U.S. Productivity Dips; New York Maid Sues Strauss-Kahn

Aug 9, 2011

Good morning!

After a day that saw historic drops in the U.S. markets, the world markets continue their volatility today. The FTSE is up slightly while Japan's Nikkei was down 1.68 percent. Stock futures are forecasting another dramatic day in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal reports that in trading before opening, the Dow was up 167 points after a 300-point swing in the other direction.

Also, the Labor Department just released another piece of tepid news for the economy: U.S. productivity dipped 0.6 percent in the April-June quarter, which helped increase the cost of labor. That the AP reports that is a "a trend that doesn't bode well for future hiring."

We'll come back to the economy throughout the day, but here are some other stories making headlines today:

-- NYC Maid Sues Strauss-Kahn: "A hotel maid who accuses ex-International Monetary Fund boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault sued him Monday, seeking unspecified damages as a result of what she calls the 'violent and sadistic' attack in a room at the upscale Sofitel hotel." (AP)

-- Japan Withheld Nuclear Data: The New York Times reports that in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, local authorities evacuated residents to the north, thinking winter winds would blow radioactive emissions south. But:

The winds, in fact, had been blowing directly toward Tsushima — and town officials would learn two months later that a government computer system designed to predict the spread of radioactive releases had been showing just that.

But the forecasts were left unpublicized by bureaucrats in Tokyo, operating in a culture that sought to avoid responsibility and, above all, criticism.

-- Bodies Of U.S. Troops Flown Home: "The remains of the 30 Americans killed aboard a Chinook helicopter that was shot down by insurgents early Saturday were flown home Monday night, as military commanders pledged that the devastating crash would not compromise the overall war effort." (Los Angeles Times)

-- Turkish Envoy In Syria: "Turkey's foreign minister plans to huddle with the leaders of the embattled Syrian regime Tuesday, the latest voice in the international chorus decrying and working to end the government's much-reviled crackdown on peaceful protesters." (CNN)

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.