Category: News

Monday Morning Business Update

Monday Morning Business Update is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Business

1 Wall Street may brake for housing, Home Depot

By Ellis Mnyandu, Reuters

Sun May 17, 7:46 pm ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stocks are likely to hit more speed bumps this week as investors become more wary of Wall Street’s ability to rally further and housing starts, jobless claims and other indicators are in the spotlight.

With first-quarter earnings reports winding down and recent optimism about economic stabilization already factored into stock prices, analysts said there appears to be very little on the horizon to help extend the recent run-up.

Quarterly earnings from rival home-improvement chains Home Depot Inc (HD.N) and Lowe’s Cos Inc (LOW.N) may shed some light on the consumer’s ability and inclination to spend. The numbers may also give a hint of any further fallout from the housing slump.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

Now with World News.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Buoyant Congress eyes new allies for coalition

By Krittivas Mukherjee, Reuters

Sun May 17, 9:57 am ET

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s Congress party held talks Sunday to identify allies for a new stable coalition government after a sweeping election victory at a time of sagging economic growth and regional instability.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s coalition defied predictions of a tight election and was only about 12 seats short of an outright majority from the 543 seats at stake, according to election commission data.

In a country where unwieldy coalitions were becoming the order of the day and hobbling policy, the electoral verdict this time means Congress will call the shots in coalition building rather than being dependent on the goodwill of regional parties.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 India’s ruling Congress alliance wins election

By Sanjeev Miglani, Reuters

Sat May 16, 11:06 am ET

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s ruling coalition won an overwhelming election victory on Saturday, boosting hopes of a stable government as the emerging Asian power faces economic downturn and tensions with Pakistan.

Singh’s Congress-led coalition, riding on the back of years of economic growth, did better than expected and will probably be only just short of an outright majority, according to data from the election commission and projections by TV channels.

“The people of India have spoken, and spoken with great clarity,” Singh told reporters.

Wednesday Morning Science Supplement

From Yahoo News Science

1 NASA finds minor scratch damage to shuttle shield

By Irene Klotz, Reuters

Tue May 12, 6:47 pm ET

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) – The U.S. space shuttle Atlantis apparently was hit by a piece of debris that nicked part of its heat shield but the damage appeared very minor, NASA said on Tuesday.

Atlantis and its seven-member crew blasted off from Florida on Monday on an 11-day mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.

It will be the U.S. space agency’s last chance to tinker with the telescope — which has vastly expanded scientists’ knowledge of the universe — before NASA ends the shuttle program in 2010.

Monday Morning Business Update

Old News

Saturday

Stress Tests

1 Improving markets helped banks pass stress test

By Mark Felsenthal, Reuters

21 mins ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. bank regulators breathed a huge sigh of relief in early April when improving financial markets looked set to push the nation’s 19 largest banks through the gauntlet of tough “stress tests” in reasonably good shape.

In early March, a month after Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced the tests on February 10 to help restore investor confidence in the major banks, the scene was much bleaker: major stock indexes had slumped to 12-year lows on persistent fears about the financial weakness. It looked possible that a major bank might need an emergency government rescue even before the stress test results could be announced.

But since the trough, markets improved steadily with rising share prices and volumes, better liquidity and other signs of stabilization, and regulators gained comfort that capital markets would be willing to fill any holes the stress tests unearthed at banks.

Post-Fire Post

(Cut and paste diary from comments-that-would-not-stop on dkos,, but begun here in a comment to my man on the spot, ta da

CatfishBlues, who said

May Gray

We’re in almost drizzle conditions, everything is moist but no run-off. That should really help the firefighters out today

.

I said

Just got a report from our house sitter.

Man, did we ever get lucky.  And it’s hard to know how much fire fighting had to do with it.  There was a lot of grass in the very large yard next door–it’s burned.  There is burning underneath the huge pine tree and a lot of trees are blackened.  We had just taken out loads and loads of dead material out of that pine and a lot of kindling from beneath the pine.  I’m quite certain that we would have had no chance if we hadn’t done that just last week.  The grass is burned right up to the house on the downwind side of the house.  She said that looks as though the firemen did a controlled burn there.  So, a lot of blackened trees, some of our plants right next to the house are completely gone, but no damage to the house.  I’m thinking most of the charring is more from the heat than the actual fire.

We picked up one tip which a fireman gave her as she was leaving.  He said to leave the lights on in your house in case they have to come back in the night or in heavy smoke, it helps them find the house and see what’s going on better in fighting fire.

So, that’s how the Jesusita Fire affected me.  There is going to be a lot of clean-up, and we’ll be doing some new planting near the house, but we’ll be able to sit on our patio and from there it’ll look as though nothing happened.

General news:  Still foggy, high humidity, calm air, low temperatures.  Fire is 40% contained and everyone can return home except those in the highest reaches.  The southern part of the fire–toward the ocean, must be contained.  And the evidently prevented its spilling over the ridge along Camino Cielo.  My guess is that the fighting is now on the east and west fronts, which are in residential areas.  They are estimating complete containment by Wednesday.

I can’t wait to hear the stories of all the firemen did in this blaze.  The number of houses still standing in the midst of burn areas is incredible.

Thanks to everyone for all the support of me and of everyone affected by the fire.  It’s really good to have a place to turn.

A Warm Heart-Felt Over-Flowing

THANK YOU

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Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

Now with World, U.S. News, and Politics.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Pakistanis flee offensive as U.S. sees fresh resolve

By Junaid Khan and Paul Eckert, Reuters

1 hr 36 mins ago

KOTA, Pakistan/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Pakistan has been roused to fight the “existential threat” of a growing Islamist insurgency, the top U.S. commander for the Afghan-Pakistan war theater said on Sunday, as Islamabad intensified an offensive against Taliban militants.

Army General David Petraeus, head of U.S. Central Command, said Pakistan’s fierce campaign against the Taliban in the Swat valley was a sign its political leaders, people and military were united against the Islamist fighters.

“The actions of the Pakistani Taliban … seem to have galvanized all of Pakistan,” he told the “Fox News Sunday” program.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Gunships and planes strike Pakistan Taliban in Swat

By Junaid Khan, Reuters

32 mins ago

MINGORA, Pakistan (Reuters) – Pakistani helicopter gunships and warplanes hit Taliban positions in the militants’ Swat Valley stronghold Saturday, while a curfew prevented civilians from fleeing the fighting.

The struggle in the northwestern valley 130 km (80 miles) from Islamabad has become a test of Pakistan’s resolve to fight a growing insurgency that has alarmed the West.

The military said up to 55 militants were killed in the day’s clashes in Swat and four soldiers wounded, and that several militants had died in separate clashes close to the Afghan border. The figures could not be independently confirmed.

Firefighters Make Heroic Stand at San Rocque and Foothill.

The morning brings welcome news that densely populated neighborhoods of delightful adobe homes with small gardens have been largely saved from the fire, at least as of the early morning hours.

Calling from the field around 1 a.m., reporter Ethan Stewart, standing just below San Roque and Foothill called the area a “ghost town on the State Street side.” The fire was making a run down San Roque toward downtown.

The fire is only a few hundred yards from Foothill in the San Roque area, but doesn’t appear to be burning any houses at the moment thanks to the firefighters concerted effort to hold Foothill Road.

[snip]

An hour later, Stewart said that all things considered it seemed somewhat quiet thanks to firefighters’ heroic efforts. The fire is still being held off Foothill Road.

This is referring to an area where the houses are much more densely packed–charming adobes with small yards packed into neighborhoods leading right into the downtown area.  Working 24-hour shifts, the firefighters seem to have averted a catastrophe in the night.  A heavy helicopter presence was also reported in the swirling winds and blinding smoke.

Jesusita Fire: Information, Please.

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Please follow this link to the full-sized photo.  It’s as close as you’re likely to get to the fire.  This photo gives me goose bumps.  Gratitude.

Wednesday Morning Science Supplement

From Yahoo News Science

1 U.S. House climate control negotiations intensify

By Richard Cowan, Reuters

Tue May 5, 12:03 am ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Negotiations in the U.S. House of Representatives on how to cut industrial pollutants that cause global warming reach a critical stage this week as President Barack Obama huddles with key lawmakers on Tuesday and Republicans ready for a fight.

A House Energy and Commerce panel hopes to fill in details later this week on a bill that aims to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases 20 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050 — using 2005 as a base year.

A White House official said the meeting between Obama and some Democratic members of the panel would review provisions being negotiated by lawmakers, as well as the timetable for moving the controversial legislation through the House.

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