Today's Intel

Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011

BLOOMBERG

Republican presidential contender Herman Cain used campaign funds to buy his own books from his motivational speaking company, Federal Election Commission records show.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is under more pressure than at any point in three decades over Chairman Ben S. Bernanke's efforts to jumpstart the economy, and the criticism threatens to undermine support for the central bank.

President Obama called on Congress to pass elements of his jobs proposal and attacked Republican alternatives, saying his plan is the "real Americans Jobs Act."

Wholesale prices in the U.S. rose 0.8 percent, more than forecast in September, boosted by gasoline, food and trucks, indicating inflationary pressures continue to bubble up the production line.

China's economy grew 9.1 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, the slowest pace since 2009, driving stocks lower on concern that Europe's debt crisis is dragging on the global recovery.

Japan is preparing to ease restrictions on U.S. beef imports as concerns about mad cow disease receded and domestic cattle production fell after the nation's worst nuclear disaster since World War II.

AP Top Stories

A local NBC affiliate in Richmond, Virginia reports that thieves stole a truck carrying hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment that travels with President Obama, including his Teleprompters.

Sea piracy worldwide has surged this year, with Somali pirates intensifying their attacks and Benin emerging as a new hotspot, a global maritime watchdog said Tuesday.

Doubt cast on France's triple-A credit rating by Moody's raised uncertainty over Europe's hopes of drawing a line under its sovereign debt crisis, five days before a crucial EU summit.

Bank of America earned $6.2 billion in the third quarter, following a big loss in the same period a year ago. The earnings mostly came from accounting gains and the sale of a stake in a Chinese bank. Bank of America is also no longer the largest bank in the U.S. by assets, which fell to $2.21 trillion in the quarter. The Charlotte, North Carolina, bank ceded that title to rival JPMorgan Chase & Co. which reported total assets of $2.28 trillion.

Goldman Sachs reported a third-quarter loss of $428 million as revenue from underwriting stocks and bonds plunged. It was only the second quarterly loss for the investment bank since it went public 12 years ago.

President Obama plans to sign trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia on Friday, capping years of negotiations and completing U.S. action on the biggest trade deal since the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993.

BBC

Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit arrives home after five years' captivity in Gaza, as the first of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners are freed as part of a prisoner exchange.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Libya on an unannounced visit aimed at showing support for the Libyan people and building ties as fierce fighting breaks out in Sirte.

There has been a fall of just over 20% in the number of deaths from malaria worldwide in the past decade, the World Health Organization says.

A Tibetan nun sets herself on fire near a restive monastery in western China, in the ninth such incident in recent months, reports say.

North Korea and the US hold talks on restarting efforts to recover the remains of US troops killed during the Korean War, after a six-year halt.

Sir Richard Branson has dedicated the launch pad for his space tourism venture in the New Mexico desert - with his usual eye for a photo opportunity. The 2.5-hour flights will offer five minutes of weightlessness and cost $200,000

The number of people killed by a week of torrential rains in Central America, which triggered floods and landslides, has risen to at least 80, officials say.

Malaysian police say they have broken up a ring of human traffickers who forced Ugandan women into prostitution.

WorldNetDaily

Researcher Ron Polland, known for his forensic investigation of Barack Obama's short-form birth certificate, now has constructed from scratch a duplicate of the document released by the White House in April, seeking to validate his contention that it was created by a forger.

The central characters in the failed "Fast and Furious" firearms investigation were 19 men and one woman, all legal residents of the U.S., accused of laying down hundreds of thousands of dollars in illicit cash at Phoenix-area gun shops to buy an arsenal of high-powered weapons for Mexican drug smugglers. Between September 2009 and December 2010, congressional investigators said, they purchased or aided in the purchase of more than 2,000 AK-47 assault weapons, Barrett .50-caliber sniper rifles, FN 5.7mm semi-automatic pistols and other assorted rifles, shotguns and handguns that later were "walked" into Mexico. About half the weapons remain unaccounted for. They paid cash, as much as $900,000, and with each purchase they signed their names on Form 4473, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) document, swearing under the threat of committing a felony that they were not purchasing the weapons for someone else - that they were not "straw buyers."

The Pentagon is watching for the possibility that Israel could use the occasion of an alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States as a pretext for launching a long-anticipated attack on Iran's nuclear sites.

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