Investor’s Business Daily describes stock performances for Wednesday: “At 12:40 p.m. EDT, the NYSE composite was flat, paring an earlier 0.3% loss. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 were down about 0.1% each. And the Dow, which took the biggest hit Tuesday, again was the biggest decliner, falling 0.4%.”
"Fears of a shortage within five years propelled long-term oil futures prices to almost $140 a barrel on Tuesday, further stoking inflationary pressures in the global economy," according to the Financial Times.
"Ammo prices for many popular guns have more than tripled in the last three years, driven in large part by surging demand for metals in rapidly industrializing China," irking gun owners, including hunters and law enforcement officials, MSNBC writes.
“European stocks fell for a second day after oil breached $130 a barrel, stoking concern higher fuel costs will curb profits for carmakers and airlines. U.S. index futures and shares in Asia retreated,” according to Bloomberg.com.
A Financial Times investigation has revealed that the Moody’s credit agency “awarded incorrect triple-A ratings to billions of dollars worth of a type of complex debt product due to a bug in its computer models.”
“Police in Colombia overpowered a man armed with a grenade and freed the two dozen people he was holding, bringing a tense hostage drama to an end, authorities said Wednesday,” according to Agence France-Presse.
Thousands of Iraqi soldiers marched into Sadr City, the stronghold of the cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, resistance-free on Tuesday. “I think this is the turning point where we start seeing the Special Group criminals picked up by the Iraqi security forces and a lasting peace for the Iraqi people," said Lt. Col. Steven Stover. "And it will be because they did it, not us."
In a victory for Hezbollah, “Lebanon's feuding factions ended an 18-month political crisis Wednesday after reaching a breakthrough deal that gives the militant Hezbollah and their allies veto power on any government decision,” according to the Associated Press.
French and Spanish police arrested Francisco Javier Lopez Pena, one of the top leaders of Basque separatist group Eta, in France last night. “Officials hailed the arrests as a heavy blow against a group which has already been seriously weakened over the past decade by hundreds of arrests in Spain and France,” the Telegraph reports.
“The White House sharply criticized a news organization on Tuesday for the second time in two days over reports about administration policy toward Iran, dismissing an Israeli report that President Bush was preparing to order an attack on Iran before leaving office in eight months,” The New York Times writes.
“The Senate stopped in its tracks Tuesday with the news of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s illness—not because a malignant brain tumor means he will be a missing vote or an absent committee chairman but because the Massachusetts Democrat is such a part of the place that his mortality reminds the Senate of its own,” writes Politico.
“President Bush vetoed the $300 billion farm bill on Wednesday, calling it a tax increase on regular Americans at a time of high food prices in the face of a near-certain override by Congress,” reports the International Herald Tribune.
American Airlines announced today that it would charge passengers $15 for their first piece of luggage, cut the number of U.S. flights and lay off workers in an effort to "remain viable” while fuel prices are spiraling.
“Virginia's 2003 law banning a particular form of late-term abortions has been held unconstitutional for the second time by a divided panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals,” according to the Richmond Times Dispatch.
The Senate Banking Committee approved a housing bill yesterday meant to shield homeowners from foreclosure. “The legislation would authorize the Federal Housing Administration to help at-risk borrowers trade exotic mortgages with escalating monthly payments for more affordable loans backed by the federal government,” The Washington Post reports.
On Tuesday, acting Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan said that his office would be ready to perform same-sex marriages on June 16, the date on which the state Supreme Court's ruling allowing such marriages could take effect.
"A Justice Department audit of terror interrogations at three military bases overseas concluded Tuesday that FBI agents refused to participate when detainees were questioned under harsh and potentially illegal methods," USA Today reports.
A Time magazine article says, "Decades after law enforcement raided the ranch where Charles Manson hid following a 1969 killing spree, detectives and scientists are returning to hunt for undiscovered graves."
The Chicago Bulls defied the odds last night by securing the first pick in the NBA draft, which will probably be spent on either Michael Beasley or Derrick Rose. The Miami Heat, who had the best chances of winning the lottery courtesy of their last-place record, won the second pick, and the Minnesota Timberwolves took third.
Mike Piazza, the 12-time All-Star catcher, has announced his retirement from baseball. Most of his 16 years in baseball were spent with the Dodgers and Mets. “Piazza's 396 homers are easily the most as a catcher, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.”
Lou Pearlman, the mastermind behind boy bands the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison today for “allegedly swindling some $300 million from investors and banks since the early 1980s.”
"Kenny Chesney won entertainer of the year for a fourth straight time Sunday, then promptly took issue with the way the Academy of Country music awarded the honor: through fan votes," according to the Associated Press.