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Obama meets Fed chief Bernanke

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WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama met Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke Wednesday to discuss the stuttering US economy and fears of contagion from Europe’s debt crisis.

“The president and the chairman discussed the outlook for the recovery and for jobs as well as fiscal issues, including the need to tackle long-term deficit reduction,” the White House said in a statement.

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“They also discussed the situation in Europe. This was the third time the president met with the chairman this year.”

Obama and Bernanke were joined in the Oval Office meeting by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, White House chief of staff Bill Daley and Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council.

On Tuesday, the Fed pledged to hold interest rates near zero for two more years to counter an economy facing increased risks of stalling.

But it offered no successor to the $600 billion “QE2” stimulus program that wound up in June, though it said it was reviewing the tools it has on hand to boost a slowing economy.


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American Airlines ordered passengers to stop social distancing — because they hadn’t paid for exit seats

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On Wednesday, The New York Times reported that the flight crew on an American Airlines trip ordered two passengers to stop social distancing and move back to their seats.

The reason? The empty row they moved into cost slightly more.

"On a June 30 flight on American Airlines from Dallas to Newark, Joy Gonzalez, an aviation engineer based in Seattle, found herself seated at a window with two older passengers beside her in the middle and aisle seats," reported Elaine Glusac. "In order to gain more social distance, she and the aisle passenger both moved to seats behind them where two rows were empty. But before takeoff, a flight attendant ordered them back to their assigned seats, telling them they had not paid for those exit row seats, which are more expensive."

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US artist’s holiday park sculpture fetches millions

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A huge sculpture by American artist Alexander Calder sold at auction in Paris on Wednesday for over 4.9 million euros, auctioneers Artcurial said, after nearly six decades on display at a holiday park in southern France.

The influential sculptor is known primarily for his colorful and abstract mobiles, of which he made thousands over the course of his career.

But he also made "stabiles" -- the opposite of mobiles -- one of which remained concealed from the general public in La Colle-sur-Loup village, a few dozen kilometres from the ritzy city Cannes.

The black steel 3,5 meter (11 foot) structure was made by Calder in 1963.

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Joe Shapiro’s wife disputes Mary Trump’s claim her husband took SATs for Trump

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Mary Trump's upcoming tell-all book alleges that President Donald Trump's sister did his homework and friend and fellow University of Pennsylvania graduate, Joe Shapiro, took his SATs for him.

ABC News reported Wednesday that Pam Shriver, Shapiro's widow, said that he would never have done something like that.

"He always did the right thing, and that's why this hurts," said Shriver.

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