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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…

Church of England rejects women bishops

The Church of England’s draft legislation approving women bishops failed to pass its governing body the General Synod by a razor-thin margin on Tuesday. The legislation needed a two-thirds majority among the three houses of bishops, clergy and laity, but failed by just a few voters among the laity.…

One-quarter of eligible undocumented youth have already applied for deferred deportation

Illegal immigration: Who's applying for Obama's 'DREAM Act' deferrals? (via The Christian Science Monitor) About one-quarter of the young undocumented immigrants eligible for the two-year deportation deferral established by President Obama have applied since the program started Aug. 15 Statistics released last week by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services…

Pope publishes final volume of Jesus biography

Pope Benedict XVI has published the third and last volume of his biography of Jesus Christ, a highly personal work written under the theologian pope’s own name of Joseph Ratzinger. The tome devoted to Jesus’s childhood is being published in nine languages with a first edition of around a million…

Israel drops leaflets warning Gaza residents to leave homes for ‘own safety’

Israel’s air force dropped leaflets across Gaza City on Tuesday urging people to evacuate their homes “immediately” amid fears the military was poised to launch a ground operation. “For your own safety, you are required to immediately evacuate your homes and move toward Gaza City centre,” the Arabic-language leaflet said,…

Foreigners work to save Spain’s Cava sparkling wine

Foreigners are throwing a lifeline to Catalonia’s famous bubbly, Cava, as it struggles against a Spanish recession and the risk of a boycott. Cava is a bit fruiter and about half the price of its posher French cousin champagne, with an average bottle going for about six euros ($8). It…

Dolphins arrive in Singapore after activists fail to block transfer from Philippines

A first batch of dolphins has arrived at a new oceanarium in Singapore after activists failed to have the animals’ transfer from the Philippines blocked, officials said Tuesday. A spokesman for the Marine Life Park, part of the Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) casino, told AFP that the bottlenose dolphins had…

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