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Argentina considers OPEC-like deal for lithium

BUENOS AIRES — Argentina is promoting the idea of an OPEC-like cartel for itself, Bolivia and Chile, which together control 85 percent of the world’s reserves of lithium, a key component in electric car batteries. “In the near future and with our production at such a high level, Bolivia, Argentina…

Population grows at fastest rate in 50 years: data

LONDON — The population grew at the fastest pace for nearly half a century last year, adding almost half a million people due in large part to a high birth rate, official data showed on Thursday. The population stood at 62,262,000 in mid-2010 which is an increase of 470,000 compared…

Chile police tear gas education protesters

SANTIAGO — Police fired tear gas and water cannons on at least 100,000 demonstrators in the Chilean capital Thursday, and arrested 13 during the biggest protest in two months demanding educational reforms. Angry protesters hurtled sticks, rocks and metal objects like pies as police responded from armored vehicles in the…

U.S., E.U. warn Libyan arms may be funneled to al Qaeda

Smugglers may be selling sophisticated Libyan army weapons to Al-Qaeda’s offshoot in north Africa’s Sahel region, Spain warned Thursday after a US-European security meeting in Madrid. US Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano and European powers pondered how to stop the arms reaching Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said after…

U.S. bishop resigns after allowing pedophile priest to flee

Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday accepted the resignation of a US bishop accused of allowing an alleged pedophile priest from hisdiocese to flee to Mexico, as the Vatican takes action on abuses. Bishop Daniel Walsh of the diocese of Santa Rosa in California resigned under an article in Catholic Church law invoking a “grave cause”, which can…

Murdoch’s News Corp. moves closer to takeover of Sky TV

Rupert Murdoch’s sprawling media conglomerate News Corp. moved closer to full control of British pay-TV broadcaster BSkyB on Thursday after the government accepted plans to spin off Sky News. US giant News Corp. undertook in March to hive off the rolling news channel to address competition concerns over its bid to buy the 61-percent…

Greek government wins majority for second austerity law

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou won a parliamentary majority on Thursday in favor of an implementation law for a five-year austerity plan required under an EU/IMF bailout package. With voting still continuing, Papandreou’s Socialist government had already reached the 151 votes required in the 300-seat chamber to…

Skype introduces video calls on Android phones

LONDON (Reuters) – Skype, which is being bought by Microsoft for $8.5 billion, introduced a new service on Thursday allowing users of Android phones to make free video calls to Skype contacts, including those on Apple iPhones. The company whose name became synonymous with Internet calling in the mid-2000s said its updated Android app…

Anxious wait for Australians exposed to rare deadly virus

Eight people endured an anxious wait Thursday after being exposed to the potentially deadly Hendra virus, which is spread to humans from horses and believed to be unique to Australia. They all came into contact with a horse that died from the infectious disease at Biddaddaba, in southeast Queensland, on…

France defends arms airlift to Libya rebels

NEW YORK/MISRATA, Libya (Reuters) – France said it did not break a U.N. arms embargo by airlifting weapons to Libya’s rebels because the arms were needed to defend civilians under threat. France on Wednesday became the first NATO country to openly acknowledge arming rebels seeking to topple Muammar Gaddafi, who…

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