Greetings.

❖ “Russia will deliver an advanced air defense system to the Syrian government . . . [to] help deter ‘hotheads’ who back foreign intervention.” Update:  Israel is prepared to “strike shipments of advanced Russian weapons to Syria”. Update:  The US says the Russian arms sale is a “mistake”.

Two Afghan police officers, recently returned from working with the Taliban, opened fire and killed seven other police officers in Kandahar.

❖ “Child Marriages Rise Among Syrian Refugee Girls“–whether sold by their families, taken without payment or through sheer desperation.

❖ Once again, “gunmen” have “shot dead a female polio worker and wounded another” in Pakistan’s northwest.

❖ “Suspected US drone crashes in Somalia’s Lower Shabelle”.

Pussy Riot member Maria Alekhina is in a prison hospital following her week-long  hunger strike.

A mosque in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, England, was hit by several Molotov cocktails yesterday, apparently in response to the shocking murder of the young Lee Rigby a few days ago.

International Finance

❖ This one has to be read to be fully appreciated.  The former head of the UK’s Revenue & Customs, Dave Hartnett, who enabled Vodafone to pay 20% of tax it owed, and is an expert on tax avoidance, has joined Deloitte which he worked with closely while in the government.  Among his “sweetheart deals” while in office was one with Goldman-Sachs.

French President Francois Hollande is urging the EU to “address the region’s youth unemployment crisis”, as did  Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Much more.  Unemployment and youth unemployment rates in Europe in April.

Foreign investors are all over Greece, like flies on honey.

❖ Well, well.  “IRS targets First Caribbean International Bank, formally co-owned by Barclays, in investigation into tax evasion suspects”.   Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Wells Fargo are named in the IRS document that’s been filed.

❖ The US Justice Department has launched “the largest international money-laundering prosecution in history”–$6bn by “Liberty Reserve digital money service”.  There were police raids in 17 countries.

❖ “The Financial Takeover of ‘Our’ Newspapers”.

Money Matters USA

800 people “camped out for five days in Queens”, NY seeking one “coveted union job . . . elevator mechanic”.

❖ “Walmart Workers’ Prolonged Strike’ A First For Non-Union Company”. Workers in Miami, MA and San Francis Bay Area.

❖ “The Coalition of Immokalee [FL] Workers represents mostly immigrant farmworkers [fighting] against modern-day slavery, sexual abuse and low wages in the tomato fields.”  They’re now taking on Wendy’s.

Consumer confidence “jumped in May to a five-year high, lifted by a better outlook for hiring and business conditions.”

Krugman responds to that very very long letter from Reinhart & Rogoff.

❖  The US Postal Service “has been rated the most efficient postal service in the world . . ..  It is popular with its customers.”  So now it’s “on its last legs, with little help in sight.”

Politics USA

Director of Intelligence James Clapper updates on the world of spooks and  the 16 US agencies responsible for “collecting, analyzing and reviewing spy data from war zones and rogue nations”.

❖  News Corp says it didn’t receive a subpoena for Fox News reporter James Rosen’s phone records.  Attorney General Eric Holder had “a creeping sense of personal remorse” when he read about the incident.  Emptywheel responds.  The House Judiciary Committee is investigating.

Pointing to certain organizations seeking 501(c)(4) status, the New York Times notes “an array of election activities [on the part of those groups] that would provide a legitimate basis for flagging them for closer review.”  More.

❖  Rep Darrell Issa (R-CA)’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has subpoenaed State Department documents related to Benghazi.

❖ Hypothetical Senate race:  Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) tied with KY Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D).

Absent from national politics for 32 years, Representative Rick Nolan (D-MN)  on how things have changed in the interim.

Former Senator Bob Dole (R) laments the state of the Republican Party today.  Former Sen. Olympia Snow (R-ME) agrees.

The white supremacist SC Gov. Nikki Haley (R)  appointed to her re-election campaign has resigned.

Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kash-and-Kerik has left prison.  He almost got appointed to head up the Department of Homeland Security.

Gun Corner

Recall efforts  in CO over “legislative votes to limit gun rights.”  Democrats are revving up to respond.

❖ “This Is How the NRA Ends:  A bigger, richer, meaner gun-control movement has arrived”.

Health, Homelessness & Hunger

The “Cadillac tax”, higher taxes on “high-end health care plans”, is causing insurance companies to cut back on benefits “and to look harder for ways to bring down the overall cost of care.”

❖ “A quarter of the world’s children are at risk of underperforming at school because of chronic malnutrition”.

The War on Women

The US Supreme Court declined to “disturb a lower court ruling that blocks Indiana’s effort to strip Medicaid funds from Planned Parenthood”.

Boycott Facebook movement has made rapid progress with 13 companies having pulled advertising because of “images of domestic violence against women” that are allowed on the site.

❖ “10 Things That American Women Could Not Do Before The 1970s”.

Planet Earth News

General Electric Co. is going gung-ho into the fracking business.  Big profits to be made.

Geoengineering: “last hope or a false promise”? Hint: Conservative think tanks like it.

March against Monsanto, Kailua-Kona style.

❖ “Latest Opponents of Fracking...German Beer Makers”.

Latin America

Meeting in Moscow, the 33-member Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) “articulated a doctrine of peace and justice, against imperialist and interventionist policy of the United States in the region”.  (Google translation)

Chevron will loan Venezuela’s state oil company $2b “to boost production in Zulia field.”

❖ “Two US Embassy workers injured  in Venezuela shooting”.

Food prices are “the most serious . . . concern among” residents of Panama. (Google translation)

❖ “Chile, Argentina on red alert over Copahue volcano”.

Mixed Bag

The Pavlof Volcano

Break Time

Loafing