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Top U.S. court upholds copyright law protecting foreign works

The US Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a law extending copyright protection to foreign works — everything from Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” to Picasso’s “Guernica” — even after they have entered the public domain. The court ruled 6-2 that a 1994 law that brought the United States in line with global intellectual…

Seven charged in U.S. insider trading probe

US authorities announced Wednesday the break-up of an alleged $78 million hedge fund insider trading scheme and said they’d charged seven people across the country. Speaking in Manhattan, the chief federal New York prosecutor, US Attorney Preet Bharara, called the ring “a club where everyone scratched everyone else’s back.” Four people were arrested and charged and…

Newspapers in Japan defy West’s media malaise

Printed newspapers may be in crisis in the West but circulations remain enormous in high-tech Japan – and its media will even resort to medieval methods to get copies to readers. When the March 2011 tsunami struck a great swathe of the northeast coast, leaving 19,000 people dead or missing and triggering…

Obama rejects contested Keystone XL pipeline

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama on Wednesday rejected the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, saying he could not vouch for its safety by a deadline despite intense election-year pressure. The rival Republican Party had forced Obama to make a decision on whether to approve the 1,700-mile (2,700-kilometer) route…

Republican-led House ‘disapproves’ debt hike

WASHINGTON — The Republican-led House of Representatives Wednesday passed a largely symbolic measure condemning a hike in the US debt ceiling as political battles over government finances resumed. By a vote of 239 to 176, the lawmakers passed the resolution expressing disapproval of the increase in the US borrowing authority,…

Romney hits back at Gingrich ahead of key vote

ROCK HILL, South Carolina — Republican White House hopefuls brawled Wednesday ahead of this state’s key nominating primary, with frontrunner Mitt Romney pounding his chief conservative threat, Newt Gingrich. At a campaign rally in Spartanburg, Romney mocked Gingrich’s claims to have helped create jobs during his time in Congress, saying…

Supreme Court considers rights of U.S. permanent residents

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard oral arguments in three cases on the rights of foreign-born permanent residents of the United States, two of whom face deportation and a third who was denied re-entry after traveling abroad. The US government has been deporting record numbers of non-citizens —…

Goldman Sachs profits plunge 47%

Banking titan Goldman Sachs on Wednesday reported a steep drop in profits for 2011, a fall of 47 percent from the prior year as the firm battled global economic headwinds. The New York-based bank, once famously described as a “great vampire squid” for its ability to make money, made $4.4…

‘Nuckin Futs’ snack gets go ahead in Australia

MELBOURNE — A snack called “Nuckin Futs” has got the green light to be sold in Australia after regulators accepted the profanity it parodies was part of everyday speech, according to a report. The Trade Marks Examiner initially ruled that the name was inappropriate and rejected a trademark application, the…

Koobface computer virus gang unmasked

WASHINGTON — Online security researchers claimed Tuesday to have identified the members of a Russian gang of cyber criminals behind the Koobface computer virus which has attacked Facebook and other sites. Facebook said meanwhile that its security team had helped knock out a computer server which controlled a Koobface “botnet”…

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