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Japan car sales in China plunge 59.4% in October

Sales of Japanese passenger vehicles in China slumped 59.4 percent on-year in October, a Chinese industry group said Friday, as a territorial row between the countries pummelled demand. Japanese-brand car sales in China — the world’s largest auto market — fell to 98,900 units last month, the China Association of…

Assad says only ‘ballot box’ can decide his future

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said his future could only be decided through the ballot box, in an interview with Russian television where he warned the country could face a protracted war. Assad told state-run Russia Today (RT) that whether the president can “stay or leave” is a “popular issue” and…

Hurricane Sandy delays launch party for ‘Titanic II’

The flamboyant Australian mining magnate behind the building of the Titanic II said on Friday a New York gala to unveil plans for the vessel would be delayed out of respect for the victims of super storm Sandy. Clive Palmer said the launch planned to take place on the retired…

Picasso sells for $41.5 million in New York

An erotically charged Picasso oil painting of his mistress alongside tulips and fruit sold Thursday for $41.5 million dollars in New York. “Nature morte aux tulipes,” painted in 1932, was the star of Sotheby’s Impressionist and modern art sale in Manhattan. The pre-sale estimate for the work had been between…

UK lawmakers urge tough new press rules

More than 40 members of Britain’s ruling Conservative party have urged Prime Minister David Cameron to impose tough new press rules overseen by regulators outside the industry, in an open letter published in the Guardian on Friday. Senior members, including former foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind and former party chairmen Caroline…

Climate change ‘likely to be more severe than some models predict’

Climate change is likely to be more severe than some models have implied, according to a new study which ratchets up the possible temperature rises and subsequent climatic impacts. The analysis by the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) found that climate model projections showing a greater rise in…

Iranian jets fired on U.S. drone in Gulf: Pentagon

WASHINGTON — Two Iranian fighter jets fired on an unarmed US Predator drone in the Gulf last week but the aircraft was not hit, the Pentagon said Thursday, warning that the United States stood ready to protect its forces in the region. The incident occurred on November 1 — less…

Hispanic ‘Dreamers’ celebrate Obama victory

WASHINGTON — Hispanics smuggled into the United States as children who grew up as Americans on Thursday celebrated Democrat Barack Obama’s re-election, and urged rival Republicans to focus on immigration reform. “The result of this election clearly showed that the anti-immigrant agenda is the real loser and this is very…

Obama to make economy statement Friday

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama will make Friday his major first post-election intervention in the looming showdown with Republicans over debt and spending, with an on-camera White House statement. A White House official told AFP that the remarks, in the presidential mansion’s ornate East Room, would focus on “the…

Australia scraps plan to filter Internet

SYDNEY — Australia on Friday scrapped a controversial plan to filter the Internet, saying it will instead block hundreds of websites identified by Interpol as among the worst child abuse sites. The centre-left Labor government had pushed since 2007 for a mandatory Internet filter to protect children, to be administered…

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