Fatster’s Roundup

Puffin

Greetings.

International Developments

? “More British soldiers and veterans took their own lives in 2012 than died fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan over the same period.”

? “Israel carried out an air attack . . . July 5th near Latakia, Syria’s principal port city . . . [against] advanced antiship cruise missiles sold to the Syrian government by Russia, American officials [who didn’t want to be identified] said Saturday.”

? Free Syrian army clashes with jihadists in wake of commander’s assassination: Fighting in Aleppo widens cracks in splintering opposition as military gains are reversed.”

? “At least six people have been killed in a series of gun and bomb attacks in northern Iraq.”  Update: “Wave Of Evening Bombings Kills At Least 28.”

? British security experts at Jane’s say “Saudi missile sites target Iran, Israel.”

? “The Pakistani Taliban have set up camps and sent hundreds of men to Syria to fight alongside rebels opposed to President Bashar al-Assad”.

? “Officials say an apparent U.S. drone missile strike has killed two people in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal zone.”

? “Egypt ‘freezes assets’ of [14] Muslim Brotherhood leaders.”

? Two US “amphibious assault ships have moved to the coast” of Egypt.

? Seven “UN peacekeepers killed in Sudan’s Darfur”.

? “More than 30,000 people have fled DR Congo after a group of Ugandan rebels attacked a border town”.

? Confidential UN report:  “Kenyan soldiers in the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia [facilitated] illegal charcoal exports [which generate] millions of dollars a year for Islamic militants”.

Hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay, hunger strike in CA prisons, hunger strike by Palestinians in Israeli jails:  “Prisoners Stage Hunger Strikes Worldwide.”

International Finance

? Portugal’s Socialist Party leader, Antonio Jose Seguro caused quite a stir by demanding “Lisbon renegotiate the terms of its bailout deal with Brussels.”  Why? “The prime minister has to recognise publicly that his austerity policies have failed.”

? “Europe’s debt-crisis strategy is near collapse. The long-awaited recovery has failed to take wing. . . . Political consent for extreme austerity is breaking down . . ..”  In other words, “The wheels are coming off the whole of southern Europe.”

? Deutsche Bank “managed to lend to firms from Brazil to Italy while making the transactions disappear from its balance sheet, even though it is still owed the money.”

? Remember the good ship Libertad, held in Ghana last December while Argentina battled with hedge fund Elliott Management?  The US Justice Department “ponders whether to take the unusual step of wading into the dispute before the Supreme Court asks it to”.

Money Matters USA

? Major recalculations by the Economic Policy Institute of what it takes for US families to get by.  (E.g., a one parent/one child family in St. Louis, MO costs $3905/month.)  Comparisons by family sizes across cities, geographic areas.

? In the wake of the economic calamities brought on by the mortgage trap, some cities are beginning “to buy underwater mortgages at their current market value and resell them to homeowners at reduced price and mortgage payments.”

Surveillance Planet

? “Q&A with Glenn Greenwald: Americans’ reaction [to the Snowden leaks] ‘surprising and gratifying’.  ACLU:  “U.S. Actions in Snowden Case Threaten Right to Seek Asylum”.

? Brazil’s Foreign Relations Committee want to have Glenn Greenwald attend a public hearing Tuesday relative to his recent articles about US spying in Brazil.  [Google translate.]

? James “Comey’s responses [to questions about government surveillance during the Senate hearing on his FBI nomination], taken in total, were quite troubling” and his ducking a debate on FISA Court issues “should be enough to cause concern among Senators when considering Comey’s nomination.”

? On the relevance of the word ‘relevant’ or “Secrets Exposed: How the NSA Rubber-Stamps Warrantless Spying.”

? “Focusing on Snowden’s Revelations, not Snowden” includes a roundup of all the links to Guardian stories about the NSA leaks. [cont’d.]

Photo by John Queen under Creative Commons license