A security officer stands guard as voters display their election identity cards as they stand in a queue to cast their votes outside a polling station at Ranti, in the Madhubani district of Bihar State, India. Polling began Thursday morning for the first phase of elections to the Bihar state Assembly amid heavy security, according to a news agency.
Setting off speculation that China is manipulating exports to punish certain trade partners, Beijing announced in July it was slashing its six-month export quota of so-called 'rare earths' by 72 percent. Speculation continued this week with reports of an expanding embargo of the minerals. But the so-called "rare earths" are neither rare nor does China have a lock on them. Although China produces 97 percent of the world's rare earths, it contains only 30 percent of the world's supply. The United States, Russia, and Australia all have significant reserves of the 17 elements essential in semiconducters, lasers, and other high-tech gadgets. While mining them has proved uneconomical at usual world prices and environmentally harmful, that may be changing. Click through the following slides to read how rare earths are important to your daily life.
Apple: Lion OS X will borrow many of the lessons that the company learned from its massively successful iPhone and iPad.
Beige Book is the Federal Reserve's periodic survey of economic conditions around the US.
Airline tickets aren't as plentiful as in 2008, allowing airlines to price them higher.
At its Oct. 20 event, Apple rolled out two new MacBook Air laptops, a slew of updates for its iLife suite, and a sneak peak at the next OS X upgrade, Lion. This new coat of polish for Apple's computer line comes at a time of rapid growth for the Mac. In the last few years, Apple has transitioned from a computer company that made mobile devices to a mobile-device company that makes computers. Last quarter, Apple shipped 14.1 million iPhones, 4.1 million iPads, and just 3.89 million Macs. Still, Mac sales have grown 2.5 times faster than the rest of the PC industry, according to the company. Wednesday's event tried to reassure Mac fans that the company stands firmly behind its computers, and convince mobile converts that many of the things they love about iPhones and iPad will soon appear in computers. Click the blue arrows to learn how.
A boy plays in front of his flooded house in downtown of Ha Tinh city, Ha Tinh province, Vietnam.