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Megaupload offers U.S. deal on N. Zealand extradition

WELLINGTON — Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom on Wednesday offered to voluntarily leave New Zealand for the United States if prosecutors agree to release funds to bankroll his defence against online piracy charges. The deal would bypass lengthy extradition proceedings under way in New Zealand, which the German national complained were…

Romney says ‘nothing hidden’ in his taxes

WASHINGTON — White House hopeful Mitt Romney insisted Tuesday he had “nothing hidden” in his taxes as he tried to fend off a slew of attacks from President Barack Obama’s campaign over his offshore accounts. In an interview with Radio Iowa, the presumptive Republican nominee said his finances were legitimate…

Republicans: Health care repeal has bipartisan support

WASHINGTON — US lawmakers began five contentious hours of debate Tuesday over repealing the health care law, with Republicans insisting there is bipartisan support for wiping President Barack Obama’s landmark reforms from the books. Democrats have slammed the effort — the 31st vote to repeal part or all of the…

Mexico’s ruling party to demand vote buying probe

MEXICO CITY — President Felipe Calderon’s conservative National Action Party (PAN) will formally request that electoral officials probe allegations of vote buying in Mexico’s July 1 presidential election. Enrique Pena Nieto from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) won the ballot by a solid margin, but opponents claim he engaged in…

Apple co-founder on stage for disputed monologue

WASHINGTON — Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is to join a benefit performance of a controversial monologue about the iconic computer giant’s production lines in China, a theater in Washington said Tuesday. “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” made headlines earlier this year when it emerged that its creator,…

U.S. stocks sink on falling business confidence

NEW YORK — US stocks closed sharply lower Tuesday as investors digested a positive start to earnings season, a eurozone deal to help support Spain and its banks, and disappointing Chinese trade data. A slump in confidence registered by a US small-business survey and warnings on the corporate front “became…

Russian court refuses bail for female punk band Pussy Riot

More prison for feminist punk rockers riles liberal Russians (via The Christian Science Monitor) The controversy over the provocatively named Russian punk rock group Pussy Riot, which profaned an Orthodox altar by singing an obscene anti-Putin “prayer” in Moscow’s most important cathedral, notched up this week when a court refused…

Heathrow airport rolls out ‘fast-track’ passport lanes for Canada and Australia

Separate fast-track passport lanes for people from “old Commonwealth” countries, such as Australia and Canada, are to be introduced at Heathrow after the Olympics, the immigration minister has disclosed. Damian Green has told MPs a short pilot scheme has been carried out using separate passport desks for those from five…

Mississippi’s only abortion clinic struggles to stay open amid protests

In the searing mid-morning Mississippi heat, a middle-aged woman in dark sunglasses hovered outside the state’s sole remaining abortion clinic, with sheafs of leaflets awaiting its clients. They contained graphic images of bloody and mangled foetuses and telephone numbers of alternative pro-life facilities. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in the state…

Scientific animal testing at 25 year high in the UK

The number of scientific procedures carried out on animals last year was the highest in Britain for almost 25 years, according to figures released by the Home Office. More than 3.79m procedures, which range from breeding GM mice to mimicking neurological diseases in animals, were carried out, marking a rise…

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