Aug 06 2011

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Eurozone asks markets for ‘weeks’ of breathing space

By Claire Rosemberg, AFP

7 hrs ago

The EU executive on Friday begged markets for a breathing-space of just “weeks” as it works to put into place measures to stem contagion of a debt crisis across the 17 nations that share the euro.

Rushing back to Brussels from vacation as European economic giants Italy and Spain came under intense market pressure, Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said a wide-ranging contingency plan to defend the euro, agreed at a special summit July 21, will be ready “in weeks, not months.”

Officials “are working night and day to put flesh on the bones” of the agreement struck at a summit called over fears the Greek debt crisis could spill over to the eurozone’s third- and fourth-largest economies.

2 Italy offers reform for ECB support, stems market rout

By Gavin Jones and Andreas Framke, Reuters

3 mins 43 secs ago

ROME/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Italy buckled to world pressure in a bid to halt a market rout endangering the global economy, pledging to speed up austerity measures and social reforms in return for European Central Bank help with funding.

About $2.5 trillion has been wiped off world stocks this week on worries the euro zone debt crisis was spreading and the U.S. was slipping into recession. Better than expected U.S. jobs growth in July helped support Wall Street on Friday but stocks slipped back into the red in late trading.

After a frantic round of telephone diplomacy, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said his government would bring forward cuts to balance the budget in 2013, a year ahead of schedule, and rush through welfare and labor market reforms.

3 Ukraine arrests ex-PM Tymoshenko in trial drama


5 hrs ago

Ukraine on Friday placed ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko under arrest for contempt of court, in a dramatic twist to her stormy trial on charges of abuse of power.

Amid extraordinary scenes, Tymoshenko was driven away from court in a police van at snail’s pace up central Kiev’s main Kreshchatyk avenue, surrounded by hundreds of police on foot to keep away her angry supporters.

Judge Rodion Kireyev of Kiev’s Pechersk district court earlier approved a prosecution request to arrest Tymoshenko due to repeated order violations. Tymoshenko had until now been at liberty, but was obliged to stay in Kiev.

4 Libyan warring forces dispute Kadhafi son’s death

By Andrew Beatty, AFP

21 hrs ago

Libya’s rebel forces on Friday said a NATO strike killed Moamer Kadhafi’s youngest son Khamis and 31 others, a claim that was sharply denied by the authorities in Tripoli.

A rebel military spokesman said NATO had hit a military operations centre overnight in the western town of Zliten killing 32, including Khamis, a feared military commander.

“Overnight there was an aircraft attack by NATO on the Kadhafi operations room in Zliten and there are around 32 Kadhafi troops killed. One of them is Khamis,” Mohammed Zawawi, a spokesman for revolutionary militias, told AFP.

5 NASA launches spacecraft Juno toward Jupiter

By Kerry Sheridan, AFP

2 hrs 11 mins ago

NASA on Friday launched the billion-dollar solar-powered spacecraft Juno on a five-year journey to Jupiter aiming to discover what makes up the solar system’s biggest planet.

The unmanned satellite observatory was propelled into space aboard a 197-foot (60-meter) tall Atlas V rocket, blasting off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 12:25 pm (1625 GMT).

“Ignition and liftoff on the Atlas V with Juno on a trek to Jupiter, a planetary piece of the puzzle on the beginning of our solar system,” said a NASA television commentator.

6 Wall Street to brokers: Investors should buy, not flee

By Joseph A. Giannone, Reuters

2 hrs 34 mins ago

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wall Street’s advice to investors battered by plunging markets: Keep buying stocks.

With markets plunging for more than a week, and no relief in sight, some of the biggest brokerages on Thursday afternoon and early on Friday told their advisers that clients should not flee but instead buy into the panic.

“Mr. Market is often wrong and panic selling is dangerous,” David Bianco, chief U.S. strategist for Merrill Lynch global research, wrote in a strategy note. “Panic selling in a correction is dangerous, as the best days usually closely follow the worst.”

7 Wall Street closes worst week since Nov ’08 with wild day

By Angela Moon, Reuters

15 mins ago

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stocks closed out their worst week in more than two years on Friday in a volatile session that saw the major indexes whip back and forth before the S&P 500 ended down less than a point.

More than 15.9 billion shares — or more than twice the daily average volume — traded in the busiest day in more than a year as investors plowed into cash-rich mega-cap stocks that had been beaten down in recent days as the market dropped.

The market’s swings on Friday were fast and furious, with the Dow Jones industrial average covering 416.41 points from its session high to its intraday low.

8 State, local job loss menaces recovery: analysts

By Lisa Lambert, Reuters

3 hrs ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – State and local governments continued shedding thousands of jobs in July, part of a trend that analysts say could damage everything from trash collection to the entire U.S. economy.

“We are looking at the worst contraction of state and local government employment since 1981,” said John Lonski, chief economist for Moody’s Capital Markets Research.

“When state and local government spending and payrolls began to contract noticeably toward the middle of 1981, the second leg of the last double-dip recession began to materialize.”

9 Wells Fargo mortgage buybacks could top $1.8 billion

By Joe Rauch, Reuters

5 hrs ago

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Reuters) – Wells Fargo & Co may have to buy back an additional $1.8 billion in toxic mortgages from outside investors on top of claims it already received, the fourth-largest U.S. bank by assets said in a securities filing on Friday.

The San Francisco-based company said its possible mortgage repurchase claims could exceed their established reserves under a worst-case estimate.

The lender becomes the latest large U.S. bank to project what its worst-case losses might be, if it were required to buy back billions in toxic mortgages.

10 Analysis: Berlusconi under pressure as markets lose patience

By James Mackenzie, Reuters

3 hrs ago

ROME (Reuters) – Bond markets may be succeeding where political opponents have failed, pushing Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi closer to the exit and opening up fresh uncertainties as Italy struggles to avoid financial disaster.

The spread between yields on 10-year Italian bonds over German Bunds briefly climbed past the equivalent Spanish/German spread on Friday morning, underlining the perception that Italy now poses the major threat to euro zone stability.

Berlusconi’s response to the crisis, blaming international conditions and pledging unspecified measures to boost growth, has fallen flat with markets suddenly focusing on his divided government and longstanding weaknesses in the Italian economy.

11 Analysis: Obama, Boehner face more tests of uneasy ties

By Steve Holland and Thomas Ferraro, Reuters

2 hrs 39 mins ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – They bonded over golf, bickered over debt, and now President Barack Obama and House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner face even more tests of an uneasy relationship critical to a functioning government.

America’s two most powerful politicians drew fire from their backers in reaching an 11th-hour compromise on Sunday that barely averted a U.S. government debt default.

Along the way, Obama and Boehner developed a better understanding of each other, but they are no closer to seeing eye to eye on a host of issues, aides for both men say.

12 Honda recalls 2.5 million vehicles on software issue

By Deepa Seetharaman and Bernie Woodall, Reuters

3 hrs ago

DETROIT (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co Ltd will recall 2.49 million cars, small SUVs and minivans worldwide, including its popular Accord sedan, to repair a software problem that could damage the automatic transmission.

The recall includes 1.5 million vehicles in the United States, about 760,000 in China and 135,142 in Canada, the automaker said on Friday.

This week, Consumer Reports said it was not recommending the 2012 Honda Civic. This led some industry analysts to ask if that was a symptom of larger problems at the automaker.

13 P&G results top views; quarter outlook falls short

By Jessica Wohl, Reuters

5 hrs ago

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Procter & Gamble Co is likely to miss Wall Street earnings estimates this quarter as it has not yet pushed through all its price increases that are meant to help deal with higher commodity costs.

Sluggish economies in major markets such as the United States also weighed on the company.

The world’s largest household products maker posted a bigger-than-expected rise in fourth-quarter profit on Friday, aided by cost cuts, some early price increases and, analysts said, a better-than-anticipated tax rate.

14 As tea party reshapes GOP, some cheer, some worry

By CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press

2 hrs 2 mins ago

WASHINGTON (AP) – The tea party is here to stay. The 2-year-old phenomenon’s muscular role in the debt-ceiling crisis made that clear, despite earlier predictions it would fade away when the national furor over health care cooled down.

Now the GOP establishment wonders if the grass-roots movement will power Republicans to new victories in 2012, or dash them on the rocks of unbending ideology.

One thing is obvious: The tea party already is reshaping the Republican Party. Once-moderate lawmakers are shifting sharply right, fearing primary challenges more than Democratic opponents. And most GOP presidential contenders have positioned themselves to the right of party leaders, and even some House tea partyers, on the debt-ceiling issue.

15 Bachmann: Improving economy ‘won’t take that long’

By RYAN J. FOLEY, Associated Press

26 mins ago

NEWTON, Iowa (AP) – Michele Bachmann declared Friday “it won’t take that long” for her to start turning the ailing economy around as president as she competed against other GOP presidential rivals to build support ahead of a key GOP straw poll in Iowa next week.

Bachmann told reporters after a campaign event in Newton that the economy would start to improve almost immediately after she becomes president because she would immediately implement conservative economic policies to slash the nation’s debt, rule out tax increases and cut regulations.

“It won’t take that long if we send signals to the marketplace,” she said, standing by an earlier comment that the improvement would begin within the first quarter.

16 Senate Dems give way to GOP to end FAA shutdown

By JOAN LOWY, Associated Press

1 hr 16 mins ago

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate approved legislation Friday ending a two-week partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration and President Barack Obama signed it into law, clearing the way for thousands of employees to return to work and hundreds of airport construction projects to resume.

Employing the so-called “unanimous consent” procedure which took less than 30 seconds, two senators were present to approve a House-passed bill extending FAA’s operating authority through mid-September. Democratic Sen. James Webb of Virginia stood up, called up the bill and asked that it be passed. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., the presiding officer, agreed and it was done.

Other lawmakers had scattered earlier this week for Congress’ August recess. And Friday’s finishing-business vote was as low key as Congress gets, in marked contrast to the noisy, intemperate and enervating debt-limit battle of recent weeks.

17 Syria claims progress in crushing Hama uprising


2 hrs 24 mins ago

BEIRUT (AP) – Syria’s government proclaimed Friday that it was succeeding in crushing the uprising in the city of Hama, the epicenter of anti-regime protests, showing TV images of burned buildings and rubble-strewn streets. Under a suffocating siege, residents of the city warned that medical supplies were running out and food rotting after six days without electricity.

Across the country, tens of thousands of protesters marched through cities, chanting their solidarity with Hama and demanding the ouster of President Bashar Assad. They were met by security forces who opened fire, killing at least 13 people, activists said.

Their numbers were lower than previous Fridays, when hundreds of thousands nationwide turned out for protests – likely because this was the first Friday in the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from dawn until dusk and go outside less, particularly in the summer heat. That could augur disappointment for protest leaders, who had hoped to escalate the uprising during the month and even mark a turning point in the quest to topple the 40-year Assad family dynasty’s rule.

18 AP IMPACT: Fight for Cyprus skies invites disaster


1 hr 52 mins ago

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) – One divided Mediterranean island. Two air traffic control centers that don’t communicate. Tens of thousands of airline passengers flying popular tourist routes. That potentially disastrous math hovers over Cyprus every day.

Confidential reports by international aviation authorities obtained by The Associated Press warn of “a high risk of accident” in the airspace where Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot air controllers give overlapping and contradictory instructions, confusing pilots on increasingly busy routes. The AP has uncovered details of four near misses in a large swath of Cypriot airspace sandwiched between Turkey and Egypt.

The most serious of those incidents, involving an Airbus 330 passenger jet and a cargo aircraft in October 2008, could have resulted in a mid-air crash, according to a senior official with the Cyprus Civil Aviation Department. There were at least three other near misses between June and October 2006 in which competing flight instructions brought aircraft close enough for their onboard collision avoidance system to activate, according to a confidential document.

19 Polygamist leader walks out of sentencing hearing

By WILL WEISSERT, Associated Press

1 hr 14 mins ago

SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) – A polygamist sect leader convicted of child sexual assault walked out of his sentencing hearing in protest Friday, after reading a statement he claimed was from God. The statement promised a “whirlwind of judgment” on the world if God’s “humble servant” wasn’t set free.

Warren Jeffs, 55, represented himself during an eight-day trial that ended with his conviction on two counts of sexual assault. The same jury must now decide his punishment – which could be up to 119 years to life in prison.

But before the punishment phase began and jurors had even been brought back into court Friday, Jeffs said, “I request the full removal of myself as an objection to all that has been presented.”

20 Jury convicts 5 officers in post-Katrina shootings

By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, Associated Press

2 hrs 56 mins ago

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – A federal jury on Friday convicted five current or former police officers in the deadly shootings on a New Orleans bridge after Hurricane Katrina.

Former officer Robert Faulcon, Sgts. Robert Gisevius and Kenneth Bowen, Officer Anthony Villavaso and retired Sgt. Arthur Kaufman were convicted of charges stemming from the cover-up of the shootings. All but Kaufman were convicted of civil rights violations stemming from the shootings. Kaufman, who investigated the shootings, was charged only in the cover-up.

The trial was a high-profile test of the Justice Department’s effort to clean up a police department marred by a reputation for corruption and brutality. A total of 20 current or former New Orleans police officers were charged last year in a series of federal probes. Most of the cases center on actions during the aftermath of the Aug. 29, 2005, storm, which plunged the flooded city into a state of lawlessness and desperation.

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