BERLIN (AP) — The best-known figure in the nationalist Alternative for Germany says that she won’t be its top candidate in September’s German election — a decision that appears to reflect growing opposition among other leading members of the party.
Frauke Petry ousted co-founder Bernd Lucke, an economics professor, to become the party’s chairwoman in 2015. Opposition to immigration and Islam have taken center stage in the party’s platform since then.
But the party also has become increasingly mired in infighting between Petry, her husband Marcus Pretzell and other senior figures.
Petry said in a video message posted Wednesday on Facebook that she won’t lead the party’s election campaign, either alone or as part of a team.
SUNNYVALE, Calif. (AP) — Yahoo is bowing out as a public company with its revenue still declining, a chronic problem that culminated in its sale to Verizon Communications.
Despite the revenue downturn, Yahoo fared better during the first three months of the year than analysts had anticipated — a low bar that was another sign of how far the internet pioneer has fallen during the past decade.
The results released Tuesday will mark the final quarterly report of Yahoo’s 21-year history as a publicly traded company unless the Verizon deal unexpectedly falls apart. Yahoo expects the $4.5 billion sale to close in June before the end of the second quarter.
The deal’s final price reflects a $350 million markdown that Yahoo gave Verizon to compensate for the damage caused by two different security breaches that resulted in personal information being stolen from more than 1 billion Yahoo user accounts.
After Verizon takes over, Yahoo’s $8 billion in cash and valuable stakes in two Asian internet companies — Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan — will be turned over to a newly created company called Altaba. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer won’t be part of Altaba, and she isn’t expected to join Verizon to oversee the Yahoo email and other digital services being sold. If she doesn’t have a job, Mayer will receive a $23 million severance package.
Mayer, a former Google executive who has been Yahoo’s CEO for nearly five years, defended her track record in a statement accompanying the first-quarter numbers.
“I’ve never been more proud of the improvements we’ve made to the business and the value we’ve delivered to our shareholders,” Mayer said.
Yahoo’s stock has tripled during Mayer’s reign, but the run-up was driven by the company’s stake in Alibaba, which is China’s e-commerce leader and boasts a market value of $278 billion. The Sunnyvale, California, company invested in Alibaba before Mayer’s arrival.
Mayer had hoped to turn around Yahoo, but instead oversaw further erosion even while investing heavily in mobile applications and video. She couldn’t solve a problem that dogged Yahoo for most of the past decade — how to get a larger piece of the digital advertising sales that increasingly have been flowing toward Google and Facebook, a pair of companies that once were smaller than Yahoo.
After subtracting ad commissions, Yahoo’s revenue totaled $834 million in the first quarter, a 3 percent decrease from last year. In the first full quarter of Mayer’s tenure, Yahoo’s revenue after ad commissions stood at $1.1 billion.
Yahoo earned $100 million, or 10 cents per share, in the first quarter, rebounding from a loss of $99 million, or 10 cents per share, last year. If not for certain accounting items unrelated to its ongoing business, Yahoo said it would have earned 18 cents per share, topping the average estimate of 16 cents per share among six analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.
Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research.
Adrian Gonzalez dives headfirst into home, seems to beat the tag by Cubs catcher Willson Contreras, but is called out. “Safe!” shout fans at Dodger Stadium who see replays on the board.
Umpires go to their headsets for a video review, and nearly three minutes later, the signal comes: Out!
Want to hear exactly how disputed calls get decided, like that one in last year’s NL Championship Series?
Soon, we might.
While nothing is set, Major League Baseball and umps are expected to discuss a plan — most prominently used in the NFL — for crew chiefs to wear a microphone and explain replay rulings.
Under one possible scenario, they would start at the All-Star Game on July 11 in Miami, tweak the process over the season’s second half and then go forward with the experiment in the playoffs.
People familiar with the talks spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because an agreement has not yet been reached.
Last year, MLB asked for the plate ump to wear a mic at the All-Star Game, but there wasn’t enough time to do it.
The umpires are in the middle of their five-year labor deal and any change would involve negotiations, plus a comfort level on both sides that the system would be efficient, accurate and easy.
So no way to say for sure if fans at Camden Yards, Coors Field and ballparks across the majors will become familiar with the voices of veteran crew chiefs — be it country singer Joe West, ordained minister Ted Barrett or Dale Scott, once a Top 40 AM radio disc jockey.
“It would probably leave us scratching our heads less on some of them where we think the call is this and it’s not,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I’m sure we’re not always going to get the answers we want, but I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad idea.”
Marlins reliever Brad Ziegler agrees that it might be nice to get an explanation on a call.
“They’re supposed to say the call stands or the call’s confirmed,” he said. “‘The call stands’ means you can’t tell. A lot of times we don’t get that … they just signal out or safe. That’s all we get on the field.
“They may announce it on the PA, but it doesn’t seem like that is consistent in all parks. And the acoustics in the stadium here — we have a hard time hearing what’s on the PA in the bullpen.”
In the NFL, hearing refs announce “upon further review” has long been part of the lexicon. The lore includes what Ben Dreith said in a 1986 game, when Jets lineman Marty Lyons tangled with Buffalo quarterback Jim Kelly and was penalized for “giving him the business down there.”
The NHL for some time has mic’ed up officials to explain coach’s challenges, based on what the central replay booth tells them.
NBA crew chiefs put on headsets to watch reviews and talk with the replay center. Decisions are explained to the official scorer’s table and the benches, and the public address announcers inform the crowd.
MLB has tried to speed up reviews this year, aiming for the umpires in the New York replay booth to relay the final calls to the field in under 2 minutes.
“It’ll take more time,” Boston pitcher David Price said. “It’s not going to make them any shorter.”
As for making the replay system more informative and entertaining, “Yeah, until they have a problem with the umpire’s mic,” he said.
Marlins star Christian Yelich said a switch wouldn’t affect him.
“The call’s the call,” he said. “Just because they tell you what they decided isn’t going to change it.”
But Girardi, for one, would like to get an explanation.
“We’re not allowed to argue whatever the call is because the umpire that makes the call is not there. I’ve sometimes wanted to go on the headset,” he said, laughing.
AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum, AP Sports Writer Steven Wine and AP freelance writer Ken Powtak contributed to this report.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — John Glenn’s trailblazing legacy took flight Tuesday as a cargo ship bearing his name rocketed toward the International Space Station.
An Atlas rocket provided the late morning lift to orbit, just as it did for Glenn 55 years ago.
The commercial cargo ship, dubbed the S.S. John Glenn, holds nearly 7,700 pounds (3,500 kilograms) of food, equipment and research for the space station. It’s due there Saturday, two days after the arrival of two fresh astronauts.
NASA’s shipper, Orbital ATK, asked Glenn’s widow, Annie, for permission to use his name for the spacecraft, following his December death.
Glenn, an original Mercury 7 astronaut, became the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962. He launched again in 1998 aboard shuttle Discovery at age 77, the oldest person ever in space. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery two weeks ago.
“It is clearly a chance one more time to show John Glenn’s name emblazoned in space,” said Frank Culbertson, a former astronaut who now heads Orbital ATK’s space systems group.
Glenn was a courageous, pioneering leader who always promoted space and set a good example, Culbertson noted. “And I hope that putting his name on the space station is an inspiration to the next generation to aspire to do similar things, push the boundaries,” he said.
Besides supplies, the capsule contains a banner showing Glenn in his orange space shuttle launch suit — it’s the first thing the station astronauts will see when they open the craft — as well as memorabilia for his family. Because the launch was delayed a month by hydraulic problems at the pad and on the rocket, no Glenn family members were able to make it to Cape Canaveral, according to Culbertson.
Orbital ATK — one of NASA’s prime delivery services for the space station, along with SpaceX — normally uses its own Virginia-based Antares rockets to launch its Cygnus cargo ships, named after the swan constellation. But it opted for the United Launch Alliance’s bigger Atlas V rocket in order to carry up a heftier load. A new, larger greenhouse is flying up, along with equipment needed for a spacewalk next month.
“Looks like we nailed the orbit once again,” said Vern Thorp, a manager for the rocket maker.
NASA’s 360-degree video streaming of the launch — the first such attempt for a live broadcast — didn’t go as well. Something went wrong moments before liftoff, and the video skipped over the actual rising of the rocket from the pad. NASA said it would try again, perhaps on an upcoming SpaceX delivery mission.
Mission Control beamed up the launch broadcast for the three astronauts at the space station, which is orbiting 250 miles (about 400 kilometers) high. The American, Russian and Frenchman will be joined Thursday by another American and Russian who will take off from Kazakhstan.
SpaceX and Boeing are developing new capsules that could fly U.S. astronauts to the space station as early as next year. Boeing’s Starliner capsule will fly on the Atlas V.
It was the last launch commentary for NASA spokesman George Diller, who is retiring next month after 37 years. His was the voice at liftoff for the final space shuttle flight, by Atlantis, in 2011, as well as the send-off of the Hubble Space Telescope in 1990 and all five Hubble-servicing missions — hundreds of rocket launches in all.
“We’re really, really going to miss hearing your golden voice on console during launch, George,” said Kennedy Space Center’s director, Robert Cabana, patting him on the back.
Diller said his time at the space agency has been a “heck of a ride.”
“I couldn’t do better if I’d been riding a rocket.”
Orbital ATK: https://www.orbitalatk.com/
PARIS (AP) — The Latest on the upcoming French presidential election (all times local):
French far-left presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon is on stage along with six holograms that enable him to hold seven simultaneous rallies across France.
The 65-year-old is holding a rally in Dijon, in eastern France, while his image is projected by satellite to crowds in six other cities, including one on the island of La Reunion.
Melenchon suggested his three main rivals — conservative Francois Fillon, far-right Marine Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron — were potential targets after the arrest of two suspected radicals who were allegedly preparing a terror attack in France. He expressed his solidarity toward them.
“We will never make the gift to criminals to divide in front of them. We are not afraid”, he told the crowd.
Melenchon has risen in polls ahead of the first round of France’s presidential election on April 23, with some pollsters saying he has a chance of reaching the May 7 presidential runoff.
He leads a far-left alliance that includes the Communist Party.
Former president Nicolas Sarkozy has expressed his support for conservative candidate Francois Fillon ahead of Sunday’s first round of the French presidential election.
Sarkozy said in a video posted on his Facebook and Twitter accounts that Fillon “has the experience, the will, the project that will enable France to ensure a political change after the five disastrous years we have known.”
Sarkozy, who lost to Fillon in the conservative primary in November, is calling on voters to unite behind his former rival.
“I worked five years with Francois Fillon, he was my prime minister, I know we can trust him”, he said.
Fillon’s campaign has been damaged by accusations that he misused taxpayer money to pay his wife and children for government jobs that they allegedly did not perform.
French investigators are probing the case. Fillon denies wrongdoing.
Latest polls suggest he is one of the four candidates who have a chance to be among the two top Sunday and advance to the runoff on May 7.
French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has pointed to “a devastating multiplication of attacks and threats of attacks” in France, after the arrest of two suspected radicals planning an attack.
She said in a written statement that this is the result of “Islamic fundamentalism” that “has expanded exponentially” in the last decade in France.
She said that “it’s time to put back France in order,” using one of her campaign’s mantras.
Le Pen, who is campaigning on anti-immigration, anti- European themes, is among the four top contenders for the presidential race.
The top two candidates in Sunday’s vote advance to a May 7 runoff.
Top presidential contenders Emmanuel Macron and Francois Fillon have offered congratulations to French police after the arrest of two suspected radicals who were allegedly preparing a terror attack in France.
Macron, an independent centrist considered one of the front-runners of the vote, said in a written statement: “This event serves as reminders that the terrorist threat is still very high on our territory.”
Macron recalled he has pledged to pursue military intervention in Iraq and Syria, boost intelligence services and fight against terrorism on the internet.
Conservative candidate Fillon said “democracy must not get on its knees in front of the threats and intimidations from terrorists. The campaign must continue until the end.”
The French interior minister says police have arrested two suspected radicals who were allegedly preparing an “imminent” terror attack in France as it prepares to vote Sunday in the first round of its presidential election.
The minister, Matthias Fekl, said at a brief news conference that the arrests took place in the southern city of Marseille.
He said those arrested were suspected of preparing an attack in the coming days.
French centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron says he will simplify the country’s famously complex labor laws within weeks of taking office.
In comments at the Rungis wholesale market outside Paris, Macron says that it’s not a question of taking rights away from workers, but of lowering the 10-percent unemployment rate that has plagued France for years.
Macron, who has never held elected office, is running without the backing of an established party and claims to be neither of the right nor the left.
The pre-dawn market is a regular campaign stop for French politicians looking to show solidarity with workers, who rise before the sun to feed the Paris region.
French far right candidate Marine Le Pen is promising a freeze on long-term visas as soon as she takes office, followed by a tax on any company that hires foreign workers.
Ahead of Sunday’s first-round election, Le Pen told RTL radio on Tuesday she would issue an order to immediately stop issuing long-term visas for two weeks so the government can verify that they are not taking jobs away from French citizens.
Le Pen, who has campaigned against immigration and Europe’s open borders, also wants to impose a 10 percent tax on labor contracts that go to foreigners and seize back control of French borders.
Polls show Le Pen is among four leading French candidates, with no clear front-runner. The top two candidates advance to a May 7 runoff.
NEW YORK (AP) — Google Earth is getting a revival, as the 3-D mapping service reorients itself to become more of a tool for adventure and exploration.
A central feature in the new Google Earth is Voyager. Google has partnered with such groups as the BBC and NASA to add video clips, photos and text narratives to three-dimensional representations of particular locations.
The Jane Goodall Institute, for instance, lets you journey to spots in Tanzania that inspired its founding chimpanzee expert. You can also get overlays of chimpanzee ranges and compare imagery from 2005 and 2014 to see the effects of forest restoration efforts.
The producers of “Sesame Street” show off Muppets from co-productions around the world; the map shows where the Muppets live and offer stories about the region and its culture.
Separately, a new “I’m Feeling Lucky” feature takes you to a location selected at random. Google Earth is highlighting some 20,000 lesser-known destinations — the kinds of places locals might frequent or know about, such as the Indonesian island of Bunaken , part of a national marine park.
Google Earth used to be the place to go to for satellite views and 3-D images stitched together from aerial fly-bys. A software download was required, limiting its use. Google Maps has incorporated many of those features, making Google Earth even less necessary.
Tuesday’s update is about giving you a reason to use Google Earth again. Google says that while Maps is about getting you to a destination, Earth is about immersing you there, or “getting lost.”
With the update, Google Earth now works on Google’s Chrome browsers for desktops. It still requires an app for phones and tablets because of the heavy graphics involved; Google is rolling out updates for Android, but there’s no Google Earth app for iPhones or iPads yet.
Some older features will still require a software download on desktops. That includes maps of Mars and the moon through a partnership with NASA.
Google also announced an update to a virtual-reality version of Google Earth. It now works with Facebook’s Oculus Rift, not just the HTC Vive. But it won’t work with cheaper, phone-based VR systems, such as Google’s Daydream and Samsung’s Gear VR.