CNN: Prosecutor: 'Child kidnapper operated a torture chamber and private prison'
First came the pain - a decade of torture, torment and terror for three captive women and one of their young daughters. Now comes the prosecution and - if there's a conviction - punishment for the man accused of being responsible for their hell. Ariel Castro appeared silently in court Thursday, his head down, as he was arraigned on four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape, accused of holding the women captive in his Cleveland home. Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Lauren Moore ordered Castro held on $8 million bond - $2 million for each of the three women and the child born to Amanda Berry before they were freed Monday evening.
ALSO SEE: CNN: 'He is dead to me,' daughter of Ohio suspect says in CNN exclusive
CNN: Boston bombing suspect's body entombed in undisclosed location
The difficult question of where Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body would be laid to rest appears to have been settled. The remains of the slain Boston Marathon bombings suspect have been entombed thanks to a "courageous and compassionate individual (who) came forward," police in Worcester, Massachusetts, said Thursday. Police did not say where the remains were entombed but did say that they are "no longer in the city of Worcester," where the body had been at a funeral home while a relative and officials tried to determine what to do.
WSJ: Islamists Rebuffed Bombing Suspect
When Tamerlan Tsarnaev arrived here in the capital of the Dagestan region to get in touch with his roots early last year, one of his first stops was a mosque known for its adherence to the fundamentalist Salafist strain of Islam. But Mr. Tsarnaev, who a year later allegedly planted the Boston Marathon bombs with his brother Dzhokhar and died after a shootout with police, got a cool reception from some of the Islamists he hoped to bond with. He greased his hair with olive oil and wore dark eye makeup, apparently in an effort to affect contemporary jihadist fashion, according to Mohamad Magomedov, who struck up a friendship with him at the mosque. That look isn't popular in more-traditional Dagestan. While Mr. Tsarnaev did find a circle of friends, some congregants at the Salafist mosque dismissed him as strange. Others said they feared his brashness would attract even more attention to them from Russian authorities.
CNN: NASA: International Space Station has ammonia leak in cooling system
Crew members aboard the International Space Station are awaiting word on how to deal with leaking ammonia from an outside cooling system, NASA said Thursday in a news release. The six-man crew is not in danger, NASA said. The space station crew reported seeing small white flakes floating away from the station, the space agency said, So NASA helped locate the leak with external cameras while the crew used hand-held cameras pointed out windows. The leak was in a cooling loop in a solar array that has leaked before. NASA said crew members tried to fix the leak in November. It is unclear whether this is the same leak or a new one.
CNN: President to tout Obamacare benefits
The Affordable Care Act, enacted in 2010 but still the focus of intense Republican scorn, will get a boost from its champion President Barack Obama on Friday at an event singling out the law's benefits for women. His remarks, to be delivered at the White House, will be made alongside women and families the White House says are already benefiting from the measure, which has become known as Obamacare. The event is pegged to Mother's Day.
CNN: Obama goes small on Texas jobs tour
In Texas on Thursday, President Barack Obama used some small-scale campaign tactics to help push his political message. On a one-day trip the White House called a “Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour,” the president made four separate stops. He visited with groups of students, local residents, entrepreneurs and tech professionals and toured a high school robotics classroom. He also ate lunch with workers and watched demonstrations at a tech start-up incubator.
WSJ: Arabs Ask U.S. to Lead on Syria
The U.S.'s closest Arab allies are jointly pressing President Barack Obama to take the lead in bridging the Middle East's divisions over Syria, traveling to Washington to personally drive home their fears that some of the region's other leaders are strengthening radicals and prolonging President Bashar al-Assad's rule. The coordinated message was delivered to Mr. Obama during separate White House meetings in recent weeks with Jordan's King Abdullah II, the United Arab Emirates' Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal, according to senior U.S. and Arab officials familiar with the discussions.
WaPo: Frustrated Chinese complain to Obama
The Chinese people would like President Obama to stop an oil refinery from being built in southern China, endorse sweet-flavored tofu and reopen an 18-year-old criminal probe of a poisoning case. And while he’s at it, if he wouldn’t mind mobilizing U.S. troops to liberate Hong Kong, as well as China as a whole, that’d be great, too. In a strange and diplomatically awkward turn of events, Chinese citizens have flocked to the White House’s Web site over the past week to lodge formal petitions, many of them directed against their government. Some are deadly serious, others frivolous and funny. A few have a touch of both
CNN: Senate panel tackles border security in immigration bill
Members of a key Democratic-controlled Senate panel cast the first congressional votes on a sweeping bipartisan immigration reform bill on Thursday, turning back the first GOP attempts to beef up the legislation's border security provisions. The Senate Judiciary Committee met for eight hours, debating and holding votes on more than 30 proposed amendments. A majority of the amendments were adopted, but no key provisions in the 844-page bill were significantly altered.
CNN: House debt vote previews coming food fight on U.S. borrowing limit
Previewing the partisan food fight coming this fall over raising the debt ceiling, the House passed legislation on Thursday allowing the Treasury to pay U.S. bond holders if the nation hits its borrowing limit. But the vote doesn't move Congress any closer to a deal to address the nation's fiscal situation – it just exposes the bitter divide between the political parties. The House approved the GOP bill, 221-207, along party lines, with no Democrats voting for it and eight Republicans opposed.
Politico: Some in GOP antsy to start budget conference
Several Senate Republicans are at odds with their leadership about the decision to delay sending the budget to conference with the House. “I’m very much in favor of it, and I think we ought to do it right away,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told POLITICO. “And I think for us to after four years of complaining about Harry Reid’s failure to bring up a budget and then we do one and block conference is something that’s incomprehensible.” Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), the former director of the Office of Management and Budget, said he thinks Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) should simply force a vote on sending the budget to conference. If he did so, Portman said he would vote in favor of starting the conference process.
WaPo: Ways investors gain ‘political intelligence’ facing public scrutiny
A number of current and former congressional staffers said talking with investors and research analysts is common, akin to answering questions from lobbyists and reporters about intricate pieces of legislation. In March, a top staffer for Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) spent half an hour talking to investors on a private conference call about health-care policy. But the ways investors acquire “political intelligence” are facing public scrutiny since federal investigators issued subpoenas last month in a case in which a Washington brokerage advised clients about a Medicare funding decision before the administration announced it, triggering a surge in health-care stock trading.
NYT: Bills Would Prevent Rise in Student Loan Rates
Congress now has an array of legislative options to prevent the interest rate on student loans from doubling to 6.8 percent on July 1, as scheduled. With student loans topping $1.1 trillion — and held by one in five American households — many families are questioning why students should pay so much when market interest rates are so low. On Thursday, Representative John Kline, a Minnesota Republican who is chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, introduced legislation that would provide a long-term solution, tying interest rates to the government’s cost of borrowing, as the Obama administration proposed in its budget.
ALSO SEE: CNN: Sen. Warren proposes deep discounts for federal student loans
CNN: Rand Paul the one-man band
When Rand Paul touches down in Iowa Friday, it will be almost exactly three years to the day after his landslide 2010 Senate primary victory – an unlikely and decisive triumph over the Republican establishment that instantly transformed Paul into a national political phenomenon. Now, as Paul weighs a 2016 presidential bid, a different kind of challenge confronts him: Can the plain-spoken former Bowling Green ophthalmologist build a campaign to back up his popular appeal?
ABC: The RNC Benghazi Attack Ad that Never Ran
It was the Benghazi attack ad the Republican National Committee created but never aired. ABC News has obtained an ad the RNC made last fall and approved to air in the final weeks of the presidential campaign. The ad begins with a replay of Hillary Clinton’s famous “3 a.m. phone call” commercial from the 2008 campaign and then cuts to video of the burning U.S. consulate in Benghazi Libya. …A source familiar with the creation of the ad says the RNC leadership approved the ad but it was scrapped at the last minute because of objections from the Romney campaign, which was concerned the ad would distract from Romney’s efforts to focus on the economy.
Bloomberg: Ex-Senator Gregg Said to Be Top Candidate to Lead Bank Lobby
Former Senator Judd Gregg is a leading candidate to run Wall Street’s biggest lobbying group, according to people briefed on the discussions. Gregg, 66, a New Hampshire Republican who retired from the Senate last year, is being considered for the post as president and chief executive officer of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, said four people who spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter isn’t public. Gregg declined to comment. Sifma spokeswoman Cheryl Crispen said the search for a CEO hasn’t been completed and declined to comment further.
BuzzFeed: Hillary Clinton To Speak At Hamilton College's "Great Names" Lecture
Hamilton College's student newspaper, The Spectator, announced Thursday that Hillary Clinton would headline their "Great Names" this October. The speech is Clinton's first yet scheduled that will be open to the public with free admission. The small liberal arts school, located in upstate New York, has drawn names as big as Clinton's for the lecture series throughout the last two decades. Past speakers include former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter; former secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, and Madeleine Albright; and former vice president Al Gore.
Politico: Is Gabriel Gomez the next Scott Brown?
He is hailed as the second-coming of Scott Brown: A young, telegenic military man with moderate Republican views and a candidate with a real possibility of winning the Massachusetts Senate seat. But Gabriel Gomez is quick to warn that this is not 2010. And on this point, he agrees with Democrats: He’s no Scott Brown. “This is a different election, I have a different opponent, it’s a different time,” Gomez said in an interview this week at a Cape Cod diner.
Weekly Standard: The Benghazi Scandal Grows
CIA director David Petraeus was surprised when he read the freshly rewritten talking points an aide had emailed him in the early afternoon of Saturday, September 15. One day earlier, analysts with the CIA’s Office of Terrorism Analysis had drafted a set of unclassified talking points policymakers could use to discuss the attacks in Benghazi, Libya. But this new version—produced with input from senior Obama administration policymakers—was a shadow of the original. The original CIA talking points had been blunt: The assault on U.S. facilities in Benghazi was a terrorist attack conducted by a large group of Islamic extremists, including some with ties to al Qaeda.
ALSO SEE: CNN: Republican spotlight shifts from Obama to Clinton
Politico: Watchdog says government has tried to silence him on Afghanistan
The watchdog who tracks the billions of taxpayer dollars spent to rebuild Afghanistan says government officials have tried to silence him because they think he's embarrassing the White House and Afghan President Hamid Karzai by pointing out the waste and fraud. John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, used a speech at the New America Foundation on Wednesday to blast government “bureaucrats”' who have told him to stop publicizing damning audits that detail case after case of waste, corruption and mismanagement of rebuilding efforts in Afghanistan. Some government officials have even complained that they aren't allowed to pre-screen or edit his reports, he said.
Jerusalem Post: Hagel: US strategy is to reinforce Israel, Arab allies
US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said reinforcing Israel's edge and bolstering security relationships with neighbors like Egypt were both US priorities. Hagel, speaking Thursday to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy's annual Soref Symposium, described his recent visit to Israel and the region, his first since assuming the defense secretary post in February. "Beyond rocket and missile defense cooperation, DoD has been working for more than a year to increase Israel’s ability to confront and respond to a range of other threats," Hagel said, using the abbreviation for the Department of Defense
WSJ: Afghan Leader Offers an Extended U.S. Stay at Nine Bases
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the U.S. could use nine bases in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of most combat forces next year, his first such public offer, clearing a hurdle for the U.S. to maintain a long-term military presence in key parts of the country. "We are in delicate and serious negotiations with the United States," Mr. Karzai told students at Kabul University on Thursday. "America has its demands, and Afghanistan has its own demands and interests too." U.S. officials said they believed Mr. Karzai was referring to Afghan-controlled bases that Kabul was willing to let Americans access after 2014, rather than to bases the Americans would use full-time to base special operations troops and trainers.
ABC: US Ambassador Makes Secret Crossing Into Syria to Briefly Meet With Rebels
U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford briefly crossed into northern Syria on Thursday to meet with Syrian opposition leaders. It is Ford’s first visit back to Syria since he left in February, 2012, when the U.S. embassy suspended operations in Damascus as the opposition effort to oust Syrian President Bashar al Assad developed into a full-blown civil war. Since then, Ford has become the Obama administration’s point man on Syria and point of contact with the Syrian opposition. A U.S. official confirmed Ford’s secret visit, which occurred along the Turkey-Syria border. He briefly crossed into Syria to meet with opposition leaders before returning to Turkey. Ford did not go deep into Syria, according to the official.
NBC: Exclusive: Turkish PM Erdogan: Syria has crossed red line, used chemical weapons
Turkey's prime minister is charging that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against its people and has called on the U.S. to take stronger action, he told NBC News' Ann Curry in an exclusive interview Thursday. "It is clear the regime has used chemical weapons and missiles," Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. Erdogan gave no specifics about when and where the weapons were allegedly used, but he said he believes President Obama's "red line" for the U.S. in deciding whether to take action has been crossed.
CNN: South Korean president dismisses spokesman over 'unsavory incident' in U.S.
President Park Geun-hye of South Korea has dismissed her press spokesman after concluding that he was involved in an "unsavory incident" during a state visit to the United States, her office said. Police in Washington said they were investigating a report of sexual abuse. The spokesman, Yoon Chang-jung, "showed inappropriate conduct as a high-ranking official and damaged the dignity of the country by being personally involved in an unsavory incident," the chief presidential press secretary, Lee Nam-ki, said in a statement Thursday from Los Angeles.
CNN: North Korea outlines accusations against imprisoned Korean-American Bae
North Korea for the first time publicly specified the "hostile acts" that landed Kenneth Bae a 15-year sentence at a labor camp. The Korean-American tour operator set up anti-North Korean bases in China and distributed anti-regime literature, a spokesman for the North Korean Supreme Court told the state-run KCNA news agency. "He committed such hostile acts as egging citizens of the DPRK overseas and foreigners on to perpetrate hostile acts to bring down its government while conducting a malignant smear campaign against it," the court said, using the acronym of the country's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
CNN: U.S. requires group to remove 3-D gun instructions from its website
The U.S. State Department said Thursday it had heard enough from Defense Distributed, the non-profit group at the center of a 3-D gun printing controversy. The department sent a three-page cease and desist letter dated Wednesday to Cody Wilson, the organization's 25-year-old founder and self-described anarchist, demanding that the group remove instructions for printing a handgun with a 3-D printer from its website. Earlier this week Wilson posted a video online showing a single shot being fired from "The Liberator," a plastic handgun that, with the exception of a metal firing pin and a piece of metal included to comply with the Undetectable Firearms Act, was assembled entirely from parts made with a 3-D printer.
AVIATION, REGULATION and JUSTICE:
CNN: Tunisian who allegedly wanted to commit terror, held in U.S.
A Tunisian, who authorities believe radicalized one of the suspects held in Canada on charges of plotting to blow up a passenger train, has been arrested in New York on unrelated counts, according to authorities who said he wanted to commit acts of terror in the United States. Ahmed Abassi was arrested last month and charged in a newly unsealed indictment with two counts of making false statements to immigration authorities while applying for a work visa and green card.
Bloomberg: FBI Fires Back at Boston Police in Spat Over Terror Leads
A skirmish between the FBI and the Boston police erupted into public view after the bureau sought to rebut a claim that police weren’t aware of a federal probe of the alleged mastermind of the Boston Marathon bombing. At a congressional hearing yesterday in Washington, Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said police who served on Boston’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, or JTTF, weren’t made aware of the 2011 FBI investigation of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, or of the suspect’s six-month trip to Russia last year. In response, the FBI issued a statement yesterday saying police members of the JTTF had complete access to all information compiled by the agency related to potential terrorist suspects through Guardian, software that manages the database.
ALSO SEE: CNN: Boston's top cop asked if bombing was preventable
NYT: Bombings a Bitter Bookend for F.B.I.’s Director
Robert S. Mueller III was awakened at home close to 1:30 a.m. on April 19 as one suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing was in cardiac arrest and the other was on the run. By 3 a.m., after an F.B.I. agent had used a fingerprint scanner on the dying suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, in a hospital emergency room to learn his identity, Mr. Mueller, the F.B.I. director, had arrived in a suit and tie at his agency’s headquarters in downtown Washington. His agents gave him the bad news: two years earlier, the F.B.I. had interviewed, and closed its file on, Mr. Tsarnaev. Mr. Mueller took it in without showing emotion, his aides said. He turned to a deputy and ordered the release of the information — knowing it would call into question whether the F.B.I. failed to head off one of the most spectacular attacks on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001.
CNNMoney: The FCC wants to make in-flight Wi-Fi less awful
If you hate paying $15 for Wi-Fi on your flight, only to have it move at the approximate speed of a sloth, the FCC has good news: It wants to speed up your internet above the clouds. The proposal calls for freeing up 500 megahertz of airwaves for air-to-ground broadband. 500 MHz is a very wide swath of spectrum. By comparison, Gogo's current in-flight Wi-Fi service utilizes just 3 MHz to connect to a 3G data service and split that slow connection over Wi-Fi to hundreds of passengers.
Miami Herald: David Rivera caught on tape, but what did he say?
A friend of former U.S. Rep. David Rivera who’s implicated in a federal corruption investigation made a recording of the Republican last year — and now prosecutors have the evidence, The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald have learned. Ana Alliegro made the recording, perhaps secretly, months before the FBI raided her home and seized her computer last year. She later skipped town and was last seen in Nicaragua. Alliegro played a key role in the ill-fated Democratic congressional campaign of Justin Lamar Sternad, who in February admitted receiving $81,486 in illegal contributions and aid from unnamed “coconspirators.” Rivera denies wrongdoing.
LA Times: $42.6 million hidden in city fund through accounting error
During years of cuts to basic services, Los Angeles city officials say, nearly $43 million piled up unnoticed in a Department of Transportation fund because of an accounting error. The discovery of $42.6 million will be a welcome one-time infusion into next year's budget, officials said, but has left them worried that other such funds may still be undiscovered. Had the money been discovered sooner, it might have added a few million dollars annually to the city fund that pays for police, fire and other basic services during years that city employees were forced to take furloughs and pay cuts.
Sacramento Bee: California health exchange poised to hand out millions in outreach grants
Tens of millions of dollars in outreach grants are set to be awarded next week in a massive campaign to persuade uninsured Californians to buy coverage as a linchpin in the looming health care overhaul. Applicants include community-based nonprofits, social service centers, huge labor unions and school districts – including Los Angeles Unified School District and Service Employees International Union, one of the state's largest health care unions.
New Jersey Star Ledger: Sweeney, gun-control advocates reach compromise as N.J. Senate panel approve 6 bills
A state Senate committee today advanced six bills aimed at reducing gun violence — but not before Democrats made a flurry of changes to appease critics who claimed they didn’t go far enough. The measures are part of a sweeping gun-control package from Senate Democrats sparked by the recent rash of gun violence across the nation. But gun-control advocates who in recent weeks said the package was too weak bartered their support in exchange for significant changes that toughen the bills and increase the likelihood the reforms will make their way to Gov. Chris Christie’s desk.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: In historic vote, Minnesota House approves gay marriage bill 75-59
With cheers and protests thundering through the Capitol, the Minnesota House on Thursday took a historic step toward legalizing same-sex marriage. The bill passed 75-59 with resounding DFL support and the votes of four Republicans. The measure now goes to the Senate on Monday, where its passage is considered likely. Gov. Mark Dayton has said he intends to sign the bill into law, which would make Minnesota the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriage.
CNN: Pakistan's voters to go to polls amid growing tension
When Pakistanis go to the polls on Saturday they will be electing key players battling to govern one of the world's most complicated countries. From corruption, claims of international interference, terrorism and religious extremism to overpopulation, inflation, poverty and unemployment, Pakistan has been famously dubbed by some as the world's most unstable nuclear power. For much of its 66-year existence, the nation of 193 million people has been ruled by a military government. But this year's election is being hailed as one of the most democratic to date. According to the Election Commission of Pakistan, there will be 36 million new voters among the 86 million registered to vote and more than double the number of candidates (161 up from 64 that contested the 2008 poll) will be women, according to U.N. Women.
ALSO SEE: CNN: Former Pakistani prime minister's son snatched ahead of vote
CNN: Death toll from Bangladesh building collapse rises above 1,000
More than two weeks after a building in Bangladesh housing factories full of garment workers caved in, the death toll from the South Asian nation's deadliest industrial disaster has surpassed 1,000, authorities said Friday. For the 17th day, rescue and recovery workers are searching through the nine-story building's tangled wreckage in Savar, a suburb of the capital, Dhaka. During the first several days of dangerous and painstaking work, they got more than 2,400 people out of the rubble alive.But since then, they haven't found any more survivors. The past 11 days have focused on the grim task of retrieving dead bodies still buried in the heap of broken concrete, many of them so severely decomposed that authorities struggle to identify them.
CNN: Rios Montt rejects genocide charges as history-making trial nears end
Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt waited until closing arguments to speak in his own defense in his genocide trial in Guatemala City on Thursday. He denied he had any role as head of state in the atrocities the military carried out on indigenous Ixil Mayans during his brief rule from 1982 to 1983. "I never authorized, I never signed, I never proposed, I never ordered these attacks against a people, ethnicity or religion," Rios Montt said Thursday. Prosecutors have asked for 75-year sentences for the 86-year-old former leader and his intelligence chief, Mauricio Rodriguez Sanchez.
Reuters: China's Xi urges Netanyahu to restart peace talks
China's President Xi Jinping urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to restart peace talks with the Palestinians as soon as possible, days after he tried to convince Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to revive discussions. Xi's comments to Netanyahu and Abbas this week reflect China's intent to strengthen its diplomatic role in a region where its influence has historically been weak. On Monday, Xi floated China's "four-point proposal" for peace with Abbas, who was visiting China in the same week as Netanyahu. The moves by China come as the United States is engaged in a fresh diplomatic campaign to revive peace talks, which collapsed in 2010 over Israel's continued expansion of settlements.
WSJ: Hezbollah Says Weapons Coming From Damascus
Hezbollah's leader on Thursday said Syria will provide him with weapons that will change the balance of power in his battle with Israel and threatened to fight the Jewish state from inside Syria, ramping up tensions after last week's Israeli airstrikes there. "Take notice [Israel]: If you think Syria is a passageway for weapons for the resistance, well, Syria will give weapons directly to the resistance," Sayed Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech during a ceremony commemorating the founding of the Iran-backed militant group's radio station. "If you claim your aggression's goal is to prevent the resistance from boosting its capabilities, well, Syria will give the resistance qualitative weapons that it has never obtained before," he said.
The Guardian: 100 of UK's richest people concealing billions in offshore tax havens
More than 100 of Britain's richest people have been caught hiding billions of pounds in secretive offshore havens, sparking an unprecedented global tax evasion investigation. George Osborne, the chancellor, warned the alleged tax evaders, and a further 200 accountants and advisers accused of helping them cheat the taxman: "The message is simple: if you evade tax, we're coming after you." HM Revenue & Customs warned those involved, who were named in offshore data first offered to the authorities by a whistleblower in 2009, that they will face "criminal prosecution or significant penalties" if they do not voluntarily disclose their tax irregularities, as the UK steps up its efforts to clamp down on avoidance ahead of the G8 summit in June.
Bloomberg: Yahoo’s Mayer Said to Explore Bid for Hulu to Add Video Service
Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer is exploring whether to bid for the Hulu LLC streaming-TV service, people with knowledge of the matter said. Mayer met this month with Hulu senior executives to learn more about the site, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) has also expressed an interest in Hulu, this person said. With advertisers willing to pay a premium to run commercials alongside high-quality content, Mayer is seeking to add videos across Yahoo’s products. Hulu, owned by News Corp., Walt Disney Co. (DIS) and Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), offers free reruns of television shows and movies and provides newer programming and earlier access through an $8-a-month service.
CNNMoney: California accuses JPMorgan of fraud in credit-card-debt collection
California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced a lawsuit against JPMorgan on Thursday, alleging that the bank "engaged in fraudulent and unlawful debt-collection practices against tens of thousands of Californians." Harris says that from January 2008 to April 2011, JPMorgan (JPM, Fortune 500) filed more than 100,000 lawsuits against consumers in the state over uncollected credit-card debt, including 469 in a single day.
Reuters: G7 to confirm stance on currency, Bernanke unlikely to attend meet
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is unlikely to attend the Group of Seven finance leaders' meeting on the outskirts of London this weekend, a G7 official said. The official, speaking after the dollar broke after 100 yen to its highest level in four and a half years, also said the G7 finance ministers and central bankers are likely to confirm the stance agreed upon by the larger Group of 20 nations that monetary policy would not be directed at currency rates but used for purely domestic purposes.