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World’s top banks hit with Moody’s downgrade

The health of 15 of the world’s largest financial institutions has been called into serious question after Moody’s downgraded their credit ratings, citing risk exposure and the eurozone crisis. Some of the biggest names in banking — including Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Citigroup, HSBC and Deutsche Bank — saw their ratings…

E-book trend slow at U.S. libraries: study

Even as e-book sales surge, Americans are slow to look to their public libraries to take advantage of the format, a study showed Friday. The Pew Internet & American Life Project found just 12 percent of Americans ages 16 and older who read e-books say they have borrowed an e-book…

WikiLeaks founder denounces Australia, Sweden

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange lashed out at Australia and Sweden on Friday as he spoke for the first time since turning up at the Ecuadorian embassy in London requesting political asylum. The former computer hacker told Australia’s ABC radio of his fears that he would end up in the hands…

More protests planned against Egypt military ‘coup’

Egypt’s political forces have called for more protests on Friday against the ruling military’s power grab, as the nation nervously awaits the results of the first post-Mubarak presidential election. Hundreds of people spent the night in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, with more protests planned for Friday afternoon, the Muslim Brotherhood and…

Taliban storm lakeside hotel in Kabul, 16 dead

Taliban militants armed with guns and rockets attacked a lakeside hotel near Kabul overnight, seizing dozens of hostages including women and children and killing at least 16 people. The four or five attackers were also killed in the brazen assault on the Spozhmai Hotel that will exacerbate fears that insecurity…

Critics turned off by ‘West Wing’ creator’s TV news show

Oscar-winning writer and “West Wing” creator Aaron Sorkin has made headlines with his new show, set in a TV news station, even before its weekend debut — but unfortunately not in a good way. “The Newsroom,” which portrays the stormy behind-the-scenes life at the fictional Atlantis Cable News (ACN), has…

Twitter sets off jitters as ‘bug’ hits site

Twitter said a “cascading bug” caused outages affecting millions of users of the wildly popular site, and dismissed claims of a hacker attack. The outage led to a barrage of complaints and comments, some serious and others ironic, which the company said underscored “how critical Twitter has become.” The on-again-off-again…

U.S. diplomats in Pakistan ‘facing harassment’

WASHINGTON — US diplomats working in Pakistan face increasing harassment amid a sharp deterioration in ties in the wake of last year’s killing of Osama bin Laden, a State Department report said. Such harassment and obstruction is described by US embassy staff as “deliberate, willful and systematic,” according to the…

Lawyers slam Canada as Guantanamo inmate languishes

MONTREAL — Lawyers for a young Canadian held for 10 years at the US military base at Guantanamo Bay said Thursday the government has failed to honor a deal with the United States to bring him home. Omar Khadr, who was born in Toronto and became a child soldier for…

Senate passes huge farm bill, House vote looms

WASHINGTON — The US Senate approved on Thursday a five-year, $500 billion farm bill that’s being described as the most significant agriculture reform in a generation, but it faces an uncertain fate in the House of Representatives. The bill, which sets funding for agriculture and nutrition programs over the next…

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