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: Monday, October 20

● Political attitudes in America

● Gag order lifted for Alabama consumer case

● Most deported immigrants are male

● Monsanto beats drum against initiative

● FCC targets high cost of inmate calls

● Pastors in Idaho face jail, fines

LISTEN: The Weekend Ahead – October 18-20

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A pair of memorials for an American and Brit killed by the Islamic State, a human rights visit to Detroit and a U.N. meeting on the peacekeeping mission in the Golan Heights.

LISTEN: The World in 2:00 – October 17, 2014

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Senegal is declared ‘Ebola-free,’ a breakthrough between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram, and the Swedish military on high alert.

Pelosi, Cleaver Wage Friendly World Series Bet

A Giants win will yield Pelosi BBQ from Kansas City. A Royals win will net Cleaver some San Francisco chocolates.

WHO: Ebola Outbreak in Senegal ‘Over’

The flag of Senegal at the United Nations. Photo: Luke Vargas/TRNS

Senegalese health officials have undertaken 42 days of ‘case finding’ without reporting a new infection.

Obama Calls On Congress To Act On Identity Theft

“It’s time to have one clear national standard that brings certainty to businesses and keeps consumers safe,” Obama said.