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Bolivians stage miniature festival in tribute to god of abundance

Bolivia is throwing a little party. Literally. It’s a yearly festival in which street vendors hawk everything miniature — from houses to clothes to passports — for small bills of fake money. The old month-long fair that started Thursday is called ‘Alasita,’ which means ‘buy me’ in the indigenous Aymara…

Mississippi bill aims to ‘neutralize’ some federal laws and protect ‘sovereignty’

Two legislators in Mississippi are tired of what they claim is the federal government’s overreach on states’ rights — and want to take legislative action to stop it. House Bill 490 seeks to nullify federal laws “outside the scope of the powers delegated by the people to the federal government…

Sarah Palin’s contract with Fox News not renewed

Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska and vice presidential candidate, is parting ways with Fox News. Her contract as a paid contributor has not been renewed with the cable news channel, reported the New York Times. A statement from an executive vice president at Fox, Bill Shine, read, “We have…

NAACP joins lawsuit against NYC soda ban

One of the nation’s largest civil rights organizations is joining the fight against New York City’s ban on large sugary sodas — but both sides of the debate have been accused of catering to special interests. The NAACP, along with a coalition of Hispanic organizations, is joining a lawsuit aiming…

‘Islamophobic’ Lego toy angers Austrian Turks

Austria’s Turkish community has threatened to sue Lego because it thinks the firm’s “Star Wars: Jabba’s Palace” box set might teach children to associate Islam with violence and terrorism. One of the buildings is a “one-to-one copy” of the Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul, while the figure with an axe…

Apple onshores jobs and announces Silicon Valley factory

Apple on Friday listed a Silicon Valley facility as a location where the California company’s Macintosh computers are assembled. The addition to Apple’s list of final assembly plants came less than two months after chief executive Tim Cook vowed to shift some computer manufacturing from China to the United States…

Polish lawmakers vote down civil unions bill

Polish lawmakers on Friday voted down three bills on civil unions for unmarried couples, a move backed by gay rights activists but fiercely opposed by conservatives in the deeply Catholic country. None of the drafts included provisions that would legalise gay marriage and adoption, similar to proposals by the French…

Russians fear ex-governor will ruin iconic island

Russians protested Friday after the government appointed an unpopular former governor to run one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kizhi complex of wooden churches. Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky on Thursday set off a wave of protest by dismissing the current director and appointing the…

Japanese scientists invent ‘privacy visor’ to fool Google’s facial recognition software

A “privacy visor” that uses infra-red light to interfere with facial recognition technology has been developed in Japan for people worried about being spotted by computers. The goggles are useful for anyone who wants to avoid their identity being detected by hidden cameras, the inventors say. “Measures for preventing the…

Apple loses spot as most valuable company

Apple shares extended their losses Friday, as the California tech giant lost its position as the world’s biggest company based on market value. In midday trade on Wall Street, Apple shares were down 2.37 percent at $439.82, giving it a market capitalization of $412 billion. Oil giant ExxonMobil meanwhile rose…

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