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Chinese filmmakers still face restrictions

SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain — Chinese filmmakers still face restrictions despite big strides towards artistic freedom since the Cultural Revolution, director Wang Xiaoshuai said Wednesday. Chinese society had made progress, Wang said, at a showing in San Sebastian of his latest film “11 Flowers”, set during the 1966-76 movement to transform…

Thai web editor denies online royal insult charges

BANGKOK — A prominent Thai website editor facing up to 20 years in jail appeared in court Wednesday to defend herself against charges relating to remarks about the monarchy posted by other people on her website. Chiranuch Premchaiporn, the editor of the popular Prachatai news website, denied allegations that she…

Obama rejects Palestinian U.N. statehood bid

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Wednesday rejected Palestinian plans to seek U.N. blessing for statehood as he tried to avert a looming crisis that could erode Washington’s global standing and further isolate its close allyIsrael. Obama’s last-ditch diplomatic effort won praise from Israel, which will rely on Washington to block the Palestinian…

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…

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