As of midday, stocks were down markedly from the start of Wednesday trading. The Dow Jones and NYSE were both down 0.2 percent, and the Nasdaq "pared an earlier 0.6 percent loss to 0.4 percent," reports Investor's Business Daily.
“ExxonMobil’s chairman and chief executive, Rex W. Tillerson, defeated a shareholder effort on Wednesday to take away one of his jobs at an annual meeting punctuated by a debate of the company’s policy toward renewable energy and global warming,” writes The New York Times.
Federal Reserve governor Frederic Mishkin announced that he will resign at the end of August and go into academia, “leaving the central bank further short-handed as it deals with the credit crisis, possible recession and sweeping changes to financial regulation,” The Wall Street Journal reports.
Microsoft’s demonstration of its new touch-screen technology for the upcoming version of Windows may have paved the way for the future of personal computers, but it also revealed how Microsoft Vista “isn't living up to the company's expectations,” The Wall Street Journal writes.
The recent indictment of UBS former senior executive Bradley Birkenfeld for reputedly aiding in tax evasion has put the bank on the defensive: “UBS has told members of its former private banking team responsible for rich US clients not to travel to America,” according to the Financial Times.
“General Electric Co. CEO Jeff Immelt announced Wednesday the company will expand its environmental initiative by cutting its global water use by 20 percent over five years,” reports the Associated Press.
Ali Larijani, who previously served as Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, has been elected speaker of the nation’s parliament. “Larijani, a conservative heavyweight who is seen as a potential rival to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, quit his position last year due to his differences with the president over how to handle the nuclear row with the West,” according to U.K. paper The Guardian.
"Nepal is preparing to abolish its monarchy and declare a republic, with its new Moaist dominated government saying it would give the once revered king 15 days to leave his palace," according to The Telegraph.
A French court is expected to rule today at the trial of serial killer Michel Fourniret and his wife Monique Olivier. They are accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering seven girls in France and Belgium “in a 15 year reign of terror between 1987 and 2001,” according to The Times of London.
"Russia's prosecutor-general has admitted that thousands of people are wrongly charged with criminal offenses in the country each year," and has promised new measures to remedy the situation, reports The BBC.
Five countries met in Greenland Tuesday "to thrash out ownership of the Arctic Ocean, which could hold up to one quarter of the world's undiscovered oil and gas reserves," reports The Daily Telegraph. "Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States are squabbling over much of the Arctic seabed."
Democratic Party lawyers have said that some but not all of the disputed delegates from Michigan and Florida can possibly be restored. The two states must lose “at least half of their convention delegates for holding elections too early, the party's legal experts wrote in a 38-page memo,” according to the Associated Press.
Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan criticizes the White House in his new memoir, “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception,”which will come out next week.
“It’s a quadrennial political ritual, a protracted and obsessive mulling of who will be tapped for the number two slot on the presidential ticket. Still, for all the reasons to dismiss the custom, the vagaries of the 2008 election offer some reason to believe the inordinate attention may actually be merited this year,” writes Politico.
“Wake Forest University will no longer require applicants to take the SAT and ACT exams, boosting a movement to lessen the importance of standardized tests in college admissions,” reports the Associated Press.
“Daniel Wiese, the former head of the security details for governors Pataki and Spitzer, has been suspended since Attorney General Andrew Cuomo began an investigation of claims that state police were used for political purposes,” reports WNYC. Also, the second apparent suicide of a top New York police department vetaran has been discovered.
“Women now own at least a 50 percent stake in nearly 10.4 million U.S. firms—about 41 percent of all privately held companies. But less than 3 percent of those women-owned businesses have achieved revenues of $1 million or more, according to the Center for Women's Business Research (CWBR), a nonprofit research institute. That's half the percentage of male-owned businesses that have reached that milestone,” Newsweek reports.
NPR reports that, “In a sweeping new initiative, the federal immigration agency says it wants to identify and deport an estimated 400,000 immigrants in jails and prisons across the country. Major logistical obstacles stand in the way."
Doctors worry that thousands of children may be facing "lifelong health problems because the temporary housing supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency" after Hurricane Katrina contained formaldehyde fumes up to five times the safe level, the Associated Press reports.
In a soccer match against Lithuania Tuesday night, the Czech Republic matched the Latvian flag with the Lithuanian team in the program and played the Latvian national anthem. The Czech Republic's soccer federation expressed its apologies and federation spokesman Vaclav Tichy resigned.
Big Brown took a jog around the track a day sooner than believed; the first since “a quarter crack was discovered on the inside of his left front hoof.” But the horse’s trainer said Big Brown now might look even better than before.
"In its high-profile bid to compete with Hollywood and New York as a film production hub, Massachusetts is doing more than subsidizing TV series and feature movies through tax credits and sales tax exemptions," reports The Boston Globe. "It is also underwriting the cost of producing TV commercials in Massachusetts."