The Commerce Department announced today that the U.S. economy grew a 1.9 percent annual rate between April and June. But the number was much lower than expected, and “Economists construed the disappointing quarter, combined with a surprisingly large surge of new claims for unemployment insurance, as clear indication that the economy remains snagged in the weeds of a widening downturn.”
“IMG Worldwide Inc., the sports-marketing powerhouse, has struck an exclusive 20-year deal with China's national TV broadcaster that gives the U.S. company the right to develop and market new sports events in one of the world's fastest-growing markets for televised sports,” The Wall Street Journal reports.
Google may be developing a venture-capital arm headed by David Drummond, the company’s senior vice president of corporate development and chief legal officer. If Google goes forward with the plan it would join other large technology companies like Intel, Motorola, Comcast, Disney and Amazon in the venture-capital realm.
Employment in the financial sector has suffered greatly in the past year thanks to the credit and housing crisis, as about 63,000 jobs have been lost. But companies are still looking to hire, especially hedge funds; although they are looking for experience and as CNN Money writes, “the inexperienced need not apply.”
“The monthly U.S. toll in Iraq fell to its lowest point since the war began, with at least 10 American deaths as July drew to a close Thursday after the departure of the last surge brigade,” according to the Associated Press.
Reuters reports that, “The U.S. Senate on Thursday passed legislation smoothing the way for Libya to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to compensate U.S. victims of bombing attacks that Washington blames on Tripoli.”
Israel is preparing for some difficult times ahead in the wake of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's announcement yesterday that he would resign in September, raising questions about the future of the peace process.
Perhaps signaling a weakening of the Sunni insurgent group al-Qaida in Iraq, the group's leader and top command have moved from Iraq to Afghanistan. “U.S. officials say there are indications that al-Qaeda is diverting new recruits from going to Iraq, where its fighters have suffered dramatic setbacks, to going to Afghanistan and Pakistan, where they appear to be making gains.”
At court today, former Bosnian Serb military commander Radovan Karadzic would not enter and plea and said he would not use a lawyer. He was defiant, saying the Americans had threatened his life and forced him into hiding.
According to the BBC, “Turkey’s Constitutional Court has decided not to ban the ruling AK Party, accused of undermining the country’s secular system. But the judges did cut half the AKP’s treasury funding for this year.”
"A small jet crashed in strong thunderstorms Thursday while preparing to land at a regional airport in Minnesota, killing at least eight people, including several casino and construction executives," according to the Associated Press.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates approved a new National Defense Strategy last month that has not been released to the public yet. In it, The Washington Post reports, Gates said the War on Terror will be a “Long War,” that will continue after Afghanistan and Iraq are secure, and in order to win the U.S. must use “irregular” warfare and “soft power.”
Air travel last summer was characterized by long delays at airports, and this summer has not been much different. Delays have increased at Chicago’s O’Hare and New York’s LaGuardia, and nationally, the percentage of delayed flights has improved by less than 1 percent since last year.
Wired writes: “AK-47 was one of a handful of students heaping misogynist scorn on women attending the nations' top law schools in 2007, in posts so vile they spurred a national debate on the limits of online anonymity, and an unprecedented federal lawsuit aimed at unmasking and punishing the posters. Now lawyers for two female Yale Law School students have ascertained AK-47’s real identity, along with the identities of other AutoAdmit posters, who all now face the likely publication of their names in court records—potentially marking a death sentence for the comment trolls’ budding legal careers even before the case has gone to trial.”
The Baltimore Sun reports: “Hundreds of thousands of struggling homeowners may get help to stave off foreclosure from the federal housing bill that Congress passed, but for many more … help comes too late.”
"A team of European scientists unveiled on Wednesday a new method for extracting images hidden under old masters' paintings, recreating a color portrait of a woman's face unseen since Vincent van Gogh painted over it in 1887," Discovery News writes.
"Those consumers already worried about genetically engineered or cloned food reaching their tables may soon find something else in their grocery carts to furrow their brows over—nano-foods. Companies using nanotechnology say it can enhance the flavor or nutritional effectiveness of food," according to Reuters.
"International researchers have identified three new DNA variations that increase the risk of schizophrenia and said on Wednesday they were some of the strongest genetic links yet found to the disease," according to Reuters.
By the conclusion of the baseball trade deadline today, Manny Ramirez was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Jason Bay was moved to the Boston Red Sox. “Pittsburgh gets pitcher Craig Hansen and outfielder Brandon Moss, both from Boston, as well as third baseman Andy LaRoche and right-handed pitcher Bryan Morris from the Dodgers.”
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that the Chicago White Sox have reached a deal with the Cincinatti Reds to acquire Ken Griffey Jr. It is unclear who the Reds will receive in return in the trade, which is pending approval.
The Yankees traded relief pitcher Kyle Farnsworth to the Tigers for catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez yesterday, the same day that the Yankees’ All-Star catcher, Jorge Posada, had season-ending surgery. “He’s a significant upgrade, with all due respect, to everything we’ve got,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.
E Online writes: “Ten years after sailing off with $600.8 million, Titanic remains the top-grossing movie of all-time, a title which, up until The Dark Knight onslaught, hasn't been seriously challenged. Why? Statistically speaking, says Jeffrey Simonoff, borrowing a famous line from screenwriter William Goldman, ‘Nobody knows.'”