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Spain considers automatic residency to foreign home buyers

Spain may offer automatic residency to foreigners such as Chinese and Russians who buy homes in the country, aiming to help the ruined housing market, a government official said Monday. “We have proposed to the other ministries that for residents who acquire a home in Spain for more than 160,000…

Human rights group: ‘Killer robots’ should be banned

Autonomous drones that could attack without human intervention would make war easier and endanger civilians, says report The use of autonomous drones – “killer robots” that could fire weapons with no human control – must be prohibited by international treaty, human rights campaigners and lawyers have said. Weapons being developed…

Intel seeks new CEO as Otellini announces retirement

Computer chip giant Intel Corp. announced Monday that chief executive Paul Otellini would retire in May, and that a search for a new CEO was underway. “The board of directors will conduct the process to choose Otellini’s successor and will consider internal and external candidates for the job,” said a…

Australia’s coal and gas exports to surge

Australia’s coal and gas exports will surge as its resource sector booms, but it faces challenges such as labour shortages and infrastructure bottlenecks, the International Energy Agency said Monday. In a review of Australia’s energy policy, the IEA also welcomed the government’s carbon price mechanism to help combat climate change…

U.S. existing home sales jump as supply tightens

US existing home sales picked up in October despite the market in the northeast being shut down in the last days of the month by Hurricane Sandy, a realtors group said Monday. Existing home sales rose 2.1 percent over September, hitting an annual pace of 4.79 million units, pulled up…

U.S. begins talks on long-term troop presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014

Robert Bales shooting trial puts thorny issue of US troop immunity centre stage, with Hamid Karzai hoping to wring tough concessions Afghanistan and the US have opened talks to keep American troops in the country after most Nato forces go home in 2014, but the thorny question of immunity for American…

Charlie Chaplin hat and cane net more than $62,000 in auction

Charlie Chaplin’s iconic bowler hat and cane were auctioned off for $62,500 this weekend, as part of an auction which also includes a John Lennon nude drawing of himself and Yoko Ono. The hat and cane, trademark of Chaplin’s Little Tramp character, were in “remarkable condition” and had been estimated…

Indians arrested for Facebook post on Mumbai shutdown

Indian police said Monday they had arrested a woman for criticising on Facebook the total shutdown of Mumbai after the death of politician Bal Thackeray, as well as a friend who “liked” the comment. The pair were due to appear in court later in the day charged under the Indian…

Armchair skippers take to virtual round-the-world race

Navigating stormy seas by day and night, hundreds of thousands of virtual skippers are sailing the Vendee Globe while safe and dry at home thanks to an online version of the round-the-world yacht race. “Virtual Regatta” has signed up some 300,000 players from around the world since the 20 real-life…

Space station crew returns to Earth in Russian capsule

Three astronauts touched down early Monday on the snowy steppes of Kazakhstan in a Russian Soyuz capsule after spending over four months aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Russia’s Yuri Malenchenko, Sunita Williams of the US and Akihiko Hoshide of Japan touched down as scheduled just before 0200 GMT, the…

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