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Sep 28 2011

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Opposition Labour leader calls time on ‘fast buck’ Britain

By Marie-Pierre Ferey, AFP

1 hr 1 min ago

Opposition leader Ed Miliband told his Labour party Tuesday he was determined to smash the “something for nothing” culture that he blames for the country’s economic and social ills.

Seeking to establish his credentials as a possible future premier, Miliband sought to convince the centre-left party — and voters who deserted at the 2010 general election — that he had an alternative to the spending cuts of Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron’s coalition government.

Speaking at Labour’s annual conference in Liverpool, Miliband positioned himself as a values-driven leader with a vision for a remodelled 21st century Britain.

2 BAE Systems axes 3,000 jobs as governments slash spending

By Roland Jackson, AFP

4 hrs ago

BAE Systems axed 3,000 jobs on Tuesday, mostly at its military aircraft division, and blamed reduced spending by cash-strapped governments that has slashed demand for fighter jets.

The news, which sparked outrage from trade unions, followed days of intense media speculation over impending job cuts at Britain’s biggest defence company.

“Our customers are facing huge pressures on their defence budgets and affordability has become an increasing priority,” BAE Systems chief executive Ian King said in a statement unveiling the “nearly 3,000” job losses.

3 Anti-Kadhafi fighters capture Sirte’s port

By Jay Deshmukh, AFP

4 hrs ago

Anti-Kadhafi fighters overran Sirte’s port on Tuesday, scoring a strategic victory in the battle for control of the defeated Libyan leader’s birthplace, as instense fighting carried on inside the city.

But in the other main redoubt of Bani Walid, Moamer Kadhafi’s forces returned to the offensive after the fugitive ex-strongman broadcast a message rallying resistance to a weeks-long siege by National Transitional Council forces.

Meanwhile, a member of the NTC said formation of a transitional government, already delayed by squabbling over power-sharing, has been postponed until the entire country is liberated.

4 ‘Resistance’ broadcaster Arrai now in Kadhafi’s graces

By Sammy Ketz, AFP

3 hrs ago

In the upscale Yafur district of Damascus, Mishan al-Juburi has set aside part of his palatial compound to house Arrai, an Arabic television channel that has become the favoured forum for Moamer Kadhafi.

The 250 square metre (2,700 square foot) hangar is littered with satellite dishes, and a recording studio is separated by a clear-glass window from the office of the channel’s director — Juburi’s 27-year-old daughter, Hawazen, one of 11 children.

“We are the only channel in direct contact with Moamer Kadhafi and his family,” Hawazen said, referring to the longtime Libyan strongman who is now on the run after rebel forces took control of Tripoli and most of the country he lorded over for 42 years.

5 Yemen defence minister escapes assassination bid

AFP

4 hrs ago

Yemeni Defence Minister Mohammad Nasser Ahmad Ali escaped an assassination bid by a suicide bomber Tuesday in the southern port city of Aden but 10 of his party were wounded, a security official said.

“A suicide bomber driving a car packed with explosives drove into the minister’s motorcade as he was driving out of a tunnel,” the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He added that the minister survived the attack but 10 people travelling with him were wounded.

6 Afghan bomb kills 11 children

By Aref Karimi, AFP

5 hrs ago

Sixteen wedding guests, including 11 children, were killed Tuesday when a bus hit a roadside bomb in western Afghanistan, underscoring the heavy toll paid by civilians in a decade of war.

Another five people were killed in a suicide car bombing near the police headquarters in southern Helmand province, two months after British troops handed the Afghan government control of the local capital Lashkar Gah.

Giving details of the roadside bombing, provincial spokesman Mohayedin Noori said: “At around 1:00 pm (0830 GMT) today a passenger bus returning from a wedding party hit a roadside bomb in Shindand district, killing 16 people.”

7 Pakistan holds anti-US protest rallies

By Hasan Mansoor, AFP

2 hrs 42 mins ago

Several thousand Pakistanis Tuesday held protest rallies across the country lashing out at American demands for action against Al-Qaeda-linked Haqqani militants.

There is growing unease in Pakistan about US pressure to take on the Haqqani network or face the consequences, with the military saying it is too over-stretched fighting local Taliban to open a new front against a US enemy.

Having accused the network of orchestrating recent attacks on its embassy in Kabul and a NATO base in Afghanistan, with Pakistani intelligence involvement, Washington now says it is considering branding the network a terror group.

8 Guinea police, opposition clash over rally ban

By Mouctar Bah, AFP

5 hrs ago

Clashes between police and opposition demonstrators left one dead and several injured in Guinea on Tuesday, after the opposition, demanding electoral reform, defied a government ban on rallies.

Oppositions supporters faced heavy police deployments in several neighbourhoods of the capital Conakry, including the opposition stronghold Bambeto, where Mamadou Boye Barry, 35, was shot dead by police, his family said.

Demonstrators had planned to gather at the September 28 stadium for a large rally, but dozens of police vehicles and paramilitary forces were in position to prevent access.

9 Putin seeks to calm nerves after finance chief’s exit

By Stuart Williams, AFP

3 hrs ago

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Tuesday moved to calm fears the Russian economy faced trouble after the ousting of finance minister Alexei Kudrin by splitting his duties between two top officials.

Putin appointed powerful First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov and a little-known finance ministry official to replace Kudrin, widely credited for guaranteeing the stability of the Russian economy over the last decade.

Kudrin was forced out the day earlier in an extraordinary confrontation with President Dmitry Medvedev after he objected to the plan that would make Medvedev prime minister after Vladimir Putin returns to the Kremlin in 2012 elections.

10 Germany hits out at US as Greece vows action on debt

By Richard Carter, AFP

1 hr 52 mins ago

Germany told the United States Tuesday to stop pointing the finger at Europe for its own economic ills while debt-hit Greece promised to do its utmost to avert a financial meltdown in the eurozone.

Europe’s snowballing debt crisis had nothing to do with the United States, which would do better to focus on solving the very real problems of its own, said German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.

His barbed comments were clearly aimed at US President Barack Obama who had warned a day earlier that Europe’s failure to tackle crippling Greek debt was “scaring the world”.

11 Paris fashion week opens in black and white

By Emma Charlton, AFP

1 hr 26 mins ago

Paris Fashion Week got off to a black-and-white start on Tuesday as a duo of Asian designers sent out Spring-Summer looks for 2012 that played on monochrome in both setting and style.

The global fashion pack descended on a Paris basking in gorgeous Indian Summer sunshine for the finale of the four-week ready-to-wear marathon, after a stop in Milan where the tone was firmly upbeat despite the economic gloom.

South Korean Moon Young Hee chose a light-flooded 19th-century warehouse, glass-roofed and panelled in white, to showcase a line she said fused high-tech pleats with traditional Asian tailoring, boyish cuts with ethereal draping.

12 Italy win as France deny ‘uprising’ in Rugby W. Cup

By Talek Harris, AFP

11 hrs ago

Italy boosted their World Cup hopes with a vital bonus-point win Tuesday as Japan’s tournament ended on a low and France were forced to deny rumours of a player mutiny against their outspoken coach.

England warned their campaign was under threat from a desperate Scottish team and injury-riddled Australia lost number eight Wycliff Palu to a hamstring problem as tension built ahead of this weekend’s final pool games.

Italy were the big winners after a turgid 27-10 victory against USA which yielded the all-important four tries, earning the extra point which puts them level with Australia before Sunday’s clash with Pool C leaders Ireland.

13 Gaddafi loyalists “ask for truce” in besieged city

By Sherine El Madany, Reuters

2 hrs 40 mins ago

SIRTE, Libya (Reuters) – A Libyan commander leading the attack on Muammar Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte said on Tuesday he was in talks with elders inside the city about a truce, but the head of another anti-Gaddafi unit rejected negotiations.

Sirte, one of the last bastions of support for the deposed Libyan leader, is encircled by forces with the interim government and under bombardment from NATO warplanes.

Touhami Zayani, commander of the El-Farouk brigade on the western edge of Sirte, told Reuters an elder from Gaddafi’s tribe, whom he did not identify, had contacted him on his satellite phone from inside Sirte.

14 Syria forces storm refuge for army defectors

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis, Reuters

2 hrs 50 mins ago

AMMAN (Reuters) – Syrian forces backed by tanks and helicopters stormed into the central town of Rastan on Tuesday to crush army deserters who are fighting back after months of mostly peaceful protests against President Bashar al-Assad, residents said.

Undeterred by the crackdown, more deserters declared the formation of another rebel military unit, of uncertain size, in the same area. And in a sign of increasingly heavily armed opposition to Assad, people in the nearby city of Homs said rebel soldiers hit a government tank with a rocket.

Early on Tuesday, dozens of armored vehicles entered Rastan, a town of 40,000 on the Orontes river north of Homs, after tanks and helicopters pounded it with heavy machineguns through the hours of darkness.

15 Pakistan pushes back against U.S. charges, woos China

By John Chalmers and Chris Allbritton, Reuters

17 mins ago

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan warned the United States on Tuesday to stop accusing it of playing a double game with Islamist militants and heaped praise on “all-weather friend” China.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, speaking exclusively to Reuters, said any unilateral military action by the United States to hunt down militants of the Haqqani network inside Pakistan would be a violation of his country’s sovereignty.

However, he side-stepped questions on the tense relations with the United States and offered no indications of any steps Pakistan might take to soothe the fury in Washington.

16 Merkel risks rebellion on euro rescue fund

By Andreas Rinke and Ingrid Melander, Reuters

2 hrs 52 mins ago

BERLIN/ATHENS (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel may fall short of a majority in her own coalition for a crucial reform of the euro zone rescue fund meant to stop a sovereign debt crisis spreading, in what would be a severe blow to her authority, a test vote showed.

Talk of proposals to leverage up the 440 billion euro bailout fund to multiply Europe’s financial firepower lifted global stocks on Tuesday but made it harder for Merkel to unite her fractious center-right coalition.

The Bundestag (lower house) is sure to approve a widening of the scope of the European Financial Stability Facility to aid weak states and banks, agreed by European leaders in July, since the opposition Social Democrats and Greens say they will vote for the measure on Thursday.

17 One hurdle cleared, Greece now faces troika scrutiny

By Michael Winfrey, Reuters

1 hr 24 mins ago

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece faced a new hurdle in its attempt to avoid bankruptcy on Wednesday as international auditors headed to the Mediterranean state to scrutinize new austerity measures they must endorse for Athens to stay afloat.

The so-called “troika” inspection team is expected to start arriving on Wednesday and to start talks the day after on Greece’s plan to deepen budget cuts and raise new taxes.

This will allow Athens to meet its commitments under a July rescue bailout that also touched off a new cycle of strikes and protests.

18 BAE Systems to cut nearly 3,000 jobs

By Rosalba O’Brien and Matt Scuffham, Reuters

3 hrs ago

LONDON (Reuters) – Europe’s biggest defence contractor BAE Systems said it will cut nearly 3,000 jobs in Britain as smaller global defence budgets hit orders for its fighter jets.

BAE said the four partner nations in the Eurofighter Typhoon programme — the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain — were slowing production rates to help ease their budget pressures, affecting the workload at a number of sites.

The company, one of the largest prime contractors in the U.S, said production was also slowing on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet, a U.S. program led by Lockheed Martin for which BAE produces the tailplane.

19 Senate to take up China currency bill next week

By Doug Palmer, Reuters

1 hr 8 mins ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate plans to vote next week on legislation to crack down on China’s currency practices, despite concerns that could heighten trade tensions and further threaten global economic growth.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he planned to bring up the legislation next week when lawmakers return from a break.

“I don’t think there is anything more important (as a) jobs measure than China trade. That is what we are going to work on next week,” Reid told reporters on Monday, saying the measure had support from both Republicans and Democrats.

20 Calculating the odds of a U.S. deficit deal

By Richard Cowan and Walter Brandimarte, Reuters

2 hrs 48 mins ago

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – A dispute over disaster relief that brought the government to the brink of a shutdown has fueled pessimism that Republicans and Democrats can find hundreds of billions in budget savings by November 23.

That is the deadline for a bipartisan congressional “super committee” to reach a deal on reducing the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion.

If a majority of the 12-member panel fails to embrace a plan, $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts will be triggered, beginning in 2013.

21 U.S. cities’ fiscal pain may become chronic: survey

By Lisa Lambert, Reuters

3 hrs ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Fiscal pain for U.S. cities grew more acute this year and will likely become a chronic problem in many places, according to a survey of civic officials released on Tuesday.

The National League of Cities, which represents city leaders across the country, said finance officers are growing accustomed to a “new normal,” defined by lower property values and declining home sales.

Yet, a great unknown hangs over their budgets — namely the federal government’s response to a weak economy mired in the effects of a recession that officially ended two years ago.

22 Ryan targets employer healthcare tax breaks

By Donna Smith, Reuters

41 mins ago

(Reuters) – Republican Representative Paul Ryan, an outspoken opponent of President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform, proposed a plan on Tuesday that would effectively dismantle the way most Americans get healthcare by getting rid of employers’ incentives to offer insurance.

In a speech at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution in California, Ryan said the government should eliminate tax breaks to companies for providing health benefits.

Instead, individuals would get a refundable tax credit to purchase coverage on their own, shifting the responsibility to some 170 million Americans now covered by their workplace. Ryan argued it would give consumers the needed incentive to demand better value out of their healthcare.

23 Health insurance premiums climb faster in 2011

By Alina Selyukh, Reuters

4 hrs ago

The cost of health insurance continues to climb for companies and workers, with annual family premiums this year growing at a pace triple that of 2010 and outpacing wage increases, according to a survey.

As the United States continues to grapple with a stubbornly weak economy, family premiums in employer-sponsored health plans jumped 9 percent this year and single premiums rose 8 percent, compared with 2010’s 3 percent and 5 percent, the Kaiser Family Foundation’s annual study, published Tuesday, found.

“We’re probably on a more modest side … but even with a 5 percent increase in a premium (that our workers saw) this year, they didn’t get a 5 percent raise,” said Jeff Franck, a compensation and benefits manager at Altru Health System, which employs about 3,700 people in North Dakota and Minnesota and participated in the survey.

24 Christie may pass on best time to seek White House

By Daniel Trotta, Reuters

1 hr 14 mins ago

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie could be about to turn down his best chance of becoming U.S. president, saying “no” just when his political fortunes may be at their peak.

Privately and publicly, influential Republicans are urging Christie to run and are prepared to raise money. That’s because Democratic President Barack Obama is politically vulnerable with little prospect for an ascendant economy to provide a boost before the November 2012 election and none of the current Republican candidates have distanced themselves from the field.

Yet Christie has insisted repeatedly and in the clearest terms that he will not run in 2012.

25 Dodgers fight MLB request for control of team

By Caroline Humer, Reuters

1 hr 14 mins ago

(Reuters) – The Los Angeles Dodgers fought back on Tuesday against Major League Baseball’s attempt to wrest control of the bankrupt baseball team from Frank McCourt, asking a federal court to delay considering the league’s requests to sell the team and throw out its lawyers.

The team, which filed for bankruptcy in June, wants to move forward with its own plans to hold an auction of its broadcast rights next month. The auction is expected to help refinance the team and allow McCourt to hold onto it after bankruptcy.

MLB has disputed the team’s need for bankruptcy and questioned McCourt’s personal interests and spending. The league filed documents with the court last week asking to present its own plan for the team, most likely a quick sale.

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