G-20 leaders in Mexico to unite behind coordinated plan for global job creation
LOS CABOS, Mexico (AP) — The leaders of the world's largest economies will portray themselves on Tuesday as united behind efforts to boost growth and job creation in order to repair a fragile global economy roiled by fears over the European financial crisis, according to a draft of the statement to be released at the end of the Group of 20 annual meeting.
It's far from certain, however, that the reassuring words will sooth markets whose harsh judgment of the official response to the crisis appears to be pushing Europe closer to deeper catastrophe by the day. On Monday, less than 12 hours after a Greek election quelled fears that the country could make a devastating exit from the Euro, fears about Spain drove that massive economy's borrowing costs dangerously close to the level where it would need a bailout.
The statement by the G-20 leaders includes language that appears aimed at easing the Spanish crisis by reassuring investors that Spain's treasury won't end up eating the costs of the up to 100 billion euro rescue of Spain's banks announced this month. Fears that the responsibility of paying back the bailout would fall on its government helped drive Spain's borrowing costs above the dangerously high 7 percent level.
"Euro area members of the G20 will take all necessary policy measures to safeguard the integrity and stability of the area ... and break the feedback loop between sovereigns and banks," the statement says.
It also places the G-20 on the side of those who have been arguing for a focus on job creation, including through government spending, instead of the budget cutbacks and austerity pushed most notably by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Obama presses for stability from Europe, needing to come home from G-20 with economic momentum
LOS CABOS, Mexico (AP) — Needing an economic boost, President Barack Obama is trying to land assurances that Europe is closing in on a financial crisis response that will calm the markets and keep the continent's woes from undermining the world. As he presses European leaders to drum up economic demand, they want promises the United States won't plunge off a fiscal cliff by year's end.
Obama, as leader of the giant but struggling U.S. economy, remains central to the Group of 20 summit talks wrapping up Tuesday in this coastal resort region. But it is the European members gathered here, led by Germany and its chancellor, Angela Merkel, who carry both the power and responsibility to stabilize a eurozone reeling from debt, banking and political problems.
Obama sent some upbeat signals Monday amid a sense of global relief that Greece, based on new elections, would not renege on its bailout terms and ditch the euro currency. Obama left a meeting with Merkel feeling "encouraged" about Europe's direction, a spokesman said, as an even more consequential European summit on the crisis approaches in Brussels.
Europe's ability to turn around its fortunes fast will have direct bearing on whether Obama wins a second term. The bigger the drag from abroad, the harder the job growth in the United States.
Obama said all countries must "make sure that we're contributing so that the economy grows, the situation stabilizes, confidence returns to the markets, and most importantly, we're giving our people the chance if they work hard to succeed and do well." After lobbying for Greek voters to stick with budget reforms and the euro, he called their election results a "positive prospect."
Talk of drones patrolling US skies raises fear Americans' privacy may be at risk
WASHINGTON (AP) — The prospect that thousands of drones could be patrolling U.S. skies by the end of this decade is raising the specter of a Big Brother government that peers into backyards and bedrooms.
The worries began mostly on the political margins, but there are signs that ordinary people are starting to fret that unmanned aircraft could soon be circling overhead.
Jeff Landry, a freshman Republican congressman from Louisiana's coastal bayou country, said constituents have stopped him while shopping at Walmart to talk about it.
"There is a distrust amongst the people who have come and discussed this issue with me about our government," Landry said. "It's raising an alarm with the American public."
Another GOP freshman, Rep. Austin Scott, said he first learned of the issue when someone shouted out a question about drones at a Republican Party meeting in his Georgia congressional district two months ago.
For Microsoft, promise of tablets has always been greater than reality
NEW YORK (AP) — For decades, the tablet computer was like a mirage in the technology industry: a great idea, seemingly reachable on the horizon, that disappointed as hopeful companies got closer. Microsoft has experienced this cycle of hope and disappointment many times.
The device unveiled by the Redmond Wash.-based software giant on Monday —the Surface— isn't the first tablet it envisioned. Indeed, the company's engineers have been trying to reshape personal computing for as long as there's been a PC.
The first PCs had keyboards, borrowed from the typewriter. But people quickly started wondering whether pens, which are more comfortable writing tools, wouldn't be a better basis for personal computing.
Several companies worked pen-based computing in the late 1980s, and Microsoft jumped on the trend. By 1991, it released "Windows for Pen Computing," an add-on to Windows 3.1 that let the operating system accept input from an active "pen" (really a stylus). Several devices used Microsoft's software, and are recognizable as the ancestors of today's tablets: They were square, portable slabs with a screen on one side. They weren't designed to respond to finger-touches, however: the reigning paradigm was that of the notepad and pen.
The pen-computing fad mostly passed. While PenWindows tablets got a lot of attention, mainstream computing remained stubbornly keyboard-based.
Government fails again in drugs-in-sports pursuit: Roger Clemens acquitted on all charges
WASHINGTON (AP) — Barry Bonds. Guilty on a technicality. At least that's how much of the public sees it. It's all that came out of a seven-year investigation into baseball's home run king.
Lance Armstrong. Not even prosecuted. A two-year, multi-continent investigation brought to a close this year with no charges filed.
Now Roger Clemens. Acquitted on all counts. A five-year investigation ended with the top pitcher of his generation celebrating with family hugs inside the courtroom.
After three expensive failures, the government is done, it seems, with the business of pursuing high-profile cases of drugs-in-sports — with a track record not worth bragging about.
"It was a tremendous waste of federal resources," said Stanley Brand, a long-time Washington defense attorney who was counsel to the House of Representatives from 1976 to 1983. "The juries that acquitted these people weren't persuaded by any of this. That's the man on the street."
US to maintain significant military presence in Kuwait months after combat forces left Iraq
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is planning a significant military presence of 13,500 troops in Kuwait to give it the flexibility to respond to sudden conflicts in the region as Iraq adjusts to the withdrawal of American combat forces and the world nervously eyes Iran, according to a congressional report.
The study by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee examined the U.S. relationship with the six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council — Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman — against a fast-moving backdrop. In just the last two days, Saudi Arabia's ruler named Defense Minister Prince Salman bin Abdul-Aziz as the country's new crown prince after last week's death of Prince Nayef, and Kuwait's government suspended parliament for a month over an internal political feud.
The latest developments inject even more uncertainty as the Middle East deals with the demands of the Arab Spring, the end to U.S. combat operations in Iraq at the end of 2011 and fears of Iran's nuclear program.
"Home to more than half of the world's oil reserves and over a third of its natural gas, the stability of the Persian Gulf is critical to the global economy," the report said. "However, the region faces a myriad of political and security challenges, from the Iranian nuclear program to the threat of terrorism to the political crisis in Bahrain."
The report obtained by The Associated Press in advance of Tuesday's release provided precise numbers on U.S. forces in Kuwait, a presence that Pentagon officials have only acknowledged on condition of anonymity. Currently, there are about 15,000 U.S. forces in Kuwait at Camp Arifjan, Ali Al Salem Air Base and Camp Buehring, giving the United States staging hubs, training ranges and locations to provide logistical support. The report said the number of troops is likely to drop to 13,500.
Majority Leader Harry Reid's shadow looms over Senate race in Nevada as Dems see seat gain
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid isn't on the ballot this year, but he's very much in the game.
With Republicans clamoring to take away his majority, Reid is helping Democratic Senate candidates across the nation raise money and demonize their opponents. Nowhere is his hand more visible than in his home state, where Democrats can capture a seat from Republicans.
Reid, who had an arduous race of his own in Nevada two years ago, has loaned his former campaign staff to Rep. Shelley Berkley, Las Vegas' representative in the House for the past 14 years.
Berkley is Reid's hope for taking Nevada's other Senate seat away from Republican Dean Heller, who was appointed to it a year ago when GOP Sen. John Ensign resigned in anticipation of a highly critical Ethics Committee report about his affair with an aide.
"It's reasonable to make the argument that I have two opponents, yes: Shelley Berkley and Harry Reid," said Heller.
Sandusky jurors may be deliberating by week's end; defense continues after testimony by 6
BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) — The child molestation trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky could be in jurors' hands before the end of the week, with witness testimony on his behalf expected to wrap up in less than three days.
Judge John Cleland announced the schedule on Monday after the first six defense witnesses testified about Sandusky's reputation in the community and the demanding hours and travel required of Penn State coaches.
There was no indication as to whether Sandusky might testify, and Sandusky looked an Associated Press reporter in the eye and said nothing when asked if he planned to testify. Cleland said defense witnesses should be finished by mid-day Wednesday, and closing statements are now expected Thursday morning.
The defense portion of the case — which followed 21 prosecution witnesses, including eight young men who claimed Sandusky sexually abused them as children — included a former Penn State coach who said he knew Sandusky brought boys into showers but never saw him do anything wrong.
The six witnesses, one who called Sandusky a "local hero," did little to directly counter the accusers' testimony.
Mike Tyson and director Spike Lee team up to take the boxer's 1-man show to Broadway
NEW YORK (AP) — Mike Tyson wants his next knockout to be on Broadway.
The former boxer announced Monday that he will team up with director Spike Lee to bring his one-man show, "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth," to the Longacre Theatre for six nights only, July 31 to Aug. 5.
The show, a raw confessional on the highs and lows of the life of the retired heavyweight and tabloid target, will mark both Tyson's and Lee's debut on Broadway. It made its debut in April for a weeklong run at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
"I'm very vulnerable and I'm just telling you who I am and where I'm from and how this happened," Tyson said at a news conference at the Longacre, wearing white pants, a white shirt and a gray jacket.
Tyson, like Lee a Brooklyn native, became the youngest-ever heavyweight champion in 1986, when he won his title as a 20-year-old. His life since then has been marred by accusations of domestic violence, rape and drug use.
Sabathia goes distance, Jeter drives in 3 as Yankees beat Braves 6-2 for 10th straight win
NEW YORK (AP) — These AL vs. NL matchups are becoming quite a mismatch for the New York Yankees.
CC Sabathia struck out 10, Derek Jeter drove in three runs and the Yankees won their 10th straight game, beating the Atlanta Braves 6-2 Monday night.
Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano hit solo home runs as New York equaled its longest winning streak since May 2005.
The team with the AL's best record kept rampaging in interleague play — all 10 of these triumphs have come against NL teams with winning records, including a sweep at Turner Field last week.
"I don't think you're ever satisfied. I think when you become satisfied you can go backwards," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Guys always feel that they can do more, and that's the bottom line."