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Labor Secretary Hilda Solis resigns

US Labor Secretary Hilda Solis resigned on Wednesday, becoming the latest member of President Barack Obama’s cabinet to decide not to stay on in his second term. Obama praised the Hispanic former lawmaker as a “tireless champion for working families” and said she had been a critical member of his…

AIG refuses to join lawsuit against U.S. government

The board of giant insurer AIG decided Wednesday not to join a private shareholder lawsuit against the US government over the $182 billion rescue of the insurer in 2008. The lawsuit filed by Starr International, which is controlled by former AIG chief executive Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, argued that the massive…

U.S. National Cathedral opens doors to same-sex weddings

The Washington National Cathedral, a focal point of Christian worship in the United States, said Wednesday that, effective immediately, it will officiate same-sex weddings. In a statement, its dean, Gary Hall, said the cathedral — one of the biggest in the nation — would marry gay and lesbian couples using…

Skype to replace Microsoft Messenger in March

Microsoft on Wednesday sent out word that it will “retire” its Messenger online chat feature on March 15 and replace it with the Skype Internet telephony service it bought last year. Microsoft sent an email message advising Messenger users to update to Skype using their same account information in advance…

LinkedIn tops 200 million users

LinkedIn on Wednesday announced that more than 200 million people have joined the career-focused online social network since its launch nearly a decade ago. “This milestone is more than just a metric, it’s a reminder of the global footprint and the scale of impact our network has each day,” LinkedIn…

15-year-old Saudi girl granted divorce from 86-year-old man

A 15-year-old Saudi girl who was forced to marry an octogenarian has been granted a divorce after a local human rights group intervened, the watchdog said on Wednesday. The Saudi Human Rights Commission (SHRC) raised the case “after learning of the marriage of a minor girl to an 86-year-old man…

Beyonce to sing national anthem at presidential inauguration

Pop diva Beyonce will sing the national anthem before hundreds of thousands of onlookers at US President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony on January 21, organizers said Wednesday. On a stage specially constructed for the event at the foot of the Capitol, the singer — a long-time supporter of Obama —…

China becomes second-largest movie market

Moviegoers in China spent 17 billion yuan ($2.7 billion) on tickets last year, turning the country into the second-largest film market in the world, the state news agency Xinhua said on Wednesday. Sales rose 30 percent from 2011, it said, citing the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT),…

Judge delays WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning’s trial until June

Judge reschedules former US soldier’s trial to give more time for review of classified information related to WikiLeaks case A military judge has pushed back the trial of Bradley Manning, the US soldier accused of being behind the WikiLeaks publication of state secrets. Colonel Denise Lind, the judge presiding over…

Obama to nominate chief of staff Jack Lew for Treasury chief

President Barack Obama plans to nominate his chief of staff Jack Lew as his next Treasury secretary, replacing Timothy Geithner, US media reported Wednesday. Lew, 57, is a veteran Washington insider who previously served as Director of the Office of Management and Budget. His nomination — which must be confirmed…

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