Balance Sheet

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Assets

Eminent Victory

The Ohio Supreme Court rules that Buckeye State cities can't use eminent domain powers to claim land for economic development schemes. The City of Norwood had tried to take 70 middle-income homes and turn them into a private $125 million mixed-use development.

Line Level

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker refuses to dismiss a suit against AT&T, and by extension the National Security Agency, over secret, warrantless wiretaps allegedly installed on AT&T fiberoptic lines. Walker dismisses government claims that the operation is a state secret, explaining, "Plaintiffs made no agreement with the government and are not bound by any implied covenant of secrecy."

Plug 'n' Play

Toyota says it is moving toward gasoline-electric hybrid cars with bigger batteries and the ability to recharge at any common electrical outlet—a key range-boosting feature.

Mission Accomplished

The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation does the unthinkable for a government agency: It puts itself out of business. Created in the wake of 9/11, the public corporation has achieved its goal of spurring development, officials say.

Brand Freedom

Consumers reject closed technologies from two of the world's biggest brands. Disney's $135 million ESPN Mobile cell phone service flounders, and retailers pull Sony's proprietary "universal movie discs" from shelves.

Nutrition Knowledge

Contra the assumptions of the public health diet cops, people seem to know what they're eating. Almost 80 percent of respondents to an AP-Ipsos poll report they read food labels in grocery stores.

Liabilities

Dead Doha

The latest round of trade talks collapses without an agreement. Blame America's addiction to farm subsidies and Europe's addiction to high agricultural tariffs.

Gag Order

SUNY Fredonia tells professor Stephen Kershnar to stop challenging the school's affirmative action policies—or else. Fredonia administrators denied Kershnar a promotion, explicitly citing his "deliberate and repeated misrepresentations of campus policies and procedures," which "impugned the reputation of SUNY Fredonia."

Childhood's End

A poll by kidshealth.org finds that 40 percent of 9-to-13-year-olds say they are stressed from having too much to do, and 78 percent wish they had more free time. Some 39 percent said they were in three or more organized activities, and 47 percent had one or two activities.

Boxed Out

Chicago aldermen pass a bill forcing big-box stores to pay a higher minimum wage by 2010. Wal-Mart's response: It plans to build more stores outside the city limits.

Net Minders

The Business Roundtable, the big-business brain trust, calls in the federal government to come up with a "national policy" to help companies guard against "cyberattack."

Market Fakers

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors imposes tougher requirements on developers to build and sell real estate at below-market prices. Previous regulations had helped drive up the price of housing. Obviously, even more regulation is just what they need to fix that.

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