Today's Intel

Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011

BLOOMBERG

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich's rise in the Republican presidential race includes a 13 percentage point lead over former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in a poll in Florida, site of a crucial early primary next month.

President Obama's policies toward Israel are under attack from Republican presidential candidates, who accuse him of undermining security in the Middle East.

Congressional Democrats seek to use their unified support of a payroll tax cut for employees to pressure Republican leaders into reaching a deal on an extension before the tax break expires.

Newt Gingrich's network of businesses and policy groups that laid the groundwork for his presidential bid harkens back to those that got him into ethics trouble and led to the biggest monetary penalty imposed on a U.S. House speaker.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi coupled an interest rate cut with a pledge to offer banks unlimited cash for three years as officials try to head off a looming recession and leaders meet in Brussels to hammer out a solution to the debt crisis.

Jobless claims dropped by 23,000 to 381,000 in the week ended Dec. 3, the fewest since February. The number of people on unemployment benefit rolls and those getting extended payments also decreased.

British billionaire Richard Branson said he may open bank branches at train stations on the main rail route between London and Scotland after his Virgin Money Holdings agreed to buy Northern Rock.

Consumer confidence in the U.S. was little changed for a second week, holding at a level typically reached during past recessions.

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's 14-year prison sentence should send the message that the public and judges are fed up with the state's history of corruption, said the U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the case.

AP Top Stories

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin strongly criticized U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday, accusing her of encouraging and funding Russians protesting election fraud, and warned of a wider Russian crackdown.

The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll released Tuesday revealed that six in 10 likely caucus-goers in Iowa are still undecided or persuadable voters.

In the past year, the prices of clothing, public transportation and even trash collection are all up more than the earnings of the average American worker. Yet, while consumer prices are up 3.5% in the past year, wages have only risen about half as much. The result is that effectively in the past year we have all received a pay cut.

Texting while driving increased 50 percent last year and two out of 10 drivers say they've sent text messages or emails while behind the wheel despite a rush by states to ban the practice.

The Japanese government may inject about $13 billion into Tokyo Electric Power Co as early as next summer in a de facto nationalization of the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Wholesale companies increased their stockpiles of autos, paper, and other goods in October by the most in five months, a sign they expect consumer demand to rise.

Denmark's central bank has lowered its key lending rate by 0.4 percentage points to 0.80 percent, tracking a similar move earlier in the day by the European Central Bank.

BBC

Incinerated remains of at least 274 US troops were disposed of at landfill over several years by America's largest military mortuary, records show. The Washington Post report was based on data from the main entry port of US war dead, Dover Air Force Base mortuary.

The Somali capital Mogadishu is hit by some of the fiercest fighting in the city in months, in a major setback for the government.

A rare genetic variant which causes reduced levels of vitamin D appears to be directly linked to multiple sclerosis, says an Oxford University study.

A major pipeline carrying oil to a refinery in Syria's restive Homs province is attacked, activists and the state-run news agency say.

WorldNetDaily

The Obama administration has announced it intends to make the United States the global sex cop, with plans to try to intervene in the workings of other nations where homosexuality is not promoted as well as plans to create special provisions for homosexuals and those with other lifestyle choices to gain special admittance to the U.S.

Maverick Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio says his "Cold Case Posse" investigating Barack Obama's presidential eligibility will release a preliminary report in February of its findings, which he expects to be "controversial."

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center said they are rescinding a policy that prohibits family members of wounded military troops from bringing Bibles or any religious reading materials to their loved ones. The decision to rescind the ban on Bibles came exactly one day after a Republican lawmaker denounced the policy on the House floor and called on President Obama to publicly renounce the military policy.

Newt Gingrich is the latest whipping boy for the Planned Parenthood abortion business as it has taken on Republican candidate Mitt Romney in recent weeks and now trains its sights on Gingrich as he has climbed in the polls.

Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins blasted the Defense Department for classifying the Fort Hood massacre as workplace violence and suggested political correctness is being placed above the security of the nation's Armed Forces at home.

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