Matthew Tannin and Ralph Cioffi, two former Bear Stearns managers, were arrested Thursday in New Jersey and New York, becoming the first executives to face criminal charges in the wake of the subprime market debacle.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on Thursday urged broad new powers for the Federal Reserve to demand information from Wall Street investment banks and said markets must be prepared for the fact that some firms can fail.

The New York-based Conference Board said Thursday that its forecast of future economic activity rose 0.1 percent in May, another sign of the current snail's-pace growth rate of the current economy.

If elected president, Sen. John McCain said he would push to add 45 new nuclear reactors to the 104 that currently produce about 20 percent of the nation's electricity needs. He also pledged $2 billion annually in federal funds "to make clean coal a reality."

In wrapping up the latest in a series of economic talks Wednesday, the US and China agreed to work on hammering out an investment treaty that offers the prospect of greatly expanded opportunities for US companies in China's vast markets.

Days after a dramatic playoff victory in golf's US Open, Tiger Woods said upcoming knee surgery will force him to sit out the rest of the year. His absence is expected to affect the sport's TV ratings.

At her request, singer-actress Jennifer Lopez appeared at this week's elementary school graduation at New York's Public School 37, a school for autistic children. The pupils had written letters asking for pictures or autographs of the pop star, whose "Let's Get Loud" video had become a classroom favorite.

The Hula Hoop, a major fad when introduced, celebrated its 50th anniversary Thursday. Wham-O Inc, the Emeryville, Calif., company that makes the plastic hoops, doesn't divulge current sales figures. More than 100 million Hula Hoops were sold in the product's first year.

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