The First Draft, Tuesday Dec. 30

December 30, 2008

Israel’s military operations in Gaza continue to dominate front pages of major newspapers and morning talk shows. Wall Street is looking for a positive start as oil and gold prices ease back from the price spikes that followed the onset of the Israeli strikes against Hamas.USA-OBAMA/

President George W. Bush remains at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, while President-elect Barack Obama continues his vacation in Hawaii.

GMAC said it will resume financing auto loans following a $5 billion investment from the U.S. Treasury. The latest financial rescue also included a $1 billion loan to General Motors to purchase equity in GMAC.

Extreme weather and the weak economy also taking top spots in holiday week news cycles. A dismal shopping season could take down some malls struggling to service their debt.

Congress will take a closer look at what went wrong on Wall Street beginning next week with a hearing on financier Bernard Madoff’s alleged $50 billion fraud. Meanwhile, the Washington Post takes a close look at why insurance giant AIG needed so much government bailout money.

And for you history buffs – scientists have found out why the 1918 flu virus was so deadly. Three genes allowed it to invade the lungs and cause pneumonia.

 

Photo credit: Reuters/Hugh Gentry (President-elect Obama carries a little girl at Mid Pacific Country Club in Kailua)

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