General Motors Corp. said that about 19,000 hourly employees will take buyout or early retirement offers, with most leaving the company by July 1. The announcement comes as the company is dealing with a sharp downturn in U.S. truck sales and is ready to announce further restructuring moves, The Wall Street Journal reports.
New data from the U.S. Department of Energy shows that the amount of petroleum products shipped by the world's top oil exporters fell 2.5 percent last year, despite a 57 percent increase in prices. The trend appears to be holding true this year, as well, The Wall Street Journal reports.
On Wednesday, investors increased their bets that rising oil prices would force the Federal Reserve to raise U.S. interest rates this year, pushing the yield on the 10-year Treasury bond above 4 percent for the first time since January.
“American motorists are understandably grumbling over skyrocketing gas prices as the summer travel season approaches. But their pain hardly registers against the rage afoot in Europe these days,” reports Time. Gas prices in the U.K. have reached the equivalent of $9 and protests are rampant.
Senior U.S. officials have said that in recent months there have been secret contacts between the Iranian government and the al Qaeda leadership, ABC reports. According to the story, “the contacts are on the status of high-level al Qaeda operatives, including two of Osama Bin Laden's sons, who have been under house arrest in Iran since 2003.”
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki said he will ask the international community to relieve the country's debt at a UN forum on progress in Iraq. Nearly 100 countries are taking part in the economic and political reform forum near Stockholm, Sweden.
“Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert’s main coalition partner has demanded that he leave office over corruption allegations, in a political turmoil that threatens to topple his government and disrupt peace talks with the Palestinians,” The Daily Telegraph reports.
The Pentagon plans to shift $9.7 billion of its overall budget to pay for war operations in Iraq, but warned Wednesday that it will run out of money if Congress does not approve more funding by mid-July.
USA Today reports that “With the year not even half done, 2008 is already the deadliest tornado year in the United States since 1998 and seems on track to break the U.S. record for the number of twisters in a year, according to the National Weather Service.”
New York Gov. David Paterson has instructed state agencies, including those governing insurance and health care, to recognize gay marriages performed elsewhere. He made the announcement Wednesday, shortly after California officials said the state will begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples on June 17.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Thursday rejected claims made by former White House spokesman Scott McClellan in his new memoir that the president deceived the American people in order to sell the Iraq war. "The president was very clear about the reasons for going to war," she told reporters at a news conference with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt in Stockholm.
Democratic National Committee member Joel Ferguson said Thursday that the state Democratic Party's plan to split the convention delegates between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama is "fatally flawed."
The set-top box, used by cable customers for decades, may be on the way out. Leading television manufacturer Sony Electronics Inc. and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association said Tuesday they signed an agreement that will allow viewers to rid themselves of the boxes, yet still receive advanced cable services.
Is organic food really better? Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have found that organically grown tomatoes are richer in certain kinds of flavonoids than conventionally grown tomatoes.
A new paper published in the journal Nature presents the worst-case scenario for climate change: if global temperatures continue to rise, massive amounts of methane gas could be released from the world's deep oceans and permafrost, leaving the Earth entirely ice-free within a generation.
The Celtics beat the Detroit Pistons 106-102 on Wednesday night to take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference finals. The win put the Celtics within one win of the NBA finals for the first time since the original Big Three.