“Scuffles and arguing broke out in Japan’s parliament building, as wrangling continued over the country’s security bill… that… would change Japan’s pacifist constitution to allow its troops to be involved in conflicts overseas for the first time since World War Two.”
See video at BBC News
“In May, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS Group AG pled guilty to felonies. Swiss Bank had cooperated with authorities early on, and was ultimately not charged. The banks face collective fines of a little over $5 billion – paltry in relation to the money they handle and the money they manipulated. But while big banks continue to ruin communities and personal lives with light impunity, in some cases the people are fighting back….
“‘The [Santa Cruz] Supervisors can make a strong point and show disapproval with our dollars,’ she [Amanda Robinson, vice chair of the Santa Cruz County Democratic Party] said. ‘We will no longer put up with unethical and illegal banking practices. I hope other cities and counties will follow our lead and remove their monies from banks that don’t benefit local communities.'”
More at Occupy.com
Obamacare has been (and continues to be) an unequivocal success story at obtaining health coverage for poor folks in the U.S. according to recent findings by the National Health Interview Survey, confirming earlier polling by Gallup and others:
“In all, about 32 percent of poor Americans were uninsured in 2014, down from 39 percent in 2013. The share of near poor Americans who were uninsured declined to 31 percent from 39 percent.
“In states that expanded Medicaid, the share of people under the age of 65 who were uninsured stood at 10.9 percent in 2014, down from 14.9 percent the year before. In states that did not expand, where uninsured rates were higher to begin with, the share dropped far less, to 16 percent from 18.4 percent in 2013.
“Mr. Levitt said the law seemed to have had a greater effect on the long-term uninsured. The report found that the share of Americans uninsured for more than a year dropped to 9.7 percent from 12.4 percent, compared to a drop of about one percentage point for people who had been uninsured for just part of the past year.”
More at NY Times
California Assemblymember Phil Ting’s excellent editorial on new legislation he introduced to rein in the abuses of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), which voted to revoke the accreditation of City College of San Francisco while giving Heald College a passing grade:
“California needs AB 1397 because the status quo is indefensible. The bill requires the commission to make its meetings public and to stop taking public comment after voting on accreditation. It establishes a strict conflict-of-interest policy to ensure independence and objectivity. Finally, it establishes a right for colleges to appeal sanctions.”
More at Sacramento Bee