❖ Strayed off the ranch much? ”Obama Policy Team ‘Trying To Rein In’ Kerry After Issuing Several Pledges to Allies, Rivals”.
❖ “Ten car-bomb explosions killed at least 39 people across” Baghdad, Iraq today.
❖ Sunni-Shiite strife has resulted in the “Lebanese army storm[ing] Islamist mosque [in Sidon] as Syria crisis spreads.”
❖ “Egypt’s army chief warned on Sunday that the military is ready to intervene to stop the nation from entering a ‘dark tunnel’ of internal conflict.”
❖ “Pakistan to seek treason charges against Musharraf”.
❖ Major issues raised by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyp Erdogan’s plans to build a mosque, a mall and “a replica Ottoman Army barracks” which set off protests in Taksim Square–and the architect caught in the middle.
❖ Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was sentenced to 7 years in jail and “banned . . . from public office” for having paid sex with a minor and trying to cover it up. He’s appealing.
❖ A “co-owner of Coral Springs, Florida-based Specialty Medical Supplies claims that about 80 workers [in their Beijing factory] are blocking every exit of his building around the clock until their demands are met.”
Money Matters USA
❖ Think he means it? Richard Fisher of the Dallas Federal Reserve “warned the ‘feral hogs’ of financial markets against trying to force the Federal Reserve to . . . slow its bond buying”. Further, he said the Fed would not be “propping up the economy indefinitely”.
❖ Jonathan Schell: “There is a revolution afoot–one that is being carried out by the government against the fundamental law of the land.”
❖ Why Ecuador? “First, the country has an enviably loopholed extradition treaty with the United States.” Second, the ruling regime of Ecuador doesn’t really care what America thinks.”
❖ Following the David Gregory-Glenn Greenwald mix-up David Sirota asks: Why is there a double standard when it comes to questioning other reporters who’ve also released classified information, why a hesitancy to question whether key government officials might not have committed perjury before Congress, and many more.
❖ An account of Edward Snowden in Hong Kong by a chatty lawyer who tells us about phones, Pepsi and pizza.
❖ Edward Snowden according to the South China Morning Post: “My position with Booz Allen Hamilton granted me access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked. That is why I accepted that position about three months ago.” Glenn Greenwald responds.
❖ Russia says there’s no legal authority for it to turn Edward Snowden over to the US, while Secretary of State John Kerry demands otherwise.
❖ Continuous updates on the Snowden matter: e.g., contrary to “NSA claims that the government needs to be able to suck up internet data from . . . Skype and Gmail to fight terrorists: . . . would-be terrorists don’t use those services”; etc.
❖ “Will The U.S. Be Able To Extradite James Clapper From Northern Virginia?” You know, for lying to Congress.
❖ Finally: Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has introduced “the most sweeping bill yet dealing with the fallout over revelation of NSA surveillance of phone records and internet usage.”
❖ How the top 1% of the top 1% “Now Dominate Our Elections”.
❖ Political donations are sluggish, with the pro-Obama Organizing for Action having halved [its] $50 million fundraising goal”, and Republicans for Immigration Reform having sufficient funds to buy “just a tiny ad . . . in South Carolina”.
❖ “The Internal Revenue Service’s screening of groups seeking tax-exempt status was broader and lasted longer than has been previously disclosed” according to Danny Werfel, new IRS chief. Search terms used included ‘Occupy’, ‘Progressive’, ‘Israel’.
❖ The prosecution’s dramatic opening in the George Zimmerman trial in the death of Trayvon Martin.
❖ Online map provided by PA’s Department of Transportation showing bridges and highways that could be built under the governor’s and senate’s bills.
Health, Homelessness & Hunger
❖ “80% of Pre-Packaged Foods in America Are Banned in Other Countries”.
❖ US Department of Health & Human Services report: “Obamacare saved consumers nearly $4 billion in 2012″.
The War on Women
❖ US Air Force Lt. Colonel has been “charged with assault, rape and lewd acts against a child. . . over a six-year period in two states.”
❖ Major struggle in the TX legislature over anti-abortion legislation. 700 people signed up to testify against the bills. Update: The bills were passed “in the wee hours” today and move to the Senate, and possibly a filibuster.
❖ Maxed-out on ignorance, TX Rep. Jody Laubenberg (R) says, “In the emergency room they have what’s called rape kits where a woman can get cleaned out”. (It’s thought she’s referring to evidence collection kits used in rape cases.)
❖ “Roy T. Dye, ‘men’s rights activist‘ . . . has to pay women to have sex with him . . . [then] beats them” up.
❖ Compare top income families’ spending on “higher enrichment” for their children–from $3,536/child in 1970 to $8,872 in 2008–with families in the bottom income–$835/child to $1,315 over the same time period.
❖ O Canada! “Wearing a mask at a riot is now a crime”, up to 10-years in prison.
Planet Earth News
❖ “Tar Sands Mining Beginning in Utah: Why the U.S. Is Becoming Ground Zero For the Dirtiest Energy: The practice that has devastated parts of Canada is already underway in the U.S. and things could get a lot worse.”
❖ How Canada went rogue and became a “reckless petrostate”.
❖ ‘Bout time! “Watchdog groups [in Mexico] are gaining strength, opposition parties are challenging and exposing the faults of the status quo, and social and traditional news media organizations are increasingly seeking to hold officials accountable.”
❖ Bolivia is considering legalizing abortion. About one-third of “maternal deaths in Bolivia are due to unsafe abortion.”
❖ Twinkies will be in the stores July 15th.