From Yahoo News Top Stories
|From Yahoo News Top Stories|
1 New BP boss vows to stay the course in Gulf clean-up
by Matt Davis, AFP
27 mins ago
|NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AFP) – Incoming BP boss Bob Dudley Friday vowed the British energy giant would stand by Gulf residents for years to come, as it prepared to scale back clean-up efforts and move to a new phase.
Making his first trip to the region since he was named to take over the helm of the British energy giant, Dudley said with no oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico for two weeks the company’s focus was shifting to long term recovery.
“We’ve had some good news on the oil… but that doesn’t mean we’re done. We’ll be here for years,” Dudley told reporters in Mississippi, one of the five states hit by the massive oil spill.
2 US growth slows fueling recovery fears
by Andrew Beatty, AFP
2 hrs 17 mins ago
|WASHINGTON (AFP) – US economic growth slowed dramatically to 2.4 percent in the second quarter of this year, the Commerce Department said Friday, stoking fears that the recovery is losing steam.
The rate was sharply down from the first three months of the year, slamming the brakes on an already tepid rebound, although it was only slightly lower than the 2.5 percent expected by analysts.
In the first quarter, gross domestic product was revised to 3.7 percent, up substantially from a previously reported 2.7 percent.
3 London launches cycle hire scheme
by Katherine Haddon, AFP
Fri Jul 30, 12:01 pm ET
|LONDON (AFP) – London launched a major cycle hire scheme Friday which aims to make transport in the city greener ahead of the 2012 Olympics, following in the tracks of cities like Paris and Shanghai.
Mayor Boris Johnson, himself a keen cyclist, said the scheme was a “new dawn” for pedal power in London, adding he hoped the bikes would become as common a sight on its streets as black cabs and red double-decker buses.
A total of 5,000 bicycles are available from 315 docking stations across the capital, many of them near landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and the Tower of London.
4 Two dozen held in tense Arizona immigration protests
by David Anderson, AFP
Thu Jul 29, 7:10 pm ET
|PHOENIX, Arizona (AFP) – Several hundred activists marched here Thursday as a new Arizona immigration law went into effect, sparking a tense standoff with riot police in which about two dozen people were arrested.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer appealed against a judge’s injunction stripping the most contentious sections from the legislation, as angry protestors were met by scores of police in riot gear.
Civil rights groups marched through Phoenix, the capital of Arizona, to denounce the new law, even though a judge has temporarily stripped it of key powers allowing police to spot check the immigration status of all suspects.
5 Berlusconi in crisis after revolt by key ally
by Gina Doggett, AFP
Fri Jul 30, 10:04 am ET
|ROME (AFP) – Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Friday faced a parliamentary crisis after splitting with his one-time ally, lower house speaker Gianfranco Fini, citing “obvious divisions”.
After months of acrimony, Berlusconi late Thursday demanded that Fini leave his post, which the speaker categorically refused as around 30 lawmakers have indicated they are to join his breakaway movement.
A major defection of People of Freedom (PDL) lawmakers would end the absolute majority that the party and its coalition partner — the anti-immigration Northern League — enjoy in parliament.
6 BA losses hit £122m on strike action, ash cloud
by Ben Perry, AFP
Fri Jul 30, 8:11 am ET
|LONDON (AFP) – British Airways said on Friday its net losses widened to 122 million pounds in its first quarter as strike action and the volcanic ash cloud grounded flights but insisted it was set to break even.
BA, which is looking to merge with Spain’s Iberia, said losses after tax rose 15 percent to the equivalent of 146 million euros or 191 million dollars in the three months to June compared with a year earlier.
“Despite both revenues and cost being hit by the closure of UK airspace following the Icelandic volcanic eruption and the impact of industrial action, our financial performance improved during the quarter from underlying revenue increases and further cost reductions,” BA chief executive Willie Walsh said.
7 BP to try well kill Tuesday
By Leigh Coleman, Reuters
30 mins ago
|BILOXI, Mississippi (Reuters) – BP Plc said on Friday it could seal its ruptured Gulf of Mexico oil well by next week as U.S. lawmakers prepared to vote on reforms that would put tougher restrictions on offshore drilling.
Incoming BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley said the company would attempt a “static kill” operation on Tuesday to try to plug the broken undersea Macondo well that caused the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
“We want to absolutely kill this well. The static kill will be attempted on Tuesday. The relief well by the end of the month (August),” said Dudley, BP’s top executive on the Gulf oil spill who will replace Tony Hayward as CEO on October 1.
8 House vote seen close on oil spill bill
By Tom Doggett and Richard Cowan, Reuters
Fri Jul 30, 1:38 pm ET
|WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A close vote is expected later on Friday when the U.S. House of Representatives decides on legislation to reform the oil industry’s offshore drilling practices in response to the massive Gulf oil spill.
Republicans warned the bill will slash U.S. oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico, a major supplier of domestic energy, and cut high-paying drilling jobs.
“The Obama moratorium on deepwater drilling has already costs thousands of jobs and this bill will eliminate even more American energy jobs, making it harder and more expensive to produce both energy on and offshore,” said Republican Representative Pete Sessions.
9 China overtakes Japan as No.2 economy: FX chief
By Aileen Wang and Alan Wheatley, Reuters
Fri Jul 30, 9:40 am ET
|BEIJING (Reuters) – China has overtaken Japan to become the world’s second-largest economy, the fruit of three decades of rapid growth that has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.
Depending on how fast its exchange rate rises, China is on course to overtake the United States and vault into the No.1 spot sometime around 2025, according to projections by the World Bank, Goldman Sachs and others.
China came close to surpassing Japan in 2009 and the disclosure by a senior official that it had now done so comes as no surprise. Indeed, Yi Gang, China’s chief currency regulator, mentioned the milestone in passing in remarks published on Friday.
10 Imports slow second-quarter growth
By Lucia Mutikani, Reuters
6 mins ago
|WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Economic growth slowed in the second quarter as companies invested heavily in equipment from abroad and the pace of consumer spending eased, raising concerns about the recovery in the rest of 2010.
The fastest rate of business spending in four years would normally be associated with increased confidence in the economy, but analysts said cash-flush companies were merely making up for ground lost during the recession.
Another factor pointing to anemic growth in coming quarters was a big rise in inventories. Against a backdrop of tepid consumer demand, the increase implied businesses probably have too much stock on their shelves and in their warehouses.
11 Italy speaker refuses to resign, deepens crisis
By Philip Pullella, Reuters
Fri Jul 30, 12:35 pm ET
|ROME (Reuters) – The influential speaker of Italy’s lower house refused to step down on Friday after being censured by his own party, and said his supporters could vote against the government of former ally Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
“Obviously I have no intention of resigning,” Gianfranco Fini told a news conference a day after Berlusconi effectively booted him out of the party they founded jointly two years ago, raising the specter of early elections.
A combative Fini attacked Berlusconi for “having not exactly a liberal concept of democracy” and for trying to run a government like an autocratic CEO, “which has nothing to do with our democratic institutions.”
12 WikiLeaks may have blood on its hands, U.S. says
By Phil Stewart and Adam Entous, Reuters
Thu Jul 29, 6:52 pm ET
|WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks may have blood on its hands, the Pentagon said on Thursday, warning its unprecedented leak of secret U.S. military files could cost lives and damage trust of allies.
An Army intelligence officer, already under arrest, is at the center of an investigation into the leak of more than 90,000 secret records to WikiLeaks, one of the biggest security breaches in U.S. military history, U.S. officials have said.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates declined to comment on the probe but said he could not rule out more leaks of classified information. He also announced plans to tighten access to sensitive intelligence data.
13 Arizona appeals immigrant law ruling amid protests
By Carolina Madrid and Tim Gaynor, Reuters
Thu Jul 29, 8:37 pm ET
|PHOENIX (Reuters) – Arizona on Thursday appealed a judge’s decision to block key parts of the state’s crackdown on illegal immigrants and police in Phoenix arrested scores of activists protesting the remaining measures in the law.
Lawyers for Governor Jan Brewer and Arizona asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to lift an injunction blocking the most intrusive parts of the law, known as SB 1070, and asked for the appeal to be handled quickly.
Tensions over the law have inflamed a national debate over immigration, which has festered for decades and promises to play into the elections in November, when President Barack Obama’s Democrats are fighting to retain control of Congress.
14 Incoming BP CEO: Time for ‘scaleback’ in cleanup
By HARRY R. WEBER and GREG BLUESTEIN, Associated Press Writer
11 mins ago
|BILOXI, Miss. – BP’s incoming CEO said Friday that it’s time for a “scaleback” of the massive effort to clean up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, but stressed the commitment to make things right is the same as ever.
Tens of thousands of people – many of them idled fishermen – have been involved in the cleanup, but more than two weeks after the leak was stopped there is relatively little oil on the surface, leaving less work for oil skimmers to do.
Bob Dudley, who heads BP’s oil spill recovery and will take over as CEO in October, said it’s “not too soon for a scaleback” in the cleanup, and in areas where there is no oil, “you probably don’t need to see people in hazmat suits on the beach.”
15 Signs of oil spill recovery entering new phase
By HARRY R. WEBER and GREG BLUESTEIN, Associated Press Writers
3 mins ago
|BILOXI, Miss. – BP’s new boss says it’s time for a “scaleback” in cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Federal officials say there is no way the crude could reach the East Coast. And fishing areas are starting to reopen.
There were several signs Friday that the era of thousands of oil-skimming boats and hazmat-suited beach crews is giving way to long-term efforts to clean up, compensate people for their losses and understand the damage wrought. Local fishermen are doubtful, however, and say oil remains a bigger problem than BP and the federal government are letting on.
Other people contend the impact of the spill has been overblown, given that little oil remains on the Gulf surface, but Bob Dudley, who heads BP’s oil spill recovery and will take over as CEO in October, rejected those claims.
16 US casualties in Afghanistan soar to record highs
By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer
5 mins ago
|KABUL, Afghanistan – In a summer of suffering, America’s military death toll in Afghanistan is rising, with back-to-back record months for U.S. losses in the grinding conflict. All signs point to more bloodshed in the months ahead, straining the already shaky international support for the war.
Six more Americans were reported killed in fighting in the south – three Thursday and three Friday – pushing the U.S. death toll for July to a record 66 and surpassing June as the deadliest month for U.S. forces in the nearly nine-year war.
U.S. officials confirmed the latest American deaths Friday but gave no further details. Five of the latest reported deaths were a result of hidden bombs – the insurgents’ weapon of choice – and the sixth to an armed attack, NATO said in statements.
17 Ariz. governor considers changing immigration law
By PAUL DAVENPORT, Associated Press Writer
1 min ago
|PHOENIX – Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is asking legislators to consider whether they should change the state’s immigration law in response to a judge’s ruling blocking parts of it.
Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman confirms that the governor called top legislative leaders to broach the possibility of changing provisions of the law on Thursday, a day after U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton issued a preliminary injunction.
Senseman says the possibility of having legislators meet in special session to consider changing the law is merely being explored. He says Brewer is still pressing ahead with her appeal of Bolton’s order.
18 Agency weighs skirting Congress on immigration
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, Associated Press Writer
58 mins ago
|WASHINGTON – The Obama administration, unable to push an immigration overhaul through Congress, is considering ways it could go around lawmakers to allow undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States, according to an agency memo.
The internal draft written by officials at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services outlines ways that the government could provide “relief” to illegal immigrants – including delaying deportation for some, perhaps indefinitely, or granting green cards to others – in the absence of legislation revamping the system.
It’s emerging as chances fade in this election year for a measure President Barack Obama favors to put the nation’s estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants on a path to legal status, and as debate rages over an Arizona law targeting people suspected of being in the country illegally.
19 House investigators recommended Rangel reprimand
By LARRY MARGASAK, Associated Press Writer
17 mins ago
|WASHINGTON – The panel that charged New York Democrat Charles Rangel with 13 counts of ethical misdeeds recommended he receive a relatively mild rebuke by the full House, one of the investigators said Friday.
The House ethics committee has a range of punishments it can administer or recommend to the full House. A reprimand is simply a vote by the House to express displeasure with a member’s conduct, and would follow a finding of guilt in a trial.
Rep. Gene Green, D-Texas, said the two Democrats and two Republicans on the panel that investigated Rangel for two years were not unanimous in bringing all 13 charges against him, and “the recommendation we had was a reprimand.” Green is one of the Democrats on the panel.
20 Sarkozy threatens immigrants who target police
By ELAINE GANLEY, Associated Press Writer
1 hr 21 mins ago
|PARIS – President Nicolas Sarkozy said Friday that he wants to revoke the French citizenship of immigrants who put the lives of police officers in danger as part of a “national war” on delinquency.
In a speech in Grenoble, the site of recent urban unrest, Sarkozy said that the current list of causes for revoking French nationality would be reevaluated and “rights and benefits” accorded to illegal immigrants would be reviewed.
Meanwhile, a video posted on the Internet showing riot police roughly rousting African immigrant squatters, including one visibly pregnant woman, from an encampment at a housing project prompted shocked reactions around the country.
21 Bleak outlook for economy as growth slows
By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer
18 mins ago
|WASHINGTON – The economy is still growing, just not by much. And until that changes, don’t look for the jobs to come back.
Americans spent less and businesses thought twice about restocking their shelves in the past three months, making for a sluggish spring. And the government now says the recession was a deeper hole to climb out of than previously known.
The gross domestic product, the broadest measure of U.S. economic output, grew at an annual rate of 2.4 percent from April to June, down from 3.7 percent the quarter before and the weakest showing in nearly a year. Many economists say the economy is growing even more slowly now.
22 Who will be judged fit to be the ‘Idol’ judges?
By FRAZIER MOORE, AP Television Writer
Fri Jul 30, 12:59 pm ET
|NEW YORK – Don’t call it “American Idol.” Call it “Extreme Makeover: ‘Idol’ Edition.”
The composition of the “Idol” judges’ panel seems to be changing by the minute, in flux like a lunch counter during the noon rush.
Everyone but Larry King and Kate Gosselin is rumored as a candidate to replace tart-tongued Simon Cowell (out the door to create his own talent competition), Ellen DeGeneres and who knows who else.
23 Source: J-Lo close to deal for `American Idol’
By FRAZIER MOORE, AP Television Writer
Fri Jul 30, 7:20 am ET
|NEW YORK – Former “Fly Girl” Jennifer Lopez is poised to return to television – this time as a judge on “American Idol.”
The singer-dancer-actor was close to signing a deal to join Fox TV’s hit singing contest, a person familiar with the negotiations said late Thursday. The person, who was not authorized to comment publicly, spoke on condition of anonymity.
Fox declined comment. Phone and e-mail messages for Lopez’s representatives were not immediately returned.
24 Obama hails auto bailout as good news in Michigan
By CHARLES BABINGTON and TOM KRISHER, Associated Press Writers
19 mins ago
|DETROIT – A year after the government’s big auto-industry bailouts, President Barack Obama on Friday trumpeted increased car sales and progress on battery-powered vehicles as a beacon of success in his administration’s battle to revive a hurting U.S. economy. But his upbeat assessment can’t mask daunting challenges for U.S. automakers and painfully high unemployment.
Touring Chrysler and General Motors assembly plants, Obama argued that his administration’s unpopular $60 billion bailout of the two companies – essentially government-funded forced bankruptcies – was paying off. Clear evidence that he sees an opening to appeal to recession-weary voters, Obama will continue to press the same case next week when he tours the Chicago plant where Ford Motor Co. builds the Taurus sedan and plans to assemble a new Explorer sport utility vehicle.
Few disagree that the intervention helped keep the firms afloat.
25 FBI access to e-mail, Web data raises privacy fear
By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer
Fri Jul 30, 1:19 pm ET
|WASHINGTON – Invasion of privacy in the Internet age. Expanding the reach of law enforcement to snoop on e-mail traffic or on Web surfing. Those are among the criticisms being aimed at the FBI as it tries to update a key surveillance law.
With its proposed amendment, is the Obama administration merely clarifying a statute or expanding it? Only time and a suddenly on guard Congress will tell.
Federal law requires communications providers to produce records in counterintelligence investigations to the FBI, which doesn’t need a judge’s approval and court order to get them.
26 Mo. Senate race may narrow to Blunt, Carnahan
By DAVID A. LIEB, Associated Press Writer
2 hrs 2 mins ago
|JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – He calls her a “rubber stamp” for President Barack Obama and liberal congressional leaders. She “calls bull” on his attempts to represent regular folks, suggesting he’s more attuned to lobbyists and corporate interests.
Republican Roy Blunt and Democrat Robin Carnahan have been campaigning against each other for almost a year and a half in Missouri’s U.S. Senate race, since shortly after four-term Republican Kit Bond announced he would not seek re-election.
On Tuesday, they may finally become their parties’ official nominees.
27 Scalia: Supreme Court should not be moral arbiters
By MATT VOLZ, Associated Press Writer
Fri Jul 30, 1:43 pm ET
|BOZEMAN, Mont. – Antonin Scalia believes Supreme Court justices are all too often deciding the nation’s morals from the bench. He thinks the nomination process has turned into “absurd political theater.” And he has grown to loathe the “silly spectacle” surrounding State of the Union speeches.
Scalia offered these insights and many others during an appearance in Montana this week that provided a unique glimpse into the beliefs of the Supreme Court justice.
He said the Supreme Court should abandon the notion of a “living constitution” – an approach the court adopted in the last half of the 20th century that has resulted in the nation’s charter being rewritten time and again by unelected judges who are unqualified to make decisions on morality.
28 White House urges halt to spilling of war secrets
By ROBERT BURNS and DAVID DISHNEAU, Associated Press Writers
Fri Jul 30, 12:42 pm ET
|WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House on Friday implored the website WikiLeaks to stop posting secret Afghanistan war documents and the Pentagon pressed its investigation of the leaks, bringing a soldier charged with handing over classified video back to the U.S. for trial.
Obama administration officials said the investigation into the release of 76,911 documents could extend beyond members of the military. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said posting the war logs on the Web jeopardized national security and put the lives of Afghan informants and U.S. military personnel at risk.
Asked what the Obama administration could do to stop the disclosure of more war secrets, Gibbs said, “We can do nothing but implore the person that has those classified top secret documents not to post any more.”
29 NM governor considers pardon for Billy the Kid
By BARRY MASSEY, Associated Press Writer
Fri Jul 30, 7:43 am ET
|SANTA FE, N.M. – The showdown between Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid has fascinated the American public for nearly 130 years with its classic, Old West storyline of the frontier lawman hunting down the notorious gunslinger.
As it turns out, the feud isn’t completely over.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is considering granting a posthumous pardon to Billy the Kid, angering descendants of Garrett who call it an insult to recognize such a violent outlaw.
30 Immigration skirmish brews in quiet SC town
By BRUCE SMITH, Associated Press Writer
Fri Jul 30, 5:11 am ET
|SUMMERVILLE, S.C. – In a quiet Southern bedroom community of gardens and parks across the country from Arizona, another skirmish in the battle over illegal immigration is brewing.
Summerville Councilman Walter Bailey, worried there is a void in immigration laws, has proposed an ordinance that goes farther than state law, which was sharpened two years ago to allow police to identify illegal immigrants for deportation.
The proposal would prevent illegal immigrants from living in the town of 45,000, which calls itself “Flower Town in the Pines,” and in most cases prevent them from working here.
31 Ousted USDA employee Sherrod plans to sue blogger
By JESSE WASHINGTON, AP National Writer
Thu Jul 29, 11:18 pm ET
|SAN DIEGO – Ousted Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod said Thursday she will sue a conservative blogger who posted a video edited in a way that made her appear racist.
Sherrod was forced to resign last week as director of rural development in Georgia after Andrew Breitbart posted the edited video online. In the full video, Sherrod, who is black, spoke to a local NAACP group about racial reconciliation and overcoming her initial reluctance to help a white farmer.
Speaking Thursday at the National Association of Black Journalists convention, Sherrod said she would definitely sue over the video that took her remarks out of context. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has since offered Sherrod a new job in the department. She has not decided whether to accept.
32 Mo. ballot measures tests federal health care law
By DAVID A. LIEB, Associated Press Writer
Thu Jul 29, 7:07 pm ET
|JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – More than 1 million people are expected to participate in what amounts to the largest-ever public opinion poll on the nation’s new health care law.
Missouri on Tuesday will become the first state to the test the popularity of President Barack Obama’s top policy accomplishment with a statewide ballot proposal attempting to reject its core mandate that most Americans have health insurance.
The legal effect of Missouri’s measure is questionable, because federal laws generally supersede those in states. But its expected passage could send an ominous political message to Democrats seeking to hang on to their congressional majority in this year’s midterm elections.
33 CAPITAL CULTURE: Malia’s latest adventure is camp
By JOCELYN NOVECK, AP National Writer
Thu Jul 29, 5:57 pm ET
|NEW YORK – She’s had a front row seat to history for a year and a half, meeting heads of state, touring the Kremlin, flying around the world on Air Force One, being serenaded by Paul McCartney and enjoying command performances from the Jonas Brothers.
But there’s one thing Malia Obama hasn’t done, until now, her dad says, and it’s a rite of passage countless kids have experienced: a summer at camp, bunking with a bunch of other girls in a wooden cabin or tent, sharing chores, swatting away mosquitoes and giggling the night away.
It’s a wonderful time – lumpy cots and all – say advocates of the camp experience, who are thrilled with the presidential decision to let Malia partake in a classic American tradition.