Friday, October 4

● Payment processor penalized

● Debt ceiling brinksmanship

● Wasting in environmental corruption

● Wall Street undermines reform

Payment processor penalized
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau asked a federal judge to impose a $1.38 million civil penalty against Meracord LLC and its owner, Linda Remsberg, for helping debt-settlement companies to collect illegal fees from consumers. Meracord, one of the country’s largest debt-settlement companies, violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule which forbids the collection of upfront fees before settling a customer’s debts, the CFPB said.

Debt ceiling brinksmanship
The Department of Treasury concluded in a report that a failure by Congress to approve an increase to the debt ceiling would be unprecedented and potentially catastrophic. Among other outcomes: credit markets could freeze, the value of the dollar could plummet, and U.S. interest rates could skyrocket, potentially resulting in a financial crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse.

Wasting in environmental corruption
The National Center for Policy Analysis, a conservative think tank, claimed in a report that $1.24 billion spent by the U.S. over the past 12 years to support the Global Environmental Facility has not achieved any measurable environmental benefit. The GEF, led by the United Nations and the World Bank, “has merely served as a mechanism to spread funds between wealthy countries while doing little to help the poorest nations,” NCPA said.

Wall Street undermines reform
The banking and finance industry has spent $3.2 billion on federal lobbying and campaign contributions since 2009 when the Troubled Asset Relief Program paid out $700 billion to save Wall Street from collapse, Public Citizen said in a report. Public Citizen said the industry’s lobbyists and campaign donors oppose reforms that are intended to prevent a similar future collapse.

For Immediate Release is a daily compilation of press releases found on more than 1,000 websites that are maintained by the federal government and national advocacy organizations. Press releases selected for this feature are, in the opinion of the editor, exceptionally newsworthy, interesting or just plain curious.

Click for access to an archive of past For Immediate Release reports.

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Ireland Opens Polls On Same-Sex Marriage Referendum

Flag of Ireland

Polls have opened Friday for Irish citizens to vote on a referendum to legalize same-sex marriage, which opinion surveys have expected to pass

Gallup: Social Liberals Equal Conservatives For The First Time

The findings mark the lowest percentage of self-identified social conservatives and the highest percentage of self-identified social liberals.

TRNS News Notes- 5/22

PATRIOT Act: Votarama?
Trading up in Senate?
Obama: Not losing ISIS fight
DC mansion murders: Arrest
Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi emails

Clinton Aide Agrees To Testify Over Benghazi Emails

Former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton addresses press over email controversy March 10, 2015. Photo/Luke Vargas TRNS

Sidney Blumenthal first indicated to Clinton that the attack was in response to a negative depiction of the Prophet Mohammed by demonstrators, the next day emailed that it was rather a terrorist attack

Friday, May 22

● Criminal’s arrest was case of mistaken identity

● Rules for police body cameras

● Reduced salt intake can reduce health costs

● San Jose joins list of big cities

● Sweepstakes scam brought to a halt

● Bashing Congress is bipartisan sport

Grand Jury Indicts Police Officers In Death Of Freddie Gray

The case now moves from district court to Baltimore City Circuit Court.