A compilation of brief news reports for Tuesday, December 9, 2008.


  • 1 US media group Tribune files for bankruptcy protection
  • 2 Quebec votes in general election
  • 3 Bailout for US automakers nears agreement
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The United States media group Tribune Company has filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday as it struggled to sort out its US$13 billion debt. It is the second-largest newspaper publisher in the United States, responsible for the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, among others.

The firm has been hit hard by the industry-wide slump in newspaper advert revenues this year. Sam Zell, the billionaire who owns Tribune, took out large loans in order to buy the firm back in June of 2007.

The United States Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection law states that a company can continue trading whilst it sorts out its finances.


 This story has updates See Quebec’s Liberal premier Jean Charest wins third term 

The Quebec general election is underway in the Canadian province of Quebec. Premier Jean Charest called the elections, saying he needed a majority to guide Quebec through a period of economic difficulties caused by the worldwide financial crisis.

Polls indicate that the Charest may obtain a majority, with support for his Quebec Liberal Party increasing to 45%, while support for the Parti Québécois remains at around 30%.

The polls will close at 01:00 GMT (20:00 local time), and the results will probably come in soon after that.


The United States government is reportedly close to an agreement for a US$15 billion bailout plan for the country’s three largest auto firms.

According to a draft obtained by the Associated Press, the deal would give loans to Detroit‘s struggling Big Three automobile manufacturersFord, General Motors, and Chrysler — but under the condition that the auto industry restructures itself to survive. Another condition is that the incumbent US President, George W. Bush, would appoint an overseer to supervise the effort.

Analysts suggest that the agreement could be signed into law by the end of this week.