New York authorities on Tuesday vigorously defended a decision to shut down America's biggest city for a storm that skirted the Big Apple, dumping the worst snow on Long Island and New England. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city got only a fraction of the two feet (60 centimeters) of snow that had been widely predicted in the 48 hours leading up to the storm. The National Weather Service warned that life-threatening conditions persisted along the coast from Long Island into Connecticut and Massachusetts, where more than two feet of snow blanketed some areas. "You plan the best you can and you lean toward safety," New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo told a news conference under a barrage of questioning.
Yahoo announced plans Tuesday for a tax-free spinoff of its stake in Chinese Internet giant Alibaba, splitting off the valuable holdings from its core operations. The move aims to deliver more cash for shareholders than an outright sale of the $40-billion stake, avoiding a hefty tax bill, and to help Yahoo's efforts to refocus under chief executive Marissa Mayer. Mayer told a conference call the deal "maximizes value for shareholders" and avoids a potential tax bill of up to $16 billion under a traditional sales of the stake. She said the move is part of a broader effort to help Yahoo's "remixing" of its activities around mobile Internet, video and other forms of online media.
The California-based tech giant also announced Tuesday that its highly anticipated Apple Watch wearable devices unveiled last year are on track to begin shipping in April. "We'd like to thank our customers for an incredible quarter which saw demand for Apple products soar to an all-time high," said chief executive Tim Cook. Apple posted record revenue of $74.6 billion in the quarter, during which 74.5 million iPhones were sold. In the same three-month period at the end of 2013, Apple reported profit of $13.1 billion on $57.6 billion in revenue.