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PODCAST: James Murdoch resigns, Happy Leap Day

Signs for the four newspapers belonging to News International dominate the entrance at the Wapping production plant on July 7, 2011 in London, England. James Murdoch resigned as chairman to News International today.

The nation's economy grew at a rate of 3 percent in the last part of 2011. The gross domestic product is a touch higher than initial estimates from the Department of Commerce. Applications for U.S. home mortgage purchases jumped last week as interest rates dipped, though demand for refinancing waned, an industry group said on Wednesday.

European stocks were up too, after a new round of loans from the European Central Bank to about 800 banks across Europe. The hope is that by lending banks cheap cash -- they'll turn around and lend that money to consumers and businesses.

James Murdoch, the son of Rupert Murdoch, has resigned as chairman of News International. That's a division of News Corporation that owns Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and many, many other media outlets around the world. James Murdoch will remain deputy chief operating officer of News Corp.

In Virginia, two former governors are running for U.S. Senate. And so is...a cat named Hank -- who previously ran for state senate and got nine write-in votes. Hank's website says he wants to bring milk to every bowl across this great nation. He's quoted as saying: "If I had to sum up my feelings for Virginia's future, I would have to say, meow.”

Spam, the canned meat product, turns 75 this year. And it's rolling out what the company calls its first ever spokes-character: Sir-Can-A-Lot. An armored, bearded, cartoon knight. But it seems the cartoon knight does have a predecessor who's pushed Spam as a breakfast treat -- doesn’t anyone remember Monty Python?

And, it's Leap Day -- which means one extra day this month for businesses around the country to try and rake in some extra dough. In Central Florida, some hotels and one very big mouse are using Leap Day to drum up excitement.

About the author

Chau Tu is the former assistant web producer for Marketplace.

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