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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LISTEN: The Day Ahead – October 31, 2014

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The Obamas celebrate Halloween, the UN dispatches its West African envoy to Burkina Faso and San Francisco celebrates its third World Series in five years.

Interview: Racial Inequality “A Major Factor” In South Carolina

Dr. Lonnie Randolph, Jr., President of the South Carolina NAACP spoke to TRNS after two former police officers pleaded guilty to excessive force by repeatedly tasering a 40-year-old black woman with mental disabilities.

Hagel Denounces Assisting Assad Regime

While immediate U.S. airstrikes in Syria have weakened the Assad regimes’ enemies, Secretary Hagel reaffirmed the Pentagon’s long term battle against the Assad regime

Interview With Rob Maness: Republican Candidate For Louisiana

While many Republicans have been endorsing Rep. Bill Cassidy, Maness says that they have also been launching a smear campaign against him.

DoD: The Scale Of Deployment Determined Monitoring Policy

The duration of deployment and number of troops to West Africa is driving the decision for a 21-day controlled Ebola monitoring policy, the Department of Defense said.

LISTEN: The World in 2:00 – October 30, 2014

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Protesters in Burkina Faso disrupt President Compaoré’s move to abolish term limits, and New York pledges assistance to returning Ebola health care workers.