A High-Tech Proposal: Comcast and NBC Universal have announced a $30 billion merger that would create a new entertainment powerhouse with a far-reaching distribution network and a rich trove of television and movie programming, The Washington Post reports. The deal would give Comcast control of about one out of five television hours, including shows like "The Tonight Show" and reality hits as "The Biggest Loser" and Bravo's "The Real Housewives" series.
War in Afghanistan: President Barack Obama's plan to build up and then draw down troop levels in Afghanistan over the next 18 months has leaders in that country and Pakistan concerned, The New York Times reports. In Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta said Obama's plan was akin to "shock therapy" and he wondered whether his country would be ready to take over security efforts in 2011.
White House Clashes With Black Caucus: A clash between the Obama administration and the Congressional Black Caucus heated up yesterday when 10 black lawmakers refused to appear at a House committee vote on financial regulations, The Wall Street Journal reports. That move nearly allowed Republicans to kill a major Democratic bill. The Journal reports that the frustrations described by members of the caucus have less to do with the vote on the financial regulations and more to do with broader concerns about a weak economy.
Rates Movin' On Up: Law firm consultants say general counsels are looking for at least a freeze on rates in the coming year, and many have asked for cuts to 2009 billing rates of as much as 15 percent. But that pushback comes at a time when a new Altman Weil survey projects that law firms expect to increase rates in 2010, The American Lawyer reports. On average, rates are expected to go up by about 4.1 percent with the largest U.S. firms expecting an even higher increase.