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Slow growth leaves White House race wide open

Weak consumer spending stunted US growth in the last quarter, data showed Friday, leaving the race for the White House wide open and putting discussion about more economic stimulus firmly on the Fed’s agenda. The Commerce Department reported second-quarter growth fell to 1.5 percent from 2.0 percent in the previous…

Mining giant plays down fears Amazon rail project will harm tribe

Mining giant Vale on Friday played down fears that its planned expansion of a railway line in the Brazilian Amazon will harm the already vulnerable Awa tribe. Survival International, a leading advocate for the rights of tribal people worldwide, on Thursday said that Vale’s plans to extend its Carajas railway…

Humans wouldn’t do well in all-species Olympics: study

Human beings would be made to look decidedly unimpressive were animals allowed to compete in the Olympics — outperformed by the likes of kangaroos, gorillas and ostriches, a science paper said. Usain Bolt, currently the world’s fastest man, may just be able to outrun a Dromedary camel but would trail…

Apple ‘considering investment’ in Twitter

Computer and smartphone maker Apple has been discussing with social media company Twitter the possibility of making a significant investment in it, The New York Times reported. Citing unnamed “people briefed on the matter”, the newspaper late Friday said Apple was considering investing into Twitter hundreds of millions of dollars,…

Queen did Olympic sketch ‘in one take’

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II pulled off her acting role in the Olympics opening ceremony “in one take”, a BBC official said Saturday. The 86-year-old monarch was shown in a pre-filmed sequence in which actor Daniel Craig, playing fictional British super-spy James Bond, arrived at Buckingham Palace in a taxi to…

Syrian rebels unfurl huge flag under Eiffel Tower

PARIS — Two Syrian opposition activists unfurled an enormous rebel flag at the base of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Friday and were briefly detained by police. As a handful of supporters from the France Syria Democracy group rallied below, the two activists climbed scaffolding set up for maintenance…

Columbine families plan to reach out to Aurora shooting victims

Relatives of the victims of the Columbine school shooting in Colorado are planning to reach out to those who lost loved ones in the Aurora cinema rampage in the hope of supporting them through the dark days ahead. Several of the families of the 12 school children and one teacher who were killed in…

Watchdog group: Pro-fracking study had conflict of interest

A university study that claimed fracking for gas deep beneath the Earth’s surface did not cause water contamination was led by a US professor with financial ties to the gas industry, a watchdog group said Friday. Lead author Charles “Chip” Groat, of the University of Texas, told reporters when the…

CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton resigns

CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton announced Friday he is quitting the job at the end of the year, saying the struggling cable network needs “new thinking.” Walton said in a statement released by CNN that he would leave on December 31 after 10 years at the helm of CNN, the…

Spanish unemployment hits 25 percent in June

Spain’s jobless rate neared 25 percent in June, officials said Friday, darkening the recession outlook despite relief on financial markets at a vow of support by the European Central Bank. The unemployment rate rose in the second quarter to 24.63 percent and a huge 53 percent among the young, despite…

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