Sep 14, 2011

THE BEAST ROARS


  Also: Perry Asked to Delay Racist Execution , Kabul Siege Ends After 20 Hours , White House Rushed Bad Solar Loan
The Daily Beast Cheat Sheet: Morning

September 14, 2011
ELECTION

Republicans clinched an upset election last night in New York, where Bob Turner handily defeated his Democratic opponent to pick up the seat formerly held by the disgraced Anthony Weiner. Despite the impending loss, which dims Democrats' hopes of winning back the house in 2012, Weiner himself was all smiles at the ballot box, pressing flesh and making fun of his wardrobe with former constituents. The Daily Beast's Michael Daly reports from the polling station.

DEATH PENALTY

Will Rick Perry intervene to help save the life of man who was sentenced to death because he's black? The Texas governor and White House hopeful is the last line of defense for Duane Alan Buck, scheduled to die Thursday, after the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted Wednesday against recommending clemency. Buck, who killed two people in 1995, was sentenced to death after testimony from a psychologist who said Buck posed a future threat to society because he's black; all six other minority defendants in Texas who were sentenced based on this psychologist's testimony have had their sentences commuted. As governor, Rick Perry could issue a one-time 30-day reprieve; Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos, meanwhile, could withdraw the execution date.

XTRA INSIGHTS
ATTACKS

The Taliban's attack on the U.S. embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul came to an end Wednesday after security forces killed the last gunman. The standoff lasted 20 hours, killing at least 11 civilians, four policemen, and six insurgents. The insurgents holed up in a construction fight and began firing rockets at diplomatic sites. Security forces, backed by NATO and U.S. helicopters, then fought floor-by-floor in the construction site, which had also been booby trapped.

MISTAKES

On top of all its other troubles, the Obama administration may have a small scandal on its hands: The White House rushed regulators to approve a $535 million loan for solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra, which collapsed despite the taxpayer assistance two weeks ago. Emails, released by Republican investigators in Congress, show the White House in August 2009 asking the Office of Management and Budget to hurry its consideration of the loans so Vice President Joe Biden could announce the deal in September. "We have ended up with a situation of having to do rushed approvals on a couple of occasions (and we are worried about Solyndra at the end of the week)," one OMB official wrote to Biden's domestic-policy adviser. Another email complained of "the time pressure we are under to sign-off on Solyndra."

XTRA INSIGHTS
EUROPE

Moody's slashed the ratings Wednesday for two French banks, Societe Generale and Credit Agricole, due to concerns over their exposure to Greek debt. French financial institutions have the most exposure to Greek debt—the downgrade is, therefore, a sign of worry from Moody's that Europe will be unable to stabilize the Greek economy. Still, the downgrades were not as bad as some had feared: BNP, France's largest bank, saw its credit rating unchanged.

XTRA INSIGHTS

SCANDAL
News Corp. Faces Two New Lawsuits
Shareholders, 7/7 victim mother sue.
SCANDAL
'Madoff of Campaign Finance' Busted
May have stolen millions from California politicians.
TECH
Microsoft Overhauls Windows
New tablet-friendly OS praised in press.
HOUSE OF MONEY
Tyler Perry: Highest-Paid Man in Hollywood
Beat out Bruckheimer, Spielberg.
CRIME
Spain to Investigate Saudi Prince for Sexual Assault
Alwaleed bin Talal owns stakes in CitiGroup, News Corp.
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