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Thursday, Jul 19th

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Drugs, terrorism and shadow banking

They look like a credit or debit card but are not linked to a bank account, can in many cases be loaded anonymously, are not “monetary instruments” under U.S. law, and were labelled “the ideal instrument for large-scale drug trafficking and money-laundering operations” in a 2006 analysis by the National Drug Intelligence Center.

It predicted that drug traffickers, narco-terrorists and other criminals would increasingly rely on stored-value cards — “superior to established methods of money laundering” — because they could be used without fear of documentation, identification, law enforcement suspicion or seizure.

In other words, a shot in the arm of the global money laundering industry, an illicit enterprise that accounts for between 2 and 5 percent of the world’s GDP, according to an estimate by the International Monetary Fund. The Center’s dark warnings did little to curb the rapid growth of the stored-value card industry — more than $300 billion a year by some estimates.

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US Air Force biofuel flight test a success

The U.S. Air Force’s initial test of a 50 percent Camelina biofuel in an A-10 Thunderbolt II was successful, an aviation milestone as a military or civilian aircraft had not been flown until now using a biofuels blend in all engines, according to the agency.

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Texas newborn denied health insurance over pre-existing condition

New federal legislation that will prevent insurance companies from denying children coverage based on a pre-existing condition comes too late for the Tracys. The legislation, passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama this week, won't go into effect until September.

Without surgery, babies with this condition often die soon after birth, although some may live as long as a year, said Dr. Steve Muyskens, a pediatric cardiologist.

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Court: Seattle police OK to Taser pregnant woman

A federal appeals court says three Seattle police officers were justified when they used a stun gun on a pregnant mother who refused to sign a traffic ticket.

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For Years, Deaf Boys Tried to Tell of Priest’s Abuse

They were deaf, but they were not silent. For decades, a group of men who were sexually abused as children by the Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy at a school for the deaf in Wisconsin reported to every type of official they could think of that he was a danger, according to the victims and church documents.

They told other priests. They told three archbishops of Milwaukee. They told two police departments and the district attorney. They used sign language, written affidavits and graphic gestures to show what exactly Father Murphy had done to them. But their reports fell on the deaf ears of hearing people.

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JPMorgan, Lehman, UBS Named as Conspirators in Muni Bid-Rigging

JPMorgan Chase & Co., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and UBS AG were among more than a dozen Wall Street firms involved in a conspiracy to pay below-market interest rates to U.S. state and local governments on investments, according to documents filed in a U.S. Justice Department criminal antitrust case.

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Nearly 300 Congress members declare commitment to 'unbreakable' U.S.-Israel bond

Nearly 300 members of Congress have signed on to a declaration reaffirming their commitment to "the unbreakable bond that exists between [U.S.] and the State of Israel", in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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Transfer cleared by pope, priest molested again

The future Pope Benedict XVI was kept more closely apprised of a sexual abuse case in Germany than previous church statements have suggested, raising fresh questions about his handling of a scandal unfolding under his direct supervision before he rose to the top of the church’s hierarchy.

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Does the Catholic Church foster pedophilia?

Perhaps instead of coddling these awful organizations - at the expense of thousands of children - we should be asking, what is it about Catholicism that fosters child rape among its supposedly godly representatives?  Maybe, just maybe, it's entirely unnatural to force a person to be "celibate?"  Perhaps the priesthood attracts child molesters because of its unnatural structure that, by eliminating healthy sexuality, encourages perversion and also covers it up?

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