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Figures & Facts
New Poll: Obama regains lead over McCain; voters show major concern with economic crisis, confidence in Biden
Despite an intense effort to distance himself from the way his party has done business in Washington, Senator John McCain is seen by voters as far less likely to bring change to Washington than Senator Barack Obama. He is widely viewed as a “typical Republican” who would continue or expand President Bush’s policies, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
Polls taken after the Republican convention suggested that Mr. McCain had enjoyed a surge of support — particularly among white women after his selection of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate — but the latest poll indicates “the Palin effect” was, at least so far, a limited burst of interest. The contest appeared to be roughly where it was before the two conventions and before the vice-presidential selections: Mr. Obama had the support of 48 percent of registered voters, compared with 43 percent for Mr. McCain.
The poll was taken during a period of extraordinary turmoil on Wall Street. By overwhelming numbers, Americans said the economy was the top issue affecting their vote decision, and they continued to express deep pessimism about the nation’s economic future. They continued to express greater confidence in Mr. Obama’s ability to manage the economy, even as Mr. McCain has aggressively sought to raise doubts about it. read more »
Lehman bankrupt, Merrill sold; worst day on Wall Street since 9/11 shakes major markets worldwide, shares tumble
In one of the most dramatic days in Wall Street’s history, Lehman Brothers, the 158-year-old, fourth-largest U.S. investment bank that predates the Civil War and weathered the Great Depression, filed the largest bankruptcy in American history; while Merrill Lynch, the third largest investment firm, has agreed to sell itself to Bank of America, the nation's largest bank.
Investors suffered their worst losses since the terrorist attacks of 2001. Amid worries that the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and the sale of Merrill Lynch might not be enough to stop the downward spiral, stocks fell sharply in the last half hour of trading. By the end of the day, the Dow Jones industrial average had dropped 504.48 points, or 4.4 percent, as a record volume of more than 8 billion shares traded hands on the New York Stock Exchange. It was the biggest decline since Sept. 17, 2001 - the day the index reopened after the 9/11 terrorist attacks - when it fell 7 percent, or 684.81 points. read more »
World first fuel-saving carbon-cutting program: Air New Zealand passengers take a ride on the 'perfect flight'
Air New Zealand's "perfect flight" using optimal flying conditions and the co-operation of US, New Zealand and Australian aviation authorities, was hailed as a success in San Francisco on Friday. Using new technologies and procedures on a flight from Auckland, Air New Zealand cut waiting time, trimmed flying time, saved 1,200 gallons of fuel (around 4% less fuel than normally used), eliminated 30,000 pounds of harmful carbon emissions and took a quieter approach on arrival at San Francisco International Airport.
The normal commercial flight NZ8, dubbed ASPIRE 1 (Asia and South Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions) is the first tailored test flight on the Pacific using technology and cleared gates at each end, eliminating air traffic congestion to test flight and fuel efficiency. It is part of a worldwide drive to make the aviation industry more environmentally friendly. read more »
"The Simpsons" wins 10th best cartoon Emmy Award - US television's highest honor for a prime-time cartoon
"The Simpsons" once again claimed U.S. television's highest honor for a prime-time cartoon on Saturday at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, extending the show's record winning streak. It marked the 10th time that "The Simpsons," airing on the Fox network for 19 seasons, as the longest-running comedy series in prime time, was named best half-hour animated show. The latest accolade for the hit cartoon came during a 3 1/2-hour presentation of the 60th annual Creative Arts Emmy Awards, mostly honoring achievements in categories like makeup, costumes, sound editing and art direction.
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom which was created by Matt Groening, a satirical parody of the middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its titular family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield, and it lampoons many aspects of the human condition, as well as American culture, society as a whole, and television itself.
Russia sends long-range strategic bombers, nuclear warships, 1k troops to Venezuela for joint military exercises
Two Russian strategic bombers have landed in Venezuela as part of military maneuvers, the Interfax news agency reported today, at a time when US-Russian relations are at their most strained since the cold war. Interfax cited a Russian defense ministry statement as saying the two Tu-160 strategic bombers landed today to carry out training flights over neutral waters in the next few days before returning to Russia.
The arrival of the Russian strategic warplanes in what the US considers its backyard followed a statement at the weekend by the Venezuelan government saying that four Russian ships would participate in joint exercises in the Caribbean this year. Venezuela said a taskforce including four Russian naval ships and 1,000 Russian military personnel would take part in mid-November exercises with Venezuelan frigates, patrol boats, submarines and aircraft. Confirming a visit would be made, Russia said its ships would include the heavy cruiser Peter the Great and the anti-submarine ship Admiral Chabanenko. Anti-submarine planes would also be sent to Venezuela temporarily, it said.
Biggest physics experiment in history underway: Large Hadron Collider passes operational test, fires first beam
There was screaming and whistling in physics labs and auditoriums outside Geneva - and around the world - Wednesday, as scientists whooped it up out of sheer joy.
Season turnaround: an emotional Federer claims 5th consecutive US Open victory, sets sights on Sampras record
So many of Roger Federer’s 13 grand slam trophies had been presented as the smooth work of a genius, as if there were nothing simpler in the world for the Swiss than easing through a draw-sheet. However, his latest triumph was not quite like that.
While Federer winning a fifth consecutive US Open title could never be seen as a shock result, he felt as though this slam title “had a different flavor”. And New York clearly savored that “different flavor”; here was something new in the Federer narrative.
Perhaps the tennis public had previously started to take Federer a bit for granted, believing that his slam victories had become almost too easy. His tennis at the start of this year was complicated by a bout of glandular fever, he lost in the semi-finals at the Australian Open to Novak Djokovic, and then finished as the runner-up to Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. The top ranking switched to the Majorcan over the summer. read more »