Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 7/15 - Scranton Workers Earning Minimum Wage, F.D.A. Spied On Scientist Emails

Sunday, July 15, 2012, 12:31 PM


In Scranton, firefighting pays $7.25 an hour (Thomas C.)

"It's hard for officers to function with this situation over their heads," said Detective Lt. Bob Martin, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, many of whose members usually make about $56,000, similar to firefighters' salaries. Martin himself said that under the new wage rules, he took home $408 for two weeks' work, about $1,500 short of his normal salary.

In Fleeing Pilot, Hints of Trouble for Syria’s Assad (jdargis)

Defected Sunni army officers have played a large role in the armed opposition since the war began last year, and they lead many of the field units of the Free Syrian Army, the umbrella antigovernment force. While the skills of defected air force pilots have less direct application for the rebels (who have no aircraft), the pilots’ decisions to join the uprising amount to both a moral and public relations victory for the rebels, and undermine the Assad military’s strength.

For Illegal Immigrants, Greek Border Offers a Back Door to Europe (jdargis)

The 126-mile border between Turkey, which is not in the European Union, and Greece, which is, has become the back door to the European Union, making member countries ever more resentful as a tide of immigrants from the Middle East, South Asia and Africa continues to grow. Frontex, the European Union’s border policing agency, estimated that a vast majority of the crossings in 2011 occurred at the Greece-Turkey border. Last year, Frontex said, more than 55,000 people crossed the border, a 17 percent rise from the year before.

This Season, Cold Facts Are Getting in Investors’ Way (jdargis)

The American economy is so vast and complex that it’s hard even to measure it and impossible to predict its direction with any certainty. Still, this much is clear: An economic recovery that had not been very rapid in the first place has lost some momentum. Whether this is just a temporary stumble or something deeper — the sign, perhaps, of an incipient recession — is an open question.

California County Weighs Drastic Plan to Aid Homeowners (jdargis)

Although the county has a long way to go before it could put the policy in place, the mere idea has already rankled the banking community, whose leaders say it would set a dangerous precedent of allowing a government entity to act as a lender and would discourage banks from granting loans in the area.

Voters Must See Candidate Plans for Avoiding Fiscal Cliff (jdargis)

If Obama and Romney believe this is a big-stakes election, here’s how they could show it: Challenge their opponent to present, by Sept. 15, a broad-based, specific budget/tax deficit-reduction plan so Americans can compare and contrast and discuss and debate before they vote.

In Vast Effort, F.D.A. Spied on E-Mails of Its Own Scientists (jdargis)

While they acknowledged that the surveillance tracked the communications that the scientists had with Congressional officials, journalists and others, they said it was never intended to impede those communications, but only to determine whether information was being improperly shared.

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