As Fed chair, Yellen would face challenges
WASHINGTON — If she becomes the next Federal Reserve chair, the challenges that lay ahead for Janet Yellen will require both the steely intellect and the personable style many attribute to her.
The job as the world’s most important banker comes with a daunting to-do list: deciding when to slow the Fed’s stimulus, forging consensus from a fractious policy committee and calculating the effects of any economic slowdown from Washington’s budget fight. That’s in addition to monitoring volatile financial markets and fine-tuning the Fed’s communications.
First, though, Yellen will have to get there. She will need to overcome Washington’s toxic political environment and win confirmation from the Senate to succeed Ben Bernanke when his term ends Jan. 31.
It’s almost enough to make you wonder why she would want the job.
Yellen is widely seen as a “dove” on Fed policy. She stresses the need to use the Fed’s tools to boost growth and reduce unemployment in the sluggish aftermath of the Great Recession, rather than worry about igniting future inflation.
Ex-cop killed after firing at W. Va. courthouse
WHEELING, W.Va. — A man with an assault-type rifle fired up to two dozen rounds at the federal court building in a West Virginia city Wednesday before security officers returned fire, critically wounding the gunman, the U.S. Marshals Service said.
One security officer within the Wheeling Federal Building was injured by flying debris, but there were no other injuries, said Chief Deputy Mike Claxton of the West Virginia Marshals Service.
The gunman, whose name was not released, was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, Claxton said. He said investigators were seeking a search warrant for the gunman’s home in hopes of determining the motive and if he acted alone.
NYPD undercover officer in biker melee unmasked
NEW YORK — An undercover police detective accused of punching out an SUV window during a motorcycle rally that descended into violence was unmasked Wednesday in a courtroom where he was confronted with serious assault charges.
But Detective Wojciech Braszczok’s lawyer insisted he would be exonerated by the very video prosecutors say incriminates him in the Sept. 29 melee.
Attorney John Arlia said the video clearly shows Braszczok didn’t participate in the eventual attack on the SUV driver and was nowhere near him. Braszczok hasn’t been charged with assaulting the driver, Alexian Lien, who authorities said was pulled from his Range Rover and beaten on the street by other motorcyclists.
Braszczok has been charged with assault and criminal mischief.
NASA spacecraft arcs around Earth en route to Jupiter
LOS ANGELES — NASA’s Juno spacecraft whipped around Earth on Wednesday, using our home planet as a gravity slingshot to fling itself toward Jupiter.
Snapping pictures during the swing past Earth, Juno hurtled 350 miles above the ocean off the coast of South Africa, the point of closest encounter.
Previous missions to the outer solar system have used Earth as a celestial springboard since there’s no rocket powerful enough to make a direct flight. The Galileo spacecraft buzzed by Earth twice in the 1990s en route to Jupiter, the solar system’s largest planet located 484 million miles from the sun.
Launched in 2011, Juno flew beyond the orbit of Mars before looping back toward Earth for a quick visit. Wednesday’s flyby boosted Juno’s speed from 78,000 mph relative to the sun to 87,000 mph — enough momentum to cruise past the asteroid belt to Jupiter, where it should arrive in 2016.
By wire sources