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Amazon.com gets $252 million tax bill from France

France has demanded $252 million in back taxes from Amazon, it emerged on Tuesday, increasing the pressure on the online retailer over its controversial corporate structure in Europe. Amazon is in dispute with the French authorities over the amounts involved and is ready to take legal action if necessary, the…

Petraeus regrets affair ‘on so many levels’: friend

WASHINGTON — Fallen CIA director David Petraeus deeply regrets the affair that brought down his glittering career and does not believe he is a victim of political maneuvers, a close associate said. The resignation of the former general stunned Washington political and intelligence circles, coming just three days after President…

Problems at second Massachusetts pharmacy tied to meningitis outbreak

CHICAGO — US federal health inspectors said Monday they have uncovered serious problems at a second Massachusetts pharmacy run by some of the same people whose tainted drugs caused a deadly meningitis outbreak. While no Ameridose products have been associated with the nationwide outbreak of the disease or other types…

U.S. reviewing Afghanistan withdrawal

ABOARD A US MILITARY AIRCRAFT — President Barack Obama’s advisers are weighing how many troops to keep in Afghanistan after 2014 and will make a decision within a “few weeks,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Monday. The commander of NATO and US troops in Afghanistan, General John Allen, has submitted…

New Zealand man admits to plotting manure attack on Prince Charles

AUCKLAND — A New Zealand man said Tuesday he had intended to throw manure over Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife Camilla in central Auckland just minutes after pleading not guilty in court to planning an assault. Sam Bracanov, 74, who was arrested on Monday shortly before the royal couple…

Paula Broadwell claims about Benghazi attack dismissed as ‘baseless’ by CIA

The CIA has dismissed as “baseless” and “uninformed” claims made by the former lover of ex-agency chief David Petraeus that Libyan militants were held in secret US prisons prior to the deadly Benghazi consulate attack. Paula Broadwell, the biographer whose affair with Petraeus led to his abrupt resignation Friday, alleged…

Israel plans ‘dramatic’ settlement expansion in West Bank

JERUSALEM — Israel is preparing for a huge expansion of the Itamar settlement in the northern West Bank, the Peace Now settler watchdog said on Monday. The plan, which has yet to be approved, would see Itamar expanding five-fold from 137 homes to 675. According to Peace Now spokesman Lior…

Two Tibetans die in latest self-immolations: report

BEIJING — Two Tibetan men died in separate self-immolations on Monday, China’s state media said, the eighth and ninth reported to have set themselves on fire in the last week as the ruling Communists gather for a leadership transition. Both incidents took place in Dowa township in Tongren, a county…

Cray supercomputer named world’s fastest

WASHINGTON — A Cray supercomputer at the US government’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory was named Monday the world’s fastest, overtaking an IBM supercomputer at another American research center. The ranking released by researchers from the United States and Germany found that Titan, a Cray XK7 system installed at Oak Ridge…

Susan Rice happy to stay at UN for Obama

UNITED NATIONS — Susan Rice, the top US diplomat at the center of speculation about a top job in the new Obama administration, said Monday she is happy to remain the US ambassador to the United Nations. US media reports have made Rice a strong contender to become US secretary…

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