Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Today's Headlines

- Blackstone Group LP is exploring a bid for HCA Inc., the US hospital chain that agreed two days ago to be acquired for $21.3 billion.
- GlaxoSmithKline(GSK) may submit its pandemic flu vaccine to regulators within months after a low-dose treatment protected most people who received it in tests.
- The House of Representatives will vote this week on legislation that combines a reduced estate tax with a measure renewing two-dozen expired breaks for business including a research credit.
- Google(GOOG) will disclose to advertisers the number of clicks on ads that it deems are invalid to assuage concerns over “click fraud.”
- NYC ended fiscal 2006 on June 30 with a record $6.1 billion surplus as Wall Street profits and surging real estate values boosted tax revenue, State Comptroller Hevesi said.
- The SEC will require companies to disclose the timing and price of options awarded to executives to end abuses.

Wall Street Journal:
- Hundreds of US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with veterans of service in those countries, have started Blogs because they say mainstream media are out of touch with events. JP Borda, who started a Web log during his National Guard deployment in Afghanistan in 2004, organized a Web site,, to classify blogs by country, military branch and subject matter.
- US dock workers are thriving, with average salaries of as much as $120,000 a year as trade through US ports surges.
- Google(GOOG) and other US companies are struggling to find technical talent, prompting renewed debate about restrictions on visas and the need to direct students to careers in math and science.
- Wells Fargo(WFC) and other insurance and financial services companies are driving a commercial real estate and job boom in Des Moines, Iowa.
- The US government plans to pay $1.75 billion in grants so disabled people receiving Medicaid can be cared for at home rather than in institutions.

NY Post:
- Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has agreed to pay more than $100 a square foot to lease 203,000 square fee in New York, the highest rent ever paid in the city for such a large space.

- A bill to create a national Internet database to alert law enforcement and community officials where convicted sex offenders live and work passed the House of Representatives and was sent to President Bush for his signature.
- An Israeli general said his country’s military operation in Lebanon will go on several more weeks.

NY Times:
- Goldman Sachs’(GS) private equity business earned $675 million before taxes last year, more than half of which was from investment banking fees on its own transactions, citing Sanford C Bernstein.
- TiVo Inc.(TIVO) is starting a research service that will sell data to advertisers describing how its 4.4 million customers use digital video recorders to skip commercials.

Washington Post:
- Some US aviation trade bodies and manufacturers have started recruiting programs for pilots, because pilot-numbers have fallen by a quarter in the past 25 years.

London-based Times:
- Novation LLC, a Texas-based hospital purchasing group, is negotiating a $7.4 billion buying contract for Britain’s National Health Service as the UK government moves to greater privatization.

- China should take more measures to slow economic growth in the second half as land supply, credit and fixed-asset investment continue to grow too quickly, Premier Wen Jiabao said.

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