Today's Intel

Friday, Oct. 28, 2011

BLOOMBERG

Warren Buffett attended a Chicago- area fundraiser to benefit President Obama's re-election, the second time this year the billionaire investor has lent his appeal to help collect campaign cash for the man who has named a tax-increase proposal after him.

The European debt crisis that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are struggling to contain looms as the most visible threat to the U.S. economy as Obama heads into his re-election campaign.

A record 49 percent of Americans live in a household where someone receives at least one type of government benefit, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And 63 percent of all federal spending this year will consist of checks written to individuals for which the government receives currently no services.

Spanish unemployment rose to a 15- year high of more than 21 percent, the most in the euro area, as government austerity measures undermine the recovery in the region's fourth-largest economy.

European officials are studying the idea of an International Monetary Fund channel for money for their enlarged rescue fund, as China said it needed more detail on any potential plan before deciding whether to contribute.

Russia left borrowing costs unchanged after inflation slowed and booming consumer demand spurred the economy to the fastest growth in three years.

Restaurants are poised to raise prices as Americans become accustomed to more expensive food at grocery stores. U.S. consumers paid 2.6 percent more at eateries in September than last year, while food prices at supermarkets were 6.2 percent higher.

Canada's dollar weakened after rising yesterday to the highest level in more than a month as optimism that Europe's debt crisis is contained faded, damping demand for riskier assets.

Credit-rating companies routinely award higher rankings to debt issued by banks and corporations that pay them the most, a conflict of interest that may escape Congressional efforts to change the way they do business.

Consumer spending in the U.S. accelerated in September, helping the world's largest economy skirt a recession. Purchases increased 0.6 percent, matching the median estimate of 81 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, after a 0.2 percent gain the prior month.

AP Top Stories

Just 34 percent of Americans now view Obamacare favorably, down 7 points from last month. (It was about this low, 35 percent, in July 2010). Fifty-one percent now view the law unfavorably, numerically a new high (likewise, by one point).

The death toll from a twin bombing in a Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad rose on Friday to 32 - the worst violence to hit Iraq since President Obama last week said all American forces would leave the country by the end of this year.

The International Criminal Court is in indirect negotiations with a son of the late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi about his possible surrender for trial, the chief prosecutor said.

The euphoric rally in share prices fed by a European deal to cut Greece's debt and prevent larger countries from falling down the same hole slowed, as investors began to recognize the significant challenges that still face the continent.

Health officials are working to determine the source of a St. Louis-area E. coli outbreak that has now sickened at least 22 people.

An Earth-observing satellite blasted into space early Friday on a dual mission to improve weather forecasts and monitor climate change.

Chevron said its quarterly earnings more than doubled, to $7.8 billion, beating Wall Street forecasts, as the company benefited from high oil prices and strong refinery margins.

Americans' incomes have stagnated for three straight months. Yet they boosted their spending in September 0.6 percent - three times the increase in August.

Appliance maker Whirlpool Corp. plans to cut 5,000 jobs, about 10 percent of its workforce in North America and Europe, as it faces soft demand and higher costs.

BBC

The US military begins flying unarmed drone aircraft from a base in Ethiopia, as part of its fight against Islamist militants in neighboring Somalia.

Rick Perry may skip some Republican presidential debates. He is confirmed for a debate on 9 November, one of more than half a dozen scheduled before the end of the year.

Kenyan troops clash with Islamist militants inside Somalia for the first time since crossing the border nearly two weeks ago.

Sons and daughters of any future British monarch will have equal right to the throne, as Commonwealth leaders agreed to change succession laws.

WorldNetDaily

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano promised a Republican congressman she would look into a report that a prominent Muslim leader in Texas who serves with a security clearance on the DHS advisory council accessed a federal database and shopped sensitive reports to a left-leaning media outlet to publicize his claim that the department is promoting "Islamophobia"

OCCUPY - Many city officials are under pressure from constituents tired of unsightly tent cities, dead grass and dangerous conditions. The cost to already struggling municipalities, which must protect and clean up after the protesters, is soaring. "We know for a fact we've crossed the $300,000 threshold in terms of money spent so far for this operation," said Atlanta Mayor. In San Francisco, the bill is more than $100,000. Across the country, the figures are growing. In New York City, overtime costs are $3.4 million. In Minneapolis, the sheriff's department reports spending $200,000. And in Boston, the tally is $2 million and counting.

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