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Bill Gates still richest person in U.S., says Forbes

NEW YORK — Bill Gates remains the richest person in the United States with a fortune of $66 billion in 2012, up 10 percent from last year, Forbes magazine said Wednesday. Behind the Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist come investment guru Warren Buffett with $46 billion, then Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison…

Romney: Obama fosters a ‘web of dependency’

ATLANTA, Georgia — Mitt Romney accused President Barack Obama on Wednesday of fostering a “web of dependency,” amid a sharpening electoral battle over their competing visions for US society. Under attack due to videotaped comments dismissing 47 percent of Americans as looking for government handouts, the Republican presidential nominee defended…

Pope calls for Christians and Muslims to unite against violence

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday called for Christians and Muslims to unite against violence, following a trip to Lebanon last week in which he condemned fundamentalism in any religion. “I think the time has come… for us together to issue a determined rejection of violence and wars,”…

Sudan blocks YouTube over anti-Islam film

KHARTOUM — Sudan has blocked access to Internet video-sharing site YouTube over the anti-Islam film that has triggered outrage and deadly unrest across the globe, the head of the telecommunications authority told AFP on Wednesday. Ezzeddin Kamel told AFP that the national telecommunications commission imposed the YouTube ban from Sunday…

Lindsay Lohan arrested in New York hit-and-run

NEW YORK — Actress Lindsay Lohan was arrested early Wednesday after fleeing the scene of a Manhattan traffic accident involving a pedestrian, police said. “It was today at 2:30 am. She was arrested after leaving the scene of an accident,” a spokeswoman for the New York Police Department said. “It…

France orders probe after study links genetically-modified corn to cancer

PARIS — France’s government on Wednesday asked a health watchdog to carry out a probe, possibly leading to EU suspension of a genetically-modified corn, after a study in rats linked the grain to cancer. Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll, Ecology Minister Delphine Batho and Health and Social Affairs Minister Marisol…

Astronomers find galaxy born at dawn of the universe

PARIS — Astronomers in Europe and the United States said on Wednesday they had spotted the farthest and oldest galaxy ever found, a star cluster 13.2 billion light years away. Light reaching Earth today from galaxy MACS 1149-JD is truly ancient, they reported in the British journal Nature. The rays…

Republicans block vote on veterans jobs bill (UPDATE)

UPDATE: Senate Democrats failed to achieve cloture and thus prevent a filibuster on the legislation. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) led the opposition to the bill, arguing that the nation’s debt overrode its obligations to help veterans get jobs, and only 5 Republicans voted to proceed with the debate, leaving Democrats…

New ‘free and innovative’ Internet lobby group launches in Washington

A new Washington lobby group — comprised of the biggest firms in the online space — formally launched Wednesday, saying it would fight for a “free and innovative” Internet. The Internet Association, calling itself the first trade association representing the interests of the Internet economy, released its list of 14…

Marine park ‘the size of the Moon’ planned for Pacific

An ambitious plan to link marine parks across a vast swathe of ocean — whose surface area would equal that of the Moon — is slowly coming together piece by piece, say conservationists. Former international rugby league player turned environmentalist Kevin Iro is a driving force behind the part of…

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