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Jan 25, 2011

The new head of HSBC Holdings (0005) will keep his office in | Financial And Forex Info News | The Standard


Traveling Gulliver keeps HK office The new head of HSBC Holdings (0005) will keep his office in Hong Kong, said a spokesperson of the lender, denying a Financial Times report saying chief executive officer Stuart Gulliver has chosen to stay in London.

26/ 01/ 2011
Buying opportunity comes closer when power trips take their toll
Obama set to map revival plan as data stays mixed
Lingering concerns fail to dampen yuan bond issues
Beijing seen winner in anti-inflation fight
Britain stands firm on deep spending cuts despite GDP shock
Commodities giant Glencore prepares for mega US$8b offer
Profit-tax cut urged to lure investors
Cash-hit banks fork out record rates for funds
Lower than forecast export growth flags downturn for 2011
Traveling Gulliver keeps HK office

25/ 01/ 2011
Steady rise in yuan seen after unit climbs to record
Aluminum firm sets sights on $17.2b
CRE and Kirin forge drinks venture
A powerful lesson in making the right call
Mortgages feel bite of curbs
Budget surplus forecast to hit $60b
Cheung Kong seeks $30b flat sales
Banks lending targets diverge
China faces tough fight tempering inflation

Cotton soars to 140-year high | Financial & Forex Info News | The Australian Business Briefing

Peabody Energy CEO Gregory Boyce
Matt Whittaker THE largest US coal producer, Peabody Energy, will boost production in Australia and the US after it more than doubled its profit.
Read More

Cotton soars to 140-year high

COTTON prices skyrocketed to a 140-year high overnight as investors bet supplies would tighten further before the next harvest.

Ho accuses wife, kids of share theft

Stanley Ho, fourth wife Angela Leong
STANLEY Ho has shocked Macau by accusing his third wife, and children from a second, of stealing shares from his gaming empire.

Obama wants five-year spending freeze

US, Capitol Hill, US Capitol
BARACK Obama wants a five-year, limited freeze on spending "as a down payment toward reducing the deficit", the White House said today.

Regent takeover of BC Iron approved

iron ore
AUSTRALIAN regulators have approved the $345 million takeover of junior iron ore miner BC Iron by Hong Kong-listed Regent Pacific.

Facebook says mobile a 'primary focus'

FACEBOOK chief technology officer Bret Taylor dropped a hint for what’s coming next: bringing more Facebook to mobile phones.

Inflation spikes in Britain, GDP contracts

Mervyn King, Bank of England Governor
BRITAIN'S economy contracted by 0.5 per cent in the December quarter and inflation rose well above the Bank of England's target.

Jakarta slashes Garuda share offer value

A GARUDA share offer initially planned to raise $US1 billion-plus has been slashed after intervention by Indonesia, which owns the carrier.

US stocks mixed, earnings fall short

NYSE, Wall Street
WALL Street ended mixed overnight after a blitz of bluechip earnings reports disappointed investors.

Gold's shine fades as worries ease

gold miners
GOLD futures fell to a three-month low overnight as investors continued looking for a bottom amid the metal's ongoing correction.

Asian Shares Mostly Lower :By Shri Navaratnam | Asian Markets | MarketWatch

By Shri Navaratnam

SINGAPORE (MarketWatch) -- Asian stock markets were mostly lower Wednesday, after disappointing earnings in the U.S., but shares in Seoul got a lift from news of faster-than-expected economic growth.
South Korea's Kospi index advanced 0.7%, Japan's Nikkei Stock Average was down 0.5% and New Zealand's NZX-50 lost 0.2%. Australian markets were shut for their national day.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up two points in screen trade.
The Seoul market was bolstered by news of solid gross domestic product growth. GDP in the fourth quarter of 2010 rose a seasonally-adjusted 0.5% from the previous three months, slowing the third quarter's 0.7% expansion, but above expectations for a 0.3% rise. The outcome put full-year growth at 6.1%, the highest in eight years.
Tech stocks and automakers underpinned the Kospi. Samsung Electronics advanced 0.8%, Hynix Semiconductor tacked on 0.6% while Hyundai Motor rose 2.6% and Kia Motor rose 2.1%.
LG Electronics lost 2.5% ahead of its fourth-quarter consolidated earnings report at 0400 GMT.
It earlier announced domestic operations results and "its operating loss of KRW1.1 trillion last year from its domestic operations is fueling concerns that its consolidated operating loss will be also wider than expected," said Meritz Securities analyst Ji Mok-hyun; "I previously expected LG's fourth-quarter operating loss at around the mid-KRW200 billion levels, but now it seems like it could even widen to around a KRW300 billion to KRW500 billion loss."
The Tokyo market was weighed by Wall Street's tepid performance and lackluster U.S. earnings. Okasan Securities strategist Hideyuki Ishiguro said the market may continue to correct for the next few weeks after its strong performance since early November.
Twenty four of the Topix's 33 subindexes were lower. Sony was off 1.4%, Sharp fell 0.7% while Toyota lost 0.9% and Nissan Motor gave up 1.1%.
Eisai slumped 5.1% after the drugmaker said on Tuesday it has decided not to seek marketing approval for its sepsis drug Eritoran by end-March as previously planned.
Komatsu rose 2.1% after the Nikkei reported that the company is likely to post a consolidated operating profit of about Y220 billion for the year through March 31, about Y20 billion ahead of its forecast, partly helped by brisk sales of construction machinery in China.
The New Zealand market was modestly lower, with buyers sidelined by a lack of positive catalysts.
Clothing retailer Hallenstein Glasson dropped 4.9% after a profit warning. The firm is projecting its first half net profit will fall as much as 18% on-year due to difficult trading conditions in Australia and New Zealand.
"It shows the (stiff) competition that retailers are feeling and I think the discounting that is now going on can't help but affect the good quality operators," said Hamilton Hindin Greene broker Grant Williamson.
Telecom fell 0.9% as investors continued to book profits after its recent strong run.
Investors were mulling New Zealand Prime Minister John Key's statement on Wednesday that outlined plans for the possible sale of a stake in some state assets. Although the market's reaction was muted, Williamson noted that the move would help local capital markets. "It will mean more diversity on the market and new listing of blue chip stocks, something that we haven't seen in an extremely long (time)," he said.
Key said the government was studying the possibility of selling stakes in state assets such as energy companies Mighty River Power, Meridian and Genesis, and coal producer Solid Energy.
The euro was in a tight range against the U.S. dollar as investors awaited the outcome of the Federal Reserve's rate-setting meeting later in the global day. The Fed is widely expected to stay the course, and keep plowing cash into the U.S. economy.
The British pound was on the defensive after a sharp fall on Tuesday following news of an unexpected contraction in the U.K. economy in the fourth quarter of last year. "Generally across markets sentiment was somewhat lacklustre, after the U.K. growth numbers reminded investors that the expected global growth recovery is not without risks," said Mike Jones, currency strategist at the Bank of New Zealand.
The euro was fetching $1.3680 against the dollar, from $1.3682 late Tuesday in New York, and Y112.52 against the yen, from Y112.58. The dollar was at Y82.26, compared with Y82.25, while the pound was at $1.5813, from $1.5827.
Lead Japanese government bond futures were up 0.19 at 139.58 points, driven by the Nikkei's losses and Tuesday's gains in U.S. Treasurys. The 10-year cash bond yield was down 1.5 basis points at 1.235%.
Spot gold was at $1,333.60 per troy ounce, up 80 cents from its New York close Tuesday. March crude oil futures were up 14 cents at $86.33 a barrel on Globex.

CNBC Latest News And Videos | CNBC Evening Brief


»click here to see the latest top stories from

State of the Union
CNBC 360 Special Coverage Begins Tonight 9:00PM ET
New challenges. From taxes and jobs to the economy, what is the President's message for America's future? Get live team coverage, plus insight and analysis from both sides of the aisle. "The State of the Union", tonight 9:00PM ET.
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As mortgage costs rise, focus on your credit score | MarketWatch: Personal Finance Daily

Personal Finance Daily
JANUARY 25, 2011

Tuesday's Personal Finance Stories

By MarketWatch

Don't miss these top stories:
As anyone who has bought a home knows, mortgage loans aren't cheap, not only in terms of the interest you pay for decades, but also the up-front fees you're forced to either pay or roll into your loan. Now some prospective home buyers are being forced to pay more, thanks to new fees that Fannie Mae is putting in place.

Read Amy Hoak's Home Economics column to find out more about the fees, and how one hypothetical buyer will see his mortgage fee jump to $1,600 from $800 now.

Also, don't miss Ruth Mantell's Diary of a Recession Baby for a look at the steep rise in workplace lawsuits last year — and the expectation for more of the same this year. As Ruth writes, that's good and bad news, even for the workers who never find themselves part of a class-action claim.

In the grand scheme of a costly home purchase, another $800 is not going to kill the deal. Better to focus on improving your credit score. Doing so may net you a lower interest rate, and that promises long-term savings. As for those fees? People with credit scores above 740 and a 25% down payment escape the current mortgage-fee increase.

Andrea Coombes , Personal Finance editor


Mortgage fees on the rise again

Rising mortgage fees announced by Fannie Mae are beginning to impact costs for borrowers — even those with good credit scores.
Read more: Mortgage fees on the rise again.

Home prices fall 1% in November: Case-Shiller

Home prices fall 1% on a nonseasonally adjusted basis in November, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index. This marks the fourth straight monthly decline. Prices have fallen 1.6% in the past year.
Read more: Home prices fall 1% in November.


Workplace lawsuits are on the rise

Companies are facing more legal action from employees — a trend that can help and hurt workers, experts say.
Read more: Workplace lawsuits are on the rise.

Hiring outlook brightens for financial sector

The new year promises better opportunities for job seekers in the finance sector, with recruiters and analysts looking for increased hiring, especially in private equity, hedge funds, wealth management, compliance and commercial banking.
Read more: Hiring outlook brightens for financial sector.


IRS announces tax-refund app

Wondering when you'll get your tax refund? Well, now there's an "app" for that. The Internal Revenue Service announces its first smartphone application, part of its effort to modernize the agency.
Read more: IRS announces tax-refund app.


Retailers tap tech potential to get personal

To engage increasingly fickle shoppers, retailers are customizing messages and tapping the latest technology to differentiate the shopping experience.
Read more: Retailers tap tech potential to get personal.


Obama to propose spending freeze in speech

President Barack Obama will use his State of the Union address to call for a five-year freeze on nonsecurity, discretionary spending as part of a plan to reduce the U.S. budget deficit.
Read more: Obama to propose spending freeze in speech.

State of the Union: The real story

Forget the posturing you're going to hear tonight. Do you want to hear the real state of the union? Just ask Ike: President Dwight Eisenhower, writes Brett Arends.
Read more: State of the Union: The real story.

CEO confidence back to pre-crisis levels: poll

Chief executives around the world are increasingly upbeat on growth prospects, with confidence returning to pre-recession levels, a global survey of top executives finds.
Read more: CEO confidence back to pre-crisis levels, poll finds.

January consumer confidence jumps

An index of U.S. consumer confidence jumps in January, reaching the highest level since May, with more optimism about income and jobs, as well as current business conditions, the Conference Board reports.
Read more: January consumer confidence jumps.

Keep the ‘porn' standard in the Volcker rule

The banking industry, Congress and regulators are making the Volcker rule more complicated than it needs to be.
Read more: Keep the ‘porn' standard in the Volcker rule.

Returns up, but fallout mixed for Treasury

The Public-Private Investment Program has yielded a 27% return for the public and private investors, but the positive results don't hide the fact the program was a gamble.
Read more: Returns up, but fallout mixed for Treasury.

The Super Rich at Davos: 40 years of disaster

The gathering in Davos, Switzerland, is not a world economic forum. It is a conspiracy of the super rich and all it has done in 40 years is help to build the gap between the haves and the have-nots.
Read more: The Super Rich at Davos: 40 years of disaster.

U.S. to grow 3% while China, India surge: IMF

The two-speed recovery will continue this year as the U.S. grows at a 3% clip, while emerging economies like China and India continue to surge, the International Monetary Fund says in its latest forecast.
Read more: U.S. to grow 3% while China, India surge.


‘The King's Speech' leads Oscar nominations

"The King's Speech," the story of how King George VI struggled to overcome a stammering problem to lead Great Britain into World War II, led the field of Oscar nominees with 12 nods, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced.
Read more: ‘The King's Speech' leads Oscar nominations.


SEC approves investor say on CEO pay

The Securities and Exchange Commission adopted rules that will give institutional investors a vote starting later this year on the pay packages of top executives at U.S. corporations.
Read more: SEC approves investor say on CEO pay.

Psychology may be making 12,000 a barrier

The stock market's early pullback is disappointing to investors with hopes that Monday's triple-digit rise would generate enough momentum for the Dow to push through the 12,000 level.
Read more: Psychology may be making 12,000 a barrier.

Super Bowl theory suggests stocks will rise

The Super Bowl indicator is giving an unambiguous buy signal.
Read more: Super Bowl theory suggests stocks will rise.

How bearish are those daily divergences?

Over the last month there has been an unusually large number of trading sessions in which the Dow industrials rose and the Dow transports fell, or vice-versa. This is a source of some concern to some Dow Theorists, but the historical record tells a more sanguine story.
Read more: How bearish are those daily divergences?

Motley H-P board isn't what Apotheker needs

The shake-up last week at Hewlett-Packard Co.'s (HPQ) board isn't getting rave reviews in Silicon Valley. What else do its new leaders have in store?
Read more: Motley H-P board isn't what Apotheker needs.


British economy unexpectedly shrinks; pound slumps

Britain's economy unexpectedly contracted in the final quarter of 2010, data show, with the 0.5% decrease in gross domestic product attributed in part to heavy snowfall.
Read more: British economy unexpectedly shrinks; pound slumps.

India raises interest rates by quarter-point

The Reserve Bank of India raises its benchmark interest rate by a quarter-percentage point, marking its seventh such increase since the beginning of 2010 to cool soaring prices.
Read more: India raises interest rates by quarter-point.

Bank of Japan holds steady, tweaks forecast

The Bank of Japan held its key overnight call rate range steady at zero to 0.1% by unanimous vote as widely expected, and kept its overall economic assessment unchanged.
Read more: Bank of Japan holds steady, tweaks forecast.

China should be wary of euro-zone debt: report

China risks turning "good money into bad" if it pursues further purchases of euro-zone bonds without assurances that its current holdings won't be a part of a restructuring plan, a former central-bank policy board member says.
Read more: China should be wary of euro-zone debt, report says.

While Google Hires, Yahoo Fires

(Reuters) - Yahoo Inc warned revenue will again slide this quarter as traffic to the Internet portal drifts elsewhere and the company begins sharing search revenue with Microsoft Corp followed that with a declaration it is preparing its biggest year of hiring ever in 2011.

NYT: Afternoon Business News : U.S. Home Prices Slump Again, Hitting New Lows


In Hard-Fought Mattress Wars, Sealy Adopts a Simmons Technology

Simmons cried foul upon learning that a new line of Sealy Posturepedics would use fabric-encased coils, a method Simmons has championed since the 1920s.

Davos, 9 Years Into the Future

Envisioning the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in January 2020.

U.S. Home Prices Slump Again, Hitting New Lows

The predicted double-dip in housing has begun, and analysts say declines are likely to continue, though not as intensely as in 2007 and 2008.

S.E.C. Adopts Say-on-Pay Rules

Shareholders will be allowed to cast nonbinding votes on executive compensation awarded at publicly traded companies. The votes must take place at least once every three years.

British Economy Shrank in Fourth Quarter

The message to the Cameron government seemed clear: Its policies of steep spending cuts and tax increases faced, at a stroke, a sharply heightened political vulnerability.

Stocks See Partial Recovery, Close Mixed - U.S. Commentary. | RTTNews Evening Market Wrap

Evening Market Wrap Tue Jan 25 17:01 2011


Jan 25, 2011 Stocks See Partial Recovery, Close Mixed - U.S. Commentary Stocks recovered from the day's lows to close on a mixed note on Tuesday, with the markets absorbing an unexpected contraction in the U.K.'s fourth quarter GDP along with a tepid round of earnings and economic reports out of the U.S. Full Article

Economic News

Jan 25, 2011 U.S. Home Price Index Show 1.6% Annual Drop In November Home prices in 20 of the major metropolitan areas in the U.S. showed a notable decrease in November compared to the same month a year ago, according to a report released by Standard & Poor's on Tuesday, with the annual drop in prices coming in roughly in line with estimates. The report showed that the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index fell at an annual rate of 1.6 percent in November compared to the 0.8 percent drop reported for October. Full Article
Jan 25, 2011 U.S. Consumer Confidence Shows Substantial Rebound In January After reporting an unexpected deterioration in U.S. consumer confidence for the month of December, the Conference Board released a report on Tuesday showing that consumer confidence rebounded by much more than anticipated in the month of January. The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index jumped to 60.6 in January from an upwardly revised 53.3 in December. Economists had expected the index to edge up to 54.3 from the 52.5 originally reported for the previous month. Full Article

Corporate News

Jan 25, 2011 Verizon Earnings Soar, But Miss EstimateTelecommunications giant Verizon Communications, Inc. (VZ) reported Tuesday a profit for the fourth quarter that soared from last year, even as sales dropped. The results were boosted by increases in smartphone and data usage together with an increase in FiOS customers. One-time pension gains also lifted the company's top line, but both adjusted earnings per share and quarterly revenues missed analysts' expectations. Full Article
Jan 25, 2011 DuPont Beats Expectations, Raises ForecastChemicals giant EI DuPont de Nemours & Co. (DD) Tuesday reported a lower profit for the fourth quarter, reflecting one-time charges and costs. Adjusted earnings surpassed Wall Street estimates, as revenues increased 12 percent owing to particularly strong growth in Electronics & Communications and Performance Chemicals segments. Further, the company lifted its 2011 earnings forecast. Net income attributable to DuPont in the quarter decreased to $376 million from $441 million in the previous year. On a per share basis, earnings dropped to $0.40 from $0.48. Full Article
Jan 25, 2011 J&J Profit Drops On Product Recalls, Lower SalesHealth care giant Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) reported Tuesday a 12 percent year-over-year decline in profit for the fourth quarter, hurt by slumping sales and a significant charge related to the DePuy ASR hip recall. Adjusted earnings per share rose by one penny and came in line with analysts' expectations, while quarterly revenues missed their estimates. The company also provided earnings forecast for the full-year 2011, below Street view. Full Article
Jan 25, 2011 3M Earnings Beat Expectations, Lifts OutlookDiversified technology company 3M Co. (MMM) Tuesday reported a lower profit for the fourth quarter, as higher revenues across all segments were offset by an increase in costs. Yet, earnings topped Wall Street expectations. Further, the company raised its fiscal 2011 earnings forecast. Net income attributable to the company slipped to $928 million from last year's $935 million. On a per-share basis, earnings grew to $1.28 from $1.30. On average, 15 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn $1.27 per share in the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items. Full Article
Jan 25, 2011 Kimberly-Clark Q4 Profit Flat, Beats EstimatesHealthcare products maker Kimberly-Clark Corp.(KMB) Tuesday reported a profit for the fourth quarter that remained unchanged from last year. However, earnings per share increased and exceeded analysts' consensus estimates. The company also projected adjusted earnings per share for full year 2011, in line with analysts view. Full Article
Jan 25, 2011 Travelers Net Profit DropsProperty casualty insurance provider Travelers Companies, Inc. (TRV) Tuesday reported a lower profit in the fourth quarter compared to last year. The prior-year period results were favored by higher reserve adjustments and lower catastrophe losses. Operating income per share for the fourth quarter, even though dropped 11 percent from last year, managed to top analysts' forecast. The New York-based company also stated that it is optimistic about an improvement in the operating environment in 2011. Full Article
Jan 25, 2011 Harley-Davidson Loss NarrowsMotorcycle maker Harley-Davidson Inc. (HOG) on Tuesday reported a net loss for the fourth quarter that narrowed from last year, reflecting higher revenues and a turnaround at its financial services unit. The company also incurred lower restructuring costs in the quarter compared to last year. Looking ahead to fiscal year 2011, the company expects a 5 to 8 percent increase in shipments from the preceding year. Full Article

Political News

Jan 25, 2011 Court Ruling Puts Emanuel's Name Back On Chicago Mayoral BallotA day after an Illinois appeals court ordered that Rahm Emanuel's name be taken off the ballot in the race to succeed Richard M. Daley as mayor of Chicago, the Illinois Supreme Court has order that Emanuel's name be put back on the ballot while the justices consider his appeal. Full Article
Jan 25, 2011 Cantor Downplays Bachmann's Post-SOTU AddressAmid news that Tea Party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., will broadcast her own response to Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Virg., has emphasized that the official Republican response will be delivered by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. Full Article
Jan 25, 2011 Obama Not Likely To See Post-SOTU Jump In ApprovalWhile U.S. President Barack Obama's approval rating has been on the upswing in recent weeks, Gallup noted Tuesday that the president is not likely to see a jump in public support after his delivery of the State of the Union address. Full Article

On Late comeback Wall Street Endes Flat . | Financial and forex info News | Reuters - Daily Investor Update



Wall Street ends flat on late comeback
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks staged a late comeback to end flat on Tuesday despite disappointing earnings from blue-chips including 3M and Johnson & Johnson. | Full Article

Yahoo net revenue declines in fourth quarter
January 25, 2011 04:29 PM ET
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc's net revenue declined 4 percent in the fourth quarter, but was slightly ahead of Wall Street expectations. | Full Article
Consumer morale at eight-month high
January 25, 2011 02:07 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer confidence rose in January to its highest level in eight months, underscoring the brightening economic outlook, although declining housing prices still cast a cloud on the recovery. | Full Article
SEC adopts shareholder say-on-pay rules
January 25, 2011 04:35 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Shareholders of publicly listed companies will get to weigh in on executive compensation through advisory votes, under a new rule adopted by U.S. securities regulators on Tuesday. | Full Article
Financial crisis panel refers cases to Justice
January 25, 2011 11:39 AM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A bipartisan panel investigating the financial crisis has referred cases of potential wrongdoing by financial industry officials to the Justice Department, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. | Full Article

NFA permanently bars Las Vegas coommodity trading advisor Diligent Management LLC anad Others...

The Washington Post Afternoon Edition - Today's Most Read Articles :Editorial: In the GOP's budget, a surplus of spite:

Washington Post

1) Oscar nominations 2011: Complete list of Academy Award nominees

Best motion picture of the year Black Swan (Fox Searchlight) A Protozoa and Phoenix Pictures Production. Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers The Fighter (Paramount) A Relativity Media Production. David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers Inception (Warne...

2) Oscar nominations 2011: 'King's Speech' leads with 12 nominations 'True Grit' nets 10

The Academy Award nominations, announced this morning in Los Angeles, mostly stuck to the script that Oscar-season observers expected.

3) Historian accused of altering Lincoln document at National Archives

It was the largest find in Civil War history in a generation: Hours before he was gunned down at Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln pardoned a Union soldier court-martialed for desertion and saved him from execution.

4) Capital Weather Gang: Significant snow possible late Wed.

I wouldn't go as far as recommend shorts here today, but 40s are a big improvement over the last few days. Don't get used it to though as there are increasing indications significant snow may fall across parts of the region late in the day Wednesday and Wednesday night, especially north and west ...

5) Editorial: In the GOP's budget, a surplus of spite

Despite what you might have heard, the coming battle on Capitol Hill is not really about "government spending" in the abstract. It's about two radically different visions of how money should be spent.

6) Home prices fall in nearly all major cities, heightening fears of double dip

Home prices slipped in nearly every major metropolitan area in November, with a few cities hitting their lowest levels since prices peaked about four years ago, according to a closely watched index released Tuesday.

7) The stories behind the visitors in the State of the Union galleries

They have been heroes of plane crashes. Child prodigies, in math and gospel music. Doctors, philanthropists, soldiers.

8) Five myths about why the South seceded

One hundred and fifty years after the Civil War began, we're still fighting it - or at least fighting over its history. I've polled thousands of high school history teachers and spoken about the war to audiences across the country, and there is little agreement even on why the South seceded. Was it...

9) The GOP's political lobotomy

The GOP's lackluster list of potential presidential candidates is a calamity.

10) Chicago car salesman fired for wearing Packers tie

OAK LAWN, Ill. -- A car salesman in suburban Chicago has been fired for refusing to remove a Green Bay Packers tie that he wore to work the day after the Packers beat the Chicago Bears to advance to the Super Bowl.