Headlines from around the world: 2-28-11

14 Wisconsin senate democrats failed to show up for a crucial session last week, protesting a bill that would strip public sector workers of their collective-bargaining rights. The bill is aimed at taking way much of the power that unions currently hold. Governor Scott Walker proposed the bill to begin to solve the massive budget problems that plague the sate.

The Medicare fraud industry is facing major pressure from law enforcement agencies, as 114 doctors were indicted for Medicare fraud totaling over $240 Million in nine major metropolitan areas. Allegedly, physical therapists and doctors would bill Medicare for home services that either were not performed or were not medically necessary.  

The national army took control of the capitol of Bahrain only hours after the police fired birdshot, rubber bullets and tear gas into the crowds of protesters on Pearl Square Thursday. With at least five dead and hundreds more wounded, the crowd of peaceful protesters turned angry after this violence was perpetrated against them.

In a triumphant win for I.B.M. and computer science fanatics everywhere, the supercomputer Watson beat out the two reigning champions of the TV show Jeopardy! in an exhibition match that proved computers can understand and respond to humans. Watson beat Mr. Ken Jennings and Mr. Brad Rutter with over $77,000 after a three-day match. The computer was optimized to parse poorly-phrased questions, and respond correctly.

In a season of civil unrest, protests have sprung up in various Iraqi cities, with demonstrators marching on the houses of politicians and lawmakers. The protesters are calling for increased public services, such as electricity and water, and asking that some government leaders step down. Some are commenting that this is, in some ways, a positive thing for Iraq, and that under Saddam Hussein protests were not possible.

The Canadian government has locked down all computers in two departments due to a cyber-attack believed to be from China. The attack appeared to be an attempt to gain advance knowledge of financial happenings within the Canadian governments, but officials are confident that they were able to prevent the hackers from actually securing any data.

Nokia Corp., is planning to offer it’s new handsets with Microsoft Inc.’s Windows Mobile operating system. Google Inc. was also trying to secure the contract, but was unable to offer as much in terms of incentives to secure the deal.

If the National Football league and it’s players can’t reach a bargaining agreement in two weeks, then there will be no 2011 football season. The owners of NFL football teams want to draw concessions from their players, to try to boost their annual profits. If the players’ unions don’t come to an agreement within the next two weeks, then the NFL has stated that they will lock out the players, resulting in no 2011 football season.

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