“Merrill Lynch & Co. posted its third-straight quarterly loss and will cut about 3,000 jobs after at least $6.5 billion of writedowns and a 40 percent drop in investment-banking fees,” reports Bloomberg.com.
Banks will face tighter scrutiny under new regulations from the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, reports The Financial Times: “The world’s top banking regulators moved to tighten the screw on the industry on Wednesday with new rules aimed at preventing a repeat of the crisis that has rocked the financial system.”
Writes The Wall Street Journal, “Stocks puttered along instead of zooming ahead Thursday, as major indexes finished mixed amid a hot-and-cold batch of earnings reports that left the fate of the sagging U.S. economy murky.”
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama squared off during a debate in Philadelphia Wednesday night. “The tone of both Democrats was generally polite, but there were plenty of jabs thrown during the course of the debate about recent statements that have caused both contenders problems,” reports Voice of America.
The U.S. government plans to expand its collection of crime suspects’ DNA, by collecting samples from all citizens arrested in connection with federal crimes, and from many immigrants detained by federal authorities. The move will add more than 1 million DNA samples a year to the federal law enforcement’s database.
The recruiting push could hurt the quality of soldiers, reports NPR: “The Army is meeting its recruiting goals partly by accepting more enlistees who lack high school diplomas, who have low scores on the military's aptitude test or receive waivers for criminal and medical problems.”
The polygamist compound hearings, one of the largest child custody cases in history, “ground to a halt almost as soon as it began Thursday as hundreds of lawyers demanded to study the first piece of evidence before it could be introduced,” the Associated Press reports.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown meets with President Bush, Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Barack Obama today, and “he has also focused his trip on the current economic downturn," according to NPR.
"A suicide bomber struck the funeral of two Sunni tribesmen who joined forces against Al-Qaida in Iraq, killing at least 50 people Thursday and reinforcing fears that insurgents are hitting back after American-led crackdowns," reports the AP.
While seniors are the happiest, the baby boomer generation is the most depressed, reports LiveScience. About half of U.S. residents in their late 80s report being very happy, while the figure for a younger age group plummets to one-third or less.