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iPhone’s Chinese Siri directs users to brothels

Concerns that the Chinese version of the Apple iPhone’s new voice-activated assistant “Siri” directs users to brothels has been raised by netizens and lawyers, state media said Monday. Users of the recently released Mandarin version of Siri were given several options for finding prostitutes upon request, but could not verify…

Tea Party ‘lying low’ on presidential race, but still active locally

The Tea Party has been relatively quiet during the presidential election but supporters of the right-wing movement which burst on to the political scene three years ago say it has not gone away. “They say that the Tea Party is dead because we’re not probably as active out there with…

Eastern U.S. in lockdown ahead of Hurricane Sandy

Much of the eastern United States was in lockdown mode Monday awaiting the arrival of a hurricane dubbed “Frankenstorm” that threatened to wreak havoc on the area with storm surges, driving rain and gale-force winds. New York authorities ordered the evacuation Sunday of 375,000 people from low-lying coastal areas as…

Early results put ruling party ahead in Ukrainian elections

Ukraine’s ruling party was set for victory in legislative polls, comfortably ahead of the party of ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko, whose jailing sparked Western concerns of foul play, early official results showed Monday. With ballots counted from 14.6 percent of polling booths following Sunday’s vote, the Regions Party of President Viktor…

Egypt’s Copts to choose new pope

Egypt’s Coptic Christians vote on Monday for a new leader to succeed Pope Shenuda III, who died in March leaving behind a community anxious about its status under an Islamist-led government. The death of Shenuda, who headed the church for four decades, set in motion the process to elect a…

New species of lizard found in Australia

Scientists announced Monday the discovery of a new species of lizard fighting to survive among the sand dunes outside Perth in Western Australia. They fear it is only a matter of time before the six-centimetre (two-inch) long Ctenotus ora, or the coastal plains skink, will be extinct with urban sprawl…

Penguin and Random House agree to publishing merger

British publisher Pearson on Monday said it had agreed to merge its Penguin division with consumer publishing rival Random House, owned by German media giant Bertelsmann. “Pearson and Bertelsmann today announce an agreement to create the world’s leading consumer publishing organisation by combining Penguin and Random House,” said a statement.…

French president Hollande to meet with World Bank

French President Francois Hollande holds talks on Monday with the heads of the World Bank and other top economic bodies to discuss the eurozone debt crisis and ways to kickstart growth. The meeting will start at 11:00 am (1000 GMT) at the Paris headquarters of the OECD and will be…

Showdown set on bid to give UN control of Internet

It is expected to be the mother of all cyber diplomatic battles. When delegates gather in Dubai in December for an obscure UN agency meeting, fighting is expected to be intense over proposals to rewrite global telecom rules to effectively give the United Nations control over the Internet. Russia, China…

Social media helps out as Hurricane Sandy approaches

Locating the nearest emergency shelter or chatting live with forecasters — social networks were abuzz with the latest news, tips and reassurance Sunday as Americans hunkered down for Hurricane Sandy. The massive storm, which has already killed at least 66 people in the Caribbean, is expected to pummel large swathes…

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