Monday, August 1, 2011

Considering this early wire budget for 8/2 Oakland Press

— POLYGAMIST LEADER — Trial resumes at 10 a.m.
— BLAGOJEVICH TRIAL — Status hearing starts at noon.
— ASTEROID MISSION — News conference is scheduled for noon.
WASHINGTON — Congress is moving quickly on a hard-fought agreement to avert a potentially devastating default on U.S. obligations, with legislation mixing a record increase in the government’s borrowing cap with the promise of more than $2 trillion in spending cuts over the coming decade. After a tense weekend of bargaining, President Barack Obama and congressional leaders announced the agreement Sunday night. By Andrew Taylor.
AP photos, videos.
WASHINGTON — The newly struck debt-ceiling compromise between President Barack Obama and the Republican leaders of Congress represents a historic accomplishment of divided government, with all the disappointment that implies for the most ardent partisans inside the two major parties and out. But it marks an accomplishment nonetheless. By Special Correspondent David Espo.
BEIRUT — Syrian security forces shell the city of Hama in the second day of a fierce assault aimed at crushing the anti-government protests against President Bashar Assad’s regime. Less than 24 hours after government raids left at least 70 people dead and possibly many more, troops backed by tanks renew their attempt to subdue Hama. By Bassem Mroue.
AP photos, audio, video. An interactive about the ongoing uprisings and protests across the Middle East and North Africa has been updated with the latest developments.
NEW YORK — Same-sex marriage might seem like a straightforward issue: You’re for it or against it. Yet for the field of Republican presidential hopefuls, it’s proving to be an awkward topic as public attitudes change and more states legalize gay unions, the latest being New York. By National Writer David Crary.
AP photos.
Investors say an agreement announced to raise the federal government’s borrowing limit staved off a possible market disaster. Major stock indexes in Asia and U.S. stock futures rise sharply after President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders disclose the details of the plan, which is aimed at avoiding a possible debt default by the U.S. government after Tuesday. By Business Writers David K. Randall And Jonathan Fahey.
— WORLD MARKETS — Stocks spike higher, gold drops on relief over U.S. agreement to raise debt ceiling. AP photos, videos.
LOS ANGELES — From the right and center: mild disgust. From the left: outright anger. Americans show a range of emotions and responses to the debt-limit deal President Barack Obama and top leaders of Congress struck, but nearly none of them were positive. Except perhaps relief that it’s finally over. By Andrew Dalton.
AP photos.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The federal debt limit is a triumph of false advertising. It doesn’t really limit the national debt. Whenever the false ceiling has been reached, it has been raised — forcing unpopular votes in Congress, but not the really hard ones it would take to cut spending, raise revenues and balance budgets. By Special Correspondent Walter R. Mears.
— DEBT SHOWDOWN-HIGHLIGHTS — Highlights of budget and debt limit pact sealed by President Obama, congressional leaders
BEIJING — Nearly 1,000 cab drivers in eastern China block traffic and protest over a lack of government intervention into rising fuel costs. It is the latest sign of discontent over the country’s surging inflation.
NALUT, Libya — For months, this front-line community in range of Moammar Gadhafi’s rockets was a town of men — rebel fighters, doctors, drivers. Women and children were sent to safety in nearby Tunisia. Now Nalut is slowly coming back to life. Thousands of refugees, their belongings crammed into the backs of pickup trucks, are returning, lured by the prospect of safety after rebel fighters pushed back government forces and freed Nalut from the threat of shelling. By Karin Laub.
AP photos.
— NORWAY-MASSACRE — Norway’s prime minister has called on political leaders to show restraint in their discourse as the country emerges from mourning the 77 victims of a bombing and youth camp massacre. AP photo.
— ITALY-IMMIGRANTS DEAD — Italian coastguard finds 25 migrants dead aboard boat from Libya headed to Lampedusa.
— AFGHANISTAN — Afghan governor condemns NATO airstrike he says killed 4 police in northeast Nuristan.
WASHINGTON — Turning 50 is hard enough. But it’s got to be even harder when you’re president, because the whole world knows about it, and harder still when one of life’s milestones is overshadowed by a nasty tussle with Congress over money. Well, too bad for President Barack Obama. That’s exactly how the big 5-0 is shaping up for him. By Darlene Superville.
AP photos.
MIDDLEBURG, Va. — For the last four years, dozens of children of people who died in the Sept. 11 attacks have gathered every summer for a one-of-a-kind camp. Project Common Bond brings together the offspring of 9/11 victims with other teenagers who’ve lost parents to acts of terror around the world. Losing a parent in such a public way can leave children feeling isolated, but that when they meet at the camp, they often feel an instant connection, organizers say. This year’s camp includes participants from 10 countries, including, for the first time, Russia and Sri Lanka. By Ben Nuckols.
AP photos.
VICTORVILLE, Calif. — Once a boomtown where housing came cheap, this remote desert city far east of Los Angeles is now a poster child for an economic hangover that just won’t quit: One in 59 homes is in foreclosure and unemployment hovers near 14 percent. Yet residents see an end to their tale of woe in the misfortunes of others. By Gillian Flaccus.
AP photos, video.
SEATTLE — To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the company that owns Seattle’s Space Needle is holding a contest to send a member of the public to space. By Manuel Valdes.
AP photos.
— BLAGOJEVICH TRIAL — A federal judge may be ready to set a sentencing date for impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. If he does at Monday’s status hearing, that’d give Blagojevich and his family a clearer idea of when he’ll start serving time.
— POLYGAMIST LEADER — Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs is back in court Monday, three days after threatening that God would strike down all involved should his trial continue.
LOS ANGELES — Scientists are busy sifting through images of the massive asteroid Vesta taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft. The Dawn spacecraft last month slipped into orbit around the 330-mile-wide rocky body with little fanfare and began beaming back incredible details of the pockmarked surface that resembles Earth’s moon. By Alicia Chang.
AP photo.
LONDON — British banking company HSBC says it will sell just under half its retail banking branches in the United States to First Niagara Bank for about $1 billion. By Meera Selva.
ATLANTA — Budget Rent a Car is hoping more deal-hungry vacationers want the chance to rent cheaper vehicles — as long as they don’t mind driving a billboard. Starting in August, Budget will wrap ads for an energy booster on 25 sedans and SUVs in its Atlanta fleet. For instance, one woman looking to rent a car for a four-day family trip to visit family in Florida got an SUV that normally would run about $300 for four days for only $88. By Errin Haines.
AP photos.
— GAP-FALL CAMPAIGN — Gap’s 1st campaign with new management focuses on giving their jeans a back story. AP photos.
— BOX OFFICE — Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford’s sci-fi Western ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ and the animated family adventure ‘The Smurfs’ tie for No. 1 spot at $36.2 million at the weekend box office.
— MIDEAST-RAMADAN — Unrest, government crackdowns, rising food prices cast pall on holy month of Ramadan in Arab world. AP photos, audio.
— DB COOPER — FBI investigates ‘credible’ D.B. Cooper lead; tip comes 40 yrs after hijacker jumped from jet. AP photo.
— CUBA-FLIGHT DIVERTED — United says Dulles-to-Mexico flight lands safely in Havana after crew notes strange smell.
— IRAN-ACID SENTENCE — Iranian woman blinded by acid pardons attacker, refuses at last minute to punish him in kind. AP photos.
— BRITAIN-AMY WINEHOUSE — Family of Amy Winehouse in talks to set up drug rehab center in her memory.
— JETS-BURRESS’ SECOND CHANCE — Rex Ryan, Jets offer Plaxico Burress a chance to start over with 1-year deal. AP photo.


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