June 1, 2011 |
The Supreme Court, unanimously throwing out a suit against former Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft from someone arrested but never used as a material witness in a terrorism case, has now erected a broad shield protecting the government and Bush administration officials for their conduct in the war on terrorism. The justices have repeatedly rejected lawsuits from civil libertarians who contended top officials had stretched the law and violated the Constitution by ordering the arrest of Muslim men in the U.S. and abroad, most of whom were never charged with terrorism.
May 23, 2011 |
Midway through the HBO docudrama "Too Big to Fail," the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York despairs that ordinary Americans "have no idea the whole thing is about to fall down. " He's referring not to the stock market, which already was plunging as the global financial crisis struck in late-2008, but to the entire U.S. economy as the conflagration on Wall Street threatened to spread far wider. I covered Wall Street for The Times during that period, and the movie accurately depicts the panic that gripped the Fed and the Treasury Department — and eventually a slow-to-comprehend Wall Street — as they scrambled to avert another Great Depression.
April 9, 2011 |
Room 1648 at the upscale Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka isn't fancy, but it sure beats Mina Ariga's old digs: an evacuation shelter in the Tokyo convention center. And for the three months she'll stay, she won't have to pay a cent. She and her husband, Naruto, have been on the move since the earthquake and tsunami tore through the two-story home they were renting in Iwaki, a city about 20 miles south of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. For the last month, the couple and their three pugs have crashed with friends and slept in shelters.
March 31, 2011 |
Talks to settle state and federal investigations into botched foreclosure paperwork will be going on for a long time, government officials said after holding their first face-to-face meeting with top bank executives. "They cautioned we are looking at months, not weeks or days," said Jessica Smith, a Justice Department spokeswoman. Representatives of the five largest mortgage servicers — Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Ally Financial Inc.— met with government officials in Washington on Wednesday.
March 30, 2011 |
Major banks may be forced to let severely delinquent homeowners sell their houses for less than the loan amounts owed as part of a broad settlement of federal and state investigations into botched foreclosure paperwork, according to government officials involved in the negotiations. The requirement to allow so-called short sales would be in addition to forcing mortgage servicers to reduce the amount some homeowners owe on their loans, said two officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because negotiations are ongoing.
March 28, 2011 |
Government loyalists tried to show Monday that they had wrested control of the last major rebel-held enclave in western Libya, but a visit only underscored that ferocious fighting continued in the city. It also showed how deeply Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi's forces were embedded within the heart of Misurata and how difficult it would be to dislodge them without risking civilian lives. Libyan officials hustled international journalists onto a pair of buses Monday afternoon in Tripoli for a trip to what government spokesman Musa Ibrahim described as "liberated" Misurata, about 125 miles to the east.
March 28, 2011 |
A woman who was beaten and carted away by plainclothes security officials after she told journalists she had been brutally gang-raped by Moammar Kadafi's militiamen remained missing Sunday even as she became a worldwide symbol of defiance against the regime. A government official said Iman Obeidi was safe, free and with her family but provided no proof to back up his statement. The Libyan official, Musa Ibrahim, described the woman as a single mother and alleged she was a prostitute with a long criminal record.
March 26, 2011 |
Rebels fighting the regime of Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi have retaken the strategic city of Ajdabiya in the country's east, officials in the capital acknowledged. A foreign ministry official told reporters that armed forces loyal to Kadafi, under air assault by an international Western-led coalition including the United States, have been forced to retreat from the coastal city, which controls the road to the rebel-held stronghold of Benghazi as well as the desert road to the country's eastern border.
March 13, 2011 |
Zeinab Moussa was recently traveling home in the women's car of the subway when three men disguised in burkas entered, pulled out guns and told the riders to hand over everything they had. Terrified, she gave them $200 in cash and her wedding ring. "There were no police officers or street cops," she said. Since the revolution toppled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak last month, many of the police who became targets of the protesters' anger have failed to return to the streets, resulting in a crime wave that tears at the public's faith in the new government.
March 11, 2011 |
For a government official, Nestor Moreno lived pretty large. Moreno, the director of operations for Mexico's nationalized electricity monopoly, drove a $297,000 Ferrari and owned a $1.8-million yacht named Dream Seeker. Moreno couldn't afford these luxuries on his salary at the Federal Electricity Commission in Mexico City. Instead, U.S. prosecutors alleged, they were gifts from an Azusa company that was peddling its electricity transmission equipment to foreign buyers. Now, two executives of privately held Lindsey Manufacturing Co. ?