Sunday was a day of severe weather, but a meeting of euro zone finance ministers on Monday could be just as stormy as talks with cash-for-reform talks with Greece continue.
“The Avengers” Hold Off “Hot Pursuit” at the Box Office
It just wasn’t Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon’s weekend. “Hot Pursuit,” a road comedy in which she stars with Sofia Vergara, came in at a cold second in its opening weekend, earning a less-than-forecast $13.3 million. “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” was No. 1 for the second consecutive week with $77.2 million, making it the film with the second highest sophomore weekend gross of all time. “The Age of Adaline” finished three at the box office, followed by “Furious 7” with $5.3 million” and Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” with $5.2 million.
Typhoon Ravages Philippines
Super Typhoon Noul hit the Philippines on Sunday afternoon prompting evacuations and warnings of flooding and landslides. Authorities said they relocated more than 1,200 residents of vulnerable areas to evacuation centers ahead of the typhoon's arrival, CNN reports. The storm, referred to as Dodong in the Philippines, initially hit at the northeastern tip of the island of Luzon, near the small town of Santa Ana, according to the Philippine government agency that monitors the weather. Over roughly two days, Noul could dump as much as 20 inches of rain on some areas, almost the same amount that London gets in a year. In the United States, severe storms were forecast to impact 33 million people.
Madoff Associate Dies Before Sentencing
Forbes first reported that Frank DiPascali, who helped Bernie Madoff carry out his massive Ponzi scheme and then testified for the government, has died. DiPascali, 58, died Thursday of lunch cancer, according to a statement released by his attorney. DiPascali pleaded guilty to crimes related to the Madoff fraud in 2009. He was the star witness at the trial of five convicted aides. He had been free pending the sentencing which was postponed last Month from June until September.
Third Times’ the Charm? China Cuts Rates Again
The People’s Bank of China cut interest rates Sunday for the third time in six months to boost its sluggish economic growth, the Associated Press reports. It also announced it is banks more flexibility in setting rates paid to depositors in a new step to make its financial system more market-oriented. China’s economic growth has fallen to its lowest level since the aftermath of the 2008 global crisis, and exports fell by 6.2 percent in April. Surveys of manufacturers showed factory employment in April fell to its weakest level in a year. Interest rates were previously cut on Nov. 22 and then again on March 1.The country's top economic official, Premier Li Keqiang, said in March that the government would respond if the employment situation worsened.
Nuclear Reactor Fire Releases Oil into Hudson River
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Sunday he is concerned about environmental damage caused by a transformer fire and explosion a day earlier at the Indian Point nuclear plant north of New York City. The explosion released oil into a holding tank, which then overflowed, sending oil into the ground and river, Reuters reports. Cuomo said crews were working to contain and clean up the oil spill, but it is not yet clear how much oil had been released. Entergy Corp, which runs the facility, and is one of the country’s largest nuclear power operators, said the plant is stable and there was no danger to the public or to employees. The power plant is one of 99 licensed to operate in the United States,
Another Week, More Deadlines for Greece
Greece’s talks with lenders on a cash-for-reforms agreement that could ease the country’s cash crisis will continue during Monday’s meeting of euro zone finance ministers. The Euro group of euro zone finance ministers has ruled out finalizing a deal to unlock aid for Greece because too many issues remain unresolved, Reuters reports. Officials have said that any statement they make is unlikely to be enough to allow the European Central Bank to raise the limit on short-term Treasury bills that Greek banks can buy, which would help avert a Greek national bankruptcy.