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Romney wins Bush's backing

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says he appreciates getting a boost from a personal hero, former President George H.W. Bush.

When asked which Republican presidential candidate he supports, Bush told his hometown newspaper, the Houston Chronicle, that Romney is the best choice.

That casts aside Texas Governor Rick Perry, who briefly led the Republican field after entering the race earlier this year.

While campaigning in New Hampshire, Romney thanked Bush and said his backing means a lot to him personally. He said the 41st president is a hero to him.

Grammy for

Apple's Jobs

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is to receive a posthumous Grammy award for his technological innovations in the arts.

Mr Jobs is among a dozen recipients of honorary awards on February 11, the day before the Grammys. He died of cancer in October.

Grammy organisers called him a "creative visionary" for Apple innovations that include the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

Akihito thanks

caring nation

Japan's Emperor Akihito praised the compassion the nation demonstrated while striving to overcome its earthquake and tsunami, as he waved from his palace balcony to throngs of wellwishers on his 78th birthday.

Akihito expressed gratitude to all who have been working after the March 11 disasters.

In a statement from the Imperial Household Agency, Akihito said "this has been a truly distressing year, dominated by disasters". But he praised the people of Japan for coming together.

Slovenia is hit by ratings cut

Moody's Investors Service has downgraded the credit ratings for Slovenia, saying the country's government faces risks from the eurozone debt crisis and the potential that it may need to step in and provide financial support to banks.

The ratings firm lowered the Balkan nation's local and foreign currency government bond ratings by one notch to A1 from Aa3. It has a negative outlook on the ratings.