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NATO protesters march in Chicago ahead of summit

CHICAGO — Protesters chanting “Fight! Fight! Fight! Housing is a human right!” marched in Chicago Wednesday using the upcoming NATO summit as an opportunity to draw attention to the US foreclosure crisis. Thousands of protesters are expected to descend upon Chicago as the leaders of 50 countries gather for a…

JPMorgan hit with shareholders lawsuit over loss

NEW YORK — US fund manager Saratoga Capital Management, filed a class-action lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase Wednesday after the nation’s largest bank lost more than $2 billion in derivatives trading. The suit accuses the bank; Jamie Dimon, chief executive and chairman; and Douglas Braunstein, chief financial officer, of fraudulently hiding…

Forbes names Jennifer Lopez ‘most powerful’ star

NEW YORK — Jennifer Lopez is the world’s most powerful celebrity, according to Forbes magazine Wednesday in a rankings based on a combination of earnings, press coverage and Internet presence. Lopez headed the 100-strong list, up from 50th last year, while her American Idol colleague Ryan Seacrest was 29th. Lady…

D.C. to allow turbaned Sikh police

WASHINGTON — Washington’s police chief on Wednesday gave the green light for turbaned Sikhs to serve as officers, making the capital the first major US city to accommodate the religion’s articles of faith. The police department said that 4,000 officers have gone through cultural training to sensitize them to the…

Fed sees sharp U.S. budget cuts as ‘sizable risk’

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve sees a quick, sharp tightening of US spending as a “sizable risk” to the economy, minutes from a recent top-level policy meeting revealed Wednesday. “Several” members of the Fed’s interest rate-setting panel have expressed fears that uncertainty about dramatic budget cuts could curb business hiring…

Obama warns opponents over debt ceiling showdown

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama warned Republican foes Wednesday he would not let Congress hold the US economy “hostage” with a debt-ceiling row like the one that nearly paralyzed Washington last year. Obama hosted House Speaker John Boehner and other top lawmakers for a White House lunch where much of…

Skechers to pay $40 million for toned butt claims

LOS ANGELES — US shoemaker Skechers is to pay $40 million to settle claims that it deceived consumers by suggesting its sports shoes could help tone their butts and lose weight, officials said Wednesday. In an agreement similar to one last year against Reebok, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said…

HIV may afflict almost half Asia-Pacific transgenders: UN

BANGKOK — Nearly half of transgender people in the Asia-Pacific region could have HIV as poor healthcare and high-risk lifestyles push infection rates to “critical levels”, a UN report said Thursday. The region’s estimated 9-9.5 million transgender population is “bearing the brunt of the HIV epidemic”, the UN Development Programme…

Mexicans pay tribute to novelist Carlos Fuentes

MEXICO CITY — Hundreds of Mexicans bade farewell to late novelist Carlos Fuentes on Wednesday, carrying books and flowers as they filed past the casket of one of the Spanish-speaking world’s best-known writers. During a public ceremony at the grand Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City, President Felipe Calderon…

New home construction in U.S. increased in April

New construction of homes in the United States jumped in April, official data showed Wednesday in a fresh sign of improvement in the distressed housing market. Housing starts increased 2.6 percent from March, to 717,000 units, the Commerce Department said. That was well above the average analyst forecast of 680,000…

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