Saying that the information was confidential, the Securities and Exchange Commission “refused a congressional request to disclose why [it] dropped an investigation into whether Bear Stearns Cos. harmed investors by improperly valuing complex debt securities,” The Wall Street Journal writes.
Yesterday, Yahoo topped sales and profit forecasts for the first quarter, but not by the margin many analysts predicted. “It's unclear if Yahoo's first-quarter results will help it wring a better takeover offer from Microsoft (MSFT) or anyone else, analysts say,” according to Investor’s Business Daily.
Bank regulator John Dugan told the Financial Times that the difficulties of U.S. banks could surpass “historical norms” as a “weakening economy puts pressure on badly underwritten loans, particularly in commercial real estate.”
Rupert Murdoch made a tentative deal to purchase Newsday for $580 million, to add to his New York portfolio of The New York Post and The Wall Street Journal. Murdoch will also have “his first chance to appoint the top editor of The Wall Street Journal, after the resignation of the editor on Tuesday."
“Delta Air Lines and Northwest reported dramatically wider first-quarter losses on Wednesday because of billions of dollars in one-time charges related to their decline in market capitalization and the sky-high cost of fuel,” according to MarketWatch.
Bloomberg.com writes: “Most U.S. stocks fell, erasing early gains, as Ambac Financial Group Inc.'s wider-than-expected loss reignited concern that banks face more credit writedowns and lower commodity prices dragged down oil and metal producers.”
No Child Left Behind, the Bush administration’s signature education bill, is facing changes. One of the new requirements is that by the 2012–2013 school year, all states will have to calculate their graduation rates in a uniform way.
The Supreme Court was skeptical yesterday when it heard arguments for a case, Davis v. Federal Election Commission, debating the so-called “millionaire’s amendment,” in which certain candidates competing against affluent opponents could be exempt from limits on contributions.
In Iraq, “Suicide bombings killed two U.S. Marines and at least eight Iraqis on Tuesday, the latest in a series of attacks in areas where U.S. officials said they had weakened Sunni insurgents,” according to The Washington Post.
In response to Dutch politician Geert Wilders’ short film, “Fitna,” juxtaposing phrases from the Quran with images of violence, a young Saudi Arabian businessman named Raed al-Saeed has created a six-minute video called “Schism,” comparing quotes from the Bible with “aggressive behavior by Christians,” in order to make a statement, according to NPR.
While the United States has a delegation in North Korea this week to discuss the country’s nuclear program, Congress will be briefed Thursday about allegations that North Korea helped Syria build a nuclear power plant on a site that Israel bombed last year.
China may bring a shipload of weapons back home after South Africa's High Court prevented the transfer of the arms to Zimbabwe on Friday because they might be used against Mugabe’s opposition, and after “protests intensified across southern Africa,” according to the International Herald Tribune.
Although the U.S. and Iraqi governments have stressed the success of the Iraqi military, many American troops are less positive in their assessment. Time even describes Iraqi troops sleeping on the job.
President Bush and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates chose Gen. David H. Petraeus, the current commander of troops in Iraq, to replace Adm. William J. Fallon as head of United States Central Command. Fallon was pushed into retirement after suggesting “an emphasis on diplomacy over confrontation in dealing with Iran,” according to The New York Times.
Zimbabwe’s “state-run Herald newspaper -- a government mouthpiece -- said it was clear that no side would win a majority in the presidential election on March 29 and the best way forward was to form a government of national unity,” Agence France-Presse reports.
A drunk man dressed in a black trash bag pretending to be Darth Vader assaulted the founder of a Jedi Church with a metal crutch. The perpetrator was reputedly shouting “Darth Vader!" at the time of the attack.