Today's Intel

Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012

BLOOMBERG

Texas Governor Rick Perry will withdraw from the Republican presidential race and endorse rival Newt Gingrich, said an aide who wasn't authorized to speak publicly.

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum finished the Iowa caucuses 34 votes ahead of Mitt Romney, who previously was declared the winner, the state party said.

While campaigning on calls to reduce government spending, three of the five Republican presidential candidates are receiving or will be eligible to draw taxpayer-financed pensions. So would a fourth if he hadn't opted out of the plan. Representative Ron Paul has refused to participate in the federal system.

Congressional negotiators are refusing to budge from positions that could stall talks to extend a payroll tax cut through 2012. A House-Senate conference committee aimed at breaking the deadlock may meet as soon as Jan. 24.

Builders began work on fewer houses than forecast in December, capping the worst year on record for single-family home construction and signaling recovery in the industry will take time. Housing starts dropped 4.1 percent to a 657,000 annual rate last month.

The cost of living in the U.S. was little changed in December for a second month as stores cut prices to boost holiday sales and fuel expenses fell, reinforcing the Federal Reserve's view that inflation will remain in check.

Brazil's central bank signaled it will keep cutting interest rates at the current pace after it reduced borrowing costs by a half-point for a fourth straight meeting.

Thirty years after Margaret Thatcher fought a 74-day war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands, the prospect of an oil boom is reviving tensions. Oil explorers are targeting 8.3 billion barrels in the waters around the islands this year, three times the U.K.'s reserves.

Consumer confidence in the U.S. pulled back last week after reaching a six-month high, a sign rising gasoline prices may be countering the benefits of an improving job market.

Oil advanced as much as 1.5 percent after the Labor Department reported jobless claims plunged by 50,000 to 352,000 in the week ended Jan. 14, the lowest level since April 2008.

Seven men, including fund managers and analysts, were charged by the U.S. with forming a "criminal club" who reaped almost $62 million from insider trading in Dell Inc. shares.

President Obama may put his mark on the World Bank by nominating Lawrence Summers, his former National Economic Council director, to lead the bank when Robert Zoellick's term expires later this year, according to two people familiar with the matter.

AP Top Stories

Although it is not apparent on his financial disclosure form, Mitt Romney has millions of dollars of his personal wealth in investment funds set up in the Cayman Islands, a notorious Caribbean tax haven.

The Eastman Kodak Co. announced today that it has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage dipped to 3.88 percent this week, down from the old record of 3.89 percent one week ago.

A U.S. Army depot in Utah finished destroying the last of 1.3 million munitions filled with a witches' brew of toxins, blister and blood agents.

Unsafe abortions are on the rise across the world, according to a new global analysis.

Nearly 46 million American adults have had a mental illness in the past year, a new government report shows. Almost 30 percent of those age 18 to 25 experienced a mental illness, twice as many as those age 50 and older at just over 14 percent.

BBC

Medical aid charity MSF is closing two treatment centers in the Somali capital Mogadishu after two of its doctors were killed last month.

US authorities say war crimes suspect and former Liberian leader Charles Taylor worked for its intelligence agencies, including the CIA, US media report.

At least seven civilians die in a suicide attack at an airport used by international forces in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, officials say.

WND

Barack Obama has outlined a defense strategy for a multitude of state-level challenges to his candidacy on the 2012 presidential ballot in a Georgia case that is scheduled to come before a judge later this month - simply explain that states have nothing to do with the eligibility of presidential candidates. "Presidential electors and Congress, not the state of Georgia, hold the constitutional responsibility for determining the qualifications of presidential candidates," Obama's lawyer argues.

A top director at a venture-capital firm that finances a controversial new online voting system donated to Barack Obama's presidential campaign and also contributed the maximum allowable amount to Obama's inauguration. The foreign-headquartered company, SCYTL, previously faced questions about the security of its electronic voting technologies, which are now set to be deployed in 900 U.S. jurisdictions.

A community college in Phoenix is facing a federal lawsuit because it has adopted requirements that essentially charge campus visitors $50 per day for the right to speak there. The U.S. Constitution's 1st Amendment does not allow the school to require those who want to speak to others on campus to provide a 14-day advance notice, pay the fee and provide insurance.

A new study shows reductions in volume of certain areas of the brain and in the white matter - the highways of connection between brain cells - of young people who are addicted to the Internet. What's interesting is that these brain changes mirror the ones in people who are addicted to other kinds of things, like heroin, for example.

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