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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Click here for: Wednesday, September 3

● Gitmo videos stay under wraps>

● Welfare costs remained steady in 2012

● Profiteering at a national shrine

● Data encryption device ready for market

● Betting on Ebola drug

● New York Republicans attack pay-to-play rule

Pentagon Responds To Putin’s Claim That Russia Could Take Kiev In Weeks

TRNS sat down with Pentagon Spokesman Col. Steve Warren to assess Putin’s claim that Russia is capable of taking Ukraine within weeks

LISTEN: The World in Two Minutes – September 2, 2014

The World in 2:00

A UN warning on Ebola, the Islamic State claims to have killed another American journalist, and a 41-year-old Italian is the EU’s next foreign policy chief.

Royce “Disgusted” By Alleged ISIS Execution

Ed Royce

“I am disgusted by what appears to be another horrendous killing of an American journalist at the hands of ISIS,” Royce said in a statement. “My thoughts and prayers are with Steven Sotloff’s family.”

CDC Head Predicts Ebola Epidemic “Likely To Get Worse”

“Everything I’ve seen suggests that over the next few weeks, it’s likely to get worse,” Frieden said.

Pentagon: U.S. Military Forces Conducted Operation In Somalia

On Monday, U.S. forces conducted a military operation in Somalia, however provided no further details than the announcement