By Nicholas Vinocur PARIS (Reuters) - Defenders of the French language are furious at plans to introduce courses taught in English at public universities, arguing that France must protect itself against linguistic encroachment or risk losing its cultural identity. Parliament started to debate the issue on Tuesday as part of a bill on a broader reform of higher education, but all attention has focused on an article that would abolish a 19-year ban on English as a teaching language at public universities. ...
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- BJP urges Andhra governor to sack tainted ministers IANS
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Wednesday urged Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan to sack six allegedly tainted state ministers. More »
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Leaders of the Congress in West Bengal Wednesday met Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath to lodge a complaint against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for More »
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- British opposition leader says Google tax behaviour "wrong" Reuters
By Andrew Osborn and Costas Pitas LONDON (Reuters) - Google Inc's tax affairs came under renewed scrutiny in Britain on Wednesday when the leader of the opposition Labour party accused the Internet company of wrongly going to "extraordinary lengths" to avoid paying tax. In comments designed to politically outflank Prime Minister David Cameron ahead of next month's G8 summit on what has become a high-profile issue, Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, said he was disappointed that Google paid so little tax. "I can't be the only person here who feels disappointed that such a great company as Google ...
- Turkish-Armenian writer handed jail sentence for blasphemy Reuters
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - An Istanbul court has sentenced a Turkish-Armenian author and blogger to more than a year in prison for insulting the Prophet Mohammad, local media reported on Wednesday, weeks after a similar case caused alarm among secularists. Sevan Nisanyan, who has authored several books and who runs a blog on what he describes as "history, religion and a (little) politics", posted a link to the offending blog on his Twitter account following the ruling. The accompanying message read: "Let's share the article that brought a sentence of 13. ...
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By Ryan Vlastelica NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks, bonds and currencies took a wild ride on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the U.S. central bank's massive bond-buying program would remain in place for now, even as the bank considers cutting back stimulus in coming months. Wall Street stocks jumped as much as 1 percent, before modestly paring gains after Bernanke, in testimony to Congress, said that if economic improvement continued, "We could in the next few meetings take a step down in our pace of purchases. ...
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By Carey Gillam and Ian Simpson MOORE, Oklahoma (Reuters) - Rescue workers with sniffer dogs picked through the ruins of an Oklahoma town on Wednesday to ensure no survivors remained buried after a deadly tornado left thousands homeless and trying to salvage what was left of their belongings. "Yesterday I was numb. Today I cried a lot. Now I'm on the victory side of it," said Beth Vrooman, who hid in a shelter in her garage during Monday's storm in Moore, Oklahoma. When the winds died down, she realized a car was blocking her exit. ...
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- Factbox: Reviews for films in main competition at Cannes 2013 Reuters
CANNES (Reuters) - This year 20 films are in the main competition at the Cannes film festival, vying for the Palme d'Or for best picture that will be awarded on May 26. Here is the 2013 lineup with the average rating out of four by 10 international critics as published in trade magazine Screen: - HELI by Amat Escalante, Mexico Stars: Armando Espitia, Andrea Vergara. Synopsis: A 12-year-old girl falls in love with a police cadet, dragging her family into Mexico's brutal drug war. Average Critic Score: 1. ...
- Boeing says 787 battery retrofits to be done by next week Reuters
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- Mugabe signs Zimbabwe constitution, paving way for vote Reuters
By Cris Chinaka HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe signed a new constitution into law on Wednesday, replacing a 33-year-old document forged in the dying days of British colonial rule and paving the way for an election later this year. Approved overwhelmingly in a referendum in March, the constitution clips the powers of the president and imposes a two-term limit. However, it does not apply retroactively so the 89-year-old Mugabe technically could extend his three decades in office by another 10 years. ...
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- Bernanke offers no hint of pullback in Fed stimulus Reuters
By Pedro da Costa and Alister Bull WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve's monetary stimulus is helping the U.S. economy recover but the central bank needs to see further signs of traction before taking its foot off the gas, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday. In testimony that offered no sign that he is ready to retreat from the Fed's latest round of bond buying, Bernanke emphasized the high costs of unemployment and inflation that continues to run below the Fed's target. ...
- With even toilet paper scarce, Venezuelan president warms to business Reuters
By Eyanir Chinea CARACAS (Reuters) - A Venezuelan supermarket puts a stack of toilet paper on its shop floor, and desperate consumers snatch it up within five minutes. A woman's voice over the loudspeaker reminds shoppers each person can only buy four packages. Few seemed convinced by the government's promise just days earlier that the oil-rich South American nation would promptly import 50 million rolls. "It's a sad moment when a rich country like Venezuela reaches this situation," said Yenny Caballero, waiting at a check-out line at a store in an upscale part of the capital. ...
- Video game maker Atari seeks court approval for sale of assets Reuters
REUTERS - Video game maker Atari Inc is seeking court approval for the sale of all its assets as it works its way out of bankruptcy protection. The company said on Tuesday it tried looking for a buyer with the help of its investment banker Perella Weinberg Partners, but was unable to find a "stalking horse," or initial bidder, acceptable to it. Atari has set a minimum bid of $15 million for the Atari brand. The company received a $5 million debtor-in-possession financing from Alden Global Value Recovery Master Fund LP. ...
- Government misleading people: BJP IANS
New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) While the UPA counted its achievements in the nine years of its rule, the BJP Wednesday said the government was "misleading" the people.
- Highlights of PM, Sonia speeches IANS
New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) Highlights of what Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi said Wednesday at the UPA-II's fourth anniversary:
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Hull (England), May 22 (IANS) Dipika Pallikal reached the pre-quarterfinals at the Allam British Open Squash Championships after edging out Denmark's Line Hansen in the longest match of the tournament so far.
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New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) Rajasthan Royals restricted Sunrisers Hyderabad to 132/7 in their Indian Premier League eliminator being played here at the Ferozeshah Kotla Wednesday. Shikhar Dhawan top scored with 33.
- Sonia appeals to opposition to help pass key bills IANS
New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi Wednesday appealed to the opposition parties, including the BJP, to cooperate with the UPA government in passing the food security and land acquisition bills in the interest of the people.
- PM rebuts opposition charges of governance deficit IANS
New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday spoke of the UPA having improved economic performance, rebutted opposition allegations on 2G spectrum and coal blocks allocations, and talked of the country's re-emergence through transformation.
- Nine years of UPA saw average 8 percent growth: PM IANS
New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) Detailing economic growth during the UPA regime, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Wednesday the slowdown last year was "temporary" and a longer term view would show that India has notched up an average "8 percent growth" in the past nine years.
- Suspecting wife, man kills three children, self in UP IANS
Lucknow, May 22 (IANS) A man killed his three children Wednesday in Uttar Pradesh and committed suicide by throwing himself in front of a speeding bus, police said. He suspected his wife to be in an illicit relation with one of his relatives.
- Parrikar to meet PM for special status for Goa IANS
Panaji, May 22 (IANS) Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in June to press for special status for Goa and demand a special package for the people affected by the mining ban in the state, it was announced here Wednesday.
- Manmohan, Sonia praise one another IANS
New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) On the ninth anniversary of the UPA government Wednesday, its two key figures -- Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi -- praised one another.
- Wrongdoers in coal blocks, 2G allocations to be punished: PM IANS
New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) The UPA is committed to transparency and allegations of impropriety in telecom spectrum and coal blocks allocations are being investigated and wrongdoers will be punished, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Wednesday.
- 'Dilliwalas' don't know UPA success story: Sonia IANS
New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) In an obvious reference to the urban centres of criticism, Congress president Sonia Gandhi quipped Wednesday that "Dilliwalas" don't seem to know the UPA's success story.
- Antony is my guru, says Rahul IANS
New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi Wednesday described Defence Minister A.K. Antony as his "guru".
- Megha, Aarja score upset wins in girls' tennis IANS
Bangalore, May 22 (IANS) Megha Muthukumar of Tamil Nadu and Aarja Chakraborty of West Bengal scripted upset wins en route to the girls singles quarter-finals of the Karle Infra ATF under-14 Asian junior ranking tennis tournament here Wednesday.
- We all stand by PM, says Sonia IANS
New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) Strongly backing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi Wednesday said he has been carrying out his responsibilities with "great dignity" in the face of "unrelenting hostility" and the alliance stood solidly by him.
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