Monday, September 11, 2006

Today's Headlines

- President Bush prepared to address the nation tonight as Americans marked the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks with somber memorial ceremonies and moments of silence.
- Louisiana, the second-largest oil refining state in the US, is proposing to crude-producing nations to turn farms into an oil refinery, said Dane Revette, the state’s director of energy development. The last refinery built in the US was Marathon Oil’s Garyville, Louisiana, plant, which opened 30 years ago.
- US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, attending Group of Seven meetings in Singapore this week, will “steer G-7 thinking away from the notion of dollar devaluation as the solution to anything,” according to economists at High Frequency Economics.
- OPEC agreed to keep production levels unchanged, the group said after its meeting today in Vienna, setting aside concern that prices have tumbled 16% in two months.
- The European Union said it opposes the Chinese government’s decision giving the Xinhua News Agency sole power to regulate the operations of foreign news services, calling it a “very negative development.”
- Gold fell below $600 an ounce for the first time in 10 weeks on speculation demand from investors and jewelers won’t rebound in the fourth quarter.

Wall Street Journal:
- US-based Alcoa Inc.(AA) and Canada’s Alcan(AL), long among the world’s biggest aluminum makers, are being challenged by manufacturers in countries such as Russia and those in the Mid-east who have access to cheap power.
- The Canadian steelmaker, Ipsco Inc., is planning to buy Newport, Kentucky-based steel-tube maker NS Group(NSS) for about $1.46 billion to attract more oil and natural-gas company business.
- Unofficial volunteer “ambassadors” who tend to the Shanksville, Pennsylvania site where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed on Sept. 11, 2001, say their lives have been changed by the episode.
- Expeditors Intl.(EXPE) of Washington could be a good investment because it remains a fast-growing business even though “quick-trigger momentum investors” have been scared off by a 30% stock drop.
- Iraq is the “linchpin” of terrorists’ efforts in the Middle East, a location that they believe, if won, could serve “as a base from which to destabilize the surrounding nations,” Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld wrote.
- General Electric(GE) Chairman and CEO Immelt is reshaping the company by using new technology to increase sales, tapping global markets and relying more on the talents of his managers.

NY Times:
- The goal of US Democrats to capture as many as five House of Representatives seats in NY as they seek to win control of the House is “increasingly remote.”
- Freescale Semi(FSL) may be sold for more than $16 billion, in what would be the largest buyout in the technology industry’s history.
- Wealthier Medicare recipients, who have traditionally paid the same premiums as lower-income beneficiaries, will have increased costs next year.

Washington Post:
- Counterterrorism officers of the CIA have signed up in growing numbers for a government-reimbursed private insurance plan that would cover their civil judgments and legal expenses if they are charged with criminal wrongdoing.

USA Today:
- Sept. 11, 2001, marks two events in American history: the anniversary of the most deadly terrorist attacks on US soil and the day government officials “broke the pattern of inconsistent response” to Islamic fundamentalists, wrote Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of NYC.

Financial Times:
- The value of alternative investments such as hedge funds or commodities has topped $3 trillion worldwide on increasing demand from Pension funds, citing a JPMorgan Chase study.
- Microsoft Corp.(MSFT) may have a lot more research and development money available soon, yet that may not give it an advantage over its Internet search engine rival, Google Inc.(GOOG).

International Herald Tribune:
- Vivendi SA and Electronic Arts(ERTS) are among video-game makers exploring the market for casual games that can be completed in a shorter length of time.

Les Echos:
- France’s national welfare system will post a deficit of 16 billion euros($20.3 billion) in 2006 and a shortfall of 37 billion euros for the 2006-2009 period, citing a government report. The deficits will require higher taxes and new savings, the report said.

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