Today's Intel

Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011


Florida will likely defy national party rules and set its presidential primary for Jan. 31, 2012, state House Speaker Dean Cannon said yesterday, a move that would trigger an acceleration of the Republican nominating race.

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry retreated from his debate statement last week that those who oppose in-state tuition for illegal immigrants don't "have a heart."

International investors expect the world economy to relapse into a recession, with more than one in three forecasting a global economic meltdown within the next year.

German lawmakers' approval of an expansion of the euro-area rescue fund's firepower handed Chancellor Merkel a victory that paves the way for steps to stem the European debt crisis.

The U.S. economy grew at a 1.3 percent pace in the second quarter, faster than estimated last month and helped by exports and spending on services.

Claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell by 37,000 in the week ended Sept. 24 to 391,000, more than forecast last week as an atypical calendar alignment made it more difficult for the government to adjust the data for seasonal changes.

The price of options to protect against losses on equities from China to India and Brazil has surged to its highest since 2009 relative to U.S. contracts.

Consumer confidence in the U.S. slumped last week to minus 53, the second-lowest level on record, as Americans grew more concerned with their financial situation and the buying climate worsened. Similar readings were reached three times in the first half of 2009 and surpassed only by all-time lows of minus 54 plumbed in November 2008 and again in January 2009.

China launched its first space laboratory module today in a step toward a manned station orbiting Earth, two months after the final shuttle mission halted the U.S.'s ability to put people into orbit.

Ford Chief Executive Officer reiterated the automaker's plan to add 7,000 jobs over the next two years in the U.S. as it expects the world's largest economy to avoid another recession.

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. creditors holding more than $140 billion in claims support the company's latest payout plan, up from $100 billion in July, the defunct firm said.

Rare-earth prices are set to extend their decline from records this year as buyers including Toyota and General Electric scale back using the materials in their cars and windmills.

AP Top Stories

The United States must stop blaming Islamabad for regional instability, Pakistan's prime minister told a gathering of the country's political leaders.

The arrest of a Massachusetts man that the FBI alleges wanted to fly remote-controlled airplanes filled with C-4 explosives into the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol, gives a rare glimpse into how the government has been focusing on the threat of lone wolves and homegrown terrorists.

Freddie Mac says the average on a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 4.01 percent this week. That's the lowest rate since 1951. The average on a 15-year fixed mortgage ticked down to 3.28 percent. Economists say that's the lowest rate ever.

The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes fell 1.2 percent in August, after a weaker-than-expected peak buying season.


The prime suspect in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen will face a military tribunal in Guantanamo Bay, US defense officials say.

The White House asks the Supreme Court to uphold its healthcare law, inviting a possible high-stakes legal showdown just before the 2012 election.

Mexico's Supreme Court upholds a law in the state of Baja California that states life begins at conception, in a decision hailed by anti-abortion campaigners.

Forces loyal to Libya's transitional authorities take the airport in Sirte, the birthplace of fugitive leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah overturns a court ruling sentencing a woman to 10 lashes for breaking a ban on female drivers, reports say.


The Obama administration told the Palestinian Authority it cannot significantly help advance a Palestinian state until after the 2012 presidential elections. The official said the U.S. will press for a Palestinian state quickly if President Obama is re-elected.

More than a third of Egyptians support the extreme Muslim Brotherhood movement, according to a new survey.

Without question, the tea party movement has more passion and energy than any other force in American politics today. But it also has no coherent central organization or plan, raising questions about its potential impact on the 2012 elections. "They are the most powerful emotional force in American politics," said Bruce Buchanan, a professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin, "but they're disorganized and have no long-term strategy."

Iran has begun to mass produce the Qader marine cruise missile, designed to target warships, frigates and coastal targets. An unspecified number of the missiles, equipped with a range of 200 kilometers, were delivered to the Iranian Navy as well as to the Revolutionary Guard's naval division.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards have stolen dozens of sophisticated Russian-made surface-to-air missiles from Libya and smuggled them across the border to neighboring Sudan, according to Western intelligence reports. They say the weapons stolen by Iran include sophisticated Russian-made SA-24 missiles that were sold to Libya in 2004. The missile can shoot down aircraft flying at 11,000 feet, and is regarded as the Russian equivalent of the American "stinger" missiles.

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