News in Brief: Ben Bernanke Holds Historic Live Press Conference on Economy, and More …

Ben Bernanke Holds Historic Live Press Conference on Economy

The Wall Street Journal reports that Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke will hold his first-ever official press conference Wednesday, breaking with a tradition that generally sees Fed chairmen only ever delivering pre-written statements and Congressional testimonies, careful not to disquiet an unstable market. He's expected to cover the $600 billion Treasury bond buying program known as QE2, as well as the weak job market and inflation expectations.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour Won't Run for President

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour this week said he won't seek the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, according to McClatchy Newspapers. Barbour, 63, was initially considered a possible frontrunner for the Republicans, but his announcement that he will not seek the nomination signals that the field of candidates is beginning to firm up. Barbour stated to supporters that he was not certain he would have the “absolute fire in the belly” necessary to run and serve as president.

BP Makes $7 Billion Profit as Gas Prices Rise

According to Democracy Now!, oil company British Petroleum (BP) reported a $7 billion profit in the first quarter of the year, a 17 percent increase. BP's revenue comes as the price of a gallon of gas rose above $4 in many parts of the United States and a call by President Barack Obama to end $4 billion tax breaks for companies in the oil and gas industries.