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Nov 26, 2011

NYT Global Update: NATO Strikes Kill Pakistani Forces, Raising Tensions



TOP NEWS

NATO Strikes Kill Pakistani Forces, Raising Tensions

By SALMAN MASOOD
Pakistani officials accused NATO of a helicopter attack on two military checkpoints at the northwestern border with Afghanistan that killed at least 25 soldiers.

Egypt Braces for Fresh Clashes After Protester's Death

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
The death of an unarmed protester threatened to stir up new protests as Egypt's rulers and politicians raced to prepare for potential chaos during Monday's elections.

In Iraq, Bombs Kill at Least 11 in 2 Attacks

By ANDREW E. KRAMER
The attacks occurred on a highway west of Baghdad and in a market in the city's center, as violence continued in the weeks before American troops leave.
Business

A New Capital of Call Centers

By VIKAS BAJAJ
Many companies have moved their customer service lines to Manila to take advantage of workers who speak lightly accented English and are familiar with American culture.
Opinion

Opinion

Israel's Other Occupation

By GERSHOM GORENBERG
The ethnic conflict in the West Bank is metastasizing into Israel, threatening its democracy and unraveling its society.
WORLD

Moderate Islamist Party Winning Morocco Election

By SOUAD MEKHENNET and MAÏA de la BAUME
The Justice and Development Party won a plurality of the vote, requiring the king to choose a prime minister from the party and giving it the right to lead a coalition government.

For U.S., Risks in Pressing Egypt to Speed Civilian Rule

By HELENE COOPER
The Obama administration seems now to be openly trying to position the United States in such a way that regardless of who comes out on top in Egypt, it will keep some credibility.

Syria Lets Arab League Deadline on Observers Pass

By NADA BAKRI
Arab League officials said that the country's lack of action meant Arab finance ministers would meet in Cairo to discuss imposing sanctions.
BUSINESS

Banks Build Contingency for Breakup of the Euro

By LIZ ALDERMAN
European leaders say there's no reason to prepare for the unthinkable: the breakup of the euro zone. But some big banks are no longer so sure.

Moody's Downgrades Hungary

By DAVID JOLLY
Moody's Investors Service has cut Hungary's credit rating to below investment grade, or junk, just a week after the country said it would seek aid from the International Monetary Fund.
News Analysis

As Crisis Mounts, Europe's Central Bank Stands Back

By JACK EWING
There is no sign the E.C.B. plans a major response to the debt crisis, with one official saying the bank "is not the fiscal lender of last resort to sovereigns."
TECHNOLOGY

Banks' Ties to Olympus Scrutinized

By HIROKO TABUCHI and BEN PROTESS
Michael C. Woodford, who remains a director of the company but who left Japan after he was fired, returned this week to meet with investigators looking into the scandal surrounding the company.
Corner Office | John Riccitiello

The Importance of Painting a Clear Picture

By ADAM BRYANT
John Riccitiello of Electronic Arts says a company's leaders must be clear and consistent in articulating its vision.
Cultural Studies

What's in a Name? Ask Google

By ALLEN SALKIN
Web searches can help parents ensure their child is not saddled with a negatively connoted name, but a unique, or uncommon one.
SPORTS
Soccer Roundup

Manchester United Stumbles Again at Home

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
The defending Premier League champion Manchester United tied, 1-1, when Newcastle United scored after a disputed penalty-kick call.

In Argentina, Violence Is Part of the Soccer Culture

By ALEXEI BARRIONUEVO and CHARLES NEWBERY
Soccer in Argentina is being plagued by violence associated with the powerful, rival barra brava, hooligan fan groups.

Passing to a New View of Elite Racing

By BRAD SPURGEON
In recent years, Formula One has shifted from a firm belief in virtually no passing to a conviction that wheel-to-wheel battles enhance the excitement of Grand Prix racing.
U.S. NEWS

Bullet Train Project Faces Cries of Boondoggle, but California Pushes Ahead

By ADAM NAGOURNEY
The state's leaders have rallied around a plan to build a rail line from Los Angeles to San Francisco, in the face of seemingly insurmountable political and fiscal obstacles.

After Taking In Refugees for Years, a New Hampshire City Asks for a Pause

By ABBY GOODNOUGH
Manchester, N.H., has taken in more than 2,000 refugees from countries like Somalia and Sudan, but officials there say they now need a break.
Lives Restored

Finding Purpose After Living With Delusion

By BENEDICT CAREY
Milt Greek, an Ohio computer programmer, helps other people who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia to share their stories and gain insight into their condition.
OPINION
Op-Ed Contributor

Rules for Transition

By MICHAEL MEYER-RESENDE
In the next stage of the Arab rebellions, organizational details hold the key to success.
Op-Ed Contributor

Egypt's Military Must Step Aside

By KHAIRI ABAZA
Behind Mubarak were the generals. They must turn power over to a democratic government.
Editorial

Legal Education Reform

The economic downturn is forcing overdue changes in training lawyers, giving law schools the chance to help reinvigorate the profession.

MarketWatch | Weekly Roundup: top stories of the week, Nov. 21-25


MarketWatch

Weekly Roundup
NOVEMBER 26, 2011

MarketWatch's top stories of the week, Nov. 21-25

By MarketWatch



CHICAGO (MarketWatch) — It was a holiday-shortened week for stocks and the markets came up short, losing ground for the third week out of the last four. Even the post-Thanksgiving buzz over holiday shopping failed to excite equities.

Here are the top 10 stories on MarketWatch that shaped the week of Nov. 21-25:

1. Economic Report: Third-quarter growth cut to 2% from 2.5%

The U.S. economy grew at a slower pace than originally estimated in the third quarter, mainly because companies reduced inventories and did not invest as much.

The Commerce Department cut its estimate of gross domestic product to 2.0% from a first reading of 2.5%. The government's second revision of GDP includes data not fully available earlier, such as inventory levels and trade data. As a result, it paints a more accurate picture of U.S. growth.Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected the government to trim its estimate to 2.3%.

Read more on U.S. GDP growth.

2. Number of U.S. banks in distress declines

Federal regulators say the number of U.S. banks in financial distress continues to decline, a trend that coincides with the ninth consecutive profitable quarter in the banking industry. At the end of the third quarter there were 844 "problem" institutions, down from the 865 problem institutions at the end of the second quarter, and less than the 888 on the list at the end of the first quarter, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported Tuesday.

Names of banks on the list are withheld. It is unclear whether the reduction in troubled banks on the list is a result of institutional failures or improvements. In the third quarter there were 26 bank failures and 21 banks dropped off the problem bank list. In the second quarter there were 22 bank failures and 23 banks came off the problem bank list. It is possible that a bank fails so fast that it is never on the problem list.

Read more on the number of distressed banks.

3. Market Extra: Poor German auction shows crisis hitting core

An auction of German government bonds technically failed Wednesday, underlining fears that the long-running crisis in European sovereign debt now threatens the core of the euro zone.

"It was awful," said Nick Stamenkovic, fixed-income economist at RIA Capital in Edinburgh. The sale of 6 billion euros ($8.1 billion) of 10-year government bonds, known as bunds, attracted bids totaling just €3.889 billion. The Bundesbank, which conducts auctions on behalf of the Germany's federal debt agency, accepted €3.644 billion in bids. That left the central bank to pick up the slack, retaining €2.356 billion of the supply, or 39% of the total amount on offer.

Read more on the German bond auction.

4. Trading Deck: When in doubt, follow the masters

The art of investing is an exercise in making decisions under conditions of uncertainty. But today, it seems that the cloud of uncertainty is a little thicker than usual. Despite having two years to discount the likelihood and consequences of default by one or multiple "PIIGS," the market's persistent volatility shows that investors are as uncertain as ever.

During times like these, I like to do what your college professor might have called "cheating." I like to look over the shoulders of other investors and see what they are doing. With all of this said, today I'm going to take a look at the portfolios of three of my favorite institutional investors: Mohnish Pabrai, Joel Greenblatt, and Prem Watsa.

Read more on The Trading Deck.

5. Irwin Kellner: Signs of life in the U.S. economy

Although you wouldn't know it from the way the stock market has been behaving over the past month, the economic outlook appears to be brightening.

Prosperity may not yet be just around the corner, but a growing number of economic statistics suggest that growth is shifting into a higher gear.

It's not "Happy Days are Here Again." It's not even "Morning in America." Rather, it's more like the glass is no longer half empty — it's half full.

What makes this step-up in economic activity even more interesting is that it is occurring just the way the textbooks say it should.

Read more from Irwin Kellner.

6. Economic Report: China manufacturing gauge shows contraction

HSBC's preliminary China manufacturing survey fell to a 32-month low in November, well below analysts' forecasts, with the reading signaling that the sector is now contracting.The Purchasing Managers Index printed at 48 on a 100-point scale, reversing from a mildly expansionary reading of 51 in October, HSBC reported Wednesday. Consensus forecasts had called for a 50.1 result, just above the 50 level, which separates expansion from contraction, according to CNBC.

HSBC economist Hongbin Qu said the data implied that industrial production would moderate to annualized growth rates of 11% to 12% in the coming months as domestic and external demand cools.He also said, however, that there was little in the data to suggest a major contraction was underway in China.

Read more on China's manufacturing data.

7. Peter Brimelow: Christian letter among 2011 top performers

Well, who's being thanked anyway?

Just as I predicted, reader comment on my news that a 2011 top performer was an explicitly Christian letter, Christian Value Investor, was decidedly Christophobic. So, buoyed by this popular demand, I'm celebrating Thanksgiving by writing about another explicitly Christian letter: Sound Mind Investing.

Actually, as with Christian Value Investor, Sound Mind Investing is solidly based on secular investment principles. And it has a strong long-term performance.

Read more Peter Brimelow.

8. Marsh on Monday: The euro must be split up

The world's greatest macroeconomic imbalances are not between the U.S. and China, as many believe, but within the not-so-united states of Europe.

This is just one result of the currency and competitive distortions caused by what German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls the "common destiny" of economic and monetary union. Destabilizing European current-account imbalances will need to be eliminated, sooner or later, by splitting up the euro area into a creditor and a debtor group.

Read more Marsh on Monday.

9. 6 turkeys to keep off your investing table

When you write about stupid investments, you sit at the head of a big Thanksgiving table of stocks, mutual funds, insurance policies, and other products that give folks reason to expect a return on their money. And like everyone else, I count my blessings at this time of year.

As the guy who writes Stupid Investment of the Week. I'm thankful for the offerings I see in the investment world that qualify under some definition of the word "stupid." These are products that are lacking normal intelligence, not clever, dazed, foolish, irrational, senseless, doltish, dim-witted, addlepated, and obtuse — for starters. Here are things which, as Stupid Investment of the Week columnist, I am particularly thankful for — but that anyone else would find unappetizing.

Read more Chick Jaffe.

10. Black Friday, Blue Stock Market

Hoping that the Black Friday reports are particularly good, showing robust consumer demand?You might want to hope for something else. That's because the initial reports of how retailers are doing on Black Friday are an unreliable guide to how the stock market performs through the end of the year. In fact, more often than not, it's been a bad omen whenever those initial reports are especially positive and stocks soar.

Read mor Mark Hulbert.

Stocks and Markets in The News | Stocks to Watch Monday: Netflix, Amazon, Pozen | MarketWatch

By David B. Wilkerson, MarketWatch 

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) – Netflix Inc., Pozen Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. are among the stocks that could see active trading on Monday. 

Video rental provider Netflix Inc. NFLX -0.17%  fell 6.7% Friday, extending Wednesday’s losses, after it warned that it could post a loss for 2012 and that it plans to sell $400 million in stock and debt. The company has yet to recover from a series of missteps, most notably related to a 60% price hike announced in July. 

Pozen POZN +0.28%  soared 45% on news it has sold its rights to future royalties on U.S. sales of its pain reliever compound MT 400 to CPPIB Credit Investments for $75 million up front plus certain payments. 

Amazon.com AMZN +0.33%  will be a focus during what has become known as Cyber Monday, when consumers go online to find the best holiday-shopping deals.
David B. Wilkerson is a reporter for MarketWatch in Chicago.

NYT Today's Headlines: For U.S., Risks in Pressing Egypt to Speed Civilian Rule.



TOP NEWS

For U.S., Risks in Pressing Egypt to Speed Civilian Rule

By HELENE COOPER
The Obama administration seems now to be openly trying to position the United States in such a way that regardless of who comes out on top in Egypt, it will keep some credibility.

Egypt Military Wooing Public to Keep Power

By ANTHONY SHADID
Egypt's military is staking its credibility on an ill-defined constituency called the Party of the Couch, which it believes yearns for stability.

Oil Rigs Bring Camps of Men to the Prairie

By A. G. SULZBERGER
Confronted with the problem of too many jobs and not enough empty beds, North Dakota embraced man camps. But now officials are trying to slow things down.
QUOTATION OF THE DAY
"Schizophrenia is the best thing that ever happened to me. I know a lot of people with the diagnosis don't feel that way, but the experience changed me, for the better. I was so arrogant, so narcissistic, so self-involved, and it humbled me."
MILT GREEK, of Athens, Ohio.

World

Video: Living Amid Ruins in Haiti

Many Haitians displaced by the 2010 earthquake left the tent camps and returned to severely damaged houses in danger of collapse.
Opinion
The Battle Hymn of John Brown
Opinionator | Disunion

The Battle Hymn of John Brown

The lyrics to "John Brown's Body" and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" are more similar than people think.
WORLD

From U.S. and Tahrir Square, Pressures Converge on Egypt's Military

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
The Obama administration backed the Egyptians demanding that the generals relinquish power and new signs of unity emerged among protesters and the elite.

Syria Lets Arab League Deadline on Observers Pass

By NADA BAKRI
Arab League officials said that the country's lack of action meant Arab finance ministers would meet in Cairo to discuss imposing sanctions.

In Quiet Part of Russia, Putin's Party Loses Steam

By ELLEN BARRY
United Russia can no longer count on voters in places like Tula, an industrial region where many residents say that their quality of life has stopped rising.
U.S.
Lives Restored

Finding Purpose After Living With Delusion

By BENEDICT CAREY
Milt Greek, an Ohio computer programmer, helps other people who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia to share their stories and gain insight into their condition.

After Taking In Refugees for Years, a New Hampshire City Asks for a Pause

By ABBY GOODNOUGH
Manchester, N.H., has taken in more than 2,000 refugees from countries like Somalia and Sudan, but officials there say they now need a break.

Stars Flock to Atlanta, Reshaping a Center of Black Culture

By KIM SEVERSON
A generous entertainment tax credit, an influx of affluent blacks and a low cost of living are making a capital of the Deep South a center of the black glitterati.
POLITICS
The Long Run

For Perry, Life Was Broadened and Narrowed by the Military

By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG
The Air Force took Rick Perry to exotic locales but also cemented his Texas roots and the conservative values that have been central to his political identity.

Tom Wicker, Times Journalist, Dies at 85

By ROBERT D. McFADDEN
Made prominent by his coverage of the Kennedy assassination, Mr. Wicker became Washington bureau chief for The New York Times and an iconoclastic columnist.
FiveThirtyEight

Romney Dominating Race for Endorsements

By NATE SILVER
Using a scoring system that weights endorsements based on their importance, Mitt Romney has dominated recently, picking up 75 percent of the points.
BUSINESS

Banks Build Contingency for Breakup of the Euro

By LIZ ALDERMAN
European leaders say there's no reason to prepare for the unthinkable: the breakup of the euro zone. But some big banks are no longer so sure.

For Black Friday First-Timers, Not a Night of Conversion

By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD and CHRISTOPHER MAAG
Shoppers on their initial Black Friday excursions found good deals, but many did not seem to think it was worth braving the crowds.

A New Capital of Call Centers

By VIKAS BAJAJ
Many companies have moved their customer service lines to Manila to take advantage of workers who speak lightly accented English and are familiar with American culture.
TECHNOLOGY

Banks' Ties to Olympus Scrutinized

By HIROKO TABUCHI and BEN PROTESS
Michael C. Woodford, who remains a director of the company but who left Japan after he was fired, returned this week to meet with investigators looking into the scandal surrounding the company.
Video Game Review

It's Your (Virtual) World. Feel Free to Roam or Slay.

By SETH SCHIESEL
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is modern fantasy role-playing of the highest order, a "Game of Thrones" of video games: sweeping in scope, richly realized and fully able to absorb fans.
Cultural Studies

What's in a Name? Ask Google

By ALLEN SALKIN
Web searches can help parents ensure their child is not saddled with a negatively connoted name, but a unique, or uncommon one.
SPORTS

Wedding Bells Drown Out Locker-Room Chatter

By SAM BORDEN 
For Will Beatty and his fiancée, planning a wedding has been a consuming task, one made only more challenging by the reality that Beatty is in the midst of the most important season of his career. 

The Slow-Pitch Ambassadors to Cuba

By BRUCE WEBER
The writer traveled with players from the Eastern Massachusetts Senior Softball League to play teams in Cuba, the league's fourth such visit since 2009.
L.S.U. 41, Arkansas 17

After Slow Start, L.S.U. Stays Perfect

By RAY GLIER
Arkansas's early 14-0 lead was long forgotten when Louisiana State celebrated a 12-0 regular season that may already guarantee a berth in the national championship game.
ARTS
Critic's Notebook

French Museums Atone for a Colonial History

By EDWARD ROTHSTEIN
The ethnographic Quai Branly, immigration and patrimony museums in Paris show new relationships between the French and other cultures.

Fugazi Rises Again, in Online Archive

By BEN SISARIO
The post-punk band Fugazi has been on hiatus since 2002, but it will release tapes of more than 800 shows from its archives.
ArtsBeat | Q. and A.

For Hallberg, a Month Inside the Bolshoi Pressure Cooker

By ELLEN BARRY
David Hallberg, the first American to be a principal dancer at the Bolshoi Ballet, discusses the pressure he faces and his ankle injury, which will force him to sit out for two weeks.
NEW YORK / REGION

Millions Spent in Albany Fight to Drill for Gas

By THOMAS KAPLAN
Energy companies that drill for natural gas have spent unprecedented amounts of money lobbying the Cuomo administration as environmentalist groups have struggled to be heard.
City Room

La Guardia Loses Swiss Cheese Ice Cream Cone, and Some History

By DAVID W. DUNLAP
Spotting the flared shape of La Guardia Airport's 1964 control tower, you knew you were back in New York. The new tower is taller, bigger, far more up-to-date and much more commanding. But something is missing without that crazy old structure.

Under Rule, Hailing a Cab for a Stranger Can Be Illegal

By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM
Dating to the early 1990s, when swindlers would target unsuspecting tourists, a New York City rule prohibits procuring a taxi unprompted for a stranger.
TRAVEL

Moscow in the Snow

By RICK LYMAN
In the winter, the city is illuminated and alive: restaurants are full, sidewalks crowded and you can have St. Basil's Cathedral all to yourself.

36 Hours in Porto, Portugal

By SETH SHERWOOD
With a new night-life district and a blossoming creative scene, Portugal's second-largest city no longer needs to coast on its famous digestif.
Practical Traveler

It's Not the Carriers, It's the Kids

By MICHELLE HIGGINS
Responding to an article about flying with children, readers have been clear: There has to be a better way.
EDITORIALS
Editorial

Legal Education Reform

The economic downturn is forcing overdue changes in training lawyers, giving law schools the chance to help reinvigorate the profession.
Editorial

Fair Pay for Hard Work

Giving home care aides federal labor protections not only gives the workers better wages and hours, it makes good economic sense for the industry.
Editorial

Police and the Press

The N.Y.P.D.'s guidelines prohibit interfering with news-gathering activity. The department seems to have forgotten that during Occupy Wall Street protests.
OP-ED
Op-Ed Contributor

The Death of the Fringe Suburb

By CHRISTOPHER B. LEINBERGER
As demand for housing in walkable neighborhoods rises, we should be investing in carless transit options.
Op-Ed Columnist

O.K., Now Ron Paul

By GAIL COLLINS
It's time for another meeting of the Republican Presidential Book Club. And lucky for you readers, Ron Paul has written a ton of stuff!
Op-Ed Columnist

The Ballad of John and Jessica

By JOE NOCERA
The slow and steady careers of two great musicians provide some meaningful life lessons for the rest of us.
ON THIS DAY
On Nov. 26, 1942, President Roosevelt ordered nationwide gasoline rationing, beginning December 1.