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Second African nation gets Google Street View

Botswana on Monday became the second African country to be featured on Google Maps’ Street View, allowing users to explore landmarks such as the Okavango Delta. “Whether you are planning a safari, doing a homework assignment on Botswana, or promoting your local business, Street View will allow you to experience…

Norwegian princess intervenes incognito on behalf of gay couple adopting baby in India

Norway’s Crown Princess Mette-Marit rushed to India on her own dime in October to help care, incognito, for twins delivered by a surrogate until their parents, a Norwegian gay couple, could arrive, the palace said Monday. Mette-Marit flew to New Delhi to help care for the babies until their parents…

Mitt Romney joins Marriott board

Mitt Romney stepped back into the top reaches of the US corporate world Monday, rejoining the board of hotelier Marriott International a month after losing the presidential race. Romney, a career investment company chief and former Republican Massachusetts governor before his challenge for the White House, has twice before served…

Los Angeles mayor warns trade hub strike cannot go on

A strike disrupting cargo through a key US trade gateway with Asia is about to enter its second week, with no progress reported in negotiations, and warnings about the economic fallout. Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has called for round-the-clock bargaining to end the strike at the ports of Los…

McAfee denies reports he was captured and says ‘double’ was arrested

Software pioneer on the run from Belize authorities writes on his blog that he remains at large and that a decoy was detained Fugitive software pioneer John McAfee has dismissed reports of his capture, claiming that it was in fact a double carrying a North Korean passport who was detained for “pre-planned…

BBC to adapt J.K. Rowling’s ‘Casual Vacancy’ for TV series

The first book for “grown-ups” by Harry Potter author JK Rowling is to be adapted into a television series, the BBC announced Monday. “The Casual Vacancy”, Rowling’s darkly comic novel set in a seemingly idyllic English village, was published in September and the TV version is set to air on…

Starbucks to slash paid lunch breaks and sick leave in UK

Coffee chain sparks fresh concern over business practices amid fears low-paid staff will bear cost of potentially increased tax bill Starbucks is cutting paid lunch breaks, sick leave and maternity benefits for thousands of British workers, sparking fresh anger over its business practices. On the day the House of Commons’…

Syrian foreign ministry spokesperson quits

Syrian foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdisi, a well-known advocate of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, has resigned and is headed for London, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Monday. “Makdisi was pressured by people inside the presidential palace, but not the president himself, to resign. He is now on…

Software ‘worm’ defaces Tumblr

A software “worm” evidently unleashed by hackers burrowed through Tumblr on Monday, defacing pages at the popular blogging platform with a vitriolic, expletive-laden message. A hacker group going by the acronym “GNAA” claimed responsibility for the diatribe, which dismissed most of what bloggers shared online as worthless. “We are aware…

‘Three Cups of Tea’ co-author committed suicide

The co-author of “Three Cups of Tea,” the best-selling but disputed tale of an American mountaineer who built schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan, committed suicide, officials said Monday. David Oliver Relin, 49, died November 15 as a result of “blunt force head injuries,” Tom Chappelle, a deputy medical examiner in…

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