Today's Intel

Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012

BLOOMBERG

Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor, defeated Rick Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, by just eight votes out of more than 122,000 cast in yesterday's Iowa caucuses. Romney received 30,015 votes to 30,007 for Santorum, giving each a little less than 25 percent of the vote.

The U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines must combine resources to thwart any efforts by countries such as China and Iran to block America's access to the South China Sea, the Persian Gulf and other strategic regions, according to a draft of a Pentagon review.

Commodities may rebound from their first retreat in three years as developing economies shore up global growth, driving demand higher at a time when raw-material producers are already struggling to keep up. Precious metals will advance 27 percent or more, industrial metals at least 17 percent and grains 5 percent, according to the median estimates in a Bloomberg survey.

The Arab League has raised questions about its commitment to halting Syria's deadly crackdown on protesters by putting a Sudanese general with close ties to an indicted war-crimes suspect in charge of a monitoring mission intended to hold the government accountable.

Orders to American factories rose in 1.8 percent November by the most in four months, showing gains in manufacturing will help the economy grow.

The European Union faced increased pressure to scale down its plan to impose carbon curbs on airlines after China's carriers said they won't comply with the rules and India signaled it may attempt to scupper the EU plan.

Plaintiffs including funds and retirement systems are competing to lead a lawsuit against Jon Corzine, MF Global Holdings former CEO, over the collapse of the commodity brokerage.

AP Top Stories

In a defiant display of executive power, President Barack Obama on Wednesday will buck GOP opposition and name Richard Cordray as the nation's chief consumer watchdog even though the Senate contends the move is inappropriate, senior administration officials told The Associated Press. With a director in place, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will be able to start overseeing the mortgage companies, payday lenders, debt collectors and other financial companies often blamed for practices that helped tank the economy.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday welcomed a possible deal that would allow Taliban insurgents to open an office in Gulf nation of Qatar with the aim of holding talks with the United States.

More than 950 relatives of inmates are refusing to leave a Venezuelan prison in a protest to demand faster trial for inmates.

North Korea has called South Korea's president a "pro-U.S. fascist maniac" and a "chieftain of evils" because he placed his troops on high alert after leader Kim Jong Il's death.

Potential playground hazards, a focus on classroom learning and boring play equipment have children spending too little time being physically active at daycare, according to a survey of staff members at child care centers in Ohio.

Fragments of a failed Russian space probe are now expected to fall to Earth on Jan. 15.

MF Global unloaded hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of securities to Goldman Sachs in the days leading up to its collapse, according to two former MF Global employees.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will travel to China and Japan next week to discuss the state of the global economy and U.S. sanctions on Iran.

BBC

Satellite broadcasters in China have cut prime-time entertainment TV by two-thirds following an order by the government watchdog, the state news agency reports.

US researchers create silk worms that have been genetically modified to spin much stronger silk.

Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez undergoes surgery for thyroid cancer, as her supporters gather outside the hospital.

A man is killed as thousands of Nigerians protest around the country at the removal of a fuel subsidy, which has led petrol prices to more than double.

Singapore's highly-paid ministers face pay cuts of up to 51% after a recommendation from a government-appointed committee.

A new law in Belarus restricts access to foreign websites and forces internet clubs and cafes to report users visiting sites registered abroad.

At least 18 members of President Bashar al-Assad's security forces are killed by army deserters in Syria, a human rights group says.

WND

Texas Governor Rick Perry said he is going home to Texas to assess "whether there is a path forward for myself in this race."

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has canceled a campaign trip to South Carolina and will hold a press conference in Des Moines.

A radical jihadist group, Jamaat ul-Fuqra, known in the U.S. as "Muslims of America," responsible for nearly 50 attacks on American soil is operating 35 terrorist training camps across the nation, but the U.S. government refuses to include the organization on the State Department's list of foreign terrorists.

Starbucks is raising prices by an average of about 1 percent in the U.S. Northeast and Sunbelt regions, a move affecting cities such as New York, Boston, Washington DC, Atlanta, Dallas and Albuquerque. Starbucks expects high prices for things like coffee, milk and fuel to cut into profits this year and is raising prices to help offset some of that cost pressure.

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