News Brief December 16, 2009

On the Enviroment

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry today said Congress will prove the naysayers wrong and pass climate change legislation next year. Speaking at global climate talks in Denmark, Kerry said, “With a successful deal here in Copenhagen, next year, the United States Congress — House and Senate — will pass comprehensive energy-climate legislation that will reduce America’s emissions.” He added that the goal of wrapping up a Senate climate change bill by next spring “can be significantly assisted by what is achieved” at the Copenhagen talks.

Employment

The Federal Reserve, with one eye on double-digit unemployment rates, is expected to keep interest rates at a record low when it wraps up its two-day monthly meeting this afternoon. The target range for loans between banks has been zero to 0.25 percent since last December and is likely to hold for the near future. Meanwhile, the sluggish economy is keeping inflation in check, the Labor Department announced today. The Consumer Price Index rose 0.4 percent last month, following a 0.3 percent boost in October, the Labor Department said. The “core” inflation rate, which does not include energy and food costs, was unchanged for the first time in 11 months.

Competition

The FTC today said it is suing Intel Corp. for using its dominance in the computer chip market to harm competition and strengthen its monopoly. In the complaint, the FTC alleges Intel has “waged a systemic campaign to shut out rivals’ competing microchips by cutting off their access to the marketplace.” The company had no immediate comment.

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