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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…

Google purges tainted apps from Android phones

SAN FRANCISCO — Google has remotely purged Android smartphones of applications tainted with a malicious code that could take control of the handsets and steal information. Mobile phone security firm LookOut said the purpose of the “DroidDream” code was to “download additional applications and install them silently as system applications…

Bill Gates’s philanthropy costs him richest-man title

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bill Gates didn’t lose his title as the world’s richest man last year; he gave it away by plowing billions into his charitable foundation, experts say. Forbes will release its 2011 billionaires list on Wednesday and Gates, investor Warren Buffett and last year’s richest man, Mexican…

Supreme Court won’t review drug patent deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Supreme Court let stand a ruling that drug companies can pay rivals to delay production of generic drugs without violating federal antitrust laws. The justices refused to review a U.S. appeals court ruling that upheld the dismissal of a legal challenge to a deal between Bayer…

YouTube buys US web television company

SAN FRANCISCO – YouTube announced that it bought Internet television company Next New Networks to improve content for the Google-owned video-sharing website. The New York City-based startup was launched four years ago and is home to popular networks, such as “Barely Political” and “Indy Mogul,” which it billed as the…

Oil shoots higher on Libya turmoil

NEW YORK – Crude oil prices surged again Monday as traders fretted about escalating clashes in Libya between forces loyal to leader Moamer Kadhafi and rebels seeking to end his four-decade rule. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in April, settled at $105.44 a barrel, a gain…

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