The U.S. Labor Department says that consumer prices increased 0.8 percent for the month of July, double what economists had believed would occur. "That is the biggest 12-month gain seen in nearly two decades," Voice of America reports.
Wal-Mart Store, Inc., the second largest retailer in the world, announced that its profit increased in the second quarter because of “price cuts and tax-rebate spending and full-year earnings would increase more than it previously thought.”
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan lambasted the government for its handling of the housing bailout. He also said, “Home prices in the U.S. are likely to start to stabilize or touch bottom sometime in the first half of 2009."
“The European economy, long resistant to the turmoil in the financial markets and in the United States, contracted in the second quarter, according to reports released on Thursday,” according to The New York Times.
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, scheduled to undergo impeachment hearings, will most likely resign within the next few days. According to The New York Times, “His departure from office would be likely to unleash new instability in the country as the two main parties in the civilian government jockeyed for the division of power.”
Today, Nigeria transferred ownership of the contenious Bakassi peninsula to Cameroon, two years after Nigeria agreed to follow the World Court order to do so. "The ceremony should end a long-term dispute that brought the two countries to the brink of war," according to Radio Netherlands.
President Nicolas Sarkozy of France announced that an agreement has been forged to end the conflict between Russia and Georgia. However, the deal has not halted the advancement of Russian troops, and it “also allowed Russia to claim that it could push deeper into Georgia as part of so-called additional security measures it was granted in the agreement.”
At least 18 people were killed and 46 were injured when a roadside bomb exploded by a bus filled with soldiers in Tripoli, Lebanon. The government has blamed Islamic militants for “the worst attack on the army since last summer, when it fought a 16-week battle with al-Qaeda-inspired militant group Fatah al-Islam, losing 170 soldiers.”
Mauritania’s parliament has announced its support for the military coup that overthrew the democratically elected president last week and is asking for international recognition of the new government, which has been widely condemned.
The Los Angeles Times reports that "A deputy police chief and another commander in western Michoacan state were slain, authorities said Tuesday, in the latest signs of violence in which at least half a dozen officers have been reported dead across Mexico in the last two days."
The Democrats have selected former Va. Gov. Mark R. Warner to deliver the keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention, making the possibility that the state’s current governor, Timothy M. Kaine, would be chosen as Ill. Sen. Barack Obama’s vice president “dim,” according to The Washington Post.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may be joining other Democrats and changing her mind in regard to offshore drilling. She is looking into the possibility of offshore drilling legislation now because of the high gas prices, sources say.
Presidential nominee John McCain wrote an op-ed appearing in The Wall Street Journal today entitled “We Are All Georgians,” criticizing Russian “aggression” against the small country in the Caucasus. He also calls for an “independent, international peacekeeping force in the separatist regions.”
"Cindy McCain, the wife of Republican presidential candidate John McCain, went for X-rays at a Michigan hospital on Wednesday after an 'enthusiastic supporter' shook her hand a little too hard, exacerbating a pre-existing carpal tunnel injury," according to FOX News.
The Census Bureau predicts that minorities will be the majority in the United States by 2042 and that by the year 2050 there will be 439 million Americans. The report states that, “Growth of the non-Hispanic white population will slow to a stop. The white population will start to shrink in 2031 as it ages and people die at a rate faster than children are born.”
According to NPR, a Pakistani woman has been "charged with trying to kill Americans in Afghanistan. Aafia Siddiqui is a neuroscientist who was trained in the U.S. American authorities say she is a member of al-Qaida. Saddiqui is being held without bail in New York." The charges are ambiguous, however.
“Famed chef Julia Child shared a secret with Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg and Chicago White Sox catcher Moe Berg at a time when the Nazis threatened the world. They served in an international spy ring managed by the Office of Strategic Services, an early version of the CIA created in World War II by President Franklin Roosevelt. The secret comes out Thursday, all of the names and previously classified files identifying nearly 24,000 spies who formed the first centralized intelligence effort by the United States,” the Associated Press reports.
NPR writes that, “An unusual advertising campaign in Spanish-language newspapers and radio stations calls for undocumented immigrants to turn themselves in. The ads are part of a new self-deportation program sponsored by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).”
The head of the House Homeland Security Committee, Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., will hold a hearing next month on the Transportation Security Administration’s screener testing, after calling it a “waste of money” because “it doesn't follow up on why screeners failed to spot guns, knives and bombs on undercover agents.”
"Women who have a single abortion do not have a higher risk of mental health problems such as depression than women who have their babies, the American Psychological Association reported on Wednesday," according to Reuters.
Christian Bale, the star of the blockbuster Batman movie “The Dark Night,” will avoid the assualt charges against him for allegedly assualting his mother and sister on July 21, British prosecutors say.
The Special Olympics and other organizations are protesting the new Ben Stiller movie, “Tropic Thunder,” which opened Wednesday, for its consistent use of the word “retard.” Movie executives are standing behind the movie and its use of satire. Interestingly, Robert Downey Jr.’s role as an actor who underwent a procedure to look black has not generated much controversy.
Roger Federer and Serena and Venus Williams all lost today in Olympic tennis upsets. American James Blake defeated Federer; Serena Williams lost to Elena Dementieva of Russia, and China’s Li Na overcame Venus Williams.
In a men’s all-around competition rife with dramatic mistakes, China’s Yang Wei came through before a hometown crowd, nailing virtually every event while competitors continued to fall. The gold marked the third gymnastics gold medal for China in as many events.
"The battle for consumers' attention has long been fierce during the Olympics, but it is particularly intense in 2008 as corporations vie for an advantage in a market with unparalleled scale and potential," according to the Baltimore Sun.