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U.S. economy grew ‘modestly’ in September: Fed

The US economy grew “modestly” in September despite weak momentum in consumer spending, a Federal Reserve report published Wednesday showed. In its report known as the Beige Book, based on anecdotal information, the Fed said it was told “that economic activity generally expanded modestly since the last report” six weeks…

Australian restaurant agrees to remove urinals shaped like women’s mouths

A sumptuous new French restaurant in Sydney said Wednesday it would remove two urinals designed to resemble a woman’s lipsticked mouth, apologising for any offence they have caused. The Ananas Bar and Brasserie said the bright red-lipped urinals shaped like an open mouth were “a commonly used European design piece…

Brazil Supreme Court gets first black president: official

Joaquim Barbosa, the tough justice overseeing Brazil’s high-profile corruption trial, was officially nominated president of the Supreme Court, the first black to assume the post. In a plenary session, the court’s 10 justices picked the 58-year-old Barbosa, the most senior member, to assume the rotating presidency for a two-year term.…

Putin’s stunt to encourage bird migration fails spectacularly as public learns birds taken back to reserve by plane

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bid to encourage a group of endangered cranes on their winter migration appeared to have failed spectacularly Wednesday when it emerged the birds had been taken back to a wildlife reserve by plane. The 60-year-old president already earned mockery last month when he took to a…

Survey: 40 percent of teens have an iPhone

Two out of five American teenagers have an iPhone, in a sign that Apple is the “pre-eminent technology brand” for youth, a survey by a financial firm shows. In its semi-annual survey of over 7,700 teens, Piper Jaffray found that 40 percent had an iPhone, up from 34 percent six…

French woman astonished at trillion euro phone bill

A Frenchwoman who received a telephone bill for an amount equivalent to nearly 6,000 times the country’s annual economic output has had the real amount she owed waived — after finally convincing the company they must have made a mistake. Solenne San Jose, from Pessac in the Bordeaux region of…

German cabinet approves law allowing circumcision

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet Wednesday passed a draft law to allow circumcision in Germany after a court said the rite amounted to grievous bodily harm, a ruling that caused international uproar. The new legislation, which must now be passed by the German parliament, “makes clear that circumcision is possible in…

NASA: SpaceX supply capsule successfully reached space station

A capsule on a first privately-run resupply mission successfully linked up Wednesday with the International Space Station, the US space agency NASA said. A robot arm operated by two of the six astronauts aboard the space station snatched the Dragon capsule at 1056 GMT, more than thirty minutes ahead of…

Mobile devices knock PC off technology throne

The PC is not dead, but it’s no longer king of the technology universe. As Microsoft prepares to launch Windows 8, the newest version of its operating system, the tech landscape is dramatically different from three years ago, when Windows 7 was launched. The market for mobile devices such as…

Rolling stones release new song on greatest hits album

A new song by the Rolling Stones, one of two included in their forthcoming “Grrr!” greatest hits album, will be released on Thursday, the group’s Universal record label said. “Doom and Gloom”, recorded in Paris over the summer, will be broadcast by radio stations and available as a digital download…

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