VIDEO: Today's Headline News from Associated Press
OBAMA PITCHES MORTGAGE OVERHAUL AS HOUSING RALLIES
PHOENIX (AP) -- President Barack Obama says taxpayers can no longer be on the hook for bad decisions by mortgage lenders.
Obama says owning a home is supposed to fulfill the American principle that hard work and responsibility pay off. He says recklessness by lenders and buyers triggered a housing collapse, and the market is still healing.
Obama says it's time to overhaul the mortgage finance system to help more Americans afford homes with less risk to the government. He's proposing to shutter government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and give private capital a bigger role in mortgage lending. He's also pushing to expand refinancing for current homeowners and increase access to affordable rental housing.
Obama is speaking in Phoenix, which was hard hit by the housing crisis but has recently rebounded.
STUDY DISPUTES LINK BETWEEN COMBAT AND SUICIDE
CHICAGO (AP) -- Combat appears to have little or no influence on suicide rates among U.S. troops and veterans, according to a military study that challenges the conventional thinking about war's effects on the psyche.
Depression and other types of mental illness, alcohol problems and being male - strong risk factors for suicide among civilians - were all linked to self-inflicted deaths among current and former members of the military.
But the researchers found deployment and combat did not raise the risk.
"The findings from this study are not consistent with the assumption that specific deployment-related characteristics, such as length of deployment, number of deployments, or combat experiences, are directly associated" with suicides, the authors wrote.
The results echo smaller studies focusing on a specific branch of the military, but this is the first to look at a sampling from the entire military population, said lead author Cynthia LeardMann, a researcher with the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego.
More than 145,000 people from all branches took part, including active-duty service members, reservists and retirees, and they were followed from 2001 to 2008, a period in which the U.S. waged wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The findings were published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
CHALLENGES FACE AMAZON FOUNDER AS HE BUYS WASHINGTON POST
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Jeff Bezos turned selling books online into a multibillion-dollar business that has changed retailing forever. Many are now anxious to see if Bezos can do the same for the media industry, after the Amazon.com founder announced he is buying The Washington Post and other newspapers for $250 million.
Monday's news of the sale to the 49-year-old pioneer of Internet commerce came as a shock to observers, many of whom thought the Graham family would never sell. It also sparked hope among the ranks of reporters beset by seemingly endless cutbacks.
Among his champions are the members of the family selling the paper, including publisher Katharine Weymouth, who promised to stay on as publisher.
As some journalists shed tears, others expressed optimism.
"Jeff Bezos seems to me exactly the kind of inventive and innovative choice needed to bring about a recommitment to great journalism," said Carl Bernstein, whose co-reporting of the Watergate scandal in the early 1970s cemented the newspaper's identity as a political watchdog.
Bezos is buying the newspaper as an individual. Amazon.com Inc. is not involved.
Bezos said to Post employees in a letter distributed to the media that he'd be keeping his "day job" as Amazon CEO and a life in "the other Washington" where Amazon's headquarters are based in Seattle.
But he made clear there would be changes, if unforeseen ones, coming.
"The Internet is transforming almost every element of the news business: shortening news cycles, eroding long-reliable revenue sources, and enabling new kinds of competition, some of which bear little or no news-gathering costs," Bezos wrote. "There is no map, and charting a path ahead will not be easy. We will need to invent, which means we will need to experiment."
Washington Post Co. chairman and CEO Donald Graham called Bezos a "uniquely good new owner." He said the decision was made after years of newspaper industry challenges. The company, which will continue to own the Kaplan college and test preparation business along with six TV stations, will change its name but didn't say what it will be.
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