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Watchdog group cites ‘deplorable’ abuse at Apple’s China suppliers

A labour rights group said Thursday it had found “deplorable” conditions at Apple suppliers in China, following a probe of several firms that make the US technology giant’s hugely popular products. New York-based China Labor Watch said a four-month investigation of 10 suppliers to Apple in southern and eastern China…

Americans favor Obama to defend against space aliens: poll

Nearly two in three Americans think President Barack Obama is better suited than Republican rival Mitt Romney to deal with an alien invasion, according to a survey released Wednesday. National Geographic Channel contacted 1,114 adults across the United States last month for its fanciful opinion poll ahead of its new…

Attorney General Holder faces historic contempt vote

US lawmakers and the Obama administration braced for a divisive and unprecedented Thursday vote on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress after 11th-hour talks failed to reach a deal. Defying calls from Democrats to scrap or postpone the vote to allow another chance for a…

Historic stolen atlas returned to Sweden

NEW YORK — A 415-year-old atlas stolen from Sweden’s Royal Library more than a decade ago was recovered in the United States and has been returned to the Scandinavian country, officials said Wednesday. The Cornelius van Wytfliet atlas, which contains 19 rare maps, vanished alongside 55 other books, a theft…

Google Internet glasses on the way

SAN FRANCISCO — Google glasses that overlay the Internet on daily lives should hit the market within two years. Google co-founder Sergey Brin gave the estimated timeline after a project update that included sky divers dropping in with a new version of “Glass” wearable computers. “I’m so glad that worked,”…

Clinton hails Egypt vote but warns it’s ‘just the beginning’

HELSINKI — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday congratulated Egypt’s newly elected Islamist president, but cautioned that the election was just a first step towards true democracy. “We have congratulated President (Mohamed) Morsi and the Egyptian people for continuing on their path to democratic transition,” Clinton told reporters…

New York Times to launch Chinese news website

NEW YORK — The New York Times said Wednesday it was launching a Chinese-language news website to deliver “high-quality coverage of world affairs, business and culture” to readers in China. A statement from the prestigious US daily said it was “launching a beta version of a new online Chinese-language edition…

Airbus to build first U.S. aircraft plant: report

NEW YORK — European aircraft maker Airbus plans to build its first plant in the United States, moving into the world’s largest market for single-aisle planes, The New York Times reported Wednesday. Airbus plans to invest several hundred million dollars a plant in Mobile, Alabama, said the Times, citing people…

SEC sues hedge fund billionaire for diverting money

WASHINGTON — US regulators sued hedge fund billionaire Philip Falcone for fraud Wednesday, accusing him of taking $113 million from a fund to pay his taxes. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said Falcone, who raked in billions betting against packaged mortgage securities ahead of the US real-estate crash, took…

U.S. beaches laden with sewage, bacteria: study

WASHINGTON — US beaches can be dirty places, making about 3.5 million people sick each year from sewage in the water, said an annual study Wednesday that rates American beaches by how dirty they are. The Natural Resources Defense Council report included 3,000 beaches nationwide and listed 15 “repeat offenders”…

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