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Only North American middle class to grow in last 30 years was Mexico’s

Only Mexico’s middle class has grown over the past 30 years in North America, while income disparity has increased in Canada and the United States, according to a study here out Tuesday. “Mexico’s middle class has benefited from urbanization, greater female employment, improved education and better social programs,” said economist…

Afghan civilian deaths in 2011 outpace a decade of NATO troop killings

Far from the bright lights of Chicago where world leaders met to shape NATO’s exit from Afghanistan, one of the war’s victims, 12-year-old Aleema, sums up her life in three words: “It’s the worst.” Aleema, who has lived in a mud hovel in a refugee camp on the outskirts of…

U.S. new home sales rebound in April

US new-home sales rebounded in April after falling the prior month, official data showed Wednesday in mounting early signs of recovery in the collapsed housing market. The Commerce Department reported new-home sales at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 343,000, an increase of 3.3 percent from the upwardly revised March…

Facebook fighting off lawsuits over IPO flop

Facebook and its underwriters came under broad legal attack Wednesday as lawyers and investors filed lawsuits over Facebook’s controversy-marred initial public offering. At least three law firms said they were filing actions against Facebook and its underwriters after the $16 billion IPO flopped amid accusations that the lead underwriters and…

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to receive extradition ruling on May 30

Britain’s Supreme Court said on Wednesday it will give its judgement in the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s long-running fight against extradition to Sweden on May 30. The court announced the date in a statement on its website, saying the judgement would start at 9:15 am (0815 GMT) next…

Churchill’s will among millions published online

The wills of famous Britons such as Winston Churchill are among those of six million people being published online for the first time Wednesday. The massive collection of documents, which also includes the wills of Crimean War nurse Florence Nightingale and Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, has been made availabe by family history website ancestry.co.uk. The latest records show that…

Mazda & Fiat to jointly produce sports car

Japanese automaker Mazda Motor and Italy’s Fiat said Wednesday that they have agreed to jointly produce a new two-seater sports car as part of a technology and product development alliance. The vehicle, which will use Mazda’s next-generation rear-wheel-drive technology, is to be sold under the Mazda and Alfa Romeobrands, the latter owned by Fiat, with some differences including an engine…

Pakistan acid women fear backlash over Oscar film

Survivors of acid attacks whose plight became the focus of an Oscar-winning documentary now fear ostracism and reprisals if the film is broadcast in Pakistan. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy made history earlier this year when she won Pakistan’s first Oscar, feted across the country for exposing the horrors endured by women whose faces are obliterated in…

Lab uses skin cells to help repair heart muscle

Lab scientists on Wednesday reported that for the first time they had taken skin cells from patients who had suffered heart failureand turned them into cells that could repair damaged cardiac muscle. The technique has so far been tested on rats and it could take up to a decade of problem-solving before trials…

Study: Kids suffer long-term from parents’ smoking

Children exposed to their parents’ cigarette smoke are at greater risk of suffering serious cardiovascular health problems later in life, a study showed Wednesday. The Menzies Research Institute in Tasmania collected data from a Finnish and Australian study following children first examined 20 years ago who are now aged in their mid-30s. It found that those…

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