· Bin Laden dead, Obama says justice is done Al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden was killed in a daring raid by US covert forces in Pakistan, and President Barack Obama declared "justice has been done" a decade after the September 11 attacks.
· Aging Panama Canal in need of makeover. The old shortcut between the seas isn't what it used to be. Many modern ships are too wide to use the 92-year-old Panama Canal, where traffic is so heavy that vessels still able to squeeze through can face costly delays. Panamanians are likely to approve an eight-year, $5.25 billion expansion plan in a referendum on Sunday. The idea is to build a third set of locks on the Atlantic and Pacific sides, creating a separate lane for larger cargo, cruise and tanker ships while doubling the canal's capacity.
· Judge vacates Ken Lay's Enron conviction. Former Enron Chairman Ken Lay's criminal conviction was vacated and his indictment dismissed by a judge today. In his decision, Lake cited a decision in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that makes death, before the appeals process has been exhausted, grounds for throwing out a conviction and dismissing an indictment.
· Yankees pitcher's plane crashes into Manhattan high-rise. Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle was the sole person aboard the plane that crashed Wednesday into a high-rise apartment building in New York, FBI officials told CNN. Emergency responders found his passport in the street below, the officials said. Flames shot out from several windows midway up the luxury high-rise in a residential Manhattan neighborhood.
· Update: Group Warns of More Junk E-Mail. The anti-spam group Spamhaus Project warned more junk e-mail could be on the way as it prepares to lose its domain name thanks to a company it has accused of sending spam. Executives at the U.K.-based Spamhaus Project said Monday they expect a federal judge in Chicago will soon sign an order that would suspend the domain spamhaus.org because the group has refused to recognize the U.S. court and comply with a $11.7 million judgment.
· North Korea claims successful nuclear weapons test. North Korea came under harsh international criticism after claiming to have carried out a successful underground nuclear weapons test on Monday. China, a close ally of North Korea, denounced the claimed test as "brazen" and South Korea said it would respond "sternly." The United States said a test would constitute a "provocative act."
· Slain Reporter Was Writing Torture Story. A journalist shot to death in an apparent contract killing was about to publish a story about torture and abductions in Chechnya when she was slain, her editor said Sunday, as Russia's top prosecutor took charge of the case.
· Rules relaxed for carry-on liquids. The government is partially lifting its ban against carrying liquids and gels onto airliners, instituted after a plot to bomb jets flying into the United States was foiled, officials said today. "We now know enough to say that a total ban is no longer needed from a security point of view," said Kip Hawley, head of the Transportation Security Administration.
· Space shuttle glides to a safe landing. Space shuttle Atlantis and its six astronauts glided to a safe landing in darkness early Thursday, ending a successful mission to return to work on the international space station.
· Wal-Mart to Sell Generic Drugs for $4. Wal-Mart announced today that it will start a test program in Florida, where it will sell generic prescription drugs for $4 for a 30-day supply. The test will start tomorrow in 65 Tampa Bay-area stores and is to expand to the whole state by January.
· Gonzales wants ISPs to save user data. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Tuesday that Congress should require Internet service providers to preserve customer records, asserting that prosecutors need them to fight child pornography. Gonzales acknowledged the concerns of some company executives who say legislation might be overly intrusive and encroach on customers' privacy rights. But he said the growing threat of child pornography over the Internet was too great.
· Nation reflects, mourns on 9/11 anniversary. Five years after the terror attacks of September 11, the nation is observing a solemn anniversary with plans for silent reflection and fresh mourning for the nearly 3,000 lives lost. On the 16-acre New York City expanse where the World Trade Center once stood, four moments of silence were planned Monday for 8:46, 9:03, 9:59 and 10:29 a.m., the times when jetliners struck each of the twin towers, and when each tower fell. Spouses and partners of the 2,749 people who died at the trade center were to read the names of the victims as families of the victims descend to roam the site and lay flowers.
· JonBenet Ramsey murder suspect: 'I loved her.' An American arrested in Thailand, confessing that he was with child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey when she died in her parents' basement nearly a decade ago, said today that her death was an accident. John Mark Karr, 41, insisted his crime was not first-degree murder but that she died during a kidnapping attempt that went awry. Karr also told reporters: "I loved JonBenet."
· Security Council OKs Mideast Peace Deal. The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution seeking a "full cessation" of violence between Israel and Hezbollah, offering the region its best chance yet for peace after a month of fighting that has killed more than 800 people and inflamed Mideast tensions. The resolution, adopted unanimously, authorizes 15,000 U.N. peacekeepers to help Lebanese troops take control of south Lebanon as Israeli forces that have occupied the area withdraw.
· UK foils "mass murder on an unimaginable scale." British police say they have arrested 21 people in connection with a terrorist plot to blow up aircraft flying from the United Kingdom to the United States. Deputy Commissioner Paul Stephenson said the plot was "intended to be mass murder on an unimaginable scale," and the UK's threat warning level was raised to "critical" - meaning "an attack is expected imminently."
· Microsoft to hackers: Take your best shot. After suffering embarrassing security exploits over the past several years, Microsoft Corp. is trying a new tactic: inviting some of the world's best-known computer experts to try to poke holes in Vista, the next generation of its Windows operating system.
· Toyota overtakes Ford in monthly US vehicle sales. Toyota has accelerated past another road marker on its way to becoming the second largest automaker in the US vehicle market, as its July sales overtook rival Ford's for the first time.
· 7-year-old memo gave Big Dig warning. Seven years before falling concrete crushed a motorist to death inside one of Boston's Big Dig tunnels, a safety officer warned that the bolts could not possibly hold the heavy ceiling panels, according to a bluntly worded memo that came to light Wednesday. John Keaveney wrote the memo in 1999 to one of his superiors at contractor Modern Continental Construction Co., saying he could not "comprehend how this structure can withhold the test of time." "Should any innocent State Worker or member of the Public be seriously injured or even worse killed as a result, I feel that this would be something that would reflect Mentally and Emotionally upon me, and all who are trying to construct a quality Project," he wrote.
· Honda to Enter Aircraft Business With Small Jet. Honda Motor Co. announced plans Tuesday to start accepting sales orders this fall for the small jet it debuted last year. The company also said it has formed a business alliance with Piper Aircraft.
· Meth still No. 1 drug problem, study finds. Meth abuse continues to fuel an increase in crimes like robbery and assault, straining the workload of local police forces despite a drop in the number of meth lab seizures, according to a survey released Tuesday. Nearly half of county law enforcement officials consider methamphetamine their primary drug problem, more than cocaine, marijuana and heroin combined, the survey of the National Association of Counties found.
· Iran's Hizbollah says ready to attack US, Israel. Iran's Hizbollah said on Tuesday it stood ready to attack Israeli and U.S. interests worldwide. "We have 2,000 volunteers who have registered since last year," said Iranian Hizbollah's spokesman Mojtaba Bigdeli. "They have been trained and they can become fully armed. We are ready to dispatch them to every corner of the world to jeopardise Israel and America's interests. We are only waiting for the Supreme Leader's green light to take action. If America wants to ignite World War Three ... we welcome it," he said.
· Major Web Browsers Getting Facelifts. The major Web browsers are getting facelifts as they increasingly become the focal point for handling business transactions and running programs over the Internet rather than simply displaying Web sites. On Tuesday, Opera Software ASA is releasing its Opera 9 browser, while Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Firefox are in line for major overhauls later this year.
· Bill Gates stepping down from Microsoft. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said Thursday he will transition out of a day-to-day role at the company he co-founded to spend more time on global health and education work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
· Wounded Anchor Returns To Newsroom. ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff made his first visit to the network's newsroom since he was wounded by a roadside bomb in January while on assignment in Iraq. "There are a lot of happy faces around the newsroom today," said Jon Banner, the "World News Tonight" executive producer.
· Jerry Lewis Suffers 'Mild' Heart Attack. Comedian Jerry Lewis has postponed a July engagement to perform live after reportedly suffering a heart attack Sunday. A spokeswoman for the Orleans hotel-casino in Las Vegas, where Lewis was to perform July 13 through July 16, describes the heart attack as "mild."
· Update: $25 million bounty to be paid on Al-Zarqawi. "We will meet our promise," al-Maliki told al-Arabiya television without elaborating. The United States had put forth the $25 million bounty for information leading to the death or capture of al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq. Al-Zarqawi, a 39-year-old Jordanian-born terrorist, was killed in a U.S. airstrike Wednesday.
· Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Dies in Bombing Attack. According to the prime minister of Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - the leader of the terrorist group Al Qaeda in Iraq who has led a bloody campaign of suicide bombings, kidnappings and hostage beheadings – has been killed in a U.S. air raid north of Baghdad.
· Indonesia Earthquake Kills More Than 2,500. A powerful earthquake flattened homes and buildings in central Indonesia early Saturday, killing more than 2,500 people and injuring thousands more in the country's worst disaster since the 2004 tsunami.
· Inadequate sleep linked to weight gain. Women who fail to get enough shut-eye each night risk gaining weight, a researcher reports. In a long-term study of middle-aged women, those who slept 5 hours or less each night were 32 percent more likely to gain a significant amount of weight (adding 33 pounds or more) and 15 percent more likely to become obese during 16 years of follow-up than women who slept 7 hours each night.
· Paul McCartney, Wife Confirm Split. Former Beatle Paul McCartney and his second wife, Heather Mills McCartney, said Wednesday that they are separating after nearly four years of marriage, blaming intrusion from the media and insisting their split is amicable.
· Minorities getting closer to the majority. The influence of traditional minorities in the United States will continue to grow, new Census Bureau statistics suggest, with Hispanics born as American citizens accounting for more than a third of the population increase last year. The overall U.S. population totaled 296.4 million in 2005; 33 percent of that number, or 98 million, were minorities. Hispanics remained the largest minority group at 42.7 million. They were the fastest growing group from 2004 to 2005.
· Bush to Send Up to 6,000 Troops to Border. President Bush, trying to build support for a major overhaul of the nation's tattered immigration laws, said Monday night he would order as many as 6,000 National Guard troops to secure the U.S. border with Mexico and urged Congress to give millions of illegal immigrants a chance at citizenship.
· Mortgage Mess. Home foreclosures in the first quarter of 2006 were up 72% over a year earlier, according to a study by RealtyTrak. And in such states as Alabama, Michigan and Missouri, a fifth of homeowners in the higher-interest subprime category of ARMS were at least 30 days late in making a mortgage payment at the end of 2005, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The median first-time home buyer's deposit last year was just 2% of the price, while 43% of first-timers put down nothing. That means those real estate newbies will eventually face a sizable chunk of loan principal paired with growing interest payments.
· Microsoft's Plan to Map the World in Real Time. Researchers at Microsoft are working on technology that they hope will someday enable people to browse online maps for up-to-the-minute information about local gas prices, traffic flows, restaurant wait times, and more. Eventually, says Suman Nath, a Microsoft researcher who works on the project, which is called SenseWeb, they would like to incorporate the technology into Windows Live Local, the company's online mapping platform.
· Buffett's cash crisis. Most companies struggle to produce excess cash after paying all their costs. Warren Buffett's investments are so lucrative that he struggles to find ways to put all their excess Berkshire Hathaway cash - $37 billion - to work.
· English Language Hits 1 Billion Words. A massive language research database responsible for bringing words such as "podcast" and "celebutante" to the pages of the Oxford dictionaries has officially hit a total of 1 billion words, researchers said Wednesday.
· Kelley Lists Top 10 Coolest Cars Under $18K. If you don't want to pay top dollar for a new car, there's good news for you. Kelley Blue Book has released a list of what it calls top-10 cool, affordable new vehicles. The prices start at about $15,500, topping out under $18,000. Cars on the list include the new Dodge Caliber, the Mazda3 and the Chevrolet HHR as well as some more familiar names like the Kia Sportage and the Honda Civic.
· Blasts Kill 22 in Egyptian Resort City. Three nearly simultaneous explosions rocked the Egyptian resort city of Dahab on Monday, killing at least 22 people and wounding more than 150 in a terror attack at the height of the tourist season. The attackers struck a day after al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden issued a taped warning that ordinary Western citizens had become legitimate targets of his terrorist organization.
· 'Ground Zero' air killed cop. An autopsy of a retired NYPD detective confirmed yesterday what his family and fellow cops long suspected - that James Zadroga's death was "directly related" to the Ground Zero cleanup. The stunning findings are believed to mark the first time the death of a cleanup worker has been officially tied to the aftermath of the terror attacks.
· How I Work: Bill Gates. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is getting ready for Think Week. In May, he'll go off for a week retreat by himself and read 100 or more papers from Microsoft employees that examine issues related to the company and the future of technology. He's been doing this for over 12 years. As for keeping up with the news, "paper is no longer a big part of my day. I get 90% of my news online," Gates said.
· IRS seeks PayPal account information. The Internal Revenue service won approval Tuesday from federal court in San Jose to ask PayPal Inc. for account information on its customers. San Jose-based PayPal, which is owned by eBay Inc. is still evaluating its options, according to reports. The company enables online money transfers and the IRS is looking for information on people who may be evading taxes by hiding income in other countries.
· Netflix wants to shut Blockbuster online rentals. Online DVD rental company Netflix Inc. sued rival Blockbuster Inc. for patent infringement Tuesday, asking a federal judge in Northern California to shut down Blockbuster's 18-month-old online rental service and award Netflix damages, according to a copy of the filing.
· GM sells control of GMAC. Troubled automaker gets $14 billion cash infusion from sale of profitable finance arm to group led by Cerberus Capital, Citigroup. Embattled CEO Wagoner gets vote of confidence from GM board.
· Jury: Moussaoui is eligible for death. Al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui is eligible for the death penalty, a federal jury decided Monday in the first U.S. trial about the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
· U.S. Hostage Jill Carroll Released In Iraq. Kidnapped U.S. reporter Jill Carroll has been released after nearly three months in captivity, Iraq police and the leader of the Islamic Party said Thursday. Her editor said she was in good condition.
· Fed hikes interest quarter point, as expected. At Ben Bernanke's first meeting as chairman, the Federal Reserve's policy committee raised its target for a key short-term interest rate another quarter percentage point to 4.75% Tuesday, to try to keep the economy cool and contain inflation.
· It's Apple Vs. Apple in British Court. Two legendary companies in the music industry are to meet Wednesday in a London courtroom to fight it out over what might be the world's most recognizable logo: A simple piece of fruit. Apple Corps Ltd., the Beatles' record company and guardian of the band's musical heritage and business interests, is suing Apple Computer, claiming the company violated a 1991 agreement by entering the music business with its iTunes online music store.
· GM offers workers up to $140K to leave. General Motors is offering hourly workers as much as $140,000 each to leave the troubled automaker as it extends its push to cut labor costs and put an end to billions of dollars in losses.
· Microsoft to delay launch of Windows Vista. Microsoft Corp. said on Tuesday it plans to delay the consumer launch of its much-anticipated Windows Vista operating system to January 2007 from its earlier target of the second half of 2006, sending its shares down nearly 3 percent.
· Razr Makes Limited Reappearance in Stores. Motorola's Inc. popular Razr phone was back in Cingular and T-Mobile stores this week, making a limited reappearance after the two wireless companies temporarily stopped selling the phones because of a manufacturing defect. Cingular Wireless and T-Mobile USA pulled the Razr from store shelves last week after Motorola informed them of the glitch, which cut off calls.
· Wallace to retire as regular ‘60 Minutes’ anchor. Mike Wallace, the hard-driving reporter who has been with “60 Minutes” since its start in 1968, said Tuesday he will retire as a regular correspondent on the show this spring.
· Airline screeners fail government bomb tests. Imagine an explosion strong enough to blow a car's trunk apart, caused by a bomb inside a passenger plane. Government sources tell NBC News that federal investigators recently were able to carry materials needed to make a similar homemade bomb through security screening at 21 airports.
· Mars Probe Embarks on Special Mars Mission. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter passed the biggest test of its life by safely entering orbit around the Red Planet, joining a constellation of circling spacecraft.
· Lawmakers: Wal-Mart threatens US payment system. A group of lawmakers said an industrial bank owned by Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, could threaten the stability of the U.S. financial system and drive community banks out of business.
· Ted Turner to leave Time Warner board. Time Warner Inc. on Friday said Ted Turner will leave the board after its annual meeting, exiting a media empire he helped create, sometimes criticized and, more recently, played a diminished role in directing.
· H&R Block goofs on its own taxes. H&R Block, which provides tax advice to millions of Americans, made an embarrassing confession on Thursday. It goofed on its own taxes. The company said it had underestimated its own “state effective income tax rate” in previous quarters - meaning it owes another $32 million in back taxes.
· Most dangerous destinations 2006. From the black plague to avian flu, Attila the Hun to Osama bin-Laden, Mount Vesuvius to the Indian Ocean tsunami - and let's not even mention biological or nuclear warfare - people and cultures are eternally prone to natural disaster, social upheaval and just plain killing each other. Some places have it worse than others.
· FCC to deliver bad news to networks. CBS, Fox and NBC are about to get some bad news from the Federal Communications Commission, Daily Variety reported Thursday. Fox will reportedly be fined for two obscenities uttered by Nicole Richie during the 2003 Billboard Awards broadcast, and will also lose its appeal of a $1.2 million fine for an episode of "Married by America." CBS will also lose its appeal of the $550,000 fine levied for Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show.
· Midwest Oil fined for selling gas too cheaply. The Minnesota Commerce Department on Thursday announced plans to fine a gas station chain $140,000 for repeatedly selling gas below the state's legal minimum price.
· Pentagon Told to Release Gitmo Transcripts. A federal judge ordered the Pentagon on Thursday to release the identities of hundreds of detainees at Guantanamo Bay to The Associated Press, a move which would force the government to break its secrecy and reveal the most comprehensive list yet of those who have been imprisoned there.
· Pittsburgh Steelers Win Super Bowl XL. Antwaan Randle El threw 43 yards for a touchdown on a trick play and Willie Parker set a record with a 75-yard scoring run to highlight Pittsburgh's fifth championship, a 21-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL at Ford Field.
· NTSB Releases Details About Ebersol Crash. It was just before takeoff when NBC Sports executive Dick Ebersol saw slush sliding off the charter jet. The wings looked clear to the pilots, so they tried to leave without deicing. Moments later, one of Ebersol's sons was dead. So, too, were the pilot and flight attendant. Details about the last minutes of the flight emerged Thursday when the National Transportation Safety Board released interviews with the Ebersols, along with the cockpit voice recorder and other information.
· No TV for Grandpa. The young'uns have "American Idol" and "24," but what's on the tube for Grandma and Grandpa? With the Baby Boom generation now between the ages of 45 and 60 — and watching TV in large numbers — experts feel networks and advertisers will soon begin paying more attention to the older folks.
· AP Is Older Than Was Thought, Papers Show. A collection of 19th-century documents newly acquired by The Associated Press shows that the world's largest newsgathering organization traces its origins to 1846, two years earlier than traditionally accepted by journalism historians and the AP itself.
· Seven dead in California postal shooting. A female former employee opened fire at a 24-hour postal service sorting facility in Goleta, California, killing six people and critically wounding another, before turning the gun on herself, authorities said early Tuesday.
· Kerkorian boosts stake in GM. Investor Kirk Kerkorian spent more than $250 million this week to boost his holding in General Motors Corp. to nearly 10 percent, buying the shares only about a month after he'd sold a similar stake. On Thursday, investors are likely to weigh in on the wisdom of his bet.
· Bin Laden open to a conditional truce with Americans. Osama bin Laden warned that al Qaeda was preparing new attacks inside the United States, but said the group was open to a conditional truce with Americans, according to an audio tape attributed to him on Thursday.
· New personal computer design wins Microsoft competition. Two Purdue University industrial designers won a grand prize at an international competition co-sponsored by Microsoft Corp. for a new personal computer design that may change the way people watch movies, listen to music, play games and read magazines.
· America Approaches 300 Million Population. Somewhere in America, every eight seconds on average, a new baby is born. Somewhere else, someone dies every 12 seconds. And every 31 seconds … the nation adds another immigrant. Add those numbers up, and the U.S. Bureau of the Census says that sometime this fall, probably in October, the population of the United States will reach 300 million people.
· Dow Pushes Past 11,000. The Dow Jones Industrial average moved past 11,000 in intraday trading on Monday for the first time since before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Wall Street's best known stock indicator rose to 11,003.50 shortly after 1 p.m. EST, the first time since June 13, 2001, that the index of 30 blue chip stocks traded above that milestone.
· Grief, anger as all but one miner found dead. Grief and anger replaced jubilation early Wednesday as mine officials announced that, despite earlier reports, only one of 13 trapped miners had survived a West Virginia mining accident. Late Tuesday, word spread among family members that 12 miners had been found alive at the Sago Mine. Celebrations erupted as church bells rang out. Hours later, however, some miners' loved ones - some angry, others silently dejected - began leaving the community church that had been their sanctuary since the ordeal began Monday morning.
· N.J. Grandma Will Be First Baby Boomer To Turn 60. A New Jersey mother and grandmother is turning 60 on New Year's Day, and she has the distinction being the very first baby boomer, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported at the time. There are about 79 million boomers, according to USA Today.
· What's Hot In 2006? Trend Watchers Share Predictions. In fashion, designers say look for a return to preppy, collegiate styles, with upturned collars, argyle sweaters and tiny embroidered logos from the 1980s. Waistlines will head north to a more natural place. On the electronics scene, the iPod will remain the must-have device. One electronics writer said there will be massive growth in downloadable video and TV offerings. And satellite radio competitors XM and Sirius are expected to offer even more programming choices.
· 49 Accused of Defrauding Hurricane Fund. The number of people indicted in a scheme that bilked thousands of dollars from a Red Cross fund designated for Hurricane Katrina victims has risen to 49, federal authorities said. At least 14 suspects worked at a Red Cross call center in Bakersfield and are accused of helping family and friends file false claims for aid money, said Mary Wenger, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott in Sacramento.
· Computer Visionary Diebold Dies at 79. John Diebold, a business visionary who preached computerization during the era of Elvis and Eisenhower as the future of worldwide industry, has died at the age of 79. "I was too early," he once said. "It was before the first computer was installed for business use." Diebold laid out his vision of a computerized future with his 1952 book, "Automation," which presented the then-radical notion of using programmable devices in daily business.
· Nat'l Huricane Center: 'On second thought.' It's been called the storm of the century and a monster, and Hurricane Katrina will almost certainly hold the record for the biggest and costliest natural disaster in the country's history, but what is known now is that Hurricane Katrina was not the lion people thought it was. After examining devices that were dropped into Katrina from hurricane-hunter aircraft and after reviewing readings from weather stations and weather buoys, the National Hurricane Center has concluded that Katrina was only a Category 1 when it hit New Orleans.
· NYC Transit Strike Boosts Online Shopping. There's one silver lining to the New York City transit strike that has shut down buses and subways, while crippling many businesses. Online retailing - which has enjoyed robust sales this holiday season - is getting a further boost in the season's final days, as New York area shoppers turn to the Internet for last-minute buying.
· Plane crash off Miami Beach kills 19. All 19 people aboard a seaplane that crashed on takeoff from Miami for the Bahamas have been recovered, a spokesman for the mayor of Miami told reporters. "There are no survivors at this point," the spokesman said. He said the manifest showed 17 passengers and two crew members, though the airline had earlier reported 20 were aboard the plane.
· Lay Seeks Help From Former Enron Workers. Enron Corp. founder Kenneth Lay launched an impassioned plea Tuesday for former employees of the bankrupt energy company to defy a "wave of terror" by federal prosecutors and help him battle criminal charges. "It will only take a few brave individuals who are willing to stand up and say it's time for the truth to come out," Lay told the Houston Forum a month before he faces trial on fraud and conspiracy counts.
· Millions of Iraqis Vote in Relative Peace. Millions of Iraqis, from tribal sheiks to entire families with children in tow, turned out Thursday to choose a parliament in a mostly peaceful election - among the freest ever in the Arab world. Up to 11 million of the nation's 15 million registered voters took part, election officials estimated, which would put overall turnout at more than 70 percent.
· NTSB: Crew says jet's reverse thrusters didn't kick in promptly. The reverse thrusters that should have slowed a Southwest Airlines jetliner before it slid off a runway and into a busy street didn't immediately kick in when the pilots tried to deploy them, federal investigators said Saturday after interviewing the crew. The flight attendants said they could tell the Boeing 737 wasn't slowing after it touched down in the snow Thursday evening, and the pilots said they applied the brakes manually as soon as they realized something was wrong.
· Boy killed after plane skids off runway. A Southwest Airlines jet carrying 103 people has slid off the runway during a heavy snowstorm at Chicago's Midway Airport and crashed into two vehicles in a nearby intersection, killing a young boy. Eleven other people, including three jet passengers with minor injuries, were taken to hospitals after Thursday's incident.
· Passenger killed after claiming to have bomb. Federal air marshals shot and killed a 44-year-old U.S. citizen on a boarding bridge at Miami International Airport after he said he had a bomb, two sources familiar with the incident told CNN. Flight 924 was in Miami on a stopover during a flight from Medellin, Colombia, to Orlando, Florida, when the man said there was a bomb in his carry-on luggage, a Department of Homeland Security official said.
· Sony BMG Urges Security Fix for CDs. Sony BMG Music Entertainment said Tuesday some 5.7 million of its CDs were shipped with anti-piracy technology that requires a new software patch to plug a potential security breach in computers used to play the CDs.
· Two Named to Head 'World News Tonight.' ABC News named Elizabeth Vargas and Bob Woodruff co-anchors of "World News Tonight" on Monday, replacing the late Peter Jennings. The network said "World News Tonight" also would become the first network evening newscast to be broadcast live each night in three time zones, including for the West Coast. Vargas and Woodruff have been two of the chief substitute anchors on "World News Tonight" since Jennings announced in April that he had lung cancer.
· Setback for BlackBerry maker. BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. was dealt another legal setback in a key patent infringement case on Wednesday, raising pressure to settle or face a possible shutdown of its U.S. mobile e-mail service.
· Gold above $500 in Asia, platinum breaches $1,000. Gold rose above $500 an ounce in Asia on Tuesday for the first time since December 1987 as dealers said funds had diversified into precious metals on worries about inflation and geopolitics. Platinum breached the psychological level of $1,000 an ounce, hitting its highest price since 1980, as it tracked gold's gains.
· GM to Cut 30,000 Jobs, Close 9 Plants. General Motors Corp. will eliminate 30,000 manufacturing jobs and close nine North American assembly, stamping and powertrain plants by 2008 as part of an effort to get production in line with demand and return the company to profitability and long-term growth. The announcement Monday by Rick Wagoner, chairman and CEO of the world's largest automaker, represents 5,000 more job cuts than the 25,000 that the automaker had previously indicated it planned to cut.
· Deal averts Internet showdown. A summit focusing on narrowing the digital divide between the rich and poor countries opened with an agreement of sorts on who will maintain ultimate oversight of the Internet and the flow of information and commerce. U.S. officials said that instead of transferring management of the system to an international body such as the United Nations, an international forum would be created to address concerns. The forum, however, would have no binding authority.
· Texas Court Clears Way for New Yates Trial. Harris County Assistant District Attorney Alan Curry said the Andrea Yates case would be retried or a plea bargain considered. Jurors had rejected Yates insanity defense in 2002 and found her guilty of two capital murder charges for the deaths of three of her five children.
· No apology as man gets life for killing hunters. A Hmong immigrant convicted of murdering six deer hunters and attempting to kill others after a trespassing dispute was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday with no chance for parole. Judge Norman Yackel ordered Chai Soua Vang, 37, to serve six life prison terms, one after the other, guaranteeing he would never be freed from prison.
· Alabama governor calls for Aruba boycott. Gov. Bob Riley called for a nationwide travel boycott of Aruba on Tuesday until authorities on the Dutch Caribbean island cooperate more fully with the family of a teenager who has been missing since May. Riley asked the governors of the other 49 states to join him in urging a boycott of Aruba on behalf of the family of Natalee Holloway, the 18-year-old graduate last seen on the island on May 30.
· 'Intelligent Design' Wins In Kansas. Revisiting a topic that exposed Kansas to nationwide ridicule six years ago, the state Board of Education approved science standards for public schools Tuesday that cast doubt on the theory of evolution. The board's 6-4 vote, expected for months, was a victory for intelligent design advocates who helped draft the standards. Intelligent design holds that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by a higher power.
· Aaron Brown departing CNN in shake-up that gives time slot to Anderson Cooper. Aaron Brown, once one of CNN's most prominent anchors, is leaving the network after a shakeup that gives his prime-time slot to rising star Anderson Cooper and expands it to two hours.
· Saddam trial defense lawyer killed. Gunmen shot two lawyers defending Saddam Hussein's co-defendants in a trial for crimes against humanity on Tuesday, killing one and slightly wounding the other, police and defense team sources said.
· Price of stamps going up. The cost of mailing a letter in the United States will rise two cents to 39 cents under a rate hike approved by the U.S. Postal Rate Commission on Tuesday. The increase, the first in three years, was not expected to take effect before early next year, the commission said in a statement.
· Fed raises rates, signals more to come. The Federal Reserve raised U.S. interest rates on Tuesday for the 12th straight time, taking them to the highest level in more than four years and indicating more hikes will be needed to keep inflation at bay.
· Fertility clinic gets green light for sex selection trial. A clinical trial into the effects of allowing couples to choose the sex of their babies has been given the go-ahead at a fertility clinic in Texas. The controversial study was given the green light by an ethics committee after nine years of consultation. The purpose of the study is to find out how cultural notions, family values and gender issues feed into a couple's desire to choose the gender of their child.
· Oil-for-food panel to finger Iraqi bribes to firms. More than 2,500 companies from at least 60 countries that did business with Iraq in the U.N. oil-for-food program were the target of bribes and kickbacks to Saddam Hussein's government, a report on the program is expected to disclose on Thursday.
· Miers withdraws Supreme Court nomination. President Bush on Thursday accepted the withdrawal of Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers after weeks of opposition from both liberals and conservatives, who questioned her qualifications and record. In her withdrawal letter to the president, Miers said she was "concerned that the confirmation process presents a burden for the White House and its staff and it is not in the best interest of the country."
· U.S. military death toll in Iraq reaches 2,000. The war in Iraq saw two milestones Tuesday that reflect the country's path toward democracy and its human toll as officials said the referendum on a draft constitution passed and the number of U.S. military deaths reached 2,000. CNN's count of U.S. fatalities reflects reports from military sources and includes deaths in Iraq, Kuwait and other units assigned to the Iraq campaign.
· Civil Rights Pioneer Rosa Parks, 92, Dies. Nearly 50 years ago, Rosa Parks made a simple decision that sparked a revolution. When a white man demanded she give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus, the then 42-year-old seamstress said no.
· Bernanke Picked by Bush to Succeed Greenspan at Fed. Ben Bernanke, chairman of Council of Economic Advisers and a former Federal Reserve governor, was named today by President George W. Bush to succeed Alan Greenspan as Fed chairman. Bernanke ``commands deep respect in the global financial community,'' Bush said as Bernanke and Greenspan stood by his side in the Oval Office. ``Ben Bernanke is the right man to build on the record Alan Greenspan has established.''
· Louisiana study: Most victims over 60. A majority of people killed by Hurricane Katrina were older residents unable or unwilling to evacuate in the rising floodwaters, according to a study of almost half the bodies recovered in Louisiana. About 60 percent of the nearly 500 victims identified so far were age 61 or older, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals reported.
· Senate looks to spend $3 billion so people won't lose their TV. Lawmakers want to spend $3 billion to make sure millions of Americans won't wake up to blank TV screens when the country makes the switch to all-digital broadcasts.
· Oil Prices Fall More Than $1 a Barrel. Oil prices dropped more than $1 Wednesday after the U.S. government reported crude and gasoline inventories rose sharply last week a sign that oil supplies in the Gulf of Mexico are recovering from the recent hurricanes.
· 21 dead in New York tour boat accident. Twenty-one people died Sunday when a tour boat carrying about 50 passengers capsized on Lake George, in upstate New York, Warren County Sheriff Larry Cleveland said.
· Katrina Takes a Toll on Truth, News Accuracy. Maj. Ed Bush recalled how he stood in the bed of a pickup truck in the days after Hurricane Katrina, struggling to help the crowd outside the Louisiana Superdome separate fact from fiction. Armed only with a megaphone and scant information, he might have been shouting into, well, a hurricane. The National Guard spokesman's accounts about rescue efforts, water supplies and first aid all but disappeared amid the roar of a 24-hour rumor mill at New Orleans' main evacuation shelter. Then a frenzied media recycled and amplified many of the unverified reports.
· Judge OKs $6.1B in WorldCom Settlements. A U.S. judge on Wednesday gave final approval to a $3.6 billion legal settlement between more than a dozen investment banks and WorldCom Inc. investors stemming from the telecommunications company's collapse three years ago.
· Nazi-hunter Wiesenthal dies at 96. Holocaust survivor and Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal has died in the Austrian capital, Vienna, aged 96. His death was announced by officials at the US-based Simon Wiesenthal Center.
· 'Raymond' goes out on top. "Desperate Housewives" may have had all the attention, but "Everybody Loves Raymond" won the big award -- best comedy -- at the 57th Annual Emmy Awards. "Raymond" also picked up awards for supporting actor Brad Garrett and supporting actress Doris Roberts.
· Schwarzenegger to seek re-election. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will run for re-election next year, a top aide said Friday. Schwarzenegger “felt it was very important to let the people of California know this governor plans to be around for the long haul,” campaign spokesman Todd Harris said. “It’s not a 24-month job, it’s a five-year job and he intends to see it through to the end.”
· Bush pledges nation's help for Gulf Coast. In a nationally televised address from Jackson Square in the historic French Quarter of New Orleans, Bush outlined his plans to assist recovery efforts and to prevent bureaucratic errors of the sort that slowed the response to Hurricane Katrina.
· Florida emergency planners criticize states on response. Florida emergency planners criticized and even rebuked their counterparts - or what passes for emergency planners - in those states for their handling of Hurricane Katrina. Gov. Jeb Bush, the head of Florida AHCA and the head of Florida wildlife (which is responsible for all search and rescue) all said they made offers of aid to Mississippi and Louisiana the day before Katrina hit but were rebuffed. After the storm, they said they've had to not only help provide people to those states but also have had to develop search and rescue plans for them. "They were completely unprepared - as bad off as we were before Andrew," one Florida official said.
· Flight 93 memorial decried as Islam symbol. There's a growing outcry that one element of the newly chosen Flight 93 National Memorial represents Islam and is a slap in the face to the passengers and crew members who died on the hijacked plane four years ago. To many, the shape represents Islam, and the symbol is used on the flags of several Muslim countries, including Turkey, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.
· Moments Of Silence To Mark 9/11 Anniversary. As dawn breaks on the East Coast Sunday, Americans are pausing to mark the fourth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania.
· New Orleans rocked by huge blasts. The New Orleans riverfront has been hit by a series of massive blasts, and fires are raging in the area. Details are sketchy, but the blast is believed to have involved a chemical factory. A large cloud of acrid, black smoke is drifting over New Orleans.
· Mayor: Katrina "Most likely killed thousands." Hurricane Katrina probably killed thousands of people in New Orleans, the mayor said Wednesday - an estimate that, if accurate, would make the storm the nation's deadliest natural disaster since at least the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. "We know there is a significant number of dead bodies in the water," and other people dead in attics, Mayor Ray Nagin said. Asked how many, he said: "Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands."
· 648 dead in Baghdad stampede. At least 648 people were killed and 322 others injured in a stampede on a Baghdad bridge after a massive Shiite religious commemoration erupted into panic Wednesday. Most of those killed were women and children, police sources said.
· Looters take advantage of New Orleans mess. With much of the city flooded by Hurricane Katrina, looters floated garbage cans filled with clothing and jewelry down the street in a dash to grab what they could. In some cases, looting on Tuesday took place in full view of police and National Guard troops. “It’s downtown Baghdad,” one woman said. “It’s insane. I thought this was a sophisticated city. I guess not.”
· Katrina's Worst May Not Hit New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina turned slightly to the east before slamming ashore early Monday with 145-mph winds, providing some hope that the worst of the storm's wrath might not be directed at this vulnerable, below-sea-level city. Katrina, which weakened slightly overnight to a Category 4 storm, turned slightly eastward before hitting land, which would put the western eyewall - the weaker side of the strongest winds - over New Orleans.
· KPMG Will Pay $456 Million to Defer Tax-Fraud Charges. KPMG LLP, the fourth-largest accounting firm, agreed to pay $456 million to avoid criminal prosecution by the U.S. government over abusive tax shelters, and eight of its former partners were indicted in the matter.
· At Least Four Dead as Katrina Plows Through Florida. Hurricane Katrina flooded streets, darkened homes and felled trees with wind gusts reaching 92 mph as it plowed through South Florida and emerged over the Gulf of Mexico early Friday. Four people were killed, a family of five was missing at sea and more than a million customers were left without power.
· Walter Reed Medical Center to Be Closed. Siding with the Pentagon, the base-closing commission voted Thursday to shut down the Army's historic Walter Reed hospital and move about 20,000 defense workers miles away from their offices just outside the nation's capital.
· Breakthrough Reported in Stem Cell Research. Harvard (search) scientists say they have fused an adult skin cell with an embryonic stem cell in a potentially dramatic development that could lead to the creation of useful stem cells without first having to create and destroy human embryos. They said they were able to show in their early research that the fused cell "was reprogrammed to its embryonic state."
· Vioxx Verdict: Merck Ordered to Pay More Than a Quarter Billion in Damages. A Texas jury found pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. liable for the death of a man who took the once-popular painkiller Vioxx in the first of thousands of lawsuits pending across the country. The decision came during the second day of deliberations.
· Next shuttle launch delayed until March. NASA is delaying the next shuttle launch until March, six months later than originally expected. The reason, NASA chief Michael Griffin said at a press conference today in Washington, is that the space agency needs more time to figure out how to prevent a repeat of the problems that plagued the recent Discovery flight. Those problems included a potentially hazardous loss of foam that fell off the shuttle's external tank during takeoff.
· Update: BTK Serial Killer Gets Life in Prison. As expected, BTK serial killer Dennis Rader was ordered to serve 10 consecutive life terms Thursday during a tear-filled hearing in which his victims called him a monster who should be "thrown in a deep, dark hole and left to rot." The sentence - a minimum of 175 years without a chance of parole - was the longest possible that Judge Gregory Waller could deliver. Kansas had no death penalty at the time the killings were committed.
· TV Show Host Scarborough Weighs Senate Bid. Congressman turned political talk show host Joe Scarborough has a choice to make: renew his contract with NBC or challenge Katherine Harris for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.
· Pilots Have Seconds to Act in Loss of Pressure. An American Trans Air jet was cruising over the Midwest at 33,000 feet on May 12, 1996, when a blaring horn sounded in the cockpit. The Boeing 727 was rapidly losing cabin air pressure. Within seconds, the captain and the flight engineer lost consciousness, victims of a lack of oxygen. Only the co-pilot, who had donned an oxygen mask at the first sign of trouble, remained conscious and able to fly the plane, according to an official account of the incident by the National Transportation Safety Board.
· Crash police raid airline offices. Police in Cyprus have raided the offices of Helios Airways, officials said, a day after one of the company's jets crashed in Greece, killing all 121 people on board. Six people who died in the crash were alive when the plane crashed, chief Athens coroner Fillipos Koutsaftis said Monday. It remained unclear whether they were conscious, he said.
· Iraq constitution drafters gain extension. Iraq’s parliament agreed to a seven-day extension for leaders to complete a draft constitution after politicians failed to reach a midnight Monday deadline to agree on the charter.
· Gas prices around the world. Gasoline prices in the United States, which have recently hit record highs, are actually much lower than in many countries. Drivers in some European cities, like Amsterdam and Oslo, are paying nearly 3 times more than those in the U.S.
· Network TV News Loses Its Father Figures. They were the men you could depend upon, the faces you'd see every night at dinnertime. In times of trouble, they were always there. Their words rang with authority. For a generation of television viewers, it was a role assumed by Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather. Not just anchormen, they were father figures, and their sudden absence as a regular presence after more than 20 years leaves an empty feeling.
· Cindy Sheehan: "I won't pay my taxes." As she continues her anti-war protest, Cindy Sheehan is labeling President Bush a "maniac" and a "lying bastard," and she's vowing not to pay her federal income tax. "My son was killed in 2004. I am not paying my taxes for 2004," Sheehan told an audience of Veterans for Peace. "You killed my son, George Bush, and I don't owe you a penny. ... You give my son back and I'll pay my taxes. Come after me [for back taxes] and we'll put this war on trial."
· Peter Jennings, face of ABC News dead at 67. ABC News Anchor Peter Jennings died today at his home in New York City. On April 5, Jennings announced he had been diagnosed with lung cancer. In announcing Jennings' death to his ABC colleagues, News President David Westin wrote: "For four decades, Peter has been our colleague, our friend, and our leader in so many ways. None of us will be the same without him."
· Low-carb king Atkins files Chapter 11. Atkins Nutritionals Inc., the company that promoted low-carb eating into a national diet craze, filed for bankruptcy court protection Sunday, a company spokesman said. Atkins has been hurt by waning popularity of its namesake diet, which focuses on eliminating carbohydrates such as bread and pasta to shed weight.
· Astronomers Find Another Planet in Solar System. Astronomers announced today that they had found a lump of rock and ice that is larger than Pluto and the farthest known object in the solar system. The discovery will likely rekindle debate over the definition of "planet" and whether Pluto should still be regarded as one. The astronomers say the unnamed planet's brightness and distance tell them that it is at least as large as Pluto.
· Cities where car ownership will cost extra. It costs more to own a car in Detroit, an amazing $11,844 a year for a mid-sized sedan, than in any other city in the country, according to a new report comparing the cost of car ownership in various a U.S. cities.
· DaimlerChrysler CEO Schrempp to step down. DaimlerChrysler CEO Juergen Schrempp, the architect of the 1998 merger that married Daimler-Benz to Chrysler, will leave the company by the end of the year and turn over the reins to Dieter Zetsche, now head of the U.S.-based Chrysler Group.
· Heat makes hundreds of Jamboree Scouts ill. More than 300 Boy Scouts were sickened by the heat Wednesday while waiting for President Bush to arrive at a memorial service for four Scout leaders who were killed while pitching a tent beneath a power line. The president's visit to the Scout Jamboree was postponed because of the threat of severe thunderstorms and strong winds.
· NASA Grounds Future Shuttle Flights Over Foam Debris. NASA officials said Wednesday it would ground future space shuttle flights because foam debris that brought down Columbia is still a risk. A sizable chunk of foam insulation that came flying off Shuttle Discovery's fuel tank during Tuesday's liftoff did not hit the orbiter and is not expected to pose a risk to the seven astronauts. But it is a problem NASA thought had been fixed, and represents a tremendous setback to a space program.
· Iraq Wants Quick Pullout of U.S. Troops. Iraq - Iraq's prime minister said Wednesday he wants U.S. troops "on their way out" as soon as his government can protect its new democracy. The top American general in the country said he hopes to begin significant withdrawal by next spring. At the same time, in an unannounced visit, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Iraqi security forces should take on more tasks now performed by U.S. troops.
· Sales of New Homes Hit Record Level in June. Sales of new homes soared to an all-time high in June as the red hot housing market kept sizzling. The Commerce Department reported that single-family home sales jumped to a record annual pace of 1.37 million units in June, up 4 percent from May.
· GM running out of cars to sell. General Motors will end its successful “employee discounts for everyone” promotion on Aug 1. The automaker will then begin a new pricing strategy for 2006 models, focusing on permanently lower sticker prices instead of big rebates. A GM spokesman said the employee-discount plan, which began on June 1, has been so successful that the company doesn’t have enough vehicles in stock to continue the program.
· Egyptian resort town blasts kills at least 74. Three deadly explosions that rocked the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh on Saturday may be linked to a series of bomb blasts last October in the Red Sea resort of Taba, Egypt's interior minister said. At least 74 people were killed and 111 wounded when at least three explosions early Saturday rocked Sharm el-Sheikh. It was the country's deadliest bombing in recent years.
· Latest London bombers failed. Two weeks to the day after the July 7 London bombings, attackers tried - and failed - to set off explosive devices at three Tube stations and on a double-decker bus. Police said evidence left behind in Thursday's attempted bombings has given them what may be a "significant breakthrough" in their investigation.
· Appellate court judge Roberts is Bush pick. President Bush chose federal appeals court judge John G. Roberts Jr. on Tuesday as his first nominee for the Supreme Court, selecting a rock-solid conservative whose nomination could trigger a tumultuous battle over the direction of the nation’s highest court, senior administration officials said.
· Hillary blasts Bush for not subsidizing college tuition for illegal aliens. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton told leaders of the nation's Latino community Monday that the Bush administration is not doing enough to help illegal immigrants go to college. Currently about 65,000 illegals that graduate from high school are ineligible for any sort of tuition assistance, the Senator said.
· Back on Ice: NHL and the Union Reach a Deal in Principle to End Lockout. The NHL and the players' association reached an agreement in principle Wednesday on a six-year labor deal, ending a lockout that wiped out last season. The sides met for 24 hours starting Tuesday afternoon to hammer out the collective bargaining agreement that will return the NHL to the ice on time in the fall. In February, commissioner Gary Bettman canceled the season, making the NHL the first North American sports league to lose a year because of a labor dispute. "It's a new day," Philadelphia Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock told The Associated Press. "It's pretty exciting."
· American Confirmed Dead In London Terror Bombings. The family of an American presumed missing in the London bombings has received official confirmation of his death. A childhood friend, speaking on behalf of the family, said the remains of 37-year-old Michael Matsushita were positively identified as being among the victims.
· Ex-WorldCom CEO Ebbers sentenced to 25 yrs. Bernard Ebbers, the folksy entrepreneur who built WorldCom Inc. into a telecommunications giant, was sentenced on Wednesday to 25 years in prison for his role in the business fraud that led to the largest U.S. corporate bankruptcy. The sentence means Ebbers, 63, could spend the rest of his life in prison.
· London Back in Business After Bombings. Commuters returned to work in London on Monday, the start of the first full week since bombers killed at least 49 people on a bus and subway trains. Many travelers said they would defy the attackers by using public transportation as normal, but some were too afraid and took taxis instead.
· New WTC tower design made public. A revised design for the signature new tower at the World Trade Center site was made public Wednesday. The building, dubbed the "Freedom Tower" by New York Gov. George Pataki, will remain 1,776 feet high, making it the world's tallest building.
· Hollywood Can Sue Over Movie, Music Piracy. Hollywood and the music industry can file piracy lawsuits against technology companies caught encouraging customers to steal music and movies over the Internet, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. The justices, aiming to curtail what they called a "staggering" volume of piracy online, largely set aside concerns that new lawsuits would inhibit technology companies from developing the next iPod or other high-tech gadgets or services.
· Feeding frenzy as second shark attacks off Florida's Panhandle. A shark attacked and critically injured a teenage boy off Florida's Panhandle on Monday, two days after a 14-year-old Louisiana girl died after a shark bit her leg. The boy was bitten off Cape San Blas and was taken to Bay Medical Center in Panama City on Monday morning, hospital spokeswoman Christa Hild said. The boy was listed in critical condition with severe injuries.
· Toyota fears backlash in U.S. as sales skyrocket. Toyota and other Asian auto makers are luring customers away from General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co., helping drive the top Japanese car brand towards its goal of selling a record 8.03 million vehicles worldwide. The Detroit giants' troubles - stemming in part from massive employee health-care costs - have aroused worries in some quarters about possible political fallout, to the point that Toyota Chairman Hiroshi Okuda suggested recently that price hikes might be needed to give GM and Ford room to "catch their breath."
· 14-year-old girl killed in Florida shark attack. A 14-year-old girl died Saturday after a shark attacked her while she and a companion were swimming in the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida Panhandle, authorities said.
· Update: Can Wal-Mart take your house? The Supreme Court may have just delivered an early Christmas gift to the nation's biggest retailers by its ruling Thursday allowing governments to take private land for business development. The ruling would seem to offer new opportunities to retailers. However, some industry watchers caution that with Thursday's decision thrusting the eminent domain issue into the national spotlight, companies using eminent domain risk a very public backlash.
· IBM hires 'better skilled' workers in India. As the company proceeds with layoffs of 13,000 workers in the U.S. and Europe, IBM announced today that it plans to hire 14,000 new jobs in India this year alone.
· Car Plant Forces GM, Ford Owners to Walk. Workers at DaimlerChrysler's Indiana transmission plants better allow more time to walk in from the parking lot if they drive Fords or General Motors vehicles. A new policy that takes effect Monday designates about 80 percent of employee parking spaces for Chrysler vehicles only and forces workers to park much further away if they drive a car or truck made by a competing manufacturer.
· From 'token bimbo' to disgraced CEO: Fiorina tells students she has no regrets. Carly Fiorina, fired as Hewlett-Packard Co.'s chief executive officer in February, said she has "no regrets" about her five years at the helm of the world's largest printer maker. Fiorina, who was paid a total $188.6-million during her five-year reign, told students she endured discrimination. She said colleagues at AT&T Corp. dubbed her a "token bimbo."
· Oceans Heating, not Carbon Dioxide, is the Cause of Global Warming. About a million journalists, bureaucrats and evnironmentalists are promoting global warming issues assuming 0.04% of the atmosphere (CO2) is causing global warming while not knowing everything else in the atmosphere is a greenhouse gass also. It’s like saying ants on the road determine gas mileage.
· Wildcatter Strikes 1 Billion Barrel Oil Field in Central Utah. A tiny oil company has snapped up leasing rights to a half-million acres in central Utah that it says could yield a billion barrels or more of oil. Geologists are calling it a spectacular find - the largest onshore discovery in at least 30 years.
· Veteran investor Kerkorian aims for GM. Investor Kirk Kerkorian is bidding for another 5 percent of General Motors Corp., a move that could force big changes at the world's largest automaker, which has fallen on hard times.
· Dropping the MS from MSNBC? ALL-news cable channel MSNBC is changing its name, according to reports. The new channel will be called NBC News Channel — apparently losing its connection to software giant Microsoft. The change has long been rumored to be in the works.
· Army Knew Early On Tillman Died From Friendly Fire. Army officials knew within days of Pat Tillman's death that the former NFL player had been killed by fellow Rangers during a patrol in Afghanistan but did not inform his family and the public for weeks, The Washington Post reported.
· Brothers sending 2 tons of salami to troops in Iraq. It'll take an estimated 23,000 salamis to reach that goal. But the first 2,000 or so of the dried meat - about 2 tons in all - was boxed and loaded onto a U.S. Postal Service truck Tuesday in the first phase of what the brothers dubbed "Operation Salami Drop."
· Runaway Bride's 9-1-1 call. On the 911 tape, Jennifer Wilbanks told the dispatcher she was at a 7-Eleven but doesn't know where. "I've got my family and police on the phone," she said. "I was kidnapped from Atlanta, Georgia. My parents said it's been on the news. I don't know."
· Internet Growing As Main Source Of News Among Online Adults. The number of online adults who prefer the Internet as their main source of news has grown by over 35 percent in the last four years, at the expense of television and newspapers, a market research firm said Tuesday. Currently, more than 26 percent of online adults prefer the Internet for national and international news, compared with 19 percent in 2001, JupiterResearch, a division of Jupitermedia Corp., said.
· Wynn's $2.7B Vegas Hotel-Casino Opens. For five years, casino developer Steve Wynn has labored over his latest creation, the $2.7 billion Wynn Las Vegas, forbidding photographs of the interior and keeping most of its design aspects secret.
· Survey: U.S. Trusts the News but Sees Bias. A national survey conducted by the Missouri School of Journalism's found 85 percent said they detect a bias in news reporting. Of those, 48 percent identified it as liberal, 30 percent as conservative, 12 percent as both, and 3 percent as other bias.
· Nike to capitalize on Woods' historic shot. Two weeks after Tiger Woods' historic shot on the 16th hole in the final round of The Masters, Nike is finally ready to capitalize. One reason the Nike ad couldn't be turned around even quicker was because the company had to negotiate for the rights to the footage with Augusta National, with CBS for the rights to the audio and with announcer Verne Lundquist for the rights to use his voice.
· Why New Coke and other ‘good’ ideas fizzle. It was early 1985, and the news was slowly leaking out: The Coca-Cola Co. was working on a new kind of Coke, a variation of a product that reached back through American history and a rejoinder to the emerging challenge from an upstart called Pepsi.
· Donaldson: Network News Dead. Former ABC News reporter/anchor Sam Donaldson is ready to say the last rites for network news because it will soon lose its dominant position as Americans' primary source of news. "I think it's dead. Sorry," he said during a breakfast panel Tuesday at the National Association of Broadcasters' convention in Las Vegas. "The monster anchors are through."
· Obesity danger overstated. Being overweight is nowhere near as big a killer as the government thought, ranking No. 7 instead of No. 2 among the nation's leading preventable causes of death, according to a startling new calculation from the CDC.
· GM Has $1.1 Bln Loss, Withdraws Forecast. General Motors Corp. on Tuesday posted a first-quarter net loss of $1.10 billion, its worst result since the industrial icon skirted bankruptcy in 1992, due to weaker U.S. sales and growing costs for employee health care and raw materials to build cars.
· TSA director asked to step down. The Transportation Security Administration, once the flagship agency in the nation's $20 billion effort to protect air travelers, is now slated for dismantling. The TSA has been plagued by missteps, public relations blunders and criticism of its performance from both the public and legislators.
· Tomorrow's Net speeds could be up to 1,600% faster. If you think that today's high-speed Internet connections are fast, wait till you see what cable operators plan. The industry's standard-settings unit, CableLabs, plans to endorse technology that will let operators boost speeds 400% to 1,600%, over their existing lines.
· The Print Stains on Her Fingertips are Starting to Fade. Renowned publicist Lois Whitman knows a big secret. A lot of people know about it, but few are willing to talk. It could throw the entire newspaper and magazine publishing business into turmoil. Here it is: An increasing number of publication houses are making more money from their online versions than from their print editions. The media won’t publicize this story because it could result in the beginning of the end for many print periodicals.
· HP earmarks $3 million bonus for 'interim' chief. Hewlett-Packard plans to give a $3 million bonus to CFO Robert Wayman, who served as interim chief executive after Carly Fiorina was ousted in February.
· Toys R Us Agrees to $6.6 Bln Buyout Deal. Toys R Us Inc. the No. 2 U.S. toy retailer, whose fortunes have sagged on stiff competition from discounters like Wal-Mart, on Thursday agreed to be acquired by two major private equity firms and a real estate group in a deal valued at $6.6 billion.
· Walter Cronkite's Wife, Betsy, Dies. The wife of former CBS News anchorman Walter Cronkite has died. Mary Elizabeth Cronkite, known as Betsy, was 89. Cronkite's assistant said she died of complications from cancer at the couple's Manhattan apartment Tuesday night.
· Senate Votes to Open Alaskan Oil Drilling. Amid the backdrop of soaring oil and gasoline prices, a sharply divided Senate on Wednesday voted to open the ecologically rich Alaska wildlife refuge to oil drilling, delivering a major energy policy win for President Bush.
· OPEC admits losing its grip on oil prices. Despite a pledge by OPEC ministers to increase oil production, don't expect much of a break on oil prices. With crude oil prices hitting a record $56 a barrel Wednesday, OPEC ministers meeting in Iran have been grappling with a problem they haven’t confronted in the cartel’s 45-year history.
· WorldCom CEO Ebbers guilty. Bernard Ebbers, the former CEO of WorldCom, was found guilty Tuesday for his role in the mammoth accounting scandal that resulted in the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history. A federal jury in New York, on its eighth day of deliberations, convicted Ebbers on all nine counts that he helped mastermind a $11 billion accounting fraud at WorldCom, now known as MCI.
· Italians kept U.S. forces in dark. Italian agents likely withheld information from U.S. counterparts about a cash-for-freedom deal with gunmen holding an Italian hostage for fear that Americans might block the trade, Italian news reports said yesterday. The decision by operatives of Italy's SISMI military intelligence service to keep the CIA in the dark about the deal for the release of reporter Giuliana Sgrena, might have "short-circuited" communications with U.S. forces controlling the road from Baghdad to the city's airport.
· Dow jumps to best level in nearly 4 years. Stocks surged Friday after a solid February job report pushed the Dow industrials above 10,900 for the first time in nearly four years. At the same time, Treasury bond prices rose as investors bet inflation would remain tame, but the dollar fell. Oil prices edged higher.
· EXCLUSIVE: BTK Puzzle - Did the BTK cops botch the case? One of the BTK killer's clues was sent to a Wichita television station almost a year ago. It was a cryptic word puzzle that provided a series of letters and numbers that was meant to apparently taunt police investigators. The puzzle remained private, until now.
· AnySoldier.com enables all to aid troops. When it comes to supplying an army in the field, there are thousands of materiel specialists, quartermasters and supply officers. And then there are the "special forces" - like the Horn family in LaPlata, Maryland.
· Economy stronger than expected. The U.S. economy grew at a 3.8 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter, the government reported Friday, much stronger than previously estimated due to a stronger trade and investment performance.
· Teacher in sex scandal pleads Not Guilty. Pamela Turner, the Tennessee teacher who was arrested and charged for having an ongoing relationship with a 13-year-old boy, has entered a Not Guilty plea in court this morning. Turner has been charged with 15 counts of sexual battery by an authority figure and 13 counts of statutory rape.
· Witness: Blake's hands too clean to have fired gun. A forensic scientist testifying at Robert Blake's murder trial said gunshot residue found on the actor's hands could have come from touching his wife's body or the car in which she was shot to death.
· How Not to make friends in Hollywood. Oops! Paris Hilton has been hacked, and her private phone numbers to the stars are flooding the Internet. The unhappy celebs include: Eminem, Lindsay Lohan, Christina Aguilera, Andy Roddick, Ashlee Simpson, Victoria Gotti, Vin Diesel, Anna Kournikova and many more!
· Radioactive, Chemical Sensors Part of Daytona Racing Security. Technology to detect radioactive, biological or chemical agents in the air has been acquired to help secure the Daytona International Speedway for the Daytona 500 and other races.
· Another teacher arrested on sex charges. Authorities have arrested a female teacher from a Warren County, Tennessee school, charging her with having an ongoing sexual relationship with a 13-year-old boy. Pamela Rogers Turner was charged this week with 15 counts of sexual battery by an authority figure and 13 counts of statutory rape.
· Time Warner Reports $1B-Plus Google Stake. Google Inc.'s IPO has been a boon for Time Warner. The New York media conglomerate, whose America Online unit acquired a stake in Google through a pre-IPO business partnership, sold a small chunk of that stake last year and still holds more than $1 billion worth of the Internet giant's stock.
· Scared of Santa photo gallery. Nothing says Happy Holidays like a photo of sweet little toddlers screaming at Santa. The first 25 photos in this gallery are from the Chicago Tribune's "Scared of Santa" contest.
· U.S. Wireless Use Behind Rest of World. An estimated 57 percent of the U.S. population chats on wireless phones - not much greater than the percentage of wireless phone users in much poorer Jamaica, where 54 percent of the people have mobile phones, according to the International Telecommunications Union. By comparison, in Hong Kong there are 105.75 mobile subscribers for every 100 inhabitants. In Taiwan, there are 110.
· OOPS! NASA says rocket left satellite in wrong orbit. NASA officials said Wednesday that a Delta 4 satellite is in the wrong orbit. The new Boeing Delta 4 Heavy rocket launched from Cape Canaveral Tuesday afternoon. However, hours after the launch, the rocket stranded a dummy satellite in the wrong orbit. It happened when the booster's first stage shut down 10 seconds early and did not reach the right altitude.
· An apartment building that revolves. Out of the drawing boards of a Curitiba based builder comes the unthinkable: Suite Vollard, the first revolving building in the world. The building is made with reinforced concrete and gigantic metal platforms.
· Fast lifts rise into record books. Two high-speed lifts at the world's tallest building have been officially recognized as the planet's fastest. The lifts take only 30 seconds to whisk passengers to the top of the 1667 foot tall TFC 101 Tower in Taipei, Taiwan. The 56 feet per second top speed of the lifts translates to about 37mph.
· Homeland security nominee withdraws. One week after President Bush's nominated him to be secretary of homeland security, former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik withdrew from consideration Friday night after discovering a former household employee had a questionable immigration status.
· NASA's longest-serving astronaut to retire. The longest serving astronaut in history, who flew twice to the moon and commanded the first space shuttle mission, has announced his retirement after 42 years at NASA. John W. Young, 74, was the first human to fly in space six times and the only astronaut to pilot four different spacecraft. He flew in the Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle programs.
· IBM reportedly puts PC business on the market. IBM, whose first PC in 1981 moved personal computing out of the hobby shop and into the corporate and consumer mainstream, has put the business up for sale, people close to the negotiations said Thursday.
· Brokaw Says Goodbye, Chokes Up on 'Today.' Tom Brokaw briefly struggled to maintain his composure on NBC's ``Today'' show Wednesday morning, as he was being toasted by his staff on his last day as ``NBC Nightly News'' anchor.
· Official: Ebersol's son likely among 3 dead in plane crash. NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol and his college-age son emerged from the wreckage of a chartered jet after the plane crashed, but authorities said Monday his 14-year-old son was presumed dead in the wreckage.
· Rather to Resign 'CBS Evening News' Post. Dan Rather, whose nearly 24-year tenure as anchor of the "CBS Evening News" was clouded by a recent questionable report on President Bush's National Guard service, said Tuesday he will step down in March.
· Peterson Verdict to Be Announced This Afternoon. The judge in the Scott Peterson double murder trial said a verdict would be announced this afternoon. Judge Alfred A. Delucchi topped off a rollercoast of a week for the case with the bombshell announcement at 2:30 EST. The verdict will be announced at 4 p.m. EST.
· NASA rethinking the shuttle. That NASA is entertaining dumping the shuttle as a crew rotation vehicle underscores the lasting problems of the accident-prone program. Designed primarily to deliver large payloads to space, the shuttle played a crucial role in the construction of the space station. But ferrying crews to the space station is costly.
· CNN Calls President Bush & First Lady 'Asshole.' In a not-so-surprising move on the part of CNN employees, they placed images of President Bush and his wife Laura on their homepage, and named the photo images asshole.jpg and moron.jpg.
· Backwards Drawings May Have Doomed Genesis. The NASA spacecraft that smashed into the Utah desert last month while bringing home fragile samples of the sun may have been doomed by engineering drawings that had been done backwards, an investigating board said Friday. Because of the backward drawings, the switches that were supposed to detect Genesis' re-entry into Earth's atmosphere and trigger its parachutes were placed incorrectly, said Michael G. Ryschkewitsch, chairman of the Mishap Investigation Board.
· How the Electoral College works. So do we the people really elect the president and vice president? Technically, we don't. Presidents are elected by the states and the District of Columbia, not by a national tally of voters. When you vote, you cast your ballot for electors who will vote for a candidate they are politically aligned with.
· Online Advertising Market: $9.1 Billion In 2004. The U.S. market for online advertising will reach $9.1 billion in 2004. The previous high-water mark was $8.1 billion back in 2000 during the dot-com boom.
· Sluggish Frances Cuts Power to 2 million in Florida. Potent but slow-moving Hurricane Frances snapped power lines and whipped the Atlantic coast with winds over 90 mph Saturday, knocking out electricity for about two million people and forcing Floridians to endure another day of waiting and worrying.
· Athens turns light out on Olympics. Efharisto! A nervous world learned the Greek word for thank you and repeated it endlessly at an astonishingly successful Athens Olympics that quelled fears, surprised skeptics and greatly honored the birthplace of the games.
» Greece showed us we shouldn't have doubted them. In summing up the Athens Games, the first order of business is to extend a big "sorry" to the Greeks. Nothing blew up, it was finished on time with several seconds to spare, and nothing collapsed.
· MTV's Miami nice. In typically hyperbolic style, the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards celebrated music's biggest rock, R&B and rap stars last night. If the network's fans tuned in to see who would create the evening's signature moment - an act so outrageous that it would make headlines - they were disappointed.
· One Russian Airliner Crashes, Second Missing. A Russian airliner crashed south of Moscow, and another passenger jet went missing about the same time after both took off from Moscow, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported Wednesday. There was no word on survivors.
· 145 mph winds hit Florida coast; worst storm since 1960. Hurricane Charley made landfall at Sanibel Island, Fla., late Friday afternoon, packing winds of 145 mph after being upgraded to a Category 4 storm, which can cause severe damage and flood coastal areas with 18-foot storm surges.
Forecasters feared a potentially devastating storm surge of up to 20 feet that could submerge miles of coastline. The surge “is going to be the main killer,” said Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. “This is the nightmare scenario that we’ve been talking about for years.”
· CEO pay hikes double. The CEO's at the nation's largest companies saw their raises more than doubled in 2003 as the median raise handed out by S&P 500 companies to their top executives was 22.18 percent, according to a study by The Corporate Library.
· Domain name sells for $2.75 million. In the biggest-ticket domain name sale in years, a small Austin marketing firm has paid $2.75 million for CreditCards.com. Despite the rocky history of high-priced domain sales, participants say it was a fair price, and the sale may signal a new gold rush for Internet address speculators.
· Martha: 'I'll be back.' Domestic icon Martha Stewart moved one step closer to a drastically different lifestyle behind bars when the millionaire entrepreneur was sentenced Friday to five months in prison for a stock-trading scandal. “I’ll be back,” she promised afterward, speaking in a strong voice on the courthouse steps. “I’m not afraid. Not afraid whatsoever. I’m very sorry it had to come to this.”
· Astronauts, Cronkite to get moon rock plaques. NASA will present token moon rock samples to the crews from its historic Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs -- and to one non-astronaut: legendary journalist Walter Cronkite. The men will be honored at a ceremony at the National Air and Space museum next Tuesday celebrating the 35th anniversary of the first manned landing on the moon.
· Buffett lunch fetches $202,100. Bidder on eBay wins right to dine with world's second richest man. For about $200,000, you can buy two shares of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s stock - or you can have lunch with its chairman, Warren Buffett.
· FCC wants radio, TV to keep tapes of shows. Federal regulators are considering a new indecency regulation that would require broadcasters to keep recordings of their programs for a limited period of time.
· Marlon Brando Dead at 80. Actor Marlon Brando died Thursday night in Los Angeles, according to local CBS affiliate KPHO in Phoenix this morning. His lawyer and family members confirm that Brando died at UCLA Medical Center at approximately 6:30pm last night. The cause of death was related to a collapsed lung.
· FBI Warns Police to Be on Alert for July 4 Attacks. The FBI on Thursday warned police of potential July 4 attacks by al Qaeda using tactics like assault teams, car bombs and suicide bombs, although it said it had no credible threat for the holiday.
· Coke's Global Positioning Device Not Welcome In Secure Areas. A soft-drink company's promotion offering prizes to customers who buy special cans equipped with a global positioning device has raised concerns at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
· Iraq Becomes Sovereign Two Days Before Deadline. Iraq became a sovereign country on Monday, 15 months after the United States led a coalition to oust Saddam Hussein from power and two days before the June 30 deadline for control to be turned over to the interim Iraqi government.
· Success! Plane Soars Out of Earth's Atmosphere. Nestled beneath an alien-looking airplane, a rocket plane soared out of Earth's atmosphere Monday in history's first privately financed manned spaceflight, then glided back to an unpowered landing.
· Victim's $1 million asbestos award upheld. The Florida Court of Appeals upheld a jury's $1.153 million award to an asbestos cancer victim, ruling that Union Carbide Corp. didn't fully disclose the product's hazards or warn users about the dangers.
· Experts Worry About Tech Retaliation. Symbiot Security Inc. says its new Intelligent Security Infrastructure Management Systems not only defends networks but lets them fight back, too. Symbiot says the product is already in use in some corporate, government and military networks. Though the notion of striking back against "bad guys" may satisfy primal urges, most security experts question whether retaliation will actually halt cyberattacks.
· Mel Gibson No. 1 thanks to Jesus. Gibson, the director, producer and screenwriter for the "Christ" movie, was named the world's most powerful celebrity by Forbes magazine on Thursday, dethroning "Friends" star Jennifer Aniston from the No. 1 spot she held last year. The magazine said the "Christ" film helped Gibson earn an estimated $210 million during the past 12 months.
· Pat O'Brien to Leave 'Access Hollywood.' It's a wrap for "Access Hollywood" co-host Pat O'Brien. O'Brien is leaving the syndicated entertainment TV show after seven years and will be replaced by Billy Bush, who now serves as the show's East Coast correspondent.
· Feds Decline to Create 'Do-Not-Spam' List. The Bush administration said Tuesday it will not create a national do-not-spam registry to discourage unwanted e-mail, fearing it could backfire and become a target list for new victims.
· Internet attack wipes out Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, and Apple. Huge Internet backbone firm, Akamai called it a "large scale international attack on the Internet's infrastructure". Akamai said the attack was primarily aimed at the large search engines - of which it runs the three largest, Yahoo!, Google and Lycos - which meant that people were unable to access the sites.
· Supreme Court Reverses Pledge Of Allegiance Ruling. A father who sued over the Pledge of Allegiance has lost a Supreme Court battle. The high court ruled that the atheist can't sue over the reference to God in the pledge.
· Southwest offers buyout program. Low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines on Thursday said it offered voluntary buyout packages to most of its employees as the industry struggles to battle high fuel prices.
· Google Lifts Secrecy on $2.7 Billion IPO. Google Inc., whose very name is a metaphor for easy access to information, has lifted a shroud of secrecy on its estimated $2.7 billion initial public offering with an amended filing that said 31 Wall Street firms will help sell the deal.
· Cisco Unveils Long-Awaited `core' Router. Cisco Systems Inc. unveiled a long-awaited router for directing traffic at the heart of the Internet, aiming to recapture market share lost to rivals. The refrigerator-sized Carrier Router System-1, announced Tuesday, can transfer the entire collection of the U.S. Library of Congress in 4.6 seconds, according to Cisco.
· Now, two-thirds of all e-mail is spam. And in the U.S., spam tops 80 percent mark. When the amount of unwanted e-mail advertisements flying around the Internet surpassed the number of real e-mails last year, it was regarded as a landmark moment. Since then, things have only gotten worse, anti-spam firms say, and in April, another milestone was passed.
· Online Advertising Has 1st Quarter Record. Internet advertising revenue reached about $2.3 billion in the first quarter, a record for a single quarter, in the latest sign the industry is poised this year to surpass its bubble-era peak.
· Cell switch rules go nationwide May 24. Starting next week, millions of people in small cities and rural areas will be able to take advantage of federal rules allowing cellular users to keep their phone numbers when switching to new wireless carriers.
· Calif. Bill Requires 'Spyware' Notice. Consumers would have to be told before information-reporting "spyware" was added to their computers if legislation approved Tuesday by the California Senate becomes law. The measure by Sen. Kevin Murray, a Democrat, was sent to the Assembly by a 36-2 vote.
· Google's Blog Feature Steps Up Yahoo Fight. Internet search engine leader Google Inc. introduced a simpler way to publish the online personal journals known as "blogs," continuing a flurry of improvements that has coincided with stiffer competition from its former ally, Yahoo! Inc.
· Ford's oldest plant closes after 86 years. Ford Motor Co.'s oldest manufacturing plant, an 86-year-old factory built under the guidance of founder Henry Ford and later the birthplace of the iconic Mustang, made its final car Monday.
· Virus Creator May Have Made New Version. An 18-year-old German who confessed to creating the "Sasser" computer worm apparently released a new version of the program shortly before he was arrested last week, investigators said.
· Interest rate boost before election. The Bush administration has been alerted that Chairman Alan Greenspan will guide the Federal Reserve Board to a small interest rate boost before the presidential election, and President Bush is reported to be satisfied.
· Microsoft's Sales Growth Limited by Delays in Windows Upgrades. Microsoft Corp.'s sales growth will probably drop below 10 percent next fiscal year for the first time because delays in the next version of Windows have created the longest-ever lag between releases of the software.
· Senate votes to guarantee overtime pay for all workers. In an election-year snub of the Bush administration, the Republican-controlled Senate voted Tuesday to require that new Labor Department regulations guarantee the right to overtime pay for all workers who currently qualify.
· Thousands Flee California Wildfires. Southern California's first wildfires of the season burned homes and brushlands and forced thousands of people to evacuate on Tuesday, portending what could be an especially dangerous and costly summer.
· Fed Hints at Future Rate Hikes. Federal Reserve officials opted Tuesday to hold interest rates at 1958 lows — but changed the language of their statement to indicate that a rate hike may happen sooner than later, although it said the move would come at a "measured" pace.
· Google files for $2.7 billion IPO. Google, the world's number one Web search provider, has filed with U.S. regulators to become a publicly listed company and sell as much as $2.7 billion in stock in a widely expected initial public offering.
· Comcast Yanks Disney Takeover Bid. The cable giant Comcast Corp. is dropping its takeover bid for The Walt Disney Co., saying Disney management has made it clear it has no interest in putting the two companies together.
· Companies Launch War Over Web Messaging. Instant-messaging software has evolved into the latest weapon in a fierce battle among major Internet companies to reap revenues off whatever you do, wherever you go online.
· Former NFL Great Pat Tillman Killed in Afghanistan. 'Gave up millions in the NFL to become Elite Army Ranger.' Former NFL player Pat Tillman was killed in action while serving in the elite Army Rangers on duty in Afghanistan.
· Flaw could shut down Internet traffic. Major companies and government agencies are scrambling to ensure they are not vulnerable to an Internet flaw that would allow attacks that could disrupt all communication.
· Janus CEO Whiston Steps Down. Janus Capital Group Inc. said on Tuesday that Chief Executive Mark Whiston would step down, ending months of speculation about his tenure at the mutual fund company while it was under investigation for improper trading.
· Microsoft settles Minnesota lawsuit. Microsoft has reached a preliminary settlement in a class-action lawsuit in Minnesota, which alleged, as usual, that the company had abused its Windows monopoly to overcharge customers in the state for its software.
· US Air's president, CEO abruptly quits. US Airways Group Inc. president and chief executive David Siegel, whose demands for cost cuts created animosity with union leaders, resigned Monday from the nation’s seventh-largest airline.
· Internet users ditching dial-up. Two in five Internet users in the United States now have high-speed access at home as telephone companies slash prices to better compete with cable broadband services.
· Bill Rancic is ‘The Apprentice.’ Return of Omarosa helped bring down Kwame Jackson. Rancic edged out fellow finalist Kwame Jackson, the laid-back 29-year-old New Yorker and Harvard MBA, for the Trump-described “dream job of a lifetime” and its $250,000 salary.
· Update: Scientists find new face on Turin shroud. Italian scientists have found a matching image of a man's face and possibly his hands on the back of the Turin shroud, believed by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, one of the researchers said.
· Microsoft issues patches to fix 20 Windows, e-mail security flaws. Microsoft Corp., the world's biggest software maker, issued patches to fix 20 flaws in its Windows operating system and an e-mail program that could let a hacker take over a computer.
· Google to sell trademarked keywords. Google plans to stop limiting sales of trademarks in its popular keyword advertising program, a high-stakes gamble that could boost revenue but also create new legal problems for the company.
· Microsoft Lawyers Keeping Busy. Today's announcement that Microsoft is paying $440 million to InterTrust mark the second settlement this month by the world's No. 1 software company. Microsoft agreed about two weeks ago to pay Sun Microsystems $1.6 billion to settle a private antitrust suit and resolve patent claims.
· American Airlines Passenger Data Disclosed. American Airlines' passenger names and travel itineraries were released to four research companies vying for contracts with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.
· FCC Fine Prompts Clear Channel to Drop Stern. Federal regulators Thursday proposed $495,000 in indecency fines against Clear Channel Communications for broadcasts by Howard Stern, prompting the nation's largest radio chain to drop the country's best-known shock jock.
· Government Licenses First Private Rocket. The government announced Wednesday that it has issued the first license for a manned suborbital rocket, a step toward opening space flight to private individuals for the first time.
· Answering Machine Inventor Dies. Joseph Zimmerman, from Milwaukee, invented the first answering machine in 1948 and patented it a year later. The first answering machine was a box that lifted the telephone receiver from its cradle when it rang.
· Murdoch to Incorporate News Corp. in U.S. News Corp. — owner of the Fox network, Fox News Channel and the 20th Century Fox movie studio — will move its home base from Australia to the United States in a bid to appeal to a wider base of investors.
· Abba rules out reunion - even for $2 billion. Thirty years to the day after Abba shot to stardom with victory in the Eurovision song contest, the pop group says nothing - not even $2 billion - could tempt them back together again.
· High Cost Of Malpractice Insurance. Dr. Paul Tudder figures he's delivered about 4,000 babies in 21 years, and in that time, he's never been sued. His premium was $23,000 in 2002. Then it jumped to $47,000. This year, he got a quote for $84,000.
· Companies Outsource for Better Workers, Study Says. According to a report by the American Electronics Association, high-tech companies blame second-rate math and science education in the U.S. for the offshoring of high-tech jobs.
· Dow is adding Verizon, AIG, Pfizer. American International Group Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Pfizer Inc. will be added to the Dow Jones industrial average, reflecting the growing importance of finance and health care to the economy and the stock market. AT&T, International Paper, Kodak are being dropped.
· Future search efforts will make Google look like 8-tracks. Ten years from now - maybe five or even less - we will recall Google circa 2004 and wonder how we could have tolerated it. You know, sort of the way we look back on eight-track tapes.
· Pets trigger our 'feel good' hormones, research suggests. We know that dogs are dedicated companions that offer unquestioning attachment and acceptance. In the past several years, mounting scientific evidence suggests that they benefit us even beyond eager devotion.
· The largest diesel engine in the world. This engine was designed primarily for very large container ships, and is 89 feet long, 44 feet high, weighs in at 2300 tons, and delivers an amazing 108,920 horsepower! [Look at photo at bottom of page].
· Third space tourist preparing for orbit. The next civilian to be rocketed into orbit at his own expense won't just be enjoying the ride: Gregory Olsen, a scientist who made a fortune with optics inventions, plans to do some research during his $20 million trip to the International Space Station.
· Taste for beef leads to higher grocery bills. The hearty American appetite for beef, unshaken by the first U.S. case of mad cow disease, may fuel the largest annual increase in food prices in a decade, U.S. economists say.
· Bill Gates: Technology Will Transform Advertising. The pace of technological development won't just influence the way we do everything from talk with friends to make business deals, Gates said at a Microsoft conference for advertising and marketing executives. It's also poised to change how advertising reaches people.
· Smokers barred from Irish pubs. Ireland has become the first country in the world to outlaw cigarettes in all its restaurants and pubs, to the delight of non-smokers but the dismay of some publicans who say they will have to police the ban.
· Nuclear power, 25 years after Three Mile Island. Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Three Mile Island nuclear plant accident, and 25 years later the nation’s aging fleet of 103 reactors still face nagging questions about their safety.