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Congress looking at huge taxes on AIG bonuses

WASHINGTON (AP) - Congressional Democrats vowed Tuesday to all but strip AIG executives of their $165 million in bonuses as expressions of outrage swelled in Congress over eye-catching extra income for employees of a firm that has received billions in taxpayer bailout funds.

March 17, 2009 | By Laurie Kellman Associated Press Writer | AP Top Stories

Obama to sign spending bill, push for new rules

WASHINGTON (AP) - Acknowledging it's an "imperfect" bill, President Barack Obama said Wednesday he will accept a $410 billion spending package that includes billions in earmarks like those he promised to curb in last year's campaign. But he insisted the bill must signal an "end to the old way of doing business."

The massive measure funding federal agencies through the fall contains nearly 8,000 pet projects, known as earmarks and denounced by critics as pork.

March 11, 2009 | Staff Report | AP Top Stories

Obama overturns Bush policy on stem cells

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama on Monday cleared the way for a significant increase in federal dollars for embryonic stem cell research and promised no scientific data will be "distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda."

Obama signed the executive order on the divisive stem cell issue and a memo addressing what he called scientific integrity before an East Room audience packed with scientists. He laced his remarks with several jabs at the way science was handled by former President George W. Bush.

March 09, 2009 | By Phillip Elliott Associated Press Writer | AP Top Stories

Jobless rate bolts to 8.1 percent, 651K jobs lost

WASHINGTON - The nation's unemployment rate bolted to 8.1 percent in February, the highest since late 1983, as cost-cutting employers slashed 651,000 jobs amid a deepening recession.

Both figures were worse than analysts expected and the Labor Department's report shows America's workers being clobbered by a wave of layoffs unlikely to ease in the coming months.

March 06, 2009 | By Jeannine Aversa AP Economics Writer | AP Top Stories

Mortgage woes break records again in 4Q

NEW YORK (AP) - A stunning 48 percent of the nation's homeowners who have a subprime, adjustable-rate mortgage are behind on their payments or in foreclosure, and that's not the worst of it, new data Thursday showed.

The reckless lending practices in states like Florida, California and Nevada that were the epicenter of the housing crisis are no longer driving up the nation's delinquency rate. Instead, the foreclosure crisis now is being fueled by a spike in defaults in states like Louisiana, New York, Georgia and Texas, where the economies are rapidly deteriorating and thousands are losing their ...

March 05, 2009 | Staff Report | AP Top Stories

Obama sets end to US combat in Iraq by Aug. 2010

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (AP) - Declaring "I have come to speak to you about how the war in Iraq will end," President Barack Obama on Friday moved to fulfill the defining promise of his campaign, announcing that all U.S. combat troops will be withdrawn by September 2010.

But in the same speech to Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C., he revealed that the vast majority of those involved in the pullout will not leave this year. He also said that tens of thousands of U.S. personnel will remain behind afterward.

February 27, 2009 | By Ben Feller Associated Press Writer | AP Top Stories

House passes Obama's economic stimulus bill

WASHINGTON (AP) - Handing the new administration a big win, House Democrats passed President Barack Obama's $787 billion plan to resuscitate the economy on Friday despite a wall of Republican opposition.

The bill was approved 246-183 and sent to the Senate, where a vote was scheduled late Friday afternoon. That vote was to be held open for hours, waiting for Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown, who was attending a memorial service for his mother and then flying back to cast the deciding vote.

February 13, 2009 | Staff Report | AP Top Stories

Charter Communications to file Chapter 11

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Struggling Charter Communications Inc., the nation's fourth largest cable operator, said Thursday that it plans to file a prearranged Chapter 11 bankruptcy by April 1.

Charter, which is controlled by Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen, said it has reached an agreement in principle with holders of $8 billion in debt who will give up repayment of their debt. In return, they will receive common shares, or warrants for rights to get common shares, that translate to nearly owning the entire company after bankruptcy.

February 13, 2009 | Staff Report | AP Top Stories

Senate passes Obama's economic recovery plan

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's economic recovery plan has passed the U.S. Senate and is on its way to difficult House-Senate negotiations.

February 10, 2009 | Staff Report | AP Top Stories

Daschle withdraws as nominee

WASHINGTON (AP) - Daschle withdraws nomination to be secretary of Health and Human Services.

February 03, 2009 | Staff Report | AP Top Stories

Macy's to cut 7,000 jobs, slash dividend

NEW YORK (AP) - Macy's Inc. announced Monday that it will cut 7,000 jobs, almost 4 percent of its work force, reduce its contributions to its employees' retirement funds and slash its dividend to preserve cash amid a severe pullback in consumer spending.

February 02, 2009 | Anne D'Innocenzio | AP Top Stories

Perdue: GBI to look at peanut butter plant

ATLANTA - Gov. Sonny Perdue has asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to look into the south Georgia peanut butter plant at the heart of the salmonella outbreak.

The governor has instructed the GBI to see whether the state has jurisdiction under Georgia law to investigate violations at the Georgia plant. Lawmakers have called on federal authorities to launch a criminal investigation.

January 29, 2009 | AP | AP Top Stories

Illinois governor thrown out of office

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (blah-GOY'-uh-vich) has been convicted at his impeachment trial and thrown out of office.

His removal comes nearly two months after his arrest on charges of trying to sell Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat. He becomes the first U.S. governor in more than 20 years to be removed by impeachment.

January 29, 2009 | Staff Report | AP Top Stories

Ga. unemployment rate hits 8.1 percent in December

ATLANTA - The state's unemployment rate rose to 8.1 percent in December, the highest since March 1983, the Georgia Department of Labor said Thursday.

The department reported that 393,168 Georgia residents were jobless last month. About 40 percent of them are getting unemployment insurance.

January 29, 2009 | Dorie Turner Associated Press Writer | AP Top Stories

Ga. plan would link property tax relief to revenue

ATLANTA- Powerful Georgia House leaders are backing a proposal that would preserve a property tax break for homeowners this year but would likely eliminate it next year.

The homeowner tax relief grants, which reduce property taxes by about $200 to $300 per homeowner, would be wiped out in Gov. Sonny Perdue's proposed spending plan. He said it was "virtually fiscally impossible" to fund the $428 million program amid a $2.2 billion deficit.

January 28, 2009 | Greg Bluestein | AP Top Stories

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