World and Nation

Shorts (left)

Google Aims to Wrest Display Ads from Yahoo

Google is pushing for a second act.

The company has built its fortune almost entirely on the back of small text ads, which appear alongside its search results and on sites across the Web. Now it is stepping up efforts to make inroads into graphical display ads, a business long dominated by Yahoo.

On Friday, Google plans to introduce a long-awaited new version of an ad exchange, like a stock market, where advertisers and publishers can buy and sell advertising space, filling spots in Web pages on the fly.

Google’s chief executive, Eric E. Schmidt, has said repeatedly that display advertising offers one of the company’s best prospects for expansion, now that growth in its text ad business has slowed significantly. The new advertising exchange is a cornerstone of Google’s display strategy, and one of the main reasons Google bought the ad company DoubleClick last year for $3.1 billion.

Google executives say the new system, called the DoubleClick Ad Exchange, will greatly simplify the process of buying and selling display advertising, allowing many more publishers and advertisers to benefit from it.

U.N. Chief Says Working Poor Still Suffer

While economists in developed nations are cautiously pointing to the first signs of renewed economic growth, the global financial crisis is slamming some of the working poor around the world, Ban Ki-moon, the U.N. secretary-general, said Thursday.

“There is talk of green shoots of recovery, but our data show another picture,” Ban told a news conference. “It is not the chronic poor who are most affected, but the near and working poor whose lives had improved significantly over the past decade.”

Although the ability of the United Nations or any other global entity to collect accurate figures about poverty is in dispute, a point Ban conceded, there is general consensus that the poorest people in the world are staggering from the impact of the crisis.

Some 100 heads of state and government are expected to gather at the United Nations in New York beginning next Tuesday for what the organization is calling its biggest annual assembly ever. Much of the focus will be on climate change, with a special meeting on the subject the first day.

Yemen Airstrike Kills 80, Tribal Leaders Say

More than 80 people, including a large number of civilian refugees, were killed in a government airstrike in northern Yemen on Wednesday as they sought shelter from a month-long conflict between the military and rebel forces, provincial tribal leaders said.

Local and international human rights groups have condemned the attack, which appeared to be the deadliest single episode in a worsening war between government forces and the Houthi rebels in Yemen’s remote and mountainous north.

The airstrike took place in Adi, just outside the rebel-controlled town of Harf Sufyan, where a group of refugees from the conflict had gathered under trees and plastic tents, according to tribal figures in the area who asked not to be identified out of fear for their safety. Dozens of people were also wounded in the attack, they said.