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New ‘free and innovative’ Internet lobby group launches in Washington

A new Washington lobby group — comprised of the biggest firms in the online space — formally launched Wednesday, saying it would fight for a “free and innovative” Internet. The Internet Association, calling itself the first trade association representing the interests of the Internet economy, released its list of 14…

Marine park ‘the size of the Moon’ planned for Pacific

An ambitious plan to link marine parks across a vast swathe of ocean — whose surface area would equal that of the Moon — is slowly coming together piece by piece, say conservationists. Former international rugby league player turned environmentalist Kevin Iro is a driving force behind the part of…

ACLU takes CIA to court over drone strikes

The American Civil Liberties Union will go to court on Thursday in an attempt to get the CIA to hand over documents related to President Barack Obama‘s controversial “targeted killing” programme that uses unmanned drones to strike suspected Islamic militants. The programme has been repeatedly referenced in public by numerous senior officials, including by Obama…

Publishers near agreement with European Union on ebook price fixing

European regulators said on Wednesday they were near a deal with giant publishers accused of e-book price fixing, weeks after media giants including Apple sealed a deal in the United States. The European Commission said it was “inviting comments from interested parties” on commitments proposed by Simon & Schuster Inc.,…

Japan backs off promise to end nuclear energy by 2040

Japan has effectively abandoned a commitment to end its reliance on nuclear power by 2040 amid pressure from the country’s business lobby, dropping a deadline recommended by a cabinet panel only days ago. The cabinet on Tuesday gave only a vague endorsement of the panel’s report, released last Friday, and dropped any mention of…

Historic wins on same sex marriage ballot initiatives are within reach

The 2008 election was a great day for those of the liberal persuasion.Barack Obama won the White House. Democrats picked up eight seats in the Senate and 21 seats in the House on their way to large majorities in each. The passage of Proposition 8 in California (rolling back same-sex marriage rights), however, was the…

Space shuttle ‘Endeavour’ on final flight to museum

US space shuttle Endeavour departed Wednesday morning on its final voyage, heading cross-country from Florida to California, riding piggyback on a specially fitted Boeing 747. The shuttle took off several minutes behind the scheduled 7:15 am (1115 GMT) departure. The transfer had previously been postponed twice because of bad weather.…

Cyberattacks originating from China hit Japan in island controversy: police

At least 19 Japanese websites, including those of a government ministry, courts and a hospital, have come under cyberattack, apparently from China, police said Wednesday. Many of the websites were altered to show messages proclaiming Chinese sovereignty over the Diaoyu islands, a Japanese-administered chain Tokyo calls Senkaku, the National Police…

Georgia minister quits over jail rape scandal

Georgia’s prisons minister resigned Wednesday over videos showing the alleged beating and rape of convicts that caused outrage ahead of bitterly-contested elections in the ex-Soviet state. Some of the graphic video footage, aired late Tuesday by opposition television station TV9, showed a weeping half-naked male prisoner at a jail in…

Rove group American Crossroads makes $10 million ad buys for Romney

A group that supports Republican candidate Mitt Romney launched a $10-million series of advertisements Tuesday, mainly in battleground states, knocking President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats. American Crossroads, a non-profit group known as a superPAC, made an $8.3-million buy for ads that feature small business owners blasting Obama’s “bad decisions”…

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