Madoff agrees to extension of asset freeze

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bernard Madoff, the Wall Street investment adviser accused of running a $50 billion securities fraud, has agreed to extend court orders freezing his assets and appointing a receiver for his firm, according to court documents.

Three Danish soldiers killed in Afghanistan

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Three Danish soldiers were killed and one was wounded on Friday when their armored vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb or mine in Helmand province in south-west Afghanistan, the Danish Army Central Command said.

Trade deals must protect workers, environment: Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States will insist on strong protections for workers and the environment in future trade deals, President-elect Barack Obama said on Friday as he introduced his nominee to be chief U.S. trade negotiator.

Ex-Willbros executive in U.S. bribery charge

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A former executive and a former consultant for a subsidiary of energy-services firm Willbros Group Inc were indicted for paying $6 million in bribes to government officials in Nigeria and Ecuador, the Justice Department said on Friday.

Blagojevich declares innocence, won’t resign

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich said on Friday he had done nothing wrong and would not resign in the wake of charges he tried to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

Job Losses Hit the Tech Sector (At Long Last)

In the fine print of a jobs report published today is some mixed news for Silicon Valley. For the first time in this downturn, the region lost jobs; it has 4,000 fewer jobs than it did a year ago at this time, and its unemployment rate is 7 percent,

UPDATE 1-Huntsman banks provide funding for breakup fee

NEW YORK, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Two banks that were to finance
the now-collapsed $6.5 billion buyout of chemicals firm
Huntsman Co. , provided funding to the buyer, Hexion
Specialty Chemicals, to cover payment of a $325 million deal
breakup fee, Hexion said on Friday.

UPDATE 1-Teva gains clearances for Barr deal, sets closing

NEW YORK, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
Ltd gained clearances on Friday from U.S. and European
antitrust regulators for its acquisition of rival generic
drugmaker Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc and set Dec. 23 as
the deal’s closing date.