“BP PLC Tuesday posted a 53 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit,” reports The Wall Street Journal. ING analyst Jason Kenney said the figures “are going to disappoint the market … but could represent the end of the company's trough.”
President Bush unveiled his $3.1 trillion budget on Monday. It “supports sizeable increases on military spending to fight the war on terrorism and protects his signature tax cuts.” The proposal includes cut backs on Medicare and Medicaid, and anticipates that deficits will rise to “near-record levels, hitting $410 billion this year and $407 billion in 2009.”
“President Bush asked Congress on Monday for $515 billion for military spending, an increase of 7.5 percent compared with last year,” writes USA Today. Critics complained that the money should have been included in the budget.
A former vice-president of defunct Russian oil company Yukos went on trial today. Vasily Aleksanyan, 36, who has AIDs and cancer, is accused of embezzlement. He claims that the charges brought against him and his imprisoned former boss Mikhail Khodorkovsky were groundless and motivated by the executives' support for opposition parties and their resistance to government takeover.
A report from the World Bank finds that educational standards in Arab countries are falling behind those of other regions. Unemployment in the Arab world averages 14 percent, with the Palestinian territories at nearly 26 percent.
The party of assassinated Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto published her will on Tuesday. The document requests that party leadership pass to her husband, a divisive figure often blamed for the corruption that dogged Bhutto’s time as Pakistani prime minister.
The last of the Iwo Jima veterans pictured raising the U.S. flag died of natural causes last week at age 82. Raymond Jacobs had returned to his unit by the time a second, more famous flag-raising picture was published—an event that inspired the movie “Flags of Our Fathers.”