San Francisco

Microsoft buys 1.6 percent share of Facebook

Rapidly rising Internet star Facebook Inc. has sold a 1.6 percent stake to Microsoft Corp. for $240 million, spurning a competing offer from online search leader Google Inc.

Culminating weeks of negotiations, the investment announced yesterday values Palo Alto-based Facebook at $15 billion – a stunning figure for an online hangout started in a Harvard University dorm room less than four years ago.

Microsoft also will sell Internet ads for Facebook as the site expands outside the United States, broadening a marketing relationship that began last year.

Cizre, Turkey

Turkey attacks rebels along Iraqi border

Turkish warplanes and helicopter gunships reportedly pounded Kurdish rebel positions along the Turkey-Iraq border yesterday, broadening military operations against insurgents amid persistent fears Turkey will launch a major offensive inside Iraq.

Turkish Cabinet members and military generals held a six-hour meeting in Ankara to discuss a possible operation in northern Iraq, but decided to recommend the government take economic measures first to force cooperation by Iraqis against Kurdish rebels.

The state-run Anatolia news agency reported that Turkish warplanes and attack helicopters bombed mountain paths used by rebels to cross the porous border from Iraq and stage hit-and-run attacks against soldiers in southeastern Turkey.

Saginaw

Students shot at middle school football game

Gunfire broke out near a football field where two middle school teams were playing, leaving two youths and two adults wounded, police say.

The four were taken to hospitals, said police Lt. Brian Lipe.

A 16-year-old male was shot in the neck, Detective Sgt. Brent Vanderhaar said, but he said he had no information on the victims’ conditions. Southfield radio station WWJ-AM reported that the victim with the neck wound was hospitalized in critical condition and that the two adults were released.

Lansing

Health insurance plan passes in Mich. state House

Michigan residents buying their own individual health insurance plans could get price and coverage protection under legislation passed yesterday by the state House, supporters said.

But opponents said the four-bill package now headed to the Senate would give Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan an unfair edge over commercial insurance competitors without necessarily saving customers money.

A key provision would allow a Blue Cross Blue Shield subsidiary, the Lansing-based Accident Fund, to broaden its product offerings beyond workers’ compensation to include other coverage such as fire and casualty. The Accident Fund also provides third party administration services and disability management.

Under the legislation, insurance companies – except for Blue Cross – would be able to refuse an individual health coverage if the person doesn’t meet its criteria.

– Compiled from Daily wire reports

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