The markets fell due to the performance of financial stocks after analysts of the Goldman Sachs Group warned that credit-related fallout would hit Wall Street soon. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 108.78 points, while the Nasdaq lost 17.05 points.
Counterfeit and pirated goods are costing the U.S. economy billions of dollars and are jeopardizing consumer safety, according to experts from the automotive, pharmaceutical and product safety industries who met with a U.S. Senate panel on Tuesday.
Flooding has eradicated 16 percent of Iowa’s farmland and plowed under much of the crops in Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Indiana. Farm insurers are readying themselves for a predicted $8 billion in claims. Meanwhile prices are set to soar for livestock—especially as farmers may not be able to afford corn and other feed.
U.S. wealth management firm Rockefeller & Co. and Société Générale, France’s second-largest bank, inked a deal for a private banking alliance. SocGen is to acquire a 37-percent stake in Rockefeller. This is the first major transaction since the French bank’s rogue trading scandal in January.
Inflation for consumer goods in Britain reached 3.3 percent in May, the highest rate since at least 1997. Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England, predicted that prices will be rising by 4 percent by the end of year, sparking concern of a recession.
Russian banker Mikhail Fridman is accusing British oil company BP of mismanagement of the Russian/British joint venture TNK-BP, saying that it wants to run the company as a fully owned subsidiary and is hiring too many foreign staff. But BP counters that the Kremlin is jockeying for a state takeover.
Demand for electricity is expected to exceed supply in the West, New England and Texas by as early as next year and in New York and the mid-Atlantic area by 2011. A decrease in power plant construction and higher prices for coal and natural gas could translate into price spikes for power, argues Forbes.
Ill. Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, holds a narrow lead over GOP contender John McCain at the start of the general election race. Obama edges out McCain among independent voters; however, about 25 percent of supporters of N.Y. Sen. Hillary Clinton are pulling for McCain.
Homeland Security officials in Iowa are advising residents to stay out of floodwaters. Pig feces, farm chemicals and sewage have been detected in the effluent. The Red Cross has depleted its funds and has turned to borrowing to help Iowa flood victims.
“The Israeli government no longer believes that sanctions can prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons,” reports Der Spiegel. “A broad consensus in favor of a military strike against Tehran's nuclear facilities—without the Americans, if necessary—is beginning to take shape.”
Chadian rebel forces are claiming to have seized the eastern city of Biltine, and are threatening to shoot down any French plane flying overhead. The UN High Council on Refugees has suspended its operations in the area, and the U.S. Embassy is evacuating staff from the former French colony.
Judges at a key war crimes tribunal have reprimanded those prosecuting Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga and are considering releasing him. The BBC reports, “Lubanga was held in 2006, accused of recruiting and using child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo during its brutal five-year civil war, which ended in 2003.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has promised full support for French President Nicolas Sarkozy during his six-month term as EU president, which is set to start July 1. Of Ireland’s recent referendum on the Lisbon accord, she said, “If there is an Irish rejection, it wouldn’t be a problem for the French presidency alone. … It is for the Irish to decide, but whatever happens, the reaction would be Franco-German.”
Regular consumption of coffee, defined as up to six cups a day, does not carry a higher risk of death, says a study published yesterday by a team working at Spain’s Universidad Autonoma de Madrid. Some of the coffee drinkers in the study reported a lower rate of heart disease.
Researchers at Australia’s University of Queensland are uncovering clues about the Diprotodon, the largest marsupial ever to walk the earth. Alive some 100,000 years ago, the animal was 1.8 meters tall and some 3.5 meters long.
A trio of “super-earths” has been found orbiting a star located some 42-light-years away. Geneva Conservatory’s Michel Mayor said at a conference in France yesterday, “Does every single star harbor planets and, if yes, how many?" asked Michel Mayor of Switzerland's Geneva Observatory. We may not yet know the answer but we are making huge progress towards it.”
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature, a wildlife preservation advocacy that composes an annual list of endangered species, announced today that the great white rhino is near extinction. Native to central Africa, a pack of rhinos found in Garamba National Park in Congo are the last remaining great white rhinos in the wild.
After two and a half months into what ESPN calls a “disappointing season,” New York Mets manager Willie Randolph was fired in the middle of the night last night. Jerry Manuel, the Mets’ bench coach, is filling in for the interim.
"Star Trek" star George Takei was the first in West Hollywood to procure a marriage license for a same-sex wedding on Tuesday. He plans to marry his partner of 21 years, Brad Altman, in September. California started allowing gay couples to be legally married this week.