Today's Intel

Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012


President Barack Obama, who has decried the influence of outside groups in politics, is now encouraging his top donors to contribute to the independent political action committee backing his re-election.

The largest U.S. private-equity funds and venture capital firms have relied on a five-year, multimillion-dollar lobbying campaign to protect the carried interest tax break that helped drive presidential candidate Mitt Romney's 2010 effective tax rate below 14 percent.

Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos plans to convene the nation's political leaders to seek consensus on the cuts required for a bailout as unions called a strike to protest and European leaders pressed for answers.

China's central bank pledged support for first-home buyers as a crackdown on real-estate speculation threatens to trigger a property slump in the world's second- biggest economy.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has turned to his father's playbook as he seeks to end an uprising that threatens his family's 40-year reign.

The government's increasing brutality is reminiscent of 1982 when Hafez al-Assad crushed a rebellion in the city of Hama, killing thousands.

UBS, Switzerland's biggest bank, said fourth-quarter profit dropped 76 percent after its investment bank reported a second consecutive quarterly loss.

Oil fell to near a six-week low in New York before a report forecast to show that U.S. stockpiles increased last week.

AP Top Stories

The Media Research Center launched a $5 million campaign to combat liberal bias in the media last month sent a letter late to network chiefs at ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN, blasting the collective lack of coverage of what it calls the Obama administration's "assault on religious freedom."

The entire staff at a Los Angeles elementary school is being removed while authorities investigate horrific allegations of sexual abuse by two of the school's teachers, one of whom is accused of blindfolding children, taping their mouths and photographing them in a classroom.

Turkey is preparing a new initiative with countries who oppose the Syrian government and its bloody crackdown on unrest, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday, calling a veto by China and Russia of a U.N. resolution on Syria as a "fiasco."

Fidelity Investments, the largest money-market fund manager, recently warned U.S. regulators that more than half of its money fund clients would move all or some of their assets out of the investments if the net asset value of the funds was allowed to fluctuate.

Given the state of the global economy, investors should be underweight equities while favoring "selected commodities" such as gold and oil for the "geopolitical risk", Mohamed El-Erian, CEO and co-chief investment officer of bond fund giant PIMCO, told CNBC on Tuesday.

Beyond the reach of regulators, and about half the size of the world's banking industry, a thriving breed of "shadow banks" is emerging that could trigger the next chapter in the global financial crisis. Spurred by this concern, the watchdogs are turning their attention to the fringes of the global financial system, where hedge funds and money market funds are filling the gaps left by retreating banks.


President Obama's election campaign returned $200,000 of funding linked to the family of a Mexican fugitive, as it does an about-turn on "super PAC" funding.

Thousands of Trendnet security camera webfeeds have been breached and shared on the internet, including live video from children's rooms.

Search and rescue teams looked for survivors of a 6.7 magnitude quake that shook the central Philippines on Monday, leaving dozens dead or missing.

As freezing weather grips much of Europe, Italy took steps to conserve gas while emergency situations have been declared in other countries.

Iran's parliament summoned the country's president for questioning - the first time this has happened since the 1979 revolution.


In New York City, powerful players in both politics and media are working to ban churches from using public school facilities for their weekend worship and are planning to enforce a Feb. 12 "eviction" notice for dozens of congregations.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio told WND his office has scheduled a news conference in Phoenix for March 1 to release findings of the Cold Case Posse that has been investigating Barack Obama's birth certificate and eligibility to be president.

The HPV vaccine should be given to all males between the ages of 11 and 21, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What began as a murmur last year about a possible ban on thousands of dietary supplements in the U.S. has reached cacophonous levels over the last few months, as the FDA indicated its intent to regulate "new dietary ingredients" in current and future products. A "new" ingredient is defined as one added after 1994, when Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). If the FDA deems a new ingredient unsafe or unscientific, the entire supplement can be removed from the market. Just. Like. That.

There are increasing indications that large numbers of the Western-trained and financed Afghan National Army, or ANA, and Afghan National Police, or ANP, officers could defect to the Taliban once U.S. and coalition forces leave Afghanistan.

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