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Good morning! Here’s the news:1. Republican presidential candidates Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann traded barbs at a GOP presidential campaign debate in Ames, Iowa last night. GOP front-runner Mitt Romney sailed through the debate unscathed, but faces a new challenge from Texas Governor Rick Perry.
2. Governor Perry will declare this weekend that he is a candidate for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. He pre-announced his candidacy yesterday via the Associated Press.
3. In a bid to improve the perception of his handling of the economy, President Obama yesterday said that Congressional dysfunction and gratuitously partisan politics worsened the country’s economic crisis.
4. After closing down by more than 500 points on Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up more than 400 points yesterday. The roller coast market ride of the last two weeks has investors on edge.
5. The Financial Times reports: “Business leaders’ confidence in their industries and the global economy deteriorated sharply in the months preceding the latest market turmoil, according to the FT/Economist Global Business Barometer.”
6. France, Italy, Spain and Belgium on Thursday introduced a ban on the short selling of financial stocks for 15 days in response to sharp share price falls this past week. The move evoked the short selling ban in the United States in the autumn of 2008.
7. The French economy grew not at all (zero per cent) in the second quarter, renewing pressure on the government to find more spending cuts to ensure France will meet its pledge to bring the public deficit to 3 per cent of GDP by 2013. The French presidential election is nine months away.
8. Rioting in English cities subsided. The Washington Post reports: “After four nights of lawlessness that has upended British society and seen 1,200 alleged looters and arsonists swept off the streets, the government is also targeting a digital culprit: social media.”
9. The threat of urban violence in the United States is growing more acute. Recent incidents in Wisconsin, Philadelphia and East St. Louis may be a harbinger of things to come.
10. The Department of defence yesterday released the names of 30 US servicemembers who died Aug. 6 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when their CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed.