Mideast peace? What Mideast peace?

As President Obama prepares to leave for a visit to Saudi Arabia and a major speech in Cairo, he is also struggling to revive a U.S.-backed Mideast process that has effectively come to a dead end.

GM hopes for quick exit from bankruptcy

General Motors hopes to follow the lead of fellow U.S. automaker Chrysler by transforming its most profitable assets into a new company in just 30 days and emerging from bankruptcy protection soon after.

But Detroit-based General Motors Corp. is much larger and complex than its Auburn Hills, Mich.-based rival and isn’t up against Chrysler LLC’s tight June 15 deadline with Fiat.

GM is just the latest government takeover

The U.S. assumption of a controlling interest in General Motors Corp. isn’t the first time the government has nationalized a company or an industry. It has taken shares in banks, railways, steel mills, coal mines and foreclosed homes.

Most nationalizations were during wartime. But the current financial crisis has generated more than a few.

Last year, the government took effective control of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

General Motors goes bankrupt today

General Motors Corp., the century-old automaker battered by the economic downturn, mounting debt and management problems, will file for bankruptcy Monday.

It will be the largest industrial bankruptcy in U.S. history and the fourth-largest overall and comes as smaller rival Chrysler appears ready to make a speedy exit from its own court proceedings.

The move will give the government a 60 percent ownership stake and an unprecedented role in reshaping the auto industry.

Employees rip off child abuse non-profit

A national nonprofit that helps victims of child sexual abuse across the country was ripped off in a scam orchestrated by three of its own employees, according to federal court documents.

Prosecutors say the Washington-based National Children’s Alliance lost more than $50,000 in a payroll scheme run by the organization’s former chief financial officer and two of his subordinates.

As described in court documents, each person’s take in the scheme appears based on their position in the organization.

Torture photos? What torture photos?

A retired US Army general has denied reports that he has seen the pictures of prisoner abuse in Iraq that President Barack Obama is fighting to keep secret.

Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported Thursday that retired Army Major General Antonio Taguba, the lead investigator into Abu Ghraib abuse, had seen images Obama wanted suppressed, and supported the president’s decision to fight their release.

The paper quoted Taguba as saying, "These pictures show torture, abuse, rape and every indecency."

Psst! Anyone seen that missing hard drive?

The National Archives is offering a $50,000 reward for recovery of a missing computer drive containing sensitive Clinton administration data.

The Western Digital My Book external hard drive was discovered missing about March 24 from an Archives processing room in College Park, Md. The Archives said Friday that its inspector general and the Secret Service have not uncovered any evidence of theft or targeting of the device for its data.

Widespread abuse of government credit cards

Laser eye surgery may improve one’s visual horizons, but it doesn’t qualify as a travel expense, a congressional office says in a report on abuses of the federal travel card system.

The Congressional Research Service, in a recent survey, found that federal employees in a wide range of agencies misuse travel cards to buy goods for their personal use, travel first-class or simply bilk the government.

So, what happens to Detroit now?

It’s surreal to be here in the Motor City these days, wondering how or if it will reinvent itself. As Pittsburgh was once Steel City and then became a Mecca for medical researchers, one wonders if this symbol of man’s ingenuity in moving around will find new life or decay even more.

Let’s face it: America is broke

"We’re out of money," President Obama admitted. "We’re operating in deep deficits," he said in a C-Span interview last week.

While Obama is refreshingly realistic, he resembles a man who strolls into a bar, sees that his wallet is empty, and then slaps a round of drinks for everyone onto his wheezing credit card.