TPM News

Samsung has overtaken Apple as the largest manufacturer of smartphones in the world, according to two new market analysis reports from IDC and Strategy Analytics.

Samsung reportedly shipped 27.8 million smartphones in the third quarter, compared to Apple's 17.1 million iPhones during the same period, according to a research report published late Thursday by Strategy Analytics (via Business Wire).

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The AP reports:

On the defensive over a half-billion-dollar loan to a now-bankrupt solar company, the White House on Friday ordered an independent review of similar loans made by the Energy Department, its latest response to rising criticism over Solyndra Inc.

The White House is pushing ahead with its strategy of taking executive action to circumvent Congressional GOP opposition on job creation, on Friday unveiling a new presidential memorandum aimed at helping private businesses in hard economic times.

As President Obama struggles to build support for many components of his jobs bill in Congress, he continued to roll-out unilateral steps as part of his new "We Can't Wait" theme. Obama on Friday signed two business-friendly memorandums: one that would shorten the time it takes for federal research to translate into commercial products in the marketplace, and another creating a website, known as BusinessUSA, to make it easier for companies to learn about federal export opportunities and other government services.

"Today, I am directing my administration to take two important steps to help American businesses create new products, compete in a global economy, and create jobs here at home," Obama said in statement.

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Late update: A federal judge ruled Soueid should be detained.

Federal authorities botched a translation of a conversation between accused Syrian spy Mohamad Anas Haitham Soueid and his wife and even used Google Translate for some interpretations, his lawyers claimed in a court filing.

Lawyer Haytham Faraj said the government "is attempting to peddle an argument about aliases intended to make Mr. Soueid appear to be deceptive, dangerous and a flight risk." The U.S. government, Faraj continued, "has demonstrated a serious deficit in its ability to translate recorded conversations from Arabic into English."

"Mr. Soueid's name in Arabic is spelled and written as so: 'سويد هيثم أنس محمد' It is read from right to left. The script representing the Arabic name above was prepared using Google translator by simply typing the words Mohamad Anas Haitham Soueid," Faraj wrote.

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The New York Times reported yesterday that Herman Cain is often rude to staffers, even circulating a memo instructing them not to speak until spoken to. Today at a campaign stop in Alabama, Cain attempted to clarify the reason behind the rudeness, Politico reports.

"If I'm trying to prepare for a speech, I do tell people to shut up. Yeah. But see, you didn't say that the first time. You made it seem as if I was on the way to Dairy Queen and I was gonna tell everyone to shut up. If I'm preparing for a speech or preparing for a debate, they know be quiet because I'm trying to get my thoughts together. Whoever said that, that's the truth.

This is how I prepare, because you want to be mentally prepared. Whoever said it, I really don't care. The point is, yes they give me quiet time when I'm trying to prepare."

Rick Perry's campaign has been making noise about possibly skipping future debates -- taken by many observers as an acknowledgment of weakness after his many infamous debate flubs. But now he's starting to sound a different note.

Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times reports on Twitter, at Perry's candidate filing in New Hampshire:

Perry says he hasn't decided if he'll skip debates. "Shoot," he says, "I may get to be a good debater before this is all over."

Perry does have a point. Surely, with the 873 debates that are still scheduled (okay, there are more than a dozen in the next 90 days, but still), he's bound to get the hang of it eventually.