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Sep 16 2011

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Libya fighters surge into two Kadhafi bastions

By Dominique Soguel, AFP

6 hrs ago

Fighters loyal to Libya’s new leaders on Friday thrust deep into the city of Sirte and into desert oasis Bani Walid, two of fugitive Moamer Kadhafi’s few remaining bastions, AFP reporters said.

On the political front, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was in Tripoli, boosting international support for the National Transitional Council (NTC) a day after Britain’s David Cameron and France’s Nicolas Sarkozy became the first foreign leaders to visit the new Libya.

Columns of NTC fighters backed by tanks launched the assault late morning on Sirte, Kadhafi’s hometown 360 kilometres (225 miles) west of Tripoli, after a first attack on Thursday was repulsed by loyalists, who set up sniper nests on rooftops.

2 Libyan transitional government gets UN seat

AFP

3 hrs ago

The UN General Assembly on Friday gave Libya’s UN seat to the National Transitional Council which toppled Moamer Kadhafi.

A group of left-wing Latin American countries failed in a bid to oppose recognition of the transitional council. The 193-member assembly voted 114 to 17, with 15 abstentions, to let the former rebel leadership take the UN seat.

The move allows interim government leader, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, to attend next week’s UN gathering of world leaders in New York. Jalil is to meet US President Barack Obama and other key figures on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

3 Syrian forces ‘kill 12’ as pressure mounts on Assad

AFP

5 hrs ago

Security forces in Syria shot dead at least 12 people in operations across the country on Friday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, as pressure mounted on the regime to end the crackdown.

The latest deaths came after UN chief Ban Ki-moon called for “coherent” global action over President Bashar al-Assad’s deadly response to dissent, as dissidents marked six months of anti-regime protests in Syria.

And Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the Libyan capital on the final leg of his “Arab Spring” tour, lashed out at Assad, telling him that the era of oppressive dictators is past.

4 Kashmir rights group urges action on unidentified bodies

By Izhar Wani, AFP

3 hrs ago

A government commission in Indian-administered Kashmir on Friday called for thousands of bodies lying in unmarked graves in the revolt-hit region to be identified.

Last month, Kashmir’s State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) confirmed the presence of over 2,000 unidentified bodies in unmarked graves. Rights activists say many may be people who disappeared after being arrested by security forces.

On Friday the commission urged the government to identify the corpses, buried in 38 sites in northern Kashmir.

5 US, Europe clash over debt crisis

By Roddy Thomson, AFP

34 mins ago

The United States clashed Friday with Europe, warning of “catastrophic risks” to financial markets by the failure to quickly contain the eurozone debt crisis.

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble disagreed sharply over the way forward, with an American call to boost rescue funding running headlong into a European demand for the States to tax financial transactions.

“We are not discussing the increase or the expansion of the EFSF (European Financial Stability Facility) with a non-member of the euro area,” eurozone chief Jean-Claude Juncker said at a meeting of the 17-nation currency club’s finance ministers and central bankers.

6 UK court remands UBS trader in custody

By Sam Reeves, AFP

2 hrs 9 mins ago

A British court on Friday remanded equities trader Kweku Adoboli in custody over an alleged $2 billion fraud at Swiss bank UBS, with one of the three charges against him dating back to 2008.

The 31-year-old wept in the dock at a City of London court as presiding magistrate Carolyn Wagstaff told him he would be remanded in custody until he appears at the same court on September 22.

Wearing an open-necked white shirt and light blue sweatshirt, Adoboli stood accused of fraud and two charges of false accounting, one of which dates from 2008 to 2009.

7 All Blacks embarrass Japan in Cup rout

By Talek Harris, AFP

5 hrs ago

New Zealand pummelled hapless Japan 83-7 Friday in an embarrassingly one-sided rout which brought back the horrors of World Cups past for Asia’s top team.

The makeshift All Blacks, with Richie McCaw, Dan Carter and Mils Muliaina among those missing injured, scored 13 tries at a rate of one every six minutes to evoke memories of the Bloemfontein massacre of 1995, when they won 145-17.

The performance, at a packed but unexcited Waikato Stadium, was by far the heaviest defeat in a World Cup which has so far been notable for the giant strides smaller teams have made to catch up with the established nations.

8 Gaddafi loyalists put Libyan forces to flight

By Maria Golovnina and Alexander Dziadosz, Reuters

1 hr 58 mins ago

BANI WALID/SIRTE, Libya (Reuters) – Diehard loyalists of Muammar Gaddafi fired barrages of rockets and mortars to repel an assault by Libyan interim government forces on one of their last bastions on Friday and also held off an advance on another.

Forced to retreat from Bani Walid by a heavily armed and well dug-in force estimated at several hundred, columns of fighters in pick-up trucks raced back out of the interior desert town after a day that began with talk of ending the siege and of capturing senior figures from the old ruling elite.

Separately, at Gaddafi’s home town of Sirte on the coast, the forces of the National Transitional Council (NTC) closed in on pockets of resistance scattered across the city but there was no sign of a rapid end to a siege which has last for weeks.

9 Fighters loosen loyalist grip on Gaddafi’s hometown

By Alexander Dziadosz, Reuters

1 hr 50 mins ago

SIRTE, Libya (Reuters) – Sniper fire flashed out from the defenders of Muammar Gaddafi’s hometown Sirte as fighters loyal to the new government seized the airport and ripped down billboards of the fugitive former leader.

Hundreds of soldiers rode into the battle on tanks or pick-ups mounted with guns but by nightfall, pockets of Gaddafi loyalists were still resisting from within the city on Libya’s central Mediterranean coast.

Sirte is one of Gaddafi’s last, isolated bastions but whether he is there or not is not known.

10 U.S. to announce F-16 upgrade for Taiwan: lobby group

By Paul Eckert, Reuters

2 hrs 41 mins ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration will tell Congress on Friday it plans to upgrade Taiwan’s existing fleet of F-16 fighter jets, said sources involved in a deal likely to anger China while disappointing a Taiwan government that was seeking more advanced aircraft.

U.S.-Taiwan Business Council President Rupert Hammond-Chambers, whose group lobbied for the sale of more advanced F-16 planes, said announcement of the upgrade was “imminent.” Congressional sources said consultations with senior lawmakers’ staff were expected on Friday.

U.S. arms sales to Taipei are a major point of friction with China, which claims sovereignty over the self-ruled island and has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control, especially if Taiwan formally seeks independence.

11 Geithner presses EU to act; meets resistance

By John O’Donnell and Robin Emmott, Reuters

2 hrs 40 mins ago

WROCLAW, Poland (Reuters) – Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner drew a cool response from EU policymakers when he urged them to leverage their bailout fund to better tackle the debt crisis and to start speaking with one voice.

In a 30-minute meeting with euro zone finance ministers on Friday, Geithner pressed for the 440 billion euros European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) to be scaled up to give greater capacity to combat the bloc’s debt malaise, a senior euro zone official said.

One analyst familiar with the proposal said it would involve the EFSF guaranteeing a portion — perhaps 20 percent — of potential losses on euro zone debt, so that its capital would effectively stretch five times further.

12 EU reaches draft deal on tougher budget rules

By Jan Strupczewski, Reuters

1 hr 50 mins ago

WROCLAW, Poland (Reuters) – The European Union reached a deal on Friday to toughen its budget rules, in a bid to restore some market confidence in euro zone public finances and prevent another sovereign debt crisis.

The new rules would apply mainly to the 17 countries sharing the euro, whose debt markets have in their sights after Greece, Ireland and Portugal had to seek emergency funding from international lenders because of bloated accounts.

“We are able to announce that we have reached a compromise regarding the package of six acts that will create the basis for future governance in the European Union,” Polish Finance minister Jacek Rostowski, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the EU, told a news conference.

13 UBS trader charged with $2 billion fraud

By Stefano Ambrogi and Emma Thomasson, Reuters

2 hrs 44 mins ago

LONDON/ZURICH (Reuters) – UBS trader Kweku Adoboli wept in a London court on Friday as he was charged with fraud and false accounting dating back to 2008, a day after the Swiss bank was plunged into crisis by revealing a $2 billion trading loss.

Wearing a light blue sweater and a white shirt, 31-year-old Adoboli wiped away tears as he was accused of two counts of false accounting, and one count of fraud by abuse of position.

The charges state that while working as a senior trader in UBS Global Synthetic Equities, Adoboli “dishonestly abused that position intending thereby to make a gain for yourself, causing losses to UBS or to expose UBS to risk of loss.”

14 Suspicious trades probed on Wall Street: regulator

By Jonathan Spicer, Reuters

2 hrs 41 mins ago

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A Wall Street regulator said industry complaints about market manipulation and trade reporting have spiked this year, raising questions about the adequacy of banks’ internal controls over their traders.

Gene DeMaio, of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), said on Wednesday that his group is still investigating these complaints.

On Thursday, UBS AG said a rogue trader, who was later charged in London with fraud, will cost it $2 billion in the third quarter. The loss highlights the extent to which some banks still cannot police their traders.

15 Shares of video game companies swing on reviews

By Liana B. Baker, Reuters

2 hrs 11 mins ago

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Want to know why video game stocks pop or drop? Check the reviews.

For years, investors have turned to video game reviews to help make buy or sell decisions, moving the share prices of some video game companies higher or lower.

They consult the website Metacritic, which tracks a large amount of reviews and comes up with an average score, as well as reviews from top video game outlets such as News Corp’s IGN.com and GameStop Corp’s Game Informer.

16 BlackBerry bashed as questions swirl about future

By Paul Thomasch and Alastair Sharp, Reuters

1 hr 28 mins ago

(Reuters) – Investors drove Research In Motion’s stock down 20 percent on Friday as dismal quarterly results raised prospects that the BlackBerry maker will be sold, broken up, or at least placed under new leadership.

The sell-off, which wiped out $3 billion of RIM’s market capitalization, underscored how bad times have become for the one-time smartphone leader, once a byword for corporate communication.

A day after the earnings report, analysts spoke of disappointment, challenges and a ticking clock.

17 GM, UAW close in on labor deal

By Bernie Woodall, Reuters

1 hr 28 mins ago

DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co and the United Auto Workers union were nearing a new contract for 49,000 production workers in talks in Detroit on Friday, people with direct knowledge of the negotiations said.

“I am very optimistic that the negotiations process is entering its final stage,” UAW Vice President Joe Ashton said in an update for the union’s GM workers posted online.

“I am happy to inform our membership that we are getting very close to a framework for an agreement that will bring our negotiations to a successful conclusion.”

18 No class action for now in Costco gender bias case

By Jonathan Stempel, Reuters

1 hr 23 mins ago

(Reuters) – Costco Wholesale Corp won a court decision that blocks women who accused the company of gender bias from suing as a group, but the court left open the possibility that the case could regain class-action status.

The case involved about 600 current and former female Costco workers who said the largest U.S. warehouse club chain made it harder for them to be promoted to general manager or assistant general manager, in part because it failed to post job openings.

Citing a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said a lower court judge applied the wrong legal standard, having failed to decide whether there was enough in common among the women’s claims.

19 Software helps government track recovery funds

By Andrea Shalal-Esa, Reuters

1 hr 41 mins ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Inexpensive software and technology used mainly by intelligence agencies and law enforcement have helped limit fraud linked with $840 billion in federal recovery funds, a senior U.S. official said.

Earl Devaney, the former Interior Department inspector general whose probe led to the conviction of Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, helped set up the federal government’s Recovery Transparency and Accountability Board in 2009 to oversee how the billions of dollars were spent and used.

“There hasn’t been a whole lot of recovery fraud, and what there has been — has been vigorously prosecuted,” Devaney told Reuters at his office just two blocks from the White House.

20 Potent forces try to tie hands of deficit panel

By Richard Cowan, Reuters

44 mins ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The days of “go big” in Washington’s latest deficit-reduction drama are morphing into “don’t go there.”

When Congress formed a “super committee” in August to do what no regular committee has been able to accomplish — fix the country’s raging budget problems — there was great hope in the air.

But with each passing day, some political leaders in Washington, including the president, have been trying to put major sources of savings off limits, potentially tying the bipartisan panel’s hands.

21 Alabama county backs deal to settle $3.14 billion debt

By Melinda Dickinson and Matthew Bigg, Reuters

1 hr 3 mins ago

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters) – Alabama’s Jefferson County voted on Friday to accept a provisional deal to settle its $3.14 billion sewer bond debt and avoid what would be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

The deal marks a turning point for Alabama’s most populous county which since 2008 has teetered on the edge of a bankruptcy that would have surpassed that filed by Orange County, California, in 1994.

The County Commission voted 4-1 in executive session to accept the main terms of a deal it had previously thrashed out with creditors, who include JPMorgan Chase & Co.

22 Analysis: Bachmann may be Romney’s top asset in race

By Patricia Zengerle and Kim Dixon, Reuters

1 hr 25 mins ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s scathing attacks on Rick Perry may be hurting the front-runner for the 2012 Republican nomination, and raising questions about her own judgment, but they are also helping another of her rivals — Mitt Romney.

Once among the leaders, the Minnesota congresswoman lately has been stumbling badly in the race for her party’s presidential nomination to run against Democratic President Barack Obama in 2012.

Top advisers have resigned, her poll numbers have been dropping and Bachmann has not attracted the big donors she would need to mount a credible 2012 campaign against Democratic President Barack Obama, whom some say will amass a $1 billion campaign warchest.

23 UK police want paper to reveal phone-hacking sources

By Michael Holden, Reuters

1 hr 54 mins ago

LONDON (Reuters) – British police are seeking an “unprecedented” court order to force a newspaper which has led the coverage of a phone-hacking scandal that has engulfed Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp empire to reveal its sources, the paper said on Friday.

In a story on its website, the left-leaning Guardian said London’s Metropolitan Police (MPS) was seeking to use the Official Secrets Act to force two of its reporters to disclose their confidential sources.

The act is designed to protect classified information and allows prosecutions usually relating to matters of national security and espionage.

24 Active legs at night linked to heart problems

By Genevra Pittman, Reuters

1 hr 9 mins ago

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Men who jerked and flexed their legs involuntarily at night were more likely to develop cardiovascular disease in a new study of sleep and chronic disease in the 65-and-up crowd.

During a one-night sleep assessment, more than two-thirds of men had the involuntary movements, which usually occur in the foot or at the ankle or hip joint, and most of them woke up during the night because of it.

Those men had a higher risk of a combination of heart and blood vessel conditions, including heart attack, stroke and blocked or ruptured arteries. Although those events happened over a few years after researchers measured nighttime leg movements, the study isn’t proof that overactive limbs caused the heart problems, researchers said.

25 Power of suggestion affects heart arteries

By Amy Norton, Reuters

2 hrs 40 mins ago

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Simply suggesting that a treatment will ease chest pain may not only dampen the pain, but directly alter heart arteries, a small study concludes.

Among 30 patients having a procedure to evaluate their chest pain, researchers found that those who were told they were being given an infusion of a pain-relieving drug did, on average, report a decrease in pain.

But the participants also showed a measurable change in their heart arteries: a slight but distinct narrowing of the vessels.

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