The following are the day's top general news stories:
1. Suleiman Gathers Power as Spy Denies Egyptian Election Ambitions for Now 2. Amtrak Proposes $13.5 Billion Hudson Rail Project After Christie Rejection 3. Ex-Dow Chemical Scientist Is Convicted of Selling Secrets to Chinese Firms 4. Filmmaker Moore Sues Weinsteins for $2.7 Million `Fahrenheit 9/11' Profits 5. FIFA Blocks 70 Overseas Trades as Clubs Spend $320 Million During Window
1. Suleiman Gathers Power as Spy Denies Egyptian Election Ambitions for Now
Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman, the man leading talks to create a new government, is amassing power even as he denies ambitions to succeed Hosni Mubarak as president. Suleiman, the intelligence chief appointed vice president by Mubarak on Jan. 29, already has begun shaping the next regime during the talks with opposition groups behind the mass demonstrations demanding Mubarak´s immediate ouster. Last week, Suleiman said that Mubarak´s son, Gamal, won´t run for president. He invited the Muslim Brotherhood into negotiations, the first time a government official has done so since the state banned the group in 1954. Suleiman´s tightening grip coincides with increased stability in Egypt just days after the country appeared on the brink of anarchy. Banks have opened and the government has completed most of a record treasury bill sale.
2. Amtrak Proposes $13.5 Billion Hudson Rail Project After Christie Rejection
Amtrak is proposing a $13.5 billion project that will include building two commuter rail tunnels from New Jersey to New York by 2020, replacing a $9.77 billion project that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie killed. The so-called Gateway project would allow New Jersey Transit and Amtrak to increase commuter rail capacity 65 percent by adding 13 and eight trains per hour, respectively, at peak times into New York, according to a statement today from Senator Frank Lautenberg, a New Jersey Democrat. The project is "a necessary part of Amtrak´s vision for bringing high-speed rail to the Northeast Corridor," said Steve Kulm, an Amtrak spokesman. More than two out of every three travelers through the region passes through New York, he said. In September, Amtrak announced a $117 billion plan to bring trains running at maximum speeds of 220 miles per hour to the 457-mile corridor by 2040. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica, a Florida Republican, said last month that the rail company "will never be capable´´ of developing the Northeast Corridor´s high-speed potential, and that the task is one for the private sector.
3. Ex-Dow Chemical Scientist Is Convicted of Selling Secrets to Chinese Firms
Wen Chyu Liu, a former research scientist at Dow Chemical Co., was convicted of stealing trade secrets and selling them to companies in China, the U.S. Justice Department said in an e-mailed statement. A federal jury in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, today found the Houston resident guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit trade-secret theft and one count of perjury, according to the department. Prosecutors said Liu worked with other Dow employees to steal confidential information on a polymer used in automotive hoses, electrical cables and vinyl siding. "Companies within the United States lose millions of dollars to the theft of trade secrets such as this," Special Agent-in-Charge David Welker of the FBI´s New Orleans Division said in the statement. "The FBI is committed to aggressively identifying and investigating such schemes and along with our partners to bring the perpetrators to justice." Liu, 74, faces a maximum of 10 years in prison on the conspiracy charge and a maximum of five years on the perjury charge. Each count carries a maximum fine of $250,000.
4. Filmmaker Moore Sues Weinsteins for $2.7 Million `Fahrenheit 9/11' Profits
Filmmaker Michael Moore sued Harvey and Bob Weinstein, who financed and distributed his 2004 "Fahrenheit 9/11" documentary, saying he´s owed at least $2.7 million in profits. The Weinsteins´ company, Fellowship Adventure Group, which formed a joint venture with Moore´s production company to split the film´s revenue 50-50 after certain costs, used "bogus accounting methods" and secretly diverted money owed to Moore to the Weinsteins, the filmmaker said in a complaint filed today in state court in Los Angeles. The 2004 movie criticizes U.S. foreign policy in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and was awarded the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival. It sold $119 million in tickets at U.S. movie theaters, according to Internet Movie Database. Harvey and Bob Weinstein bought the rights to the documentary after Walt Disney Co. refused to distribute it. "This case is about classic Hollywood accounting tricks and financial deception," Moore said in the complaint.
5. FIFA Blocks 70 Overseas Trades as Clubs Spend $320 Million During Window
FIFA blocked about 70 trades during last month´s transfer window as an online registration system became mandatory for clubs buying players from other countries, an official at soccer´s governing body said. Many teams wait until the last minute to get better deals and those that miss the deadline are timed out of registering trades. "They´re haggling until the last moment," Mark Goddard, general manager of FIFA´s Transfer Matching System, said in an interview yesterday. "They can all watch the countdown clock now and decide at what point they want to pull themselves out of a nosedive like some Japanese kamikaze plane and get it through. If they don´t it´s self-inflicted." Teams spent $320 million on recruiting 2,451 foreign-based players in January, he said. A year earlier, 1,200 transfers were registered through the online system and $243 million spent. Goddard said "half of the football planet was open for business," with 115 member associations trading.
-0- Feb/08/2011 00:35 GMT