TPM News

LONDON/ZURICH (Reuters) – British police charged UBS trader Kweku Adoboli with fraud on Friday, a day after the Swiss bank said it had lost about $2 billion in unauthorized trades, plunging it into crisis.

During the UN’s General Assembly next week, President Obama will meet with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss Israel, Reuters reports. Palestine is also expected to make a bid for UN recognition during the General Assembly meeting — a move the U.S. has discouraged.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Consumer sentiment inched up in early September, but Americans remained gloomy about the future with a gauge of expectations falling to the lowest level since 1980, a survey released on Friday showed.

The new mantra in Washington is "Go Big!"

It started with Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles -- the co-chairs of President Obama's fiscal commission -- and is now on the lips of scores of members of Congress in both parties.

Joining about two dozen other senators Thursday, Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) urged the new deficit Super Committee "We're with you! Be brave! Be bold! Go Big!"

Even President Obama wants them to "Go Big!" -- he'll be sending Super Committee members a list of deficit reduction proposals that go way beyond the $1.5 trillion they're aiming for, and hopes to use those extra savings to finance his jobs bill.

But this isn't realistic if you listen to the members themselves, particularly Republicans.

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Climate change is a "human" -- not "political" -- issue, former Vice President Al Gore said Thursday at an event concluding his 24-hour Climate Reality Project intended to convert skeptics of global warming.

In order to have an intelligent conversation about climate change, Gore said, we need to "to start with an acceptance of what the reality is that we are actually facing." Gore compared the controversy and skepticism over global warming to tobacco companies that would manufacture public doubt about the harm of their product.

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Ethics has always been a strong point for President Obama, but Republicans are looking to knock the halo off his reformer image, taking advantage of two stories this week raising questions about whether the White House exerted pressure to give major donors a boost.

White House press secretary Jay Carney received a barrage of questions on Thursday about the recent collapse of Solyndra, a solar company that received $534 million in loan guarantees from the administration. The Washington Post reported this week on emails from the White House in 2009 in which they repeatedly asked OMB how quickly the loan could be approved and mentioned that Vice President Joe BIden wanted to announce its approval at a September event with the company. One of Solyndra's major investors, billionaire George Kaiser, is a major fundraiser for Obama. Republicans pounced, with RNC chair Reince Priebus calling the loan "the kind of taxpayer-funded cronyism this White House said it would eliminate."

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Add Mitt Romney to the list of presidential candidates distancing themselves from some loud voices in the audience of Monday night's CNN/Tea Party Express debate.

In a CNN appearance on Thursday, Wolf Blitzer asked Romney to reflect on the memorable moment from the debate when members of the audience cheered for the idea of letting an uninsured man die rather than pay for his care with government funds.

Romney said the moment took him aback.

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If you don’t have power for a week, should you have to pay for the electricity you may have theoretically used during that time? Baltimore Gas and Electric has outraged its customers by announcing that they may be charged for more power than they actually consumed. Hurricane Irene left 750,000 BGE customers in the dark for a full week, and in order to speed the recovery process, the company pulled its meter readers from their usual duties in order to help with repairs. As a result, they didn’t collect usage levels for 150,000 customers and the company decided to send those households estimated bills. BGE says they will base the estimated bills on historical data from the household in question.

Customers are incredulous. “How can you estimate a bill when we didn’t have anything for seven days?” BGE customer Rebecca Snowden asks. “If I get a service, I pay for it at the time of service. If i don’t get it, I don’t pay for it.”

BGE has now promised to send crews to every household in order to take a physical reading and will adjust the bills accordingly.

A Field Poll in California finds Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) with a 41% approval rating, the lowest of her Senate career.

BANI WALID/SIRTE, Libya (Reuters) – The forces of Libya’s new leaders attacked two besieged towns on Friday, storming into Bani Walid and pushing forward at Sirte, as they tried to finish off resistance from diehard supporters of Muammar Gaddafi.

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