Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012

BLOOMBERG

Michelle Obama is being billed as the featured attraction in house parties her husband’s re- election campaign is organizing around the country tomorrow to try to boost his support among women voters.

A political action committee supporting Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich burned through most of the $10 million it received from billionaire casino executive Sheldon Adelson and his wife in January.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney focused on the economy and government spending in Ohio, while rival Rick Santorum was in Michigan exhorting voters to back him as a way of promoting their own values with primaries approaching in both states.

Britain posted the biggest budget surplus in four years in January, increasing pressure on Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to provide some stimulus for the economy in his budget next month.

Debt-stricken Greece won a second bailout, $173 billion, after European governments wrung concessions from private investors and tapped into European Central Bank profits to shield the euro area from a precedent-setting default.

Gold imports by India are poised to decline for the first time in three years as rising prices deter jewelry buyers and investors, potentially allowing China to overtake the country as the world’s largest consumer.

Europe’s largest lenders and insurers are likely to accede to the Greek debt swap because they’ve already written down their sovereign holdings and want to avert the risk of a default.

A former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. computer programmer was freed after his conviction for stealing the bank’s high-speed trading code was reversed by a U.S. appeals court.

India is poised to surpass China as the world’s biggest thermal coal importer as Prime Minister Manhoman Singh seeks supplies for power makers that have halted plans for $36 billion of new plants because of a fuel shortage.

Deaths attributed to hepatitis in the U.S. rose during the past decade to surpass those from HIV, posing a future public health burden as most people aren’t aware they are infected. The baby boom generation, those born from 1946 to 1964, are the most at risk to the blood borne virus.

AP Top Stories

Syrian government forces killed at least 16 people and wounded some 340 on Tuesday when they unleashed a heavy artillery barrage on a rebel-held district of the city of Homs.

U.S. stocks and the Dow Jones industrial average is nearing 13,000 after Greece secured a bailout deal to keep it from default.

Oil prices remained above $104 but retreated from recent highs after European leaders agreed to lend Greece $172 billion to avoid a debt default.

BBC

The US commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan apologized over reports that foreign troops have “improperly disposed” of copies of the Koran.

European Union officials are expected to vote on legislation labeling Canadian fuel as more polluting than oil from other parts of the world.

Former US astronaut and Senator John Glenn celebrated the 50th anniversary of his orbit of Earth by chatting with crew on the International Space Station.

The US and Mexico agreed to work together to develop oil and gas fields that straddle their maritime boundary in the Gulf of Mexico.

An unprecedented number of children – some as young as 10 – has been forced to join the ranks of Somali’s Islamist militants, Human Rights Watch says.

An explosion at a major steel factory in northeastern China has killed 13 people and injured another 17, says a company official.

Scientists in Russia raise plants from fruit stored away by squirrels 30,000 years ago, smashing the previous age record.

An Iranian military commander says Iran would take pre-emptive action against its enemies if it felt its national interests were endangered.

Iran has announced it will hold military exercises to boost protection of its nuclear sites.

WND

A complaint has been filed asking Pennsylvania state officials to set aside Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential candidacy, because he cannot meet the state’s eligibility requirements.

A new report compiled by several former Education Department insiders for the Pioneer Institute warns that the Obama administration is imposing a national school curriculum, even though the law doesn’t allow it, by making trades with districts seeking waivers from other program requirements.

A spokeswoman for the Susan B. Anthony pro-life organization says Rick Santorum is the right GOP nominee this year.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu built a reputation as a rising, conservative star by taking a hardline stance against illegal immigration, attacking the Obama administration and appearing alongside Sen. John McCain in a 2010 re-election ad in which McCain urged federal officials to just “complete the danged fence.” But, on Saturday, Babeu’s conservative image took a beating as he was forced to confirm publicly that he is gay and was involved in a relationship with a Mexican immigrant who claims the sheriff threatened to have him deported if he revealed their relationship.

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Newspaper Roundup for Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February 21, 2012
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USA Today: Obama ordering government to buy more biobased products Effort to boost America’s farmers and cut the nation’s dependence on oil

Washington Times: Military gay group growing, aiming for more rights

Providence Journal: Oops! VP Biden’s memo announces upcoming visit to ‘Road Island’

Washington Post: First family is front and center in campaign ad New Internet ad by Obama reelection campaign features a portrait of the first family

Washington Post: Va. mosque vandalism draws sympathy for long-persecuted Muslim sect

Washington Examiner: Maryland drivers fired up over proposed gas tax

Washington Times: D.C. battalion chief to be demoted over handling of beer incident Repercussions for reprimanding, rather than suspending, the men involved

Fox News/AP: GOP super PACs report millions in fundraising in January

Fox News: Mustached Americans seek tax break for grooming products

Fox News: Summer students get taste of Occupy movement at Maryland community college

New Hampshire Union Leader: Trial in Manchester brings Rwandan genocide to NH

Washington Times: Religious colleges join fight over contraceptives Lawsuits challenge Obama’s mandate

Denver Post: President Obama taps environmentalist as Colorado campaign director

Los Angeles Times: Porn industry may boogie out of L.A. over condom law

Politico: Rick Santorum aide gaffe: Obama’s ‘radical Islamic policies’

Providence Journal: New home sought for Cranston West school prayer mural

Houston Chronicle: Pelosi praises Bush 41 at College Station event

Politico: Climate researcher admits leaking Heartland Institute documents

Politico: Paul Babeu ex-boyfriend appears on CNN

Fox News: Former IMF chief Strauss-Kahn to be questioned over suspected prostitution ring