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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The World in 2:00 – July 31, 2015

The World in 2:00

Beijing wins the 2022 Winter Olympics, Rio’s water is filthy ahead of next year’s Summer games and an Ebola vaccine is announced.

Energy Sec.: Iran Deal ‘Will Certainly Go Into Effect’

The Energy Cabinet member took to the White House press poduim in a push to roundup public support of the Iran deal

State Releases Second Batch Of Clinton Emails

Hillary Clinton holds her first town hall meeting event of the 2016 campaign in Dover, New Hampshire. July 16, 2015. Photo: Luke Vargas/TRNS

The State Department originally said it would release all of the emails at once sometime in early 2016, but was quickly rebuffed by a court order.

Charleston Shooter Pleads Not Guilty

Mourners comfort each other following the massacre late Wednesday night in Charleston, SC. (Photo courtesy of the King Center)

If convicted, Roof could face the death penalty.

Obama Signs Highway Trust Fund Extension, Scolds Congress

“It’s a bad way for the US Government to do business,” Obama said.

Poll: Seniors Back Hillary Clinton

Jeb Bush and real estate tycoon Donald Trump trail at 12 percent and 11 percent.