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Japan passes second recovery budget

Japan’s parliament on Monday enacted a $25 billion extra budget to pay for relief and rebuilding after the March 11 quake-tsunami, as Prime Minister Naoto Kan faced mounting pressure to resign. Earlier in the day a ruling party heavyweight suggested Kan could be closer to stepping down with the budget…

‘Anonymous’ hackers access Austrian bank data

The Austrian branch of the hacker group Anonymous accessed the bank data of 96,000 people in an attack on the website of the country’s GIS television licence agency, officials said on Monday. The hacker group, which was targeted last week by US authorities in a crackdown that included 16 arrests,…

IMF warns on U.S. debt, markets slide

Pressure rose on President Barack Obama and top lawmakers Monday to avert a ruinous US debt default just days away, as stocks slipped and the IMF warned of a “severe shock” to the world economy. Obama cancelled a pair of political fundraisers as Democrats and Republicans huddled separately in congress…

Physicists closing in on ‘God particle’

Experiments at the world’s biggest atom smasher have yielded tantalising hints that a long-sought sub-atomic particle truly exists, with final proof likely by late 2012, physicists said Monday. “We know everything about the Higgs boson except whether it exists,” said Rolf Heuer, director general of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN). “We can…

Obama cancels fundraisers to deal with debt crisis

President Barack Obama has canceled several fundraising events for his 2012 reelection campaign to deal with the US government debt crisis stalemate, officials said Monday. Obama, who raised some $86 million in the second quarter for his reelection effort, has scrapped events in California and in Seattle, Washington, according to…

NYT writer: James and Rupert Murdoch are ‘done’

With James Murdoch being pursued for allegedly lying to the British Parliament, and his father Rupert on the ropes and refusing to accept any responsibility for the mess his company has created, at least one prominent writer for The New York Times is predicting the downfall of both men. “Mr.…

Asian shares fall on U.S. default fears

Asian stocks fell on Monday as US talks aimed at raising the country’s debt limit fell apart, raising the spectre of a default, although losses were muted on expectations a deal would be reached. The crisis weighed on the dollar, sending it to its lowest level against the yen since…

Democrats still oppose short-term U.S. debt plan

US President Barack Obama and Democratic congressional leaders Sunday renewed their opposition to any short-term plan to raise the US debt ceiling, a White House official said. Obama met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for just over an hour late Sunday amid intense…

Moody’s downgrades Greek debt rating

Moody’s credit rating agency downgraded Greek debt by three notches on Monday and warned that the eurozone rescue was almost certain to trigger another two-notch cut to default status. Moody’s, taking a similar line to the Fitch agency on Friday, said that once old debt had been replaced with new…

Honda to recall 200,000 cars globally

Japan’s Honda Motor said Monday it would recall about 200,000 passenger cars globally due to defective engine parts. The company said it had received 63 customer reports in Japan of engine malfunctions as a result of the defect, but said none had led to accidents. In Japan alone, the car…

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