Thursday, January 29, 2009

Stocks Soar Amid ‘Very Heinous’ Outlook

by Elisa Torro, TYDN Financial Affairs Writer
NEW YORK -- (TYDN) Stocks soared Friday as investors reacted to "very heinous" quarterly earnings reports by dozens of companies in every leading sector, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

Investors bid up Yahoo, Bank of America, Wal-Mart, Genentech and other major financial indicators in a scene reminiscent of a U.N. food camp in war-ravaged Somalia. Analysts had expected "extremely heinous" earnings, not the "very heinous" results that came in Friday showing losses were only in the high double digits for the quarter -- not the low triple digits as projected year over year.

In response, the Dow Jones Industrials, the S & P 500 Index and the Nasdaq Composite Index skyrocketed roughly 5 percent in afterhours trading as companies announced they would have posted huge earnings if their companies had competent management, or actually sold or produced something in the fourth quarter. Wall Street reacted positively as the companies also announced they would have generated huge returns had they not paid their executives tens of millions of dollars each, and had they not had to pay for supplies, employees, taxes, rent or other financial obligations.

Analysts surveyed by Thompson Reuters had anticipated fourth quarter results would amount to the worst since the Great Depression. But the results posted Friday showed that the economy was a fraction away from being the worst since the Great Depression, sparking a "buy" climate on all the major exchanges.

"We were predicting about 650,000 Americans would lose their jobs during the fourth quarter, not just a mere 600,000 as the recent data indicate," Lehman Bros. analyst Rebuya Nowa said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "This is better than expected. We upgraded the entire market from "dump" to "buy."

In response to the earnings data, the Obama administration and Congress agreed to provide the companies $819 billion in "stimulus" money, with a safeguard that only 50 percent of it be earmarked for the nation's top executives. The other 50 percent was conditioned to be used solely for lobbying purposes -- "so the bailout money finds its way back to Washington where it belongs," Obama said.

Photo: thenails

Monday, January 26, 2009

Devil Hacks Pope’s YouTube Channel

by Viktor Romanov, TYDN Religion Affairs Writer
VATICAN CITY -- (TYDN) Millions of Catholics worldwide panicked Monday when Pope Benedict XVI's new channel on YouTube was hacked by alleged devil worshippers or perhaps by Satan himself, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

The hackers, believed to be from the actual underworld or the hacking underworld, allegedly altered the Vatican's videos and displayed what appeared to be the pontiff transforming into Satan, according to an investigation by TheYellowDailyNews, the most exhaustive investigation into what insiders privately have dubbed "Operation Pope-Satan-YouTubeGate."

It was the first time in recent memory that the Holly See's YouTube channel was hacked. The Vatican's first YouTube broadcast appeared Friday.

In response to watching the papacy mutate into what experts suggested was the devil, an untold number of the pontiff's flock began jumping from buildings, pulling out their eyes and, in some instances, binge drinking blood, according to reports. The Church immediately excommunicated those members of the flock as punishment for their sins.

"Right before God's eyes and all, the pope started to grow horns," one Vatican official told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity. "It was the worst sudden loss of faith in the Church since the sexual molestation scandal that everybody but the abused altar boys has forgotten about."

YouTube, a unit of Google, immediately pulled the Vatican's channel in a bid to quell the hysteria.

The Pope has been sequestered here amid rumors of an ongoing exorcism, sources close to the alleged exorcism said.

Still, other rumors suggest the papacy was having heavenly discussions with Apple CEO Steve Jobs on hopes of building a Vatican "app" for the iPhone. But the negotiations appeared deadlocked as each claimed he was closer to God, sources close to the alleged meeting told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity.

On Monday, in one of the pope's first foray's on YouTube, the pontiff's alleged mutation into Satan began as Benedict was welcoming viewers to this "great family that knows no borders" and said he hoped they would "feel involved in this great dialogue of truth."

The pope was trying to broaden his audience by joining the wannabe musicians, college pranksters and water-skiing squirrels on YouTube, the popular video-sharing website. A YouTube source said it was reviewing its security apparatus.

While the YouTube initiative was novel, it was in keeping with the 2,000-year-old Church's history of using whatever means available to communicate: parchment, printing press, radio, television and now the Internet.

Insiders suggested that, until Monday's hack, the pope's homilies were anticipated to reach millions of viewers -- the converted and the non-converted alike -- while giving the Holy See better control over the pope's Internet image. That hope, however, apparently backfired.

Law enforcement agencies from across the globe were engaged in an intense manhunt for the hackers, who finished their hack by broadcasting this garbled message: "We have to go. Our parents say it's time to eat dinner."


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

First Lady: Obama Honeymoon ‘Didn’t Last Long’

by Gomer Pilon, TYDN Politcal Affairs Writer
WASHINGTON -- (TYDN) President Barack Obama's presidential honeymoon was short and did not last but "a few minutes," TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

First Lady Michelle Obama, in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews early Wednesday, said the United States' new president "didn't last long" during Tuesday night's presidential honeymoon, which she suggested the pundits had "greatly exaggerated in size and scope."

"Everybody was suggesting that it would last at least 16 months, the time he promised to pull troops out of Iraq," the first lady told TheYellowDailyNews. "Let me tell you. It fell apart within a few minutes. He pulled out quickly."

The first lady's revelation marks the first time in U.S. presidential history an electoral honeymoon fizzled moments after its inauguration, historians said. Presidential honeymoons usually last 100 days or more -- depending on circumstances -- a proposition the nation's first lady suggested was an exaggeration of "mythical proportions."

"Not even Viagra," the first lady said, "could awaken from the dead a honeymoon that the pundits were saying would last until the economy springs back to life, the troops were home from Iraq and there was health coverage for all."

Still, presidential advisors said the president has managed to remain unscathed by any missteps he has made. His ability to ask for patience depends in no small part on the first lady and public's confidence in his competence and motives.

"What's remarkable about the polls is that people are at once optimistic and realistic," David Axelrod, a President Obama senior advisor, said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "They have high hopes for his presidency. They understand how deep the morass is. And that's a good position to be in."

But despite the president's crispness and certitude to remain vibrant in the aftermath of his assumption of office, aides said the first lady is growing impatient, sources told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity.

The president's ability to slow-walk some campaign promises, these aides told TheYellowDailyNews, would also be affected by how well he maintains his standing and continues to project an air of command.

"So far," Cal State Fullerton revisionist historian Harry Jeffers said, "President Obama has managed to remain unscathed by any missteps he has made, but his ability to ask for the first lady's patience depends in no small part on the public's confidence in his competence and motives, including his push to close Guantanamo Bay."

Photo: nmfbihop

Monday, January 19, 2009

Obama Oath Cancelled: Bush Retains Presidency

by Jack Derrieringer, TYDN Political Affairs Writer
WASHINGTON -- (TYDN) President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration here was cancelled one day before he was to assume office after President Bush said he was staying on a third term "for the good of the nation, and the world at large," TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

"During my third and perhaps fourth term, I will do whatever I need to bring Osama bin Laden to justice," Bush told TheYellowDailyNews in an exclusive interview here in the Oval Office on Monday. "America is fortunate that America still exists after eight years of my presidency. And peace will continue in the Middle East for as long as I am in office."

Bush's highly anticipated move would mark the first time a sitting U.S. president used his popularity to keep himself in power after being termed out with eight years of power under his belt. Sources close to Obama said the former Illinois senator, who won election in November, was unlikely to challenge Bush's decision and instead was seeking to become the president's press secretary.

Presidential historians and legal scholars said Bush was so popular that an Obama court challenge, which was unlikely to succeed, could undermine his public credibility and hurt his chances in the 2012 election -- that is, if Bush decides to step down at that time.

"You've got to remember that President Bush has the public and a lot of firsts behind him. He was the first chief executive to invade Iraq on a pretense, he was the first president since the Great Depression to add millions to the unemployment lines and he was the first president to lead the world into a global recession," said Harry Jeffers, a Cal State Fullerton revisionist historian, in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews.

Laurence Tribe, the Harvard constitutional scholar, said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews that the U.S. Supreme Court, mirroring its Gore v. Bush decision of eight years ago, would again side with Bush in a legal challenge to the presidency. He also said Congress, which approved Bush's once-secret, warrantless electronic eavesdropping program on Americans, would likely impeach Obama immediately after he took office on Tuesday so Bush could retain the White House.

"The only constitutional crisis here is an America without Bush," Tribe said. "People just forget how popular he is."

Photo: DPMS

Friday, January 16, 2009

Iran Trained Birds that Crashed Jet Into Hudson River

by Artis Puntintuccas, TYDN Senior Intelligence Affairs Writer
WASHINGTON -- (TYDN) Intelligence agencies for the Bush administration have concluded that Iran had trained the birds that flew into the engines of a U.S. jetliner Thursday, prompting it to plunge into the frigid Hudson River shortly after takeoff, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

At least three administration officials, speaking early Friday to TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity, said Iranian-backed terror groups had been releasing the highly trained Kamikaze birds into U.S. air space for years. Because of the highly sensitive nature of the classified intelligence, the officials declined to name the type of birds used in the attacks, which were said to have crashed or thwarted dozens of U.S. passenger flights since 1990 in what sources have dubbed the "Rein of Bird Terror."

And as a result of Thursday's crash of the Airbus A320, in which all 155 passengers survived, President Bush is expected to demand the United Nations sanction a U.S.-led invasion of Iran, which is believed to be hiding these so-called "winged weapons of mass destruction."

"Birds just don't fly into jet engines by shear happenstance," one administration official said on condition of anonymity and was granted anonymity by TheYellowDailyNews. "We have concluded that Iran has been releasing these weapons of mass destruction into U.S. air space for years. We also have evidence of an underground program that Iran is secretly training deer to disrupt U.S. street traffic. That's unacceptable."

The administration was preparing an attack on Iran even without backing of "the derelict international community," the source said. The U.N. Security Council is expected to debate the planned invasion late Friday.

Revisionist historians immediately applauded the imminent invasion of Iran, and suggested Bush's Middle East legacy will linger long after he steps down from office Tuesday.

"That the administration discovered this last-minute piece of critical intelligence underscores how underestimated the president's ability to lead is," said Cal State Fullerton revisionist historian Harry Jeffrey.

President Bush, with just days left in his administration, has quietly shuttered U.S. aviaries and has confined aviary workers at zoos and other animal parks, where they are expected to undergo intense interrogation tactics to determine whether they were complicit with the feathered attacks.

The latest Iranian-backed bird attack in U.S. airspace played itself out Thursday afternoon in New York when a US Airways Airbus 320 made a safe crash landing in water shortly after taking off from LaGuardia International Airport.

Flight 1549's pilot reported a "double bird strike" to air traffic controllers moments after taking off, and said he had lost thrust in both engines.

Kevin Poormon, a research engineer at the University of Dayton Research Institute in Dayton, Ohio, tests the ability of airplanes and engines to withstand bird strikes by firing 4 pound to 8 pound birds at strategic points along aircraft from compressed gas guns at hundreds of miles per hour. He said he uses "freshly killed" birds or a gelatin substitute "that has similar impact properties."

If necessary, researchers can launch the birds at up to 900 mph, Poormon said. FAA requires airliners to withstand strikes from birds weighing as much as 8 pounds at particularly vulnerable points along the aircraft, he said.

"It's a pretty significant problem," Poormon said. "There have been over 200 fatalities in the last 20 years due to bird strikes worldwide and there are 5,000 impacts that are reported every year. I just never realized Iran put these birds up to it."

Photo: USACEpublicaffairs

Sunday, January 11, 2009

EPA Might Limit Rocket Fuel in Drinking Water

by Virginia Limpiarolo, TYDN Environmental Affairs Writer
WASHINGTON -- (TYDN) The Environmental Protection Agency is taking a second look at its decision not to limit the amount of a toxic rocket fuel ingredient allowed in U.S. drinking water, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

Late last year, the agency proposed not setting a drinking water standard for perchlorate, which has been found in at least 395 sites in 35 states at levels high enough to interfere with thyroid function and pose developmental problems in humans, especially children, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

At the time, the EPA said setting a standard would do little to reduce risks to public health.

But the agency decided to take a second look after widespread reports of children in the affected areas began sprinting at Olympic speeds. And grabbing scientists' attention was the less talked about and phenomena of people of all ages spontaneously combusting upon the unexplained ignition of their flatulence.

The EPA announced late Sunday it would postpone making a final decision until the National Academy of Sciences studies the matter. But sources familiar with the situation told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity that the nation's oil companies have complained that the tainted drinking water is eroding fuel sales.

"People are urinating in their gas tanks and are getting better gas mileage than with fossil fuels," one government official said on condition of anonymity, and was granted anonymity by TheYellowDailyNews. "The oil companies want rocket fuel removed from groundwater now. They care about peoples' health."

As of press time, TheYellowDailyNews could not independently verify the statement.

Environmentalists were at odds with the oil companies and urged the government to delay any decision about regulating the amount of rocket fuel in drinking water. They hoped a delay would lead to the United States becoming less reliant on fossil fuels.

"We applaud the government's inaction on removing this dangerous carcinogen from our nation's drinking water," said Lenny Siegel, director of the Center for Public Environmental Oversight in Mountain View, Calif. "Now we see that humans can easily convert this contaminate to fuel their cars."

The EPA's own advisers had urged the agency to keep perchlorate on the list of water contaminants that may require future regulation and hundreds of billions of dollars to remove. An inspector general's report last year also faulted the agency for how it evaluated the risk the chemical poses to human health when it proposed in October not to set a limit for drinking water.

The U.S. Defense Department used perchlorate for decades in testing missiles and rockets, and most perchlorate contamination stems from defense and aerospace activities.

The Pentagon could face financial liability if EPA sets a national drinking water standard that forces water agencies around the country to undertake costly cleanup efforts. Defense officials have spent years questioning EPA's conclusions about the risks posed by perchlorate, but they have denied trying to influence EPA's decision.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Fearing Unrest, Obama Delays Digital TV Transition

by Thialia Vizor, TYDN Entertainment Affairs Writer
WASHINGTON -- (TYDN) Fearing pandemonium if Americans lose television signals, President-elect Barack Obama urged Congress on Thursday to postpone the Feb. 17 switch from analog to digital television broadcasting, arguing that too many Americans who rely on analog TV sets to pick up over-the-air channels won't be able to watch television.

Obama said the digital transition needs to be delayed largely because the Commerce Department has run out of money for coupons to subsidize digital TV converter boxes for consumers. The millions of households that do not have cable or satellite service, or a new TV with a digital tuner, will need the converter boxes to keep their older analog sets working.

Fearing a "domestic crisis" if millions are left without the ability to watch television, Obama said such a scenario "threatens the American Way more profoundly than World War I, World War II, the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the Great Depression and the current economic meltdown combined."

"The government is not doing enough to prevent this Armageddon of sorts -- that is: Americans without television signals," Obama said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "I have urged my policy advisors to stop working on solving the economic crisis and to abandon the Middle East peace process so that we can ensure that no American goes without television, particularly those in rural, poor or minority communities "

Meanwhile, federal law enforcement sources, speaking to TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity, said the government was considering imposing martial law to keep the peace ahead of the Feb. 17 deadline. "Our operatives in the field are sensing unrest akin to the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago but on a nationwide level," the source said. "We don't have the resources to wantonly club everybody in every major American city at one time."

In 2005, Congress required that broadcasters -- by Feb. 17 --switch from analog to digital broadcasts, which are more efficient, to free up valuable chunks of wireless spectrum. The newly available room in the airwaves can be used for commercial wireless services and for emergency-response networks.

Analysts applauded Obama's leadership. They said it was the first time in U.S. history that a president, or president-elect, responded so quickly to a pending national crisis.

"About 670,000 Americans were just added to the unemployment role, and Obama is seeing fit that these downtrodden people will at least have the ability to watch television. That is, if their homes were not foreclosed upon," said Harry Jeffers, a Cal State Fullerton revisionist historian. "Obama has great vision to see this enormous crisis coming down the pipeline."

Republican leaders immediately decried Obama's plea to subsidize more converter boxes and possibly delay the digital transition. They said it was unfair that banking and auto executives who just received billions in federal bailout money should have to pay for the poor's television signals. "This again shows that Obama is a socialist," said Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

The Obama team decided to push for a delay after the Commerce Department said it had hit a $1.34 billion funding limit set by Congress to pay for converter box coupons.

The coupon program allows consumers to request up to two $40 vouchers per household to help pay for the boxes, which generally cost between $40 and $80 each and can be purchased without a coupon.

The Commerce Department said it had no choice but to start a waiting list for coupon requests. As of press time, the waiting list had requests for 1.1 million coupons.

Photo: Mykl Roventine

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pope Seeks Bailout During Emergency Homily

by Viktor Romanov, TYDN Religion Affairs Writer
VATICAN CITY -- (TYDN) Pope Benedict XVI urged a world confronting financial crisis, conflict, and increasing poverty not to lose hope, and prayed during an emergency homily here Wednesday the U.S. Treasury would bail out the cash-stricken Vatican, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

The pontiff's message of salvation, a pleading for "authentic solidarity to prevent global ruin," marked the first time the Church has sought a U.S. government stimulus package.

The pontiff's plea for a bailout came as financial ratings service likes Standard & Poor's have downgraded the Church's stock, from a rating of "buy" to "sell." Church shares plunged in after-hours trading before rebounding.

Following tradition, the pope recited his bailout message in 64 languages, including Latin, the Church's official tongue. The pontiff said it would be sacrilegious if the U.S. -- having bailed out insurers, mortgagers, bankers and automakers left the Church behind.

"May the light of a bailout shine forth and encourage all people to do their part in a spirit of authentic solidarity," he said. "If people look only to their own interests, our world will certainly fall apart."

Speaking from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica to tens of thousands of hastily assembled pilgrims, tourists and Romans in the square below, the pope decreed that it was the U.S. taxpayers' duty not to leave the church behind. As the global economy continues to spiral downward, Benedict said it was urgent the church receives a huge cash infusion as "an increasingly uncertain future is regarded with apprehension, even in affluent nations like the United States."

Wearing a crimson mantle against a damp chill, Benedict expressed hope that dialogue and negotiation would prevail to find "just and lasting solutions" to the Church's financial predicament and to conflicts in the Holy Land and elsewhere in the Middle East.

He decried suffering in Africa, terrorism, and called for an end to "internecine conflict" dividing ethnic and social groups.

The pope singled out the plight of those in war-torn eastern Congo, in Sudan's Darfur region, in Somalia where he said "interminable" suffering is the tragic consequence of "the lack of stability and peace" -- and in Zimbabwe where people have been "trapped for all too long in a political and social crisis which, sadly, keeps worsening."

Benedict condemned the "twisted logic of conflict and violence" in the Middle East. He lamented "the horizon seems once again bleak for Israelis and Palestinians."

"May the divine light of Bethlehem radiate throughout the Holy Land," he said. "May it spread throughout Lebanon, Iraq, the whole Middle East and to the church's coffers."

Photo: rohan_chennai

Sunday, January 4, 2009

McCain Gets Online, Realizes Election Lost

by Felix Frankfurtor, TYDN Internet Affairs Writer
PHOENIX -- (TYDN) Sen. John McCain was readying to concede the presidential election after finally accessing the Internet and learning rival Sen. Barack Obama had narrowly defeated him two months before, TheYellowDailyNews learned late Sunday.

McCain said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews that he had been sitting by his computer since the Nov. 4 election anxiously awaiting election returns, but he had trouble connecting to the Internet and powering his computer. McCain was criticized during the hard-fought campaign about his lack of Internet prowess, that he never had used a computer -- a reality he promised to change during the election.

"The screen was just dark for so long that I began to get suspicious whether the Internets were broken," McCain said in an exclusive interview here in one of his several residences. "My wife Cindy began to get even more suspicious, thinking I had locked myself away to stare at porn all day. But nobody told me how to turn this damn thing on."

Microsoft Corp. immediately began airing commercials blasting the iMac, the Apple Inc. desktop McCain was unable to function. Apple CEO Steve Jobs declined comment, but was said to have immediately fired the iMac engineer who designed the power switch to be hidden in the back out of sight.

Shares of both Apple and Microsoft tumbled in after-hours trading.

Historians said it was the first time since the demise of the Pony Express that a presidential candidate had waited two months to concede an election. Many analysts assumed McCain went into seclusion and was embarrassed after his stunning defeat with running mate Sarah Palin.

"There was no truth to that. A lot of editorial writers out there who owe me an apology," McCain said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews.

McCain aides said the Arizona senator was flabbergasted after he finally figured out he had lost.

"When it dawned on him to turn on the computer and that he needed to physically connect to the Internet, he was amazed and dumbfounded over Internet news reports that Obama was selling inauguration festivity tickets for just $50,000, instead of the normal $250,000," said one McCain aide, who spoke to TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity. "He just couldn't believe that Obama would belittle the presidency like that and open up the presidency to the common man."

McCain said he would distribute e-mails to the media on where and when he would deliver his concession speech. As of press time, news outlets had not received notification.

Photo: Mike Licht

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Rights Groups Decry Madoff Confinement as ‘Barbaric’

by Dorcus Regulsorex, TYDN Staff Writer
NEW YORK -- (TYDN) The American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International and other rights groups decried as "barbaric" a magistrate judge's order confining disgraced financier Bernard Madoff to his $7 million luxury Manhattan apartment as he awaits trial on financial fraud charges.

Madoff, 70, a former Nasdaq stock market chairman, has become one of the most vilified people in America since his arrest weeks ago on allegations he allegedly plundered $50 billion from investors.

A federal magistrate judge had allowed Madoff to leave his 10,000-square-foot apartment during the day as a condition of his $10 million bail. But U.S. Magistrate Judge Theodore H. Katz, who legal experts said was a tough but fair jurist, eliminated the curfew and instead confined Madoff to his apartment as prosecutors ready their fraud case against him.

Legal experts said the increased bail measure was Draconian and underscored that, for the first time, the government was getting serious about punishing white-collar criminals.

Rights groups, however, said the government was going too far.

"This Guantanamo Bay-style incarceration of Mr. Madoff is barbaric and shocks the conscience," ACLU executive director Anthony Romero said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "What's next? Are they going to cattle prod him?"

Madoff's lawyer, Ira Lee Sorkin, said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews that he would appeal the confinement order all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"That my client is not free to travel to his dozens of homes across the globe is an injustice of the highest order," Sorkin said. "Christ, Mr. Madoff ran out of caviar on New Year's Eve and couldn't even leave to get more. This is outrageous."

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch concurred. In a joint statement, the groups asked: "When will these Gestapo tactics end?"

Rights groups expressed alarm that Madoff's bail conditions have been gradually increased as angry investors who lost billions seek information about what happened to money they thought was safely invested with someone who was widely respected on Wall Street. Just weeks ago, Madoff was released on $10 million bail only on the signature of he and his wife.

Authorities say Madoff confessed to family members that he had for years been paying returns to certain investors out of the principal received from others until he had only $200 million to $300 million remaining.

The charge against Madoff carries a potential penalty of up to 20 years in prison, but judges are not bound by federal sentencing guidelines. Other charges could be added as the case is presented to a grand jury.

Photo: Shiny Things