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Facebook to allow users to follow posts by strangers

Facebook is letting members follow strangers Twitter-style in the latest of a barrage of data maelstrom-taming moves since rival social network Google+ launched in June. “Google+ was a major wake-up call for Facebook,” said analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group in Silicon Valley. “They were awakened to the fact that…

U.S. fines Bank of America for firing whistleblower

NEW YORK — US authorities on Wednesday ordered Bank of America to pay $930,0000 to an employee who was fired after exposing fraud at the bank’s disgraced mortgage unit, Countrywide Financial. The US Labor Department said in a statement that the employee was illegally fired after he led “internal investigations…

U.S. report spreads blame for BP oil spill

A key US government report spreads the blame for the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday, citing a bad cement job and poor management decisions by BP and its subcontractors. The finding by the agency that regulates offshore drilling could strengthen BP’s legal case for recovering some…

Russia may shut 30 airlines: official

Russia may recall the licenses of 30 smaller airlines in response to a recent spate of plane crashes that officials blamed on poor safety procedures, the Federal Air Transport Agency said Wednesday. The announcement came just days after President Dmitry Medvedev ordered his government to shut down unreliable airlines after…

U.S. to sell 18 F-16 fighter jets to Iraq: Pentagon

The United States is “very close” to sealing a deal to sell 18 F-16 fighter jets to Iraq, a top Pentagon official announced Wednesday. Iraq had frozen the $4.2 billion deal earlier this year amid the Arab Spring pro-democracy uprisings, but the prospects were “promising” for the contract to now…

Internet-enabled cars all the rage at auto fair

Following smartphones and tablet computers, motorists look set to be the next big market for connected devices as automakers wow crowds with the latest Internet-enabled models at the IAA motor show. The times are long past when car shows reeked of motor oil and fans were obsessed with engine power…

Paintings of banks on fire turn art teacher into celebrity

The Los Angeles art scene is abuzz over 41-year-old teacher Alex Schaefer after one of his paintings, showing a Chase bank branch set ablaze, sold on eBay for $25,200. But before he broke the bank (literally and figuratively), Schaefer had to stare down Los Angeles police detectives in July, and…

Lawsuit: News Corp. directors knew about U.S. hacking a decade ago

The board of directors for News Corporation knew that two of its U.S. subsidiaries were involved in illegal hacking efforts against competitors but did nothing to stop it, according to a lawsuit filed this week by shareholders. The allegations point to News America Marketing and NDS Group, two News Corp.…

Fight brewing over U.S. offshore profit taxation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Large U.S. corporations are pressuring Congress and the White House to exempt overseas corporate profits from taxes, a policy shift that critics say would hurt the economy and increase the federal deficit. A fight is shaping up between supporters of territorial taxation, as this policy proposal is…

Release of key BP oil spill report expected soon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The results of a pivotal federal U.S. probe of last year’s massive BP oil spill could be released as early as Wednesday, according to a source familiar with the matter. The final report from U.S. Coast Guard and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management(BOEM) investigators has been heavily anticipated by investors eager for clues…

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