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Penguin joins settlement in government e-books lawsuit

Penguin Group has agreed to join three other publishers in a settlement of a US government lawsuit alleging an e-book price-fixing conspiracy with Apple, officials said Tuesday. The Justice Department said that with four of the five publishers having agreed to a settlement, it will proceed in its case against…

Best friend’s letter to slain Sandy Hook pupil goes viral

A best friend’s touching farewell letter to a slain Sandy Hook pupil went viral on the Internet Tuesday, encapsulating in a few words the shock and sorrow of a nation. “Jack, you are my best friend,” began the handwritten letter to six-year-old Jack Pinto, one of the 20 first graders…

Republicans threaten ‘plan B’ on fiscal cliff

Republicans in Congress went on the offensive over the fiscal cliff negotiations on Tuesday, threatening to unilaterally introduce a Plan B before the end of the year to prevent tax rises for anyone earning less than $1m a year. The House Republicans are proposing to introduce a speedy bill that…

Petraeus lover won’t be tried for cyber-stalking

Paula Broadwell, the former lover of ex-CIA chief David Petraeus, will not prosecuted for cyberstalking during the affair that led to his downfall, an informed source said Tuesday. The FBI investigation for cyberstalking of Broadwell has been dropped, the law enforcement source said. Petraeus, America’s most celebrated military leader in…

Obama supportive of Feinstein’s proposed assault weapons ban

President Barack Obama on Tuesday threw his weight behind a bill to reintroduce a ban on civilians owning assault weapons, in the wake of a gun massacre in an elementary school that shocked the nation. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the president would support a law proposed by Democratic…

U.S. court bans environmental group from approaching Japanese whalers

A US court has ordered environmental group Sea Shepherd to maintain a distance of 500 yards from Japanese whaling ships, in a move welcomed by those behind the government-funded fleet. The injunction was ordered by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in the latest step in a…

Israel poised to build thousands of new settler homes

Israeli authorities on Tuesday rejected a plan to build around 800 new settler homes in annexed east Jerusalem, but were expected to approve more constructions elsewhere, triggering the ire of Washington. Settlement watchdog Peace Now told AFP that authorities were due to endorse a far larger project on Wednesday and…

Instagram faces online uproar over plan to sell photos

Instagram faced a backlash Tuesday after the Facebook-owned photo-sharing service rewrote its rules to give itself the right to sell users’ pictures for advertising without compensation. Changes to the privacy policy and terms of service set to take effect January 16 include wording that allows people’s pictures be used by…

Ireland to amend draconian abortion restriction

Ireland will introduce draft legislation and regulations to provide limited abortion in cases where the mother’s life is at risk, the government announced Tuesday. It follows a 2010 European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling that found Ireland failed to implement properly the constitutional right to abortion where a woman’s…

Critical art exhibit looks at man’s relationship with food as a billion starve

A contemporary art show opening this week in Geneva aims to spark a dialogue on man’s intricate relationship with food in a world where nearly a billion people are undernourished, the curator said Tuesday. “The relationship we have with food is much more complex and important than the simple connection…

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