Arguing about the price of coal at Peabody Energy
A year ago, Peabody Energy’s chief executive was presiding over $2 billion of losses. Now, top executives stand to reap tens of millions of dollars in stock bonuses under the coal mining company’s bankruptcy exit plan. Some shareholders and creditors challenging Peabody in bankruptcy court say the executives could reap a much bigger windfall because Peabody’s estimate undervalues the stock. The critics include hold-out creditors who complain they are getting shorted by a deal hammered out by Peabody executives and hedge funds that hold the bulk of the company’s debt. Those funds, they say, would benefit from a lower valuation because it would give the funds more shares of the newly created Peabody stock, which will be used to pay off their bonds. Reuters’ Tracy Rucinski and Tom Hals report from Chicago and Wilmington, Delaware.
Manitoba becomes new frontier for asylum seekers
Emerson, Manitoba. It’s the front line for illegal migrants fleeing the United States for Canada, where they hope to apply for refugee status. They walk for hours in darkness and freezing temperatures through North Dakota, hoping that by the time police find them, they’ll have crossed the border. Reuters’ Rod Nickel speaks to migrants as well as people who live in Emerson, who are full of sympathy and hard questions for the Canadian government.
Death and oranges in Mosul
Reuters’ Isabel Coles reports from Mosul, where she surveys the battle scars of the Islamic State fight to hold the city against Iraqi forces. Scenes from the surreal landscape include ripe oranges scattered in a garden with a dead IS fighter flat on his back, troops moving past a pot of lentil soup in an exposed kitchen, and a new mother who has been hiding underground for 72 hours. “It’s strange and terrifying,” she says. “I rarely go upstairs.”
After Jammeh, Gambians seek justice for the disappeared
When Gambian intelligence officers arrested journalist Ebrima Manneh in his newsroom, he asked an office guard to save some tea. “I‘m coming right back,” he said. That was July 11, 2006; since then, neither his colleagues at the Daily Observer nor his family have seen him again. Rights groups say Manneh is one of dozens of Gambians who disappeared during the rule of President Yahya Jammeh, which ended last month when he fled the country. They’re hoping that the new government will investigate and go after Jammeh. But legal hurdles will make that difficult.
Facebook and the Oculus rift
Facebook’s virtual reality push could run into a really real court order that could prevent it from using critical software code. ZeniMax Media in February won a $500 million jury verdict saying Facebook’s Oculus unit infringed on ZeniMax’s copyright by using its code. Now, a judge will determine whether to bar Facebook from using the code in the software development kit that Oculus provides to companies that create games for its Rift VR headset. If Facebook settles, it’ll be expensive. If it fights, it jeopardizes its position and gives rivals an edge. Reuters’ Jan Wolfe reports.
Reuters photo of the day
A visitor to the Jewish Mount Carmel Cemetery records vandalized headstones lying on the ground. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. REUTERS/Tom Mihalek