Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Stories under consideration for 7/27 Oakland Press

Stories under consideration today

Feel free to comment below about what you think should be included in the 7/27 print edition of the Oakland Press


SMALL BUSINESS INVESTMENT — State and federal officials are expected to announce that Michigan will be the first place eligible for loans to small businesses investing in clean energy or located in economically distressed areas.
Eds: Developing from a 1 p.m. conference call.
STATE EMPLOYEES-MICHIGAN — The state of Michigan and one of its largest employee unions is set to kick off a round of labor negotiations Tuesday. It’s likely that Gov. Rick Snyder’s push for $145 million in concessions from state employees will influence the talks with the United Auto Workers.
— HUMAN SERVICES-ROCKET DOCKET — Administrative law judges in 13 Michigan counties are expected to quickly complete more than 600 benefits hearings involving people on public assistance under a new Department of Human Services initiative.


— DEBT SHOWDOWN — Senate debating debt showdown plan, no votes expected.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama wants to solve the debt crisis with a single deal that would last through next year’s election. Republicans prefer a two-step that bleeds into campaign season. In the struggle to avoid a default, that difference still counts as progress — and maybe even the beginnings of a deal. AP News Analysis by Special Correspondent David Espo.
AP photos.
— DEBT SHOWDOWN — Rebelling against their own GOP leader, conservatives balk at the plan that House Speaker John Boehner has been fighting to push past the president and congressional Democrats.
—DEBT SHOWDOWN-DAILY SUMMARY — Brief explanation of debt standoff and latest developments.
A deal to raise the country’s borrowing limit and avoid a default on the debt does not guarantee the U.S. will preserve its sterling credit rating. The agencies that rate the country’s debt have indicated that without a significant spending cuts or a high enough debt limit increase, they will downgrade the creditworthiness of Uncle Sam, a move that could mean higher interest rates on everything from mortgages to corporate loans.
NORWAY-DEADLY DELAYS — When a gunman began killing the campers of Utoya Island, he may have expected elite special forces to swoop down and stop him. But Delta Force police officers drove — they have no helicopter — and had to be rescued by civilians when their boat broke down. Experts say Norway must learn from a massacre made worse by a lackadaisical approach to policing terror. “Children were being slaughtered for an hour and a half.... It is unforgivable,” says a law professor whose niece survived. AP photos, video.
— NORWAY-MASSACRE — A 23-year-old at an island camp who told his father “Dad, dad, someone is shooting.” A woman killed by a bomb in Oslo. Police begin identifying the victims of Norway’s twin terror attacks. AP photos, video.
EAST AFRICA-FAMINE — Seven-month-old Mihag Gedi Farah is the fragile face of Somalia’s famine. He stares out wide-eyed almost in alarm, his skin pulled taut over his ribs and twig-like arms. At only 7 pounds, he weighs as much as a newborn but has the weathered look of an old man. Officials warn as many as 800,000 children could die across the Horn of Africa due to hunger and drought. AP photos, video.
Editors: Calling your attention photo ASVZ101-108 and ASVZ218: Mihag Gedi Farah, a seven-month-old child who weighs only seven and a half pounds. These and other photos by Associated Press photographers capture the human toll in drought-ravaged Somalia where militants banned aid more than two years ago. Tens of thousands already have trekked to neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia, hoping to get aid in refugee camps. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam).
Wealthy countries all over the world are dealing with debt and strained budgets as they mop up after the Great Recession. But the United States is in a bigger fix than almost everyone else. The U.S. federal debt, as a percentage of the overall economy, was 95 percent in the first three months of 2011, the fifth-highest in the world, according to the Associated Press Global Economy Tracker. By Economics Writer Paul Wiseman. Eds: Hold for release online at 4 a.m.; available for morning newspapers.
AP photos, interactive.
AMY WINEHOUSE-LESSONS — Why Amy Winehouse was still being booked for concerts even though she was battling a devastating drug habit is a troubling question. It also raises the issue of whether the entertainment community could have done more to prevent the self-destruction of one of its most gifted young artists.
AP file photos.
— BRITAIN-AMY WINEHOUSE — Carole King’s “So Far Away” and her father’s farewell — “Goodnight, my angel, sleep tight. Mummy and Daddy love you ever so much” — end the funeral for singer Amy Winehouse.
INDIA-INDIAN MUJAHEDEEN — The prime suspect in the deadly bomb attack in Mumbai — the Indian Mujahedeen — has re-emerged three years after authorities thought they had virtually wiped out the terror group in a crackdown that left many of its leaders dead, in jail or hiding abroad. AP photos.
EGYPT-IRAN — Egypt’s ruling generals have taken pains to reassure their allies that they won’t mend ties with Iran, a longtime foe and regional rival. But, they suggest, a future elected government could take a different path. Iran is eagerly courting Cairo, a development that alarms the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. AP photos.
HAITI-MARTELLY MISSTEPS — Alienated Haitians pelt Michel Martelly and his entourage with bottles and rocks in a spontaneous protest — the latest sign that the honeymoon is over three months into the former pop star’s presidency. The country is mired in problems, and nothing is happening quick enough for the hungry and the homeless. AP photos.
STREET CROSSING DEATH — A mother whose 4-year-old son was struck and killed by a van as they were jaywalking across a busy street is spared a prison sentence after a public furor over her arrest for not using a crosswalk. Raquel Nelson could have gotten three years behind bars — far more than the hit-and-run driver received. A judge instead gave her a year’s probation and took the unusual step of offering her a new trial. AP photos.
AP EXCLUSIVE: RECRUITERS SHOT-FAMILY’S FIGHT — The parents of a young soldier killed in a self-professed jihadist’s attack outside an Arkansas military recruiting center say they’re fighting for Purple Hearts for the sacrifices of their son and his wounded comrade. Abdulhakim Muhammad’s state court trial abruptly ended with a plea deal and life prison sentence, but relatives of Pvt. William Andrew Long say they’re still struggling to convince the military that he and Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula were victims of the global war on terror, not merely a random act of violence. AP photos.
GAY MARRIAGE-RIPPLE EFFECT — A lot of people are looking forward to same-sex marriage becoming legal in New York. Divorce lawyers. Marriage counselors. Insurance agents. The effect of New York becoming the most populous state to allow gay marriage is expected to ripple into the lives of professionals who offer marriage-related services. “I’ve never seen the kind of an influx of potential new clients like this,” says a matrimonial lawyer. AP photos.
PERRY-JOBS — When it comes to attracting jobs, is Texas Gov. Rick Perry really such a force to be reckoned with? That question is stirring discussion as Texas markets itself as a job mecca and Perry ponders whether to run for president. AP photos.
WU-SEX SCANDAL — Rep. David Wu of Oregon announces he will resign over a sex scandal, becoming the second House Democrat to step down in six weeks. He says he will remain in office until Congress resolves the debate over the debt ceiling. AP photos.
OFFSHORE DRILLING-REVOLVING DOOR — Documents obtained by the Associated Press show that ties between offshore oil and gas companies and the agency that regulates them persist, nearly a year after Obama administration announced an overhaul of ethics rules to deter that cozy relationship. About 1 of 5 employees involved in offshore inspections in the Gulf of Mexico has a personal connection to a company they regulate. AP photos.
—OFFSHORE DRILLING-REVOLVING DOOR-GLANCE — Statistics on recusals in Gulf Coast regulatory offices.
MEDICARE DRUG COVERAGE, HFR — A new study suggests that Medicare’s 5-year-old prescription drug plan is keeping seniors out of hospitals and nursing homes, saving the federal program an estimated $12 billion a year in those expenses. For release at 4 p.m.
— STUDY-CALORIES ON MENUS, HFR — Like any fitness program, it only works if you pay attention to it. A study on New York City’s effort to encourage healthy eating by posting calories on menus shows that it worked for about one-sixth of the chain restaurant customers, those who paid attention. Those who ignored the numbers ordered whatever they wanted, regardless of how fattening it was. By Karen Zraick. Eds: Hold for release at 6:30 p.m.
— MCDONALD’S-HAPPY MEAL CHANGES — McDonald’s is adding apples to all its Happy Meals and launching a nutrition-focused mobile phone app as part of a broader health push.
— ALABAMA COUNTY BANKRUPTCY — Alabama’s largest county nears the largest municipal bankruptcy ever after corruption-tainted bonds left Jefferson County more than $3 billion in debt. AP photos.
— LONDON 2012-YEAR TO GO — With most of the venues already completed, tickets nearly sold out and a massive security operation in the works, London is preparing to mark the one-year countdown to the biggest sports show on earth. AP photos.
— MYSTERY INMATE — A mystery man locked up in a Utah jail for more than three weeks has baffled investigators because he refuses to reveal his identity or provide any details about his life. AP photos.
— PETS-MICROCHIPS — California lawmakers will vote later this summer on a bill requiring microchips in every pet adopted or claimed from a shelter. Identification numbers in microchips. AP photos.
— MOROCCO-PLANE CRASH — A C-130 military transport plane crashes into a Moroccan mountain, killing 78 people.
— GERMANY-ISRAEL-PLAYING WAGNER — An Israeli orchestra breaks a decades-old taboo by playing the music of Hitler’s favorite composer, Richard Wagner, in Germany. AP photos.


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