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China’s ‘nail houses’: The homeowners who refused to budge

In China, they're known as "nail houses" -- homes where owners refuse to accept compensation offered by road builders and developers in exchange for the demolition of their property. The dwellings stand like a nail that refuses to be hammered down -- a not uncommon phenomenon as some homeowners resist dispossession of their land or hold out for more money....

Uber Ruling Threat To App-Based Cab Business

The California Labor Commission has ordered that a driver for the cab service Uber should be considered a company employee, not an independent contractor. The ruling could undermine the entire business model of the controversial mobile-based ride hailing service, which has sparked mass protests by black cabs drivers in London. By treating drivers as independent contractors, the firm does not have to pay benefits. But classing them as employees would mean Uber having to pay out significant amounts for social security, workers' compensation and other charges....

Hong Kong Rejects Beijing Reform Package

The city's Legislative Council were voting on China-backed plans to change the way Hong Kong's Chief Executive was elected. Although the new system would have allowed the next leader to be directly chosen by voters, Beijing would have retained the right to choose the candidates on the ballot.
At least 47 of the chamber's 70 politicians needed to support the bill for it to pass. However, just eight voted in favour of the package, with 28 pro-democracy lawmakers voting against it. Many lawmakers who were against the electoral reform staged a walkout as the bill headed for defeat....

Air Force may send F-22s to Europe over Russia ‘threat’

James said the F-22 Raptor, the Pentagon's premier fighter, could join that list. "I could easily see the day -- though I couldn't tell you the day exactly -- when the F-22, for example, rotates in is a possibility. I don't see why that couldn't happen in the future," James said, according to Military.com.
The stealthy F-22s, which became operational in 2005 but only saw their first combat in attacks on ISIS positions in Syria late last year, can be configured to attack other aircraft or bomb ground targets. "The F-22 cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft," ...

Refugees would fill 24th largest country

The conflict in Syria has been the biggest single driver of displacement, according to the refugee agency's Global Trends report -- but far from the only one.
"One clearly gets the impression that the world is at war -- and indeed many areas of the world are today in a completely chaotic situation," said U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres at a news conference earlier.
"The result is this staggering escalation of displacement, this staggering escalation of human suffering, because each displaced person is a tragic story."...

In the back streets off Koumoundourou Square in central Athens,

The 59-year-old didn't pay in cash, but in government tokens - the only currency accepted at the church-run food bank.
He hasn't worked since the crisis began and his family are reliant on the hand-outs. For him, the idea that Greece's government should agree to more of public spending cuts to avoid defaulting on its debts is reasonable, but impossible in practice.
"They're asking for more because we owe them, and they're right in that sense, but Greece at this moment cannot pay back its debts - it can't tax people again and again and again."...