From NPR News in Washington, I'm Lakshmi Singh.
The FBI has custody of a couple charged with conspiring to attempt to help develop a nuclear weapon for Venezuela. Department of Justice spokesman Dean Boyd says a scientist and his wife appeared in federal court in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
"The defendants had previously worked as contractors at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where they held security clearances that provided them access to classified nuclear weapons data."
Boyd says the couple did not negotiate with the Venezuelan government, as they thought rather they were talking with an undercover agent.
President Obama names consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren as a special adviser to help set up a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
"Three years ago she came up with an idea for a new independent agency that would have one simple overriding mission: standing up for consumers and middle-class families."
The formal announcement at the White House comes a day after the Census Bureau reported the poverty rate in 2009 rose to its highest level in more than 15 years. And a separate study by the Federal Reserve finds Americans' wealth shrank in the spring for the first time since early last year. Consumer prices rose 0.3 percent last month, as food and energy costs moved up. The Labor Department's Consumer Price Index is just slightly above forecast. Mesirow Financial chief economist Diane Swonk says the report's not encouraging.
"It's not good enough kind of like the rest of the economy. The economy is growing, but not enough. Everything in the economy today seems to be not enough, and that's exactly where we are with CPI inflation not enough. Usually in the past, we'd like to see things not so hot. Now, it's, um, the porridge is too cold."
Looking at numbers from Wall Street, the Dow was up ten points at last check at 10,605.
BP crews are starting to permanently plug the blown-out oil well in the Gulf of Mexico with cement. A spokesman says BP no longer needs to pump mud into the well at the same time because pressure from the well isn't a problem.
A merger to create the world's largest airline is one step closer to becoming final. Chicago Public Radio's Tony Arnold has details.
Shareholders from both Chicago-based United and Houston-based Continental Airlines voted to approve the proposed merger this morning. The deal involves a three-billion-dollar stock swap. Basili Alukos is an airlines analyst for Morningstar. He says the hardest part of the merger appears to be over, but there're still plenty of issues with the unions to work out.
"There're still some challenges, and especially in, you know, unionized workforces or unionized companies as dealing with the integration of the two workforces and how are labor contrasts gonna be figured out."
The United Continental deal's expected to close next month, but there're still some odds and ends that could keep air travelers from seeing the new United Airlines for another year. For NPR News, I'm Tony Arnold in Chicago.
Revisiting Wall Street, Dow's (was) up ten at 10,605, NASDAQ up 12 at 2,316.
This is NPR News.
A choir at Westminster Abbey honoring a visit by Pope Benedict XVI on his second day of his trip to Britain. Earlier, the trip was marred by the arrests of six people accused of plotting an attack on the pontiff.
The US special envoy on Afghanistan and Pakistan says that tomorrow's Afghan parliamentary elections are likely to be imperfect and their outcome ambiguous. NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Islamabad that Holbrooke has been surveying flood damage in Pakistan.
Holbrooke said that the most notable thing about the Afghan elections is that they're taking place at all given the Taliban's threats to disrupt them.
"They're gonna be flawed. We've had experience in our country with flawed elections and not in the middle of the war. So we're not looking for perfection here."
Holbrooke added that ongoing US drone strikes in northwest Pakistan have succeeded in damaging militant groups fighting US and NATO troops in Afghanistan.
"I think great, great damage has been done to some of these elements, and that damage has improved our national security."
This month has seen the most US drone strikes in Pakistan in the past six years. Anthony Kuhn, NPR News, Islamabad.
Meanwhile, the United Nations is asking its members for two billion dollars to help Pakistan's flood victims. Officials say the money's intended to address humanitarian needs of as many as 14 million people for the next year.
Citigroup plans to sell its student loan business and other assets to student lenders Sallie Mae and Discover Financial Services. The bank says it’ll take a 500-million dollar hit on this deal in the third quarter.
I'm Lakshmi Singh, NPR News in Washington.