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Apple wins dismissal of lawsuit over MacBook logic boards

Apple Inc won the dismissal on Thursday of a lawsuit accusing it of defrauding consumers by selling MacBook laptop computers that contained "logic boards" it knew were defective, and which routinely failed within two years.U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco said the plaintiffs, Uriel Marcus and Benedict Verceles, failed to show that Apple made "affirmative misrepresentations," despite citing online complaints and Apple marketing statements calling the laptops "state of the art" or the "most advanced" on the market."Plaintiffs have failed to allege that Apple's logic boards were unfit for their ordinary purposes or lacked a minimal level of quality," Alsup wrote. "Both plaintiffs were able to adequately use their computers for approximately 18 months and two years, respectively."Alsup gave the plaintiffs until Jan. 22 to amend their lawsuit, which sought class-action status, against the Cupertino, California-based company. Omar Rosales, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Apple did not immediately respond to a similar request.The plaintiffs claimed that Apple's sale of MacBooks since May 20, 2010, violated consumer protection laws in California and Texas, where the lawsuit began last May before being moved.They also contended that Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook was told about the defective logic boards in 2011, but did nothing. Logic boards contain computer circuitry and are sometimes known as motherboards.A separate and still pending lawsuit in California accuses Apple of defrauding consumers by selling MacBook Pro laptops in 2011 that contained defective graphic cards, causing screen distortions and system failures. MacBooks are part of Apple's Mac line of desktop and laptop computers. The company reported unit sales in that business of 18.91 million in its latest fiscal year.The case is Marcus et al v. Apple Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 14-03824. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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Beyonce's 'Lemonade' tops Billboard, Prince reigns on album chart

LOS ANGELES R&B star Beyonce stormed to the top of the weekly U.S. Billboard 200 album chart with her surprise visual concept album "Lemonade," while late singer Prince's music dominated the chart as fans continued to remember his legacy through his music."Lemonade," the sixth solo album by Beyonce, sold 485,000 albums, more than 900,000 songs and was streamed 115 million times, totaling 653,000 units according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan.Beyonce debuted "Lemonade" as an hour-long film made up of music videos on cable network HBO last week, and initially made it available exclusively on premium streaming service Tidal, before releasing it to other online retailers. The album garnered headlines for lyrics that suggested Beyonce's husband, rapper Jay Z, may have had an extramarital affair. The songs transition from suspicion and anger to hurt and finally forgiveness and reconciliation. The album also contains the single "Formation," a power anthem to race and feminism.Five of Prince's albums stayed in the top ten of the Billboard 200 chart this week, led by 2001's compilation "The Very Best of Prince" at No. 2 with 391,000 units sold. Sales of Prince's music, which he kept off numerous streaming platforms such as Spotify and YouTube, have soared after the singer's sudden death on April 22 at his Minnesota estate. On Billboard's Digital Songs chart, which measures online song sales, Prince's "Purple Rain" led seven of the late singer's songs in the top ten of the chart with 282,000 copies sold. Beyonce's "Formation" came in at No. 3 and "Hold Up" came in at No. 9. (Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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Federer out of Madrid Open with back injury

MADRID Former world number one Roger Federer has pulled out of this week's Madrid Open with a back injury.The Swiss great traveled to the Spanish capital for the tournament but was unable to practice on Monday and announced his withdrawal. Federer, however, said he would be back for the Rome Masters next week."I don't want to take more chances as I know I'm not going to be fully ready for Wednesday," he added, referring to his opening match. "I would rather play it safe and rest up now and get ready for Rome. I'm sorry to the tournament for coming and leaving without playing. "I arrived and I was okay and then I practiced on Saturday and hurt my back a little bit and stopped early. I'm very disappointed to say the least," said Federer. "I changed my schedule around and practiced well in Switzerland before coming here." Federer said he was not worried about his preparations for the French Open that starts on May 22. "I've been doing a lot of practice on clay," the world number three explained. "I don't always need a lot of matches to feel 100 percent ready."With my experience and the way I feel about big tournaments, if I have matches, great. If I don't, I trust in my game, in my mind that I'll be fine regardless of the preparations." (Editing by Tony Jimenez)

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Christie's fetes 250 years in business with major British art sale

LONDON From Joshua Reynolds to Lucian Freud, works spanning several centuries of British art will go under the hammer as part of a sale celebrating 250 years since auction house Christie's was founded. The highlights are three major works, led by "Ib and her Husband", an intimate 1992 portrait by Freud of his pregnant daughter and her partner lying on a bed. The painting is estimated at around 18 million pounds ($26.24 million).Joining it is Reynolds' 1778 "Portrait of Lucy Long, Mrs George Hardinge", which has never previously been publicly offered for sale and has been described as "one of the finest works by the artist to come to the market in a generation". Said to be in "remarkable" condition, the portrait is estimated at around 2-3 million pounds. The third major work is "Golden Hours", painted circa 1864 by Frederic Leighton, which goes to auction for the first time in 100 years and is estimated at 3-5 million pounds."All of the pictures are exemplary of their type," Orlando Rock, chairman of Christie's UK, told Reuters. "I think from a quality point of view, they ... all epitomize the periods they were created in." The works are set to go on tour at Christie's in New York and Hong Kong next month before the June "Defining British Art" sale, which will be launched alongside an exhibition of British art works handled by Christie's. ($1 = 0.6861 pounds) (Reporting by Alex Fraser and Marie-Louise Gumuchian, editing by Ed Osmond)

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Former circus lions begin journey to South African refuge from Lima

LIMA A blind lion, one that is missing an eye, and 31 others that had worked in circuses began the journey to a South African wildlife sanctuary from Lima, Peru, on Friday in what their rescuers called "the biggest transfer of animals in captivity" ever undertaken.“These lions have endured hell on earth and now they are heading home to paradise. This is the world for which nature intended these animals for," Jan Creamer, president of Animal Defenders International, said in a statement. "It is the perfect ending to ADI’s operation which has eliminated circus suffering in another country.”The organization said it rescued 24 of the lions in surprise raids on circuses in Peru. "They were living in deplorable conditions in cages on the backs of trucks. "Nine were voluntarily surrendered by a circus in Colombia. Almost all of the rescued lions have been mutilated to remove their claws, one has lost an eye, another is almost blind, and many have smashed and broken teeth so would not survive in the wild," it said in the statement. The lions are destined for the Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in the African bush. Eva Chomba, a veterinarian with Animal Defenders International, said the trip to Johannesburg would take about 16 hours with a stop in Brazil to refuel. "We're going to take care of the animals throughout the whole trip. Three of us are going on the plane ... to tend to the animals' needs, to give them chicken meat and water because the trip is very long and they need attention," Chomba said."It's the biggest transfer of animals in captivity ever in the world," Creamer said before boarding the plane to accompany the lions. Savannah Heuser, founder of Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary, said in the statement, “The lions are returning to where they belong. This is their birth right. African sun, African night skies, African bush and sounds, clouds, summer thunderstorms, large enclosures in a natural setting where they can remember who they are.” (Reporting By Marco Aquino; Editing by Toni Reinhold)

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