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The Roundup for July 24, 2012

Greetings, all! Here’s your news.

International Developments

? “US drone strikes kill suspected insurgents in Pakistan: Nine killed afar missiles fired at compound owned by militant commander in north Waziristan tribal area.”

? Pakistan has announced it will “cancel refugee status at the end of this year for the 3 million Afghans who are living in the country . . . leaving the refugees facing possible forced resettlement in their homeland, a war-torn country that many of them barely know.”

? Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has appointed former irrigation minister Hisham Qandil Prime Minister and charged him with forming a cabinet. And in Mahalla, “a strike by tens of thousands of textile workers entered its second week Sunday, posing an early test” for President Morsi.

International Economics

? Oh, noes. Moody’s is now going after Germany: “The credit ratings agency Moody’s has warned the outlook for Germany’s AAA credit rating is negative, the first step towards a possible downgrade.” The Netherlands and Luxembourg “were also put on negative outlooks”.

? Deutsch Bank conducted its own probe and concluded that “two of its former traders may have been involved in colluding to manipulate global benchmark interest rates (Libor) but there was no indication of failure at the top of the organisation . . ..” Meanwhile, “a special probe of Deutsch Bank” is being conducted by Bafin, a markets regulator.

Politics USA

? The WI Government Accountability Board has approved, so WI State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser “has re-christened his campaign finance account as a defense fund,” to defend himself against allegations of “putting his hands on the neck of a fellow justice . . ..” The good news is he only has $1,145 in the account and he owes bunches more.

? WI Republican State Senate Minority Assistant Leader Glenn Grothman says that Voter ID (which he supported and which is now blocked by a state court) will help Romney’s campaign in WI since “people who vote inappropriately are more likely to vote Democrat.”

? WI Democratic State Senator Tim Cullen is ticked-off about committee appointments, so has announced he won’t be part of the Democratic caucus.

? AZ Republican Senator Jon Kyl says that “President Barack Obama should stop talking about the middle class because it turns people against rich Americans, who should be embraced as the Michael Jordans of the U.S. economy.”

? “People for the American Way is calling on House Speaker John Boehner to remove Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and two other members from their seats on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence after a series of irresponsible allegations against U.S. government employees.”

? Romney has an ad featuring a NH “small businessman” who maintains his family built their own business with their own hands so why is Obama “demonizing us for it?” Turns out, that “small businessman’s” company “received $800,000 in tax-exempt revenue bonds in 1999, two US Navy sub-contracts totaling about $83,000 in 2011, and $5600 from a Coast Guard contract in 2008.

? He voted against it previously, but WV Democrat Senator Joe Manchin now says he’ll vote yes on Democratic legislation to extend the Bush-era tax rates for those earning up to $250,000/year.

? The judge did the right thing! She will not hold in contempt of court the 17-year old female who was sexually assaulted by two males and who defied the judge’s gag order by publicly naming her assailants after they had done some plea-bargaining.

? “BREAKING: Matt Bai Is Wrong” Or, Matt Bai is wrong again.

? GA’s Supreme Court has granted a stay of execution in the case of the man with an IQ of 70 who was condemned to death for murder. The stay, however, has to do with the method of killing him, and not with the death penalty itself.

Money Matters USA

? “Boycott Hyatt: UNITE-HERE has launched a campaign to boycott Hyatt Hotel . . . [because] of the very bad working conditions to which it subjects its housekeeping staff.” See the article to understand how very bad those working conditions are.

? In Philadelphia, a “charter school mogul” and four executives were charged today with “defrauding three charter schools of more than $6.5 million in taxpayer funds.” 62-count indictment, folks.

? According to Deloitt, about “one in 10 employers in the U.S. plans to drop health coverage for workers in the next few years as the bulk of the federal health-care law begins . . ..”

? According to salon.com, these five food chains are owned by major right-wing donors: Chick-fil-A, Carl’s Jr., Domino’s Pizza, White Castle, and Waffle House.

? Sam’s Club has withdrawn its support for Rush Limbaugh. Yay!

? A “model financial aid award letter . . . called the Shopping Sheet” has been developed by the Obama administration which will standardize college financial award letters and “make it easier to comparison shop” about yearly school costs, grants and scholarships, etc

The War on Women

? Did they finally figure out that women vote? “House Republicans have sidelined--at least for now–legislation that repeals the Obama administration’s contraception coverage guarantee and makes cuts to funding for women’s health programs.”

Working for A Living

? Workers at the Sensata Technologies factory in Freeport, IL, have known their jobs were being transferred to China. Since Sensata is owned by Bain Capital, the workers decided to appeal directly to Mitt Romney to save their jobs. Even the Freeport City Council has invited him to visit the town to help save those jobs.

? “In 2011, more than one in four private sector jobs (26 percent) were low-wage positions paying less than $10 per hour.”

Heads Up!

? “Three National Security Agency whistle blowers told Viewpoint host Eliot Spitzer on Monday that the agency was gathering information on every person in the United States. Remember FISA?

? “A court of appeals in Quebec on Monday upheld a lower court’s rejection of a request to scrap parts of a controversial law enacted to quell student protests against tuition hikes.”

Health, Homelessness & Hunger

? Two Canadian physicians who specialize in HIV/AIDS have made an ad directed to Obama and Romney: “You can’t end AIDS unless you end the war on drugs. It’s dead simple.”

? Getting the US Environmental Protection Agency to ban Bisphenol-A (BPA) from “baby bottles and sippy cups” was a victory, but there are hundreds more items from which it should be banned. BPA is an endocrine disruptor, a dangerous substance.

Latin America

? The struggle by the Nasa peoples in southwestern Colombia to get both the government and FARC to either stop fighting or go somewhere else to fight, is gaining greater recognition, as this article demonstrates.

? “Mexico has become one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists, especially those covering issues involving corruption, the drug war and political misconduct.”

? Bad news. “Peru’s Supreme Court has cut the prison terms being served by members of an infamous government death squad, a ruling that critics said on Monday could be used to push for the release of jailed former President Alberto Fujimori.”

Mixed Bag

? “Monsignor William Lynn of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has been sentenced 3 – 6 years in prison for felony child endangerment.

Break Time

? Boxed in.

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