From the Wires

Obama to discuss jobs, economy in State of the Union

USA Today: President Obama will stress jobs and the economy in his State of the Union speech, but will also touch on foreign policy.

France approves gay marriage, adoption bill

Huffington Post: France's lower house of parliament approved a bill to legalize gay marriage and allow same-sex couples to adopt children.

Soccer faces battle against match-fixing

Yahoo.com: Soccer is falling under a cloud of suspicion, sullied by a multibillion-dollar web of match-fixing that is corrupting the world's most popular sport.

Health care costs experience slower growth

New York Times: A sharp and surprisingly persistent slowdown in the growth of health care costs is helping to narrow the federal deficit.

VW gets $70 billion to build a "global car"

Reuters: Ulrich Hackenberg isn't yet a household name but if Volkswagen's $70 billion bet on his big idea pays off, he may join the likes of Henry Ford, Alfred Sloan.

Maker's Mark cuts alcohol content due to bourbon scarcity

New York Daily News: Growing popularity has led to a scarcity of bourbon, so Kentucky-based Maker's Mark plans to cut alcohol content by 3%.

Pope Benedict to step down

Reuters: Pope Benedict became the first pontiff to step down since the Middle Ages, saying he no longer had the strength to cope with his ministry.

Wife's gun falls, shoots husband at a Bend McDonald's

KTVZ: While dining in a Bend-area McDonald's on Thursday, a woman's gun fell out of her pocket and shot her husband in the abdomen.

Scientists nail down more precise dinosaur extinction date

BBC: Scientists have determined the most precise date yet for dinosaur extinction, using dating techniques on rock and ash samples. Dinosaurs died 66,038,000 years ago, give or take 11,000 years.

Blizzard takes aim at northeast

Reuters: The northeastern United States braced for a possibly historic blizzard that could drop up to three feet of snow over the weekend.

HP cracks down on student labor in factories

Financial Times: Hewlett-Packard has issued new guidelines to its Chinese suppliers aimed at reducing the long hours worked by temporary student workers.

Slower-growing Apple sparks investor ire

The Wall Street Journal: Solid returns no longer satisfy investors in Apple Inc. A hedge fund manager is suing the company to try to boost shareholder returns with some of the $137 billion in cash it's sitting on.

 

Higher payroll taxes could be affecting broader economy

New York Times: The sharp increase in payroll taxes that went into effect in January could be causing the broader economy to suffer.