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China’s manufacturing slumps in August

China’s manufacturing activity slumped in August to a nine-month low, official figures showed Saturday, in the latest sign of serious weakness in the world’s second-largest economy. The government’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to 49.2 in August from 50.1 in July, according to a statement released by the China Federation of Logistics…

Thalidomide victims reject ‘insulting’ apology

Thalidomide survivors on Saturday rebuffed an apology by the German company that manufactured the drug, saying it was an “insulting” response to the thousands born disabled as a result of its use. In its first apology for the scandal in 50 years, Grunenthal said on Friday it was “very sorry” for its…

Venezuela investigating apparent massacre of Yanomami by illegal Brazilian miners

CARACAS — Venezuela has sent a team of investigators to the nation’s south to look into the apparent massacre in July of as many as 80 Yanomami Indians by illegal Brazilian miners. Forensics teams, officials and security forces were “visiting nine Yanomami communities” along the border with Brazil in Amazonas…

Facebook to eradicate ‘suspicious Likes’ from people who don’t really care

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook ramped up efforts Friday to get rid of “Likes” that aren’t from people genuinely interested in giving a virtual thumbs up to pages at the world’s leading social network. “We have recently increased our automated efforts to remove Likes on pages that may have been gained…

‘Hypocritical’ Romney tells hurricane victims to get help from FEMA

By Mira Oberman LAFITTE, Louisiana — One day after he was named official flag-bearer of the Republican revolution, Mitt Romney confronted the limits of his small government rhetoric Friday in the storm-ravaged Louisiana Bayou. As Hurricane Isaac petered out and headed off northwards, Romney jetted in from his nomination convention…

Self-styled ‘hillbilly’ is ‘pissed at Uncle Sam’ for taking 29% of his $225 million lottery jackpot

A US railroad engineer and self-described “hillbilly” is less than impressed that the tax man is getting a big chunk of the $337 million he won in the latest Powerball lottery. Donald Lawson, 44, of Lapeer, Michigan, who retains the accent of his native Arkansas, came forward on Friday as…

Princess Diana recalled fondly on 15th anniversal of her death

LONDON — Dozens of bouquets of flowers, posters and cards were left at the gates of Kensington Palace on Friday as Princess Diana was remembered on the 15th anniversary of her death. Tourists, well-wishers and passers-by took photos and read the tributes at the royal residence in the British capital,…

Stocks rise on Bernanke endorsement of renewed stimulus

NEW YORK — Ben Bernanke’s much-awaited endorsement of more Federal Reserve stimulus Friday gave stocks a solid boost, though tempered by his picture of an economy that remains weak and vulnerable. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 90.13 points (0.69 percent), closing at 13,090.84. The broad-based S&P 500 rose 7.10…

Eastwood’s fellow Hollywood stars pan his RNC performance

By Leila Macor LOS ANGELES — Clint Eastwood’s bizarre cameo at the Republican National Convention drew some scathing reviews Friday from his movie industry colleagues in traditionally Democrat-leaning Hollywood. The Oscar-winning actor-director’s own agent declined to comment on the rambling performance — in which the 82-year-old “Dirty Harry” star chatted…

Two vans in Romney motorcade collide, leaving press stranded

NEW ORLEANS — Two vans in Mitt Romney’s motorcade were involved in a minor collision Friday after the Republican nominee reviewed storm damage near New Orleans, but his vehicle was not involved. A press van rear-ended a staff van in the area of Jean Lafitte, leaving the press pool which…

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