What happened this week – 1) In the U.S., Barack Obama got a lifeline from an unlikely source: the economy. After getting trounced by Romney in the debate on Wednesday night, Obama received much-needed validation from the September jobs report released on Friday. Unemployment dipped to 7.8% from 8.1%, dropping below 8% for the first time since Obama took office. The drop in unemployment was a result of new jobs, not people leaving the labor market. The survey of households reported 873K new jobs in September, the largest increase since Jan-2003 (but the last two months had unusual decreases).
2) In France, entrepreneurs protested President François Hollande’s new tax on capital gains proposed in the 2013 budget. The group dubbed themselves “Les Pigeons” which is slang for suckers. The group’s facebook page has grown to over 60K in less than a week.
3) In Iran, the national currency, the rial, precipitously dropped 25% in value against the dollar on October 1st and 2nd. The drop caused drastic inflation in local prices and sparked riots in Iran. International sanctions and economic mismanagement have materially slowed Iran’s economy. Israel predicts that oil sanctions alone could cost Iran $45 billion to $50 billion this year.
4) In Ghana, the government detained an Argentine military vessel, the Libertad, at the request of an American hedge fund, NML Capital run by billionaire Paul Singer. Singer’s hedge funds have been aggressively pursuing Argentinean national assets across the world since the government defaulted on its national debt in 2001.
5) In Turkey, the death of five people from Syrian shelling in the Turkish border town of Akcakal sparked retaliation by the Turkish military. Turkey killed several Syrian soldiers but resisted temptation to escalate the conflict further. About 80K Syrian refugees have moved to Turkey since the Syrian civil war began.
Top PolicyMic stories – Jon Stewart vs. Bill OReilly "The Rumble 2012" Debate Recap (Alex Marin) – Sandwiched between the "Denver Massacre" and the upcoming VP debate, Jon Stewart and Bill O'Reilly square off tonight at "The Rumble 2012."
Will Hugo Chavez Lose the Venezuelan Election? (Alex Marin) – This Sunday, Venezuelans go to the polls to reelect (or not) Hugo Chavez after a 14-year rule and against emboldened challenger Henrique Capriles. Follow the live updates here.
ROMNEY NOW LEADING IN THE POLLS ... After the First Debate, the Polls Are Crashing Down Around Obama (Chris Miles) – Today is the first time Romney has been ahead by even a single point since mid-September.
5.5 Million Young People Are Out of Work, in What Has Become a Major Crisis For the US (Chris Ryan) – There’s still a bevy of young adults sitting in their childhood bedrooms wondering how they’re ever going to repay their student loans, buy a house, or have kids.
Pumpkin Beers Enjoy Comeback Thanks to Founding Fathers and Micro Breweries(Audrey Farber) – If you are what you eat, then I’m a stein of pumpkin ale.
Austerity Fails in the Euro Zone as Spain, Italy and Greece Millennials Are Still Jobless and Angry (Chris Papanikolaou) – While the crisis in Europe becomes deeper and the Commission's evaluations continue to be disparaging, European society is still where it was a couple of years ago: on the chopping bloc.
Foods to Completely Avoid to Stay Healthy (Elizabeth Lyden) – The FDA and the USDA claim to have our best intentions in mind, but they lack in fully educating people about the foods that they should and should not be eating.
What we’re reading – Mitt Romney: born to run? (FT); The Mitt Romney who might have been (NYT Mag); Susan Rice on Benghazi: Blame the intelligence community (FP); The etch-a-sketch moment (NYMag); Does Barack Obama really want to be president? (WaPo); The jobs numbers: never mind the quantity, check the quality (Guardian).
Dessert – The strange relationship between Lionel Messi and his hometown in Argentina (Sports Illustrated); Half of the facts you know are probably wrong (Reason).