Eric Rescorla has a post on the consequences of rumored and actual breaks in commonly used cryptographic hash functions. Since this stuff is being reported as of August 16th, I guess it's what you call breaking news, yes?
Anyway, EKR's post says that since the breaks are in collision-resistance, rather than preimage-resistance, it doesn't have a major impact on security protocols. I don't think so.
Hash functions with weak collision-resistance would be a very bad thing for non-repudiation in signature applications.
This has been described before in motivating the so-called birthday attack* in digital signature applications. That is, you as the originator of a signed message could generate two messages: the first a commitment that you'd like the recipient to rely upon and the second that you'd later claim you'd actually said instead which commits to you to something less than the first.
The birthday attack assumes that collision are hard and that you need to pre-compute a large collection of, for instance, good/bad contract pairs. If collisions are easy, you have a more realistic prospect of coming-up with a plausible pair of good/evil offers.
[*] The commonly-cited countermeasure for the birthday attack is for the counter-party to non-materially modify the offered message before signing. This ignores the fact that there are applications requiring non-repudiation that aren't two-party contracts.