Week of December 1, 2008
Economists say the USA is in a recession and that it really began last December.
The committee of economists responsible for determining the dates of business
cycles said Monday that they met by conference call on Friday, Nov. 28 and "the
committee determined that a peak in economic activity occurred in the U.S.
economy in December 2007. " The peak marks the end of the expansion that
began in November 2001 and the beginning of a recession."
a "new dawn of American leadership,"
presented his top national security team
Monday, picking former presidential rival
Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state
and asking Robert Gates to stay on as
Obama also named Eric Holder, as Attorney
General, and Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano
as secretary of Homeland Security.
In two other senior foreign policy
announcements, he named foreign policy
adviser Susan Rice as U.N. ambassador and
retired Marine Gen. James L. Jones as
national security adviser.
President-elect Barack Obama on Wednesday named New Mexico Gov. Bill
Richardson to be his secretary of Commerce. A former member of Congress,
Richardson served as ambassador to the United Nations and Energy secretary in
former President Bill Clinton's administration.
William Balfour is held without bail in the slayings of Jennifer Hudson’s family as
prosecutors suggested jealousy as a possible motive. Balfour, facing first degree
murder charges for the three killings, had threatened the family with harm if his
estranged wife Julia Hudson - Jennifer's sister - continued to date another man,
prosecutors alleged at a bond hearing in Chicago.
Prosecutors said Balfour also had gone to Julia's workplace in October to
complain about her seeing the man, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Week of December 1, 2008
Although retail gasoline prices have fallen 55% since mid-July, wholesale prices
have plunged even more sharply — 68%, according to the Oil Price Information
Service. As a result, retailers have enjoyed record profit margins since mid-
"Guess what? They're making substantially more money at $1.89 (a gallon) than
they were at $4.29," says OPIS chief oil analyst Tom Kloza. A barrel of oil dipped
below $50.00 this week.
Oil tumbled below $44 a barrel and
average gasoline prices slipped under
$1.80 a gallon, both four-year lows, as
unemployment benefit claims hit a 26-
year high and major companies
announced more job cuts.
The unprecedented decline in energy
prices has provided some relief to
consumers and businesses.
Video games expected to do well this
holiday season as experts expect overall
retail sales to grow a modest 2.2% over
last year, but sales of video games could
improve as much as 15% over 2007,
says analyst Michael Pachter of
Wedbush Morgan Securities. "With the
hours of play that video games give you,
it's a very cost-effective purchase," he
T his past weekend and recent trends are giving gaming retailers reason to be
optimistic. The Game Crazy retail chain, with 562 stores in the USA, had 50%
higher sales on Friday than in 2007, and more than 30% higher sales Saturday.
Employers slashed jobs at the swiftest pace in 34 years in November, leading the
unemployment rate to rise to 6.7% from 6.5% in October and the highest in 15
years, the government said Friday. Speaking after the report, President Bush
used the word "recession" for the first time to describe the economy's state.
The report points to a rapidly deepening recession. The unemployment rate was
held down as discouraged workers dropped out of the job pool.
Week of December 1, 2008
Adding in those who have given up looking for work and people working part time
because they can't find full-time work, unemployment was 12.5% in November,
up from 11.8% in October and highest since the department began tracking the
number in 1994.
O.J. Simpson, insisting "I didn't mean to hurt
anybody," was sentenced to is sentenced to much
as 33 years in prison for kidnapping, armed
robbery and other convictions stemming from a
confrontation with sports memorabilia dealers in
Prosecutors and defense attorneys said Simpson
would have to serve at least nine years before
eligible for parole, meaning the 61-year-old former
football and movie star would be 70 years old
before seeing freedom.
On Wednesday's Ellen DeGeneres Show, Brad
Pitt appears via satellite from the lower ninth ward
in New Orleans and gives the talk show host some tips on how to "catch" George
Clooney. "We need George Clooney!" she tells him. "Ah, I heard this," Pitt
replies. "What have you been doing…?"
new album “Circus” is
released this week and considered by
many to be her comeback album.
Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines is the
target of a defamation lawsuit by the
stepfather of one of three 8-year-old boys
slain in 1993.Maines spoke out for three
people convicted of the slayings and
alleged the stepfather was instead
involved in the killings.
Terry Hobbs, stepfather of Steve Branch, who was killed 1993 with Christopher
Byers and Michael Moore, filed suit in Pulaski County Circuit Court on Nov. 25.
The suit names all three members of the Dixie Chicks, but focuses on Maines.
The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages. Hobbs claims he suffered
loss of income, injury to his reputation and emotional distress.