Today's Intel

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

BLOOMBERG

The U.S. Senate voted to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank for three years and increase its lending authority 40 percent by 2014, clearing the measure for President Barack Obama's signature.

Mitt Romney decried the ballooning federal debt, accusing President Obama of contributing to a mounting deficit he said stifles economic recovery and "threatens what it means to be an American".

House Speaker John Boehner revived Republicans' insistence that any increase in the nation's debt limit be matched by at least as much in spending cuts, positioning his party for a renewed standoff with Democrats over the federal budget.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid moved to force a vote on two nominees to the Federal Reserve Board, setting the stage for a vote as early as this week.

A Greek caretaker government agreed on in Athens today will prepare new elections probably on June 17, said Greece's Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis amid concern the country will abandon the euro common currency.

Builders in the U.S. broke ground on more homes than anticipated in April, indicating the residential real estate industry is stabilizing. Starts rose 2.6 percent to a 717,000 annual rate from March's revised 699,000 pace that was stronger than previously reported.

Gold declined for a fourth straight session in New York and entered a so-called bear market as concern that Greece will have to leave the euro boosted the dollar and cut the metal's appeal as an alternative asset. The U.S. Dollar Index, a measure against six major counterparts, rose for a 13th day to a four-month high after Greece's political leaders failed to form a ruling coalition. Bullion has dropped 20 percent from its intraday record in September, the common definition of a bear market. On a closing basis, futures need to settle at $1,513.52 to post a 20 percent drop.

Industrial production in the U.S. climbed more than forecast in April, propelled by gains in auto manufacturing and utility use.

General Motors Co., the world's biggest automaker, no longer intends to advertise on Facebook as the social network prepares for an initial public offering.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. shareholders sued the bank and Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon in federal court in New York over the company's $2 billion trading loss.

Hong Kong's art scene goes into overdrive this week as Asia's billionaires descend on the city for the Hong Kong International Art Fair.

AP Top Stories

Marie de Medici wore it at her coronation as Queen Consort of Henry IV in France in 1610, and now the Beau Sancy a 34.98 carat diamond is a lavish accessory owned by an anonymous bidder who paid $9.7 million for it at Sotheby's auction.

Firefighters were working to prevent a wildfire near the historic mining town of Crown King from spreading to an area where it could quickly grow.

At least 21 people were killed on Tuesday in an attack in northern Syria, activists said, and members of a team of U.N. monitors caught in the incident said they were in rebel hands "for their own protection."

A renegade Congolese general wanted by the ICC for war crimes has begun to recruit child soldiers again to fight the government, according to a Human Rights Watch investigation.

President Barack Obama raised a combined $43.6 million in April for his campaign and the Democratic Party as he faces a unifying Republican effort around Mitt Romney for the White House. Obama's April fundraising haul fell short of the $53 million he raised in March.

China has been quietly and gently pressuring North Korea to scrap plans for a third nuclear test, said two sources with knowledge of closed-door discussions between the countries, but there is no indication how the North will react.

President Obama is awarding the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military award, to a Pennsylvania Army specialist killed in 1970 while serving in Cambodia during the Vietnam War.

Chicago police, who have a reputation for dealing toughly with protesters, will be prepared for the worst with new riot gear, including "sound cannon", if demonstrators at the NATO summit get out of line this weekend.

The Commerce Department said housing starts increased 2.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 717,000 units. March's starts were revised up to a 699,000-unit pace from a previously reported 654,000 unit rate.

President Obama has $500,001 to $1 million in a JPMorgan Chase private client asset management checking account, according to financial disclosures released by the White House.

BBC

Over-the-counter HIV tests, which would allow people in the US to check in the privacy of their homes if they have the virus, move a step closer.

An Indonesian team found the cockpit voice recorder of a Russian Sukhoi Superjet plane that crashed last week and searches for the flight data recorder.

WND

The federal government is moving quickly to open the skies over America to drones - both for commercial and government purposes - and respected Washington Post and Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer is forecasting "rifles aimed at the sky all across America." "I would predict, I'm not encouraging, but I predict the first guy who uses a Second Amendment weapon to bring a drone down that's been hovering over his house is going to be a folk hero in this country".

A pair of California cities and the state's Department of Justice are facing a federal lawsuit because, plaintiffs claim, the police confiscated firearms during investigations but now refuse to return them - even after the subjects of the inquiries were cleared of any wrongdoing.

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