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The Roundup for August 18, 2013

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International Developments

? “Egyptian security forces stormed a Cairo mosque. . . [following] heavy exchange of gunfire with armed men shooting down from a minaret”.   Update: “Egypt braces for more unrest as Muslim Brotherhood calls for fresh protests”. Update:   “Islamists cancel Cairo rallies for ‘security reasons’.”Update:  “Egypt army chief al-Sisi: Room for all in Egypt.” Update:  “Egypt’s military declared Sunday that it won’t tolerate violent protests as security forces arrested hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood members”.  Update: “At least 36 people die after takingpolice officer hostage in bid to escape custody”.  Update: Muslim Brotherhood claims security forces killed “dozens of detained Islamists.”

? “Egypt: we may despise the Muslim Brotherhood, but a coup is a coup.”

? What’s going on in Egypt:  the Army and the Muslim Brotherhood, massive Qatar and Saudi Arabia funding, burning of churches and police stations, anti-Brotherhood media campaign?

? “How American Hopes for a Deal in Egypt Were Undercut.”

? “So this is how it ends . . . the ultimate target of the massacres of 14 August is civilian rule.  Cairo, the capital of revolutionary hope two years ago, is now its burial ground.”

? “Syrian gunmen shoot dead 11 people; State-run news agency says rebels targeted Christians but others claim dead were mainly pro-government militiamen.” Update:  “Advancing army kills jidahist emir in Syria’s Latakia”.  Update:  Syrian refugees pour into Iraqi Kurdistan in thousands.” UN chemical weapons inspectors are in Damascus. Update: Hezbollah’s Top Syria Commander Killed.

? “Afghan educators struggle for funding as US aid budget shrinks.

? “North and South Korea to hold talks on family reunions“.  Possible talks on re-opening the Kaesong Industrial Complex.

? The BBC intends to “cut Israel apartheid remarks from UK concern broadcast.”

? Rupert Murdoch’s “News International could face corporate charges over phone hacking.”

? Oh, noooos.  They’re now kissing at the Olympics in Russia.

International Finance

? Greece’s Finance Minister has fired the official in charge of privatization, who’s been criticized for slowness in selling off Greece’s public assets. Sad list of public assets for sale accompanies the article.

? Oh, nooos.  “Federal authorities have opened a bribery investigation into whether JPMorgan Chase hired the children of powerful Chinese officials to help the bank win lucrative business”.

Money Matters USA

? Sheet Metal Workers Local 19 picket line in Philadelphia attacked by a van.  Driver was arrested.

? Bank of America will disappear  99-year-old firm Merrill Lynch.

Surveillance Planet

? “China’s Ministry of Public Security and a cabinet-level research centre are preparing to investigate IBM Corp, Oracle Corp and EMC Corp over security issues”, following the Snowden leaks.

? “Wikileaks Just Released A Massive ‘Insurance’ File That No One Can Open.”   400 gigabytes.

? Had the public known about the NSA’s “2,776 incidents of unauthorized collection” of data between May 2011-May 2012, would the Amash Amendment have passed by 10 – 20 votes, rather than being defeated by 12?

? “Washington has 16 known US spy agencies”, including the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) which has high hopes “to assemble an espionage network that rivals the CIA in size”.

? Greenwald:  “Informing the debate.

? “Glenn Greenwald’s partner detained at Heathrow airport for nine hours . . . questioned under Terrorism Act.”  Laura Poitras is also of interest to the authorities.

? Some phone numbers in the 202 area code that the NSA may have found interesting. How’d the NSA manage to intercept all those 202 area code phone calls anyway?

? A “massive industry profiting off government-induced fear of terrorism” includes  Chertoff, Booz Allen Hamilton, SAIC, CCSS, SSI.  Interesting funding, interesting connections, interesting quotes.

Politics USA

? Oh, nooos. “Special prosecutor to investigate [TX Gov.] Rick Perry’s threat to veto public integrity unit funds.”  San Antonio judge is making the appointment.  Some of the alleged real nitty-gritty goings-on in this matter.

? Beleaguered Bob McDonnell, Republican governor of VA, has another headache: wife Maureen “twice purchased thousands of shares of Star Scientific, the dietary supplement company at the center of a state and federal probe.”

? Beleaguered Bob Filner (D), mayor of San Diego, now faces a petition drive to oust him from office.

? NYC Democratic mayoral contenders Christine Quinn  and Bill de Blasio on Stop-and-Frisk.

? NYC’s “three major daily newspapers” support Scott M. Stringer for city comptroller rather than Eliot Spitzer.

? WI “Gov Scott Walker’s administration [allegedly] gave the Capitol Police chief and his top deputy double-digit pay raises” after some fancy paperwork maneuvers.

? Not this guy againTN state Rep. Scott Desjarlais (R) told an 11-year-old girl that her undocumented father has to be deported since there are laws we must obey. “The tea party crowd whooped and applauded wildly”.

Health, Homelessness & Hunger

? Grrrrr. While some states enroll 80% – 90% of those eligible into food stamps programs, CA only enrolls 55% of its eligible population.

? “Colorado releases insurance exchange rates”.  Monthly premiums for a 40-year-old living in Denver range from $186 to $364; rates vary by location and by insurance company.

? “Soda drinking linked to violent behavior in kids,  . . . aggression, withdrawal, and attention problems were all associated with soda consumption in young children.”

The War on Women

? Trend across the country for local nuisance ordinances to target people who call 911 “too frequently”, resulting in their being evicted from their rental housing.  These laws “disproportionately targeted rental properties located in poor, mostly-African American neighborhoods” and mostly apply to women.

Education Directions

? What are they thinking?  According to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, “Most parents say their own children are given about the right number of standardized tests” and other things.

Planet Earth News

? Read all about it:  The 1452 Doctrine of Discovery, Johnson vs. McIntosh  and the continuing struggle of the Haudenosaunee to get treaties enforced and environmental wrongs righted, too.

? The “Colorado River’s worst drought in a century will force reduced water releases from Lake Powell”.

? Subtle changes in the “taste and texture of Japanese apples over the last 40 years” has been attributed to global warming.

Mixed Bag

? Petroglyphs in Nevada may be 14,800 years old, oldest  yet.

? New nova  in  Delphinus, growing brighter by the hour.

Break Time

? Dream Weaver

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