Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011


President Obama said the U.S. troops that will be stationed in Australia's northernmost city will help ensure the security of vital sea lanes, as the U.S. moves to blunt China's expanding influence.

Republicans and Democrats on Congress's supercommittee are hardening their positions with less than a week until the deadline to propose a plan to cut the U.S. deficit.

Business-friendly House Democrats are urging Congress to overhaul the tax code by lowering corporate rates, removing breaks and easing the burden on U.S. companies' overseas operations, mirroring some Republican goals.

Applications for jobless benefits decreased 5,000 in the week ended Nov. 12 to 388,000, the lowest level since April.

The Greek government will begin talks with banks tomorrow on the terms of the voluntary debt swap that is part of the country's international bailout agreement, a European official said.

Denmark's $495 billion mortgage-bond industry is lobbying the European Union to soften its stance on liquidity requirements for banks and says concessions to date are inadequate.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's general economic index decreased to 3.6 in November from 8.7 the prior month. Readings greater than zero indicate manufacturing growth in the area covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index's monthly expectations gauge climbed to minus 32, the best reading since July, from minus 45 the previous month. The weekly measure of current conditions was minus 50 for the period ended Nov. 13, climbing for a second week after sinking to an almost three-year low.

New York police stood prepared for tens of thousands of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators to descend on the Financial District, and ringed the area with metal barricades to deter crowds from reaching their goal of surrounding the New York Stock Exchange.

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At least six people have been killed and dozens more injured as a storm system that spawned several possible tornadoes moved across the Southeast.

Tightening ties with Asian nations as China's might rises, President Barack Obama prepared Thursday to be the first U.S. president to take part in a summit of East Asian nations.

Germany's justice minister is pledging a quick and comprehensive investigation of the crimes of a small band of neo-Nazis and how they managed to operate under the radar of authorities for years, allegedly killing 10 people and robbing a string of banks.

A man clad in black who was obsessed with President Obama pulled his car within view of the White House at night and fired shots from an assault rifle, cracking a window of the first family's living quarters while the president was away, authorities said about their still-developing investigation. The U.S. Secret Service found two bullets had hit the White House and agents caught up with Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez in Pennsylvania after a four-day search.

Hundreds of passengers traveling from India to Britain were stranded Thursday in Amritsar, India, by the charter airline Comtel, which was asking them to kick in money to cover the cost of fuel and fees.

The U.N. weather agency says La Nina conditions re-emerged in August and will likely continue through the rest of 2011 and into early next year. The La Nina phenomenon is characterized by cooler sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific, greater rainfall in the southern Pacific, and dry conditions in parts of east Africa, southwest Asia and the southern United States.

U.S. builders started slightly fewer homes in October but submitted plans for a wave of apartments, a mixed sign for the struggling housing market.

The average rate on the 30-year mortgage stayed near 4 percent for the third straight week, just above the record low.


Radioactive cesium has been detected above the safety level in rice for the first time in Japan since the nuclear crisis began at the Fukushima plant.

US officials say they uncovered a major drug-smuggling tunnel under the border with Mexico and seized an estimated 14 tons of marijuana. More than 30 have been discovered this year.

China's unmanned Shenzhou 8 craft returns to Earth after completing the nation's first docking maneuvers in orbit.


A hearing, with the apparent support of two state lawmakers, is scheduled before the New Hampshire Ballot Law Commission to hear a complaint filed by Orly Taitz that alleges Barack Obama has used fraudulent documents and a fraudulent Social Security number.

The Occupy movement is set to launch nationwide chaos today as part of a new, revolutionary phase of the anti-capitalist campaign. The New York division aims to deploy a "three-course meal" of so-called direct action that apparently includes the blocking of subways and bridges as well as shutting down the stock market.

Newt Gingrich is the strongest Republican candidate when matched head to head against Democratic President Obama, according to a McClatchy-Marist Poll released Tuesday. The former speaker of the House of Representatives is neck and neck with the incumbent president. Obama leads 47 percent to 45 percent.

A decision from the Minnesota state Supreme Court has given privacy advocates a huge victory over their state government in a fight over the retention of DNA information on all babies born in the state and the use of that data in various studies and other efforts.

Liberty University has approved a policy that will allow visitors, students and staff who have concealed weapons permits to carry guns on campus.

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