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News In Brief

MID-DAY UPDATE: Rajaratnam found guilty, Toyota announces profit drop

Katharine Crnko May 11, 2011

Here are today’s top headlines from the Marketplace Morning Report and from around the web.

BREAKING NEWS: Galleon Group hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam was found guilty today on all 14 conspiracy and securities fraud changers of insider trading. The one-time billionaire will remain free on bail until his July 29 sentencing. The news broke after going to press with today’s Mid-Day Update podcast, but you can listen to analysis from Marketplace New York Bureau Chief Heidi Moore:

“It is incredibly hard to get an insider trading conviction because it can be so shadowy,” Moore says. “So for persecutors to be able to get a huge fish like Raj Rajaratnam, one of the most successful hedge fund managers on Wall Street, is really the victory of what is a very young century right now.”

Meanwhile, the surging flood water of the Mississippi River is not only a threat to delicate crops and houses. As the water moves closer to the Mississippi Delta, oil refineries are now in danger of potential damage. Here is Marketplace’s coverage.

The world’s largest automaker, Toyota, announced a 77 percent drop in profit today after the company’s supply chain was severely disrupted by the natural disasters in Japan. Check out Marketplace’s coverage.

The U.S. Treasury Department and AIG announced today that they plan to sell just under $9 million in AIG stock. The move suggests the government’s intention to exit the crisis-era investment, an extraction that could be more difficult than originally thought.

The Commerce Department announced today that the U.S. trade deficit widened more than forecast in March as oil prices hit a two-year high. That spike in oil prices boosted imports, and increased the trade gap by 6 percent.

As the EU prepares to discuss Greece’s debt crisis next week, Greek labor unions are planning on a general strike and mass protests today against he country’s economic austerity measures. The protests have halted ferry movement, grounded flights and shut down hospitals and schools. You can check out Marketplace’s coverage here.

Top oil executives from the major oil companies including Shell and Chevron will testify on Capitol Hill tomorrow as the Senate considers proposals to repeal tax breaks given to the energy industry. The executives are expected to defend the tax credits and deductions afforded to the oil and gas industry.

Google has set aside $500 million related to the possible resolution of a U.S. Justice Department investigation into the company’s advertising business. The investigations has led to a lower first-quarter profit.

You can read the rest of today’s stories from the Marketplace Morning Report here.

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