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, August 20

● Swipe fee dispute goes to high court

● Samsung fined for trade violations

● Enlisting food waste for war on hunger

● Forensic crime school seeks a home

● How to buy concert or sports tickets online

Reports: American Photographer Executed By Islamic State Captors

James Foley. Photo: Nicole Tung.

James Foley disappeared in Syria in 2012 while on assignment for the Global Post.

Media Advocate: Ferguson No-Fly Zone ‘Absolutely Unnecessary’

FAA Ferguson, Missouri No-Fly Zone Order

“There’s nothing unsafe about a media helicopter in the sky, and in fact it should help improve accountability,” Gregg Leslie told TRNS.

Pentagon: Surplus Military Equipment Has Helped Cops

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has asked for additional information on the program.

Netanyahu Pulls Israeli Negotiators As Gaza Violence Resumes

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the 68th session of the General Assembly. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

The conflict, now in its fifth week, has killed more than 2,000 Palestinians during the duration of the fighting, with Israel suffering nearly 70 casualties.

LISTEN: The World in Two Minutes – August 19, 2014

WorldIn2Logo

It’s a somber National Aviation Day, marked by no-fly zones foreign and domestic, volcanic threats and Ebola warnings.