Merrill Lynch said it will widen its net when identifying poorly performing companies. Instead of devoting 12 percent of its stocks to underperforming companies, 20 percent will be reserved for that purpose.
General Electric, the company that created the refrigerator, room air-conditioner and toaster oven, is going to sell off its historic appliance unit. “A sale would come as the company faces pressure to trim a portfolio that includes such diverse businesses as credit cards, aircraft engines and television broadcasting, following a disappointing first-quarter earnings report,” The Wall Street Journal reports.
Despite the company’s effort to get the case thrown out, a federal judge ruled that a “shareholder lawsuit against Countrywide Financial Corp. executives and directors should go to trial," according to the Associated Press.
“Icahn, who has a reputation for shaking up companies and egging on corporate takeovers, will seek to replace all members of Yahoo's 10-person board,” according to the San Jose Mercury news. “The deadline for submitting names of nominees to the board is the close of business today.”
In his speech to the Israeli legislature, President George W. Bush made an apparent reference to Barack Obama when he “decried his critics’ calls for negotiations with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as comparable to the ‘appeasement’ of Adolf Hitler before World War Two.”
The military junta in Myanmar has announced a referendum victory in support of its constitution and its power, at a time when foreign aid agencies still charge the junta with withholding aid from the people affected by Cyclone Nargis.
“Arab mediators are set to unveil a deal on Thursday towards ending a crisis that has pushed Lebanon to the brink of civil war, after the US-backed cabinet, in a major climbdown, cancelled controversial measures against its Hezbollah rivals,” Agence France-Press reports.
The Colombian government released information it obtained from computer files indicating that Venezuelan officials helped provide Colombian guerillas with surface-to-air missiles, fueling tension between the two countries.
“Thefts and illegal exports of advanced military night-vision gear are rising sharply, and U.S. officials say some of the devices have reached enemies in Afghanistan and Iraq, where they could erode the edge U.S. troops have in after-dark combat,” according to USA Today.
“U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement announced his resignation Wednesday, ending a seven-year run of arguing the Bush administration’s terrorism cases and other controversial legal positions before the Supreme Court,” the Associated Press reports.
Senator John McCain today predicted an end to the Iraq War by 2013, the end of his first term as president, though the Taliban would still be functioning in Afghanistan at that time. He also said “Osama bin Laden will have been captured or killed,” CNN writes.
The Republicans lost a special congressional race in Mississippi on Tuesday, “a once-steadfast Republican district,” causing Republicans to rethink the strategy and move further away from President Bush. “The political atmosphere facing House Republicans this November is the worst since Watergate,” said Representative Tom Davis, Republican of Virginia.
Former presidential candidate John Edwards endorsed Barack Obama on Tuesday night “giving the Illinois senator a key endorsement prize and signaling that party leaders may be ready to coalesce around his candidacy,” Politico writes.
Sen. Arlen Specter has said the New England Patriots "Spygate" affair should continue and an independent investigation launched, perhaps on par with baseball’s Mitchell report on performance enhancing drugs, even though NFL commissioner Roger Goodell essentially called the case closed on Tuesday.