Heat wave – A blistering heat wave retreated to the south Wednesday, bringing some relief to the Ohio Valley and Northeastern United States. The number of states under heat advisories has diminished to 12 – half the number earlier in the week. Dangerous heat is expected across parts of northern Texas through Thursday evening, according to the National Weather Service. Other states still sweltering under heat advisories are Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South and North Carolina, and Virginia.
Roger Clemens trial – A federal jury in Washington are set to hear opening statements Wednesday in Roger Clemens' perjury trial. The former baseball star is accused of lying to a congressional panel about whether he'd ever used steroids.
Deficit talks – Increased tax revenue remains the primary sticking point for negotiators trying to hammer out a deficit reduction bill in Washington. President Barack Obama will host yet another round of talks Wednesday, but congressional Republicans have said they can't agree to any plan that includes a tax increase.
Bernanke report – Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday is set to deliver his semiannual monetary policy report to the House Financial Services Committee. "He's going to want to talk about economic outlook, and they'll want to bring it back to debt ceiling debate, with both sides trying to score points on that about cutting deficits or raising taxes," said Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities.
Northern Ireland riots – Belfast was calm early Wednesday, a day after scores of youths clashed with police in an expression of rage over a parade in the Ardoyne area in the northern part of the city. The clashes Tuesday night marked the second consecutive night of unrest. Nationalist youths threw stones, gasoline bombs, golf balls and fireworks at police following the Orange Order Protestant parade – held on a date often marked by sectarian violence,Â July 12.
British phone hacking scandal –Â British lawmakers grilled Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday about his links to media baron Rupert Murdoch, a day after a top American senator warned that any Murdoch journalists who illegally eavesdropped on 9/11 victims would face "severe" consequences. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, said reported hacking by journalists at Murdoch's News Corp.Â was "offensive and a serious breach of journalistic ethics" as well as a potential violation of U.S. law. The Senate Commerce Committee chairman urged authorities to "investigate to ensure that Americans have not had their privacy violated." British lawmakers investigating the scandal have called Murdoch, his son James and former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks to testify before them next week.