International Developments

Remember Hans Blix, UN Arms Inspector 2000-2003, who tried to get the truth out to counter the Bush administration’s lies about WMDs in Iraq?  He’s now urging caution and patience concerning chemical weapons use in Syria.

❖ “Ready” is the word:  “US ready to launch Syria strike, says Chuck Hagel”; France is “‘ready to punish’ whoever was behind the attack” says French President Francois Hollande.  Not ready: The UN inspection team postponed today’s scheduled site visit in Damascus until tomorrow, pending better “preparedness and safety”.

Russia President Putin and UK Prime Minister Cameron had a phone conversation during which they disagreed about Syrian chemical weapons attack evidence.

❖ Never one to disappoint, Tony “Cheerleader” Blair is gung-ho on attacking Syria.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s position on Syria is a result of “Immature advisers, moral indignation and the folly of wading into this bloody morass.”

UK Prime Minister David Cameron is recalling the UK Parliament Thursday “to discuss possible responses to a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria.”

❖  Secretary of State John Kerry’s case for US military action against Syria.

❖ “The Prince [Bandar Bush]:  Meet the Man Who Co-Opted Democracy in the Middle East.”  Or, how “the U.S. began a mad hunt to destroy those who had absolutely nothing to do with the assaults of 9/11.”

The White House claims they aren’t seeking “regime change” in Syria.

❖ “M23 rebels attack Congo troops near Goma: Both sides reportedly suffer heavy casualties and three UN peacekeepers are wounded near Rwanda border.”  720 Congolese troops reportedly “at the military hospital”.  Susan Rice and M23.

International Finance

❖ Oh, noooos.  “JP Morgan told to pay [Russian billionaire] Blavatnik $50m in damages” for losses he “suffered” when the subprime mortgage market collapsed.

❖ More woes:  Javier Martin Artajo Rueda, former JPMorgan trader wanted on massive fraud charges in the US, was arrested in Spain.

Money Matters USA

How Wall Street’s “biggest banks . . . essentially won a green light to rush into ‘mining, processing, transporting, storing, and trading a wide range of vitally important physical commodities.”  A new Gilded Age, at our expense.

Public pensions are under attack, as seen “in the Detroit bankruptcy proceedings.  It is even more clearly on display in efforts by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to default on the city’s pension obligations.”

Anonymous O-Team source:  “Larry Summers Is Likely To Be Named Chairman Of The Fed In A Few Weeks”.

Facebook has been ordered to pay $20m for taking users’ “personal details” and putting them “in ads on the site without their permission”.  Individuals will receive $15 each.

The Privatization of America, Part I: its impact on our health care, water, communications, and transportation systems.

Former CEO of a MO bank “Admits To Using Bailout Money To Buy A Luxury Condo in Florida.”

Surveillance Planet

Why did the NSA bug the UN and EU?  Update:  The UN “will approach the US government over a report . . . that US intelligence spied on video conferences by top UN officials”.

❖ “Despite its privacy laws, Germany is the most spied-on country in Europe.” During Angela Merkel’s chancellorship, more laws have been passed to weaken resistance to surveillance.

Just as the author of the US Patriot Act, Sen. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), says the NSA has used the law in ways it was never intended, so the author of the UK’s Terrorism Act, Charles Falconer, says it was never intended to be used as it was against David Miranda.

Ruth Marcus in the NY Times: “Footnote 14 [in the "just-declassified 2011 opinion by US District Judge John Bates of the FISA Court] should scare every American.”

❖ “The American Civil Liberties Union argued in court papers filed Monday that the sweeping data gathering violates the Constitution and should be halted.”

❖ “Eight Democratic senators and congressmen have asked Attorney General Eric Holder to answer questions about” the NSA supplying intelligence info to the Drug Enforcement Administration in support of “non-terrorism cases against American citizens.”

19 bills already in Congress to rein in the NSA, reform and disclose FISA Court opinions, improve reporting.

OH Attorney General Mike DeWine “informed Ohio citizens that a powerful facial recognition system with access to driver’s licenses photographs and mug shots went live on June 2.”

James Risen’s 2006  book “reveals details of the CIA’s attempts to foil Iran’s nuclear programme.”  The DOJ wants Risen to tell who gave him the info, but Risen’s refused so far.  The case is now down to the wire.

The War on Women

Update on those 11,304 rape kits found abandoned in a Detroit warehouse in 2009.

A Yellowstone County, MT district judge sentenced a former high school teacher “convicted of raping a 14-year-old female student who later committed suicide” to 30 days in jail.

Education Directions

A federal judge just let “Rahm Emanuel’s Minority-Bashing School Closing Go Forward”.

The founder of a K-12 cyber-charter school in PA funneled $8m  of school funds “into his personal companies and holdings.”

PA Gov Tom Corbett (R) has cut public higher education 22%, and budgeted $700m less for K-12 public education than the previous administration.

Heads Up!

❖ “NYC policeman charged after allegedly framing newspaper photographer”.

❖ “Wisconsin Capitol Police Chief David Erwin must resign due to blatant police brutality after 11.7% Walker pay raise.”

❖ “The Wisconsin State Capitol Police Should Be Abolished.” Escalation from arresting people singing without a permit to “violently attacking them.”

Planet Earth News

The Japanese government is calling for “emergency measures” to be used at Fukushima, thereby “wresting control of the disaster recovery from the plant’s heavily criticized operator.”

❖ “Four new wind farms in [MN and ND] could power 750,000 homes.”

Latin America

“Colombia Nationwide Strike Against ‘Free Trade, Privatization, Poverty: Ignored by English-language media, rural uprisings spread across industries as hundreds of thousands protest US-backed govt”.

Mixed Bag

Pre-Christian temple found in Norway.

Enter the wonderful world of Pi

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