ECB Ready To Act But Central Banks Can't Do Everything
The European Central Bank is ready to use unconventional tools to cope with any overly prolonged period of low inflation, the ECB's vice president said, although he added that "people seem to expect too much from central banks." While reiterating the ECB's readiness to take further action if needed, Vitor Constancio also pressed euro zone governments on Thursday to take measures to promote investment and spur demand as the bloc faces a slow recovery. The ECB opened the door after its policy meeting last Thursday to turning on its money-printing presses to keep inflation from staying too low.
Hilton Hotels Now Lets Your Choose Your Room With Your Phone
Hilton Hotels is taking a page out of the airline playbook, giving users more control over the experience through their smartphone. The hotel chain has recently introduced a way for users to choose their room on their smartphone, and promises to roll out smartphone-powered door keys to the majority of their hotels by 2016. Using the new Hilton HHonors app (yes, that name needs work) or the Hilton website, users will be able to choose their room the day before they check in. They’ll be able to see photos of the room, as well as floor plans from available inventory.
Venezuela Opposition Head Aveledo Resigns
The leader of Venezuela's opposition coalition, Ramon Aveledo, resigned on Tuesday after a five-year stint in which he united fractious politicians but failed to end socialist rule. Though twice-presidential candidate Henrique Capriles was the best-known face of Venezuela's opposition in recent years, it was Aveledo who was in charge of the Democratic Unity coalition that brought opposition factions together behind him.
Israeli Strikes Hit UN School, Gaza Shopping Area
Israeli strikes hit a crowded shopping area in Gaza City, hours after tank shells tore through the walls of a U.N. school crowded with war refugees Wednesday in the deadliest of a series of air and artillery attacks that push the Palestinian death toll above 1,300 in more than three weeks of fighting. The Israeli military said it fired back after its soldiers were targeted by mortar rounds launched from the vicinity of the school.
Pregnant Fashion Face-Off: Scarlett Johansson Vs. Mila Kunis In Comfy Baby Bump Clothes
Kudos to Scarlett Johansson and Mila Kunis for taking a day off from the pitch perfect pregnancy wear to relax in real people clothes. It's hard enough being prego in the hot, hot heat of summer. The Lucy star and the Family Guy voicer found two ways to cover their ever-growing bumps with two of the season's hottest trends, overalls and pretty patterned skirts.
Probe Exposes Flaws Behind HealthCare.gov Rollout
Nonpartisan investigators said management failures by the Obama administration set the stage for the computer woes that paralyzed the president's new health care program last fall. After a months-long investigation, the Government Accountability Office found that the administration lacked "effective planning or oversight practices" for the development of HealthCare.gov, the online portal to coverage for millions of uninsured Americans. As a result the government incurred "significant cost increases, schedule slips, and delayed functionality," William Woods, a GAO contracting expert said in testimony prepared for a hearing Thursday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Fed Presses Forward With Bond Buying, Cites Uptick In Inflation
The Federal Reserve pressed ahead Wednesday with its plan to wind down its bond-buying stimulus and upgraded its assessment of the U.S. economy, while reaffirming it is in no rush to raise interest rates. The central bank cut its monthly asset purchases to $25 billion from $35 billion, leaving it on course to shutter the program this fall.
Bank Of America Ordered To Pay $1.27 Billion For Countrywide Fraud
A federal judge on Wednesday ordered Bank of America to pay $1.27 billion of damages after a federal jury found the second-largest U.S. bank liable for fraud over defective mortgages sold by its Countrywide unit. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan came nine months after jurors found BofA and former Countrywide executive Rebecca Mairone liable for defrauding government-controlled mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac through the sale of shoddy Countrywide loans in 2007 and 2008.
Argentines Shrug Off Risk Of Default
In 2001, it was ground zero for Argentina's financial earthquake. A neo-colonial architectural gem built long ago by the Bank of Boston, it became the focal point for angry mobs of protesters who stared down riot police to demand the return of their savings, which the government confiscated in a last-ditch, and ultimately failed, attempt to stay current on its debt.
Conductor Marc Minkowski: Horses, Mozart Made For Each Other
French-American conductor Marc Minkowski loves music and his second passion is horses, so he is combining the two at a concert that will open the annual Mozart Week festival in Salzburg next year. Minkowski's horses will be performing inside Salzburg's 17th-century former "rock riding school", which was later transformed into a concert hall, to the music of Mozart's cantata "David Penitente" on the festival's opening day.