Officials: Fed may need to take new action
WASHINGTON, June 7 (UPI) -- The U.S. economic recovery risks being derailed and the Federal Reserve might have to take new actions to support growth, three Fed officials said.
"The balance of risks" appears "tilted toward a weaker economy," Fed Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen said in Boston Wednesday night, pointing to the possibility inflation would drop below the Fed's 2 percent goal or economic growth would slow.
She said she was convinced the Fed should "provide further policy accommodation," either with assurances interest rates would stay low or by expanding the central bank's already sizable holdings of long-term securities.
Yellen's views are often similar to those of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, The Washington Post said.
Bernanke was scheduled to testify before Congress Thursday.
The presidents of the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and San Francisco separately expressed concerns Wednesday eurozone turmoil could derail the U.S. economic recovery.
Obama to push 'immediate' euro rescue plan
BERLIN, June 7 (UPI) -- Europe has weeks to save the euro and must create an "immediate" rescue plan, the United States and Britain plan to tell Germany Thursday, Britain said.
Such a rescue plan could involve Germany pledging to underwrite struggling countries' debt, officials said.
British Prime Minister David Cameron was to tell German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin Thursday he and U.S. President Barack Obama believe an authoritative agreement that fully gets the job done must be reached this month -- and there are two crucial summits in which to do it, officials said.
Those meetings are the Group of 20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, June 18-19 -- when Obama, Cameron, Merkel and other leaders of 19 major-economy countries and the European Union get together -- and an EU leaders summit in Brussels June 28-29.
The G20 summit will take place a day after Greek elections that could push Greece closer to dropping out of the eurozone if voters choose a government that repudiates Greece's debts or is unwilling to accept international lenders' further austerity measures to qualify for more aid, analysts say.
Downing Street said Cameron and Obama agreed in a phone call Tuesday on the critical need for direct action.
Annan: Iran could help remove Assad
UNITED NATIONS, June 7 (UPI) -- Iran and other nations could create plan to ease Syrian President Bashar Assad from power, special envoy Kofi Annan was to tell U.N. Security Council Thursday.
Annan, a joint U.N.-Arab League envoy, has been in talks with Western and Arab officials about establishing a group of world and regional powers, including Syrian allies Russia and Iran, to discuss the political removal of Assad, people familiar with Annan's mission told The Wall Street Journal and other news organizations.
Annan was to discuss the idea with U.N. member states when he briefs the Security Council in a special session, the people said.
The session was to be chaired by Chinese U.N. Ambassador Li Baodong, whose country is the Security Council president this month.
China is also an Assad supporter.
Annan is to discuss his proposal with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington Friday.
Egyptian presidential hopeful warns West
CAIRO, June 7 (UPI) -- Egyptian presidential candidate Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood said if he wins the upcoming runoff, his administration would not bow to the West.
Morsi told a Cairo rally there would be "no more injustice or corruption in society" and "we shall no longer be submissive to the West" if he wins in the June 16-17 runoff, al-Arabiya reported Thursday.
He also vowed to create equal employment opportunities and medical care for all, the network said, quoting a report by Egypt Independent.
Morsi won 24.77 percent of the vote in the first round of elections in May and will face former Mubarak ally Ahmed Shafiq in the runoff.
Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court said Wednesday it will consider next Thursday the constitutionality of the political isolation law that may disqualify Shafiq, the network said.
The political isolation law was adopted in April to bar top Mubarak-era officials from running for president. Shafiq served as vice president under ousted strongman Hosni Mubarak.
New test for genetic disorders in fetuses
SEATTLE, June 7 (UPI) -- A non-invasive blood test of a pregnant woman and the baby's father can sequence the whole fetal genome to check for abnormalities, U.S. researchers say.
Jacob Kitzman and Matthew Snyder, working in the laboratory of Dr. Jay Shendure, an associate professor of genome sciences at the University of Washington, said fetal DNA appears in the mother's plasma a few weeks after conception, rises during gestation and vanishes after the baby is born.
The concentration varies among individuals, but about 10 percent of the cell-free DNA in a pregnant woman's blood plasma comes from the fetus, Kitzman said.
There are other maternal blood tests for major aberrations in the fetus' genetic makeup, but they search for just a few genetic disorders or specific congenital abnormalities.
Kitzman said his team's method could assess many and more subtle variations in the fetus' genome, down to a minute, one-letter change in the DNA code.
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