Eagan, Minn.-based Northwest Airlines announced the cutting of 2,500 jobs and fare increases to mitigate the effects of high fuel costs. The airline is to offer first voluntary contract early-out programs before turning to layoffs.
Discount fashion retailer Steve and Barry’s filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday, citing liquidity problems. The chain was known for selling no items over $10, and had been touted as a retail success story during sluggish economic times.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that bidding for a $35 billion contract to build fueling tankers between Boeing and EADS, the parent company of Northrop Grumman, is to be reopened. Last month the Government Accountability Office ruled that the Air Force made “a number of significant errors that could have affected the outcome of what was a close competition” that wound up going to EADS, whose headquarters are in Europe.
MarketWatch writes that “Hedge funds turned in their worst first-half performance since at least 1990 this year as the credit crunch took a heavy toll on some managers, according to data released on Tuesday by industry tracker Hedge Fund Research.”
The Abu Dhabi Investment Council has bought New York’s Chrysler Building for an undisclosed price. The sale is the “second this year of a landmark Manhattan property to a group that includes Middle Eastern investors,” according to Bloomberg.com.
Democratic and Republican members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are vying over accountability for formaldehyde levels in trailers used to house Hurricane Katrina victims. Manufacturers maintain they are not responsible and Republican members blame the government for not having set standards for safe amounts of the chemical. But committee chair Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said that Gulf Stream Coach “found pervasive formaldehyde contamination in its trailers, and it didn’t tell anyone.”
Ariz. Sen. John McCain has placed new emphasis on appealing to Latino voters in a speech he made to the League of United Latin American Citizens. He suggested that as “president he would back the kind of legislation that has roiled many in his party -- most notably, a legalization plan for undocumented workers.”
DNA evidence released today exonerated the parents of slain six-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey. John and the late Patsy Ramsey were under an “umbrella of suspicion,” said police in Boulder, Colo. District Attorney Mary Lacy apologized to the Ramseys in an online statement.
Warren Jeffs, the jailed leader of the polygamist group the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was airlifted from Mohave County Jail in Kingman, Ariz., to a Las Vegas hospital for an unknown medical condition. Jeffs, who is considered a prophet by members of the FLDS, is serving a sentence for conducting a marriage between 14-year-old Elissa Wall and her 19-year-old cousin, Allen Steed.
Michael Feld, a camp counselor from Brooklyn, was charged with attacking a police officer after running down the street naked in New Hampshire. Officials had to shoot Feld with a Taser several times to take him down. He said in court on Tuesday that he had been hallucinating the night before the alleged attack.
“Over seven years, the federal program for the elderly and disabled paid at least about $77 million—and possibly as much as $92 million—to purported medical equipment suppliers who used Medicare ID numbers of deceased physicians, says a report out Wednesday by congressional investigators,” according to USA Today.
"Vice President Dick Cheney's office pushed for major deletions in congressional testimony on the public health consequences of climate change, fearing the presentation by a leading health official might make it harder to avoid regulating greenhouse gases, a former EPA officials maintains," according to the Associated Press.
"Demonstrations on the town square in Mt. Vernon, Ohio show how divided people are over the school board's decision to fire a science teacher accused of preaching his Christian beliefs in the classroom and burning crosses on students' arms," the Associated Press writes.
“Space, like Earth below, is globalizing. And as it does, America's long-held superiority in exploring, exploiting and commercializing 'the final frontier' is slipping away, many experts believe,” The Washington Post reports.
On Wednesday, in an attack targeted against the police post outside the U.S. consulate in Istanbul, “Three unidentified gunmen and three Turkish policeman were killed in a shootout,” according to the AFP.
The G8 forged a climate change deal on Wednesday, deciding on “deep cuts” in greenhouse gas emissions tied to global warming, and soaring food and fuel prices. However, the agreement “failed to convince big emerging economies that rich countries were doing enough.”
Thanks to a major copy and pasting error on the part of the government, “The Bush administration was forced yesterday to issue a grovelling apology to the Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, after White House officials briefed the travelling US press corps that Berlusconi was regarded as a political amateur who had used his massive media influence to gain political power,” according to The Guardian.
Investigators say evidence links the suicide bombing at the Indian embassy in Kabul last week to the assistance of a foreign intelligence agency. “Humayun Hamidzada, chief spokesman for President Hamid Karzai, pointedly avoided direct references to Pakistan during a news conference but hinted that the scale and complexity of the strike against the embassy bore the markings of previous attacks linked to Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency,” reports The Washington Post.
"Pressured by desperate parents, government researchers are pushing to test an unproven treatment on autistic children, a move some scientists see as an unethical experiment in voodoo medicine," according to the Associated Press. "The treatment removes heavy metals from the body and is based on the fringe theory that mercury in vaccines triggers autism."
"The federal government will allow livestock to graze on thousands of acres of land set aside for conservation as a part of its response to record flooding in the Midwest," the Associated Press reports.
“Just seven months after Michael Vick was sentenced to federal prison, the fallen Falcons quarterback found himself in a ‘precarious financial position’ and filed for bankruptcy protection. One of his creditors is the Falcons,” the Atlanta Journal Conistution reports.
The smaller American Federation of Television and Radio Artists guild approved a three-year contract yesterday, “an outcome that could weaken SAG's leverage in its negotiations with the Hollywood studios,” the Los Angeles Times writes.