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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Vice News Correspondent Captured By Russian Militants In Ukraine

Simon Ostrovsky was reporting from the eastern city of Sloviansk when he was seized by pro-Russian separatists.

Gary Johnson Open To 2016 Run

“I hope to be able to run in 2016,” Johnson said during a Q&A session on Reddit.

Paul Hits Back At Dole

“When you have people who are career politicians, they’ve been beaten down by the system.”

TRNS News Notes — 4/23/14

News Notes

Ukraine: Kerry warns Lavrov

U.S. soldiers to Baltics

Obama / China: war of words?

Click here for: Wednesday, April 23

● Indians, Eskimos are prone to early death

● Students cautioned on loan “auto-defaults”

● State prisons are filled with repeaters

● Where did the Class of 2013 go?

● Family leave expansion promoted

● College sued for religious discrimination

South Korea Fears Nuclear Test From The North Ahead Of Obama Visit

Photo/KCNA News

“We confirm that we have spotted several activities related to the nuclear test in Punggye-ri in North Korea,” the South Korean Defense Ministry said Tuesday.