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Android and Apple have ‘duopoly’ in world smartphone market

Android and Apple smartphones captured a whopping 92 percent of global sales in the fourth quarter, giving the two systems an effective duopoly, a research firm said Monday. Strategy Analytics said global smartphone shipments grew 38 percent annually to reach 217 million units in the fourth quarter, to bring annual…

Garbage piles up at Madrid airport as cleaning staff strikes

Garbage piled up at Madrid’s Barajas airport, one of Europe’s busiest, on Monday due to a strike by cleaning staff over salary cuts and job losses. Papers, empty plastic bottles and drinks cans littered the floor of the airport, Europe’s fourth-busiest by passenger numbers, with 45 million passengers last year.…

Court: Iceland doesn’t need to repay UK and Dutch depositors

Iceland was entitled to refuse to pay immediate deposit guarantees to savers with failed online bank Icesave in Britain and the Netherlands, a European court said Monday. The ruling is the latest twist in a bitter dispute which has clouded negotiations on Iceland’s ambitions to become a member of the…

Islamist insurgents torch library containing ancient Mali manuscripts

Fleeing Islamist insurgents burnt two buildings containing priceless books as French-led troops approached, says mayor Islamist insurgents retreating from the ancient Saharan city of Timbuktu have set fire to a library containing thousands of priceless ancient manuscripts, some dating back to the 13th century, in what the town’s mayor described as…

Low turnout means Bulgarian referendum on building second nuclear plant will likely fail

Low turnout appears to have scuppered a Bulgarian referendum on whether the former Communist nation should build a second nuclear power plant. Some 4.35 million people, about 60 percent of eligible voters, needed to cast ballots for the results to be binding. Although the central electoral committee is yet to…

Sixth New Delhi gang rape suspect to be tried as juvenile

A court on Monday ruled that the sixth suspect in last month’s deadly gang-rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi would be tried as a juvenile, after rejecting calls for tests to determine his age. Ishkaran Bhandari, a lawyer for the teenager who cannot be named for…

Iran claims it sent a live monkey into space

Iran on Monday sent a capsule containing a live monkey into space and later retrieved the “shipment” intact, the Tehran-based Arab-language Al-Alam channel said, quoting an official statement. A previous attempt in 2011 by the Islamic republic to put a monkey into space failed. No official explanation was given. “Iran…

Report: Pentagon planning massive cybersecurity increase

The US Department of Defense has approved a fivefold expansion of its cybersecurity force over the coming years in a bid to increase its ability to defend critical computer networks, The Washington Post reported. Citing unnamed US officials, the newspaper said the Defense Department’s Cyber Command, which currently has a…

Taiwanese billionaire launches Asian ‘Nobel prize’

One of Taiwan’s richest men on Monday launched what has been widely touted as the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize, and it is even more lucrative than the famed Swedish award. Samuel Yin, head of the sprawling Ruentex business empire, said that by donating Tw$3 billion ($101 million) for…

South Korea’s pop artists eye life after Psy

Thanks to Psy’s “Gangnam Style” smash hit, the South Korean music industry’s long-held dream to make it big in Europe and the USA with its K-pop boy bands has taken a giant leap forward. But Psy’s international success looks unlikely to have a big knock-on effect in other Asian countries,…

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