Links and Reading for March 12th

Some of the more interesting and important items for March 12th :

  • Stocks To Watch Today – – In a Thursday hearing of the U.S. Senate’s Health, Labor and Pensions Committee, Senator Tom Harkin (D, Iowa) spotlighted Bridgepoint Education (BPI), a company whose behavior represents everything that Harkin decries in the for-profit higher education industry. Witnesses from Bridgepoint’s academic, state and federal regulators described how the San Diego- based company had bought a small, failing university in Iowa called The Franciscan University of the Prairies so that Bridgepoint’s online Ashford University could use the little school’s accreditation to collect federal education dollars. The company declined an invitation to appear. Republican committee members railed against Harkin’s pursuit of the for-profit college industry, with Mike Enzi (R, Wyo.) calling the proceedings the “most biased and poorly executed hearings in my nearly 15 years in the Senate.”
  • Why Sina might be bought out – The Globe and Mail – In 18 months, it has created from scratch a Twitter-like service called Sina Weibo that – as of last month – surpassed 100 million users. That's something that took Twitter twice the amount of time.<br />
    <br />
    To call Weibo a Twitter clone does it a disservice. It's actually much more functional than Twitter with a superior Apple iPhone application, commenting and forwarding system, along with instant messaging and location-based services. It is more of a combination of Twitter and Facebook that a pure copycat of Twitter.
  • Apple May Sell 600,000 IPad 2s in Debut, Outpacing First Model – Bloomberg – Apple Inc. (AAPL) may sell 600,000 of the second version of the iPad when it debuts this weekend, extending the device’s lead in a crowding market.
  • Powerful Quake Rocks Japan, Triggers Deadly Tsunami – Video – Bloomberg – March 11 (Bloomberg) — Japan was struck by its strongest earthquake in at least a century, an 8.9-magnitude temblor that shook buildings across Tokyo and unleashed a tsunami as high as 10 meters, engulfing towns along the northern coast. At least 26 people were killed by the 33-foot wave and many are missing, according to state broadcaster NHK Television. Bloomberg's Mike Firn reports. (Source: Bloomberg)
  • Merkel Said to Back Lower Bailout Rates for Greece, Ireland – Bloomberg – German Chancellor Angela Merkel told lawmakers she would back lower interest rates for emergency loans if Greece agrees to sell state assets and Ireland backs a common corporate tax base in the euro region.