Unfortunately, as the investigations continue, so too have one of the unintended but collateral consequences of such vigilance: mass de-risking,”wrote Michael J. Bresnick, who previously served as executive director of Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, under which Operation Choke Point was created. “Members of the industry have raised their hands in frustration and simply avoided lines of business typically associated with higher risk. This reaction to [the Justice Department’s] enforcement initiative, and similar matters brought by the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is certainly understandable.”
Bresnick addressed the issue in an op-ed for American Banker.
According to government documents, Operation Choke Point was designed by the Justice Department in 2012 to “attack Internet, telemarketing, mail, and other mass market fraud against consumers, by choking fraudsters’ access to the banking system.”
Monsanto may be in trouble in Europe. After months of controversy over disparaging studies concerning Round Up’s main ingredient, glyphosate, the Committee on Environment, Food Safety & Public Health (ENVI) has formally objected to the re-authorization by the European Commission of the herbicide.
Voting to uphold this objection were 36 members, while 6 members voted against it and 18 did not vote.
So long as serious concerns remain about the carcinogenicity and endocrine disruptive properties of the herbicide glyphosate, which is used in hundreds of farm, forestry, urban and garden applications, the EU Commission should not renew its authorization. Instead, it should commission anindependent review and disclose all the scientific evidence that the s (EFSA) used to assess glyphosate.”
Members also called the herbicide’s re-authorization “irresponsible and unacceptable.”
MEP Anja Hazekamp criticized the European Commission for even considering giving Round Up the green light in Europe:
“With this decision the European Commission fails to protect the health of humans, animals and the environment. Member states and more than 1 million citizens have already expressed their concerns over the re-authorisation. We will use all possible means to prevent the European Commission from contaminating our environment for another 15 years.”
Donald Trump didn’t land the knockout blow he sought Tuesday, but his wins in Florida and two other states’ contests left some big Republican donors ready to throw in the towel.
Trump’s only setback of the night was in Ohio, where Governor John Kasich took first prize. (Missouri remains too close to call, according to the Associated Press.) But with no clear path to the nomination—there are fewer delegates up for grabs than he would need to clinch it—Kasich’s win struck some donors as too little too late to stop Trump.
“I think he’s pretty much got the nomination locked up,” said Louis Sola, the founder of luxury yacht dealer Evermarine, who backed Jeb Bush and then Marco Rubio. While he said he thinks highly of Trump’s rival Ted Cruz, Sola said he’s unlikely to back him because he doesn’t believe Trump can be stopped. “I think we’re going to sit on the sidelines for a while,” he said.
Wealthy Republican donors looking for a more mainstream nominee have stepped up efforts in recent weeks to block Trump’s ascendancy. They flooded Florida with ads attacking the billionaire and failed to significantly dent his popularity. As a result, many donors, including Sola, are shifting their focus to Senate races where Republican candidates could be negatively affected by a Trump nomination.
Take Art Pope, a deep-pocketed donor who’s made a mark on North Carolina politics. Pope said in an interview that he’s a delegate for Rubio, who dropped out of the race after losing to Trump in his home state Tuesday, and will go to the Republican convention uncommitted.
“I’m not making a decision about who I’m supporting now,” Pope said. “Regardless of who the nominee for president is, I will very much focus my efforts on legislative races.”
“In Syria, coalition military forces conducted five airstrikes using attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft,” the statement read. “Separately in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted eight airstrikes coordinated with the government of Iraq using attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft against ISIL [Islamic State] targets.”
The Obama administration is trying to disentangle itself from another controversy over Medicare coverage. Amputees are protesting this time, fearing they’ll be denied the latest technology for artificial legs and feet.
Medicare spending for those items soared in the last 10 years, even as the number of amputees declined because of improved diabetes care. That prompted scrutiny from government investigators.
Recently, Medicare’s billing contractors proposed closer medical supervision of the independent technicians who sell and fit artificial limbs, as well as tighter rules for patients to qualify for high-tech devices that can cost as much as a car. The proposal is technical, but industry says it would translate to diminished quality of life for beneficiaries.
The vice president polls better than the former secretary of state when paired up against Republican hopefuls Donald Trump, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio in a Quinnipiac University poll. Biden, who is believed to be mulling another bid for the presidency, would beat billionaire businessman Trump by eight points (48% to 40%), former Florida Gov. Bush by six points (45% to 39%) and Florida Sen. Rubio by three points (44% to 41%).
The Pentagon announced the deployment of three more Army units to Iraq and Afghanistan Wednesday, as part of the upcoming rotation of forces scheduled for late summer and early fall.
Approximately 1,250 soldiers from the 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, stationed at Fort Drum, New York, will deploy to Iraq, where there are approximately 3,500 U.S. troops stationed.
Meanwhile about 300 soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division also stationed at Fort Drum and 1,000 soldiers from 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, stationed at Fort Polk, Louisiana, will deploy to Afghanistan.
The Pentagon also confirmed Wednesday that the U.S. conducted the first drone strike from Incirlik Air Base in Turkey against ISIS Tuesday after Turkey allowed the U.S. greater access to the base in July.