Store traffic falls in week before Christmas
December 27, 2007 01:09 PM - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Economic pressures and online deals might have led consumers to sharply limit their trips to retailers in the week leading up to Christmas, data tracker ShopperTrak RCT said on Thursday. ShopperTrak, which measures customer traffic primarily in malls, said U.S. foot traffic for the week ending December 22 fell 10.6 percent compared with the year-earlier period. "The sharp, year-over-year traffic decline is something that retailers will watch closely as consumers continue redeeming gift cards and returning gifts in the days immediately following Christmas," ShopperTrak co-founder Bill Martin said in a statement. Traffic for December fell 4.36 percent, according to ShopperTrak, which tracks sales at more than 50,000 U.S. retail locations.

Pakistan's Bhutto assassinated
December 27, 2007 11:44 AM - Reuters

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on Thursday as she left an election rally in the city of Rawalpindi, putting January 8 polls in doubt and sparking anger in her native Sindh province.

Damien’s Gone Solar
December 27, 2007 11:26 AM - , Environmental Graffiti

Damien Hirst is once again making headlines, this time on the environmental scene. Following the path of Tracey Emin and Gavin Turk, who created a series of t-shirts to support the Global Ocean Charity. Damien Hirst is set to become the second biggest generator of solar power in the UK. The first being the CIS Tower in Manchester (Cooperative Insurance Society). He is set to spend up to £1.5m on a 310kw solar power system for his studio buildings in Stroud, Gloucestershire.

Durable goods weaker than expected in November
December 27, 2007 11:11 AM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Weak durable goods orders last month fueled concern on Thursday over the resilience of the U.S. economy to the country's steep housing slump. Jobless claims also jumped last week, in a possible sign of mounting pressure on the labor market. However, a measure of consumer confidence improved somewhat in December.

Smaller disasters hit insurers hard in '07
December 27, 2007 07:59 AM - Reuters

In its annual natural catastrophes report released on Thursday, the world's second-biggest reinsurer said total losses from natural disasters rose by 50 percent to $75 billion as climate change caused more extreme weather events.

North Korea says may slow nuclear disablement: Kyodo
December 26, 2007 07:58 PM - Reuters

"There is a delay in the implementation of economic compensation obligations to be undertaken by the other countries in the six-party talks," Hyun Hak Bong, deputy director of the North Korean Foreign Ministry's American affairs bureau, was quoted as saying late on Wednesday.

Bayer recalls Contour test strips for diabetes
December 26, 2007 04:38 PM - Reuters

The test strips are used by diabetic patients to monitor their daily blood sugar levels.

Amazon says 2007 holiday season strongest ever
December 26, 2007 04:13 PM - Reuters

On December 10, its busiest day during the current season, Amazon said shoppers ordered more than 5.4 million items, or 62.5 items per second.

Neuroticism hard on the heart: study
December 26, 2007 01:53 PM - Reuters

Neuroticism -- a proclivity toward worry and emotional ups and downs -- is related to anxiety and depression, which could help explain the relationship with heart trouble, note Beverly A. Shipley of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and colleagues in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.

Secondhand smoke may raise child allergy risk
December 26, 2007 01:52 PM - Reuters

Experts have known that exposure to secondhand smoke either renatally or early in life can raise a child's risk of developing asthma symptoms. But the evidence regarding allergies in general has been mixed.

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