- Argentina beats Dutch in shootout to reach World Cup final
- Tanard Jackson suspended indefinitely by NFL — again
- FAA investigating fireworks drone flights
- Pentagon: We’ll give Obama a drone strike with al-Baghdadi’s name on it
- Marine in Mexican custody to get day in court after 101 days
- Senate OKs San Antonio mayor as housing secretary
- NFL star likely fooled by Marine impostor who accepted first-class plane ticket
- Sen. Ted Cruz tweets Obama directions from fundraisers to border towns
- Israel hits key Hamas targets in Gaza offensive
- Ten-year sentence for New Orleans’ Nagin on graft charges
Economy Briefs: Judge bars graphic images on cigarette packages
Question of the Day
Judge bars graphic images on cigarette packages
RICHMOND | A judge has blocked a federal requirement that would have begun forcing U.S. tobacco companies to put large graphic images on their cigarette packages later this year to show the dangers of smoking.
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington ruled Wednesday that the images violate the free speech amendment to the Constitution. He had temporarily blocked the requirement in November, saying it is likely cigarette makers will succeed in a lawsuit.
The Food and Drug Administration planned to require that images such as a cloud of cigarette smoke within inches of a baby’s face and a pair of healthy lungs next to the diseased lungs of a smoker appear on packs of cigarettes.
Murdoch son steps down from British newspapers
News Corp. said in a statement Wednesday that James Murdoch, the youngest son of 80-year-old media mogul Rupert Murdoch, has relinquished his position at News International to concentrate on expanding the company’s television business.
James Murdoch, 39, will remain deputy chief operating officer of News Corp., but the move plucks the onetime heir apparent to his father’s global empire away from a firestorm about his credibility and his role in Britain’s expanding phone-hacking scandal.
News Corp. shares set a 52-week high in New York after the news broke, rising 1.6 percent to $20.11 a share.
Central bank hands out $712 billion in loans
FRANKFURT, Germany | The European Central Bank’s second offering of unlimited low-interest loans was gobbled up Wednesday by 800 banks, which borrowed $712.4 billion at 1 percent interest for three years.
Nearly $1.4 trillion has been pumped into Europe’s financial system in this way in an attempt to stabilize banks, governments and businesses.
The first offering Dec. 21 attracted 523 banks to borrow $657.9 billion and helped ease the eurozone debt crisis because banks used some of the money to buy government bonds. That helped lower the borrowing costs of heavily indebted countries such as Italy and Spain. How the banks deploy this money is an open question, although the European Central Bank enticed smaller banks to participate in the hope that they would lend to smaller businesses and boost the eurozone economy.
Microsoft releases test version of Windows 8
BARCELONA | Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday let consumers start trying out its upcoming touch-based Windows 8 operating system, which aims to power a new wave of computer tablets and traditional PCs designed to counter Apple Inc.’s big gains in the market through its Macs and iPads.
The test “beta” version of the revamped system was introduced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the world’s largest cellphone trade show, and borrows some of the look of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 software for Windows 8.
Windows 8 doesn’t have the traditional “Start” menu, and applications are spread across a mosaic of tiles in a design Microsoft calls “Metro.” Executives said it powers up on PCs in eight seconds, much faster than the previous version. The tiles, which resemble road signs, can be navigated with a finger swipe on the screen or with a keyboard and mouse.
But those testing out the new operating system won’t be able to try out the finger swiping unless they already have systems enabled for touch use, and the system isn’t expected to make its official debut until September or October.
• From wire dispatches and staff reports.
TWT Video Picks
By Ted Cruz
Banning speech with a constitutional amendment is playing with fire
- GOP: Lerner warned IRS employees to hide information from Congress
- ISTOOK: Flying illegals home would be 99.5 percent cheaper than Obamas plan
- White House plans for bowling alley upgrades abruptly canceled
- Obama requests $3.7 billion to fight surge of illegals
- Illegal immigrants showing up at border with 'Yes we can' Obama shoes: report
- Power grab: EPA wants to garnish wages of polluters
- EDITORIAL: Whats Obama hiding at illegal-alien 'refugee' camps?
- Islamic militants aim to take Baghdad airport
- Colorado man offers Obama a toke of marijuana a Rocky Mountain 'high'
- Facebook allows 'Kill Kendall Jones' page, but deletes her game hunting photos
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq
World Cup's sexiest WAGs
U.S.-Ghana World Cup opener