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July 18, 2013 (San Diego's East County) --ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:






Florida jury acquits George Zimmerman in killing of teenager (Reuters)

 A Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman on Saturday in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in a case that sparked a national debate over racial profiling and self-defense laws.

Everybody Sues NSA over Surveillance (Reason)

Nineteen organizations including Unitarian church groups, gun ownership advocates, and a broad coalition of membership and political advocacy organizations filed suit against the National Security Agency (NSA) today for violating their First Amendment right of association by illegally collecting their call records. The coalition is represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a group with years of experience fighting illegal government surveillance in the courts.

Journalism Is an Act, Not a Profession (Reason)

Sometimes great acts of journalism are the work of average citizens.

Soldier Prescribed Controversial Anti-Malarial Drug Before Afghan Massacre(KPBS)  

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who recently pleaded guilty to the murder of 16 Afghan civilians, was prescribed a controversial anti-malarial drug called Lariam before the massacre. Lariam has been linked to aggression and psychotic behavior. / A report from the maker of Lariam (obtained by The Military Times) was sent to the Food and Drug Administration that read, in part: “It was reported that this patient was administered mefloquine (Lariam) in direct contradiction to U.S. military rules that mefloquine should not be given to soldiers who had suffered traumatic brain injury due to its propensity to cross blood-brain barriers inciting psychotic, homicidal or suicidal behavior.” / Bales was diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury in 2010.

Uh, Hooray for Transparency? Government Propaganda Now Legally Available in America (Reason)

Via Drudge comes this Foreign Policy article about how July 2013 marks the first month in decades that the United States government has been legally cleared to broadcast its vast overseas propaganda broadcasts inside America…

U.S. regulators fine Barclays for energy price manipulation (Marketplace.org)

British banking giant Barclays has been hit with another massive fine by U.S. regulators. Last year, the bank had to cough up around $430 million for rigging interest rates. Now the bank has been fined over $450 million for allegedly manipulating U.S. electricity prices.  / The bank vehemently denies it has done anything wrong and says it will go to court to overturn the penalty.    

Driving somewhere? There's a gov't record of that (U-T San Diego)

The American Civil Liberties Union says in a new report that local police departments are amassing millions of digital records on the location and movement of Americans using automated license plate scanners


Egypt set to receive U.S. jets, despite recent overthrow (Christian Science Monitor)

The United States will send four jets as scheduled to Egypt, Defense Department officials said Wednesday. The U.S. is reviewing the assistance it provides to Egypt following the recent military ouster of President Mohamed Mursi.

Mexico May Ease Restrictions On Foreign Ownership Of Property (KPBS)

Supporters say a Mexican constitutional amendment allow non-U.S. citizens to more easily buy coastal property would spur tourism.

Japan nuclear regulator alarmed at Fukushima contamination reports (Reuters)  

Japan's nuclear regulator expressed growing alarm on Wednesday at increased contamination beside the seafront of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station and urged the plant's operators to take protective measures.

Bangladesh gives former Islamist leader life term for war crimes

(Reuters) - Bangladesh's war crimes tribunal convicted and sentenced a former Islamist party leader to life imprisonment on Monday, in the fifth such conviction since January, as violence broke out between police and his supporters across the country.

Mexico Captures Powerful Drug Cartel Leader (KPBS)

Miguel Angel Treviño Morales is the leader of Los Zetas, one of Mexico's most powerful and most feared drug cartels.

Human toll of Syria's civil war echoes Rwandan genocide, says UN (Christian Science Monitor)

Approximately 5,000 Syrians are dying each month, and an average of 6,000 people flee the country every day, UN officials reported Tuesday. Since the war began, nearly 93,000 people are dead, and 1.8 million have fled.