Evening Edition is an Open Thread
|From Yahoo News Top Stories|
1 US exports skid, widening US trade gap
By Veronica Smith, AFP
4 hrs ago
|US exports fell for the second straight month in June despite a weaker dollar, as soft foreign markets undermined a key driver of the economic recovery, government data showed Thursday.
Slower exports helped expand the country’s foreign trade deficit to $53.1 billion, the widest shortfall in more than two and a half years, despite easing oil prices and government efforts to close the gap, the Commerce Department said.
The trade gap was much bigger than expected by most analysts, who penciled in an average estimate of $48.0 billion, on a seasonally adjusted basis.
2 European markets falter as banks stay in spotlight
By Roland Jackson, AFP
21 hrs ago
|European stocks were on a knife edge on Thursday with banks under renewed pressure on growing concern that the eurozone debt crisis is far from over, dealers said.
In choppy trading, the Paris stock market fell back into the red in late morning deals, losing more than 1.0 percent at one stage, having earlier rallied by more than two percent.
London shares gained 0.85 percent in mid-day trading, while Frankfurt gained 0.95 percent in value, but both indices trimmed their earlier gains.
3 Cameron unveils tough anti-riot measures
By Danny Kemp, AFP
6 hrs ago
|Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled Thursday new measures to end the country’s worst riots in decades, and admitted that the government could call in the army to quell the violence.
As a police crackdown and heavy rain prevented a fifth night of chaos, Cameron told an emergency session of parliament he would give police extra powers including the ability to order youths to remove face coverings.
Cameron added that a year before London hosts the 2012 Olympics, Britain needed to show a more positive face to the world after the riots in which four people have died and dozens of buildings have been torched.
4 Syria army storms new towns
12 hrs ago
|Syria’s army stormed another two towns on Thursday in pursuit of anti-regime protesters, activists said, in defiance of Western calls for action after a “chilling” UN Security Council briefing.
Tanks, troop carriers and buses transporting security force members sped soon after dawn into the town of Saraqeb in the northwestern Idlib province bordering Turkey, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
“Shooting was heard soon afterwards in the town, where protests demanding the fall of the regime have been staged every day after the evening (Muslim) prayers,” the statement said.
5 Afghan bomb kills five US troops
By Sardar Ahmad, AFP
5 hrs ago
|Five US soldiers were killed by a bomb in Afghanistan Thursday, as the Taliban rejected a US claim to have killed the fighters who shot down on of its helicopters killing 38 troops.
A US military officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the soliders, first reported only as part of NATO, were Americans.
The deaths come a week after the Taliban shot down a US helicopter, killing 38 people including 30 Americans, the biggest loss of US life in a single incident since the 2001 invasion.
6 Syrian forces kill 11 in swoop on northern towns
By Khaled Yacoub Oweis and Tulay Karadeniz, Reuters
58 mins ago
|AMMAN/HAMA, Syria (Reuters) – Syrian forces killed 11 people in a raid on a northern town Thursday, activists said, pursuing a military campaign to crush protests against President Bashar al-Assad despite new U.S. sanctions and regional calls to end the bloodshed.
They said the killings occurred when troops backed by tanks swept into Qusair, near the Lebanon border, after overnight protests calling for Assad’s removal. One person was also killed in the coastal city of Latakia.
Around 14 tanks and armored vehicles also swept into Saraqeb, a town on Syria’s main north-south highway that has seen daily demonstrations, and 100 people were arrested by the security forces, residents said by telephone.
7 Western Libya rebels strike north towards coast
By Michael Georgy, Reuters
2 hrs 28 mins ago
|SHALGHOUDA, Libya (Reuters) – Libyan rebels said they had captured part of the oil town of Brega Thursday while their forces in the west pushed toward Zawiyah, trying to get within striking distance of Muammar Gaddafi’s capital.
Gaddafi is clinging to power despite a near five-month NATO air campaign, tightening economic sanctions, and a lengthening war with rebels seeking to end his 41-year rule.
The rebels have seized large swathes of the North African state, but are deeply divided and have yet to march on Tripoli.
8 Cameron denies austerity drive caused UK riots
By Mohammed Abbas and Adrian Croft, Reuters
54 mins ago
|LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron blamed the worst riots in Britain for decades on street gang members and opportunistic looters and denied government austerity measures or poverty caused the violence in London and other major English cities.
Cameron told an emergency session of parliament that police tactics had failed at the start of the rioting. Courts worked through the night to deal with hundreds of mostly young people arrested during the mayhem.
“The fightback has well and truly begun,” said the Conservative leader, in power for 15 months.
9 Sarkozy and Merkel to discuss euro zone on Tuesday
By Catherine Bremer, Reuters
4 hrs ago
|PARIS (Reuters) – French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will discuss next Tuesday how to make the euro zone work more effectively amid persistent doubts in financial markets over Europe’s ability to solve its sovereign debt crisis.
Paris announced the meeting on Thursday after French bank shares were hammered this week in a global market rout that suggested investors have lost confidence in the ability of governments on both sides of the Atlantic to rein in their debt.
After a series of bailouts of debtor states that have failed to restore calm, the two leaders are likely to discuss the need for regular euro zone summits to coordinate economic policy and may explore more divisive ideas such as expanding the bloc’s rescue fund or issuing euro bonds.
10 Exclusive: Republican Dave Camp rules nothing out for debt panel
By Donna Smith, Reuters
1 hr 56 mins ago
|WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A leading Republican lawmaker would not rule out tax increases on Thursday if they fostered economic growth, adding that “everything is on the table” for a U.S. congressional panel charged with forging a deal to cut the deficit.
Representative Dave Camp, head of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee in the House of Representatives, told Reuters in a telephone interview that the deepening global financial crisis would prompt him and other “super committee” members to pull together.
Asked what sort of pressure the economic turmoil put on the committee, he said: “It does add an importance to what we are trying to do. It makes the stakes even higher.”
11 House Democrats tap 3 for deficit super committee
By Richard Cowan and Donna Smith, Reuters
3 hrs ago
|WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrats named three loyal party lieutenants to a deficit reduction “super committee” on Thursday, charting what could be a path to partisan deadlock with all 12 members now appointed.
Representatives Chris Van Hollen, Xavier Becerra and James Clyburn — all veterans drawn from leadership — were appointed by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Markets have been looking for signs that a wide deal on tax or entitlement reform might emerge from the panel, but it is under time constraints — it must report recommendations by November — and most of its members are party loyalists.
12 Analysis: Medicaid cuts may limit care for new 2014 enrollees
By David Morgan, Reuters
2 hrs 28 mins ago
|WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Three years before Medicaid is due to cover millions of uninsured Americans, state funding cuts may be undermining how much care the government-run health insurance program for the poor will offer new enrollees.
Two dozen states across the country plan to slash at least $4.7 billion from their Medicaid plans following four straight years of budget shortfalls, according to data provided separately by the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the consumer advocacy group Families USA.
The cuts would include reductions of up to 15 percent in reimbursement rates for doctors, hospitals and other care providers, higher co-pays for beneficiaries, including children, and the loss of optional benefits such as preventive care and dental and vision services.
13 Cameron: UK will seek anti-gang ideas from US
By DANICA KIRKA, JILL LAWLESS, Associated Press
7 mins ago
|LONDON (AP) – Prime Minister David Cameron said Thursday that Britain would look to the United States for solutions to gang violence after nights of riots and looting, and promised authorities would get strong powers to stop street mayhem erupting again.
Cameron told lawmakers he was “are acting decisively to restore order on our streets,” as police raided houses to round up suspects from four nights of unrest in London and other English cities.
Steve Kavanagh, the deputy assistant commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police, admitted the force initially did not deploy enough officers to control the outbreak of violence, saying “it is clear we did not have enough numbers on duty to deal.”
14 Afghan witnesses: Chinook ablaze when it crashed
By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press
12 mins ago
|KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – Afghan children retrieved souvenir-sized pieces of a helicopter shot down by the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan where witnesses on Thursday described seeing the chopper burst into flames and break apart before falling from the sky, killing 30 U.S. troops and eight Afghans.
Coalition forces finished recovering the victims’ remains and big sections of the wreckage. Yet small, twisted pieces of the Chinook CH-47 remain scattered on both sides of a slow-flowing river in Wardak province where it crashed before dawn Saturday.
Farhad, a local resident, told Associated Press Television News that the helicopter was shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade fired from a nearby knoll as it was preparing to land.
15 Pa. judge gets 28 years in ‘kids for cash’ case
By MICHAEL RUBINKAM, Associated Press
16 mins ago
|SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) – A northeastern Pennsylvania judge was ordered Thursday to spend nearly three decades in prison for his role in a massive bribery scandal that prompted the state’s high court to toss thousands of juvenile convictions and left lasting scars on the children who appeared in his courtroom and their hapless families.
Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison for taking a $1 million bribe from the builder of a pair of juvenile detention centers in a case that became known as “kids for cash.”
Ciavarella, who denied locking up youths for money, had no reaction as the sentence was announced. From the gallery, which was crowded with family members of some of the children he incarcerated, someone shouted “Woo hoo!”
16 Spokesman: Gov. Rick Perry running for president
By APRIL CASTRO, Associated Press
14 mins ago
|AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Texas Gov. Rick Perry is running for president, a spokesman confirmed Thursday, a move certain to shake up the race for the GOP nomination much to the delight of conservatives looking for a candidate to embrace.
Perry spokesman Mark Miner said the governor would make his intentions known on Saturday while visiting South Carolina and New Hampshire just as most of his presidential rivals compete in a test vote in Iowa.
Official word of Perry’s entrance into the race came just hours before eight candidates, including GOP front-runner Mitt Romney, were to appear on stage during a nationally televised debate.
17 A mini-debate for Romney before tonight’s big one
By MIKE GLOVER, PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press
1 hr 50 mins ago
|DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Seven Republican presidential contenders hope to use Thursday’s debate in the leadoff caucus state of Iowa to cast themselves as Mitt Romney’s strongest rival. Front-runner Romney’s day, meanwhile, got off to a rough start with a confrontation with voters at the Iowa State Fair.
The former Massachusetts governor, who lost the GOP nomination in 2008, faced tough questions on Social Security. Growing exasperated and raising his voice, Romney told one questioner, “If you want to speak, you can. But it’s my turn.”
As he wrapped up, he joked, “These guys up front won’t be voting for me.”
18 Stick-on patch proposed for patient monitoring
By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, AP Science Writer
14 mins ago
|WASHINGTON (AP) – One day monitoring a patient’s vital signs like temperature and heart rate could be a simple as sticking on a tiny, wireless patch, sort of like a temporary tattoo.
Eliminating the bulky wiring and electrodes used in current monitors would make the devices more comfortable for patients, says an international team of researchers who report their findings in Friday’s edition of the journal Science.
“What we are trying to do here is to really reshape and redefine electronics … to look a lot more like the human body, in this case the surface layers of the skin,” said John A. Rogers of the University of Illinois. “The goal is really to blur the distinction between electronics and biological tissue.”