News roundup: Drop in U.S. durable goods orders shows weakness in manufacturing … Ultimate strength, course of Isaac as yet unknown … AP says Romney using secretive data-mining
Built to last? Signs that U.S. manufacturing is faltering emerged in a report released this morning that says orders for long-lasting factory goods, excluding the volatile transportation category, fell in July for the fourth time in five months. Overall orders for durable goods—those built to last at least three years—rose a seasonally adjusted 4.2% in July, the Commerce Department says. But excluding aircraft and other transportation goods, orders dropped 0.4%. Get more details in the full story here.
High winds: As Tropical Storm Isaac cuts through the Caribbean Sea with its long-term course set on the northern Gulf of Mexico, somewhere between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle, state and local emergency managers already are scrambling to get residents prepared for a worst-case scenario, The Times-Picayune reports. "Our message would be for residents to monitor the media and their local officials and also to begin reviewing their plans—to have a game plan, as we've been talking about all year," says Kevin Davis, director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in Louisiana. Get the latest on Isaac from the Weather Channel here; and read The Times-Picayune story here.
Watchful eyes: Mitt Romney's success in raising hundreds of millions of dollars in the costliest presidential race ever can be traced in part to a secretive data-mining project that sifts through Americans' personal information—including their purchasing history and church attendance—to identify new and likely wealthy donors, The Associated Press says it has learned. For the data-mining project, the Republican candidate has quietly employed since at least June a little-known but successful analytics firm that previously performed marketing work for a colleague tied to Bain & Co., the management-consulting firm that Romney once led. Read the complete story here.
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