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Outcry as Aussie women’s basket team fly economy

Australian basketball officials on Friday said they would review travel policies after stinging criticism that the men’s team travelled to the London Olympics in business class but the women in economy. Sports Minister Kate Lundy called for more equitable arrangements after learning that the Australian Opals, captained by global star…

Syria rebels seize Iraq border after deadliest day

Syrian rebels sought to seal off President Bashar al-Assad’s embattled regime from the outside world by seizing border posts amid calls for protests nationwide Friday on “the Ramadan of victory.” Members of the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) fought a raging battle with Syrian troops at the Bab al-Hawa border…

Online woes spark first ever loss for Microsoft

Microsoft has posted its first ever loss, shedding $492 million in the fourth quarter due to a massive $6.2 billion write-down to reflect the slump in value of its online operations. Microsoft still recorded an annual profit of $16.98 billion and said Thursday the results reflected “solid revenue growth and…

‘Mad Men’ dominates Emmy nominations

“Mad Men” dominated nominations for the primetime Emmy awards, a triumph for the 1960s-themed series that almost failed to return for its fifth season this year. The show is up against “Boardwalk Empire,” “Breaking Bad,” the British-made “Downton Abbey,” “Game of Thrones” and “Homeland” for best drama series, but unlike…

Obama warns of cyber threats to the U.S.

President Barack Obama warned of cyber threats to critical US infrastructure and called on Congress to take action in an op-ed published Friday in the Wall Street Journal. “The cyber threat to our nation is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face,” Obama wrote. “Foreign…

Nobel laureate, discoverer of HIV, says cure in sight

The Nobel laureate who helped to discover HIV says a cure for AIDS is in sight following recent discoveries, in an interview with AFP ahead of a global conference on the disease. Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2008 as part of a team that discovered…

Pentagon allows uniformed sevicemembers to march for gay pride in San Diego

The Pentagon will allow uniformed military personnel to march in a gay pride parade this weekend, reflecting the tectonic shift in an institution that long banned openly gay service members. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Rene Bardorf said in an internal memo Thursday that soldiers could march in an individual…

House exceeds budget cap with huge defense spending bill

WASHINGTON — US lawmakers passed a sweeping $606 billion defense bill that exceeds a budget cap and faces a veto threat from the White House for failing to sufficiently rein in spending. The bill would provide $518 billion for the Pentagon and an additional $88.5 billion for overseas contingency operations,…

U.S. food aid: The special interests blocking reform

Big agribusinesses are not the only ones benefiting from the controversial US food aid system. Food aid has also become a valuable business for a variety of smaller food companies. Some have developed special product lines specifically for sale to the US government as food aid. Others have fought to…

Effect of leaks not relevant for Bradley Manning trial: judge

FORT MEADE, Maryland — A US military judge ruled Thursday that WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning will not be allowed to cite evidence at his trial alleging he caused no serious harm to the United States when he released a massive trove of secret government documents. In a major setback for…

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