The growth of the U.S. economy exceeded expectations from April to June, increasing 3.3 percent in the second quarter, instead of the anticipated 1.9 percent. But, “the pace is expected to slow over the rest of the year,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
The Dow Jones led the way as stocks jumped on Thursday. “At 2:43 p.m. EDT, the Dow continued to lead with a 1.6% gain. Twenty-nine of 30 issues advanced. The S&P 500 gained 1.2% and neared the 1300 mark. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq and NYSE composite jumped 1.1% each,” Investor’s Business Daily writes.
The SEC has suggested that U.S. companies should abide by international accounting standards by 2014. “Supporters of the switch to international standards had argued that the need to conform to US accounting standards deterred some foreign companies from listing on US stock markets,” according to the BBC.
Chrysler, which is experiencing financial difficulties, has hired the investment firm Lazard Freres to help it decide what to do with the Dodge Viper. The move raises the possibility that Chrysler might part with its “iconic 600-horsepower sports car.”
"Foreign ownership of U.S. companies more than doubled from 1996 to 2005 measured by revenue and more than tripled as measured by assets, according to an analysis of U.S. tax data released on Wednesday," according to Reuters.
Bloomberg.com writes, “Crude oil and natural gas rose on a forecast Tropical Storm Gustav will be the most damaging since Hurricane Katrina, forcing Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc to begin pulling workers from the Gulf of Mexico.”
In an interview with a CNN reporter, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin blamed the United States for causing the hostility in Georgia. He said that the U.S. government pushed Georgia to send troops into South Ossetia in order to make Republican candidate John McCain look better in the public spotlight. U.S. government officials have denied the charges.
“At least 3,000 people, most of them Christians, are living in government-run relief camps after days of Christian-versus-Hindu violence in eastern India, government officials said,” according to The New York Times. The violence, which has so far killed at least 10 people, began after a Hindu leader was killed on Saturday night.
“The Dalai Lama was taken to hospital in India on Thursday after complaining of stomach pain, his office said,” the AFP reports. “The Dalai Lama's admission to a hospital in Mumbai came a day after the Tibetan spiritual leader's office said he was suffering from exhaustion and would travel to the city for a medical check-up.”
Protesters from Thailand’s right wing People's Alliance for Democracy who are gathered in front of the Thai prime minister's compound are not abiding by a court order to disperse. They have been at the compound since Tuesday, and are “calling on the prime minister, Samak Sundaravej, to resign, accusing him of being a proxy for former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 coup and, from his exile in Britain, faces several corruption cases,” The Guardian writes.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said that the European Union would think about slapping sanctions "and many other means" against Russia because of the situation in Georgia. He did say "this will be solved by negotiation,” however.
Anwar Ibrahim, the opposition leader in Malaysia’s Parliament, has led a number of other lawmakers in a walkout. “The walkout took place amid a debate on a proposed law that would make it mandatory for criminal suspects to provide DNA samples. Critics claim the law is meant to bolster a sodomy charge against Anwar, though the government denies it,” the Associated Press reports.
“Israel is in the grip of a nightmarish tale of cross-generational infidelity, child abuse and murder,” according to The New York Times. A four-year-old girl allegedly “was killed by her grandfather, a 45-year-old Israeli who had lured her mother away from his own son, the dead girl’s father, to be his lover. They say the man has confessed to having stuffed the child’s body into a red suitcase and dumped it into a river. Divers are searching.”
On Wednesday night, Ill. Sen. Barack Obama officially received the Democratic Party nomination for the presidency. Del. Sen. Joe Biden also accepted his vice presidential nomination later in the night and Obama made a surprise appearance on stage after Biden gave his speech.
On Thursday in an Ohio court, prosecutors claimed that a “mother intentionally put her month-old daughter in a microwave oven and cooked the child to death after a fight with her boyfriend,” the Associated Press reports.
New Orleans city officials are planning for an evacuation as Gustav moves by the Caribbean and is heading toward Louisiana, “With forecasters warning that Gustav could strengthen and slam into the Gulf Coast as a major hurricane,” according to the Associated Press.
"Mayor Don Plusquellic has proposed leasing the city-owned sewage system to a private contractor for up to $200 million and using the money to finance college scholarships for Akron's public high school graduates," the Associated Press reports.
Maine residents, fed up with a tax on beer, soda and flavored water, have signed a petition to put a proposal on this November’s ballot to repeal the tax. The tax is to help pay for Dirigo, the state’s universal health insurance plan.
Michigan’s governor, Jennifer Granholm, is holding a meeting next week to see whether the mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick, can keep his job. He’s been charged with a number of felony counts related to allegedly lying about an affair with his chief of staff.
"Rising costs of traveling by air and car, brought on by record oil prices, drew a record 2.8 million people onto America's cash-strapped passenger railway network in July, the largest of any single month in Amtrak's 37-year history and up nearly 14 percent from a year earlier. But as passenger numbers grow, so too are complaints of overcrowding and delays," according to Reuters.
Scientific American, writing about a study of bats who were killed by windmills, reports that, "90 percent of the 75 bats the researchers ultimately dissected had been killed by burst blood vessels in their lungs, according to results presented in Current Biology—suggesting that the air pressure difference created by the spinning windmills had terminated them, not contact with the blades."
"Beginning in January 2009, state employees will be required to receive medical screenings for several conditions, including body mass index (BMI). Those who are considered obese—along with exhibiting other negative health factors—will have a year to get in shape," reports WebMD. "The penalty for failure? A $25 increase in their monthly insurance costs."
"A new study of the mathematics of warfare has revealed that the lust for women and the hunger to acquire property are the two primary reasons for the evolution of belligerence and bravery in men," the Economic Times writes.
According to MSNBC, "In the past few years, studies have shown that dogs can sniff out both early and late stage lung and breast cancers. The Pine Street Foundation, a non-profit cancer education and research organization, in San Anselmo, Calif., is even training dogs to recognize ovarian cancer."
NASCAR has placed drivers Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards on six-week probation after a skirmish last Saturday night. “Busch instigated the sheet metal exchange when he used his No. 18 car to bump the driver's side of Edwards' No. 99 on the cooldown lap after Edwards took the checkered flag,” according to ESPN.
"A South African newspaper reported this week that police there want to question [R. Kelly] in connection with a scam in which a local promoter allegedly swindled thousands of dollars from investors by promising profits of a nonexistent Kelly tour in 2005. The promoter, Busiswe Zakwe, told authorities she deposited $130,000 in Kelly's bank account, according to The Times of Johannesburg."