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    Daily Digest 4/15 – Ukraine Begins Military Operations, A Salve For Ailing FL Springs

    by DailyDigest

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 1:22 PM


Want to Predict the Future of Surveillance? Ask Poor Communities. (Wendy SD)

A decade ago, I sat talking to a young mother on welfare about her experiences with technology. When our conversation turned to Electronic Benefit Transfer cards (EBT), Dorothy* said, “They’re great. Except [Social Services] uses them as a tracking device.” I must have looked shocked, because she explained that her caseworker routinely looked at her EBT purchase records. Poor women are the test subjects for surveillance technology, Dorothy told me ruefully, and you should pay attention to what happens to us. You’re next.

Social Security, Treasury target taxpayers for their parents’ decades-old debts (Amanda)

The Treasury Department has intercepted $1.9 billion in tax refunds already this year — $75 million of that on debts delinquent for more than 10 years, said Jeffrey Schramek, assistant commissioner of the department’s debt management service. The aggressive effort to collect old debts started three years ago — the result of a single sentence tucked into the farm bill lifting the 10-year statute of limitations on old debts to Uncle Sam.

Contrarian Value Investors Are Taking Large Positions In Gold And Miners (Taki T.)

Supply and demand continue to be robust. It should translate in higher gold prices going forward. At the supply side, miners are not likely to embark upon news programs of mine construction at current prices. Therefore, Hathaway believes that mine supply will shrink in the years ahead, especially after 2015.

Ukraine Says It Has Begun Military Operation in Eas (jdargis)

In a nod to the wide backing for pro-Russian groups here and in other parts of the east, Mr. Turchynov said that, “along with the Russian special forces and the terrorists there are hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens in the Donbass who were tricked by Russian propaganda.” The Donbass is a coal-mining region that includes the city of Donetsk.

U.S. Halts Effort to Collect Old Social Security Debts (jdargis)

Mr. Grassley sent scathing letters to Ms. Colvin and Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew, demanding a reassessment of the effort to recoup the Social Security overpayments. Mr. Grassley questioned whether the federal government had the authority to seek repayment from debtors’ relatives in the first place.

The Genius Entrepreneurs Who Turn E-Waste Into Usable Products (jdargis)

The materials harvested inside Agbogbloshie usually wind up in the marketplace nearby. If Agbogbloshie’s dump is where electronics go to die, this is where they go to be reborn. Hundreds of booths and workshops line the streets—a never-ceasing hive of industry. On the street, a young man asked if I wanted to buy some refurbished TV remotes. In the U.S., those remote controls would just one more broken luxury for the trash heap. Here they are salvaged, cleaned, and repaired.

Florida Lawmakers Proposing a Salve for Ailing Springs (jdargis)

Considered an important feature of Florida’s landscape, the freshwater springs are reeling from decades of population growth, the spread of agriculture, lawn fertilizer, septic tanks, outmoded wastewater treatment facilities and periods of drought, scientists and lawmakers say. But the progress in the Senate, spearheaded by legislators from areas affected by a downturn in water quality, is the most significant recent campaign for a broad overhaul.

U.S. Gas Prices Rise, but not because of Global Factors (James S.)

Global energy markets are jostling between the return of Libyan crude oil and lingering tensions over Ukraine. It's domestic supply and demand issues, however, that are weighing on U.S. gasoline prices, AAA said Monday. Prices waxed and then waned amid dueling overseas developments. Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned European energy security was at risk because of Kiev's debt obligations. The state-run oil firm in Libya, however, said the port of Zawiya and associated oil infrastructure were open and operating normally after protesters there ended their blockade.

Gold & Silver

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