Today's Intel

Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011

BLOOMBERG

A trade group representing 270 companies including ConAgra Foods Inc. and Tyson Foods Inc. said its members are pledging to hire 25,000 military veterans and spouses by the end of 2013, a quarter of the target for private- sector hiring that President Barack Obama announced in August.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is visiting Oman today to thank the Gulf state's ruler for his role in securing the release of three American hikers jailed by Iran, and to discuss efforts to meet demands for greater economic and political freedoms in the sultanate.

Herman Cain fought to stay in the top tier of the Republican presidential field as Rick Perry tried to recapture the role of Mitt Romney's chief tormentor in an anger-tinged debate that spotlighted the sharpening contours of the primary contest.

The cost of living in the U.S. rose in September at the slowest pace in three months, signaling inflation may moderate as Federal Reserve officials have predicted.

Greek protesters clashed with police in central Athens after Prime Minister George Papandreou vowed to push through a further round of austerity and appealed to Europe to cut Greece's debt load at an Oct. 23 summit.

The container industry may be facing half a decade of oversupply that will curb freight rates as shipping lines launch vessels into a global trade slowdown.

Banks in France, the U.K., Ireland, Germany and Spain have announced plans to shrink by about $1.06 trillion in the next two years to reduce short-term funding needs and comply with tougher regulatory capital requirements.

Housing starts climbed 15 percent to 658,000 houses at an annual rate, the most since April 2010. Builders began work on more U.S. homes than forecast in September on rising demand for apartments and condominiums as more Americans become renters.

AP Top Stories

Some 55 million Social Security recipients will get a 3.6 percent increase in benefits next year, their first raise since 2009, the government announced Wednesday.

Libyan revolutionary forces fought building by building Wednesday against the final pocket of resistance in Moammar Gadhafi's hometown - the last major city in Libya to have been under the control of forces loyal to the fugitive leader.

Syrian security forces and pro-government gunmen killed at least 10 people in a rebellious central province Wednesday, activists said, just as tens of thousands of Syrians were demonstrating in a key city - a huge show of support for the country's embattled president.

Crowds of cheering children waving Australian flags welcomed Queen Elizabeth II as she and her husband Prince Philip landed at an Australian air force base Wednesday in the nation's capital.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched a broad, agency-wide review of exchange-traded funds to ensure they are adequately transparent and not fueling market volatility.

Applications for U.S. home mortgages tumbled nearly 15 percent last week as demand for both refinancing and purchases evaporated, while interest rates climbed.

China's financial regulators have asked the world's biggest audit firms to urgently review their work on U.S.-listed Chinese companies and give details on information they may have provided to overseas regulators.

Consumers paid more for food and gas last month, although inflation outside those volatile categories was tame.

BBC

US investment bank Morgan Stanley reports a $2.2bn third quarter profit, helped by a $3.4bn accounting gain.

Fresh protests by students demanding education reform descend into violence in the Chilean capital Santiago.

A malaria vaccine shows promising results in a clinical trial in Africa.

The United States issues an alert for its citizens in India during the holiday season, warning them of "possible terrorist attacks".

WorldNetDaily

A Hyatt hotel in Sugar Land, Texas, has abruptly canceled a previously scheduled tea-party event at which author and Atlas Shrugs founder Pamela Geller was scheduled to speak on the dangers of Islam.

Arlington Heights, Ill., police said they are not classifying an Oct. 15 attack on a church as an anti-Christian "hate crime" after vandals hurled two chunks of concrete through a church window and threatened more aggression if the Christian group refuses to "Quit the homophobic s---!"

An attorney with the Rutherford Institute today argued before the Virginia state Supreme Court that a tiny plastic pellet - shot out of a plastic tube - doesn't qualify as a "weapon" and a long-term suspension for a 14-year-old honor student should be reversed. The argument came in the case involving Andrew Mikel II, who was a freshman last school year when he was kicked out of Spotsylvania High School for the remainder of the session under a claim by school officials that the "spitwad" was "violent criminal conduct."

Occupy Wall Street protesters said yesterday that packs of brazen crooks within their ranks have been robbing their fellow demonstrators blind, making off with pricey cameras, phones and laptops -- and even a hefty bundle of donated cash and food.

Workmen have torn up an enormous section of the lawn in front of the White House for a mysterious, top secret project. The hole by the West Wing is roughly 100ft by 100ft in size and has for the first time in living memory left the ground and pipes beneath the Oval office exposed to the elements.

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