❖ “At least 23 people have been killed in a series of deadly bomb attacks in Shia districts of the Iraqi capital Baghdad.” 10 more people were killed in bomb attacks in Kirkuk.
❖ “Syria crisis: number of refugees tops 1.5 million . . . number fleeting conflict continues to soar”.
❖ “Egypt ‘suffering worst economic crisis since 1930s’”
❖ “The concrete roof at the [shoe] factory” in Cambodia “crashed on to employees as they were working”. Two deaths.
❖ Bloomberg fallout continues: “Citi bans forex traders from using Bloomberg internal chat groups”.
❖ Is JPMorgan Chase considering suing Bloomberg?
❖ Four LulzSec hackers “who masterminded a string of sophisticated cyber-attacks on major global institutions” were given jail sentences in the UK of 20- to 32-months. “All will serve half their sentences.”
Money Matters USA
❖ Investigators at the West, TX fertilizer plant don’t know what caused the explosion, but have not ruled out “an intentional, criminal act.”
❖ “84 percent [of] NY fast food workers report wage theft”.
❖ “Jobless claims jumped by 32,000 to 360,000 . . ., exceeding all forecasts”. Those on “emergency and extended payments increased by about 29,000 to 1.79 million”.
❖ “Why Washington Saved the Economy, Then Permanently Destroyed the Labor Market”.
❖ KBR, “recipient of the largest government services contract in U.S. history”, $38b, says they’ll need “13 years and half a billion dollars to finish off . . . work stemming from the Iraq war.” KBR’s very interesting history.
❖ Apple CEO Tim Cook “is coming to Washington to testify in front of a panel of senators about stashing more than $100 billion overseas”.
❖ President Obama: “‘No Apologies‘ For Investigating Leaks Of Classified Information”.
❖ Michael Isikoff: ” Bomb plot briefing may undercut DOJ case for AP records seizure.”
❖ What will be focus of the Department of Justice’s IRS criminal investigation?
❖ The “only known 501(c)(4) applicant to have its status denied happens to be a progressive group: the Maine chapter of Emerge America, which trains Democratic women to run for office.”
❖ House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Citizens United and the IRS scandal: “We must pass a law that makes it clear that these so-called social welfare organizations must make their priority social welfare rather than engaging in politics.” Recent article helps illustrate that point. Update: Andy Kroll contends that “a lesser-known case . . . decided by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals two months” after the Citizen United decision “did the trick”.
❖ How states rank in terms of “disclosure requirements for super PACs, nonprofits and other outside spending groups.”
❖ McClatchy reminds: ”Ambassador Stevens twice said no to military offers of more security, according to U.S. officials.”
❖ Next up? The Environmental Protection Agency’s Inspector General has been asked “to review claims of bias against conservatives amid fight over IRS”.
❖ Ernest Moniz is the new Secretary of Energy.
❖ “Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is likely to be tapped as the next National Security Advisor”
❖ Democrat Ed “Markey up 7 in Mass. Special Election”.
❖ Terry McAuliffee (D) has a 5-point lead over VA Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) in the governor’s race.
❖ The Senate Judiciary Committee “voted unanimously to approve Sri Srinivasan . . . to serve as a judge” on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. That position’s been vacant since 2006.
❖ “The Washington, D.C. City Council is considering legislation that would force people to take out at least $250,000 in insurance before they are eligible to obtain a gun license.” Medical care for gunshot victims is about $4b/year and lifetime medical costs for gunshot injuries is $2.3bn
❖ A 19-year-old male has been arrested in connection with the shootings of 19 people in New Orleans during a Mother’s Day parade.
Health, Homelessness & Hunger
❖ Marilyn Tavenner is the new Chief for the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services. She was employed by Hospital Corporation of America (the Frist family) from 1981-2005.
The War on Women
❖ NC is trying to impose a variety of measures to inhibit women’s access to reproductive health services. Throw-backs to an earlier era even include no treatment for teens with STD without a notarized parental note.
❖ The US Department of Education “has fined Yale University [$165,000] for failing to report serious sex crimes and endangering students who thought campus was safer than it really was.”
❖ Nepotism thrives in TX charter schools, by law.
Planet Earth News
❖ “Of more than 4,000 academic papers published over 20 years, 97.1% agreed that climate change is anthropogenic”. So why isn’t something being done? The study suggests “strenuous lobbying efforts by industry” are to blame.
❖ A UC Santa Barbara scientist drove from CA to FL with special instruments aboard a camper van and “found that methane emissions across large parts of the U.S. are higher than currently known”. Highest levels in east TX.
❖ Indigenous community in Newtok, AK is sinking and desperate efforts to move the village to safety continue to run into bureaucratic inertia and confusion. They are running out of time.
❖ “German Scientists Use Offshore Wind Farms to Replenish Lobsters”.
❖ “Chinese protesters take to streets in Kunming over plans for chemical plant” (paraxylene)
❖ “Colombia’s Supreme Court convicts ex-lawmaker of masterminding massacre [of 43 people by right-wing paramilitary fighters more than two decades ago], sets 30-year sentence.
❖ That construction company that demolished the 2,300-year-old Mayan temple in Belize for gravel for a road is owned by a local politician.
❖ It’s a “cosmic punching bag.”