Oscar Pistorius is found not guilty of premeditated murder, Wal-Mart and Verizon announce sales plans for the iPhone 6 and oil demand in the world is dropping. Here are the key stories of the day for September 11, 2014.
Jobless Claims Jump
The Labor Department Thursday announced the number of Americans filing new unemployment benefit claims jumped last week, but also said it does not indicate a significant change in the job market. Claims remain near their pre-recession levels, the Labor Department said. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted total of 315,000 for the week ending September 6. That is the highest level since late June, according to the Labor Department. Claims for the prior week were r3evised to show 2,000 more applications received than previously reported. The reporting period did include the Labor Day holiday weekend which causes volatility in the numbers. The four-week average of claims moved up to 304,000 which is not far from the pre-recession levels.
Obama Announces Moves Against ISIL
President Barack Obama Wednesday night announced the campaign that will be conducted to deal with the threat made by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The president was answering calls for an announced strategic plan after saying two weeks ago that no set plan was yet in place to deal with the threat. Obama said a coalition of countries will work to deal with the Islamic State and that will include strategies inside Syria. “With a new Iraqi government in place, and following consultations with allies abroad and Congress at home, I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat," Obama said. "Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.” The President said he will be sending an additional 475 U.S. troops to Iraq but that they will not serve in combat roles.
Wal-Mart, Verizon Announce Plans for iPhone 6
Wal-Mart wasted no time getting into the market for the iPhone 6, saying it will sell the newest suite of phones below the recommended prices. The big box store will offer the 16-gigabyte iPhone 6 for $179 when purchased with a two-year mobile contract, and that is $20 below Apple’s $199 price. The bigger iPhone 6 Plus will go for $20 less than Apple suggested. Meanwhile, Verizon announced it will give subscribers a free iPhone 6 if they turn in an old iPhone and sign up for a two-year contract. Customers who trade in a working iPhone 4, 4s, 5, 5c or 5s will receive a $200 gift card to purchase the iPhone 6.
Trump May Return to Atlantic City
Donald Trump may not be out of Atlantic City yet. Trump Entertainment Resorts received approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for 30 days to determine a cost-cutting turnaround plan to save its Taj Mahal casino-hotel from liquidation. The company plans to close the smaller of its two casinos, Trump Plaza, next week, and that will become the fourth casino-hotel to close in Atlantic City in 2014. Gaming revenues in AC have fallen by about half over the past eight years due to neighboring states getting legalized casino operations. Trump hopes the closures will make his remaining Taj Mahal more viable.
Oil Demand Has Fallen Dramatically
The International Energy Agency says demand growth in the oil markets has dropped much more than previously expected. "The recent slowdown in demand growth is nothing short of remarkable," the IEA said in its monthly report issued Thursday. "While demand growth is still expected to gain momentum, the expected pace of recovery is now looking somewhat more subdued." Demand growth slowed to 500,000 barrels per day in the second half of 2014 on a yearly basis. That marked the slowest level in more than two years. Global oil demand growth for 2014 has dropped to 900,000 million barrels per day and 1.2 million barrels per day for 2015. A weaker outlook for oil use in Europe and China has been responsible for the lower forecasts.
Pistorius Not Guilty of Premeditated Murder
Oscar Pistorius was found not guilty of premeditated murder in the shooting deal of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year. A South African judge said Thursday the state had not proven Pistorius killed Steenkamp on purpose. Pistorius, the former Olympic and Paralympic runner, killed Steenkamp Feb. 14 of 2013 but said he mistook her for an intruders.