Evening Edition is an Open Thread
|From Yahoo News Top Stories|
1 Battle for Libya not over yet, NTC warns
By Dominique Soguel, AFP
8 hrs ago
|Libya’s de facto premier Mahmud Jibril warned in his first address in Tripoli that the hardest battles still lay ahead as fighters loyal to the new rulers closed in on Moamer Kadhafi’s hometown Friday.
World police body Interpol called for the fugitive Kadhafi’s arrest for alleged crimes against humanity, following a request by the International Criminal Court.
“The battle of liberation is not finished,” Jibril said late Thursday after National Transitional Council troops inching towards Bani Walid southeast of Tripoli came under rocket fire from old regime loyalists inside the oasis town.
2 Darfur rebel group warns of joint Sudan-Chad attack
3 hrs ago
|Darfur’s most heavily armed rebel group warned Friday the governments of Chad and Sudan were planning a joint attack on their positions, after 100 rebel vehicles reportedly crossed the Libyan border.
“Chad and Sudan are preparing a joint operation to attack JEM,” the Justice and Equality Movement’s spokesman Gibril Adam Adam told AFP by phone.
“Chad is massing troops in Abeche and there are three Mig fighter planes at the airport there,” he said, referring to a town in eastern Chad about 120 kilometres (75 miles) from Sudan’s Darfur region.
3 Iraqis mourn slain journalist, call for reforms
By Salam Faraj, AFP
3 hrs ago
|Iraqis on Friday mourned a journalist who was murdered in Baghdad, expressing anger over his death and protesting for reforms a day after the country’s anti-corruption chief resigned.
An interior ministry official said on Thursday that Hadi al-Mehdi was shot dead at about 6:30 pm in an apartment on Abu Nawas Street, with a silenced weapon. A medical source at Ibn al-Nafis hospital confirmed his death.
Dozens of people turned out on Friday to mourn Mehdi, marching from his home in Karrada in central Baghdad with a symbolic coffin covered in an Iraqi flag, towards Tahrir Square.
4 British Guantanamo inmate on hunger strike
1 hr 13 mins ago
|The last remaining British detainee at the Guantanamo Bay prison has gone on hunger strike and said in a letter obtained by the BBC on Friday that he is being treated inhumanely.
Shaker Aamer has been held at the US-run prison in Cuba for almost 10 years despite being cleared for release in 2007 when the administration of then-US president George W. Bush acknowledged it had no evidence against him.
He was captured in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, in December 2001 and taken to Guantanamo two months later.
5 G7 meets on faltering world economy
By Rory Mulholland, AFP
3 hrs ago
|As market turmoil returned, rich nation finance ministers met in Marseille on Friday to try and overcome their differences over whether to stimulate or slash in order to rekindle the faltering global economy.
The finance chiefs and central bank governors of the G7 group of industrialised nations began their talks a day after US President Barack Obama unveiled a $447 billion (322-billion-euro) jobs plan to energise the world’s largest economy.
The gloomy economic backdrop was underlined when US and European stocks dropped sharply after the sudden resignation of the top economist at the European Central Bank added to fears over the continent’s sovereign debt crisis.
6 Obama fires up campaign for jobs plan
By Tangi Quemener, AFP
1 hr 5 mins ago
|An impassioned US President Barack Obama Friday stepped up pressure on Republicans to back his new tax cuts, deploying the fireworks of the campaign trail to promote his new economic plan.
Obama traveled to the key 2012 swing state of Virginia, the political turf of one of his top Republican foes Eric Cantor, at the start of an effort to sell his $447 billion American Jobs Act in every corner of the country.
The president dared his foes in Congress not to support his plans to cut in half payroll taxes for workers next year, exploiting the traditional Republican desire to reduce the money Americans pay to the government.
7 Fighters enter Bani Walid; battles erupt near Sirte
By Maria Golovnina and Sherine El Madany, Reuters
1 hr 35 mins ago
|NORTH OF BANI WALID/EAST OF SIRTE, Libya (Reuters) – Fighters loyal to Libya’s new rulers launched what appeared to be assaults on the final bastions of Muammar Gaddafi loyalists on Friday, with fighting reported inside the town of Bani Walid and near Gaddafi’s home town of Sirte.
The battles at the two towns broke out a day before a deadline set by Libya’s interim National Transitional Council for Gaddafi holdout towns to surrender or face onslaughts.
NTC officials said the outbreaks of fighting meant the ceasefire had effectively been scrapped. That could pave the way for some of the final battles of a six-month civil war.
8 Top German quits ECB over bond-buying row
By Andreas Framke and Alexander Hübner, Reuters
15 mins ago
|FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The top German official at the European Central Bank resigned unexpectedly on Friday in conflict with the bank’s policy of buying government bonds to combat the euro zone’s debt crisis.
The ECB confirmed Executive Board Member Juergen Stark, the central bank’s chief economist, would leave “for personal reasons” by the end of the year once a replacement was found, after Reuters reported exclusively that he had quit.
The euro fell and shares tumbled in Europe and on Wall Street on the shock development, which laid bare a rift inside the central bank over the handling of the worsening debt crisis, and could undermine German public support for the euro.
9 Wall Street tumbles as ECB discord stirs broad fears
By Edward Krudy, Reuters
1 hr 12 mins ago
|NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stocks tumbled more than 2 percent on Friday after the top German official at the European Central Bank resigned in protest of the bank’s bond-buying program, which has been a major tool in fighting the region’s debt crisis.
The resignation of Juergen Stark from the ECB throws into question policymakers’ ability to deal with Europe’s debt crisis, a problem that could engulf a world economy already teetering on the brink of recession.
Investors’ rising fears were highlighted by a 12 percent jump in the market’s main measure of expected turbulence, the VIX volatility index <.VIX>. The VIX neared 40, close to its highest level this year, as it marked its biggest jump in three weeks.
10 U.S. demands action from Europe’s strongest at G7
By Catherine Bremer and Glenn Somerville, Reuters
49 mins ago
|MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) – The United States pressed Europe’s strongest economies on Friday to give “unequivocal” financial support to weaker euro zone states to overcome a debt crisis that threatens the world economy.
“It is completely within the capacity of the stronger members of the euro area to absorb these costs,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said as G7 finance chiefs gathered in Marseille to discuss how to revive a stalling recovery.
“Those costs would be much, much greater for them and their economies if they sit here and do nothing, and they recognize that,” Geithner told Bloomberg Television in comments that appeared aimed primarily at EU economic powerhouse Germany.
11 Yields fall to 60-year lows on Europe worries
By Chris Reese, Reuters
4 hrs ago
|NEW YORK (Reuters) – Treasury debt prices rose on Friday, taking benchmark yields to the lowest in at least 60 years as investors looked for a safe haven on revived worries a European debt crisis could have a significant global impact.
Stocks plunged on Friday, losing over 2.5 percent and bolstering the safe-haven allure of U.S. government debt, with few investors looking to go into the weekend short Treasuries due to the uncertainty surrounding the European debt crisis.
The worries over Europe were sparked by the planned resignation of European Central Bank (ECB) Executive Board Member Juergen Stark. The ECB confirmed a Reuters report that said Stark was quitting because of a conflict over the central bank’s bond buying program.
12 Obama tries to sell jobs plan, end gridlock]
By Alister Bull, Reuters
13 mins ago
|RICHMOND, Virginia (Reuters) – President Barack Obama began an uphill battle on Friday for support for a $447 billion jobs plan he hopes will rescue a faltering economy and his own re-election prospects.
A day after unveiling his proposals for tax cuts and public works spending on Capitol Hill, he pitched the plan directly to Americans with a speech in Virginia, kicking off a months-long campaign to promote it across the country.
“Everything in it will put more people back to work and more money in the pockets of those who are working. Everything in it will be paid for,” he told nearly 9,000 supporters at University of Richmond at an event dotted with “2012” signs.
13 Analysis: Payroll tax cuts seen doable, but boost modest
By David Lawder, Reuters
1 hr 37 mins ago
|WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The one component of President Barack Obama’s jobs plan most likely to win approval in Congress — payroll tax cuts — will produce only a modest incremental lift to the U.S. economy and may barely nudge unemployment lower.
Much of the new spending in the $447 billion plan unveiled on Thursday night will face stiff opposition from Republicans, leaving the payroll tax cuts as the main hope for common ground between two parties still scarred by a grueling battle over raising the U.S. debt limit earlier this summer.
Under Obama’s plan, businesses would get a holiday from payroll taxes for new hires and lower rates for existing employees, while workers would be spared the expiration of prior payroll tax cuts at year-end and receive a 1.1 percentage point reduction from current levels through 2012.
14 Potential winners on Obama’s Jobs Act plan
By Manuela Badawy, Reuters
3 hrs ago
|THE ISSUE: President Barack Obama called on Congress late Thursday to pass a $447 billion package of spending initiatives and tax cuts to boost economic growth and generate jobs. Here are several investment ideas based on his proposals.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Obama’s American Jobs Act, which he announced to a rare joint session of Congress late Thursday, includes proposals for a $175 billion one-year extension and expansion of the employee payroll tax holiday that would halve the tax rate to 3.1 percent in 2012 as well as a $65 billion tax break to encourage small businesses to hire more workers. The Act also features $50 billion in spending to upgrade highways, transit, rail and aviation infrastructure.
Wall Street stocks tumbled on Friday as the surprise resignation of a European Central Bank executive board member and skepticism over President Obama’s economic stimulus spending plans weighed on sentiment.
15 Insight: Extreme makeover BofA: An asbestos solution
By Matthew Goldstein, Jennifer Ablan, Daniel Wilchins and Kristina Cooke, Reuters
4 hrs ago
|NEW YORK (Reuters) – It worked for asbestos so why not for toxic mortgages?
When some look at all of the litigation arising from Bank of America’s big role in the U.S. mortgage mess, they start thinking of asbestos and how thousands of lawsuits arising from that cancer-causing product brought down many manufacturers more than a decade ago.
The solution back then to dealing with claims filed by more than 750,000 workers exposed to asbestos was the creation of dozens of “asbestos settlement trusts,” which have paid out tens of billions dollars in damages. Some of them are still going strong today.
16 What the Bank of America shake-up means for you
By Lou Carlozo, Reuters
20 mins ago
|NEW YORK (Reuters) – The recent executive shakeup at Bank of America followed by reports of massive layoffs at the bank may leave you wondering what the turmoil means for you – either as a client of the banking colossus and Merrill Lynch, the brokerage firm it owns, or as a shareholder.
As experts ponder these moves – which include the departure of Sallie Krawcheck, head of the bank’s wealth management unit and Merrill’s public face – they see a rocky period in the days ahead for the company’s shareholders, but not necessarily its clients.
17 Analysis: Murky trade secret law at heart of Gundlach trial
By Mary Slosson, Reuters
3 hrs ago
|LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – In the trade-secrets trial pitting star bond fund manager Jeffrey Gundlach against his former firm, lawyers and the judge frequently have joked about the clear-cut example of Colonel Sanders’ famously guarded fried chicken recipe.
At financial firms, however, trade secrets are typically more abstract concepts than they are in restaurant kitchens. The outcome of this case, a high-stakes fight between Gundlach and asset manager Trust Company of the West, may hinge on how the jury interprets the meaning of “proprietary information” involving client lists, interfaces and sprawling databases.
TCW contends that Gundlach and his inner circle stole trade secrets that they used to set up a rival company, allegations that Gundlach and his associates deny. TCW lawyer John Quinn told jurors that a printed list of all the secrets Gundlach took with him would measure 2-1/2 times the height of the Empire State Building.
18 From Picasso to Elvis, Chinese buy up Western culture
By Jordan Riefe, Reuters
1 hr 34 mins ago
|LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The art world shook last February when a report by The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF) revealed that China had overtaken the United Kingdom to become the world’s second largest art market.
The art world shook again weeks later when Artprice, the industry’s final word on such matters, announced that upon its review, China topped the United States as the No. 1 market.
What are Chinese investors buying?
19 Decade after September 11, New Yorkers ready to move on
By Mark Egan, Reuters
1 hr 46 mins ago
|NEW YORK (Reuters) – The attacks of September 11, 2001 changed life in the United States forever, but 10 years after the devastating hit, New Yorkers have learned to live in a more dangerous world and are ready to move on.
Police heightened security in New York on Friday in response to a credible but unconfirmed threat of an al Qaeda plot to attack the city again on the anniversary of the downing of the World Trade Center towers by hijaked airplanes.
In Manhattan, police set up impromptu check points and searched vehicles, but New Yorkers took the security alerts in their stride as a normal part of their life.
20 9/11 victim fund chief set to hand out $2.8 billion
By Noeleen Walder, Reuters
2 hrs 42 mins ago
|NEW YORK (Reuters) – On an evening in late July, Sheila Birnbaum stood before a room full of firefighters and police officers in New York City’s borough of Queens and announced, “I’m going to be affecting your life.”
It was less a boast than a statement of fact. Nearly 10 years after the September 11 attacks, Birnbaum was tapped by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to run the second 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.
A first compensation fund handed out more than $7 billion to families of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the attacks.
21 Nevada voters go to polls in Republican-leaning district
By Cynthia Johnston, Reuters
1 hr 44 mins ago
|LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – Voters in Nevada go to the polls next week to elect a replacement for U.S. Representative Dean Heller in a largely Republican rural district that has never sent a Democrat to Congress.
Early voting in the September 13 Congressional special election, called after Heller was named to a vacant Senate seat, appeared to indicate a strong advantage for Republican Mark Amodei above Democratic state Treasurer Kate Marshall.
“The race appears to be over. It would take a miracle for Kate Marshall to win right now. My expectation is that she will lose and she will lose badly,” said Jon Ralston, a Nevada political analyst who publishes a daily political newsletter.
22 Parent sleep counseling may improve kids’ shut-eye
By Genevra Pittman, Reuters
1 hr 34 mins ago
|NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Screening kids for sleeping problems and discussing sleep strategies with parents could help youngsters settle into school with better nighttime routines, suggests new research from Australia.
Researchers found that when they had sleep-related consultations with parents, kids tended to have fewer sleep problems and better bedtime habits than children whose parents didn’t get counseled.
The study was small and didn’t demonstrate that the sleep improvements led to changes in kids’ academic achievements later in the year.
23 Female smokers have more bladder symptoms
By Amy Norton, Reuters
1 hr 33 mins ago
|NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Bladder problems seen more often among smokers than nonsmokers may be further motivation for women to quit smoking, a new study suggests.
Looking at 2,000 Finnish women ages 18 to 79, researchers found that smokers were three times as likely to say they frequently had to urinate — with fewer than two hours between trips to the bathroom.
They were also almost three times as likely to report “urgency.” That means frequently feeling that you need to get to a bathroom quickly — a problem often diagnosed as overactive bladder.