The Obama administration laid out three broad options Friday for reducing the government's role in the mortgage market. All three would almost certainly lead to higher interest rates and costs for borrowers. The administration said in a report that the government should withdraw its support for the mortgage market slowly, over five years or more. The report describes a path for winding down the troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's Hosni Mubarak resigned as president and handed control to the military on Friday after 29 years in power, bowing to a historic 18-day wave of pro-democracy demonstrations by hundreds of thousands. "The people ousted the president," chanted a crowd of tens of thousands outside his presidential palace in Cairo. Several hundred thousand protesters massed in Cairo's central Tahrir Square exploded into joy, waving Egyptian flags, and car horns and celebratory shots in the air were heard around the city of 18 million in joy after Vice President Omar Suleiman made the announcement on national TV just after nightfall.
HELSINKI (AP) — Technology titans Nokia and Microsoft are combining forces to make smart phones that might challenge rivals like Apple and Google and revive their own fortunes in a market they have struggled to keep up with. Nokia Corp., the world's largest maker of mobile phones, said Friday it plans to use Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Phone software as the main platform for its smart phones in an effort to pull market share away from Apple's iPhone and Android, Google's software for phones and tablets.
KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Fighting in Southern Sudan between the region's army and a rebel faction has killed 105 people, including 39 civilians, a southern army spokesman said Friday, underscoring a tenuous security situation in a land that is months away from becoming the world's newest nation. A former high-ranking southern army member who had previously rebelled against the southern regional government attacked the towns of Fangak and Dor in the Upper Nile state on Wednesday, breaking a January cease-fire, said Col. Philip Aguer, the spokesman.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The trade deficit widened in December as rising oil prices pushed the value of imports up faster than U.S. exports. The deficit increased 5.9 percent in December to $40.6 billion, the Commerce Department reported Friday.
ISLAMABAD (AP) — A new, smaller group of Cabinet ministers took an oath of office Friday in Pakistan, where the ruling party recently agreed to shrink the prime minister's circle of advisers to save the cash-strapped country some money. The swearing-in ceremony was carried live on state-run Pakistan Television, and most of the incoming ministers appeared to be holdovers from the previous Cabinet, dissolved earlier this week.
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a time of unparalleled aviation safety in the United States, reports of mistakes by air traffic controllers have nearly doubled — a seeming contradiction that puzzles safety experts. The near collision last month of an American Airlines jet with 259 people aboard and two Air Force transport planes southeast of New York City, coupled with the rise in known errors, has raised concerns in Congress that safety may be eroding.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — So long, long distance. Newlyweds Carrie Underwood and NHL player Mike Fisher soon will be living together full time in Nashville. The Ottawa Senators traded Fisher to the Nashville Predators for two draft picks.
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Eight giraffes got a very rare ride to their new home — in a boat. The endangered Rothschilds giraffes were ferried by barge to a reserve on an island in Kenya's Lake Baringo earlier this week.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In March 2003, Barry Bonds' business partner and personal trainer stood in front of the slugger's locker in the San Francisco Giants clubhouse and appeared to discuss steroids and needles. The business partner, Stevie Hoskins, secretly recorded the conversation with the trainer, Greg Anderson, and later turned it over to federal investigators.