A 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit Chile today 90 miles south of the capital of Valparaiso as the country’s new president, Sebastion Pinera, was being sworn in. Pinera takes over from Michelle Bachelet, the country’s first female president, who let office with approval ratings topping 80% but was constitutionally barred from running for reelection, BBC News. Background on Pinera and what his presidency means for Chile, New York Times.
Bank of America announced it will eliminate overdraft fees on debit card purchases this summer. The company previously would allow debit transactions to be completed, even if the account was overdrawn and then charge high fees for each overdrawn transaction. Overdraft fees are lucrative for banks. It’s estimated that U.S. banks made $38.5 billion from overdraft fees in 2009. The change is in response to federal legislation tightening restrictions on banks, CNN.
A new 2,200 page report details how the Lehman Brothers financial firm hid its toxic investments until it was forced to declare bankruptcy, New York Times. Factbox: key findings, Reuters.
One year after the collapse Lehman Brothers, the tipping point that led to the collapse of the financial market, U.S. President Barack Obama will address the world’s economic situation today. He is expected to call for more regulation, BBC News. Aftershock: complete coverage of the financial collapse, BBC News.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel debated Vice Chancellor Frank-Walter Steinmeier last night. 40% of Germans are unsure which party they will vote for in the upcoming September 27 election, Associated Press.
Venezula has made a deal to buy a significant quantity of military equipment from Russia, including 92 T-72 tanks and sophisticated air defense system components. Venezula has spent more than $4 billion on Russian military equipment in the past several years. Russia is also helping Venezula develop a nuclear energy program, Christian Science Monitor.
Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden released a new audio message on September 13, two days after the eighth anniversary of the attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., New York Times.
18 women and children were killed in a stampede yesterday as they waited for flour and other supplies in Karachi, Pakistan, Reuters.