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International Developments

? “The United States holds 67 non-Afghan prisoners [at Bagram AFB], including some described as hardened al-Qaeda operatives seized from around the world in the months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks”.  Closing this prison is as complicated as closing Guantanamo.

International Finance

? “Eurozone private sector returns to growth, as UK service sector surges to six-year high–as it happened.”

? Things aren’t going so well between Amazon and the citizens of Germany.  “Unions . . . say the company has imported American-style business practices . . .that stand at odds with European norms.”  And it’s not just Amazon.

Money Matters USA

? “America: The Food Stamp Nation“.  Startling graphics.

? “The rich are saving cash at a record pace”.  The “savings rate of the wealthiest 1 percent soared to 37 percent in the second quarter . . . three times their savings rate in 2007.”  “Investing in cash” is their latest fad.

? “US energy regulator threatens BP with $28m fine over irregular gas trades: FERC steps up action . . . as BP eyed one week after $410bn settlement reached with JP Morgan.”

? “New Study: 82 of Top 100 Companies Used Tax Havens in 2012.”

? Kevyn Orr, Detroit’s appointed Emergency Manager, is “planting the seeds for growth in the outlying neighborhoods where 95% of Detroiters live.”  Former Mayor Coleman Young, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have contributed “to stir racial grievances” in Detroit. Remarkable WSJ article.  Really.  And there’s this:  “The Detroit ‘Bail-In’ Template: Fleecing Pensioners to Save the Banks.”

? Jeff Bezos of Amazon just bought The Washington Post.

? Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE),”a long time ally of wealthy corporate interests”, has introduced a bill that would eliminate Postal Service delivery on Saturdays, among other things.

? “Service industries in the U.S. expanded in July at the fastest pace in five months, complementing a rebound at the nation’s factories and showing the economy is gaining traction.”

Surveillance Planet

? “US embassy closures used to bolster case for NSA surveillance programs: Congress told that NSA monitoring led to interception of al-Qaida threats but privacy campaigners fear ulterior political motives.”

? “If the American intelligence community was crippled by the recent leaks about its operations and tools, as so many have claimed, how did they manage to collect the intelligence that led to this [latest world-wide terrorist] alert?”

? “Bradley Manning, Surveillance State Creep, and the Emergence of Post-Constitutional America.”  From “the warrior cop” to domestic drones to the data-collecting juggernaut, to cell phone tracking, hacking private computers, stealing private computers, etc.  Then on to the Manning trial.

? Huge uproar over revelations that the NSA is funneling info it gathered to the Justice Department.  Examples here and here.  Euphemism alert:  law enforcement agencies have been told to “conceal” that any investigations were begun with info from the NSA.  Isn’t that “phoneying up investigations”?  Nope,  just “parallel construction.”   Update: Glenzilla responds to DEA spying on Americans and the cover up.

? Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ)’s Surveillance State Repeal Act “would repeal the 2001 Patriot Act, which the NSA has cited as the legal basis for its phone records surveillance program” and the 2008 FISA Amendments Act, “the legal foundation for the government’s PRISM program.”  Plus, increase whistleblower protections.

? “The NSA comes clean.

? “Varied legislation involving drones was introduced this year in more than 40 states”.  Surveillance is the number one motivator.

Politics USA

? Is “being cozy with the moneyed class” an “asset” for politicians?

? “Republican National Committee To CNN, NBC: Cancel Hillary Clinton Programming” or else.

? Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) got a $100,000 contribution from a dead donor–only one of 32 dead people contributing $586,000 to campaigns since 2009.  TX Gov Rick Perry (R-TX) benefitted, too.

? Beleaguered Bob McDonnell (R), Gov. of VA, is in a bit deeper now that his primary donor is cooperating with prosecutors.

? Terry McAuliffe (D), who wants to be governor of VA, has a big-money backer in environmentalist Tom Steyer, who hates the Keystone XL pipeline.

? FL Gov. Rick Scott (R) “will soon launch a new hunt for noncitizens on Florida’s voter roll, a move that’s sure to provoke new cries of a voter ‘purge'”.  Oh, really?

Gun Corner

? Online gun sales, where background checks are not required, are now “a greater threat than the gun show loophole.”

? Forbes:  “Should U.S. Gun Manufacturers Be Held Responsible For The Ongoing Violence in Mexico?” 70% of firearms grabbed by the Mexican government have been traced to US manufacturers and it’s a $127.2m business.

Health, Homelessness & Hunger

? “Under the single-payer system created by HR 676 [Rep. John Conyers Jr.’s bill, essentially Medicare for All], the U.S. could save an estimated $592 billion annually”.

? Republican governors to the GOP: stop trying to shut down the government over Obamacare funding, [since that] could seriously hurt the economies in their states.”

The War on Women

? “Finally, Thousands of Old [TX] Rape-Evidence Kits Are To Be Tested”.  State senator Wendy Davis (D-Ft Worth) sponsored legislation in 2011 for $11m for this purpose.

? US abortions laws and attitudes compared to other countries’.

Education Directions

? “Cooking the books” on behalf of wealthy donors‘ fave charter schools finally caught up with FL’s recently-resigned schools chief.  Michelle Rhee is no longer “a national story.”  Rahmbo’s closing 50 schools while diverting “$33 million in public dollars towards a new basketball stadium” raises huge questions, Teach for America is coming under criticism, etc.  Interesting trends.

The “Philadelphia school district may sue banks and Wall Street firms that sold defective financial instruments to the school district, causing massive losses.”

Planet Earth News

? The Koch Bros. have bestowed “a billowing, high-carbon, high-sulfur cloud from the mountain of petroleum coke” it’s stored along the Detroit River.  Video.

? Which popular foods are and aren’t GMO.

? A “bond hearing for the animal rights groups who won a temporary ban on domestic horse slaughter” will begin Thursday.

? “Climate change pushing marine life towards the poles, says study:  Marine species, more than land-based species, are altering their breeding, feeding and migration patterns.”

Break Time

? I Shall Be Released.