What We're Reading

Morning Reads: Search for Suspect in NYC Bombing; Wells Fargo Not Only Bank Pushing Phony Accounts

A roundup of some of the stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

Morning Reads: Search for Suspect in NYC Bombing

FBI agents review the crime scene on West 23rd St. in Manhattan on September 18, 2016. An explosion that injured 29 is being labeled an "intentional act." A second device was found four blocks away. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Attempted attacks –> A homemade bomb exploded in Manhattan Saturday night and another bomb was found nearby, moved from the area and deactivated. There were 29 injured; all have been released from the hospital.

This followed another, possibly related device that exploded in a New Jersey shore town Saturday morning, and pipebombs found Sunday night at the train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey, near New York. One of them detonated while police were investigating; no one was harmed. New York’s public radio station WNYC reports that the FBI is looking for “a 28-year-old New Jersey resident for questioning in connection with Saturday night’s explosion in Chelsea.” His name is Ahmad Khan Rahami and his last known address was in Elizabeth.

And: Stabbings in a St. Cloud, Minnesota, mall Saturday. An assailant dressed in a private security uniform stabbed eight before he was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer. ISIS claimed responsibility, although that does not mean the group, which has been encouraging “lone-wolf” strikes, planned the attack or even knew it would happen. The attacker was a member of St. Cloud’s Somali community, which denounced the attack. Somalis in St. Cloud often are the target of racism, as this account by Susan Du for the Minneapolis-St. Paul City Pages chronicles.

“More guns in fewer hands” –> Lois Beckett at The Guardian: “Americans own an estimated 265 [million] guns, more than one gun for every American adult, according to the most definitive portrait of US gun ownership in two decades. But the new survey estimates that 130 [million] of these guns are concentrated in the hands of just 3 percent of American adults — a group of super-owners who have amassed an average of 17 guns each. The unpublished Harvard/Northeastern survey result summary, obtained exclusively by The Guardian and The Trace, estimates that America’s gun stock has increased by 70 [million] guns since 1994. At the same time, the percentage of Americans who own guns decreased slightly from 25 percent to 22 percent.”

Not just Wells Fargo –> Following that $185 million in fines levied against Wells Fargo for unauthorized accounts and credit cards, Jonnelle Marte and Renae Merle at The Washington Post report, “Wells Fargo is hardly alone in aggressively pushing accounts, industry veterans say. Consumers have filed more than 31,000 complaints since 2011 about the opening, closing and management of their accounts and issues dealing with unauthorized credit cards, according to an analysis of complaints filed with the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The complaints name many of the nation’s largest institutions. The banks say many of the complaints are unfounded, or the result of identify theft. Few, they said, are related to outright fraud; some are complaints about unauthorized credit checks. Several institutions echoed Wells Fargo in saying they are regularly reviewing and improving their training and compliance programs to deter wrongdoing.”

Toxic mess –> Lizzie Dearden at Britain’s Independent: “At least 980 million litres of contaminated water including radioactive substances has been leaked into one of Florida’s largest sources of drinking water. Officials said a huge sinkhole opened up beneath a fertiliser plant near Tampa, causing waste water to pass into an aquifer that supplies much of the state. It contained phosphogypsum, a by-product from the production of fertiliser that contains naturally occurring uranium and radium.

“… Environmental groups said the damage from the sinkhole could be severe, adding to decades of pollution from the phosphorous fertiliser industry.”

US bombing puts Syrian cease-fire at risk –> Jim Michaels at USA Today: “A US airstrike that allegedly killed dozens of Syrian troops this weekend threatens to undermine a fragile cease-fire agreement between Russia and the United States, potentially derailing a major diplomatic initiative aimed at ending the five-year civil war. The US military is investigating Saturday’s airstrike around Deir el-Zour in eastern Syria where coalition aircraft appear to have mistakenly struck Syrian government forces. The Russian government said 62 people were killed in the strike.”

Interesting role model –> ABC News: “GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence said his role model for the No. 2 spot is the last Republican to hold the job — Dick Cheney. ‘I frankly hold Dick Cheney in really high regard in his role as vice president and as an American,’ Pence said on ABC’s This Week. Pence said that, like Cheney, he hoped to be ‘a very active vice president… Vice President Cheney had experience in Congress as I do, and he was very active in working with members of the House and the Senate,’ he said.”

We guess it was only a matter of time –> There’s a Donald Trump musical in the works. Written by Joe Scarborough.

Morning Reads was compiled by John Light and edited by Michael Winship. See a story that you think should be included in Morning Reads? Tell us in the comments!

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