• Tropical storm plus oil slick equals more fear and uncertainty

    The disaster thousands of feet deep in the Gulf of Mexico may be exacerbated by a different type of calamity in the coming week -- a tropical storm -- that could push the oil farther along Florida's pristine Panhandle beaches.

    Tropical Storm Alex -- the first named storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season -- formed in the Caribbean on Saturday. Alex had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and was about 250 miles away from Chetumal, Mexico. It was moving toward Belize and over the Yucatan Peninsula.

  • Obama (again) touts Wall Street package

    President Obama again promoted a new package of Wall Street regulations in his Saturday radio address, telling listeners that "we are on the cusp of enacting the toughest financial reforms since the Great Depression."

    Taping the address Friday just hours after House and Senate negotiators put together a final bill, Obama said the new plan would "empower our people with consumer protections" and prevent the kind of financial meltdown that gutted the economy in 2008.

  • Computers Learn to Listen, and Some Talk Back

    “Hi, thanks for coming,” the medical assistant says, greeting a mother with her 5-year-old son. “Are you here for your child or yourself?”

    The boy, the mother replies. He has diarrhea.

    “Oh no, sorry to hear that,” she says, looking down at the boy.

    The assistant asks the mother about other symptoms, including fever (“slight”) and abdominal pain (“He hasn’t been complaining”).

    She turns again to the boy. “Has your tummy been hurting?” Yes, he replies.

    After a few more questions, the assistant declares herself “not that concerned at this point.” She schedules an appointment with a doctor in a couple of days. The mother leads her son from the room, holding his hand. But he keeps looking back at the assistant, fascinated, as if reluctant to leave.

  • BlackBerry's Retreat Leaves A Sour Taste For RIM

    Research In Motion delivered a quarter that showed buckling market share and disappointing sales as the smart phone marker feels the heat from Apple and Google.

    Investors didn't take the news well, with shares of Research In Motion ( RIMM - news - people ) tumbling 9.5%, or $5.59, to $52.97, in afternoon trading on Friday.

    "RIM is losing market share," says Andy Hargreaves, analyst at Pacific Crest Securities. "Their devices lack an effective browser, especially compared to what Apple ( AAPL - news - people ) and Google ( GOOG - news - people ) have, and they lack an attractive app environment, and that's what people want now. Email is still a valuable piece, but it's only one piece and if you don't have the whole pie you won't be able to capture any of that high-end share."

  • Toyota Stops Selling Lexus HS250h for Fuel Leak Risk

    Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest automaker, halted sales of a hybrid Lexus model because too much fuel spilled in crash tests conducted by the government safety agency, the company said today.

    Toyota, which paid a record $16.4 million U.S. fine this year for not complying with auto-safety regulations, said in a letter to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today that about 17,000 of the HS250h sedans for the 2010 model year are being recalled.

    “We’re working intently to duplicate the noncompliance that NHTSA identified,” Brian Lyons, a spokesman for Toyota’s U.S. unit based in Torrance, California, said in an interview.

  • Tail Troubles Keep The Dreamliner Down

    Boeing's 787 Dreamliner program is again on hold due to a quality problem found in a portion of the tail. The company has already built five of the jetliners, and the problem appears to be found in a portion of the horizontal stabilizer built by Italian manufacturer Alenia.

    Boeing's 787 Dreamliner program, already plagued by numerous delays, has been again put on hold due to a quality problem found in a portion of the tail.

    The company has already built five of the jetliners, and the problem appears to be found in a portion of the horizontal stabilizer built by Italian manufacturer Alenia. Boeing ( BA - news - people ) stated that the planes "have issues with improperly installed shims and the torque of associated fasteners."

  • China to Create More Channels for Yuan Use, Central Bankers Say

    China must create more channels for investors and companies to use the yuan if it wants to internationalize the currency and put it on a par with the yen and the euro, central bank officials and economists told a forum in Shanghai yesterday.

    The world’s biggest holder of foreign-exchange reserves also needs to loosen controls on the use of the yuan for investment and trade outside China, Xie Duo, director of the financial market department of the People’s Bank of China, and Li Daokui, an adviser to the central bank, said.

    China, the world’s third-largest economy, is seeking to reduce its reliance on the U.S. dollar and promote the yuan as a global currency. The central bank this week expanded the use of the yuan for cross-border trade settlement to 18 more provinces, allowing companies based in areas including Beijing and the export hubs of Jiangsu and Zhejiang to use the currency to pay for goods and services.

  • Forecaster: Storm Likely To Cause Threat To BP Oil Collection Efforts

    A cluster of thunderstorms in the south Caribbean will likely become the first named tropical storm of the Atlantic basin hurricane season and could pose a danger to BP PLC's (BP, BP.LN) efforts to collect oil spewing from the Macondo well in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, a forecaster said Friday.

    "I cannot emphasize enough that this storm will pose a serious threat," to BP's operations at the Macondo well, said Jim Rouiller, a senior energy meteorologist with Planalytics.

    The National Hurricane Center gives the low pressure area centered between the northeast coast of Honduras and Grand Cayman a high chance, 70%, of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours.

    The system is likely to become a tropical depression before it reaches the Yucatan Peninsula in a couple of days. An Air Force reconnaissance plane is scheduled to investigate this disturbance later Friday to determine if a tropical cyclone has formed.

  • Ivory Coast 3, Korea DPR 0 - Brazil tied Portugal, 0-0

    Nelspruit, South Africa- Yaya Toure and Romaric scored in the first half and Ivory Coast defeated North Korea, 3-0, on Friday at Mbombela Stadium in Group G, but was still eliminated from the FIFA World Cup.

    Toure and Romaric scored in the first 20 minutes and Salomon Kalou added Ivory Coast's third goal in the 82nd minute, but the African side ended third in the "Group of Death" behind Brazil and Portugal.

    Brazil tied Portugal, 0-0, in Friday's other Group G match. Brazil finished atop the group with seven points, Portugal was second with five and Ivory Coast had four. North Korea was also eliminated.

    Ivory Coast entered the match needing a win, a Portugal loss and to overturn a huge gap in goal differential, but failed to build on its early start and also failed to get help from Brazil.

  • Obama stresses no discord with Petraeus on board

    No more discord in the Afghanistan war command, President Barack Obama vows. With Gen. David Petraeus in charge, the president said Thursday he's assembled the team that will take the U.S. through the months ahead — by all expectations the make-or-break stage of the conflict.

    "I am going to be insisting on a unity of purpose on the part of all branches of the U.S. government," the president said. "Our team is going to be moving forward in synch."

    Obama said he does not anticipate further firings beyond Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top war commander hired a year ago to turn around a war then sliding into quagmire. He was fired Wednesday for sniping at civilian war bosses in a magazine article.