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Mid-day Update

PODCAST: Europe in trouble, from the Olympic Village to Germany’s rating

Marketplace Contributor Jul 24, 2012
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Mid-day Update

PODCAST: Europe in trouble, from the Olympic Village to Germany’s rating

Marketplace Contributor Jul 24, 2012
HTML EMBED:
COPY

First to perhaps the biggest news to break this morning: Eight people have been charged in the phone hacking scandal that closed down Rupert Murdoch’s paper, the News of the World.

Moody’s Investors Service has lowered the outlook for the credit ratings of three of Europe’s strongest economies: Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Germany.

The 2012 Olympic Games begin in London on Friday, but there’s already much debate over the cost of the event, which has already set the country back at least $15 billion.

You can gamble on all kinds of things related to the Olympics — including, apparently, whether London Mayor Boris Johnson will set his hair on fire with the Olympic torch. The mayor is known, among other things, for his shaggy blond hair and for being a bit of a clutz. Put that together with his ceremonial Olympic duties and you had 66-to-1 odds of a hair incident. That was, until, the mayor got his hair cut this week — shorter, but not exactly “short.” The odds are now 100-to-1.

The makers of the Roomba vaccuum cleaner are getting into the health care business. The company IRobot unveiled RP-VITA at the Clinical innovations forum in Santa Barbara. The robot can help patients see their doctor no matter where they are. The robot moves around via joystick and comes with a large screen, where the doctor’s face will appear. The doctor would just have to have access to the Internet and could log with a phone or iPad. I guess you could call it: “Take 2 and call me in the morning 2.0.”

A study out today says voters find targeted, online political ads creepy, and 86 percent didn’t want political ads to be tailored to their interests.

This summer’s drought continues. The National Drought Mitigation Center says nearly two-thirds of states are sweltering under hot and dry conditions. That’s bad news for the farmers there. But growers in the rest of the country could see a banner year.

At the height of vacation season, many well-off families are retreating to newly purchased second homes. The National Association of Realtors reports brisk sales of luxury vacation homes.

Not only can money not buy you love, it could be ruining your friendships. One in five Americans has lost a friend over a money dispute. According to a survey from Harris Interactive, a lot of that had to do with different income levels causing stress when going out for drinks or dinner. And then there are the big ticket items — more than a third of 18-34 year olds have said “no” to being in a wedding party because of the pricetag. At least they said it was the pricetag… might of have just been a really bad bridesmaid’s dress.

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