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Apple unveils digital textbooks app for iPad

NEW YORK — Apple is taking aim at the textbook market. The California-based gadget-maker unveiled a free iBooks 2 application for the iPad on Thursday that brings interactive textbooks to the popular tablet computer. “Education is deep in Apple’s DNA,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of marketing. “With…

25,000 troops and police to protect London during Olympics

LONDON — Around 25,000 troops and police officers will be deployed in London during the Olympic Games to prevent attacks, a Scotland Yard official told AFP on Thursday. “The whole purpose of our policing operation is to try and deter terrorists, to deter those wish to do ill to the…

Data shows 2011 a record-breaking year for extreme weather

WASHINGTON — Last year broke records for extreme weather in the United States, with 14 events each causing at least a billion dollars in damage, US authorities said on Thursday. Also, 2011 marked 35 years in a row that global temperatures have been warmer than average, according to data released…

Twitter acquires news aggregator Summify

SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter has acquired Summify, a Vancouver-based social news aggregator. “We’re extremely excited to announce that Summify has been acquired by Twitter!” Summify announced on its website on Thursday. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. Summify provides users with a summary of news from members of…

Only ‘direct’ talks can bring peace: Afghan official

WASHINGTON — An Afghan official said Thursday his government hopes peace talks can achieve “a political solution” with the Taliban movement, but stressed that any agreement must come from “direct” negotiations the two parties. “Ultimately direct peace negotiations will have to be between Afghan partners,” said Afghan foreign ministry spokesman…

Obama seeks jobs boost from Chinese, Indian tourists

ORLANDO, Florida — US President Barack Obama went to Disney World on Thursday touting a new jobs-from-tourism plan, but a top Republican rival mocked his trip as new evidence he lived in a political “Fantasyland.” Obama unveiled a proposal to boost jobs in the crucial electoral swing state of Florida…

US camera pioneer Kodak files for bankruptcy

The century-old US camera pioneer Eastman Kodak, which brought photography to the masses, filed for bankruptcy early Thursday after years of failing to keep pace with the digital age. “The Board of Directors and the entire senior management team unanimously believe that this is a necessary step and the right…

Republicans step up attacks before S.Carolina vote

US Republican candidates unleashed a new barrage of accusations ahead of South Carolina’s key vote, as frontrunner Mitt Romney struggled to beat back his conservative rivals. The candidates have also faced heightened scrutiny, with US media reporting on the multi-millionaire Romney’s offshore accounts and a TV network promising an “explosive”…

Italy cruise wreck search resumes amid fuel fears

Italian rescuers resumed their search on board a crashed cruise ship on Thursday, as salvage workers prepared to pump out fuel from its tanks to avoid an environmental disaster. The rescue operation had to be halted on Wednesday after the half-submerged ship shifted while rescuers were still inside, sparking fears…

Severed head, hands found below Hollywood sign

Police found two human hands near where a couple of dog walkers found a gruesome severed head, on a hiking trail leading up to the iconic Hollywood sign, a spokesman said. The hands were found after police sealed off the area overnight following the discovery of the head, reported to…

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