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International Developments

? “Somali poet Warsame Shire Awale killed by gunmen” in Mogadishu. Very popular poet, he was critical of al-Shabab “who he accused of misleading people in the name of Islam.” He urged youth to reject violence.

? After months of protests, the Bahrain government has banned all demonstrations and rallies by those pushing for “a greater political voice” in the spirit of the Arab Spring.

? “Two Nato soldiers shot dead by man wearing Afghan police uniform”. There have been 53 such killings of NATO soldiers this year.

? “A senior Syrian air force general has been killed by rebels in central Damascus . . . Abdullah Mahmoud al-Khalidi was shot dead late on Monday”.

International Finance

? Andrew Haldane, senior official of the Bank of England, “praised [Occupy] protesters for their role in triggering an overhaul of the financial services sector.” Seems the Occupiers were “right to focus on inequality as the chief reason for the 2008 crash, following studies that showed the accumulation of huge wealth funded by debt was directly responsible for the domino-like collapse of the banking sector in 2008.”

? They’ve delayed the Parliament vote by a week, so it’s not official, but Greece has agreed to make another $17.4 billion in cuts in order to receive bailout funds from the EU-IMF.

Money Matters USA

? Home prices in 20-city composites increased by 2.0% between August 2011 and August 2012. Of those 20 cities, only one–Seattle–showed a decrease, and that by only 0.1%.

? Eller & Sons Trees, Inc., a Georgia forestry contractor company, has been ordered to pay approximately 4,000 Guatemalan and Mexican guest workers $11.8 million they were not paid under the federal minimum wage for work performed between 1999-2008.

Politics USA

? Is Republican Veep candidate Paul Ryan’s plan for Social Security actually a modified version of the Pinera Plan under former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet? Jose Pinera, author of the plan under Pinochet, is supported by the Koch brothers.

? Documents given to volunteers being trained as WI poll watchers by the Romney campaign contain misleading info: people convicted of “treason, a felony, or bribery” aren’t eligible to vote (not true in WI, so long as they’ve served their prison sentences); poll watchers should “hide” that they’re working for the Romney campaign; and so on.

? The Romney camp sent former MN Republican Sen Norm Coleman to reassure Republican Jewish Coalition members in Beechwood, OH, that, under Romney, Roe v. Wade won’t “be reversed”. Meanwhile, American Bridge, Democratic super PAC, is running 30-second ads on ABC news tying Romney to anti-abortion zealots Rep. Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin (R-MO), Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), and IN Treasurer Republican Richard Mourdock.

? Back in 2011, Mitt Romney argued that the private sector should be in charge of disaster response and not the feds. Now he’s being asked about those statements and is refusing to answer a question about answering the questions: “Governor, you’ve been asked 14 times. Why are you refusing to answer the question?”

? Michael “Heckuva Job, Brownie” Brown, head of FEMA during the Katrina disaster, criticized President Obama for “jumping on” hurricane Sandy “so quickly”, echoed by Newt Gingrich and Charles Krauthammer. Brown’s response to Katrina was so bad that he had to resign within two weeks of that hurricane’s landing in New Orleans.

? Digby refreshes our collective memory of the Bushies’ post-Katrina Reconstruction plan. Little goodies such as “suspended some union-friendly rules”, “waived some affirmative-action rules”, “limit victims’ right to sue”, “create tax-advantaged enterprise zones to maximize private-sector participation in recovery and reconstruction”, etc. [cont’d.]

David Dayen

David Dayen