CNN Washington AM Note
June 12th, 2013
05:00 AM ET
2 years ago

CNN Washington AM Note

NATIONAL STORIES:

CNN: Colorado fires scorch state; thousands evacuated

Fast-moving wildfires lit up central Colorado, forcing thousands from their homes and scorching some 12,000 acres of brush and timber. Of the five fires burning, the most problematic was the Black Forest Fire. Tinder-dry conditions and gusty winds fueled the fire, just northeast of Colorado Springs, prompting mandatory evacuations over an area covering 24,000 acres and about 5,000 homes.

CNN: Ohio kidnapping and rape suspect Ariel Castro due in court

An Ohio man accused of murder, rape and holding three women against their will for close to a decade will be arraigned on Wednesday. Ariel Castro, 52, was indicted last week on 329 counts. His case has attracted national attention because of the unusual length and depravity of the crimes of which he's accused. "The horrific brutality and torture that the victims endured for a decade is beyond comprehension," said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty. Two counts accuse Castro of aggravated murder for purposely causing the unlawful termination of a pregnancy.

USA Today: Baptists consider dropping Boy Scouts

The Rev. A.J. Smith says it's too early for Southern Baptists to give up on the Boy Scouts. Smith, president of the Association of Baptists for Scouting, disagrees with a recent move by the Boy Scouts of America to allow openly gay scouts. But that's no reason for churches to cut their ties with the Scouts, he said. "There is still an opportunity to reach youth for Christ with the gospel through Boy Scouts," said Smith, who is pastor of Bay Springs Baptist Church in Shelby, Ala. Southern Baptists are expected to vote on a resolution about the Boy Scouts on Wednesday at their annual meeting in Houston. The resolution, not yet public, will probably urge them to prepare to cut ties with the Scouts.

CNN: Bloomberg wants to spend billions on storm, climate change protection

Nearly eight months after Superstorm Sandy devastated low-lying areas, Mayor Michael Bloomberg called Tuesday for a $20 billion system of flood walls, levees and other measures to protect vulnerable regions from storms and the effects of climate change. A 400-page report outlines "250 concrete recommendations for how to confront the risks we face, and build a stronger, more resilient city," Bloomberg said at a press conference. "Sandy - which tragically took the lives of 43 New Yorkers - made it all too clear that, no matter how far we've come, we still face real, immediate threats," said Bloomberg.

NYT: Discrimination in Housing Against Nonwhites Persists Quietly, U.S. Study Finds

Discrimination against blacks, Hispanics and Asians looking for housing persists in subtle forms, according to a new national study commissioned by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. Though less likely to face overt obstacles, like being refused an appointment to see a home, minority customers were shown fewer available units than whites with similar qualifications, the study found. They were also asked more questions about their finances, according to the study, and given fewer offers of help financing a loan.

CNN: After the crash: Driver's license, registration, cellphone, please

You've been in an accident. The police officer goes through the normal drill, asking for your license and registration. Then she goes a step further. "Could I have your cellphone, please?" she says. New legislation proposed by a New Jersey state Sen. James Holzapfel would let cops confiscate cellphones if they have "reasonable grounds" to believe that the driver was talking or texting when the wreck occurred. Officers would be required to return the phone after thumbing through its history. "A lot of your accidents are happening due to distracted driving," Fair Lawn Police Sgt. Brian Metzler told CNN affiliate News 12. The trick, he said, is proving it.

WATCH: VIDEO – CNN's Chris Lawrence discovers that hands free doesn't guarantee a distraction free commute.

WHITE HOUSE:

Boston Globe: Amid struggles, Obama hits trail in Boston

President Obama arrives in Boston on Wednesday on the kind of mission for which he is known to excel — headlining a rally for Democrats, in this case Senate candidate Edward J. Markey. But Obama arrives at a difficult moment in his presidency. Much of his agenda has stalled in Congress and even some Democrats from Massachusetts are pounding him on key issues. Seven months after he was reelected by a wide margin, Obama has struggled to convert any mandate he had from voters into broad changes. …Markey and his Republican rival, Gabriel E. Gomez, have traded barbs about the president's visit, which includes a rally at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Roxbury. Before the rally, Obama will also attend a smaller private event, which a White House official described as “a photo line for donors.” Markey said the event would raise money for his campaign, but his spokeswoman would not say how much.

WSJ: White House to Halt Civil-Service Bonus Program

The White House plans to temporarily suspend a 1970s program that awards large one-time bonuses to a select group of senior federal employees for distinguished service, according to people familiar with the decision. The presidential rank awards are considered the nation's highest award for civil service and are offered once each year to officials at a range of agencies. The decision not to bestow any awards this year is being made because of budget constraints, the people said. Many agencies are already struggling to rework their budgets to avoid or limit employee furloughs. "The president is committed to recognizing excellence," an administration official said. "However, in light of the reduced budgetary resources, expending funds on employee performance awards at this time would in many circumstances not be the most effective way to protect agency mission to the extent practicable."

BuzzFeed: Obama Schmoozes Reporters At Secret Meeting

President Obama held an off-the-record meeting with select reporters from some of the nation’s largest print and online outlets Monday, in the White House’s latest effort to placate an increasingly restive press corps. White House officials regularly meet with reporters for so-called “background briefing sessions,” where the attendees cannot be mentioned by name nor quoted directly, but Monday’s meeting was different. Initially billed as a conversation with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, the president made a surprise appearance — a very unusual move — and the White House placed the proceedings off the record beforehand. The meeting came amid a series of scandals crashing over the White House that has placed the administration on defense in a way it hasn’t been until now.

CAPITOL HILL:

CNN: House has tough questions about secret surveillance programs

House members from both political parties Tuesday raised concerns and tough questions for administration officials who briefed the entire chamber on the government's recently revealed top secret surveillance programs. While Peter King, a Republican member of the House Homeland Security Committee, complimented the briefing team, some of his colleagues said some questions remain unanswered. "I was very impressed by it," said King, of New York. "I thought they laid out all the protections (which) are there, and I support what they are doing." But Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, said the briefing "raises plenty of more questions that all members I'm sure are going to be asking." Senior officials from the Justice Department, FBI, National Security Agency and Office of the Director of National Intelligence attended the closed meeting for all House members, not just those who are in leadership posts or on the Intelligence Committee.

ALSO SEE: CNN: King: Journalists in classified leak cases should face punishment

San Francisco Chronicle: Feinstein defends role as intelligence chair

From her first political job on a women's parole board to the chairmanship of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Sen. Dianne Feinstein has exhibited a law-and-order streak atypical of a San Francisco Democrat. As secret government surveillance of Americans' telephone records exploded into public view last week, the former mayor of San Francisco quickly emerged as a top defender of the program. In recent years, she has straddled both sides of the trade-off between civil liberties and national security, taking strong stands against torture and detention without trial. In an interview Tuesday, Feinstein said the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks had a profound effect on her, having watched on television people jumping from the burning World Trade Center. She said she "will never forget the sound of their bodies hitting the canopy down below. Matter of fact, I even have nightmares about it."

CNN: Senate immigration bill clears first hurdle; debate begins

A major immigration bill that would give millions of people living illegally in America a path to citizenship cleared a key legislative hurdle Tuesday when a strong Senate majority voted to open debate on it. The 82-15 vote, with most Republicans joining the chamber's Democratic majority in support, launched what was expected to be an arduous legislative journey for the 1,076-page measure. Both supporters and opponents expect the bill to pass the Senate despite fierce opposition from conservatives. However, one GOP foe said Tuesday the Republican-controlled House would defeat it in its current form due to the pathway to citizenship.

ALSO SEE: CNN: Vermont senator revives debate over gay rights in immigration bill

ALSO SEE: Bloomberg: Republicans Seek More Border Control in Immigration Bill

ALSO SEE: NYT: Unions Ramp Up Support of Immigration Bill

NYT: A Speech in Spanish Is a First for the Senate

When Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, took the Senate floor on Tuesday to deliver a speech in support of an immigration overhaul bill, he did it in a way no senator had done before: entirely in Spanish. “We are going to have hours upon hours of debate about this on the floor of the Senate, and taking 15 minutes to explain the bill in Spanish just seemed like a good idea,” Mr. Kaine said. “Latinos have so much invested in the outcome of the bill, people ought to know what the bill is about.” According to records from the Senate Library, Mr. Kaine was the first senator to give a speech all in Spanish on the Senate floor. Senator James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, spoke Spanish in brief statements on the floor in 2003 and 2005, and former Senator Mel Martinez, Republican of Florida, did the same in 2005. Mr. Kaine, who learned Spanish when he lived in Honduras and helped run a Roman Catholic school with Jesuit missionaries, said he had started planning the speech six weeks ago and had written it with the help of two staff members who speak Spanish.

NYT: Sexual-Assault Measure to Be Cut From Military Bill

In a striking showdown between Senator Carl Levin, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and a member of his own party, Mr. Levin said on Tuesday that he would remove a measure aimed at curbing sexual assault in the military from a defense spending bill. Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, offered a measure that would give military prosecutors rather than commanders the power to decide which sexual assault crimes to try, with the goal of increasing the number of people who report crimes without fear of retaliation. Mr. Levin, Democrat of Michigan, said he would replace Ms. Gillibrand’s measure — which has 27 co-sponsors, including four Republicans — with one that would require a senior military officer to review decisions by commanders who decline to prosecute sexual assault cases. Although Mr. Levin’s measure would change the current system, it would keep prosecution of sexual assault cases within the chain of command, as the military wants.

Politico: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac move up on Congress’s to-do list

For the first time since the government took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac nearly five years ago, there are signs that Congress and the administration are starting to get serious about tackling the dilemma of what should replace the taxpayer-owned mortgage finance giants. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and ranking member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) said they intend to work on a plan. Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) are elbow deep in the process of drafting legislation. House Financial Services Committee Republicans expect to release a bill as early as this year. And Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is meeting with housing policy experts while his staff, according to sources, is preparing to engage with Congress, particularly the Senate Banking Committee, as plans are put forward.

POLITICAL:

Politico: Obama election commission to hold Miami hearing

The commission President Barack Obama is setting up to address problems with election administration plans to hold one of its first meetings in the city that appeared to be ground zero for excessive delays in the 2012 vote: Miami. The panel will convene at the federal courthouse in Miami on Friday, June 28 to hear testimony from "local, county and state election officials," as well as "comments by interested members of the public," according to a notice set to be published Wednesday in the Federal Register. In November, some Miami voters spent more than five hours waiting to case their ballots, according to the Miami Herald. Obama promised action on the subject in his election night victory speech.

CNN: Biden on Mass. election: Without Obama on ticket, minority turnout will be low

Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday night the minority turnout in Massachusetts' upcoming Senate election may be low because President Barack Obama is not at the top of the ticket. According to pool reports, Biden also offered stinging criticism of the Republican Party at the fundraiser, especially of two first-term senators: Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. “There’s a big difference in this race,” Biden said at a Washington fundraiser for the Democratic candidate, Rep. Ed Markey. “Barack Obama’s not at the head of the ticket. And that means those legions of African-Americans and Latinos are not automatically going to come out."

ALSO SEE: CNN: President, put-downs, and privacy loom over Mass. Senate race

WSJ: McConnell Fine-Tunes Election Pitch

In 2008, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell ran for re-election by trumpeting the taxpayer money he steered to his home state of Kentucky. This year, federal projects are largely missing from the Republican's appeal for re-election. But with polls showing him vulnerable to an upset in 2014, his message remains roughly the same: His seniority gives the Bluegrass State more influence than any newcomer could match. "Fundamentally, the argument is: In what way would our state benefit from trading in one of the two senators we've had in history who have been leaders of their party?" he said in an interview. "The answer is, 'No way.' "

National Journal: Rogers to Announce Senate Decision Friday

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., will announce on Friday whether he's running for U.S. Senate next year, he told National Journal today, but would not confirm speculation that he has decided not to run. "I should have an announcement on Friday on what I'm doing," Rogers said in a brief interview at the Capitol. The congressman declined to characterize the delivery or setting of Friday's announcement, saying simply: "We'll be doing it right." Rogers has long been considered unlikely to run, in part because of his powerful position as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. In seeking the GOP nomination for Senate, Rogers would surrender a safe House seat, as well as one of the most influential perches in Congress.

The Hill: Ex-Rep. Mark Critz eyes possible comeback bid in Pennsylvania

Former Rep. Mark Critz (D-Pa.) is leaning toward a comeback bid and plans to make a decision on whether to challenge Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-Pa.) in the coming weeks.

The potential for Critz’s return is good news for national Democrats, who hope to win back the GOP-leaning seat in 2014. Critz, who lost a hard-fought campaign to Rothfus in 2012, has been considering either a rematch or a run for lieutenant governor.  According to a source close to the former congressman, he is leaning strongly toward a House run. Critz met last week with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) in Washington, D.C., to discuss his thinking.

ALSO SEE: Roll Call: Kristi Noem Not Running for Senate #SDSEN

NATIONAL SECURITY:

CNN: NSA leaker believed to be in 'safe house,' Guardian reports

The man who shook the U.S. intelligence community by leaking details of secret surveillance programs is believed to be staying in a "safe house," the British newspaper that worked with him reported Wednesday. Edward Snowden, 29, checked out of his Hong Kong hotel room Monday as journalists in the city began to figure out where he was staying from a video interview published online the day before, The Guardian said. "It is thought he is now in a safe house," Ewen MacAskill, one of the Guardian journalists who helped develop articles from the information Snowden leaked, wrote in the article. As Snowden tries to stay out of the spotlight, U.S. authorities are preparing charges against him, a law enforcement source told CNN on Tuesday. But the charges are not imminent, the source said.

ALSO SEE: CNN: NSA leaker's girlfriend says she's 'lost at sea'

ALSO SEE: CBS Poll: Most disapprove of gov't phone snooping of ordinary Americans

HuffPo: James Clapper: I Gave 'Least Untruthful' Answer Possible On NSA Surveillance

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper sought to clarify his claim that the National Security Agency does not collect information on millions of Americans, telling NBC News' Andrea Mitchell that he gave the "least untruthful" answer possible on the agency's surveillance program. During a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on March 12, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked the intelligence czar if the NSA gathers "any type of data at all on millions of Americans.” "No, sir," Clapper responded. "Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps collect, but not wittingly." Clapper's response appears to contradict recent revelations about the agency's large scale phone records collection program, first reported on by the Guardian last week. However, during the NBC interview, Clapper said Wyden's question did not have a straightforward answer.

ALSO SEE: USA Today: Sales of '1984' spike amid NSA spying scandal

BBC: Taliban talks crucial, says US Afghan commander

The US general who will oversee the end of the Nato mission in Afghanistan has said there will have to be talks with the Taliban at some stage. Gen Joseph Dunford told the BBC the international community would need to go on supporting the Afghan army after Nato combat troops leave next year. Without that support, he said, the gains that have been made in democracy and women's rights could be reversed. Gen Dunford said Afghanistan's progress as a nation was in no way guaranteed.

NYT: U.S. Blacklists Fund-Raisers for Hezbollah

Retribution against Hezbollah for helping the Syrian government fight rebels intensified on Tuesday, as the United States blacklisted four fund-raising operatives and warned of further steps to choke the group’s financing. The action against the operatives, who the Treasury Department said were based in West Africa, bans them from any dealings with Americans and freezes any assets they may have under American jurisdiction. While the financial impact on Hezbollah was unclear, the department said the move reflected “the alarming reach of Hezbollah activities and its determination to create a worldwide funding and recruitment network to support its violence and criminal enterprises around the world.”

CNN: Army missile defense commander suspended

The commander of an Alaskan missile defense unit whose mission includes tracking and possibly shooting down any weapons launched by North Korea towards the United States, has been suspended, the Army said. Lt. Col. Joseph Miley, commander of the 49th Missile Defense Battalion at Fort Greely, Alaska, has been under investigation since January, the Army said in a news release. The Army has not said what the nature of the investigation is, but numerous press reports indicate the Army is looking into whether Miley turned a blind eye towards sexual misbehavior on the remote base in the heart of Alaska.

Reuters: United States scales back plans for Guantanamo prosecutions

Far fewer prisoners will be tried in the Guantanamo war crimes tribunals than the Obama administration originally planned after a recent court ruling cast doubt on the viability of some charges, the chief prosecutor for the tribunals told Reuters. U.S. President Barack Obama's Guantanamo Review Task Force had said 36 detainees could be prosecuted, but the tribunal's chief prosecutor put the figure at 20 at most. The number set by the task force after a review completed in 2010 was "ambitious" in light of a recent court ruling, Army Brigadier General Mark Martins said. The drastic scaling back of the prosecutions comes after a U.S. appeals court threw out the conviction of Osama bin Laden's former driver, Salim Hamdan, who was found guilty in 2008 of providing material support for terrorism.

AVIATION, REGULATION and JUSTICE:

Reuters: FBI official who led Boston marathon bombing probe, to retire

The head of the FBI's Boston office, who has supervised high-profile investigations including the probe into April's Boston Marathon bombings, will retire next month after more than 26 years with the agency, the bureau said on Tuesday. Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers, originally from Longmeadow, Massachusetts, has helmed investigations such as the 2010 operation code-named Ghost Stories, in which 10 people were rounded up as suspected Russian spies. He became best known across the United States following the April 15 marathon bombing as the agent who stepped forward to ask the public for help identifying the two men suspected of placing the twin pressure-cooker bombs at the marathon finish line.

Politico: Rick Renzi convicted on 17 counts

Former Rep. Rick Renzi has been found guilty on 17 federal corruption charges following a lengthy legal battle, including allegations that FBI agents improperly listened in on his phone calls with other lawmakers. The Arizona Republican was found guilty of racketeering, wire fraud, extortion, conspiracy to commit money laundering, making false statements to insurance regulators, and transactions involving criminally derived funds, according to court documents. Renzi’s lawyers said he would appeal the verdict. The jury in Renzi’s federal corruption trial found him guilty on a total of 17 of 32 counts brought by the Justice Department. Renzi is now scheduled to be sentenced in August.

CNN: Ohio man charged in bizarre White House security incident

An Ohio man was charged Tuesday with destruction of property stemming from a bizarre incident outside the White House that involved a driverless SUV. Joseph Clifford Reel, 32, of Kettering, Ohio, appeared in federal court and will remain jailed pending a detention hearing on Thursday. According to a court affidavit, a driverless sports utility vehicle rammed a steel security bollard and a light post shortly after 3 a.m. on Sunday. Officers found a wood block had been attached to the accelerator. Secret Service officers spotted a man nearby on a bike who said he was watching the action. Officers told him to move along and he did. But the same man, later identified as Reel, allegedly jumped a fence at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which is next to the White House.

REGIONAL HEADLINES:

WaPo: Oprah Winfrey donates $12 million to Smithsonian’s African American museum

Philanthropist and media mogul Oprah Winfrey is donating $12 million to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, officials announced Tuesday. Combined with the $1 million she gave in 2007, it is the museum’s largest donation, and Winfrey’s name will go on a 350-seat theater in recognition. The chairwoman and chief executive of the Oprah Winfrey Network has been a member of the museum’s advisory council since 2004. “I am so proud of African American history and its contributions to our nation as a whole,” Winfrey said in a statement. “I am deeply appreciative of those who paved the path for me and all who follow in their footsteps. By investing in this museum, I want to help ensure that we both honor and preserve our culture and history, so that the stories of who we are will live on for generations to come.”

NYT: Bloomberg Asks Donors to Shut Wallets Over Senators’ Gun Votes

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, in a sharp escalation in the battle over gun control, is seeking to punish Democratic senators by taking away the one thing they most need from New Yorkers: money. On Wednesday, Mr. Bloomberg will send a personal letter to hundreds of the biggest Democratic donors in New York urging them to cut off contributions to the four Democratic senators who helped block a bill in April that would have strengthened background checks on gun purchasers. The move could inflame tensions that have simmered for weeks between Mr. Bloomberg, who blames the four Democrats for the defeat of the bill, and Democratic Senate leaders, who have privately told City Hall that the attacks can serve only to empower a Republican majority openly hostile to Mr. Bloomberg’s priorities.

Richmond Times Dispatch: Virginia GOP rescinds request for concealed handgun permit data ahead of new law

The Virginia Republican Party has rescinded its request to obtain lists of Virginia’s concealed handgun permit holders from the state’s circuit court clerks — ahead of a new state law that would bar such disclosure — after a number of clerks objected and refused to comply. Anthony Reedy, executive director of the Republican Party of Virginia, distributed emails Tuesday to circuit court clerks across the state stating he was withdrawing his earlier request for the data in letters he sent out last week. Reedy sent Virginia Freedom of Information letters to many, if not all, of Virginia’s 120 circuit court clerks requesting a list of all “Virginia Resident Concealed Handgun Permits” issued by their offices.

Denver Post: Colorado DOC in 2002 mistakenly paroled murderer serving life term

Clifton Blecha was serving life in prison without parole when he was released on parole and almost immediately fled to the East Coast because a key sentencing document got lost in a bureaucratic shuffle The Department of Corrections mistakenly released a white supremacist killer who was supposed to be serving life in prison long before it set free another man, the one who is believed to have killed prisons chief Tom Clements. In 2002, convicted white supremacist killer Clifton Blecha was serving life in prison without parole when he was released on parole and almost immediately fled to the East Coast because a key sentencing document got lost in a bureaucratic shuffle. His case — as well as the later release of inmate Evan Ebel — underscores the pivotal role played by the mittimus, the document courts send to prison officials that determines how long an inmate serves behind bars.

INTERNATIONAL:

CNN: Turkish leader set to meet with protesters after day of clashes, chaos

They've faced off with police on the streets of Istanbul, breathed in tear gas, braved water cannons, and hoped and prayed the protest camp they set up in a downtown park won't be overtaken. On Wednesday, some of their leaders are set to sit down face to face with the man they railed against as being too stubborn, too heavy-handed, too dictatorial: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. What began in late May as a demonstration focused on the environment - opposition to a plan to build a mall in Istanbul's Gezi Park - has evolved into a crusade against Erdogan that's spread around the country. The official response has fanned the fury of protesters. Many of them are young professionals who considered themselves apolitical but now feel moved to action given what they see as an unnecessarily harsh, obstinate government.

ALSO SEE: BuzzFeed: American Occupiers Take Their Protest Global

The Guardian: Europe warns US: you must respect the privacy of our citizens

European Union officials have demanded "swift and concrete answers" to their requests for assurances from the US that its mass data surveillance programmes do not breach the fundamental privacy rights of European citizens. The European commission's vice-president, Viviane Reding, has sent a letter with seven detailed questions to the US attorney general, Eric Holder Jr, demanding explanations about Prism and other American data snooping programmes. Reding warns him that "given the gravity of the situation and the serious concerns expressed in public opinion on this side of the Atlantic" she expects detailed answers before they meet at an EU-US justice ministers' meeting in Dublin on Friday.

BBC: Timbuktu damage to Mali historic sites 'underestimated'

A team of experts in Mali says damage to Timbuktu's unique cultural heritage under rebel control is much worse than was first estimated. The Unesco team travelled to the city for the first time since systematic attacks by Islamist militants who occupied it until early this year. They say Timbuktu is completely degraded and that more of its famous mausoleums than previously thought are damaged. Many more manuscripts are also missing. The mission of the Unesco team was the first step towards reconstruction of Timbuktu and the safeguarding of its heritage.

CNN: Greece pulls plug on state broadcaster

In a budget-cutting move, the Greek government closed, at least temporarily, state broadcaster ERT. Government spokesperson Simon Kedikoglou cited chronic corruption and mismanagement of funds as reasons for the closure. "At a time when the Greek people are enduring sacrifices, there is no room for delay, hesitation or tolerance for sacred cows," Kedikoglou said in announcement shown on the broadcaster. At least several of ERT's three TV channels and radio services went off the air early Wednesday. Television viewers saw screens go black.

CNN: Arrests made in London ahead of next week's G8 summit

At least 57 people were arrested in London on Tuesday in connection with plans for anti-capitalist demonstrations before next week's Group of Eight summit, police in Britain said. Those arrested were accused of possession of weapons with the intent to cause violent disorder, possession of pointed/bladed articles and a variety of public order offenses. Earlier, police in riot gear raided a building in central London. Britain is hosting the G8 world leaders at a summit next week in Northern Ireland. A "Carnival Against Capitalism" has been planned by demonstrators ahead of the summit.

BUSINESS:

CNNMoney: Google says it 'has nothing to hide' about government snooping

Google on Tuesday urged the Obama administration to let it be more transparent about secret data requests from the government. In an open letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller, Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) requested the ability to make public the number of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests it receives. Under law, Google is barred from disclosing anything about those demands for its users' information. …Both Microsoft and Facebook issued similar statements Tuesday, saying they would also like to provide a report of government requests and how they respond to them. The tech giants urged the government to allow tech companies to be more transparent about FISA requests.

CNBC: Pimco Sees 60% Chance of Global Recession in 3-5 Years

High debt levels have raised the chances of a global recession in the next three to five years to more than 60 percent, said Pimco, which manages the world's largest bond fund. The world economy goes through a recession about every six years and the frequency of global recessions tends to rise when global indebtedness is high and falling compared with when indebtedness is low and rising, Pacific Investment Management Co (Pimco) said in a note published on its website late Tuesday. "Given that the last global recession was four years ago, and also given that the global economy is significantly more indebted today than it was four years ago, we believe there is now a greater than 60 percent probability that we will experience another global recession in the next three to five years," Saumil H. Parikh, a managing director and generalist portfolio manager at Pimco said in the note.


Filed under: Washington AM Note
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Larry in Houston

    "" But with polls showing him vulnerable to an upset in 2014, his message remains roughly the same: His seniority gives the Bluegrass State more influence than any newcomer could match""

    Answer : 'ol Mitch is a "Lifer" it doesn't matter on the so called "polls" ( those "polls" must have been taken from every other state, other than the "bluegrass state" )

    ""Feinstein defends role as intelligence chair""
    well, if you want my opinion, the next time she's in a congressional hearing, and 'ol Cruz argues with her, in front of all of congress, like they did, (when they were talking about gun control) and the next time 'ol Cruz points that Long Index Finger at her, IF I was her, I would grab that finger of his, and Break it Off, in front of everybody in congress. She's got waaay more experience than he would ever hope to have. 'ol Cruz is nothing but a Hi tech Attorney / Lawyer, in addition he knows how to lie to you, with a straight face.

    ""Europe warns US: you must respect the privacy of our citizens""
    This country would not be in this predicament, IF Ron Paul was the POTUS. But, I guess we will help every other country with billions, and constantly have to "intervene" in some way / shape / or form. If we just let them fight it out theirselves, we could start re-building our own country, infrastructure & the whole 9 yards. BUT, oh well, I guess it seems like this country thinks more of other countries, than our own. pitiful.

    June 12, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am |