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November 08, 2011 01:39 PM

Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief


Stocks have turned higher on Wall Street. They've been moving between positive and negative territory all day as traders watch developments in Italy. The Italian president now says Premier Silvio Berlusconi is promising to resign after parliament passes economic reforms demanded by the European Union.
  • Power-sharing talks between Greece's prime minister and the opposition leader have dragged on into the evening. But senior government officials say a deal is near. The two agreed over the weekend to put together an interim government that will shepherd a new $179 billion European rescue package through Parliament.
  • Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is proposing to hold 15 lease sales for oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and three off Alaska's coast. But that's not enough to satisfy Republicans, who are pushing to greatly expand drilling as a way to create jobs and wean the country off foreign oil.
  • Government advisers are warning that the nation's transition to computerized medical records could create unforeseen patient safety problems. A report by a panel from the influential Institute of Medicine says potential problems range from computer crashes to quirky systems. It recommends creating an independent agency to investigate safety problems linked to computerized medical records, including injuries and deaths.
  • Some of the Occupy Wall Street activists in New York are planning to take a two-week walk to Washington. About a dozen of them plan to leave Manhattan at noon tomorrow and arrive in Washington by the Nov. 23 deadline for a congressional committee to decide whether to keep President Barack Obama's extension of Bush-era tax cuts. The 240-mile trek will pass through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland.
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