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Dec. 25, 2012 at 10:14 PM   |   Comments

Poll: 45 percent want more oil regulation

WASHINGTON, Dec. 25 (UPI) -- Oil tops the list of industries U.S. residents would like to be more heavily regulated, closely followed by pharmaceuticals, a Harris Poll said.

In its annual survey, Harris found 31 percent of respondents said no industries need more government regulation. While 45 percent picked oil and 43 percent pharmaceuticals as most in need of tighter regulation, 40 percent said healthcare, 34 percent banks and tobacco companies, 31 percent electric and gas companies and 30 percent managed care companies.

Under 10 percent said computer hardware and software companies, online search engines, online retailers and supermarkets need more regulation. The percentage of people who would like more regulation of banks dropped 5 percentage points from last year's poll.

Thirty-six percent said they would not trust statements by businesses, down from 43 percent last year.

The least trusted industries are tobacco at 3 percent, oil at 6 percent, social media at 8 percent, managed care at 9 percent and telecom at 9 percent.

Only 11 percent trust health insurers and 12 percent each pharmaceuticals, car makers, airlines and life insurance companies.

There was an 8-percentage-point increase in trust in banks, to 20 percent. Supermarkets and hospitals moved up 7 points to 38 percent and 36 percent.

The poll was conducted online Nov. 14-Nov. 19 with a sample of 2,383 adults. Harris does not report margins of error.


Government base overtaken in Sudan

GOLO, Sudan, Dec. 25 (UPI) -- A battle in Central Darfur between Sudanese government and revolutionary troops has resulted in the capture of a government military base in Golo, Sudan.

The Sudan Revolutionary Forces claimed Monday it had captured a major base operated by the Sudanese Armed Forces, leaving the army with only two bases in the area -- but independent Radio Dabanga reported Monday local residents witnessed bombings of the area by the military and troop movements into the area.

A spokesman for the Sudan Revolutionary Force said 90 Sudanese Armed Forces soldiers were killed in the battle and the force lost the base and about 15 trucks.

Several of the trucks were equipped with Dushka guns, a type of heavy machine gun, he said.


Young killer sought in another slaying

BELLEVUE, Wash., Dec. 25 (UPI) -- A teenager convicted in the death of a Seattle street musician known as Tuba Man is now suspected of killing another man in a Bellevue, Wash., bar, police say.

Ja'mari Alexander-Alan Jones, 19, is wanted in the early Monday shooting at the Mirror Lounge at Munchbar that claimed the life of a 30-year-old man and left another man wounded, The Seattle Times reported. The bar was packed with about 600 people, including several members of the Seattle Seahawks, when a gunman fired about five shots.

The names of the victims had not been released.

Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll said none of his players was in the part of the bar where the shooting occurred.

Jones was one of three teens sentenced to juvenile detention in 2009 after pleading guilty to manslaughter in the beating death of Ed "Tuba Man" McMichael, 53. The musician was beaten during an October 2008 robbery and later died of his injuries.


Abe returns to become Japanese PM

TOKYO, Dec. 25 (UPI) -- A slowing economy hobbled by deflation poses the biggest challenge to Shinzo Abe as he prepared Wednesday to become Japan's next prime minister.

Abe is returning to the same post he had held previously after his Liberal Democratic Party won a landslide victory this month in parliamentary elections, which ended the three-year regime of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's Democratic Party of Japan.

Abe becomes Japan's seventh prime minister in six years, an indication of the country's current unstable political scene.

Japanese economy is the world's third largest after that of the United States and China, but it, like its competitors, has been hit by the global crisis and falling exports on which it is heavily dependent. The catastrophic March 2011 earthquake and tsunami has only made the situation worse. The country could be pushed into another recession if the economy in latest quarter ending in December also shows a shrinkage as did the previous one.

Abe's plan to tackle the economy under his "Abenomics" ranges from unlimited monetary easing, big spending on public works and steps to fight deflation to curb the yen's rise, which make Japanese exports more expensive.

Kyodo News reported Abe wants the Bank of Japan to set an inflation target of 2 percent and take drastic monetary easing steps.

Abe's program will be handled by former Prime Minister Taro Aso, expected to become both the new finance minister and deputy prime minister in his Cabinet. Kyodo said Aso took the same bold fiscal steps during the 2008-2009 global financial debacle.

Kyodo said many other positions will also be filled with former Cabinet members who held portfolios before the DPJ's rise to power in 2009. Among them will be former Trade and Industry Minister Akira Amari, expected to take over as minister of economic revitalization, a new post to be created by Abe.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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