Today's Intel

Friday, Mar. 9, 2012

BLOOMBERG

A surge in new jobs last month that held the unemployment rate to 8.3 percent highlights a strengthening economy that bolsters President Barack Obama as he approaches re-election.

Senate Republicans vowed to try again to speed up approval of TransCanada's Keystone XL oil pipeline after falling four votes short of rounding up enough Democratic support.

Greece pushed through the biggest sovereign restructuring in history after cajoling private investors to forgive more than $132 billion of debt, opening the way for a second bailout.

The trade deficit in the U.S. widened .3 percent to $52.6 billion in January to the largest since October 2008 as imports rose to a record high.

India's central bank unexpectedly slashed the amount of deposits lenders need to set aside as reserves to ease a cash squeeze in the banking system that threatens to deepen an economic slowdown.

China's inflation eased to the slowest pace in 20 months while new loans, industrial output and retail sales were below analysts' forecasts, boosting the case for easing monetary policy in the world's second-biggest economy.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi signaled he's done enough to battle the sovereign debt crisis, laying the groundwork for an eventual exit from record-low interest rates and emergency lending measures.

The 30-year quest for an AIDS cure advanced as scientists succeeded for the first time in attacking HIV in its hardest-to-reach hideouts with a cancer drug made by Merck & Co.

Robert Rubin, who as U.S. Treasury secretary in the 1990s promoted a stronger dollar, said he has too much of his personal investments in the currency. A "disproportionate amount" of his assets are in cash and he "should be more allocated away from the dollar," Rubin, 73, said.

AP Top Stories

Israel has asked the United States for advanced "bunker-buster" bombs and refueling planes that could improve its ability to attack Iran's underground nuclear sites.

The U.S. and Afghanistan took a major step forward, signing an agreement that will transfer control of all the country's detention facilities -- including the prison where U.S. troops burned Korans last month -- to Afghan security forces within six months.

Fitch on Friday cut Greece's rating to "restricted default" over its debt swap deal, as expected, becoming the third of the three major rating agencies to slash Greece into default territory.

Inventories at wholesalers grew 0.4 percent in January, suggesting less of a boost to economic growth than expected.

Freddie Mac requested $146 million from the Treasury in order help make interest payments on government funds used to keep the mortgage buyer afloat.

Europe's debt crisis and an oil price rally are the biggest threats to global oil demand this year, OPEC said, adding it was still pumping above its target despite a slide in Iranian production.

Salaries of 70 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives will be limited to $500,000 per year and their annual bonuses eliminated amid pressure from Congress to stop the big payouts.

Coca-Cola and Pepsi are changing the recipes for their drinks to avoid being legally obliged to put a cancer warning label on the bottle.

China's cyber warfare skills pose a threat to the United States military in the event of a conflict, says a report for the US Congress.

BBC

Urgent action is needed to stop drought in the Sahel region of West Africa turning into a humanitarian disaster, the charity Oxfam said.

A missile attack by an unmanned US drone aircraft in north-west Pakistan killed at least eight suspected militants, officials said.

Two men were killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza, including the leader of the Popular Resistance Committees' leader.

WND

Among the records missing for Barack Obama that would be available for an ordinary president are passport records, school records such as those from Punahou, Occidental, Columbia and Harvard, Harvard Law Review writings, scholarly articles for the University of Chicago, state bar association records from Illinois, Illinois state senate records, the marriage and divorce documents for his mother, his adoption records and others. Now it has been revealed that the Cold Case Posse assembled by Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Maricopa County, Ariz., cannot confirm yet that Obama was not born in Kenya and brought to the United States as a days-old infant for his birth to be registered in Hawaii.

A legislative plan that would protect Virginia residents from the warrantless detention many critics have charged is contained in a federal budget plan has been adopted by the legislature and forwarded to the governor.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is facing criticism for statements he made at a hearing this week regarding the use of international military force without the explicit approval of Congress. Panetta stressed the need for "international permission" to launch an international military campaign against Syria, skirting questions about seeking congressional approval for such use of military force.

Some of the record total of 46.3 millions recipients of food stamps-a federal welfare program-have traded their benefits at a discount with corrupt retailers to get cash to buy drugs and weapons, the inspector general for the USDA said.

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