News Wrap: Cain Reassesses 2012 Run After Woman Claims Long-Term Affair
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HARI SREENIVASAN: Standard & Poor’s downgraded its ratings today for the largest banks in the U.S. by at least one notch. They included Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo. The ratings service said the shift reflects new criteria that better take into account shifts in the worldwide financial industry.
Home prices are falling again after managing small gains in the spring and summer. The Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller index reported today that prices fell in September in 17 of 20 cities that were surveyed. At the same time, consumer confidence rose in November to the highest level since July.
On Wall Street, the stock market had a mixed reaction to the news. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 32 points to close at 11,555. But the Nasdaq fell more than 11 points to close at 2,515.
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is now reassessing his run for the White House. He spoke to staffers today after an Atlanta woman claimed she’d had a 13-year affair with him. Several other women had already accused Cain of sexual harassment.
In a conference call today, the candidate said — quote — “We have to do an assessment as to whether or not this is going to create too much of a cloud in some people’s minds.”
Cain has denied all of the claims made against him.
Protesters in Iran stormed the British Embassy today. The action grew out of protests organized by groups that have the Iranian government’s official backing.
We have a report narrated by Bill Neely of Independent Television News.
BILL NEELY: International law is meant to protect embassies, but international law was missing when a mob stormed Britain’s embassy.
Iran’s police are obliged to stop this, but there they are in their riot helmets, and they’re not pulling down the protesters who have already scaled the gate. Dozens got in, furious at British sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program. It was broadcast live on Iranian television, millions watching as the mob smashed its way through the embassy, breaking windows, throwing petrol bombs, removing a portrait of the queen, ransacking offices and scattering documents.
The Iranian reporter sounding as anti-British as the crowd:
IRANIAN REPORTER: Unless British officials change their attitude toward the Iranian nation and stop their domineering and hostile policies…
BILL NEELY: A second British compound six miles away was also stormed, cars set alight, diplomatic quarters and a British school attacked.
At the embassy, six staff members were held by the mob and released only hours later. The royal crest was kicked down, the police seemingly helpless.
In the Commons, on the right of screen, the foreign secretary was handed a note to say Britain’s embassy was being trashed. He called it an outrage.
WILLIAM HAGUE, British foreign secretary: We hold the Iranian government responsible for its failure to take adequate measures to protect our embassy, as it is required to do.
BILL NEELY: He promised serious consequences. The embassy staff are unharmed, but hardly wholly safe.
HARI SREENIVASAN: In Washington, a White House spokesman condemned the assault on British diplomatic sites. Later, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said it regrets the incidents.
Pakistan will boycott an upcoming conference on stabilizing Afghanistan. The decision today was the latest fallout from a NATO air raid that killed 24 government soldiers on Saturday. It happened early Saturday in the region known as the Mohmand agency, just inside the Pakistani border with Afghanistan.
In a statement today, a top Pakistani general called the attack a deliberate act of aggression. NATO has said it was unintended.
The man who killed 77 people in the Norway massacre, Anders Breivik, was declared criminally insane today. Breivik has confessed that he set off a bomb in downtown Oslo last July, then opened fire at a youth camp run by the governing Labor Party. He has said he did it to protect Norway from Muslim immigration. If a court accepts the criminally insane designation, Breivik will be kept in a psychiatric institution, instead of prison.
The Los Angeles doctor convicted in the death of Michael Jackson has been sentenced to four years in prison. Dr. Conrad Murray received the maximum possible term today for his conviction on a charge of involuntary manslaughter. The judge called him a disgrace to the medical profession. Jackson died of a drug overdose in 2009, mainly from the use of a surgical anesthetic as a sleep aid.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.