Headlines from around the world: 10-11-10

In fear of causing more problems in the mortgage foreclosure market, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are calling for Bank of America to put a stop on all foreclosure proceedings and thoroughly review the entire foreclosure process. The move was taken because of Bank of America’s employment of “robo-signers,” employees whose only job is to sign thousands of foreclosure papers. The system allows for incorrect paperwork to be filed and possibly unjust foreclosures to take place. Bank of America has since stopped foreclosures.

Following the lessening of tensions between North and South Korea, the Obama administration plans to hold discussions with North Korea as early as January. Prompted by China’s assurances that North Korea is ready to resume talks, the US will address the tender topic of North Korea’s plans to rebuild Yongbyon’s nuclear reactor.

A group of Germans that were possibly militant were killed in a CIA drone strike in Pakistan on Tuesday. The group was allegedly involved in planning terrorist activity in Europe, which has been confirmed by Pakistani officials.
The US military has been inadvertently hiring contractors who appear to be Taliban agents. An investigation by the US Senate Arms Committee found that many of the contractors, security guards, and other support personnel involved in the campaign in Afghanistan are unsuited and unqualified for their jobs and in some cases have direct links to the Taliban.

The US lost 95,000 jobs in September, causing some to question if the recession is truly over. This number may be misleading as the government dropped around 159,000 employees, half of them temporary census workers. However, private industry has added over 60,000 jobs, giving some hope that  the economy will continue to strengthen. The unemployment rate is unchanged at 9.6%.

Google revealed that it has been testing cars that drive themselves for a few months now. The cars, which are equipped with a large array of cameras and lasers, have driven over 140,000 miles and have only had one incident, where a car was rear-ended at a stoplight. The project is spearheaded by winners of the DARPA Challenges, created by the Pentagon to encourage innovation in self-driving vehicles.

Americans may be taking too many drugs, leading many to question whether there may be an underlying problem. 61% of Americans take at least one drug to combat a chronic health issue, and 1 in 4 seniors take 5 different medications per day. While drugs may have many good effects, there are some that cause unforeseen problems. Vioxx, the once-popular arthritis medication, caused over 100,000 heart attacks before it was removed from sale by the FDA.

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