In Tuesday's Americas papers

12 February 2008 10:53  [Source: ICIS news]

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Front Page

Scrutiny tightens for title insurers
The collapse of the housing boom is bringing harsh new scrutiny to the $17bn title-insurance business, including allegations that insurers colluded illegally and paid kickbacks to agents or brokers to get business.

RIM BlackBerries hit by large-scale outage
Research In Motion experienced a significant outage of its BlackBerry wireless email service yesterday, its second major North American disruption in the past 12 months, signaling a potentially troubling pattern for the wireless email company.

Student-loan issues under stress
Securities tied to student loans, another seemingly safe corner of the credit markets, are succumbing to the credit crunch. Wall Street's financial-engineering machine bundles together long-term student loans and uses them as collateral for short-term investments owned by money-market investors.

Money & Investing

Macklowe receives default notice as his debt negotiations stall
New York developer Harry Macklowe was served a notice of default and the possibility of a foreclosure loomed larger as negotiations with his lenders over $7bn of debt on seven Manhattan buildings bogged down, according to two people familiar with the matter.

AIG's dive doesn't swamp Dow
Stock markets nudged higher despite a pullback among financial stocks led by bellwether American International Group, which fell sharply after detailing its recent difficulties in valuing complex credit instruments.

Obama's extraordinary wave fails to sink extraordinary foe
After storming five presidential-nominating contests over the weekend, Senator Barack Obama is favoured to take three more primaries today and two later this month - a potential 10-contest run that will give him wins in nearly half the states compared with Senator Hillary Clinton's total of just 10 wins since voting began in Iowa.

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Front Page

For Clinton, bid hinges on Texas and Ohio
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and her advisers increasingly believe that, after a series of losses, she has been boxed into a must-win position in the Ohio and Texas primaries on 4 March, and she has begun reassuring anxious donors and super delegates that the nomination is not slipping away from her, aides said on Monday.

In Pakistan, doubts over the fight in tribal areas
The announcement of a cease-fire just a few weeks into a determined military operation against one of Pakistan’s most wanted men, the militant leader Baitullah Mehsud, has once again raised questions about the Pakistani government’s commitment to combating militancy in the country’s tribal areas.

Business Day

Mortgage crisis spreads past subprime loans
The credit crisis is no longer just a subprime mortgage problem. As home prices fall and banks tighten lending standards, people with good, or prime, credit histories are falling behind on their payments for home loans, auto loans and credit cards at a quickening pace, according to industry data and economists.

After rejection by Yahoo, Microsoft hints at a fight
The war of words between Yahoo and Microsoft has begun. Hours after Yahoo officially rejected Microsoft’s takeover offer on Monday, calling it too low, Microsoft described Yahoo’s response as "unfortunate" and said its own proposal was "full and fair".

THE WASHINGTON POST

Front Page

Travellers to Europe may face fingerprinting
The European Commission will propose tomorrow that all foreign travellers entering and leaving Europe, including US citizens, should be fingerprinted. If approved by the European Parliament, the measure would mean that precisely identifying information on tens of millions of citizens will be added in coming years to databases that could be shared by friendly governments around the world.

Campaigns cover the region in last effort to charm voters
Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama offered himself as "something new" at a pair of spirited, arena-size rallies in Maryland yesterday, while his primary rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton, portrayed herself as a "battle-scarred" fighter for the middle class at more intimate events held across the region on the eve of today's primaries.

Business

Rattled by economy's ills, consumers forgo life's little luxuries
Charlene Hennessy cooked dinner one Sunday night at her Germantown home, in another act of downsizing her life. Six months ago, she and her husband relied a lot more on restaurants, buying takeout a few times a week. Now she is wary of every little splurge.

Lerach gets two years in prison for kickbacks
William Lerach, who won billions of dollars for defrauded investors in class-action cases, was sentenced yesterday to two years in prison, ending up on the wrong end of the justice system after a legendary legal career.

GLOBE AND MAIL, Canada

Front Page

Flaherty vows to protect surplus
Amid fresh fears about the depth of the US downturn, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty warned Monday that he won't "throw money around" when he delivers what's shaping up to be a meagre budget on 26 February.

Senior Mountie found 'in contempt of Parliament'
A House committee is preparing to deliver another blow to the credibility of one of the most high-profile casualties of the RCMP's lingering pension fund scandal.

Business

BlackBerry suffers massive outage
Millions of BlackBerry users were cut off from their wireless lifelines Monday when a massive server outage caused the popular handheld devices to fail across North America.

Chrysler employee discount goes to stablemates in Air Canada
Chrysler Canada, taking advantage of the broad array of companies in the Cerberus Capital Management stable, has hooked up with Air Canada to extend its own employee discounts to those of the airline, opening a new frontier in automotive retailing in Canada.

BUENOS AIRES HERALD

Front Page

Clinton needs a brake
Hillary Rodham Clinton looked to the Maine caucuses yesterday but was unable to put a brake on Barack Obama’s momentum.

‘West need not fear Russia’
Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, speaking yesterday at the international security conference in Munich, Germany, warned Europe against the dangers of recognizing Kosovo, if and when it becomes independent of Serbia. But Ivanov said he was concerned not to set a precedent or break international law.

US sniper gets 10 years for killing Iraqi
US army sniper Sgt Evan Vela was sentenced to 10 years in prison yesterday for the murder of Genei Nasir al Janabi, an Iraqi civilian whom he shot with a pistol in May. During the trial, Vela apologised and asked for mercy for his wrongdoings.


By: Staff Reporter
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