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More than a third of U.S. adults own smartphones: study

A Pew Research Center study released on Monday indicated that 35 percent of US adults own smartphones as the Internet is increasingly being accessed using gadgets on the go. A quarter of US smartphone owners claimed to do most of their online browsing from mobile devices, according to the study…

Testy U.S. debt talks set to enter third day

President Barack Obama and his Republican opponents headed Tuesday into a third straight day of talks seeking an elusive deal to avert a potentially ruinous early August default on US debt payments. The 3:45 pm (1935 GMT) discussions at the White House came after Obama Monday scolded Republicans and pressed…

Eurozone ‘may allow’ selective Greek debt default

Eurozone finance ministers are open to the possibility of allowing a selective debt default in Greece within a new rescue plan for the country, the Dutch finance minister said Tuesday. “It’s not excluded anymore, clearly,” Jan Kees de Jager said on arriving for talks with European Union counterparts, one day…

Japan quake makes 2011 costliest disaster year

Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami in March are set to make 2011 the costliest year on record for natural disasters, German insurance giant Munich Re said on Tuesday. Total economic losses for the first six months alone were $265 billion, easily exceeding the $220 billion recorded for the whole of…

Inflation drops to 4.2% in June

Twelve-month inflation slowed unexpectedly to 4.2 percent in June from 4.5 percent in May as cheaper toys and televisions helped to offset high food and energy prices, official data showed on Tuesday. Consumer Prices Index inflation also surprisingly fell by 0.1 percent in June from May on a month-on-month basis,…

Anonymous threatens ‘explosive’ releases from intelligence community

Update (below): Anonymous releases 90,000 military emails and passwords A Twitter account purported to be run by a hacker who helped found the infamous LulzSec group claimed Monday that “Anonymous” would release “literally explosive” information this week, ostensibly taken from intelligence contractors. While it was impossible to verify if the…

BP calls on U.S. to halt payments for oil spill damages

After approximately $4.5 billion paid out to victims of BP’s record-breaking Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the company is urging U.S. officials with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility to halt further compensation. Citing an improving Gulf coast economy, the British oil giant said in a 29-page letter (PDF) released to…

St. Paul businesses failing in wake of Minn. gov’t. shutdown

By Gus Lubin Downtown St. Paul is suffering the Keynesian multiplier in reverse (via @obsoletedogma). Beyond the 22,000 public sector workers who are out of work during government shutdown, businesses that depend on government traffic have cut hours and laid off workers, according to the Star Tribune: Matt Kramer, president of the…

Greece, Italy top agenda at EU finance chiefs meeting

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU finance officials will discuss a range of options for Greece’s intractable debt crisis on Monday, galvanized by the growing threat of contagion to Italy, the euro zone’s third-largest economy. A senior European Union source told Reuters the Eurogroup of 17 euro zone finance ministers meeting later…

WikiLeaks’ Assange appeals UK extradition ruling

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will on Tuesday start his appeal against a British court ruling that he can be extradited to Sweden to face allegations of rape. The 40-year-old Australian will take his legal battle to the High Court in London for a two-day hearing, in the hope of reversing…

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