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10 things you need to know today: July 14, 2012
JPMorgan's losses pile up, Mitt Romney fights back, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon initially estimated that his bank had lost some $2 billion in the London Whale trades, though the sum is now closer to $6 billion.
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon initially estimated that his bank had lost some $2 billion in the London Whale trades, though the sum is now closer to $6 billion.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

1. JPMORGAN TRADERS' LOSSES NOW TOTAL $5.8 BILLION
After announcing that it had recorded a $5 billion second quarter profit, despite a $4.4 billion mega-loss due to bad bets, JPMorgan said Friday that a number of traders may have hidden losses that now amount to $5.8 billion for the year. The development could "result in criminal charges" against those employees. The big bets, now known as the "London Whale trades," were made on corporate debt using derivatives, and when they were first revealed in May, the company estimated then that the loss was $2 billion. JPMorgan said that in the coming weeks the bad bets could bring about another $1.7 billion in losses, but that the problems at the company's Chief Investment Office (CIO) have been fixed. At least two CIO employees have left JPMorgan since the revelation, and an investigation is ongoing. [Reuters]
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2. U.N. VERIFIES DEADLY ASSAULT ON SYRIAN TOWN
Gen. Robert Mood, the commander of the U.N. Observers Mission in Syria, said Friday that his team has verified fighting in the Hama village of Tremseh yesterday that activists claim has killed more than 200 people. Tremseh "was bombarded by helicopter gunships and tanks," says The Guardian. Upon learning about the attacks, U.N. peace envoy Kofi Annan said he was "shocked and appalled" by the assault, and criticized the government for using heavy weaponry in highly populated areas. While the regime of President Bashar al-Assad claims that the attacks were perpetrated by terrorists, members of the opposition said government forces were on the hunt for soldiers who had defected to join the rebel Free Syrian Army. [Guardian]
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3. ROMNEY DEMANDS APOLOGY FROM OBAMA ON BAIN
On Friday, presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney demanded that President Obama apologize for "reckless" and "absurd" allegations made about Romney's tenure at private equity firm Bain Capital. The Obama campaign maintains that documents filed with the SEC show that Romney remained the head of Bain for several years past 1999, even though Romney claims he effectively retired from the company that year. Earlier this week, members of Obama's campaign claimed that Romney was either lying to the American people or had committed a felony by filing inaccurate documents with the SEC. In interviews with several news outlets, Romney said the suggestion of illegality was "disgusting" and "demeaning." Obama, for his part, earlier in the day increased pressure on Romney, saying he would have to explain the discrepancy between the documents and his statements.  [New York Times]
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4. GEITHNER WARNED OF LIBOR PROBLEMS IN 2007
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released documents on Friday showing that it was aware that banks could be manipulating Libor, a  benchmark interest rate used for trillions of dollars worth of financial transactions around the globe, as early as 2007, when the bank was headed by current Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. The disclosure came amid ongoing investigations into whether regulators in the U.S. and elsewhere could have done more to prevent the manipulation, which allegedly benefited major banks and made them seem healthier than they were. Only one major bank, Britain's Barclays, has admitted to distorting the rate, for which it agreed to pay a $453 million fine. [Associated Press]
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5. D.C. COP ALLEGEDLY THREATENS TO SHOOT FIRST LADY
A Washington D.C. motorcycle police officer has been put on administrative leave after allegedly threatening to shoot First Lady Michelle Obama. Several police officers confirmed that they heard the unnamed officer, who works as a motorcycle escort for White House officials and other dignitaries, make the comments. The police department's Internal Affairs division and the Secret Service are investigating the allegations. White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that the president is aware of the situation. [Washington Post]
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6. TWO U.S. TOURISTS KIDNAPPED IN EGYPT
Two U.S. tourists and their Egyptian guide were kidnapped by Bedouins in the Sinai region of Egypt on Friday. According to police, the Bedouins are demanding the release of one of their tribesmen in exchange for the hostages, as they have frequently done while taking hostages this past year. [AFP]
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7. MEXICO'S RUNNER-UP FILES ELECTION CHALLENGE
Andres Lopez Obrador, the runner-up in Mexico's July 1 presidential election, has filed a legal challenge, saying he "would prove that illicit money was used to buy votes and secure the victory of centrist candidate Enrique Pena Nieto." Nieto, of Mexico's Institutional Revolutionary Party, denies the claims. Lopez Obrador, from the Party of the Democratic Revolution, wants the results of the vote to be deemed invalid. He also claims that Nieto violated campaign rules by overspending. "The purchase and manipulation of millions of votes cannot give certainty to any result nor to the overall electoral process," he said. Nieto branded his opponent a "sore loser." [BBC]
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8. NO WARNING BEFORE MONT BLANC AVALANCHE 
The deadly avalanche that struck France's Mont Blanc on Thursday, killing nine people, hit without warning, surviving climbers say. One survivor, Danish climber Thomas Dybro, recalled the terrifying ordeal, saying, "All of a sudden big pieces of ice fell down right next to us.... And then a split second after that it all came down and hit us and blew us away." Three Britons, three Germans, two Spaniards, and a Swiss climber were killed and 14 people were injured in the avalanche on one of the most popular routes to the 15,782-foot summit of Mont Blanc, the highest peak in western Europe. [Associated Press]
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9. TEEN FLEES WILDFIRES, CRASHES CAR, CAUSES BLAZE
A 19-year-old Colorado woman, Kristan McCann, fled the Waldo Canyon fire and was heading to her father's home in Oregon, when her car crashed on I-84 in Idaho, causing a fire that burned 2,000 acres. "I didn't want to do anything like that," McCann said after leaving the scene unscathed. [USA Today]
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10. JENNIFER LOPEZ CONFIRMS IDOL DEPARTURE
During an interview with Ryan Seacrest on his radio show, singer Jennifer Lopez confirmed that she will not be returning to her judge's chair on American Idol. Her announcement came one day after fellow judge Steven Tyler also said he was not returning to Idol. "I have to get back to doing the other things that I do that I put on hold because I love Idol so much," Lopez said. [Daily News]

 

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