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Regulator defends itself against bank ‘stress tests’ attack

LONDON — European banking regulators moved Wednesday to downplay reports that some of the new “stress tests” on banks due later this year would be less strict than the much-criticised tests carried out in 2010. The Financial Times (FT) reported that the European Banking Authority would soften parts of the…

Republicans push to overturn ‘net neutrality’ rules

During a Communications and Technology Subcommittee Hearing on Wednesday, House Republicans pushed for a resolution to eliminate ‘net neutrality’ rules recently adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The committee passed the resolution, with all 15 Republicans voting to repeal the rules and all 9 Democrats voting against it. The…

Madoff victim paybacks in ‘near future’: trustee

NEW YORK — The court-appointed trustee hunting down assets diverted by jailed fraudster Bernard Madoff has said that payments to victims could start in the “near future.” However, Irving Picard said in a conference call that legal challenges were holding up distribution of the bulk of the funds collected so…

US cities take aim at junk mail

WASHINGTON – Five US cities launched initiatives Tuesday to let residents refuse junk mail, hoping to support the environment and cut expenses by stopping waste at its source. Americans receive some 100 billion pieces of advertising mail a year, according to the US Postal Service. Catalog Choice, a non-profit group,…

AIG repays $6.9 billion of US TARP bailout

WASHINGTON – Bailed-out insurance giant AIG repaid $6.9 billion of a US government bailout Tuesday, using proceeds from the sale of its stake in industry rival MetLife, the US Treasury said. A Treasury statement said that American International Group used $6.6 billion of the $9.6 billion it received from the…

Internet and cell phones the ‘best weapons against dictatorships’

Decentralized communication technologies, such as cell phones and the Internet, are the best way to ensure the spread of democracy around the globe, according to an study published in the International Journal of Human Rights. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have become an important tool for democracy and…

Scientists warn of ‘dangerous over-reliance’ on GPS

LONDON – Developed nations have become “dangerously over-reliant” on satellite navigation systems such as GPS, which could break down or be attacked with devastating results, British engineers said Tuesday. The Royal Academy of Engineering said the application of the technology was now so broad — from car sat-navs to the…

US Treasury Secretary Geithner bullish on global economy

BERLIN – The US Treasury Secretary said Tuesday the global economy was at its healthiest for several months, in bullish remarks on a whirlwind trip to Germany where he also discussed the euro crisis. Speaking after a meeting with Wolfgang Schaeuble, Germany’s finance minister, Timothy Geithner said: “We see a…

ACLU: DEA’s politics are keeping cannabis-based medicines off shelves

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) does not commonly take an active role in matters pertaining to the drug war, but in the case of Dr. Lyle E. Craker, a professor at the University of Massachusetts, outspoken is certainly one way to describe their position. Craker’s name might sound familiar…

Airlines hike fares, surcharges for costly fuel

ATLANTA (Reuters) – U.S. airlines are raising fares and rolling out surcharges as runaway fuel prices threaten to eat into profits. Fuel surcharges are being added on international routes. JetBlue Airways Corp said on Monday it recently implemented a $45 one-way surcharge in select Caribbean markets. Delta Air Lines Inc…

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