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BlackBerry to launch new smartphone on January 30

The launch for the new BlackBerry 10 platform will be held January 30, as smartphone maker Research in Motion tries to regain traction against surging rivals. The Canadian firm said Monday the launch “will happen simultaneously in multiple countries around the world.” The struggling tech firm will unveil two new…

Father still awaits soldier son’s casualty report from 2003

By Peter Sleeth, Special to ProPublica and Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times WELLSVILLE, Kan. u2014 The day after Jim Butler learned his son had died in Iraq in 2003, a U.S. Army casualty officer showed up at the family’s small ranch to explain what happened. Your son was hit by…

Google, Amazon and Starbucks facing British inquiry over tax evasion

Campaigners, MPs and Taxpayers’ Alliance agree large companies are exploiting loopholes in international tax regimes.  Google, Amazon and Starbucks will face aggressive and detailed questioning by MPs on Monday over their decision to base their European businesses outside the UK to avoid paying full UK tax. Responding to a growing…

Israel army confirms tank shell strikes in Syria

JERUSALEM — Israeli troops fired tank shells into Syria on Monday in retaliation for a mortar round that struck near an army post in the Golan Heights, scoring “direct hits” on the source of the fire, the army said. “A short while ago, a mortar shell hit an open area…

Energy group: U.S. could become world’s biggest oil producer

The US could become self-sufficient, while 90% of middle eastern oil could go to China, according to new estimates The US can shed its long-standing dependence on oil from Saudi Arabia and become the world’s biggest oil producer within the next decade, the world’s foremost authority in energy said on Monday.…

Veterans struggle with benefit claims thanks to missing war records

by Peter Sleeth, Special to ProPublica, and Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times A strange thing happened when Christopher DeLara filed for disability benefits after his tour in Iraq: The U.S. Army said it had no records showing he had ever been overseas. DeLara had searing memories of his combat experiences.…

Australia sets up national child sex abuse inquiry

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard Monday announced a national inquiry into institutional responses to child sex abuse after a series of scandals involving paedophile priests. Gillard made the announcement following claims by a senior policeman that the Catholic Church in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales destroyed evidence and…

Newly united Syria opposition bids for recognition

The leader of Syria’s newly united opposition headed to Arab League headquarters in Cairo to push for diplomatic recognition on Monday, buoyed by the hard-won unity deal among the disparate factions. Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, 52, a moderate Muslim cleric who quit Syria three months ago, was to be accompanied on…

China not ‘serious’ in Tibet immolations probe: Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama said Monday that China is more interested in criticising him than finding the reason behind a spate of Tibetan self-immolations threatening to mar the Communist Party’s leadership change. The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader told reporters in Japan that Beijing is not looking “seriously” at the protests taking…

Myanmar struggles to reach quake victims

Myanmar rescuers struggled Monday to bring help to outlying villages hit by an earthquake that aid agencies say has killed at least 13 and caused a bridge and mine to collapse. A series of powerful aftershocks rattled nerves after Sunday’s 6.8-magnitude quake, which sent terrified people running from their homes…

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