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Here’s your Friday news. Have a great weekend!

International Developments

?  “Turkey: Syrian jet was carrying ‘Russian-made munitions‘”. Update: “Russia says the Syria-bound plane intercepted by Turkey amid reports it was carrying cargo which could aid government war efforts was transporting a legal shipment of radar equipment;’There were no weapons on the plane'”. Update: “Turkey scrambles warplanes to Syrian border; Rebels claim capture of airbase near Aleppo; International envoy Brahimi heads for Turkey; Syrian helicopter reportedly bombs Syrian border town.”

?  There were rival rallies in Egypt’s Tahrir Square today between supporters and detractors of President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, speaking to a group of business executives, said the US “has drafted new rules for the military that would enable it to move aggressively against digital attacks” on infrastructure systems. He wants legislation that will provide “legal protections” for companies that share “specific threat information” with the government.

International Finance

Coca Cola Hellenic has pulled up stakes in Greece and moved to Switzerland which “dealt a blow to the crippled Greek economy.”

Money Matters USA

?  Great animated cartoon: “The Bears Explain How The Rich Get Richer“, with 2 intriguing guest appearances.

Timothy Geithner, Treasury Secretary, confirmed the deficit is $1.089 trillion, despite President Obama’s promise to have it cut in half by now. Geithner blamed Congress, saying “It is time for Congress to act on these necessary steps [the President has presented] that will help create sustainable economic growth for years to come.”

Politics USA

?  “Republicans Reveal Location Of Secret CIA Base During House Hearing On Libya Attacks”.

?  President Obama will be on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show October 18th!

Romney’s first presidential debate lies exposed for all to see.

PBS opponent Mitt Romney shown in 2005 “Breaking Ground at Public Broadcasting Station”.

?  Gung-ho to repeal Obamacare, Mitt Romney tried to placate those who’re worried they’ll be shut out of health care because they have pre-existing conditions. He promised to hold a one-time open-enrollment period, eliciting some choice responses from health economists and legal experts.

?  Romney’s website has also lowered the bar for potential military action against Iran, saying “As president, Mitt Romney’s strategy will be to end Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon . . . ” rather than ending their possession of nuclear weapons as previously stated. [emphasis added]

? Remember recent accounts of GOP operative Nathan Sproul “and his various companies’ multi-million dollar work for the Republican National Convention”? Although they’ve supposedly broken ties with Sproul, questions remain, including evidence “suggesting that his companies are still operating in states around the country under different names.”

IA Republican Steve King went to debate his opponent, Christie Vilsack (D), Tuesday evening with notes written on his hand, clearly visible when he was gesturing. A staffer says King does that all the time: “If he doesn’t wash his hands good enough, he probably has notes from yesterday.” Ewwwww.

Vermonters for Voter Integrity has an alert on their website, pointing out there are “serious security holes in the Diebold optical-scan voting systems” used in the state. They are demanding “mandatory random audits on all election systems” and “open software code on the scanner machines”. Petition at the site.

?  How embarrassing! Two CA Democrats, Representatives Brad Sherman and Howard Berman, were separated by a police officer after they appeared headed for fisticuffs during a debate last night.

Women & Children

?  Why was last night’s debate question on abortion framed in terms of religion? “It’s not that religion, or men, have no place in the debate over abortion rights; it’s that [the] question left women out of the equation from the start.” Or, as Atrios says, “the question wasn’t about abortion, it was about how Joe Biden could defy his church.”

Two people are in custody in the shooting of 14 year-old Malala Yousufzai, brave advocate for education for girls in Pakistan, and her schoolmate and friend. Malala is still unconscious and on a ventilator. Brain damage is suspected. Her friend remains in intensive care. Update: 3 people have been arrested, but not, apparently, the “mastermind”.

?  “The Botswana High Court has overturned a customary law which prevented women from inheriting the family home”, stating the constitution “guarantees equality for men and women”.

An Argentinian was kidnapped, forced into prostitution, and became pregnant. After being rescued, she sought an abortion, but a judge refused, saying there was no evidence she’d been raped. The Argentine Supreme Court ruled she could have the procedure and it has been performed.

Working for A Living

Holiday Inn LAX is firing workers for telling the tee vee news about lax cleanliness at the hotel. Workers have also filed a lawsuit “claiming they don’t get paid overtime, work through many lunch breaks, and aren’t getting paid the wages required by law.”

Mayor Rahm Emanuel personally selected Jean-Claude Brizard to run Chicago Public Schools 17 months ago. Brizard’s gone now, replaced by Barbara Byrd-Bennett, “a former teacher, principal and Cleveland schools CEO who has been filling in as Chicago’s interim chief education officer for the past six months”–and who negotiated an end to the Chicago Teacher’s Strike.

Health, Homelessness & Hunger

? The US Food and Drug Administration is begging Congress to strengthen safety regulations as the number of people developing deadly fungal meningitis from contaminated steroid shots rises. Currently, the FDA can do nothing to oversee pharmacies that “practice compounding–an attempt to keep down prescription costs by recombining medications and repackaging them for sale”–which happened with the deadly shots.

?  Good suggestion–“Please Ask Ryan About This Tonight“–though it didn’t happen. Romney-Ryan’s proposal for Medicaid is “probably . . . more devastating” than the one for Medicare. Romney-Ryan would reduce federal funding for Medicaid so much that by 2022, it would be 1/3 less than currently–and caps would be applied, too. Much more.

Planet Earth News

?  Researchers have put a price tag on reducing “the risk of extinction for threatened species and establishing protected areas for nature” by 2020: $76 billion annually, “a fifth of what the world spends on soft drinks annually.”

?  That new 3-mile oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico is from BP’s Macondo Well. Both BP and Transocean are to submit a clean-up plan by today. The leak seems to be coming from a pipe “now lying in a crumpled loop on the ocean floor.” Update: the US Justice Department and BP are “close to a broad deal . . . that could resolve the company’s civil and criminal liabilities.”

Latin America

?  “Guatemala has arrested an army colonel and eight soldiers accused of killing indigenous demonstrators [and wounding 30 others] during a protest last week”–although President Otto Perez Molina initially blamed “unidentified people”, until over 100 shells used exclusively by the military were found at the scene. President Molina now says the army will “no longer be deployed at civilian protests.”

? A 16-year old was shot dead by a US Border Patrol agent in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, allegedly while trying to get over the 25-foot tall border fence. He was shot 8 times.

Mixed Bag

? At last! At last! Kennewick Man revealed. (Brief history is here.)

Break Time

Montana Panoramas

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