MID-DAY UPDATE: AT&T hopes to acquire T-Mobile, Japanese concerns mount over food radiation exposure

Here are today's headlines from The Marketplace Morning Report and around the web.

  • AT&T hopes to purchase T-Mobile for $39 billion from Germany's Deutsche Telekom. While the merger would mean increased coverage and improving markets, many analysts fear it could mean price hikes as well.
  • We got word this morning that sales of pre-owned homes fell by more than 9.5 percent last month. And median home prices are at their lowest level in nearly a decade. Here's Marketplace's coverage.
  • Oil prices shot up to $103 a barrel because of uncertainty over allied coalition attacks in Libya. Check out Marketplace's coverage here.
  • The Supreme Court won't stop the release of Federal Reserve Board documents identifying financial companies that received Fed loans to survive the financial crisis. An association of bankers wanted to stop the release but the court refused Monday to hear its appeal.
  • The top U.S. nuclear regulator Monday said the Japanese nuclear crisis appeared to be on the verge of stabilizing. Smoke was seen near one of the reactors at Japan's battered nuclear power plant. But, according to officials, there has been little change in radiation levels.
  • Japan's nuclear safety agency says the operator of the country's troubled nuclear complex repeatedly failed to make crucial inspections of equipment in the weeks before it was crippled in the quake and tsunami.
  • Food produced in Japan outside the zone around a stricken nuclear plant is safe, the government said on Monday. Here's Marketplace's coverage.
  • The State Department is offering its staff in Japan potassium iodide pills out of what it calls an abundance of caution. That's after workers at the Fukushima nuclear plant fled again from possible radiation. Here's Marketplace's coverage.
  • Facebook says it's buying phone app developer Snaptu for $70 million.
  • Boeing completed the first test flight of its new and newly massive 747 jumbo jet yesterday. The plane will seat 467.
  • Google today accused the Chinese government of blocking access to Gmail. The company and country have been feuding since 2010 when Google said it wouldn't censor search results.
  • A study out showing the worst enemy of birds is: the pet house cat. According to the Journal of Ornithology, Mr. Whiskers is far more dangerous to birds than wind turbines. By some estimates, cats kill 500 million birds a year. Good reason to keep Mr. Whiskers inside.
  • New research out of Indiana University says moods determine who hangs out with whom on social network sites like Twitter. Happier people congregate online and they reply and re-tweet those happy thoughts -- Yay! And people who are UNhappy typically find one another too. You know the old adage: Misery loves FOLLOWERS.
  • There's a trade show face-off going on in Chicago this month. Two beauty industry trade shows are vying for Midwest beauty convention supremacy. America's Beauty Show has been around for 87 years and attracts nearly 40,000 hairstylists. It's being challenged by the fresher-faced International Salon and Spa Expo. Perhaps a reality show is in order. You could call it "Beauty gets Ugly" and maybe it'd have some sort of competition involving fake eyelashes, sky-high up-dos, and elaborate manicures. I'd watch.

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