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Thursday, Sep 18th

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SEC chief resigns

AP reports that Securities and Exchange Commission Chief Linda Thomsen is leaving the agency less than a week after receiving an angry dressing-down before Congress over the agency’s failure to detect the $50 billion Ponzi scheme allegedly run by money manager Bernard Madoff.

Thomsen was front and center at a Feb. 4 hearing by a House subcommittee investigating the Madoff affair and the enforcement breakdown at the SEC. She was put on the defensive by lawmakers and forced to defend the SEC's position that she and other officials couldn't publicly discuss details of the matter because of an ongoing investigation by the agency's inspector general.

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FAA to loosen fuel-tank safety rules, benefiting Boeing's 787

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has quietly decided to loosen stringent fuel-tank safety regulations written after the 1996 fuel-tank explosion that destroyed flight TWA 800 off the coast of New York state.

The FAA proposes to relax the safeguards for preventing sparks inside the fuel tank during a lightning strike, standards the agency now calls "impractical" and Boeing says its soon-to-fly 787 Dreamliner cannot meet.

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Todd Palin held in contempt of Alaska state Senate

The husband of 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin has been found guilty of contempt by the Alaskan Senate.

Last summer, Todd Palin and others had refused to comply with subpoenas issued by Alaska lawmakers seeking testimony in the "Troopergate" investigation launched in July, triggered by the allegedly forced resignation of a state official.

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Whistleblower says Madoff had help, blasts SEC

Harry Markopolos, a former investment manager who warned U.S. regulators about Bernard Madoff, criticized the Securities and Exchange Commission and said on Wednesday that Madoff had help in running his alleged $50 billion fraud.

Markopolos told Congress that the SEC staff was neither willing nor able to uncover what Madoff, accused of having run the world's biggest Ponzi scheme, was really doing. He also said that he knows the names of a dozen other so-called feeder funds that helped Madoff raise money from pension funds and wealthy investors and that he would turn these over to regulators this week.

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Church Organization Refuses To Divulge If Pastors Are On FEMA Payroll

A large church organization has refused to divulge how many of its pastors are on the FEMA payroll, after a member expressed concerns about religious leaders being used to condition their congregation to accept the declaration of martial law.

In a May 2006 story we first broke the shocking news that FEMA was training pastors and other religious representatives to become secret police enforcers who teach their congregations to “obey the government” in preparation for a declaration of martial law, property and firearm seizures, and forced relocation.

Despite debunkers and urban myth websites claiming the story was a hoax, it was confirmed in triplicate by mainstream news outlets over a year later.

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Illinois makes major Israel Bonds purchase

The state of Illinois has purchased $10 million worth of Israel Bonds.

The Israel Bonds will mature in three years with a 2.43 percent rate of return, compared to U.S. government bonds yielding a 1.51 percent return during the same period, according to Illinois state treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.

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Obama Signs First Piece of Legislation Making It Easier for Workers to Sue for Pay Discrimination

President Obama this morning signed a law that expanded the time frame in which workers can sue for discrimination they have experienced based on gender, race, national origin or religion.

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