Today's Intel

Wednesday, Oct. 05, 2011

BLOOMBERG

President Obama campaigns across the country for the centerpiece of his economic agenda with a simple refrain: "Tell Congress to pass this bill."

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta drew on the achievements of NATO's operation in Libya to call for a greater commitment to the alliance even in times of budget cuts, softening a message his predecessor, Robert Gates, delivered with a rhetorical bang just four months ago.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's decision not to seek the presidency removes one of the last lingering questions surrounding the Republican presidential field just three months before the first round of voting is to begin.

Companies in the U.S. added 91,000 jobs in September, according to data from ADP Employer Services.

U.S. employers announced the most job cuts in more than two years in September, led by planned reductions at Bank of America and in the military. Announced firings jumped 212 percent, the largest increase since January 2009, to 115,730 last month from 37,151 in September 2010, according to Chicago-based Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. Cuts in government employment, led by the Army's five-year troop reduction plan, and at Bank of America accounted for almost 70 percent of the announcements.

Options protecting against declines in U.S. energy stocks have surged to the most-expensive level in 30 months versus contracts on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, amid concern oil will extend losses as the economy slows.

Emerging-market currencies rallied and the lira jumped from a record low after policy makers in Turkey and Russia stepped up sales of foreign-currency reserves to counter a selloff in developing-nation assets.

AP Top Stories

President Obama has signed legislation to keep the federal government running for another six weeks. Congress must now finish work on agency budgets for the new fiscal year.

One in three U.S. veterans of the post-9/11 military believes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not worth fighting, and a majority think that after 10 years of combat America should be focusing less on foreign affairs and more on its own problems, according to an opinion survey.

NY - The man at the helm of a private helicopter that crashed into the East River, killing one passenger and injuring three others, was an experienced commercial pilot who owns a company that manages a local airport. Investigators are still trying to determine why the helicopter went down shortly after takeoff from a riverbank heliport.

The protests on Wall Street are expected to swell with reinforcements as more groups head toward lower Manhattan, widening the scope of the ongoing demonstrations.

Banks are looking to increase revenue by charging for debit cards and basic checking accounts in reaction to the Durbin Amendment of the Dodd-Frank Act. The amendment, which took effect Saturday, limits the fees banks collect from merchants when customers make debit card purchases.

Afghan intelligence officials say they have foiled an assassination attempt on President Hamid Karzai, arresting six people in Kabul who they say are affiliated with al-Qaida and the Haqqani militant group.

Already weary of high gas prices and 9.1 percent unemployment, many Americans are about to get another kick in the wallet thanks to large increases in their electricity bills. From Alaska to Georgia and Wyoming to Florida, utilities are seeking permission to pass on hundreds of millions of dollars in new charges to customers to help upgrade aging infrastructure and build new or retrofitted power plants that comply with tougher environmental regulations.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry raised more than $17 million in his first seven weeks running for president, his campaign announced.

Moody's lowered its rating on Italy's bonds by three notches A2 from, saying it saw a "material increase" in funding risks for euro zone countries with high levels of debt and warning that further downgrades were possible.

BBC

A 24-hour general strike begins in Greece, affecting schools, transport and hospitals, in protest at the country's tough austerity measures.

Eighteen municipal police officers are arrested in the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz on suspicion of working for an infamous drug cartel.

The International Red Cross begins a huge distribution of aid to a million people in Somalia famine zones controlled by the Islamist militants.

Western nations express anger and disappointment at China and Russia's vetoes of a watered-down UN resolution against the Syrian regime.

Israeli Daniel Shechtman is named the sole winner the Nobel prize for chemistry, for his discovery of the structure of quasicrystals - a form that skeptics said was impossible.

India unveils what it says is the world's cheapest touch-screen tablet computer, to be sold to students at the subsidized price of $35.

WorldNetDaily

NBC's biggest primetime gamble just became the first cancelled show of the season: The Playboy Club has been pulled from the network's schedule.

NATO troops are training in Turkey for a Turkish-led NATO invasion of Syria, a senior Syrian diplomatic official claimed. Informed Middle East security officials said Russia has been inspecting Syrian forces and has been advising Syria about possible Syrian military responses should NATO attack the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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