Good morning! Here’s what you need to know:1. A gunman yesterday opened fire on a bus carrying US Air Force personnel outside Frankfurt, Germany’s International Airport, killing two and wounding two others. The suspect was described as a “devout Muslim.”
2. Islamic extremists shot dead the most senior Christian in Pakistan’s national government. A message left at the scene of the murder promised that other members of the Pakistan government would be next.
3. Rebels in Libya, fighting off a key offensive by forces loyal to Col. Muammar Qaddafi, called for foreign airstrikes. Senior US defence officials threw cold water all over the idea.
4. President Felipe Calderón is in Washington today to meet with President Barack Obama. Spiraling violence in Mexico’s drug war has frayed ties between the two allies.
5. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke yesterday said that efforts to balance state and local governments will likely bring some stability to the muni market. At the same time, he warned that fiscal repair is “far from complete.”
6. What happens when the Fed stops printing money? No one really knows. But Fed Chairman Bernanke is pivoting toward the eventual end of the stimulus program.
7. The municipal bond market has remained relatively calm despite the political battles rocking state capitals. The selloff panic of late last year appears to have subsided, at least for now.
8. Amid huge protests, the Ohio State Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would sharply limit negotiating rights for public-sector employees. The legislation is expected to pass the state House next week.
9. Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka will retire in 2012. The 86-year-old junior senator from Hawaii has held the seat since 1990.
10. Nearly 10% of all Medicare payments are fraudulent, according to a new GAO report. The study says that regulators aren’t doing enough to stop the improper payments, which are costing the government $48 billion on an annual basis.
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