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Toronto mayor ousted over conflict of interest

OTTAWA — A court ordered the mayor of Toronto, Canada’s largest city, to be removed from office for violating conflict of interest rules when soliciting donations for his football charity. Mayor Rob Ford got into legal trouble when he spoke out at a city council vote in February against a…

Cyber Monday deals boost U.S. retail sales

WASHINGTON — Online retail sales were jumping for “Cyber Monday,” the key Web shopping day following the US Thanksgiving holiday weekend, a survey showed. IBM said its cloud-based digital analytics platform, tracking shopping in real time, showed sales up 26 percent from last year as of 2000 GMT. “All signs…

NASA monitors massive dust storm on Mars

WASHINGTON — The US space agency says it is monitoring a massive dust storm on Mars that has produced atmospheric changes. It’s the first time since the 1970s that NASA is studying such a phenomenon both from orbit and with a weather station on the surface, NASA said on its…

U.S. officials halt Bahrain outreach featuring ‘King of Partying’ Andrew W.K.

WASHINGTON — The US State Department was forced to deny Monday that it had invited a notorious rock star behind such classics as “Party Til You Puke” to represent America in the conservative Gulf state of Bahrain. Musician, DJ, motivational speaker and self-styled “King of Partying” Andrew W.K. had earlier…

Facebook adds iTunes credits to gift service

Facebook said Monday it was adding Apple iTunes digital credits to its new gift service at the social network. “Starting today with Facebook Gifts, you can instantly gift your friends iTunes digital gifts and recommend albums, movies, games, apps, and more available on the iTunes Store,” a Facebook statement said.…

UN: Migrants send double the amount of foreign aid back but little of it benefits the country

Migrant workers from the world’s poorest countries sent home $27 billion (21 billion euros) in 2011 despite the global financial slowdown, but developing nations are failing to benefit fully from the cash, the UN said Monday. Remittances “could prove particularly valuable for capital-scarce developing countries,” by helping to reduce poverty,…

White House: Going over ‘fiscal cliff’ will ruin consumer spending in 2013

The White House warned Monday that American consumers will spend $200 billion less in 2013 if the looming fiscal cliff is not averted and automatic tax hikes are triggered across the board. The fresh warning came as US lawmakers return to work after the week-long Thanksgiving holiday with time running…

U.S.-EU counterfeit crackdown seizes 132 websites

US and European authorities said Monday they seized 132 websites in a transatlantic law enforcement crackdown on online sellers of counterfeit merchandise. The seizure was the latest in a string of efforts by US officials to shut down online forgers, but the first joint effort with EU officials. Monday’s announcement…

New York police chief criticizes Obama’s silence on gun violence

New York‘s police chief has hit out at President Barack Obama over his refusal to tackle gun violence, accusing him of uttering “barely a peep” on the issue. NYPD commissioner Raymond Kelly is quoted in the New York Daily News as noting that Chicago is “maybe the city most affected” by gun violence, adding: “The…

Secret Thanksgiving parade confetti baffles New York police

It rained confetti — and secrets — on last week’s Thanksgiving parade in New York. The traditional deluge of shredded paper over the Macy’s parade in Manhattan on Thursday turned out to include legible snippets of police files, including a mention of a motorcade used by Republican Mitt Romney. Officers…

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