Daily Digest 7/22 - U.S. Refines Syria Plan, Cities Waging War On Gardens
The main motivation behind the administration’s indulgence of serious criminality evidently is fear of the consequences of taking tough action on individual bankers.
Since the financial crisis, lenders such as Wells Fargo and Sallie Mae have become more responsible. They've tightened up their underwriting practices substantially and are now handing out fewer loans (as shown in the graph below) and picking more qualified borrowers.
Administration officials insist they will not provide arms to the rebel forces. Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are already financing those efforts. But American officials said that the United States would provide more communications training and equipment to help improve the combat effectiveness of disparate opposition forces in their widening, sustained fight against Syrian Army troops. It’s also possible the rebels would receive some intelligence support, the officials said.
City officials are waging a war on gardens (Thomas C.)
If you start looking for stories like these, you’ll turn them up in droves. In 2010, Clarkston, Ga., fined a gardener named Steve Miller for planting too many vegetables. In 2011, Oak Park, Mich., told Julie Bass she couldn’t grow any vegetables in her front yard because vegetables weren’t “suitable” yard plants. (“You can look all throughout the city and you’ll never find another vegetable garden that consumes the entire front yard,” a city official told the local TV station.) And in Chatham, N.J., Mike Bucuk, a young would-be organic farmer, had to fight with the entire town just to grow some vegetables his family’s property.
In Syria, a short distance away, the anti-Assad forces have made tactical progress in parts of the northern countryside, carving out areas largely under opposition control. In their most potent strike, a bomb attack killed four of Mr. Assad’s top security officials last week. In many places, the opposition says, government units are confined to garrisons, from which they fire with artillery, mortars and machine guns, but rarely venture out.
Consumer purchases, which account for about 70 percent of the world’s largest economy, are weakening at a time Europe’s debt crisis and looming U.S. tax-policy changes threaten to further restrain corporate investment. The deceleration in growth, a concern Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke highlighted last week, will make it harder to trim unemployment stuck above 8 percent since February 2009.
“Operations are still weak and the outlook for gas output and refining continue to be difficult,” said Juergen Maier, a fund manager in Vienna at Raiffeisen Capital Management, which manages about $1.1 billion in emerging-market assets, including Indian stocks. “Globally economies are slowing down, which makes it difficult to improve the margin for refining.”
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