Today's Intel

Monday, Oct. 3, 2011

BLOOMBERG

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said securing peace between Israelis and Palestinians will require "bold action" and there is "no alternative" to negotiations.

Defense Secretary Panetta said he is concerned Israel is becoming "increasingly isolated" as uprisings sweep the Middle East and that the U.S. is working to improve the country's ties with Turkey and Egypt.

The U.S. Supreme Court may be thrust into the 2012 election campaign with potential cases on President Obama's health-care law, illegal immigration and affirmative action that starts today.

Bank of France Governor Christian Noyer said he's "open" to the idea of using borrowed money to enhance the capabilities of a European rescue fund as policy makers turn their focus to the next steps to contain the region's sovereign-debt crisis.

Borrowers issued the fewest bonds in Australia in almost three years last quarter as Europe's budget crisis roiled markets, driving up yield premiums, while the nation's banks used record term deposits to cut debt offerings.

Bill Gross, the manager of the world's biggest bond fund, said the global economy risks lapsing into recession with the pace of growth falling below the "new normal" level the firm has predicted since 2009. "Sovereign balance sheets resemble an overweight diabetic on the verge of a heart attack."

Manufacturing in the U.S. probably expanded in September at the slowest pace in more than two years as the economic recovery showed signs of stalling, economists said before a report today.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York may ask foreign lenders for more detailed daily reports on liquidity as the U.S. steps up monitoring of risks from Europe's sovereign debt crisis, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

The rout that erased $2.9 trillion from U.S. equities has pushed valuations in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index 25 percent below the average level from the last nine recessions, even as profit estimates fall.

Companies in the benchmark gauge for American equities trade at 10.2 times 2012 forecast earnings, compared with the average in economic contractions since 1957 of 13.7, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Treasury 30-year bonds advanced after biggest quarterly rally since the depths of the financial crisis in 2008 as the Federal Reserve prepared to buy longer-term debt under the program known as Operation Twist.

AP Top Stories

Greece's economy will remain in recession next year, causing it to miss its original deficit reduction targets, figures in the draft budget for 2012 showed Monday.

Syrian troops going house to house have detained more than 3,000 people in the past three days in a rebellious town that government forces recently retook in some of the worst fighting since the country's uprising began six months ago, an activist said Monday.

Ron Paul, antagonist of the Federal Reserve and advocate for the gold standard, probably won't capture the Republican presidential nomination. But with his libertarian leanings energizing a small though growing group of passionate conservatives, the quirky Texas congressman is proving to be a force in the 2012 contest.

Libya's transitional leaders named a new Cabinet and said they would step down after the country is fully secured, putting an end to weeks of political infighting as the North African nation struggles to get back on its feet.

The Commerce Department says construction spending rose 1.4 percent in August after a 1.4 percent decline in July, which had been the biggest setback in six months.

Oil prices extended losses on Monday, falling to near $78 a barrel, as Europe's debt crisis roiled markets and falling personal incomes in the U.S. suggested slack demand for fuel.

BBC

Forces of the Libyan transitional government launch what a front-line commander says is their final assault on the pro-Gaddafi stronghold of Sirte.

Texas governor Rick Perry says he would consider US military intervention in Mexico's drug conflict if he were to win the US presidency in 2012.

Brazil's central bank has lowered its forecast for economic growth to less than half of last year's, partly blaming the slowing global economy.

At least 19 people have been shot or hacked to death in a brutal attack in a village in north-west Nigeria, police say.

WorldNetDaily

Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann, two presidential candidates who sparred over the issue of Texas vaccinations, may be floundering in the polls, but the topic of Merck's controversial Gardasil is heating up – with an Austrian physician who studied the drug saying it is not only dangerous, but useless in reducing cervical cancer, the stated reason it was administered to young girls at the behest of Gov. Perry.

Millions of Americans – 92 percent of the population – say Congress is failing to reach even the "good" level of job performance – much less excellent – according to a new poll.

The Obama administration is looking to consolidate control over the nation's power highway, pushing a proposal that would put one federal agency in the driver's seat when it comes to reviewing and approving power-line projects across the country.

After a week of enthusiastic support in many circles for the Palestinian application for United Nations membership, the Obama White House has succeeded, at least temporarily, in slowing down the bandwagon.

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