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Google’s China service disrupted without explanation

Google on Friday reported unexplained disruptions to its service in China. “We’ve checked and there is nothing wrong on our end,” a Google spokeswoman told AFP. An online tool that tracks outages or disruptions to the California-based Internet giant’s services showed online traffic in China plummet mid-day. The disruption followed…

Norwegian mass killer complains about cushy prison life

Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik’s complaints about prison life range from a lack of moisturiser in his cell to the temperature of his coffee, according to extracts from a 27-page letter published on Friday. “I highly doubt that there are worse detention facilities in Norway,” the right-wing extremist, who…

Look out, the pope is joining Twitter

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI will have an official Twitter account and will send regular tweets for his followers around the world by the end of the year, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said Friday. The Jesuit priest said the pope’s Twitter handle will be announced officially at a later…

Japan apologizes for wrongly imprisoning a Nepalese man for 15 years

TOKYO — Japan on Friday offered a public apology to a Nepalese man who spent 15 years in jail for a murder he did not commit. Justice Minister Makoto Taki told a press conference he was sorry that Govinda Prasad Mainali had spent so long in prison for the 1997…

Report: Chinese economy will overtake U.S. within four years

By Josephine Moulds China’s economy will be biggest in world by end of 2016, says leading international thinktank China will overtake the US in the next four years to become the largest economy in the world, says a leading international thinktank. The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said China’s…

John Lennon’s private letters to be published as an app

Fans will be able to read former Beatle’s private correspondence as part of the John Lennon Letters app. Imagine … A selection of John Lennon’s private correspondence will be released as an app, Digital Music News reports. The content is taken from recent volume The John Lennon Letters. Hunter Davies, editor of the book, has…

Foxconn considers opening U.S. factories

Taiwan company’s reportedly evaluating LA and Detroit as site for TV assembly plants owing to rising labour costs at home Foxconn, the controversial Taiwanese manufacturer that has become one of the world’s largest employers thanks to booming demand for the Apple products it assembles, is reportedly planning to open factories…

Bank of France warns of recession

The French economy suffered two setbacks on Friday when the central bank warned of a slight recession and official data said that industrial output fell sharply in September. France is heading for a slight recession at the end of the year, the Bank of France forecast. In another gloomy announcement,…

Japan car sales in China plunge 59.4% in October

Sales of Japanese passenger vehicles in China slumped 59.4 percent on-year in October, a Chinese industry group said Friday, as a territorial row between the countries pummelled demand. Japanese-brand car sales in China — the world’s largest auto market — fell to 98,900 units last month, the China Association of…

Assad says only ‘ballot box’ can decide his future

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said his future could only be decided through the ballot box, in an interview with Russian television where he warned the country could face a protracted war. Assad told state-run Russia Today (RT) that whether the president can “stay or leave” is a “popular issue” and…

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