From NPR News in Washington, I’m Lakshmi Singh.
The US economy is growing more slowly than expected. The Commerce Department's downgrading the nation’s second-quarter growth to 1.6 percent, down from 2.5 percent. Dean Croushore, chairman of the Economics Department at the University of Richman, says the consumer holds the key to economic health.
“One good piece of news is that consumer spending was revised up a bit. But until we really get stronger growth in consumption spending, I don’t think the economy is gonna grow at a very rapid pace.”
But the downward revision wasn’t as much as investors have feared and that coupled with the Fed chief's promise today to take action if economy continues to falter spurred gains on Wall Street. Dow was up 165 points at last check at 10,151.
Federal officials laid out plans today to replace the 50-foot-tall blowout preventer on top of BP’s crippled oil well in the Gulf of Mexico. NPR’s Dan Charles reports that the operation is supposed to get underway early next week.
Engineers are ready to put a final cement plug into the base of the blown-out well. But before they do that, they want a more secure cap on top of the well. That means removing the existing cap along with the massive blowout preventer that failed to prevent the blowout back in April. If all goes well, on Monday or Tuesday engineers will lift that blowout preventer off up the well and cut off the pipe below it. The original blowout preventer will be preserved as evidence. A new, stronger one should be in place within a few days and then work can resume on the so-called “bottom kill” that’s suppose to seal the well forever. Dan Charles, NPR News, Washington.
The American-held prisoner in North Korea for some seven months is back home. He arrived in Boston today with former President Jimmy Carter, who negotiated his release.
A pair of car bombs exploded early this morning in the capital of the Mexican state, Tamaulipas. This is the same state where 72 migrants were found massacred this week. We have more details from NPR’s Jason Beaubien.
The car's exploding in front of a police station and the studios of Televisa, television network in Ciudad Victoria. There were no reports of injuries. Just north of Ciudad Victoria, investigators continue to search a ranch where on Tuesday Mexican Marines found the bound and blindfolded bodies of 58 men and 14 women. President Felipe Calderon’s office says the migrants were gunned down because they refused to go to work for the drug cartel that was holding them captive. The lone survivor of the attack said in a statement that the migrants were killed because they refused to pay ransoms. Jason Beaubien, NPR News, Matamoros, Tamaulipas
And another development with the story: The president of Mexico announced today that the state prosecutor, who'd been investigating the deaths of 72 migrants, has been missing for two days.
Here’s an update from Wall Street: Dow’s up 165 points at last check at 10,151.
This is NPR News.
A Somali pirate pleads guilty for his role in a violent attack on a US Navy ship. NPR’s Carrie Johnson reports on the case that began off the African coast in April.
Jamal Idle Ibrahim is one of six men accused of attacking the USS Ashland. The plea deal says the pirates thought they had spotted a merchant ship to seize and hold for ransom. They chased the ship on the open seas and strafed it with gunfire before figuring out it was a US Navy vessel. US attorney Neil Bride says the plea represents the first piracy conviction in Virginia in more than 150 years. Carrie Johnson, NPR News, Washington.
USA Today announced a sweeping reorganization and a layoff of approximately nine percent of its staff as it retools for a more digital age. NPR’s David Folkenflik reports that advertising revenue and pay circulation for the nation’s second largest paper has declined.
The presentation to employees started with a quotation attributed to the late management guru, William Edwards Deming: “It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” Executives told staffers that growth was online, and especially in Mobile, and that they needed to move more nimbly to break news to beat cable channels' news sites. They changed a lot of faces in the top editor and / executive suites, redefined the newsroom structure and promised to deal fewer stories but better enterprise reporting in print and a lot more stories, a lot quicker online. The paper’s realignment also places a greater emphasis on collaboration between the editorial and business sites and developing content that appeals to readers and to advertisers. David Folkenflik, NPR News.
I’m Lakshmi Singh, NPR News in Washington.