Obama Signs Bill to End Gov’t Shutdown

WASHINGTON ~ The U.S. Congress on Wednesday approved an 11th-hour deal to end a partial government shutdown and pull the world’s biggest economy back from the brink of a historic debt default that could have threatened financial calamity. Capping weeks of political brinkmanship that had unnerved global markets, President Barack Obama quickly signed the spending […]

Church in Uncharted Waters after Pope Resigns

VATICAN CTY The Catholic Church entered uncharted waters after Pope Benedict XVI’s shock announcement that he would become the first pontiff to resign of his own free will in 700 years. The 85-year-old Benedict told a group of cardinals in a speech in Latin on Monday that he will step down on February 28 because […]

Pope Benedict XVI’s Resignation

LONDON French President Francois Hollande has described the Pope’s decision to resign as “eminently respectable”. Meanwhile, a government spokesman in the Pope’s home nation of Germany has expressed “respect” and “gratitude” for the Pope in response. “The federal government has the greatest possible respect for the Holy Father, for his accomplishments, for his life-long work […]

Bill Gates Says Fame Not Goal in Aid Work

NEW YORK Bill Gates, one of the world’s richest men and highest profile aid donors, says he doesn’t care if he’s forgotten after his death -as long as polio and other major diseases have been eradicated. “I don’t need to be remembered at all,” the co-founder of Microsoft, 57, said in New York. Gates has […]

Fire at Nightclub Kills 200 in Brazil

At least 200 people were killed in a nightclub fire in southern Brazil after a band’s pyrotechnics show set the building ablaze, and fleeing patrons were unable to find the emergency exits, local officials said. Bodies were still being removed from the Kiss nightclub in the southern city of Santa Maria, Major Gerson da Rosa […]

Prince Harry Steps Back Into Glare

LONDON Britain’s Prince Harry may be home safely from Afghanistan after five months as an army helicopter gunner – but he has swapped the crackle of gunfire for the clicking of countless paparazzi cameras. In a series of surprisingly candid interviews before he left Camp Bastion in southern Afghanistan, the third-in-line to the throne spoke […]

RIM Rebrands as BlackBerry; Launches Nifty New Devices

NEW YORK Research In Motion Ltd unveiled the long-delayed line of smartphones it hopes will put it on the comeback trail, but it disappointed investors by saying U.S. sales of its all-new BlackBerry 10 devices will not start until March, sending its share price tumbling 12 percent. Chief Executive Thorsten Heins also announced that RIM […]

Australian Overseas Tourist Arrivals Continue to Grow

CANBERRA The latest Overseas Arrivals and Departures figures, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), showed that visitors from China grew by 14 percent in November 2012, buoyed by the additional seat capacity created by the introduction of direct flights from Shanghai to Cairns. Australia’s overseas arrivals have continued to grow strongly through 2012, […]