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Internet pioneers oppose U.S. online piracy bills

WASHINGTON — The founders of Craigslist, eBay, Google, Twitter, Yahoo! and other Internet giants expressed concern to the US Congress on Wednesday over legislation intended to crack down on online piracy. The Stop Online Piracy Act has received some bipartisan support in the House of Representatives and is the House…

Obama ratings down but Gingrich worse: poll

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama’s overall popularity has slipped to a new low but his approval ratings are still ahead of current Republican frontrunner Newt Gingrich, a poll showed Wednesday. The ABC News/Washington Post poll said the “unfavorable” views of Obama hit 49 percent, the highest of his presidency,…

Iraqis burn U.S. flags to celebrate troop pullout

FALLUJAH, Iraq — Hundreds of Iraqis set alight US and Israeli flags on Wednesday as they celebrated the impending pullout of American forces from the country in the former insurgent bastion of Fallujah. Shouting slogans in support of the “resistance,” the demonstrators held up banners and placards inscribed with phrases…

Journalists allowed to use Twitter in English courts

LONDON — Reporters can now use Twitter, text messages and email in courtrooms in England and Wales without needing to ask permission, the head of the judiciary said Wednesday. “Twitter as much as you like from today,” Lord Chief Justice Igor Judge told journalists as he handed down new guidelines…

Facebook adds suicide prevention tool

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook is providing a new way for US or Canadian members of the leading online social network to summon help for friends who may be thinking of ending their lives. A tool rolled out by Facebook lets people report suicidal comments posted by friends, who will immediately…

‘The protester’ named Time’s person of year

NEW YORK — “The protester” was named Time magazine’s person of the year Wednesday, a tribute to those bringing change across the Arab world as well as anti-corporate greed demonstrations in the US and Europe. “There’s this contagion of protest,” Time managing editor Richard Stengel said on NBC television. “These…

Judge orders exam for alleged White House shooter

WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Wednesday ordered a hearing to assess the mental capacity of a man arrested last month after allegedly firing shots at the White House in an attempt to assassinate President Barack Obama. The hearing, scheduled for Friday in Washington, will examine new evidence on the…

NASA at work on ‘spearfishing’ for comets

WASHINGTON — The US space agency is developing a high-tech harpoon that could one day pierce a comet and grab samples for scientists on Earth to study for hints about how the universe formed. The idea borrows on a concept developed by the European Space Agency but adds a sample…

Nazi hunters launch new drive to prosecute war criminals

BERLIN — The Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center launched a new drive in Germany Wednesday to catch the last perpetrators of the Holocaust still at large based on a major legal precedent set this year. Efraim Zuroff told a news conference that the Center would offer a reward of up to…

Desperate British students ‘turning to prostitution’

LONDON (Reuters) – Desperate British students, faced with rising costs on the back of government austerity measures, are turning to prostitution, gambling and other dangerous pursuits to fund their studies, support workers and student leaders said on Wednesday. The English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP), a welfare body for sex workers, said it estimated…

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