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A view of Northern Africa and Europe showing hypothetical infrastructure for a massive renewable energy project called Desertec that could create up to 240,000 jobs, according to a study released on Tuesday. (Desertec.org handout graphic)

Today's top stories:

1. Markets tumble after dour jobs report
U.S. stocks finished lower on Thursday, as investors digested more job losses (467,000) than expected and rising unemployment (9.5 percent). Among the major indices, the Dow fell 2.6 percent to 8,280.74 points; the Nasdaq slipped 2.7 percent to 1,796.52; and the S&P 500 was down 2.9 percent to 896.42.

2. GM warns of liquidation if sale not approved
General Motors Corp., with backing from the U.S. government, told a bankruptcy court judge today that the car maker would be forced to liquidate its assets if a proposed ‘fast-track’ sale to a “New GM” entity was not approved. Lawyers for the automaker were in their third day and final day of court proceedings where they are battling against some bondholders which say GM’s plans to keep on the good assets and auction off poorly performing or unneeded car brands, factories and other liabilities is illegal.

3. Desertec could create 240,000 jobs
Desertec a $555.8 billion renewable energy project in the Sahara to deliver power to Europe was estimated could create 240,000 jobs in Germany and generate $2,822 billion worth of power by 2050, according to a study by Wuppertal Institute for Climate for Greenpeace and the Club of Rome.

4. Microsoft and Facebook race to real time
The race among some of the biggest online companies to reveal more of the instant opinions and information flooding across the internet in real time has intensified, with Microsoft and Facebook each announcing important initiatives in recent days.

5. Seizure of Madoff's property begins
U.S. marshals began on Thursday the seizure of the luxury $7 million Manhattan apartment of imprisoned fraudster Bernard Madoff and his wife, Ruth Madoff. The Madoffs agreed with U.S. prosecutors to forfeit any claims to their assets, property and accounts and after Madoff, 71, pleaded guilty in March to orchestrating Wall Street's biggest investment fraud.

6. EPA expands comment period on Renewable Fuel Standard
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency extended today its comment period by 60 days on the Renewable Fuel Standard program or RFS-2 until September 25. It aims to gather meaningful feedback before the agency issues final rules for alternative fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol.L.A. to stop coal-fired power

7. MySpace Case Conviction Thrown Out by Judge
A federal judge has tentatively thrown out the convictions of a Missouri mother for her role in a MySpace hoax directed at a 13-year-old who ended up committing suicide. Lori Drew was convicted in a trial, but the judge says that if she is to be found guilty of illegally accessing computers, anyone who has ever violated the social networking site's terms of service would be guilty of a misdemeanor.

8. June job loss rate rises to 9.5 percent
The unemployment rate rose for the month of June peaking at its highest level in 25 years. Job losses dropped a staggering 467,000 far more than the 350,000 amount forecast by economists.

9. L.A. to stop coal-fired power
The Major of the city of Los Angeles, California, Antonio Villaraigosa said the city will eliminate the use of electricity made from coal by 2020 and replace it with power from cleaner and renewable energy sources.

10. Intel-Nokia tie takes few years to succeed: Barrett
Intel Corp's former chief executive and chairman, Craig Barrett, said on Thursday it would take a few years to see whether Intel's technology partnership with Nokia succeeds. Last week Intel announced a technology partnership with Nokia that could potentially give the chip maker the breakthrough it has been looking for into the mobile market.