Today's Intel

Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011

BLOOMBERG

Herman Cain, reassessing his Republican presidential bid after allegations of sexual indiscretions, is imploring voters not to give up on him amid what he said is a campaign of "character assassination" by opponents who fear his candidacy.

Republicans in the U.S. Senate want to cover the cost of extending a payroll tax cut by freezing federal workers' pay through 2015 and reducing the federal civilian workforce by 10 percent, putting them at odds with Democrats over how to pay for the $119.6 billion tax break.

Jobless claims climbed by 6,000 to 402,000 in the week ended Nov. 26 that included the Thanksgiving holiday. The number of people on unemployment benefit rolls and those getting extended payments increased.

More people have died in crashes on government aircraft, which are exempt from most U.S. safety regulations, than on commercial airliners over the past five years, the first time that's happened over a similar span.

The combination of a record cotton crop and falling consumption will expand global stockpiles by the most since 2005, driving further declines in the price of this year's worst-performing commodity.

A funny thing is happening on the way to the Republican nomination: It's becoming one of the cheapest primaries in a more than a decade. The top nine Republican candidates spent $53 million through September, compared with $132 million spent at the same time four years ago. The sum is even lower than totals reported during the same period in the 2004 and 2000 primaries.

New Jersey lawmakers' inaction on $139 million in state funding for cities in financial distress is forcing some local officials to delay payments to school districts and vendors and consider borrowing to make payroll.

Spanish and French bonds rallied and the euro climbed for a second day as successful debt auctions eased concern about Europe's sovereign crisis. U.S. stocks fell following yesterday's rally as jobless claims unexpectedly rose.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Myanmar civil rights icon Aung San Suu Kyi after pressing the nation's leaders over concerns about links to North Korea and the country's lack of internal freedoms.

AP Top Stories

Vice President Joe Biden thanked U.S. and Iraqi troops for sacrifices that he said allowed for the end of the nearly nine-year-long war, even as attacks around the country killed 20 people, underscoring the security challenges Iraq still faces.

Initial results of Egypt's first free election in six decades will emerge on Thursday, with Islamist parties expecting to command a majority in parliament, hard on the heels of victories by their counterparts in Tunisia and Morocco.

The Rev. Billy Graham, who is 93, is in a North Carolina hospital, awaiting word from doctors on whether he has pneumonia.

The residents of Nome, Alaska, could be looking at a very costly winter: $9-a-gallon gasoline. A gallon of gas was selling for $5.98 and jet fuel $6.77 a gallon on Wednesday. A massive winter storm this month prevented a barge that usually carries fuel from getting to shore. The next barge delivery wouldn't be until next June. In the meantime, flying fuel to the city could increase the cost per gallon by $3 to $4, officials said.

U.S. factories grew last month at the fastest pace since June, helped by a jump in new orders and production.

BBC

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledges improved ties if Burma continues current reforms, during a landmark visit to the country.

The EU agrees new sanctions on 180 Iranian officials and companies in the wake of a report on Tehran's nuclear program, diplomats say.

A copy of the first issue of Action Comics, featuring Superman's debut, has become the world's most expensive comic, fetching $2.16million.

A US Congressional report says Nigeria's militant Islamist group Boko Haram is an "emerging threat" to the US.

Hungary makes homelessness a crime punishable by a fine of around $600 (£384) or prison in a move condemned by charities.

Germany's top administrative court has ruled that a student does not have an automatic right to pray at school. The case was brought by an 18-year-old Muslim pupil at a Berlin school after he was told by his head teacher that prayer was not allowed on the school grounds.

WorldNetDaily

Only a week after there was a formal hearing in the state of New Hampshire on a request to remove Barack Obama's name from the 2012 presidential primary election ballot over allegations of fraud, state officials in Georgia are facing a related request.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court Oct. 31, 12 nurses charge that the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey violated state and federal laws by abruptly announcing in September that nurses would have to help with abortion patients before and after the procedure, reversing a long-standing policy exempting employees who refuse based on religious or moral objections.

The Chinese have called it their "Underground Great Wall" - a vast network of tunnels designed to hide their country's increasingly sophisticated missile and nuclear arsenal. For the past three years, a small band of obsessively dedicated students at Georgetown University has called it something else: homework. The result of their effort? The largest body of public knowledge about thousands of miles of tunnels dug by the Second Artillery Corps, a secretive branch of the Chinese military in charge of protecting and deploying its ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads.

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