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U.S. Internet providers agree to block subscribers accused of copyright infringement

Time Warner, Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Cablevision Systems all said Thursday that they were implementing a series of “best practices” recommendations that would see the connections of subscribers accused of copyright violations slowed down or even temporarily blocked if the alleged offenses continue. The adoption of these policies, proposed by The Center…

Credit card donations to WikiLeaks possible again: DataCell

REYKJAVIK — Seven months after Visa and MasterCard blocked credit card payments to WikiLeaks, donating to the whistleblower website using plastic became possible again on Thursday, its data hosting service provider said. “Today (Thursday) we have observed that an alternative payment processor that we have contracted with, has in fact…

U.N. report: Renewable energy investment soars 540% since 2004

Investment in renewable energy last year amounted to a record 211 billion dollars, a rise of 32 percent over 2009 and 540 percent over 2004, a UN-backed report said on Thursday. China, investing 48.9 billion dollars, up 28 percent, accounted for more than a fifth of the total, marking a…

Murdoch to close News of the World over phone hacking scandal

British tabloid News of the World will print its last issue on Sunday, closing down after an investigation revealed it had participated in the phone hacking of celebrities, British politicians, the families of terrorist attack victims, dead soldiers and others. According to Sky News, the closure was announced on Thursday…

Nation’s largest nurses’ union urges Obama to oppose cuts to social programs

The National Nurses United (NNU) union said Thursday that it strongly opposed further cuts to social programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, and urged the president to join them. Instead of cutting social programs to solve the nation’s deficit woes, they hope President Barack Obama will hold fast to…

More consumers late on loan payments, bills in 1st quarter of 2011

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – More consumers had trouble making payments on credit cards and other debts during the first three months of the year due to higher food and gas prices, an industry report said on Thursday. The American Bankers Association said the data showed a downturn from prior quarters and…

Obama puts Social Security, Medicare cuts on the table

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After weeks of impasse, President Barack Obama and top congressional leaders are aiming for “something big” as they resume budget talks on Thursday to avert an imminent default. With Republicans showing new flexibility on taxes, Democrats say Obama will push negotiators to double their target to $4…

U.S. judge unimpressed with Apple ‘App Store’ trademark claim

A federal judge on Wednesday denied a bid by Apple to immediately stop Amazon.com from calling its online shop for smartphone programs an “App Store.” US District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton didn’t buy Apple’s argument that the phrase “App Store” was tantamount to a trademark, which it has applied for.…

Banks struggle to agree on Greek aid plan

ROME (Reuters) – International banks, under pressure from European governments to roll over their holdings of Greek debt, tried again to come up with a joint rescue plan on Thursday after talks over a French proposal fell apart. European Central Bank and Greek government officials as well as international and Italian…

Treasury secretly weighs options to avert default

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A small team of Treasury officials is discussing options to stave off default if Congress fails to raise the country’s borrowing limit by an August 2 deadline, sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. Senior officials, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, have repeatedly said there are no contingency…

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