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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
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Journal Archives

President Obama To Honor Return Of Libya Attack Victims

Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are attending the return of the remains of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans killed in an attack of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, this week.

Obama and Clinton were to go to Joint Base Andrews in suburban Maryland for the return ceremony.

Read more: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_OBAMA_LIBYA_REMAINS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-09-14-11-47-36

Romney Criticizes Obama For Not Meeting Netanyahu

1 hour ago • Associated Press

Republican Mitt Romney is criticizing President Barack Obama for not planning to meet in person with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next week, calling it "confusing and troubling."

Romney said at a New York fundraiser Friday that Israel is America's "closest ally" and "best friend in the Middle East." He urged Obama to meet with Netanyahu surrounding the start of United Nations General Assembly meetings next week.

The White House has denied published reports that Obama had rejected Netanyahu's request for a meeting with the president in Washington next week, saying no such request was made or rejected.



Consumer Sentiment Jumps to Highest Level in Four Months

Source: CNBC

U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly rose in early September to its highest level in four months as Americans were more upbeat about their economic and job prospects, a survey showed on Friday.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary September consumer sentiment index rose to 79.2 from 74.3 in August. That topped expectations for a decline to 74.0, according to a Reuters poll.

The gauge of consumer expectations climbed to 73.4 from 65.1, though the barometer of current economic conditions nudged down to 88.3 from 88.7. Both the sentiment and expectations measures were at their highest level since May.

Just 12 percent of those surveyed expected the unemployment rate to rise, down sharply from the 25 percent that anticipated an increase in August's survey. This month's proportion was the lowest recorded since 1966.

Read more: http://www.cnbc.com/id/49031918

Purged Florida Voters to Be Returned to Voting Rolls, State Says

Florida residents erroneously purged from voter rolls after being identified as non-citizens will be able to cast ballots in the November election, the state said.

Florida’s Department of State said yesterday it will alert voters who were improperly removed, or wrongly told they would be removed, that they can vote. The government’s announcement followed a legal complaint by civil rights and other groups objecting to the purge.

The state originally identified more than 2,600 potential non-citizens on the rolls at the direction of Republican Governor Rick Scott. Of those, it has found about 207 voters who are non- citizens and shouldn’t be allowed to cast ballots, said Chris Cate, a Florida Department of State spokesman. Any of the remaining 2,400 voters who were told they would be removed from the rolls will now be alerted that they can vote, he said.

There are about 11.5 million voters in Florida, the biggest electoral prize among states viewed as competitive by campaigns for Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney. The past three presidential races in Florida have been decided by 5 percentage points or less. Obama and Romney have traded the lead in Florida polls this year.



Obama Leads Romney in Poll of Florida, Ohio and Virginia

By Jonathan D. Salant - Sep 14, 2012

Continuing his post-convention bounce in surveys, President Barack Obama led Republican rival Mitt Romney in three key swing states, Florida, Ohio and Virginia, in a poll released yesterday.

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist College survey of likely voters gave Obama a 49 percent to 44 percent edge over Romney in both Florida and Virginia, and a 50 percent to 43 percent edge in Ohio, which a Republican has never won the White House without carrying.

“We’re seeing the effects of the Democratic convention in these numbers and we’ll see whether he’s able to sustain it,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion in Poughkeepsie, New York.

The survey was released on the same day Romney campaigned in Virginia, criticizing Obama’s handling of the attacks on U.S. diplomatic posts in the Middle East, one of which led to the deaths of four Americans in Libya. “As we watch the world today, sometimes it seems that we are at the mercy of events instead of shaping events,” Romney said.



Oil approaches $100 in New York on Fed stimulus, Mideast unrest

Source: Bloomberg

Friday, 14 September 2012
By Grant Smith and Ben Sharples

Oil rose to the highest level in four months on speculation that economic stimulus in the U.S. will boost fuel demand, and concern that unrest in the Middle East and North Africa will disrupt supplies.

Futures advanced as much as 1.4 percent, erasing their decline for the year. The Fed said yesterday it will make open- ended purchases of $40 billion a month of mortgage debt to boost the economy. Protesters attempted to storm the U.S. embassy in Yemen and demonstrators marched in Egypt and Iran against a film seen as insulting to Islam. Iran is raising tension by expanding its nuclear program, according to Robert Wood, the U.S. envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“We always have initial optimism on stimulus programs -- the question is, how long it will last?” said Jonathan Barratt, the chief executive officer of Barratt’s Bulletin, a commodity newsletter in Sydney. “Middle East geopolitical concerns should add a premium of about $5 to $6.”

Crude for October delivery climbed as much as $1.44 to $99.75 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was at $99.46 at 8:18 a.m. Singapore time. The contract yesterday increased 1.3 percent to $98.31, the highest close since May 4. Prices are up 3.1 percent this week, set for the sixth gain in seven weeks.

Read more: http://www.iranfocus.com/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=25961il-approaches-100-in-new-york-on-fed-stimulus-mideast-unrest&catid=4:iran-general&Itemid=26

Senator Barbara Boxer Lashes Out At Netanyahu For Attacking Obama On Iran

By Ron Kampeas · September 12, 2012

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Barbara Boxer, a top Jewish U.S. senator and the sponsor of major pro-Israel legislation, blasted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for lashing out at President Obama on Iran.

"I write to you as one of Israel’s staunchest supporters in Congress to express my deep disappointment over your remarks that call into question our country’s support for Israel and commitment to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons," Boxer (D-Calif.) said in a letter sent Wednesday in a rare instance of a pro-Israel lawmaker making public an unhappiness with an Israeli leader. "Your remarks are utterly contrary to the extraordinary United States-Israel alliance, evidenced by President Obama’s record and the record of Congress."

Boxer apparently was referring to Netanyahu's remarks in Jerusalem on Tuesday in which he decried a lack of clarity from the "international community" -- seen in Israel as code for the Obama administration -- for failing to make clear what would trigger a U.S. strike on Iran as that country reportedly nears obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Boxer, rebuking Netanyahu, cited a law signed by Obama this summer that enhances security cooperation between Israel and the United States. Boxer authored the legislation. She wrote that the law addresses many of Israel’s top security priorities, including extending loan guarantees to Israel and increasing the U.S. weapons stockpile in Israel, "which is available for Israel’s use in the event of a crisis."



Benjamin Netanyahu vs. Barack Obama

By GLENN THRUSH | 9/13/12 4:35 AM EDT Updated: 9/13/12 8:14 AM EDT

President Barack Obama’s national security team had every reason to believe they’d be spared a Bibi eruption before Election Day.

Earlier this year, U.S. and Israeli officials had informally agreed to stop airing their well-documented disagreements over how to halt Iran’s nuclear program, according to two people familiar with the situation.

But on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu broke the tacit détente. He accused the Obama administration, albeit not by name, of going squishy on Tehran by not creating concrete benchmarks — “red lines,” he called them — for a military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.

The latest flare-up in the tempestuous Obama-Netanyahu relationship was overshadowed Wednesday by the carnage at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. But U.S. officials believe the intense debate over the allied response to Iran’s nuclear program — and the sharp personal, policy and political differences between the two leaders — rivals the perils posed by the excesses of the Arab Spring.



Rich-Poor Gap Widens to Most Since 1967 as Income Falls

By Catherine Dodge and Mike Dorning - Sep 12, 2012 3:33 PM ET

A census report showing median household income fell last year puts a new focus on the biggest issue of the U.S. presidential election. And it’s likely to be deployed by both candidates to reinforce their campaign themes.

The U.S. Census Bureau figures released yesterday underscored the struggles of American families in a sputtering economic recovery. The report also showed the income gap between rich and poor people grew to the widest in more than 40 years in 2011 as the poverty rate remained at almost a two-decade high.

“Weirdly, I think you’re going to see both sides take these numbers and suggest it’s evidence why ‘I should be elected,’” said Steve Jarding, a lecturer at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a former Democratic political consultant.

Median household income dropped 1.5 percent last year to $50,054 -- the lowest level since 1995 when adjusted for inflation -- while the proportion of Americans living in poverty was 15 percent, little changed from 2010. The 46.2 million people in poverty remained at the highest number in the 53 years since the Census Bureau has been collecting that statistic.



Wholesale Prices in U.S. Rise Most in Three Years on Oil

By Michelle Jamrisko and Shobhana Chandra - Sep 13, 2012 8:55 AM ET

Wholesale prices in the U.S. increased in August by the most in more than three years, reflecting a surge in energy costs.

The producer price index climbed 1.7 percent after an increase of 0.3 percent in July, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 79 economists called for a 1.2 percent gain. Core wholesale inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.2 percent, in line with forecasts.

Companies may find it difficult to pass on higher energy costs as the global economic slowdown and so-called fiscal cliff of higher taxes and government spending cuts prompt their customers to limit spending. The absence of broad-based price increases gives Federal Reserve policy makers, who meet today, room to provide more monetary stimulus for the economy.

“Outside of energy, producer prices for the most part are pretty contained,” said Omair Sharif, a U.S. economist at RBS Securities Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut. “I don’t think the Fed is going to be too concerned. The Fed is going to take today’s report as consistent with their view that the run-up in energy is transitory.”


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