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Global mobile data traffic doubled in a year

The amount of data used by mobile devices doubled over the past year, boosted by growth in video streaming services, according to a study released on Wednesday by Swedish telecom group Ericsson. Data traffic doubled in the third quarter of this year on an annual basis, and rose 16 percent…

Smartphones are destroying the point-and-shoot camera market

The soaring popularity of smartphones is crushing demand for point-and-shoot cameras, threatening the once-vibrant sector as firms scramble to hit back with web-friendly features and boost quality, analysts say. A sharp drop in sales of digital compact cameras marks them as the latest casualty of smartphones as videogame consoles and…

UN: Goals on curbing greenhouse gases even further out of reach

The gap has widened between countries’ pledges for reducing climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and what is needed to keep planet warming in check, the UN warned. Based on current pledges, global average temperatures could rise by three to five degrees Celsius (5.4 to 9.0 degrees Fahrenheit) this century…

French LGBT groups angered over apparent backtrack on marriage equality

France’s main gay lobby suspended links with France’s socialist government Wednesday, saying it felt “betrayed” after President Francois Hollande appeared to backtrack slightly on plans to legalise gay marriage and adoption. The Inter-LGBT said it was “suspending all relations with the government” until Hollande explained “what at best can be…

Libyan security chief assassinated in Benghazi

Colonel Farag al-Dersi played key role in curbing militia power in wake of US ambassador Chris Stevens’ murder in September The Libyan security chief who led an anti-militia crackdown in the wake of the killing of the country’s US ambassador has been assassinated in Benghazi, raising questions about the government’s…

Court rules Christian Brothers Catholic order must share sexual abuse compensation costs

A Catholic diocese has successfully forced a Christian Brothers order to share the cost of compensating more than 170 victims of alleged physical and sexual abuse who attended a Yorkshire children’s home. The landmark decision in the supreme court confirms advances in the legal doctrine of “vicarious liability” under which…

Bankrupt California town Mammoth Lakes survives on tourism dollars

The nation’s fiscal cliff nightmare played out in miniature form in the mountain town of Mammoth Lakes. But four months on, residents there say they have settled into acceptance It had endured earthquakes, volcanic gases and droughts, but Mammoth Lakes, a scenic town perched high in the Sierra Nevada, is…

UN chief urges halt to rocket attacks on Israel

UN chief Ban Ki-moon called for an immediate halt to rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip, after talks with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas on Wednesday. “I reiterate my call for an immediate cessation of indiscriminate rocket attacks by Palestinian militants targeting Israeli populated centres. This is unacceptable,” he…

Greenhouse gases rose to record levels in 2011: UN

The volume of greenhouse gases causing global warming rose to a new high last year, the UN World Meteorological Organization said Tuesday, warning it is becoming increasingly unlikely the world can limit rising temperatures to UN-backed targets. Levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) — the single most important man-made contributor to…

Victims of Hurricane Sandy forgotten in Haiti

Hurricane Sandy, the deadly storm that slammed into New York and New Jersey in October, tore through the Caribbean long before reaching America — and in Haiti, many still await help. Flooding from Sandy killed 54 people and left thousands homeless in Haiti, another woe for a country still struggling…

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