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On the Calendar:  Saturday, 10/17/2015
CIVIL WAR BOOK AUTHOR: One of the most surprising and humiliating defeats in the United States' military history, the Red River Campaign narrowly missed turning the tide of the entire Civil War. This pictorial volume, written in an engaging tone, relays the full story of the conflict. Led by the former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Union Army invaded the Southern Red River Valley with 32,000 men. They anticipated little trouble from the Confederates-whom they outnumbered nearly four to one-and even painted names of the towns they planned to conquer on their wagons, such as San Antonio, Houston, and Galveston. The men in blue did not expect a battle until they reached Shreveport, the Confederate capital of Louisiana. On April 8, 1864, the Confederate Patton, Gen. Richard Taylor, launched a devastating attack near Mansfield with 8,800 men. By nightfall, the Yankee soldiers were no longer discussing victories in Houston, Dallas, or even Shreveport-they were running for their lives. Complete with maps, period photographs, and firsthand accounts from soldiers, Richard Taylor and the Red River Campaign of 1864 serves as a definitive resource for historians or anyone seeking knowledge on this daring operation. Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr., is the author of more than forty history books, which have received praise from Publishers Weekly and British Army Review. In addition to writing articles for the Journal of Soviet Military Studies, he has appeared on the History Channel, CBS, National Public Radio, and the British Broadcasting Network. Mitcham has lectured at West Point, Air War College, and the General Staff College of the Marine Corps. He also taught geography and military history at Henderson State University, Georgia Southern University, and the University of Louisiana at Monroe, where the freshman honor society named him professor of the year. Mitcham received his BA in journalism from Northeast Louisiana University and later earned his MS and PhD. He lives in Monroe, Louisiana. Calendar

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AB InBev wins over SABMiller at fifth attempt

A bartender serves a beer produced by brewing company SAB Miller at a bar in Cape TownBy Philip Blenkinsop and Martinne Geller BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) - The world's two biggest brewers agreed on Tuesday to create a company making almost a third of the world's beer after SABMiller received an improved offer worth more than $100 billion from larger rival Anheuser-Busch InBev . The new group would bring together AB InBev's Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona brands with SABMiller's Peroni, Grolsch and Pilsner Urquell. For AB InBev it would also add more breweries in Latin America and Asia and crucially opens up new growth markets in Africa.

Tue, 13 Oct 2015 10:54:54 -0400
GE to sell $30 billion specialty finance business to Wells Fargo

The General Electric logo is seen in a Sears store in Schaumburg(Reuters) - General Electric Co took a big step on Tuesday in its plan to unload most of its financing operations, saying it has agreed to sell commercial lending and leasing businesses worth more than $30 billion to Wells Fargo & Co . The U.S. conglomerate has now inked $126 billion in transactions -- more than half of its overall target -- since announcing in April it would seek to reduce its GE Capital financing business to less than 10 percent of earnings as it focuses more on industrial manufacturing. GE Capital accounted for 42 percent of the company's profit in 2014.

Tue, 13 Oct 2015 11:32:27 -0400
Wall St. slips as China concerns weigh

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange"(News from) overseas seems to be drawing most of the attention here and we'll see what the U.S. does to counteract that," said Paul Springmeyer, senior portfolio manager at the private client reserve at U.S. Bank in Minneapolis.

Tue, 13 Oct 2015 13:24:06 -0400
Eight Fed banks call for discount rate hike: minutes

Yellen takes questions during a news conference following the Federal Open Market Committee meeting in WashingtonThe number of Federal Reserve banks pushing the central bank to raise the rate it charges commercial banks for emergency loans rose to eight in September from five in July, minutes from the Fed's discount rate meeting showed. Ahead of the Fed's September 16-17 policy-setting meeting, directors of the St. Louis, Atlanta and San Francisco Fed banks joined Cleveland, Dallas, Philadelphia, Kansas City and Richmond in asking the Fed's board to increase the discount rate to 1 percent from 0.75 percent, according to the minutes, which were released on Tuesday. The board opted to hold the rate steady, a stance that was backed by three other regional Fed banks.

Tue, 13 Oct 2015 14:08:16 -0400
Twitter announces layoffs as CEO Dorsey looks to revive growth

File picture shows an employee adjusting a screen that displays the Twitter logo ahead of the company's IPO on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeThe layoffs, primarily in the company's engineering and product functions, come a week after Dorsey took over as permanent CEO. Shares of Twitter, which had about 4,100 employees globally as of June 30, rose as much as 6.7 percent to $30.68 on Tuesday. "We feel strongly that engineering will move much faster with a smaller and nimbler team, while remaining the biggest percentage of our workforce," Dorsey said in a letter to employees.

Tue, 13 Oct 2015 13:07:04 -0400
J&J third-quarter sales miss mark, hurt by strong dollar

Alex Gorsky, CEO of Johnson & Johnson, listens as he is introduced to speak at the Boston College Chief Executives Club of Boston luncheon in BostonGlobal company revenue fell 7.4 percent to $17.1 billion in the quarter. Jefferies analyst Jeffrey Holford said revenue for each of the company's three divisions, including its largest segment of prescription drugs, were about 2 percent below forecasts. "The news of a $10 billion share repurchase program is welcome, but it doesn't address the underlying issues in pharmaceuticals," Holford said, and may lessen the likelihood of J&J making big acquisitions in the company's biggest segment.

Tue, 13 Oct 2015 09:49:28 -0400
EMC to pay up to $2.5 billion to Dell if it opts for rival bid

The EMC logo is seen at the entrance to the company's office in Santa ClaraEMC Corp said it would pay Dell Inc [DI.UL] up to $2.5 billion in termination fees if the data-storage company accepts a "superior proposal". EMC said Dell had secured financing of up to $49.5 billion from banks to fund the roughly $67 billion deal announced on Monday. While IBM Corp , Cisco Systems Inc , Oracle Corp and Hewlett-Packard Co could be potential suitors for EMC, the chances of them challenging Dell with a rival offer are slim, people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.

Tue, 13 Oct 2015 11:48:29 -0400
Oil pares early gains on bearish world market outlook

A pump jack operates at a well site leased by Devon Energy Production Company near Guthrie, OklahomaOil prices pared most of their gains on Tuesday afternoon as investors focused on a bearish outlook from the International Energy Agency after U.S. crude gained on technical support earlier in the session. The IEA said the world oil market would remain oversupplied for at least another year despite falls in output from non-OPEC producers. Traders also noted that a weaker U.S. dollar, which hit a three-week low on Tuesday, added some support to the higher crude prices.

Tue, 13 Oct 2015 13:41:38 -0400
New Barclays CEO faces early challenge to fix wealth arm

The Barclays logo is seen on public hire bicycles in central LondonThe new chief executive of British bank Barclays, expected to be former JPMorgan banker Jes Staley, faces an early challenge in deciding what to do in wealth management after a decade of disappointment. Most scrutiny is on whether the new CEO, replacing Antony Jenkins after his ouster in July, will continue to scale back in investment banking, or build it back up. "A push into wealth management could help towards growing the dividend, because theres a greater visibility of earnings, but on the other hand, that type of business is vulnerable to market fluctuations," said Paul Mumford, senior investment manager at Cavendish Asset Management.

Tue, 13 Oct 2015 12:49:37 -0400
VW looks to cutbacks and electric cars to overcome scandal

A Volkswagen logo is seen on one of the German automaker's cars in a street in Sydney, AustraliaVolkswagen will cut investment plans at its biggest division by 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) a year and step up development of electric vehicles, it said on Tuesday, as it battles to cope with the fallout from its cheating of diesel emissions tests. The German company also said it would speed up cost cutting at the VW division, its largest by revenues, and put only the latest and "best environmental technology" in diesel vehicles. Europe's largest carmaker is battling the biggest business crisis in its 78-year history after admitting last month it installed software in diesel vehicles to deceive U.S. regulators about the true level of their toxic emissions.

Tue, 13 Oct 2015 10:35:31 -0400
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