Today's Intel

Friday, Oct. 14, 2011

BLOOMBERG

Herman Cain's self-described "bold" 9-9-9 tax proposal has received most of the attention in his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. His plans for the federal budget are more radical.

President Obama and South Korean President Myung-bak take a victory lap in Michigan for the auto industry, which is poised to increase sales and jobs under the U.S.-South Korea free-trade agreement.

Tax experts and business groups interviewed don't like Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's tax plan as much as voters. They said it would shift the burden to middle-income and poor families and would hurt sales across the economy, at least in the short term.

Retail sales in the U.S. rose 1.1 percent, more than forecast in September, easing concern slumping confidence and scant hiring will derail the biggest part of the economy.

European officials are outlining a rescue plan that may include deeper investor losses on Greek bonds, higher bank capital levels and increased firepower for bailouts and the IMF.

Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. are among firms planning to repay rather than roll over their share of $231 billion raised under a U.S. loan program meant to help the economy as the business slowdown crimps demand for credit.

China has taken on GE and Western peers that control the $70 billion wind-turbine market, striving to repeat its 2010 coup when the Asian nation sold more than half the world's solar panels for the first time.

Raj Rajaratnam, the Galleon Group LLC co-founder whom prosecutors called "the modern face of illegal insider trading," was sentenced to 11 years in prison, one of the longest terms ever for insider trading, though less than half of the maximum sought by the government.

AP Top Stories

Despite sweeping pessimism about the nation's fortunes and his own sliding approval ratings, President Obama leads potential Republican rivals Mitt Romney and Rick Perry in hypothetical general-election match-ups, according to a new TIME poll.

The Obama administration's decision to restructure a half-billion dollar loan to a failing solar energy company is back in the spotlight as a House panel resumes hearings on solar panel maker Solyndra.

Iowa's increasingly political pastors are up for grabs, divided on whom to support from a GOP field that features several candidates who call themselves born-again Christians. "More pastors are engaged than four years ago," said Jeff Mullen, who leads one of the Des Moines area's largest evangelical churches. "But there are more choices."

Syrian forces shot dead at least six people protesting against President Bashar al-Assad on Friday, activists said, and the United Nations called for international protection for civilians from a crackdown it said could lead to civil war.

The number of Americans who lack access to basic necessities like food and healthcare is now higher than it was at the peak of the Great Recession. The share of Americans struggling to put food on the table is now three times as large as the share of the Chinese population in the same position.

Libya imported $1.6 billion worth of fuel during the six months of revolution, including from Qatar and Turkey, and has yet to repay $890 million, the interim oil and finance minister said.

The nation's only professional group for active-duty gay military personnel is holding its first conference in Las Vegas, an event only made possible by the recent lifting of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that prohibited gay and lesbian troops from serving openly in the armed forces.

U.S. businesses added to their stockpiles for a 20th consecutive month in August while sales rose for a third straight month.

The official cleanup of a New York plaza where protesters have camped out for a month was postponed early Friday, sending up cheers from demonstrators who feared the effort was merely a pretext to evict them and said the victory emboldened their movement.

BBC

The United Nations says the death toll in seven months of protests in Syria against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad has reached 3,000.

President Obama says the US can back up all its allegations of an Iranian conspiracy to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington.

President Obama has raised $70m towards his re-election bid in the third quarter of 2011. The amount is less than his fundraising total for the previous quarter but higher than his $55m goal.

A study says the wave of popular protests this year in North Africa and the Middle East known as the Arab Spring has cost the region more than $50bn.

WorldNetDaily

A George Soros-funded economist taught a course to the Occupy Wall Street protesters purportedly to help the activists better understand what caused the global financial crisis. Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz also recently addressed the so-called social protests rocking Spain.

A majority of the U.S. House of Representatives approved a new piece of legislation, the Protect Life Act, which specifically would ban federal funds under Obamacare from being used for abortions.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour says Herman Cain would "sweep the South" if he is the GOP nominee against President Obama in 2012. "He does not give you the impression that he is full of himself, straight-talking person ... who calls it like he sees them."

The FBI has awarded a $524,927 contract to a Virginia company to record as much radio news and talk programming as it can find on the Internet. The FBI says it is not playing big brother by policing the airwaves, but rather seeking access to what airs as potential evidence.

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