Sunday, March 29, 2009; 10:44 PM
GM CEO forced out as U.S. readies more auto aid
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - General Motors Corp Chief Executive Rick Wagoner resigned under pressure from the Obama administration on Sunday as the government prepared to announce a second bailout for the company and its smaller rival Chrysler LLC. Wagoner, a career GM executive and CEO since 2000, is stepping down as the top U.S. automaker struggles with a recession-fueled sales implosion that has pushed GM and many of its suppliers and dealers to the brink of failure.
Geithner won't say if more bailout money needed
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Sunday the government will have about $135 billion left after banks give back some bailout money and declined to say whether he will ask Congress for more. Treasury expects the banks this year to return about $25 billion of money that they received from the government, because they were able to replace it with private capital or decided that they do not want money with strings attached.
Obama seeks strong message of unity at G20: report
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said in an interview published on Sunday that leaders of the G20 major global economies should send "a strong message of unity" on confronting the world financial crisis when they meet this week. The U.S. leader, in an interview with the Financial Times newspaper, also said he saw signs of improvement in the slumping world economies, including areas of the American housing market where the crisis began.
U.S. school swamped by flood river, weather helps
FARGO, North Dakota (Reuters) - A dike holding back the swollen Red River failed early on Sunday and swamped a school in Fargo, North Dakota, but a backup dike contained the spill as cold weather favored flood fighting and evacuation efforts. No one was injured when the earth dike near the private Oak Grove Lutheran School gave way, and other barriers have held, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Frank Worley said.
U.S. deploys anti-missile ships before N.Korea launch
SEOUL (Reuters) - The United States plans to deploy two missile-interceptor ships from South Korea on Monday, a military spokesman said, days ahead of a North Korean rocket launch seen by many as a test of its longest-range missile. The launch presents the first significant challenge by the prickly state to U.S. President Barack Obama, who makes his first major international appearance this week at the G-20 summit where he will discuss Pyongyang's intentions with global leaders including Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Gunman at North Carolina nursing home kills eight
WILMINGTON, North Carolina (Reuters) - A gunman opened fire inside a nursing home in a small North Carolina town on Sunday, killing eight people, including elderly patients in wheelchairs, local authorities said. A 45-year-old local man was arrested and faced eight counts of first-degree murder after the shooting at the retirement care home in Carthage, about 60 miles southwest of Raleigh.
U.S. seeks support on Afghan plans at Hague forum
THE HAGUE (Reuters) - The United States is expected to seek international support for its renewed commitment to defeat Islamist militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan at a U.N. conference in the Netherlands on Tuesday. Washington is hoping to enlist support from Iran, Russia, China and India amongst others for a new strategy to end a stalemate in Afghanistan and undercut an Islamist insurgency spilling increasingly into neighboring Pakistan.
Double-digit unemployment looms, OECD tells G8
ROME (Reuters) - The global economic crisis will hit jobs hard, with unemployment set to reach double digits in many developing and advanced countries, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said on Sunday. "By the end of 2010 the unemployment rate could be approaching double digit figures in all G8 countries with the sole exception of Japan, as well as in the OECD area as a whole," the OECD forecast in a background paper to G8 labor and employment ministers gathering in Rome.
Pregnancy hormone shows promise in heart failure
CHICAGO (Reuters) - A pregnancy hormone that relaxes blood vessels appeared to reduce symptoms of acute heart failure and improve survival, according to a preliminary study released by U.S. researchers on Sunday. They said the hormone relaxin, which is being developed by privately held Corthera Inc of California, was safe, and showed signs of reducing the risk of death from heart problems during the study.
U.S. to push for UN climate deal but no "magic wand"
BONN, Germany (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama's administration promised to push for a new United Nations climate treaty on Sunday but said Washington had no magic wand and that all countries had to help. "The United States is going to be powerfully and fully engaged," U.S. special envoy for climate change Todd Stern said at the opening of 175-nation U.N. talks in Bonn, the first since Obama took office in January speaking of a "planet in peril."