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U.S. judge allows tech ‘poaching’ suit to proceed

SAN FRANCISCO — A US judge has given a green light to a lawsuit charging Apple, Google, Pixar and other technology-driven firms with colluding to keep salaries in check by agreeing not to poach one another’s software engineers. District Court Judge Lucy Koh, in a decision released late Wednesday, rejected…

New York police open new leads on child missing 33 years

NEW YORK — New York police and the FBI dug into a Manhattan basement Thursday to pursue new leads in a child disappearance case that shocked the city 33 years ago. Swarms of officers gathered outside the building where agents hoped they might finally get to the bottom of the…

Obama’s popularity abroad on the wane, survey finds

WASHINGTON — US leadership has lost some of its luster abroad, suggesting President Barack Obama can’t count on as much global euphoria as he gears up for a fierce reelection campaign, a new survey found Thursday. The report card was particularly dire from Serbia and Iran where approval ratings for…

U.S. calls for ‘restraint’ after Indian missile tests

WASHINGTON — The White House Thursday urged restraint among nuclear capable states after India tested a long-range missile, but rejected any comparison between New Delhi’s behavior and that of North Korea. “We urge all nuclear capable states to exercise restraint regarding nuclear and missile capabilities and continue to discourage actions…

Australian troops to stay in Afghanistan through 2014

BRUSSELS — Australia vowed in an apparent U-turn Thursday to keep combat troops in Afghanistan through 2014 after Prime Minister Julia Gillard had indicated they would come home earlier than planned. Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr and Defence Minister Stephen Smith made the pledge during talks with NATO counterparts to…

U.S. helicopter crashes in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON — A US Black Hawk helicopter crashed in southwestern Afghanistan on Thursday with four people believed to be on board, likely American soldiers, a US defense official told AFP. “We’re assuming they’re American,” said the official, adding he could not confirm whether those on board had been killed or…

U.S. urges tough UN sanctions, arms embargo on Syria: Clinton

PARIS — World powers should push for tough United Nations sanctions against Syria in order to force Bashar al-Assad’s regime to comply with a UN peace plan, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday. “We need to start moving very vigorously in the Security Council for a Chapter Seven sanctions…

Vatican condemns American nuns for liberal stances

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican has issued a scathing condemnation of the main association of Catholic nuns in the United States for taking liberal stances on contraception, homosexuality and female priests. The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) said in a statement on Thursday it was “stunned” by the Vatican…

Police break-up women’s protest in Guinea, some 20 injured

CONAKRY — Guinea police fired tear gas at women protesting over upcoming elections, as well as kicking and hitting them to break up the rally, leaving about 20 injured, an AFP journalist witnessed Thursday. About 200 women from several opposition parties gathered near the headquarters of the electoral commission (CENI)…

Bahrain denies visas to foreign journalists for F1

DUBAI — Bahrain has denied visas to foreign journalists and photographers, including from AFP, to cover this Sunday’s controversial Grand Prix race. An AFP photographer, accredited by the sport’s governing body, the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile), was informed by Bahrain’s information affairs authority that there has been a “delay…

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