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Mexico ‘risks corn damage’ if GM maize is planted

MEXICO CITY — Environmentalists are warning that Mexico, the cradle of corn, risks damaging its staple if the government gives US firms the green light to plant genetically-modified maize in huge swaths of land. The agriculture ministry is examining the possibility of allowing Monsanto, DuPont and Dow to plant GMO…

New York sues Credit Suisse over mortgage securities

NEW YORK — The state of New York sued Credit Suisse for fraud Tuesday over the sale of questionable mortgage securities that dealt buyers $11.2 billion in losses in the US housing meltdown. Following a similar suit against JPMorgan Chase in October, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the…

Bernanke steps up warnings over fiscal cliff

WASHINGTON — Fed chairman Ben Bernanke stepped up his warnings Tuesday over the looming “fiscal cliff,” saying its mandatory tax hikes and spending cuts posed a “substantial threat” to US economic recovery. With President Barack Obama’s administration and Congress locked in crunch talks on avoiding the cliff and slashing the…

Parents, teens uneasy Facebook ‘friends’: study

WASHINGTON — US parents are keeping a close eye on their teens’ activities on Facebook and other social networks, provoking a “mixed” reaction from the youngsters, a new study showed Tuesday. The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project survey found parents are taking steps to monitor such online…

U.S. blocks UN Council statement on Gaza

UNITED NATIONS — The United States on Tuesday blocked a UN Security Council statement on the Gaza conflict, arguing that it would have been “counter-productive” amid efforts to reach a ceasefire. Russia had threatened to press for a full council resolution on the conflict if the Arab-proposed statement was blocked.…

Girl killed in Florida school bus shooting

MIAMI — A 13-year-old schoolgirl in Florida was shot dead Tuesday by another student as she was being transported on a school bus with her younger sister and eight other children, police said. “The girl was taken to Children’s Hospital in Miami where she died,” said Alvaro Zabaleta, spokesman for…

France says Google would lose court case over taxes

NANTERRE, France — France’s Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac said on Tuesday Google would never win a court case contesting a huge tax bill claimed by French authorities. Cahuzac said he had “the most genuine conviction” that the courts would back France’s claim against Google over unpaid taxes. Speaking to reporters…

Toronto faces lawsuits over plastic shopping bag ban

OTTAWA — The Canada Plastic Bag Association on Tuesday joined a growing number of groups suing Toronto, Canada’s largest city, to stop a proposed ban on plastic shopping bags. The association said its members “have a substantial economic interest in the manufacture, supply, distribution and sale of plastic bags in…

Sister defends socialite at heart of Petraeus scandal

WASHINGTON — The sister of the Florida socialite who inadvertently triggered the FBI probe that brought down CIA chief David Petraeus on Tuesday defended both her twin and the former general. In her first public appearance since the story broke, flanked by her newly hired high-powered lawyer, 37-year-old Nathalie Khawam…

UN: More than 5 million children in Iraq lack ‘basic rights’

More than five million children in Iraq are deprived of “basic rights,” the United Nations said in a statement on Tuesday, calling for urgent action. “One in every third child in Iraq, 5.3 million children, is still currently deprived of many of their fundamental rights,” it quoted Marzio Babille, the…

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