“McDonald’s Corp., the world's largest restaurant company, said first-quarter profit rose more than analysts estimated after European revenue gains blunted the first drop in U.S. comparable-store sales in five years,” reports Bloomberg.
“The Royal Bank of Scotland on Tuesday said it planned to raise 12 billion pounds ($23.7 billion) through the sale of shares to existing investors in an attempt to bolster its shaky capital position,” reports MarketWatch. The sale will be the biggest ever for a U.K. company.
“A surge in crude-oil prices and further weakening in the dollar put pressure on U.S. stocks Tuesday, which also suffered amid downbeat comments about the economy from a corporate heavyweight and another skid in housing demand,” reports The Wall Street Journal.
The Associated Press writes that President Bush "used a joint news conference with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to renew his call for Congress to pass a free-trade pact with Colombia.” Bush also said once again that the U.S. economy was not in a recession, but a “slowdown.”
The Pennsylvania Democratic primary is today. “After six weeks of near-constant campaigning and increasingly nasty commercials, the voters of Pennsylvania today finally get to place their imprint on the race for the presidency,” reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Four groups of voters—working class males, young people, rural and small-town Americans and Hispanics—will be key in the November election, writes Gerald Seib on The Wall Street Journal blog Political Perceptions.
Marcus Brauchli, managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, is expected to resign after holding the job for about a year, according to Time magazine. “Sources say that Brauchli tried to find a middle path between the paper's traditionalists and Murdoch's new vision for the paper.”
In an effort to increase the number of recruits for the war effort, the Army allowed more waivers for criminal behavior last year. Such "conduct waivers" for Army recruits rose from 8,129 in fiscal 2006 to 10,258 in fiscal 2007. For Marine Corps recruits, they increased from 16,969 to 17,413,” according to The Washington Post.
“Jordan will in June host the first conference in the Middle East on blogging and consumer-generated or social media, as the region addresses how to catch up with Europe and the U.S. in terms of platforms, adoption and available content,” reports Arabian Business.
Afghan political leaders have banned five Indian soap operas, saying they conflict with “Afghan religion and culture.” Private television companies initially refused to obey the order, saying they would bring their case to the Afghan president.
The Washington Times writes, “Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said today the Bush administration explicitly warned former President Jimmy Carter against meeting with members of Hamas, the Palestinian faction that controls the Gaza Strip and which is regarded by the U.S. as a terror group.”
Contaminated supplies of the heparin blood thinner, produced in China, have been discovered in 12 countries, and could be tied to 81 deaths in the United States. The inspection of Chinese products, which has become a major issue after a number of safety issues, is being debated in Congress this week.
According to a new study, life expectancy for American women is now shorter than it was in the 1980s. Increases in deaths from diabetes, lung cancer, emphysema and kidney failure may have contributed to the trend.
Children are far more vulnerable to air pollution because their lungs don’t fully form until they are adolescents. "If you live near a polluted area of a city, it's like the child is smoking," said best-selling author and pediatrician Bill Sears.