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Debt warning rocks US economy

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has cut the outlook on US sovereign debt to “negative”, raising doubts about Washington’s ability to tackle its huge debt and fiscal deficits. The move, the first time S&P has ever placed such a warning on the US’s gold-standard AAA rating, raised…

Twitter seeking to buy TweetDeck

SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter is in “advanced talks” to buy TweetDeck, a popular platform for accessing the service, for some $50 million, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. Asked about the report, Twitter said: “We don’t comment on rumors. We don’t provide off-the-record background on rumors. We don’t wink twice…

Google, Japanese invest $500 million in wind farm

WASHINGTON — Google and the subsidiaries of two Japanese companies are investing $500 million in a wind farm being built in the northwestern US state of Oregon. Google said in a blog post Monday it was investing $100 million in the Shepherds Flat Wind Farm, expected to be the largest…

Borders execs to get big bonuses after laying off 6,000

It’s not just Wall Street that rewards failure. Bookseller Borders Group Inc. (BGP) wants to give their executives up to $8.3 million at a time the company is in bankruptcy and laying off 6,000 employees. In documents filed in court late last month, the book chain said that it was…

High-tech weapons sow fears of chip sabotage

WASHINGTON (AFP) – As NATO countries weigh whether to arm Libya’s rebels, military planners may give a thought to adding a remote “kill switch” to some weapons to keep them out of the wrong hands, experts say. Even if allied governments conclude that building in a remote control to disable…

Toyota resumes production at Japan factories

TOKYO (AFP) – Toyota on Monday resumed operations at all its domestic plants that had been halted since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, with production volume still at around 50 percent due to a parts shortage. The auto giant said it had begun measuring the radiation levels of its…

General Motors leads the US in clean energy patents

DETROIT, Michigan — General Motors received more clean energy patents in the past year than any other company, a study released Friday said. GM’s 135 patents represented nearly 14 percent of the 1,881 US patents obtained by 700 organizations in 2010, according to an analysis by the Clean Energy Patent…

German executives sentenced in death of Italian workers

ROME — An Italian court on Friday sentenced German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp’s director-general in Italy to 16.5 years in jail for the deaths of seven workers after a fire at its Turin plant in December 2007. Harald Espenhahn was convicted by a court in Turin in the north of the country…

Obama admin. threatens to prosecute state employees who license medical marijuana dispensaries

A letter from the Department of Justice, sent yesterday to Washington state Gov. Chris Gregoire (D), warned of the potential for criminal prosecutions of state employees who engage in the production of medical marijuana, which is now legally sanctioned in the state. The message would seem to stand in stark…

Luxury spending by rich to rise; value sought

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Spending by rich Americans on luxury goods is set to grow by $26.6 billion in 2011, with the number of affluent families planning to spend more almost doubling in the past three years, a poll found on Friday. As the United States gradually emerges from its…

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