Gather ’round, folks. Your news is here.
? “A Syrian-bound plane intercepted by Turkey was carrying Russian-made defence equipment destined for Syria’s defence ministry, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.”
? A Yemeni security official who worked for the US Embassy in Sana was assassinated “on his way to work when a gunman on a motorcycle opened fire and fled the scene”. Speculation is the killing was by an “offshoot” of al-Qaida.
? The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) “issued a safety alert to U.S. commanders warning that the agency had identified potentially ‘significant contract fraud’ from an Afghan contractor that was supposed to protect against roadside bomb attacks.”
? Under a1994 law the US cannot provide money to “international organizations that accords [sic] Palestine the same rights as [UN] Member States”. So, when UNESCO allowed Palestine to join the organization, the US automatically and abruptly cancelled its allocation, which is about 22% of UNESCO’s entire budget. Congress is not expected to “alter or repeal the law in the near future.”
? “A group of leading think tanks in Germany” are predicting Germany’s economy will grow by only 1% next year, down from the 2% earlier predicted. Not only that, but “this assumes that the crisis in the eurozone does not worsen.” Good luck with that.
Money Matters USA
? Former shareholders of businesses taken over by Blackstone Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts filed suit in 2007. An unsealed version of court papers, heavily redacted, has been released containing emails between high muckety-mucks involved. “These e-mails are strong signals of anticompetitive behavior” an antitrust law professor says. Blackstone and KKR “scoff at the idea”.
? “Mr. President: Tweak This!” Good article, with humor, by someone who will “be gritting my teeth to vote for, Rockin’ Barack Obama.” The gist of it: “It is a scandal of modern American politics that a vital program presently needing no change at all, as far as solvency goes, is widely believed to be on a path to bankruptcy.”
? “Wall Street Compensation Reaches ‘Near-Record Levels‘ In 2012″–$60 billion total, up 4% from 2011, not including year-end bonuses. And you’ll love this: “pay isn’t always linked to performance”.
? Do not miss: “The 2012 VP Debate Drinking Game”
? Laughter-inducing history of lifeblogging political events, beginning with the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia in 2000–from a motel “at the very edge of Philadelphia”.
? Who feeds him this ‘info’ or does he just make it up? Mitt Romney is now claiming that “having insurance is not a matter of life and death for Americans”–contrary to a Harvard study “that nearly 45,000 people died in the United States each year largely because they did not have insurance.” [cont’d.]