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Dow jumps above 8,000 for first time in 2 months

NEW YORK - Investors dove into stocks on Thursday, sending the Dow Jones industrials above the 8,000 mark for the first time in nearly two months.

Market indicators surged more than 4 percent in late afternoon trading following an accounting rule change that could strengthen banks' balance sheets and fresh efforts by world leaders to fight the financial crisis.

April 02, 2009 | MADLEN READ AP Business Writers | World


Admiral says war veterans will suffer for years

NEW YORK - Homelessness, family strains and psychological problems among returning veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars will persist in the U.S. for generations to come, the top U.S. military officer said Thursday.

"This is not a 10-year problem. It is a 50- or 60- or 70-year problem," Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a lunchtime audience at the Hudson Union Society, a group that promotes nonpartisan debate.

April 02, 2009 | ROBERT BURNS Associated Press Writer | World


G-20 gives $1 trillion to fight global crisis

LONDON - World leaders pledged $1.1 trillion in loans and guarantees to struggling countries and agreed Thursday to crack down on tax havens and hedge funds - but failed to reach sweeping accord on more stimulus spending to attack the global economic decline.

At the end of a highly anticipated one-day gathering, leaders of the Group of 20 nations said they would upgrade an existing financial forum to serve as an early warning monitor to flag problems in the global financial system.

April 02, 2009 | JANE WARDELL AP Business Writer | World


Signs recession nears bottom, but layoffs persist

WASHINGTON - New signs that the recession could be nearing a bottom emerged Thursday, as factory orders were far better than expected and the Dow industrials surged over 8,000 for the first time in two months.

The Commerce Department said orders for manufactured goods rose 1.8 percent in February, reversing six straight monthly declines and easily beating estimates of another drop. Other economic indicators came in better than expected Wednesday, including construction spending and pending home sales.

April 02, 2009 | CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER AP Economics Writer | World


G-20 protesters break into Royal Bank of Scotland

LONDON - G-20 protesters clashed with riot police in central London on Wednesday, breaking into the heavily guarded Royal Bank of Scotland and smashing its windows. Nearly two dozen people were arrested.

Some 4,000 anarchists, anti-capitalists, environmentalists and others clogged the streets of London's financial district for what demonstrators branded "Financial Fool's Day." The protests were called ahead of Thursday's Group of 20 summit of world leaders, who hope to take concrete steps to resolve the global financial crisis that has lashed nations and workers worldwide.

April 01, 2009 | RAPHAEL G. SATTER Associated Press Writer | World


Automakers post steep US sales drops for March

DETROIT - March proved to be another dismal month of steep declines for U.S. auto sales, as low consumer confidence and job uncertainty kept buyers away from showrooms.

General Motors Corp. led the slide with a 45 percent U.S. sales plunge compared with a year earlier, while Ford Motor Co. reported a 41 percent drop. Sales at Toyota Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC both dropped 39 percent, while Honda Motor Co. reported a 36 percent decline.

April 01, 2009 | KIMBERLY S. JOHNSON AP Auto Writer | World


7 residents, 1 nurse die in N.C. nursing home shooting

CARTHAGE, N.C. - A gunman burst into a North Carolina nursing home Sunday morning and started "shooting everything," killing seven residents and a nurse and wounding at least three others.

March 29, 2009 | By KEVIN MAURER Associated Press Writer | World


Guns on Campus: Bills would allow guns at college in Texas

AUSTIN, Texas - John Woods sometimes sits in a classroom at the University of Texas and wonders what would happen if somebody walked in and started shooting.

March 29, 2009 | By JIM VIRTUNO Associated Press Writer | World


'Monsters vs. Aliens' battles to $58.2M debut

LOS ANGELES - Movie beasts from old-time Hollywood got a makeover as heroes and conquered the weekend box office.

DreamWorks Animation's action comedy "Monsters vs. Aliens," which features creatures from 1950s flicks in a showdown with invading extraterrestrials, launched itself into the No. 1 spot with a $58.2 million debut, according to studio estimates Sunday.

March 29, 2009 | DAVID GERMAIN AP Movie Writer | World


Lights dim for Earth Hour

BONN, Germany - From an Antarctic research base to the Great Pyramids of Egypt and beyond, the world switched off the lights on Saturday for Earth Hour, dimming skyscrapers, city streets and some of the world's most recognizable monuments for 60 minutes to highlight the threat of climate change.

March 28, 2009 | By VANESSA GERA Associated Press Writer | World


Georgia Senate backs fines for ‘super speeders’

ATLANTA - Georgia drivers traveling well above the speed limit would be slapped with stiff new fines under a bill that cleared the state Legislature on Wednesday.

March 25, 2009 | By SHANNON McCAFFREY Associated Press Writer | World


AP IMPACT: It's fear that keeps Baghdad's peace

BAGHDAD - The streets are calmer now. The fighting between Shiites and Sunnis has largely ceased. But this is not a sign of normalcy in the Iraqi capital. It's fear that keeps the peace.

Only an estimated 16 percent of the mainly Sunni families forced by Shiite militiamen and death squads to flee their homes have dared to return.

March 25, 2009 | HAMZA HENDAWI Associated Press Writer | World


Study: Lots of red meat increases mortality risk

CHICAGO - The largest study of its kind finds that older people who eat large amounts of red meat and processed meats face a greater risk of death from heart disease and cancer.

The federal study of more than half a million American men and women bolsters prior evidence of the health risks of diets laden with red meat like hamburger and processed meats like hot dogs, bacon and cold cuts.

March 25, 2009 | By CARLA K. JOHNSON AP Medical Writer | World


House, Senate budget outlines close to Obama plan

WASHINGTON - Congressional Democrats advanced federal budget outlines Wednesday that largely mirror President Barack Obama's spending priorities while imposing marginal changes to tame ballooning deficits.

A version put forward by the House Budget Committee foresees a $598 billion federal deficit after five years, and plans submitted by both the House and Senate budget panels generally adopt Obama's higher spending priorities for education and clean energy initiatives.

March 25, 2009 | ANDREW TAYLOR Associated Press Writer | World


Mich. baseball park to offer 4,800-calorie burgers

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Well, at least the salsa is low-cal.

March 25, 2009 | The Associated Press | World


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