Articles Posted by John W

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  • Dow Falls 200 Points on Disappointing Economic News, Drop in Airline Stocks Over Ebola Fears

    10/01/2014 10:02:02 AM PDT · by John W · 17 replies
    AP via abcnews.com ^ | October 1, 2014 | Associated Press
    NEW YORK — Dow falls 200 points on disappointing economic news, drop in airline stocks over Ebola fears.
  • Airstrikes launched amid intelligence gaps

    10/01/2014 2:45:46 AM PDT · by John W · 8 replies
    AP via MSN News ^ | October 1, 2014 | KEN DILANIANAP
    WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is grappling with significant intelligence gaps as it bombs Iraq and Syria, and it is operating under less restrictive targeting rules than those President Barack Obama imposed on the CIA drone campaign in Pakistan and Yemen, according to current and former U.S. officials. The U.S. military says its airstrikes have been discriminating and effective in disrupting an al-Qaida cell called the Khorasan Group and in halting the momentum of Islamic State militants. But independent analysts say the Islamic State group remains on the offensive in areas of Iraq and Syria, where it still controls large sections....
  • Hundreds of flights cancelled at O'Hare, dozens at Midway as FAA struggles to fix fire damage

    09/28/2014 7:30:28 AM PDT · by John W · 42 replies
    Chicago Tribune ^ | September 28, 2014 | Lisa Black
    As of 7:30 a.m. Sunday, O'Hare International Airport had cancelled more than 530 flights and anticipates delays throughout the day as officials try to return flight traffic to normal after a fire Friday at the FAA's radar facility. The fire at the agency's Aurora radar facility wreaked havoc on the nation's air travel system and is also behind at least 50 flights were cancelled at Midway Airport, with an average 40 minute delay for incoming and outbound flights, according to the Chicago Avaition Department. The FAA said Saturday that technicians were working to complete a “damage assessment and timeline for...
  • Volcano erupts in Japan; injuries reported

    09/27/2014 1:23:16 AM PDT · by John W · 24 replies
    AP via Fort Wayne News Sentinel ^ | September 27, 2014 | AP
    TOKYO (AP) — A volcano erupted in central Japan on Saturday, catching mountain climbers by surprise and seriously injuring at least one person. With a sound likened to thunder, Mt. Ontake spewed large white plumes high into the sky, sending people fleeing and covering surrounding areas in ash. Several people were injured, including one who was unconscious, according to Japanese media reports.
  • Stock Indexes Plunge As Nasdaq, S&P 500 Lose 50-Day Lines

    09/25/2014 3:47:59 PM PDT · by John W · 3 replies
    Investor's Business Daily ^ | September 25, 2014 | Paul Whitfield
    Stocks chalked up big losses Thursday as the indexes punctured their 50-day moving average lines. The Nasdaq lost 1.9%, while the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average lopped off 1.6% and 1.5%, respectively. The small-cap Russell 2000 slid 1.6%.
  • S&P 500 extends drop into 3rd day; Dow falls 100 pts

    09/23/2014 11:52:06 AM PDT · by John W · 15 replies
    cnbc.com ^ | September 23, 2014 | Kate Gibson
    U.S. stocks declined on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 falling for a third day, as investors weighed data illustrating a slowing global economy and tracked conflict in the Middle East. "A lot of it is spillover from Europe, the data last night wasn't so great. We had the contraction in France, slower growth in Germany, and China came out with employment numbers that were not so great. People are nervous and taking profits are all-time highs," said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade.
  • Stocks drop with home sales; Dow off triple digits

    09/22/2014 11:52:53 AM PDT · by John W · 17 replies
    cnbc.com ^ | September 22, 2014 | Kate Gibson
    U.S. stocks fell on Monday, with small companies taking it on the chin, as China signaled it would not boost stimulus and after home sales unexpectedly declined in August. "The comments from the Chinese finance minister were not particularly hopeful," said Cameron Hinds, regional chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank, referring to comments by Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei that Beijing would not make big changes in response to one economic indicator, curbing thinking that softer economic readings would prompt additional stimulus from the central government.
  • Fed signals plan to keep key rate at record low

    09/17/2014 11:19:44 AM PDT · by John W · 19 replies
    AP via Yahoo news ^ | September 17, 2014 | Martin Crutsinger
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low for a considerable period because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar. The Fed said it planned to keep its benchmark rate near zero as long as inflation remains under control, until it sees consistent gains in wage growth, long-term unemployment and other gauges of the job market. The central bank retained language signaling its plans to keep short-term rates low "for a considerable time" after it ends its monthly bond purchases after its next meeting in...
  • NASA's Watchdog Office Criticizes Asteroid-Hunting Program

    09/15/2014 3:41:55 PM PDT · by John W · 16 replies
    nbcnews.com ^ | September 15, 2014 | Alan Boyle
    An internal watchdog office says that NASA's efforts to identify, track and do something about potentially threatening asteroids are not well-integrated and lack proper oversight. Top NASA executives agreed with the criticism and promised to fix the problems within a year. Monday's report from NASA's Office of Inspector General focuses on the agency's program to deal with near-Earth objects. That program is budgeted at $40 million a year, which represents a tenfold increase over what it was five years ago. The NEO Program Office coordinates NASA's efforts to catalog comets and asteroids in Earth-crossing orbits — and also plays a...
  • An asteroid will just miss Earth today. We won't always be so lucky

    09/07/2014 5:37:19 AM PDT · by John W · 70 replies
    vox.com ^ | September 6, 2014 | Joseph Stromberg
    On Sunday afternoon — at 2:15 pm Eastern time, to be exact — a small asteroid will whiz by the Earth. Don't worry: it'll miss us by about 25,000 miles. To be clear, there is zero chance it can hit us. This is certain. But in the long-term, worrying a little about asteroids isn't an unreasonable idea. Now, the odds of a massively destructive asteroid impact at any given time are tiny — but the potential costs would be enormous. Yet we still haven't invested in all the infrastructure needed to spot small asteroids with much warning (we spotted this...
  • Indiana's gay marriage ban ruled unconstitutional

    09/04/2014 12:54:37 PM PDT · by John W · 39 replies
    Fort Wayne Journal Gazette ^ | September 4, 2014 | Niki Kelly
    INDIANAPOLIS - The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday issued a lightning-fast ruling finding Indiana's gay marriage ban unconstitutional. It came just nine days after the Indiana and Wisconsin cases were argued before the three-judge panel. "The challenged laws discriminate against a minority defined by an immutable characteristic, and the only rationale that the states put forth with any conviction - that same-sex couples and their children don't need marriage because same-sex couples can't produce children, intended or unintended - is so full of holes that it cannot be taken seriously," the ruling said. Attorney General Greg Zoeller is...
  • Asteroid will zoom within 25,000 miles of Earth

    09/04/2014 11:39:06 AM PDT · by John W · 48 replies
    AP via WISH-TV ^ | September 4, 2014 | Marcia Dunn
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A newly discovered asteroid will pass by Earth this weekend. At closest approach Sunday, the 60-foot rock will pass a safe 25,000 miles over New Zealand. That’s about one-tenth the distance between here and the moon. It’s also beyond the orbit of our highest communication and weather satellites.
  • Obama Orders 350 More Troops to Baghdad

    09/02/2014 6:07:29 PM PDT · by John W · 26 replies
    TIME ^ | September 2, 2014 | Zeke J. Miller
    President Barack Obama authorized the deployment of another 350 American service-members to Baghdad Tuesday evening, the White House announced, bringing the number of American troops deployed to Iraq since June to over 1,000. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement that the 350 U.S. troops are tasked with protecting American diplomatic facilities and personnel in Baghdad, which has been under threat from the spread of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
  • Judges chide state lawyers over gay marriage bans

    08/27/2014 4:23:45 AM PDT · by John W · 48 replies
    AP via Yahoo News ^ | August 26, 2014 | Michael Tarm
    CHICAGO (AP) — Federal appeals judges bristled on Tuesday at arguments defending gay marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin, with one Republican appointee comparing them to now-defunct laws that once outlawed weddings between blacks and whites. Richard Posner, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, hit the backers of the ban the hardest. He balked when Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Timothy Samuelson repeatedly pointed to "tradition" as the underlying justification for barring gay marriage. "It was tradition to not allow blacks and whites to marry — a tradition that got swept away," the 75-year-old judge said. Prohibition of...
  • Obama orders review of police use of military hardware: official

    08/23/2014 4:09:32 PM PDT · by John W · 27 replies
    Reuters via Yahoo News ^ | August 23, 2014 | Retuers
    EDGARTOWN Mass. (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama has ordered a review of the distribution of military hardware to state and local police out of concern at how such equipment has been used during racial unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. A senior Obama administration official said on Saturday the president has ordered a review of federal programs and funding that enable state and local law enforcement to purchase military equipment. Images of police wielding military-style guns and armor have alarmed many Americans following violence that was triggered by the fatal shooting of an African-American teenager, Michael Brown, by a white police...
  • CDC Issues Highest Emergency Alert Amid Ebola Outbreak

    08/06/2014 4:57:42 PM PDT · by John W · 190 replies
    NBC News ^ | August 6, 2014 | nbcnews.com
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday ramped up its response to the expanding Ebola outbreak, a move that frees up hundreds of employees and signals the agency sees the health emergency as a potentially long and serious one. The CDC’s “level 1 activation” is reserved for the most serious public health emergencies, and the agency said the move was appropriate considering the outbreak’s “potential to affect many lives.” The CDC took a similar move in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and again in 2009 during the bird-flu threat.
  • Stocks fall hard; Ukraine-related reports cited by traders

    08/05/2014 12:30:49 PM PDT · by John W · 24 replies
    cnbc.com ^ | August 5, 2014 | Kate Gibson
    U.S. stocks declined sharply Tuesday, with the Dow falling nearly 200 points, as traders cited uncertainty about the tension between Russia and Ukraine and concerns that the strengthening economy will lead to higher interest rates. Stocks sold off rapidly, with the Dow dropping as much as 199 points, following media reports on comments by Polish officials on the crisis. "The report today that Russian troops were lining on the borders of Ukraine preparing for an invasion -- whether accurate or not, I don't know, but it was not helpful," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott. "Selling...
  • Israel to resume Gaza operation as truce with Hamas crumbles

    08/01/2014 3:24:25 AM PDT · by John W · 13 replies
    BBC ^ | August 1, 2014 | BBC
    The Israeli military has told people in Gaza it is resuming operations, saying Hamas broke a planned 72-hour ceasefire just hours after it had begun. The army said it had warned residents to stay indoors. Palestinian sources said at least 30 people had been killed in an Israeli attack in Gaza. Israel said it was in response to rocket fire from Hamas. Some 1,460 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have died in the conflict and 63 Israelis, mostly soldiers. The ceasefire had been brokered by the US and UN to give civilians a reprieve from the violence, and had been seen as...
  • US fuming over Israeli criticism of Kerry

    07/28/2014 12:02:46 PM PDT · by John W · 94 replies
    AP ^ | July 28, 2014 | MATTHEW LEE and JULIE PACE
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration pushed back strongly Monday at a torrent of Israeli criticism over Secretary of State John Kerry's latest bid to secure a cease-fire with Hamas, accusing some in Israel of launching a "misinformation campaign" against the top American diplomat. "It's simply not the way partners and allies treat each other," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. Her comments were echoed by the White House, where officials said they were disappointed by Israeli reports that cast Kerry's efforts to negotiate a cease-fire as more favorable to Hamas. "Israel has no better friend, no stronger defender than...
  • Microsoft cuts 18,000 jobs

    07/17/2014 6:54:56 AM PDT · by John W · 44 replies
    money.cnn.com ^ | July 17, 2014 | David Goldman
    Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wasn't kidding -- he really is making bold changes. The software giant said it would cut 18,000 jobs within the next year -- about 14% of the company's 125,000 employees. That's by far the largest round of layoffs in the company's history. The previous record came during the lowest point of the Great Recession, when Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) cut more than 5,000 jobs in 2009 -- the first mass layoff in the company's history. Most of the latest round of layoffs -- 12,500 -- will come from Nokia's devices and services business that Microsoft recently bought....
  • Obama Just Summed Up The State Of The World In One Depressing Sentence

    07/16/2014 6:42:03 PM PDT · by John W · 30 replies
    AP via Business Insider ^ | July 16, 2014 | Brett LoGiurato
    <p>After President Barack Obama breathlessly addressed four different foreign-policy issues during a 10-minute statement, he summed up the state of a crisis-filled world in one sentence.</p> <p>"We live in a complex world and at a challenging time," Obama said.</p> <p>Obama touched on the laundry list of global flashpoints situations during a statement from the White House on Wednesday — the disputed elections in Afghanistan, the negotiations on Iran's nuclear program, the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, and, finally, the conflict in Ukraine.</p>
  • Top Marine to Obama: Get in the Fight

    07/16/2014 2:57:14 PM PDT · by John W · 27 replies
    The Financial Times via Yahoo News ^ | July 16, 2014 | David Francis
    It’s highly unusual for a high-ranking soldier, let alone a high-ranking Marine, to publicly question White House and Pentagon policy. Yet that’s exactly what four-star Gen. James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, did yesterday in Washington. Speaking at the Brookings Institute Tuesday, Amos said the Obama administration paved the way for the emergence of the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) by completely withdrawing American troops in 2011. “I have a hard time believing that had we been there, and worked with the government, and worked with parliament, and worked with the minister of defense, the minister of...
  • We Are Not Alone In Universe, NASA Scientists Say

    07/16/2014 4:36:49 AM PDT · by John W · 52 replies
    The Huffington Post ^ | July 15, 2014 | Sara Gates
    It's highly unlikely we're alone in the universe, NASA experts are saying, and we may be close to finding alien life. In fact, it may happen in the next two decades. NASA held a panel discussion at the agency's Washington headquarters on Monday, where space experts talked about the search for Earth-like planets that host life. Based on recent advancements in space telescope technology, scientists estimated that in the coming decades we'll confirm suspicions that we're not alone. "I think in the next 20 years we will find out we are not alone in the universe," NASA astronomer Kevin Hand...
  • Al Jazeera America to Cut Remotes, Rein in Costs. ‘Live Shots: mayday!’

    07/11/2014 6:26:46 PM PDT · by John W · 10 replies
    TVNewser ^ | July 11, 2014 | Jordan Chariton
    Al Jazeera America producers are being told to rein in the costs, by thinking twice about booking costly studio time and satellite remotes. TVNewser obtained an email sent by Al Jazeera America SVP of programming David Doss with the subject line, “Live Shots: mayday!” “We are getting killed budget-wise on live shots,” Doss writes, adding, “we are at a point where you must own these costs.” He also instructs staffers to get satellite and studio costs approved going forward. “As with any business organization, we look at managing our resources as efficiently and effectively as possible,” an Al Jazeera spokesperson...
  • Obama intervenes in Afghan presidential election

    07/09/2014 5:26:36 AM PDT · by John W · 9 replies
    AP via twincities.com ^ | July 8, 2014 | Darlene Superville
    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has taken the unusual step of intervening in a foreign election, asking both candidates in Afghanistan's disputed presidential race to allow the process for investigating fraud claims to go forward and threatening a cutoff in U.S. aid if "extra-constitutional measures" are taken. Obama called the leading candidate, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, on Tuesday, the day after he spoke to Ghani's opponent, Abdullah Abdullah. The White House said Obama told both candidates that the U.S. expects fraud allegations to be thoroughly reviewed, urging the two men to seek a resolution that doesn't undermine Afghanistan's fragile national...
  • Exclusive details: Bid for Obama Library on Lake Michigan shore

    07/05/2014 2:52:45 PM PDT · by John W · 45 replies
    Chicago Sun-Times ^ | July 3, 2014 | Lynn Sweet
    ARLINGTON, Va. — Among the rival locations in Chicago for the Obama library and museum, the most majestic one hugs the Lake Michigan shore on the Southeast Side with a stunning view of the Chicago skyline. More than pretty, the Chicago Lakeside site has vast potential to trigger massive related economic growth and create jobs in an often ignored part of the city. With a presidential library and museum as an anchor, large-scale private investment that otherwise might take a generation to occur could happen in a decade. “It is the most incredibly beautiful site in the city of Chicago,”...
  • Obama: GOP to Blame for Economy Problems

    06/30/2014 7:03:53 AM PDT · by John W · 26 replies
    wallstcheatsheet.com ^ | June 30, 2014 | Sarah Schweppe
    While House Speaker John Boehner is suing President Barack Obama over taking too much action, and the president is calling out the GOP for blocking action — going as far as blaming the party for the state of the economy. In a speech in Minneapolis as a part of a two-day trip, Obama called out Republicans in Congress for blocking votes on legislation. “So far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked or voted down every single serious idea to strengthen the middle class,” he said. “They’ve said no to raising the minimum wage. They’ve said no to fair pay....
  • Appeals Court Ends City’s Fight to Curtail Size of Sugary Drinks

    06/26/2014 5:25:25 PM PDT · by John W · 5 replies
    The New York Times ^ | June 26, 2014 | MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM
    The Bloomberg big-soda ban is officially dead. The state’s highest court on Thursday refused to reinstate New York City’s controversial limits on sales of jumbo sugary drinks, exhausting the city’s final appeal and dashing the hopes of health advocates who have urged state and local governments to curb the consumption of drinks and foods linked to obesity. In a 20-page opinion, Judge Eugene F. Pigott Jr. of the New York State Court of Appeals wrote that the city’s Board of Health “exceeded the scope of its regulatory authority” in enacting the proposal, which was championed by former Mayor Michael R....
  • Obama to meet with congressional leaders on Iraq on Wednesday

    06/17/2014 5:44:59 PM PDT · by John W · 31 replies
    Reuters via The Chicago Tribune ^ | June 17, 2014 | Reuters
    WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama invited the leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives to the White House on Wednesday for a meeting on Iraq, according to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell told reporters at the Capitol that he, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker John Boehner and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi had been invited. A White House official confirmed the meeting, describing it as part of Obama's "ongoing consultations" with congressional leaders on foreign policy issues, including Iraq. The Republican lawmakers said they hoped Obama would spell out a plan for Iraq. "We spent years,...
  • Stocks Slide, Oil Jumps Amid Iraq Tumult

    06/12/2014 12:03:58 PM PDT · by John W · 2 replies
    foxbusiness.com ^ | June 12, 2014 | Adam Samson
    Deepening turmoil in Iraq is sending U.S. stocks lower, and oil prices jumping, as Wall Street extends its slump. After days of essentially straight-up action, Wall Street pulled back somewhat on Wednesday. The worst losses were actually taken by the narrow Dow, as several heavyweights skidded into the red. The losses were extended on Thursday as the situation in Iraq worsened. The Commerce Department reported retail sales rose 0.3% in May, below the 0.6% increase Wall Street expected. Excluding the auto component, sales rose 0.1%, missing the 0.4% rise anticipated.
  • Second Chinese cyber-espionage unit caught red-handed

    06/09/2014 6:28:02 PM PDT · by John W · 7 replies
    The Australian ^ | June 10, 2014 | Supratim Adhikari
    The unprecedented indictment of five Chinese military officers for cyber-espionage by the US state department has already sparked a fierce war of words between Beijing and Washington, and things just might be about to get uglier. Internet security firm CrowdStrike has released new data implicating a second Chinese military unit of pilfering sensitive data from US corporate and government targets. CrowdStrike alleges that a group of hackers operating under the code name “Putter Panda” are targeting exploits against popular productivity applications such as Adobe Reader and Microsoft Office to deploy custom malware. The company adds that the hacker group works...
  • Labor market saw modest lift in May

    06/06/2014 6:00:57 AM PDT · by John W · 9 replies
    cbsnews.com ^ | May 6, 2014 | Alain Sherter
    The labor market continued last month to rebound from a severe winter slump. Employers added 217,000 nonfarm jobs in May, the U.S. Labor Department said Friday. That was in line with forecasts of 215,000 jobs, although it fell short of the sharp rise in payroll gains the previous month, when payrolls grew by a revised 282,000. The nation's unemployment rate held steady at 6.3 percent. The labor market, which has added an average of 197,000 jobs over the past 12 months, has not achieved the kind of lift-off in 2014 seen after previous recessions. But the labor market has improved...
  • FBI, SEC Probe Trading of Carl Icahn, Billy Walters, Phil Mickelson

    05/30/2014 5:45:23 PM PDT · by John W · 21 replies
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | May 30, 2014 | Susan Pulliam and Michael Rothfeld
    Federal investigators are pursuing a major insider-trading probe involving finance, gambling and sports, examining the trading of investor Carl Icahn, golfer Phil Mickelson and Las Vegas bettor William "Billy" Walters. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Securities and Exchange Commission are examining whether Mr. Mickelson and Mr. Walters traded illicitly on nonpublic information from Mr. Icahn about his investments in public companies, people briefed on the probe said. Investigators are examining whether over the past three years Mr. Icahn tipped Mr. Walters—famous in Las Vegas for his sports-betting acumen—about potentially market-moving investments by Mr. Icahn's company. The FBI and...
  • US Consumer Spending Down 0.1 Percent in April

    05/30/2014 6:47:48 AM PDT · by John W · 5 replies
    AP via ABC News ^ | May 30, 2014 | Martin Crutsinger
    U.S. consumers cut back on spending in April for the first time in a year, taking an unexpected pause after a big jump during the previous month. The results, however, are unlikely to derail an expected spring rebound in the economy. Consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of overall economic activity, fell 0.1 percent in April, the Commerce Department said Friday. The drop was the first in 12 months. But it followed a 1 percent surge in spending in March, which marked the biggest increase in more than four years. The latest figure reflects reductions in durable goods purchases...
  • Struggling malls suffer when Sears, Penney leave

    05/13/2014 3:28:27 AM PDT · by John W · 127 replies
    Wall Street Journal via Yahoo News ^ | May 12, 2014 | Suzanne Kapner and Robbie Whelan
    NORFOLK, Va.—With J.C. Penney Co. and Sears Holdings Corp. racing to close stores, America's weakest malls are being pushed to the brink. Nearly half of the 1,050 indoor and open air malls in the U.S. have both of those struggling chains as anchor tenants, according to real-estate research firm Green Street Advisors. Of those malls, nearly a quarter are struggling with sales below $300 per square foot and vacancy rates above 20%, meaning they will have a hard time finding new tenants if old ones leave. For an already-weakened mall industry, the negative turn for two once-reliable anchors is promising...
  • Hagel: Military Should Review Transgender Ban

    05/11/2014 1:21:54 PM PDT · by John W · 45 replies
    AP via ABC News ^ | May 11,2014 | AP
    The prohibition on transgender individuals serving in the U.S. military "continually should be reviewed," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Sunday. Hagel did not indicate whether he believes the policy should be overturned. However, he said "every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity if they fit the qualifications and can do it." A transgender individual is someone who has acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or presents themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth.
  • Secret Service agents pulled off White House patrol to help protect a top official’s aide

    05/11/2014 6:38:29 AM PDT · by John W · 33 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | May 10, 2014 | Carol D. Leonnig
    Top Secret Service officials ­ordered members of a special unit responsible for patrolling the White House perimeter to abandon their posts over at least two months in 2011 in order to protect a personal friend of the agency’s director, according to three people familiar with the operation. The new assignment, known internally as Operation Moonlight, diverted agents to a rural area outside the southern Maryland town of La Plata, nearly an hour’s drive from Washington. Agents were told that then-Director Mark Sullivan was concerned that his assistant was being harassed by her neighbor, the three people said. Two agents were...
  • Chelsea Clinton to receive doctorate from Oxford

    05/09/2014 5:19:27 PM PDT · by John W · 66 replies
    AP via Yahoo News ^ | May 9, 2014 | Ken Thomas
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton are in Oxford, England, this weekend to attend the graduation ceremonies of their daughter, Chelsea. Chelsea Clinton will receive her doctorate degree in international relations on Saturday from the prestigious British university. Her father was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford from 1968 to 1970. The graduation ceremony comes as her mother is considering a potential 2016 presidential campaign. The 34-year-old Clinton is reaching a number of milestones this year. In addition to her doctorate, Clinton and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, are expecting their first child...
  • U.S. New-Home Sales Fell 14.5% in March

    04/23/2014 7:24:08 AM PDT · by John W · 28 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | April 23, 2014 | Sarah Portlock And Ben Leubsdorf
    WASHINGTON—Sales of newly built homes plunged in March, the latest sign of a faltering U.S. housing market that has struggled to maintain its momentum in the last year. New-home sales dropped 14.5% from February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. February's rate was revised up slightly to 449,000.
  • Michaels hack hit 3 million

    04/17/2014 4:46:29 PM PDT · by John W · 7 replies
    CNN Money via KSPR ^ | April 17, 2014 | Katie Lobosco
    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - A security breach at Michaels Stores lasted eight months and affected about 3 million customers, the company said Thursday. The news comes three months after the nation's largest crafts chain told customers it learned of a possible hack. It's been investigating since then. Some customers' credit and debit card numbers as well as expiration dates were compromised, but the company said there is no evidence that information such as a customers' names or PINs were stolen.
  • U.S. housing starts up but miss forecasts; permits fall

    04/16/2014 7:53:16 AM PDT · by John W
    Reuters ^ | April 17, 2014 | Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. housing starts rose but below market expectations and building permits fell in March, pointing to underlying weakness in the housing market that could persist despite improving weather. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday groundbreaking increased 2.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 946,000. February's starts were revised to show a 1.9 percent rise rather than the previously reported 0.2 percent fall. Economists polled by Reuters had expected starts to rise to a 973,000-unit rate last month. "Given the weather, housing is still disappointing," said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg,...
  • Retail Sales Surge as Consumers Rev Up Growth

    04/14/2014 6:50:19 AM PDT · by John W · 15 replies
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | April 14, 2014 | Eric Morath And Ben Leubsdorf
    WASHINGTON—A measure of U.S. consumer spending heated up in March, an early sign of accelerating economic growth this spring. Retail sales increased 1.1% in March to a seasonally adjusted $433.9 billion, the Commerce Department said Monday. The reading was the best monthly gain since September 2012 and rose above the level of sales recorded in November, before unusually cold weather chilled spending across much of the country. Last month's gain exceeded the 0.8% increase that economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast. February retail sales were revised up to a 0.7% gain, compared with an initially reported 0.3%...
  • Boston Marathon Victim Leaves Taping of ‘Meet the Press’ in Tears

    04/11/2014 6:06:00 PM PDT · by John W · 21 replies
    TV Newser ^ | April 11,2014 | Merrill Knox
    A survivor of the Boston Marathon bombings — Adrianne Haslet-Davis, who was also the subject of a CNN profile earlier this week — left a taping “Meet the Press” in tears today. In a series of tweets, Haslet-Davis said she “politely” asked the show not to use the bomber’s name in the pre-taped interview. AdrianneHD @AdrianneHaslet Cannot believe @meetthepress chose to use the bombers name instead of respect their guest. Had to walk off set crying. 1:23 PM - 11 Apr 2014 Boston, MA, United States
  • Market comeback evaporates, Dow down 100 points

    04/11/2014 10:24:03 AM PDT · by John W · 4 replies
    CNBC ^ | April 11, 2014 | Kate Gibson
    U.S. stocks fell, extending losses after the prior day's rout, as JPMorgan Chase posted disappointing earnings. "So far it does not appear to be so much fundamental as a turn in sentiment," said Russ Koesterich, BlackRock's global chief investment strategist, who attributes the recent selloff in high-flying shares to "forced liquidation by hedge funds." "A lot of investors were long the momentum trade. All of last year's big winners -- biotech, Internet stocks, this is where you've seen the biggest reversal; that momentum trade has basically been broken," he said. "The losses in an absolute sense outside those sectors have...
  • Stocks hit by biotech; triple-digit fall for Dow, Nasdaq off 2 percent

    04/10/2014 9:53:54 AM PDT · by John W · 9 replies
    CNBC ^ | April 10, 2014 | Kate Gibson
    U.S. stocks slid on Thursday, with biotechnology and technology shares resuming declines after a two-day jump, as investors sought dividend-paying stocks and shed those viewed as risky. "Clearly investors are nervous about high-flying momentum stocks. There is a rethink on whether better earnings and economic data will support a resumption of the momentum that was driving biotechnology and higher-flying technology stocks earlier in the year," said Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones. "We're back to a valuation focus; investors are gravitating towards something tangible, like earnings and revenue," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank. Momentum...
  • US stocks rally as Federal Reserve minutes calm rate worries

    04/09/2014 12:38:19 PM PDT · by John W · 9 replies
    CNBC ^ | April 9, 2014 | Kate Gibson
    U.S. stocks jumped on Wednesday, extending gains into a second session, after minutes from the Federal Reserve's last session offset concern about when the central bank would raise interest rates. The Federal Open Market Committee's minutes had policy makers unanimous in agreeing to drop an unemployment target for hiking rates. The decision "makes a lot of sense, to have a fixed data point when you're talking about the unemployment rate doesn't consider all the factors," said Dave Roda, regional chief investment officer at Wells Fargo Private Bank.
  • Obama pal's ex-aide to plead guilty in grant scheme

    04/07/2014 7:15:11 PM PDT · by John W · 15 replies
    The Chicago Tribune ^ | April 7, 2014 | Ray Long
    SPRINGFIELD—A onetime top aide to former state public health chief Dr. Eric Whitaker plans to plead guilty to bribery, theft and obstruction of justice in federal court this week in a $400,000 state grant kickback scam she is accused of trying to cover up, according to court documents the Tribune obtained. Quinshaunta Golden, 45, of Homewood, is scheduled to change her plea to guilty Thursday and has agreed to cooperate with authorities. Federal prosecutors have agreed to request a sentence of no more than 10 years and a month in prison, a copy of Golden's plea agreement shows. Whitaker, a...
  • Jobless claims rise, trade deficit widens on weak exports

    04/03/2014 6:35:16 AM PDT · by John W · 10 replies
    Reuters ^ | April 3, 2014 | Reuters
    (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, but the underlying trend continued to point to some strength in the labor market. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 326,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists had forecast first-time filings for jobless aid rising to 317,000 in the week ended March 29. The four-week moving average for new claims, considered a better measure of underlying labor market conditions as it irons out week-to-week volatility, hovered near six-month lows, indicating a firmer bias in the...
  • GM taking $750M Q1 charges amid new recalls

    03/31/2014 6:07:05 PM PDT · by John W · 3 replies
    CNBC.com ^ | March 31, 2014 | CNBC.com staff
    General Motors (GM) announced Monday that it will take a $750 million charge in the first quarter, including a previously disclosed $300 million charge for three safety actions and the ignition switch recall. Monday's recall affects some of the same models included in the ignition recall and includes more than 1.3 million vehicles. Some of these vehicles have already been recalled in the past for the same issue, but GM "did not do enough," according to a company statement.
  • Jobless claims fall to 4-month low of 311,000

    03/27/2014 5:34:51 AM PDT · by John W · 9 replies
    marketwatch.com ^ | March 27, 2014 | Jeffry Bartash
    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The number of people who applied for U.S. unemployment benefits fell by 10,000 to 311,000 last week to mark the lowest level in four months, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected claims to total 320,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis in the week ended March 22. The average of new claims over the past month declined by 9,500 to 317,750. That was the lowest level since last September, when claims fell sharply because of a major errors related to a computer upgrade in California's system for processing claims.