Howdy!

International Developments

National Emergency declared in Egypt. “Armoured car full of police thrown 50ft off bridge by Cairo mob.”  Update:  “Three journalists . . . were killed and several were injured . . . on Wednesday.”  Update: “Egypt’s interim [Prime Minister] defended the deadly operation to break up protest camps in Cairo”.  Government toll: 235 civilians, Muslim Brotherhood toll: 2,000.  Update: “Death toll following government crackdown stands at 525.  UN fears “country becoming ‘dangerously polarised’.”  Update: President Obama said “the U.S. will no longer participate in a joint military exercise with the [Egyptian] government scheduled [for] next month.  Update: “Egyptian Military Creating Conditions for Dictatorship: Brutal slaughter of MB designed to create a violent response and justify military rule.”  Update:  638 dead.

❖ “Beirut car bomb rips through Hezbollah stronghold” (Shiah area).  14 dead.

Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya-alon wants the US to take on “the axis of evil–Tehran-Damascus-Beirut”.  Update:  Israel wants more US dough–a 10-year military aid package.

❖ “Syria’s war has exposed the hypocrisy of western powers: The conflict has become an ugly proxy battle between innumerable outside forces.  If the Australian government is so worried about terrorism, it should stop backing it in Syria.”

❖ “Nigeria troops ‘kill Boko Haram commander Momodu Bama’”, a second-in-command figure.

International Finance

Javier Martin-Artajo (who supervised the London Whale, Bruno Iksil) and Julian Grout (who was supervised by Iksil)–both of the London office of JP Morgan–have been charged with four counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, faking books and records and causing J.P. Morgan to make ‘false and misleading’ statements”.  Update:  Bill Black on this matter.

Money Matters USA

❖ “Why the Banksters Love [Eric] Holder.”  Or, “why the prosecutors have ceased prosecuting control frauds directed by senior financial leaders.”

❖ “A letter that a group of progressive Democrats sent to federal regulators opposing new protections for millions of Americans’ retirement accounts was drafted by a financial-industry lobbyist”.  Wait’ll you see the rewards for the signers.

❖ Wow!  “Fast food strikers will escalate their campaign within the next week and  a half”, and they’re going to be focusing on the South, too.

❖ “Jobless claims improve, reach lowest point in nearly 6 years.”

❖ “Cisco to cut 4,000 jobs despite strong profits”.  That’s about 5% of its entire workforce.

Surveillance Planet

❖ Ooops. “White House insists James Clapper will not lead NSA surveillance review:  Officials stress director of national intelligence will have limited role after Obama seemed to imply Clapper would head panel.”

❖ Although they’ve denied it all along, turns out the CIA did indeed spy on Noam Chomsky during the anti-war period of the ’60s and ’70s, and that his “entire CIA file was scrubbed from Langley’s archives”.  By whom?

❖ “Snowden downloaded NSA secrets while working for Dell . . . almost a year earlier than previously reported.”

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), chair of the House Intelligence Committee is being “urged to explain” whether a “crucial NSA document” was withheld from the committee prior to voting on renewing the Patriot Act.   Emptywheel on failure of the House Intelligence Committee to share documents with members, and even more.

Why some “secure storage” providers are shutting down their businesses.  What are the implications for “cloud” service providers in the future?  Update:  “When the FISA Court becomes the Exotic Surveillance Shop.”

❖ Google: users have “no ‘reasonable expectation‘ that their emails are confidential.”

❖ “There Is No Such Thing As NSA-Proof Email: Just ask ultrasecure email providers.”  Also, why “‘highly principled’ secure email services” should take a pledge to shut down rather than cooperate with the NSA.

 A movement’s afoot in the UK to establish an error message “called ’451 unavailable,’ to specify that a webpage . . . was ordered . . . blocked for legal reasons.”  If successful, the message would be available globally.

❖ Why, and why now? “Army Releases Photo of Wikileaker Bradley Manning in Wig and Makeup.

Politics USA

President Obama’s approval ratings from Gallup:  51% of the 18-29 age group; 51% of Easterners; 53% of post-graduates; 82% of Liberal Democrats; 71% of nonwhites; etc.

❖ Ooops!  Obamacare’s popular.

❖ “The National Black Republican Association (NBRA) . . . filed Articles of Impeachment against President Barack Obama”.

Jenna’s twin, Barbara Bush, thinks Hillary Clinton should run for president in 2016.  Whatever.

❖ Howard Dean (D) is ready to return to Iowa!

Bill de Blasio (D), initially thought  of as the “no-chance-in-hell candidate” for mayor of New York City, “has leaped to the top of mayoral polls”.

Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and  John McCain (R-AZ), and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) all voted against emergency relief funding after SuperStorm Sandy”.   Now, following an Arizona wildfire, they’re all upset that FEMA “is not doing enough to aid” AZ.

Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) “who blasted a ‘physically fit‘ couple for using food stamps at a suburban Virginia grocery store, collected 370,000 dollars in federal stimulus money for his Oklahoma plumbing company.”

❖ “Rick Santorum Illegally Directed $1 Million Contribution To Super PAC: FEC Complaint.”

❖ “Greg Abbott, Texas AG, Acknowledges GOP Redistricting Decisions Made ‘At The Expense Of The Democrats’”.

❖ Another claim (CA Dept of Fair Employment and Housing) filed against  beleaguered Bob Filner, Mayor of San Diego.  Now there’s accuser # 15 and Filner’s alleged  “‘inappropriate movement’ on her body”.  Eeeeeeek!

The War on Women

In May President Obama made some very strong comments about what should happen to sexual abusers in the military.  Some lawyers claim Obama was exercising “unlawful command influence” and have gotten cases dismissed as a result,  US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is now involved.

A MO state representative has sued to get a “personal family exemption from the Obama care birth control mandate” since it “violates his religious liberty.”

Planet Earth News

Texas Brine and the LA town “That’s Being Swallowed by a Sinkhole”.

TX towns running out of water due to climate change, drought, fracking boom.

Swiss company Nestlé , through its Nestlé Waters Canada “takes 265 million litres a year of fresh water from a Fraser Valley well”–for free.  British Columbia has no groundwater regulations.

Break Time

Corteo Paradise