Fed Reserve gets no bids for loans by deadlineWASHINGTON — Investors showed no appetite for a government plan intended to boost the availability of commercial real-estate loans. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says it received no investor requests for loans by Tuesday’s deadline. Investors would use the money to buy newly issued securities backed by commercial real-estate loans. The Fed has been counting on this new option — part of the broader Term-Asset-Backed Securities Loan Program — to increase the availability of commercial real-estate loans, help prevent defaults and facilitate the sale of distressed properties. The program is intended to spark consumer and small-business lending. Investors have requested billions of dollars worth of loans under that part of the program.
New FDA boss pushing fruit, vegetable safetyWASHINGTON — Calling it "a critical time” for food safety, the Food and Drug Administration’s new chief said Tuesday she plans to strengthen steps to prevent contamination of fresh fruit and vegetables. Dr. Margaret Hamburg said the FDA must set and enforce tougher standards for the riskiest products — and a string of recent outbreaks linked to spinach, lettuce, tomatoes and peppers put fresh produce atop her list as she takes over the embattled agency. "We are focusing not on keeping a tally of how many inspections we do or how many drugs we approve but how do we make a difference in people’s lives,” Hamburg said. WORLD
China changes order on filtering softwareBEIJING — China’s authoritarian government has backed away from an order to load Internet-filtering software on every new computer after a major outcry by citizens used to the relative freedom of online life. Legal challenges, petitions and satirical cartoons had been part of a broad grassroots effort to scuttle the initiative since it was announced earlier this month. A Ministry of Industry and Information Technology official said Tuesday that Chinese computer users are not required to use or install the Green Dam Youth Escort software — though the software will come preinstalled or be included on a compact disc with all PCs sold on the mainland from July 1. FROM WIRE REPORTS