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U.S. finance industry warned of cyber attacks

NEW YORK — A US financial industry group warned banks and other institutions to beware of cyber attacks Wednesday, after some firms reported sporadic problems with their websites. The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center said it raised its cyber threat level from “elevated” to “high.” The group, which…

Mars rover to launch first rock study

WASHINGTON — NASA’s Curiosity Rover will study its first martial rock Friday, more than a month after landing on the Red Planet, mission officials said. Mars Science Laboratory project scientist John Grotzinger said the rover drove for another 100 feet (30 meters) last night, for a total travel distance of…

Libya security official resigns after U.S. embassy attack

BENGHAZI, Libya — A Libyan official quit his job on Wednesday highlighting tensions in the security establishment after a deadly attack killed four Americans, including the ambassador, in Benghazi. “There are problems at the ministry of interior and disputes between the security services,” Fawzi Wanis al-Kadhafi, head of the supreme…

U.S. judge won’t lift Samsung tablet ban

SAN FRANCISCO — A judge has refused to lift a ban on US sales of Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computers as legal brawling continued between the South Korean electronics titan and Apple. US District Court Judge Lucy Koh cancelled a Thursday hearing at which Samsung and Apple were to…

U.S. rejects calls to slow Afghan withdrawals

WASHINGTON — The White House Wednesday promptly rejected a call by three top senators for a halt to the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan following a spate of insider attacks on NATO forces. Republicans John McCain and Lindsey Graham, and independent senator Joe Lieberman, called for a “strategic pause”…

Same-sex marriages on the rise in Canada: census

OTTAWA — The number of same-sex marriages in Canada nearly tripled from 2006, according to a 2011 census released Wednesday that revealed a dramatic shift in the makeup of Canadian families. The data showed that married couples overall declined as a proportion of all families during the period, but still…

African Union takes over hunt for elusive rebel Joseph Kony

KAMPALA — The African Union has taken control of a regional force hunting brutal rebel chief Joseph Kony across the central African jungles, an AU force commander said Wednesday. “The AU now is in charge of the operations against the Lord’s Resistance Army,” Dick Olum, the Ugandan commander of the…

Online initiative seeks to help the world’s poor with digital payments

WASHINGTON — A shift to digital payments can improve the global effort to fight poverty and improve conditions for those trapped in a cycle dependent on cash, say backers of a new initiative launched Wednesday. The “Better than Cash Alliance” unveiled Wednesday has been endorsed by the United Nations, US…

Arctic sea ice shrinks to lowest level on record

WASHINGTON — Arctic sea ice has shrunk to its smallest surface area since record-keeping began, taking the world into “uncharted territory” as climate change intensifies, US scientists warned Wednesday. Satellite images show the ice cap had melted to 1.32 million square miles (3.4 million square kilometers) as of September 16,…

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…

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