- Eric Holder is, according to polls, the least popular member of the Obama administration, and he's just a tad controversy-prone, making him a likely issue in the presidential election. A low-profile Supreme Court decision upholding unpopular health-care legislation just might play a role, too.
- With the ACA poised to go into effect, small businesses have a new opportunity to wade into the consequences of a complicated, bureaucratic law. Some are curtailing expansion plans, outsourcing and laying off workers to avoid crossing the magic 50-employee mark that subjects them to expensive requirements. Others will just pay the penalty for ignoring those mandates.
- Consumer spending remained stalled in May at the weakest level since November, as Americans responded to poor job prospects and the unholy sight of whatever is happening in D.C. by keeping their cash at hand.
- Having successfully taxed and regulated their aboveground economies into tatters, the European Commission wants member governments to target their shadow economies — representing an estimated 20 percent of collective GDP — with tougher penalties for escaping taxes, a cross-border identification scheme and a common effort against tax havens. The Channel Islands — a popular refuge for over-taxed Britons — may be in their sights.
- Globovision, the last Venezuelan television station openly critical of authoritarian President Hugo Chavez, is the target of an order by that country's Supreme Court seizing $5.7 million in assets. The order comes as the station fights a $2 million fine for embarrassing the powers-that-be with its coverage of prison riots.
- Personal possession and use of small amounts of marijuana and cocaine got the thumbs-up from Colombia's Constitutional Court, clearing the way for the government's decriminalization proposal. Sounds like a fun country, really.
- Researchers at the University of Texas spent $1,000 to build a system that could take over and re-route or crash civilian drones. The approach could potentially work against other GPS-reliant systems, too. (Google Maps says, "Dive! Dive! Dive!")
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