Feds cut interest rate for sixth time since September

WASHINGTON

The Federal Reserve slashed a key interest rate yesterday by three-fourths of a percentage point, moving aggressively to contain a credit crisis threatening to push the country into a severe recession.

The latest action brought the federal funds rate – the interest that banks charge each other – down to 2.25 percent, the lowest point since late 2004. It marked the second cut of three-fourths of a percentage point this year. The first occurred at an emergency meeting on Jan. 22 and was followed by a half-point cut at a regular meeting on Jan. 30.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues have now cut the funds rate six times since last September, with the reductions becoming more aggressive since January as the central bank has faced growing turmoil in global financial markets.

ALBANY, N.y.

Paterson admits to multiple affairs

The state’s new governor revealed yesterday that he had affairs with several women, including a state employee. The confession came a day after he took over from former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who was driven from office amid a prostitution scandal.

Gov. David Paterson said the affairs happened during a rough patch in his marriage, and that the employee did not work for him. He insisted he did not advance her career, and that no campaign or state money was spent on the affairs.

“I do not feel I have broken my commitment to the citizens of New York state,” Paterson said at a news conference with his wife, Michelle Paige Paterson.

WASHINGTON

Supreme Court considers second amendment

The Supreme Court appeared ready yesterday to endorse the view that the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to own guns, but was less clear about whether to retain the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns.

The justices were aware of the historic nature of their undertaking, engaging in an extended 98-minute session of questions and answers that could yield the first definition of the meaning of the Second Amendment in its 216 years.

A key justice, Anthony Kennedy, left little doubt about his view when he said early in the proceedings that the Second Amendment gives “a general right to bear arms.”

Several justices were skeptical that the Constitution, if it gives individuals’ gun rights, could allow a complete ban on handguns when, as Chief Justice John Roberts pointed out, those weapons are most suited for protection at home.

BEIJING

China: Dalai Lama allies sabotaging Olympics

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao accused supporters of the Dalai Lama on yesterday of organizing violent clashes in Tibet in hopes of sabotaging the Beijing Olympics and bolstering their campaign for independence in the Himalayan territory.

The Dalai Lama urged his followers to remain peaceful, saying he would resign as head of the Tibetan government-in-exile if violence got out of control. But he also suggested China may have fomented unrest in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa and nearby provinces to discredit him.

Compiled from Daily wire reports

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