Wall Street continued its downward trend during trading today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 9447.11 and dropped 508.39 points, or just over 5 percent, marking a two-day decline of 900-odd points. The S&P 500 was down 5.7 percent, closing at 996.24, and the Nasdaq closed 1754.88, a loss of 5.8 percent.
Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke announced a plan for the Fed to buy up company "commercial paper," a type of short-term financing vehicle on which companies rely for everyday liquidity. The Treasury Department is to help with the so-called Commercial Paper Funding Facility as well. Bernanke also hinted at another interest rate cut in the near future.
The National Bureau of Economic Research, the group that officially determines whether the United States is in economic recession, refused today to announce that the country is indeed in an economic downturn. Stanford University economist Robert Hall, who heads the panel, pointed to robust growth in productivity despite heavy job losses.
Former AIG CEOs Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, Martin Sullivan and Robert Willumstad testified in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today over factors that could have led to the insurer's downfall. Executive compensation at the insurer came under lawmaker scrutiny as well.
U.K. government authorities and banks are in "urgent talks" over a possible multi-billion pound injection of public funds to help keep banks afloat. Shares of Barclays, which bought the U.S. operations of Lehman Brothers, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB plummeted on the back of news of Monday evening talks.
Presidential candidates Ill. Sen. Barack Obama and Ariz. Sen. John McCain are set to debate tonight at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. It is expected that the two will attack each other on "character issues," writes the AP.
Sen. McCain has past links to the U.S. Council for World Freedom, a private organization that provided aid to guerrillas seeking to topple Nicaragua's leftist government as part of the Iran-Contra affair. The Democratic camp is likely to use this as ammunition over the GOP drawing connections between Sen. Obama and William Ayers, a cofounder of the Weather Underground who later collaborated with Obama on Chicago community education reform.
Federal District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina ordered the Bush administration to free 17 ethnic Uighur prisoners from Guantanamo Bay and let them live in the United States on the grounds that "they are no longer considered enemy combatants," writes The New York Times. This case is the first instance in which a U.S. court has struck down arguments from the federal government to have Guantamo detainees released.
Secondhand stores and resale shops across the country are reporting a sharp uptick in sales. Thrift store chain Savers has had a 10 percent growth rate and non-profit organizations The Salvation Army and Goodwill Industries have had year-to-date sales growth of 6 to 15 percent.
Political clashes outside the parliament house in the Thai capital Bangkok have left one woman dead and more than 350 people injured. Local media reported that Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat had to climb a fence to reach a compound due to a blockade of protesters around the parliament building.
Some 75 Christians and adherents of other religious groups gathered in front of a Baghdad church to demand that Iraq's Parliament reinstate text in provincial elections law that guaranteed political representation for minorities.
In the latest fallout of China's melamine-tainted baby food scandal, Burma's ruling junta has advised against consumption of Chinese dairy products. The isolated country relies heavily on Chinese imports due to economic sanctions.
Kenyan immigration authorities detained and deported Jerome Corsi, the author of a best-selling boat critical of presidential candidate Barack Obama. The author was scheduled to attend an event in Nairobi to mark the release of his book.
Japan's Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa and U.S. scientist Yoichiro Nambu won the Nobel Prize for Physics for their work in particle physics, namely the nature of matter created during the Big Bang, the research focus of Switzerland's Large Hadron Collider.
Drug manufacturers instituted a voluntary advisory against cough and cold medicines for children under age four, a week after a group of pediatricians pushed the Food and Drug Administration for an outright ban on cough and cold medicines for all children under the age of six.
The Minnesota Vikings beat the New Orleans Saints 30-27, leaving the Vikings tied with the Green Bay Packers for second place in the NFC North, and one game behind the Chicago Bears, the top-ranked in the division.
Houston Astros pitcher Brandon Backe was involved in a wedding brawl at a Galveston, Texas hotel bar Sunday afternoon. The 30-year-old pitcher refused to back away from the fight, which broke out after police officers told a 19-year-old member of the wedding party not to enter the pool bar area with an open container of alcohol. Backe, also a member of the wedding party, was charged with "resisting arrest, search and transportation by using force against an officer," writes the Houston Chronicle. A total of 10 were arrested, and FEMA coordinator Jaime Forero, was put under custody in connection with the incident.
David Duchovny, actor on cable TV series "Californication" and known as the co-star of the series "X-Files," has finished his sex rehabilitation program, according to a statement from his attorney Stanton "Larry" Stein.