By Mark Memmott
Be prepared for another tough day in the financial markets. As we reported earlier, the early signs point to more declines on Wall Street.
And sticking with news about Wall Street for a moment; as we said a short time ago, the Senate last evening passed its version of legislation to overhaul financial regulation by a mostly partisan 59-39 vote.
Meanwhile, other stories making headlines include:
-- Houston Chronicle -- "BP Falls Short In Estimate Of Oil Spill Rate": "BP said on Thursday it is capturing 5,000 barrels of oil a day from a leaking pipe in the Gulf of Mexico -- a double-edged progress report that showed that the company and government have been understating the scope of the spill for more than a month. Their estimate has been 5,000 barrels a day, but with BP capturing that amount, live video from the well showed oil still was billowing into the water almost a mile below the surface of the Gulf."
Related news -- BP Puts Video Feed Of Leak Online: Under pressure from lawmakers such as Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., BP put the live video feed of oil and gas gushing from one of the leaks at the bottom of the Gulf online here.
-- The New York Times -- "Clinton Condemns Attack On South Korean Ship": In Tokyo today, " Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton harshly condemned North Korea ... for a deadly torpedo attack on a South Korean Navy warship last March, and promised to marshal an international response in the coming week with Japan, China and other countries."
-- The Wall Street Journal -- "Facebook, MySpace Confront Privacy Loophole": "Facebook, MySpace and several other social-networking sites have been sending data to advertising companies that could be used to find consumers' names and other personal details, despite promises they don't share such information without consent. ... After questions were raised by The Wall Street Journal, Facebook and MySpace moved to make changes. By Thursday morning Facebook had rewritten some of the offending computer code."
-- Morning Edition -- Intel Chief Blair Is Fired; Being Held Accountable For Failures Associated With Attempted Christmas Day Bombing: Admiral Dennis Blair, the director of national intelligence, was "effectively fired," NPR's Tom Gjelten reports. The incident that appears to have sealed his fate was the failure to "connect the dots" before the attempt to blow up a passenger jet last Christmas Day as it flew toward Detroit:
-- BBC News -- "Thai P.M. Abhisit Says County Under Control": Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva "says order has been restored to the capital, Bangkok, and throughout the country. Mr Abhisit said the government would 'move swiftly to restore normalcy' following a week of violence which left more than 50 people dead. In a televised address he said reconciliation efforts would continue to address political divisions."
-- Morning Edition -- "Scientists Create First Synthetic Cell": "A team of scientists has created what they say is the first synthetic cell. Although the achievement may pave the way to better ways to make biofuels and vaccine, for some it raises troubling moral questions." NPR's Joe Palca reports.
Contributing: Chinita Anderson of Morning Edition.