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International Developments

? “White House warns some US embassies could remain closed for another month”,  also “downplays connection between current scare and ongoing debate over NSA surveillance.” Update: Yemen helicopter shot down “over the al-Qaida stronghold of Wadi Ubida”. Six killed.  Update:  “Suspected U.S. drone strike kills 4 alleged Al Qaeda members in Yemen.” Update:  “US and UK pull staff out of Yemen amid terror alert.”  Update:  “Dozens of al-Qaida operatives are said to have streamed into Sana’a in the last few days”.

? “Syrian rebels make advances into government stronghold . . . in the province of Latakia”.

? 20 dead in Iraq:  car bombs.

? “Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani [is] ‘seriously determined’ to resolve a dispute with the West over Tehran’s nuclear program”.

? Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) “urge Egypt to free political prisoners.”

Money Matters USA

? “The U.S. government has accused Bank of America Corp. of civil fraud”.  Misleading investors during a “sale of $850 million of mortgage bonds” in 2008.

? Obama proposes overhauling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and putting “private investors primarily at risk”.

? The SEIU is supporting the $15/hour minimum wage.

? New York City’s prevailing wage law struck down by a judge.

? “[F]ast food franchises assume labor will make up 30-to-35 percent of their expenses; McDonald’s average is “26 percent of all expenses”.   McDonald’s has learned how to adjust to $14.50/hour wage in Australia, or $12.00/hour in France.  I.e., there are models to adopt and adapt.

? “US Has Enough Empty Houses to Hold All of Britain”.

? Almost euphoric reaction to news of “record high” household net worth, since there are now more “creditworthy” borrowers.

? “Cuomo Administration cracks down on illegal payday lenders” in NY.

Surveillance Planet

? “NSA files show privacy does not exist: Total surveillance is the enemy of innovation . . .. The state . . . monitors and records everything everywhere.”  And they’ve devised clever ways to circumvent the law.

? So, the NSA advises the DEA to cover-up the transfer of data from the NSA to the DEA which passes it on to its field agents.  The Justice Dept, which is responsible for the DEA, is investigating the matter.

More on the NSA, SOD, the DEA and ‘parallel construction‘:  “By creating new pasts for received data, the DEA can avoid potentially awkward questions about the legality of its evidence.”

? Amy Goodman interviews John Schiffman, Reuters reporter who broke the story on the “Domestic Surveillance Scandal at the DEA”.

? “The Secret [FISA] Court [is] comprised “primarily of conservative activists from the Republican Party who have no respect for the original intent of the Constitution’s framers.”

? Former NSA and CIA Director Mikey Hayden says hackers who’ll seek revenge when Edward Snowden is arrested are “nihilists, anarchists, activists, Lulzsec, Anonymous, twentysomethings who haven’t talked to the opposite sex in five or six years”.

? John Kiriakou:  “Obama’s abuse of the Espionage Act is modern-day McCarthyism: Shame on this president for persecuting whistleblowers with a legal relic while administration officials leak with impunity.”

? The Electronic Frontier Foundation:  “What Should, and Should Not, Be in NSA Surveillance Reform Legislation.” [cont’d.]

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.