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U.S. to upgrade Taiwan jets, China protests

The United States on Wednesday announced a $5.85 billion upgrade of Taiwan’s F-16 fighter jets, leading to a swift rebuke by China even though the deal stopped short of selling new planes. Taiwanese and US officials insisted that the upgrade would improve the island’s defences as it faces a rising…

Apple ‘to unveil iPhone 5 on October 4′

Apple plans to unveil its next generation iPhone next month, technology blog AllThingsD said Wednesday. AllThingsD cautioned that Apple could “change its plans anytime,” but said the present plan calls for Apple’s new chief executive Tim Cook to preside over the launch of the iPhone 5 on October 4. Cook,…

Young dissidents demand more than rhetoric from the U.N.

While Burmese opposition leader Aung Sun Sui Kay and South African Bishop Desmond Tutu addressed the monied crowd this morning at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City, a younger generation of dissidents across town hailed the rise of social media and called upon the United Nations and its…

Typhoon smashes into Japan, four already dead

A powerful typhoon smashed into disaster-ravaged Japan, having already killed at least four people, less than a month after a vicious storm left 100 dead. Typhoon Roke, whose maximum speed was recorded at 216 kilometres (130 miles) per hour, made landfall near Hamamatsu, central Japan, at about 2:00pm on Wednesday…

Tens of thousands rally for U.N. bid in West Bank

Tens of thousands were rallying in the West Bank on Wednesday in support of a bid to secure UN membership for a Palestinian state, a security forces spokesman told AFP. “Tens of thousands of Palestinians are taking part in rallies across the West Bank,” said Adnan Damiri, spokesman for the…

Markets hope for Fed boost to U.S. economy

The Federal Reserve is widely expected to offer up some new stimulus for the sagging US economy when it closes a key policy meeting Wednesday, but many question whether it will do much. The two-day meeting of the central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee might move to further press down…

Britain to extradite ‘miracle baby’ pastor to Kenya

A preacher who claimed he could help infertile couples conceive “miracle babies” through prayer is to be extradited to Kenya to face child abduction charges, the British government said Wednesday. Gilbert Deya had fought a four-year legal battle arguing that it would breach his human rights to send him back…

UBS board meets in Singapore amid trading scandal

Swiss banking giant UBS began a meeting of its board in Singapore on Wednesday as it faces increasing pressure from shareholders after being hit by a $2.3 billion rogue-trading scandal. UBS chief executive Oswald Gruebel declined to take questions before going into the bank’s Singapore office for the meeting, which…

Police rue bid to reveal Guardian’s hacking sources

London’s police force admitted Wednesday it was wrong to invoke a harsh secrecy law to force The Guardian newspaper to reveal the source for its reports on the phone hacking scandal. The Metropolitan Police Service announced on Tuesday that it had dropped an application for a court order against The…

Iran says U.S. hikers to be freed after bail paid

Iran’s judiciary said Wednesday two US hikers convicted of espionage and illegal entry would be released from a Tehran jail after bail is posted, which their lawyer said would be done later in the day. “Following the request of their lawyer, their detention order was converted to bail of five…

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