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Jul 29 2011

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 US economic growth stagnated in first half

By Veronica Smith, AFP

5 hrs ago

The US economy stagnated in the first half of 2011, raising alarms about a return to recession as political gridlock over deficits steers the country toward a debt default, official data showed Friday.

A flood of terrible numbers on gross domestic product (GDP) growth from the Commerce Department initially sent US stocks into a tailspin. The Dow index plunged more than 100 points in early trade but later pared losses.

Second-quarter GDP grew only 1.3 percent, down a hefty 0.4 points from market expectations, as consumer spending, which accounts for the majority of US output, stalled amid high unemployment and inflation-eroded incomes.

2 Libyan rebel commander killed

AFP

19 hrs ago

General Abdel Fatah Younes, a former senior official in Moamer Kadhafi’s regime who defected to lead rebel forces, has been killed, according to the head of the rebel National Transitional Council.

“With all sadness, I inform you of the passing of Abdel Fatah Younes, the commander-in-chief of our rebel forces,” NTC chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil said as fresh explosions shook the centre of the capital, Tripoli.

“The person who carried out the assassination was captured,” Abdel Jalil said without elaborating.

3 No trial before 2012 for Norway killed; prosecutors

By Roddy Thomson, AFP

18 hrs ago

Norwegian police said they will question Anders Behring Breivik again on Friday as new information emerged about his killing spree and prosecutors said he would not go on trial before 2012.

This will be the second time that police interrogate the far-right extremist since Saturday, the morning after his shooting rampage on Utoeya island and the bomb blast in downtown Oslo that killed 76 people altogether.

Police official Paal-Fredrik Hjort Kraby said officers will question Behring Breivik on “information received over the last few days — which is a lot,” although he did not elaborate.

4 BSkyB sweetens shareholders, James Murdoch remains boss

AFP

2 hrs 49 mins ago

Pay-TV giant BSkyB offered its shareholders over £1.0 billion in payouts Friday as it moves on from a failed takeover bid and phone-hacking scandal involving Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

After posting bumper underlying annual profits, BSkyB said it planned a share buyback of £750 million and dividend of £253 million — moves seen as calming the waters after a recent share price collapse.

News Corp., which owns 39.1 percent of BSkyB, will earn nearly £400 million from the payouts, with the US-based media empire announcing that it planned to sell shares back to the broadcaster to keep the level of its stake.

5 New antibody propels hunt for universal flu vaccine

By Kerry Sheridan, AFP

2 hrs 31 mins ago

The first human antibody that can knock out all influenza A viruses has been shown effective in lab mice, an exciting step forward in the hunt for a universal vaccine, researchers said Friday.

The broadly neutralizing antibody, called FI6, could help vaccinate people against the flu without scientists struggling to piece together a new cocktail each season to match the often-changing strains.

Antonio Lanzavecchia, lead author of the study published this week in the US journal Science, described the finding as “significant,” but noted it may be five years before it can be made into a widely available treatment.

6 US seniors fear hard times ahead if no debt deal

By Fabienne Faur, AFP

4 hrs ago

Retired CIA analyst Ruth Washington is one of the lucky ones. She says she could survive for six months if Congress fails to reach a debt deal and her Social Security payments are cut off.

But she and other senior citizens are not optimistic about the near future — they say their loved ones could suffer, and they are angry at lawmakers on Capitol Hill for allowing politics to endanger their livelihoods.

“I’m fine. I live well, not beyond my means. It just frightens me to think what all those people on Social Security are going to do without money. What’s going to happen if they don’t receive a check?” Washington, 83, told AFP.

7 US ‘almost out of time’ for debt deal: Obama

By Olivier Knox, AFP

2 hrs 5 mins ago

US President Barack Obama warned Friday that polarized lawmakers were “almost out of time” to forge a deal averting a disastrous debt default that could send shockwaves though the world economy.

Casting himself as above the angry fray in Congress, Obama urged a compromise blending rival approaches in the Democratic-held Senate and Republican-led House of Representatives for raising the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.

“There are plenty of ways out of this mess. But we are almost out of time. We need to reach a compromise by Tuesday so that our country will have the ability to pay its bills on time, as we always have,” he said.

8 Reborn Hamilton tops F1 practice in Hungary

By Gordon Howard, AFP

3 hrs ago

Lewis Hamilton picked up on Friday where he left off in Germany last Sunday by delivering the fastest times for McLaren in both opening free practice sessions ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

The 26-year-old Briton, who won the world title in 2008, clocked a best lap time of one minute and 21.018 seconds, to top the speed charts and endorse the impression that he has regained top form after winning last weekend’s race at the Nurburgring.

Hamilton wound up fastest ahead of two-times champion Fernando Alonso of Ferrari with his McLaren team-mate Jenson Button, the 2009 champion, third fastest.

9 Broad revives England as India hit back in second Test

By Julian Guyer, AFP

2 hrs 4 mins ago

Stuart Broad again proved a thorn in India’s side with the bat as he rescued England from total collapse on the first day of the second Test at Trent Bridge here on Friday.

England slumped to 88 for six after losing the toss in overcast, swing-friendly, conditions.

But Broad, batting at number nine on his Nottinghamshire home ground, top-scored with 64 in a total of 221.

10 Growth anemic, debt row poses recession risk

By Lucia Mutikani, Reuters

2 hrs 16 mins ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The economy stumbled badly in the first half of 2011 and came dangerously close to contracting in the January-March period, raising the risk of a recession if a standoff over the nation’s debt does not end quickly.

Output increased at a 1.3 percent annual pace in the second quarter as consumer spending barely rose, the Commerce Department said on Friday. In the first three months of the year, the economy advanced just 0.4 percent, a sharp downward revision from the previously reported 1.9 percent gain.

“The economy essentially came to a grinding halt in the first half of this year,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester Pennsylvania. “We did get side-swiped by some temporary factors which are fading, but it raises some concerns about the sustainability the recovery.”

11 Mystery surrounds killing of Libyan rebel army head

By Rania El Gamal, Reuters

34 mins ago

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) – Libya’s rebel military commander was shot dead in an incident shrouded in mystery, dealing a blow to the Western-backed forces struggling to topple Muammar Gaddafi.

Rebels said Abdel Fattah Younes, long a member of the veteran leader’s inner circle before defecting in February, was shot by assailants on Thursday after he had been summoned from the battlefield for unspecified talks with other rebel leaders.

The killing of such a senior figure is an embarrassment and a setback for the rebels regardless of who was responsible — Gaddafi agents apparently able to strike deep in rebel inner circles, or his own side. There are known to be stark divisions between Gaddafi defectors and those who never worked with him.

12 Moody’s threatens Spain rating cut

By Sonya Dowsett and Elisabeth O’Leary, Reuters

8 hrs ago

MADRID (Reuters) – Rating agency Moody’s put Spain on review for a possible downgrade on Friday, adding to concerns that a Greek rescue package has done little to halt the spread of Europe’s debt crisis.

Moody’s move to place the Aa2 government bond rating on review cited concerns over growth and said funding costs would continue to be high in the wake of euro zone leaders’ bolder moves to curb the Greek crisis last week.

That added to a sense that Spain – and Italy – are still firmly in the firing line, and the euro and Spanish bond prices fell in response.

13 UK lawmakers likely to recall James Murdoch on hacking

By Tim Castle, Reuters

3 hrs ago

LONDON (Reuters) – British lawmakers said on Friday it was likely they would recall News Corp’s James Murdoch to clarify evidence on phone hacking he gave to a parliamentary committee following claims his testimony was “mistaken.”

Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee said it would write to Murdoch to ask for more details about evidence he gave earlier this month about hacking allegations at the News of the World tabloid that has shaken his father Rupert’s media empire.

The two Murdochs, along with former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, appeared before the committee on July 19 when they were pressed about phone-hacking and payments to police by News of the World reporters.

14 Obama unveils sharp increase in auto fuel economy

By Ayesha Rascoe and Deepa Seetharaman, Reuters

2 hrs 28 mins ago

WASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) – Several major automakers on Friday embraced the Obama administration’s proposal to push the industry further away from once-dominant gas guzzlers to more lean and efficient vehicles.

The proposal, which is the result of months of negotiations between the Obama administration and automakers, would require automakers to reach an average fuel efficiency across their fleets of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

“This agreement on fuel standards represents the single most important step we’ve ever taken as a nation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” Obama said at an event announcing the new standards.

15 Chevron profit jumps with oil, output growth slow

By Matt Daily and Braden Reddall, Reuters

3 hrs ago

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Chevron Corp, the second-largest U.S. oil company, booked a 43 percent jump in quarterly profit, beating estimates as high oil prices and fat refinery margins offset weaker output.

The numbers out on Friday were the latest in a string of huge profits from the industry, which got a boost from the highest oil prices in nearly three years. Exxon Mobil Corp and Royal Dutch Shell Plc also benefited from acquisitions and shifts into new projects.

Chevron’s better-than-expected second-quarter performance was largely due to the strength of its U.S. and international refineries, according to Oppenheimer & Co analyst Fadel Gheit.

16 Obama urges compromise, Republicans set to vote

By Richard Cowan and Laura MacInnis, Reuters

58 mins ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With four days left before the United States hits its debt limit, Republicans pressed ahead with a deficit plan that cannot pass Congress and President Barack Obama told lawmakers to stop wasting time and find a way “out of this mess.”

Republicans in the House of Representatives said they expected to vote on Friday on a retooled deficit-reduction measure that would raise the debt ceiling.

The bill is opposed by Democrats and the White House, but Republicans insist it clear the House before they will start talks toward a compromise measure.

17 Economy slowed sharply in first half of year

By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer

1 hr 16 mins ago

WASHINGTON (AP) – The economy expanded at a meager 1.3 percent annual rate in the spring after scarcely growing at all in the first three months of the year, the Commerce Department said Friday.

The combined growth for the first six months of the year was the weakest since the recession ended two years ago. The government revised the January-March figures to show just 0.4 percent growth, down sharply from its previous estimate of 1.9 percent.

The data was much worse than economists expected and caused many of them to lower their growth forecasts for the rest of this year.

18 Officer accuses fellow rebels in Libya killing

By RAMI Al-SHAHEIBI, Associated Press

1 hr 56 mins ago

BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) – The commander of the Libyan rebels’ military was killed by fellow rebels while in custody after he was arrested by the opposition’s leadership on suspicion of treason, witnesses said Friday, indicating a potentially major split in the ranks of the movement battling Moammar Gadhafi.

The killing of Abdel-Fattah Younis under still mysterious circumstances raised fear and uncertainty in Benghazi, the de facto rebel capital, and worries among Western allies who have backed the rebels controlling most of the eastern Libya.

The National Transitional Council, the rebels’ leadership body, has said it is investigating the killing. It blamed unidentified “gunmen” and has made no confirmation that Younis had been arrested. It has said only that Younis was gunned down on route to Benghazi, where he had been summoned to discuss “a military matter.”

19 Spain’s embattled premier calls early elections

By ALAN CLENDENNING, HAROLD HECKLE, Associated Press

5 hrs ago

MADRID (AP) – Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero on Friday announced early general elections in November, scheduling the race four months earlier than anticipated to give his Socialist Party a better chance to stay in power amid growing outrage over the nation’s economic woes.

Zapatero set the election date for Nov. 20 even though he was not required to call elections until March and had resisted repeated calls by the conservative opposition for early polling.

“I want a new government to take control of the economy from January 1st next year,” said Zapatero, who announced earlier this year he would not seek a third term.

20 Somali man recalls horrors of fleeing famine

By MALKHADIR M. MUHUMED, Associated Press

15 mins ago

DADAAB, Kenya (AP) – When al-Qaida-linked militants learned that Ahmedhashim Mawlid Abdi and his family were planning to flee Somalia’s famine, they threw the 40-year-old father of seven in jail for two days.

Over the next 17 days, as they made their escape, a gang of gunmen robbed them of the little food they had, Abdi’s pregnant wife was raped in front of him, and his 7-year-old son died of starvation and disease. They were even attacked by a lion.

When they finally made it to the Dagahaley refugee camp in neighboring Kenya, their struggles were far from over. Food rations in the overcrowded camp are “just enough to survive on,” Abdi said. And the future is uncertain.

21 Ultraconservative Muslims join protesters in Egypt

By BEN HUBBARD, Associated Press

4 hrs ago

CAIRO (AP) – Ultraconservative Muslims turned out in force Friday as tens of thousands filled Cairo’s central Tahrir Square in a rally marked by a growing rift in the protest movement.

South of the capital, gunmen fired on a car carrying Christians, killing two. While the motive was unknown, similar events have sparked religious violence in the past.

In one of the largest crowds to fill the square since the popular uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February, Salafis chanted for the implementation of strict Islamic law – spurring accusations that they violated an agreement to keep the rally free from divisive issues.

22 New mileage standards aim for less fuel, pollution

By DINA CAPPIELLO, TOM KRISHER, Associated Press

4 mins 10 secs ago

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama and automakers ushered in the largest cut in fuel consumption since the 1970s on Friday with a deal that will save drivers money at the pump and dramatically cut heat-trapping gases coming from tailpipes.

The agreement pledges to double overall fuel economy to 54.5 mpg by 2025, bringing even greater under-the-hood changes to the nation’s autos starting in model year 2017 and introduce more electric and hybrid technology to pickup trucks. Cars and trucks on the road today average 27 mpg.

“This agreement on fuel standards represents the single most important step we have taken as a nation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” Obama said, sharing the stage with top executives of 11 major automakers and a top automobile workers union official, before a backdrop of some of the most cutting-edge cars and pickup trucks on the road.

23 Judge: Time to unseal Nixon’s Watergate testimony

By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press

1 hr 53 mins ago

WASHINGTON (AP) – Thirty-six years after Richard Nixon testified to a grand jury about the Watergate break-in that drove him from office, a federal judge on Friday ordered the secret transcript made public.

But the 297 pages of testimony won’t be available immediately, because the government gets time to decide whether to appeal.

The Obama administration opposed the transcript’s release, chiefly to protect the privacy of people discussed during the ex-president’s testimony who are still alive.

24 House nears vote on GOP debt bill; Dems oppose

By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent

44 mins ago

WASHINGTON (AP) – Partisan to the core, Congress groped uncertainly Friday for a way to avoid a government default threatened for early next week. “We are almost out of time,” warned President Barack Obama as U.S. financial markets trembled.

At one end of the Capitol, Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans pushed toward a vote on veto-threatened legislation rewritten overnight to win the support of conservative holdouts demanding action on a constitutional balanced-budget amendment.

At the same time, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid worked on an alternative bill to cut spending by $2.2 trillion and raise the debt limit by $2.7 trillion. That would be enough to meet Obama’s terms that it tide the Treasury over until 2013.

25 Obama says time running out to avoid US default

By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent

1 hr 4 mins ago

WASHINGTON (AP) – Partisan to the core, Congress groped uncertainly Friday for a way to avoid a government default threatened for early next week. “We are almost out of time,” warned President Barack Obama as U.S. financial markets trembled.

At one end of the Capitol, Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans pushed toward a vote on veto-threatened legislation rewritten overnight to win the support of conservative holdouts. The conservatives wanted a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution, and it was added to Boehner’s bill.

At the same time, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid worked on an alternative bill to cut spending by $2.2 trillion and raise the debt limit by $2.7 trillion. That would be enough to meet Obama’s terms that it tide the Treasury over until 2013.

26 Manning expected to miss camp opening

By BARRY WILNER, AP Pro Football Writer

1 hr 31 mins ago

Peyton Manning never misses a game and hardly snap. That’s in the regular season.

The Indianapolis Colts expect to begin training camp practices Monday without their star quarterback, who not only is coming off neck surgery, but doesn’t have a contract.

Coach Jim Caldwell said Friday that Manning is “not ready right now” and that the team will “turn him loose” when he is ready to play.

2 comments

  1. ek hornbeck
  2. BobbyK

    is how much government austerity will cripple the economy.

    We’ve never needed tax and spend Dems more.

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