Jul 14 2014

Daily News Flash with Courtney Morris on Citigroup Settlement, Fracking Protests and Possible Earthquake Link, and Holder’s Statements on “Racial Animus”

Uprising’s guest expert Courtney Morris, assistant professor of African American and women’s Studies at Penn State University, analyzes today’s news headlines:

Citigroup has settled with the Justice Department over the subprime mortgage crisis to the tune of $7 billion. After months of negotiations, Citigroup has agreed to pay the lump sum to settle the case over its role in the selling of toxic mortgages. US Attorney General Eric Holder called the bank’s behavior, “egregious,” and added that the settlement would not make the bank immune from future charges. According to the Guardian newspaper, $2.5 billion of the settlement will be used to, “help struggling homeowners with principal reductions on home loans and other relief programs as well as financing the construction and preservation of affordable rental housing.” The Justice Department is in similar negotiations with Bank of America. Click here for a Guardian newspaper article about the story.

Oklahoma, a state not known to be earthquake prone, has just experienced seven small quakes within 14 hours between Saturday night and Sunday morning. An annual meeting of the Seismological Society of America in May concluded that fracking operations are likely to generate earthquakes on existing faults. Oklahoma is the site of a number of major fracking operations and it’s seismic activity is unprecedented. In other fracking news, there were major protests over the weekend in the Washington DC area over a planned liquefied natural gas facility in Maryland. About 40 local and environmental groups organized the demonstrations. Click here for an Al Jazeera article about Oklahoma, and here for an RT.com article about the Washington DC protests.

In a candid interview with ABC News, US Attorney General Eric Holder characterized some of the conservative vitriol that the Obama administration has faced in the past several years to “racial animus.” Holder, who is the nation’s first black Attorney General, said “There’s a certain level of vehemence… that’s directed at me [and] directed at the president. You know, people talking about taking their country back…There’s a certain racial component to this for some people.” Holder also reflected on how Americans are “too afraid to confront racial issues.” Click here for a Guardian newspaper article about the story.

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