above Mondelez's bid of $107 per share in cash and stock, indicating investors expected a new offer. A merger of two of the world's top five candy makers would add Hershey's strong U.S. business to Mondelez's global footprint.
Google has bought the entire 12-year power production from a yet-to-be-built Norwegian wind power farm to supply its European data centers with renewable energy, its developers said on Thursday. Norway's Zephyr and Norsk Vind Energi said the 160-megawatt capacity onshore Tellenes wind power farm south of Stavanger is expected to be fully operational in late 2017, and when built it would become the largest wind power farm in the Nordic country. "Google has been carbon-neutral since 2007 and we are committed to powering 100 percent of our operations with renewable energy sources," said Marc Oman, EU Energy Lead, Google Global Infrastructure.
By Andrew MacAskill and Lawrence White LONDON (Reuters) – British banks' closure of hundreds of branches in the last three years has more than halved lending to small businesses in the areas affected, research on Thursday showed, ahead of a debate in parliament about the impact of the cuts. Britain's biggest banks HSBC , Barclays , Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group have been steadily shrinking their branch networks to cut costs while investing in online and mobile banking services. Research by campaign group Move Your Money suggested many customers were losing out as a result, with lending to small local businesses down by 63 percent in towns and villages that had lost a bank branch.
By Ben Blanchard and Anthony Deutsch BEIJING/AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – An international court said it would deliver a hotly anticipated ruling in the Philippines' case against China over the South China Sea on July 12, drawing an immediate rebuke from Beijing, which rejects the tribunal's jurisdiction. The United States, which is a close ally of the Philippines and is concerned about China's expansive South China Sea claims, reiterated its backing for The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration and urged a peaceful resolution of the dispute. Manila is contesting China's historical claim to about 90 percent of the South China Sea, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.
By Tim Kelly TOKYO (Reuters) – Chinese military activity is escalating in the East China Sea, Japan’s top military commander said on Thursday, with Japanese emergency scrambles to counter Chinese jets almost doubling in the past three months. “It appears that Chinese activity is escalating at sea and in the air,” Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, chief of the Japanese Self-Defence Forces, said at a regular press briefing in Tokyo. Japan is embroiled in a dispute with China in the East China Sea over ownership of a group of islands which lie about 220 km (140 miles) northeast of Taiwan known as the Senkakus in Tokyo and the Diaoyu islands in Beijing.