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Chinese PM states confidence in U.S. economy

China’s prime minister expressed confidence Friday in the US economy as he held talks with visiting Vice President Joe Biden after a historic downgrade of the United States’ top-notch credit rating. China is the largest foreign holder of US debt, and Biden has used his first official visit to China…

Norwegian mass killer to appear in court again

OSLO (Reuters) – A Norwegian mass killer will make his second court appearance on Friday as relatives of the 69 people he gunned down gather on the island where they died, ahead of a national day of remembrance across the country. Anders Behring Breivik has admitted killing 77 people last…

Biden seeks to reassure China on U.S. debt

BEIJING (Reuters) – U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Friday said China had “nothing to worry about” concerning the safety of its vast holdings of Treasury debt, while China’s Premier Wen Jiabao gave a ringing endorsement of the resilience of the debt-ridden U.S. economy. The exchange came on the second…

Kuwait orders probe into contract with Shell

KUWAIT CITY — Kuwait’s Oil Minister Mohammad al-Baseeri Thursday formed a committee to probe an $800 million contract between state-owned Kuwait Oil Co. and Shell, an official statement said. The six-member panel will review procedures leading to the awarding of the Enhanced Technical Services Agreement in February 2010 and examine…

Egypt military pardons blogger after criticism

CAIRO — Egypt’s military said on Thursday it has dropped charges against prominent blogger Asmaa Mahfouz of insulting the country’s ruling generals after a wave of criticism from rights groups. The military, in a statement on its Facebook page, said it also decided to drop charges against another activist, Loai…

Hackers attack site of Catholic youth celebrations

MADRID — Hackers temporarily blocked the official World Youth Day site Thursday just as Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Madrid to preside over the festivities, a spokeswoman for the event said. The site (www.madrid11.com) was taken down for about an hour at around midday (1000 GMT) and the event’s computer…

Study: Cell phone radiation may reduce sperm count

A study published this week (PDF) in the Journal of Andrology claims that prolonged exposure to cellular phone radiation may reduce sperm count and overall reproductive health in male humans and animals. Though the study cautions that much more research is needed, the conclusions are rather stark for male cell…

Top Hollywood editor for News of the World arrested in hacking probe

The News Corp. hacking scandals may have just come to U.S. shores. James Desborough, the former Los Angeles editor for News of the World who’d previously won awards for his show business coverage in London, has been arrested by authorities investigating allegations of criminal hacking and rampant corruption. Desborough is…

Obama to call on Syria’s Assad to step down

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Thursday will call on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down and slap new sanctions on his government in a toughening of the U.S. stance toward the Syrian leader, a U.S. official said. The White House will shortly issue a “very tough” new…

‘Underwear bomber’ suspect declared fit to stand trial

A US judge ruled Wednesday that a young Nigerian man is fit to stand trial over allegations he tried to blow up a packed transatlantic airliner using explosives hidden in his underpants. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 24-year-old Nigerian student known popularly as the “Underwear bomber”, fired his lawyers last year…

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