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Avril Lavigne abruptly cancels appearance and Hiroshima anniversary concert

Canadian pop starlet Avril Lavigne has pulled out of a music festival in the atomic-bombed city of Hiroshima, Japanese organisers said Friday. The singer of teen anthem “Skater Boy” had agreed to perform in the city’s 10-day World Peace Concert, which runs to August 5, the day before the 68th…

New York City bike share tech woes enrage normally even-keeled New York bikers

Since the Big Apple launched its bike share program late last month, New Yorkers have already pedalled a total of 475,970 miles (766,000 kilometers) — essentially, to the Moon and back. But not all New Yorkers are over the moon about the program — even the most pro-bike residents have…

Serge Gainsbourg impersonator on trial for stabbing Johnny Hallyday impersonator

In one of the more surreal cases to come before the French courts, an impersonator of the late Serge Gainsbourg went on trial Friday for stabbing a rival who specialises in mimicking veteran rocker Johnny Hallyday. Denis Colnot, a 48-year-old fan of iconic singer-songwriter Gainsbourg, faces a lengthy prison term…

The legal rationale for paying interns

This week, a federal judge ruled that Fox Searchlight violated minimum wage laws for not paying two production interns. So what are those laws? Are unpaid internships ever OK? Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about intern pay. What laws determine when an intern should or should not be…

Obama orders federal agencies to cede airwaves to private telecom providers

US President Barack Obama moved Friday to free up more broadcast spectrum used by federal agencies to help meet the surging demand from smartphones and other mobile devices. A White House order calls for a federal team to evaluate ways for agencies to give up or share spectrum for mobile…

Fracking is a boon to manufacturers but not their workers

By James B. Kelleher YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (Reuters) – This city has been down for so long, it’s hard to believe what’s risen up here in the heart of America’s “Rust Belt.” On an industrial site littered with scrap metal, a French-Japanese joint venture called Vallourec Star has just opened a…

Welcome to Utah, the NSA’s desert home for eavesdropping on America

The NSA’s new $1.7 billion facility in the heart of Mormon country has the potential to snoop on US citizens for decades to come Drive south down Camp Williams Road, a highway outside Salt Lake City, and your eye is drawn to the left. A gun-mounted helicopter and other military…

IMF urges repeal of ‘ill-designed’ sweeping federal budget cuts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund on Friday urged the United States to repeal sweeping federal budget cuts that will be a severe drag on economic growth this year. In its annual check of the health of the U.S. economy, the IMF forecast economic growth would be a sluggish…

Draft document reveals G8 will avoid ‘naming and shaming’ corporate tax avoiders

By Tom Bergin LONDON (Reuters) – The G8 group of leading economies will shy away from adopting a measure aimed at curbing tax avoidance by highlighting when companies channel profits into tax havens, and will include a watered down alternative, according to a draft statement. British Prime Minister David Cameron,…

Pope praises Archbishop of Canterbury on anti-same-sex marriage stance

Pope Francis received the head of the Anglican Church, Justin Welby, for the first time on Friday, praising him for his stance against gay marriage and calling for united action to defend the poor. Francis urged Welby to continue proclaiming “the importance of the institution of the family built on…

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