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Jul 15 2011

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 More than 40 injured in Pamplona bull-run festival

By Daniel Silva, AFP

3 hrs ago

Fighting bulls wounded three thrill-seekers in the final bull-run of Spain’s San Fermin festival on Thursday, bringing the overall tally to more than 40 injured.

The half-tonne beasts sped through cobbled streets of the northern city of Pamplona on the eighth and last daily bull-run of a festival expected to have drawn more than a million tourists.

The six bulls and six steers charged 846.6 metres from a pen to the bullring in a quick two minutes 20 seconds, organisers said.

Good for them.

2 Suicide attack hits memorial for Karzai’s brother

By Mamoon Durrani, AFP

6 hrs ago

A suicide bomber on Thursday targeted a memorial service for the assassinated brother of the Afghan president, killing three people including a senior cleric and a child.

Local officials said 15 people were wounded when the attacker blew himself up in a mosque in the southern city of Kandahar, where visiting cabinet ministers from the capital Kabul had to be airlifted to safety.

The bombing spotlights renewed instability in Kandahar, one of Afghanistan’s bloodiest battlegrounds and the birthplace of the Taliban, in the power vacuum created by the death of powerbroker Ahmed Wali Karzai.

3 Murdoch under pressure to face British MPs

By Danny Kemp, AFP

11 hrs ago

Britain’s deputy prime minister urged Rupert Murdoch Thursday to face questioning by lawmakers over the phone hacking scandal, as pressure grew on his media empire in Australia and the United States.

Police in Britain made a ninth arrest in the case as the furore which has led to the closure of the News of the World tabloid and forced Murdoch to drop a takeover bid for satellite broadcaster BSkyB raged on.

Murdoch, his son James and Rebekah Brooks, the chief executive of Murdoch’s British newspaper arm News International faced a deadline Thursday to reply to an invitation by a parliamentary committee to answer questions on the row.

4 Indian PM vows swift justice for Mumbai victims

By Phil Hazlewood, AFP

6 hrs ago

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday vowed that those responsible for a series of bomb blasts that killed 17 in Mumbai would be tracked down and prosecuted, as he visited the injured.

“Perpetrators of (the) Mumbai blasts shall be pursued relentlessly and brought to justice quickly,” the premier said on a tour of city hospitals treating some of the more than 130 wounded in Wednesday’s blasts.

Investigators are banking on security camera footage to pinpoint who was behind the wave of explosions, which happened within 15 minutes in two crowded commercial areas of south Mumbai and a central residential district.

5 Obama calls new debt talks under China pressure

By Olivier Knox, AFP

1 hr 56 mins ago

President Barack Obama and his Republican foes came under mounting pressure Thursday to forge a compromise to avert an early August debt default, with China and Wall Street sounding the alarm.

Obama was to host top Republicans and his fellow Democrats for a fifth straight day of White House talks to craft a deal to narrow the yawning US budget deficit while allowing cash-strapped Washington to borrow past August 2.

Economists and finance and business leaders have warned that failure to raise the US debt ceiling above the current $14.3 trillion would send shockwaves through the fragile world economy as it digs out from the 2008 collapse.

6 Contador loses more time as Sanchez wins Tour 12th stage

By Justin Davis, AFP

4 hrs ago

Embattled champion Alberto Contador lost more time to his key yellow jersey rivals on Thursday as Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez claimed his maiden win in the Tour de France.

Spaniard Sanchez came over the finish line of the 211km 12th stage ahead of Belgian Jelle Vanendert after attacking the Omega-Pharma rider inside the final 400 metres of the 13.3km climb to Luz Ardiden.

Frenchman Thomas Voeckler, of Europcar, upset the form book to retain the race leader’s yellow jersey after the first of three consecutive days in the Pyrenees.

7 Judge declares mistrial in Roger Clemens perjury case

By Jeremy Pelofsky and Keith Harriston, Reuters

1 hr 16 mins ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A judge declared a mistrial on Thursday in the perjury trial of baseball pitching great Roger Clemens because the lead prosecutor gave jurors information that had been barred from the courtroom.

Judge Reggie Walton was furious at prosecutor Steven Durham for introducing material in a video that appeared to bolster the credibility of a future witness, Clemens’ former teammate Andy Pettitte, and referred to Pettitte’s wife, Laura.

“If this man is convicted, knowing how I sentence, he goes to jail,” Walton said. “He is entitled to a fair trial, in my view he cannot get one.”

8 Euro zone makes fresh bid to tackle Greek crisis

By John O’Donnell and Sarah Marsh, Reuters

6 hrs ago

BRUSSELS/BERLIN (Reuters) – Euro zone countries continued to grapple with the thorny issue of involving the private sector in tackling Greece’s debt pile as they prepared for a meeting to decide support for the country next week.

“The principle of having a euro chiefs’ meeting is accepted by the main players, including Germany,” said one EU diplomat, adding that it was likely to happen next week despite earlier signals from Berlin that there was no rush to finalize a second package of aid.

First, however, countries have to agree how to involve private sector investors in tackling Greece’s debt burden, a key demand of Germany before it signs off more support for Athens and a step the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday must be taken.

9 Moody’s puts U.S. ratings on review for downgrade

By Walter Brandimarte and Daniel Bases, Reuters

6 hrs ago

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The United States may lose its top-notch credit rating in the next few weeks if lawmakers fail to increase the country’s legal borrowing limit and the government misses debt payments, Moody’s Investors Service warned on Wednesday.

Moody’s is the first of the big-three credit rating agencies to place the United States’ Aaa rating on review for a possible downgrade, meaning the agency is close to cutting the country’s rating.

Standard & Poor’s placed the U.S. rating on negative outlook on April 18 which meant a downgrade is likely in 12-18 months.

10 JPMorgan profit rises, loan book grows

By David Henry, Reuters

6 mins ago

NEW YORK (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co posted a higher-than-expected second-quarter profit as it wrote off fewer bad mortgages and credit card loans.

The second-largest U.S. bank made new loans faster than customers paid off existing ones during the quarter, a reversal from the first quarter and a good sign for a business long plagued by weak loan demand.

JPMorgan’s revenue rose and it added staff in the quarter, and its shares closed 1.8 percent higher on Thursday. But the bank faces big expenses from mortgages as the effects of the housing crisis linger.

11 Bernanke: Cutting too much too soon could hurt U.S.

By Mark Felsenthal and Pedro Nicolaci da Costa, Reuters

3 hrs ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned Congress on Thursday that overzealous cuts to government spending in the short term could derail an already fragile recovery and said a U.S. debt default may wreak financial havoc.

“I only ask … as Congress looks at the timing and composition of its changes to the budget, that it does take into account that in the very near term the recovery is still rather fragile, and that sharp and excessive cuts in the very short term would be potentially damaging to that recovery,” Bernanke told members of the Senate Banking Committee.

Congress and the White House are stalemated in talks on cutting the budget deficit, with Republicans seeking $2.4 trillion in spending cuts in exchange for agreeing to raise the $14.3 U.S. government borrowing limit. The U.S. Treasury has said it will run out of money after August 2 to pay all of the country’s bills if the a deal is not reached to raise the debt ceiling.

12 Murdochs bow to pressure to attend UK parliament

By Kate Holton and Georgina Prodhan, Reuters

1 hr 13 mins ago

LONDON (Reuters) – Rupert Murdoch on Thursday caved in to pressure from Britain’s parliament to answer questions over alleged crimes at one of his newspapers, setting up a showdown with lawmakers keen to break the media mogul’s grip on politics.

British police arrested a ninth suspect, named by media as a former deputy editor of Murdoch’s News of the World, adding weight to a government call for the media regulator to decide whether his business is fit to run British television stations.

Murdoch, 80, has already been forced to close the News of the World and back down on his biggest acquisition plan yet, the buyout of British pay TV operator BSkyB, due to an outcry over allegations reporters accessed private phone messages.

13 Deutsche Boerse owners back $9.7 billion NYSE merger

By Edward Taylor and Ann Saphir, Reuters

2 hrs 22 mins ago

FRANKFURT/CHICAGO (Reuters) – Germany’s Deutsche Boerse AG looked set to pull off its $9.7 billion takeover of the New York Stock Exchange group on Thursday after its shareholders backed the deal to create the world’s largest exchange operator.

Shareholders in NYSE Euronext approved the deal last week but it still faces formidable anti-trust hurdles on both sides of the Atlantic, analysts say.

It is expected to take until the end of the year before the politically-charged deal gets regulatory approval.

14 Judge declares mistrial in Clemens case

By JESSE J. HOLLAND, NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press

28 mins ago

WASHINGTON (AP) – Almost as soon as it began, former baseball star Roger Clemens’ perjury trial ended Thursday – in a mistrial the judge blamed on prosecutors and said a “first-year law student” would have known to avoid.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton left the question of a new trial up in the air. But he called a halt to the trial under way after prosecutors showed jurors evidence that he had ruled out – videotaped revelations that a teammate had said he’d told his wife Clemens confessed to using a drug.

Walton scolded prosecutors and said he couldn’t let the former All-Star pitcher face prison if convicted on such “extremely prejudicial” evidence.

15 U-Turn: Murdochs to be questioned by UK parliament

By JILL LAWLESS, ROBERT BARR, Associated Press

29 mins ago

LONDON (AP) – Rupert Murdoch and his son James first refused, then agreed Thursday to appear before U.K. lawmakers investigating phone hacking and police bribery, while in the U.S., the FBI opened an investigation into allegations the Murdoch media empire sought to hack into the phones of Sept. 11 victims.

Those two developments – and the arrest of another former editor of a Murdoch tabloid – deepened the crisis for News Corp., which has seen its stock price sink as investors ask whether the scandal could drag down the whole company.

Murdoch defended News Corp.’s handling of the scandal, saying it will recover from any damage caused by the phone-hacking and police bribery allegations. The 80-year-old told The Wall Street Journal – which is owned by News Corp. – that he is “just getting annoyed” at all the recent negative press.

16 Debt talks: No ‘hallelujah moment’ in sight

By JIM KUHNHENN, NANCY BENAC, Associated Press

1 hr 34 mins ago

WASHINGTON (AP) – Testy lawmakers and President Barack Obama headed back for a fifth day of debt-limit negotiations Thursday, pointing fingers at each other while trying to stave off a government financial default. No “hallelujah moment” was likely by day’s end, White House spokesman Jay Carney said, with Friday shaping up as an important decision day.

As the negotiations entered a perilous endgame. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned of economic damage and an anxious Wall Street envisioned catastrophe if the U.S. defaulted on its obligations.

As legislators squabbled, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner served notice there was no finessing the Aug. 2 deadline for solving the debt crisis.

17 Bernanke: Default on debt would increase deficit

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer

54 mins ago

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned U.S. lawmakers Thursday that they would deliver a “self-inflicted” wound to the nation’s economy by holding up efforts to raise the government’s borrowing limit.

The Fed chief also said the central bank had no immediate plans to introduce new stimulus measures, elaborating on remarks he made a day earlier that the Fed stood ready to take additional steps to boost the economy if conditions worsened.

His comments ended an early-morning rally on Wall Street. Traders had interpreted Wednesday’s comments to mean the Fed was about to embark on another round of bond purchases, analysts said.

18 Minn. gov. willing to take GOP offer, end shutdown

By CHRIS WILLIAMS, MARTIGA LOHN, Associated Press

1 hr 26 mins ago

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota’s Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton offered major concessions Thursday in a bid to end a government shutdown, dropping his pursuit of tax hikes to say he was willing to accept – with conditions- a Republican proposal made before the state closed for business two weeks ago.

Dayton said Republicans must drop a list of policy changes and a plan to reduce the state workforce by 15 percent. In exchange, he would sign off on their proposal that would raise $1.4 billion, half by delaying state aid checks to school districts and the other half by selling tobacco payment bonds.

“I believe this is the best option for Minnesota,” a weary-sounding Dayton said after his announcement in a speech at the University of Minnesota. “I know in my soul that I am doing what I believe.”

19 Going after 2012 candidate Bachmann has its risks

By BRIAN BAKST, Associated Press

2 hrs 15 mins ago

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – For Michele Bachmann, the laugh line doubled as a clear message that she thinks she’s ready for the rough-and-tumble of presidential politics.

“I had three brothers, no sisters – the best preparation for politics any girl could ever have,” the tea party favorite and three-term Minnesota congresswoman told a crowd in Waterloo, Iowa, on the eve of her campaign kickoff.

So far, however, Bachmann’s current opponents – all men – are treading lightly, seemingly sensitive both to offending her tea party supporters and to gender concerns.

20 Calif. gov signs landmark law to teach gay history

By JUDY LIN, Associated Press

55 mins ago

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Thursday making California the first state in the nation to add lessons about gays and lesbians to social studies classes in public schools.

Brown, a Democrat, signed the landmark bill requiring public schools to include the contributions of people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender in social studies curriculum. The Democratic-majority Legislature had passed the bill last week on a largely party-line vote.

“History should be honest,” the governor said in a statement. “This bill revises existing laws that prohibit discrimination in education and ensures that the important contributions of Americans from all backgrounds and walks of life are included in our history books.”

21 In LA, dire warnings as freeway closure looms

By DAISY NGUYEN, Associated Press

3 hrs ago

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Thousands of doctors and nurses will bunk at hospitals, an emergency operation center will be set up and Southern California residents are being urged to stay home and stock up on food.

One major airline offered $4 seats to help people avoid the looming mess, selling out of tickets in three hours.

The crisis?

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