- US rate on 30-year mortgages rises to 3.59 pct.
Boston Globe, Thursday - 05/23/2013 - 10:43 AM
Average rates on fixed mortgage rose for the third straight week, hitting their highest levels since mid-March. Still, mortgage rates remained close to historic lows, a trend that should help sustain the housing recovery.
- US unemployment aid applications fall to 340K
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Thursday - 05/23/2013 - 08:47 AM
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell by 23,000 last week, further evidence that the job market is slowly returning to health.
- Pakistan arrested American who was killed by drone
Associated Press, Thursday - 05/23/2013 - 05:50 AM
Pakistani authorities once arrested an American citizen now known to have been killed in a U.S. drone strike in the country, but he escaped after being released on bail.
- Simultaneous car bomb attacks in Niger
Associated Press, Thursday - 05/23/2013 - 05:22 AM
Attackers in Niger detonated two car bombs at dawn on Thursday, one in the city of Agadez where a military barracks was targeted and one in Arlit where a French company operates a uranium mine, injuring more than a dozen people.
- Stricken Japan nuke plant struggles to keep staff
Boston Globe, Thursday - 05/23/2013 - 04:21 AM
Keeping the meltdown-stricken Fukushima nuclear plant in northeastern Japan in stable condition requires a cast of thousands. Increasingly the plant's operator is struggling to find enough workers, a trend that many expect to worsen and hamper progress in the decades-long effort to safely decommission it.
- US, Israel raise hopes for Mideast peace restart
Ledger-Enquirer, Thursday - 05/23/2013 - 04:00 AM
The United States and Israel are raising hopes for a restart of the Middle East peace process after more than four years of hardly any talks.Click to Continue »
- Bangladesh: Owners' many failings led to collapse
FOXNews, Thursday - 05/23/2013 - 03:53 AM
The defects and errors that led to the world's deadliest garment-industry accident extend from the swampy ground the doomed Rana Plaza was built on, to "extremely poor quality" construction materials, to the massive, vibrating equipment operating when the eight-story building collapsed, a committee appointed by Bangladesh's government concluded. The committee recommended life prison sentences for the owners of the building and the five garment factories that operated there, though the charges they currently face carry a maximum seven-year term. Their report, submitted to the government Wednesday, says nothing about the role that an inadequate regulatory system played in the April 24 collapse, which left more than 1,100 people dead. The disaster highlighted the hazardous working conditions in Bangladesh's $20 billion garment industry and the lack of safety for millions of workers who are paid as low as $38 a month. The 1,127 killed at Rana Plaza in the Dhaka suburb of Savar are among at least 1,800 Bangladesh garment-industry workers killed in fires or building collapses since 2005. The investigating committee, appointed by the interior ministry, found that the ground Rana Plaza was built on was unfit for a multi-story building. "A portion of the building was constructed on land which had been a body of water before and was filled with rubbish," committee head Khandker Mainuddin Ahmed said. He said the land had been swampy with shallow water. Building owner Sohel Rana also "used extremely poor quality iron rods and cement," Ahmed told The Associated Press on Thursday. "There were a series of irregularities." The report found that Rana had permission to build a six-story structure and added two floors illegally so he could rent them out to garment factories. Past statements from authorities said the owner had permission for a five-story structure and added three floors illegally. The report also said the building was not built for industrial use, and that the weight of the heavy garment factory machinery and their vibrations contributed to the building collapse. Some elements of the report, including problems with building materials and heavy equipment, were previously mentioned by investigators. Rana Plaza was shut down briefly after workers spotted cracks in its walls and pillars a day before the collapse. But the garment factory workers were called back to work, many of them forcefully, hours before the building fell. The committee recommended that Rana and the owners of the garment factories be sentenced to life in jail if they are found guilty of violating building codes. Rana, three engineers and four factory owners have been arrested, but the building-code charges they face carry a maximum sentence of seven years behind bars. The committee also urged the government to ensure that all those injured at Rana Plaza receive free medical treatment. More than 2,500 people were rescued shortly after the disaster. Labor activists are among those who have blamed not just the owners but the government for the disaster. Government inspections of garment factories are infrequent and easily subverted by corruption, and the garment industry, by far Bangladesh's biggest exporter, is highly influential in government. The owner of a Bangladesh garment factory where 112 people died in a fire last year has not been charged, though his factory had three illegal floors and no emergency exits. After three anthropologists filed a petition claiming that the Nov. 24 fire resulted from Tazreen Fashions Ltd. owner Delwar Hossain's negligence, Bangladesh's High Court asked authorities to bring Hossain before the court on May 30, and to bar him from leaving the country. Since the disaster, many international clothing retailers have signed on to a five-year, legally binding contract that requires them to help pay for fire safety and building improvements in Bangladesh. Most American brands have not; the National Retail Federation is leading a coalition of North American retail and apparel groups to develop an alternative broader proposal that would go beyond Bangladesh.
- UK emergency committee meets after attack
FOXNews, Thursday - 05/23/2013 - 03:51 AM
The British government's emergency committee is going to meet after two attackers butchered a man in a brutal daylight attack in London amid fears that terrorism has returned to the capital. Prime Minister David Cameron says there are strong indications it was an act of terrorism and his top advisers will be examining the potential security implications Thursday. The police counter-terror unit is leading the investigation. Authorities did not identify the victim by name, but French President Francois Hollande referred to him as a "soldier" at a news conference in Paris with Cameron, who was visiting. Cameron would not confirm that, but British media say the victim was wearing a shirt in support of troops and Britain's Ministry of Defense said it was investigating whether a U.K. soldier was involved.
- Debbie Reynolds: We all knew Liberace was gay
Kansas City Star, Thursday - 05/23/2013 - 03:50 AM
In the new film "Behind the Candelabra," veteran entertainer Debbie Reynolds has just three major scenes to flesh out one of the most complicated figures in piano-playing showman Liberace's life: his loving but sometimes manipulative mother Frances.
- Nixon library hosts 40th reunion for Vietnam POWs
San Diego Union-Tribune, Thursday - 05/23/2013 - 03:43 AM
U.S. Navy Lt. Mike McGrath was just 27 years old, with a wife and two toddler sons in the U.S., when he was shot down and taken prisoner on his 179th bombing mission during the Vietnam War.
- House to vote on variable rate student loans
Boston Globe, Thursday - 05/23/2013 - 03:36 AM
House lawmakers are ready to pass legislation that links student loan rates to the financial markets in spite of a veto threat from President Barack Obama.
- IMF head Lagarde in court in fraud probe
Boston Globe, Thursday - 05/23/2013 - 03:35 AM
International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde has appeared at a special Paris court to face questioning over a controversial arbitrage deal that she oversaw as French finance minister.
- Oil falls below $94 as China manufacturing weakens
Boston Globe, Thursday - 05/23/2013 - 03:35 AM
The price of oil fell below $94 per barrel Thursday after a private survey showed manufacturing activity in China falling to its lowest level in seven months, a sign that the recovery in the world's No. 2 economy is fading.
- Between economy and trouble, Obama approval steady
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Thursday - 05/23/2013 - 03:13 AM
Between economy and trouble, Obama approval steady
- Police: Car bomb kills 12 in southwest Pakistan
Kansas City Star, Thursday - 05/23/2013 - 02:00 AM
A car bomb targeting a police vehicle killed 11 policemen and one civilian Thursday in an area of southwest Pakistan wracked by a separatist insurgency and Islamic militancy, police said.
- Review: Google music plan solid, serendipitous
Miami Herald, Thursday - 05/23/2013 - 12:09 AM
Google Inc.'s new music service offers a lot of eye candy to go with the tunes. The song selection of around 18 million tracks is comparable to popular services such as Spotify and Rhapsody, and a myriad of playlists curated along different genres provides a big playground for music lovers.
- Nearly all US states see hefty drop in teen births
Boston Globe, Thursday - 05/23/2013 - 12:04 AM
The nation's record-low teen birth rate stems from robust declines in nearly every state, but most dramatically in several Mountain States and among Hispanics, according to a new government report.
- LeBron saves Heat at buzzer of Game 1
Associated Press, Wednesday - 05/22/2013 - 11:55 PM
LeBron James made a layup as time expired in overtime, and the Miami Heat found a way to beat the Indiana Pacers 103-102 in a wild Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday night.