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Here’s your Wednesday edition of the news.

International Developments

? Salafists in Tunisia have now burned down a Sufi main mausoleum, the latest in a rash of such desecrations.

? “South African President Jacob Zuma has called on [the approximately 75,000 striking mine] workers to return to their jobs after a series of violent strikes”. There’s more: “He also called on executives to freeze salaries and bonuses for the next year as a ‘strong commitment to build an equitable economy’ and to address income inequality.”

? A “riveting tale of heroism in Benghazi” and local accounts of why the attack occurred.

? Not again! “Two US troops have been arrested over the alleged rape of a Japanese woman on the Island of Okinawa.”

? “A CIA officer was among those killed by a suicide bomber in southern Afghanistan on Saturday”. NATO says “the bomber was a member of Afghanistan’s intelligence service” but the Afghani intelligence service denies that.

? There’s a video out now which shows “key personnel” of US security contractor Jorge Scientific in Kabul, Afghanistan “staggeringly drunk or high on narcotics”.

International Finance

? Bank of England’s deputy governor, Paul Tucker, not only warned that bank reserves “were still not calibrated for the ‘end-of-the-world risks”, but also recommended that “bank bosses should be paid in debt, so they had a stake in the survival of their institutions”. He also suggested banks “be allowed to fail in an orderly way . . . [and] without taxpayer support”.

Money Matters USA

? “Things are getting worse“, here and in the UK. Response to the “Great Recession . . . has been feeble in every domain but monetary policy”. US fiscal policy is “in shambles”, paralyzed by the “mutual enmity of two political tribes”, and we are betrayed by the “entire political class.”

? Income inequality has become so severe in the US that the top 1% automatically absorb 93% of all income gains. This bodes ill for the future, since “a growing body of economic research suggests that it might mean lower levels of economic growth and slower job creation in the years ahead”.

? Good in-a-nutshell video: The Bottom Line

? DocX, subsidiary of Lender Processing Services, has settled with the DE Attorney General’s office which had investigated the company’s “document execution practices”.

? Seems there’s “good inflation”, “neutral inflation” and “bad inflation”? Do you agree?

Politics USA

? Jeffrey Goldberg on the Benghazi “embarrassment”: “political culture in America is such that we can’t have an adult conversation about the lessons of Benghazi, a conversation that would focus more on understanding al Qaeda affiliates in North Africa, on the limitations and imperfections of security, and on shortfalls in our intelligence gathering”.

? Dr. Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala, Green Party candidates for President and Vice-President, respectively, were arrested yesterday as they tried to enter the Hofstra University site for the televised US presidential debate. That Presidential Debate Commission, begun in 1987, requires candidates “have at least 15 percent support in public opinion based on the average of five national polls in order to participate.” The Commission is a far cry from the League of Women Voters’ proceedings.

? On-the-street interviews of people reacting to the Presidential Debate the day before it actually occurred.

? Peco included erroneous info in its newsletter to 1.3 million customers in 7 PA counties. Specifically, the “newsletter advises voters that they will have to present a valid photo ID” in order to vote Nov 6th. Peco became part of Exelon Corporation in 2000. Muckety has more.

? WI Democrat Tammy Baldwin is now in a “dead heat” with Republican and former Gov Tommy Thompson in the race for the open US Senate seat. Thompson’s ahead by 1 point.

? Romney’s allies rush to defend him by blaming Candy Crowley for “fact-checking” on Libya during the debate. Video.

? SCAM PAC, or how some political operatives divert many small donor contributions to their own coffers. The Alan West campaign is a case-in-point where “none of the many conservative super PACs purportedly raising money for the congressmen is airing TV ads on his behalf.”

? MassVictory of the MA Republican Party is funding “Obama Supporters for [Scott] Brown”. Approximately 20 campaign workers are paid about 8 bucks an hour for their work, aimed at letting “black people know that they actually have an option.” Uh-huh.

? Turns out, Republican House Speaker John Boehner (OH) has spent almost “$1.5 million in taxpayer-funded money in a legal battle over the Defense of Marriage Act.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) “blasted” Boehner for this recently, pointing out they’ve lost “case after case in their effort to uphold” the Act.

? Oh, how the mighty have fallen! Remember Bernard Kerik (here and here), major Mayor Rudolph Giuliani sidekick, interim interior minister of Iraq and the guy GWB nominated to head up the US Department of Homeland Security? He was put in federal prison for lying and other things, but has been brought to Manhattan to testify in another trial.

Women & Children

? Sovereign Grace Ministries, which has been around for 30 years and has about 100 congregations, has been sued in MD for child sexual abuse and for “a conspiracy . . . to conceal sexual abuse committed by church members.”

? One pattern has emerged from a study of the 1,900 confidential Boy Scout molestation files covering 1970-91: “Many suspected molesters engaged in what psychologists today call ‘grooming behavior,’ a gradual seduction in which predators lavish children with attention, favors and gifts.” The Boy Scouts have almost 100 years’ worth of such files.

Health, Homelessness & Hunger

? Thoughtful piece analyzing what the Affordable Care Act does and doesn’t do: 62% of those filing for bankruptcy in 2007 “were ruined by an illness they could not afford. Worse, the majority [of them] were covered by health insurance.” There is no guarantee under the ACA that people won’t be financially ruined by severe illness.

? The “massive funding gap for treating [tuberculosis] in low- and middle-income countries” is stymying efforts to eradicate it. Meanwhile, drug-resistant tuberculosis increases, making escalating demands on resources to keep patients on strict 18-month treatment regimens.

? The US Food and Drug Administration has raided the New England Compound Center, which appears responsible for a meningitis outbreak among patients using contaminated drugs.

Planet Earth News

? “What if we factored the environmental and health impacts of burning coal into its cost?” Results would be $500 billion/year, or 17.8 cents/kilowatt hour. Included is a tender collection of photos and descriptions of what is happening to ordinary people directly affected by coal.

Latin America

? Colombian governmental and FARC officials are in Norway to begin their peace talks this week. This is a long time coming, since 1964.

Mixed Bag

? Big headline: “Suspected Terrorist Arrested for Alleged Plot to Attack FederalReserve in NYC”. Sub-headlng: “The plot was a sting operation monitored by the FBI and NYPD”.

Break Time

? Hi-yo Silver, away!

fatster

fatster

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