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Coen Brothers to receive France’s top cultural honor

US filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen will on Wednesday be presented with France’s highest cultural honour at a ceremony in Paris. The brothers, much garlanded for their large body of work including the Oscar-winning “No Country for Old Men” and “Barton Fink” which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, will…

Snapchat admits to sharing photos with the cops

Snapchat admits to sharing photos with the cops (via The Inquirer) PHOTO SHARING SERVICE Snapchat, an app that allows users to take photos knowing that they will be deleted forever once they’ve been seen by the intended recipient, has admitted that in certain circumstances it might hand your pictures over…

European stocks slump as U.S. debt deadline approaches

European stock markets dropped on Wednesday, as U.S. lawmakers took the deadlock over avoiding a disastrous default to the last hours before a deadline Sentiment was rattled further as ratings agency Fitch placed the United States on warning for a downgrade from its top-level AAA assessment. In late morning deals,…

Music industry honors legendary punk pioneer John Lydon

Sex Pistol hellraiser John Lydon was honored by the music industry when he was presented with the Icon Award at the BMI London Awards. The punk pioneer, who went by the stage-name Johnny Rotten during his time as frontman of the Sex Pistols, followed Bryan Ferry and Ray Davies in…

Debt default could cause China to rethink its investment in U.S. dollar assets

A U.S. debt default could spur China to diversify its multi-trillion-dollar foreign exchange reserves, the world’s largest, analysts say, as Beijing seeks to boost its voice in the global economy. A historic default would inevitably lower the value of China’s U.S. dollar assets and have a broader impact on its…

‘Gangam Style’ cops will help tourists settle disputes while visiting South Korea

South Korea unveiled its new “tourist police” force Wednesday, with snappy uniforms from rapper Psy’s costume designer and a “Gangnam Style” launch in central Seoul. Around 100 young policemen and women make up the first batch of the new force — formed to protect tourists from being ripped off during…

Condemned Florida inmate confesses just before execution to woman’s rape and murder

After claiming his innocence for over two decades, William Happ finally confessed to murder as he was put to death by lethal injection in the US state of Florida. News reports said Happ took over 15 minutes to die, as his body repeatedly made convulsive movements, as the state corrections…

Death toll from Philippines earthquake reaches 99

The death toll from a powerful earthquake that struck the central Philippines rose to 99 on Wednesday and would likely climb further as rescuers reached isolated areas, authorities said. A 7.1-magnitude quake struck the island of Bohol on Tuesday morning, destroying centuries-old churches and triggering landslides that engulfed homes alongside…

U.S. joins Australia and France in pushing for Antarctic sanctuaries

Australia, New Zealand, the United States, France and the EU on Wednesday stepped up pressure on Russia for a swift agreement to create vast Antarctic marine sanctuaries. The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), comprising 24 nations plus the European Union, meet in Australia next week…

New York Times executive editor: Reporting on Snowden’s NSA info has served the public

Jill Abramson says on BBC’s Newsnight that Guardian articles on NSA files are ‘very much in the public interest’ Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, has mounted a defence of the ability of journalists at her own paper and at the Guardian to publish public interest stories…

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