The Hill Talk’s Glance at the Globe

Italy sets October date for constitutional referendum:  On the precipice of economic calamity owing to tepid growth, high unemployment and banks saddled with debt in excess of €400 billion, Italy is preparing to present voters with a national referendum on a series of constitutional reforms designed to abridge and hasten the passage of legislation in Parlamento Italiano.

The measures are strongly backed by Italian Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who has vowed to resign if the reform referendum fails.

Public opinion polls reveal Italian voters favor the reforms, but only by a slight margin.

At stake is Italy’s future in the European Union (EU) should the measures fail:  Experts say if the reform package does not pass and Renzi steps down, the emerging 5 Star Movement (M5S) political party is poised to increase its grip on Italian politics and could claim the Prime Ministership, leading to a national plebiscite on Italy’s future in the EU.

Scoring a stunning 19 victories in Italy’s June elections, M5S currently holds 17 seats in the European Parliament, allied with Nigel Farage’s United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) and other Euro-skeptic political groups.

Experts predict economic chaos in Europe should Italy depart the EU.

English academic assails “Brexit” as criminally irresponsible:  Assailing the “Leave” camp’s role in the recent “Brexit” referendum, University of Liverpool law professor Michael Dougan claims proponents of abandoning the EU led such a dishonest campaign, the effects will scar the British political landscape indefinitely.

In a video posted on Dougan’s Facebook page, the legal expert said “Leave” planners orchestrated “one of the most dishonest campaigns this country has ever seen” and their efforts “normalized and legitimized dishonesty as a primary tool to win votes.”

Dougan blasted the advancement of claims membership in the EU saw £350 million in additional funds to the National Health Service (NHS) instead of flowing into EU coffers or the creation of an EU army as patent lies.

Dougan described the referendum as unconstitutional, stating it was a decision which should have been made in the UK Parliament.

Paris terror attack suspect admits cell is part of global network:  Terror suspect Mohamed Abrini, currently in Belgian custody for his part in the November Paris nightclub bombing and March Brussels Zaventem airport bombing, has admitted to Belgian interrogators the terror cell both he and Salah Abdeslam are associated with were not an independent group, but part of a wider network of European-based terrorists.

Abrini told Belgian authorities Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the alleged mastermind of the Paris attack, was the leader of a terror web and eventually held command over 1,000 terrorists throughout Europe.

Abdelhamid Abaaoud was killed five days after the Paris nightclub attacks after French police stormed his Saint-Denis, Paris, hideout.

Ex-Gitmo detainee flees Uruguay:  Released in 2014 after 13 years imprisonment at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, terror suspect Jihad Ahmed Dhiab has apparently fled Uruguay.

Although terms of his release included the right of movement across borders with proper authorization, no trace of Dhiab is known since late June when he was reported to have left for Brazil.  Brazilian authorities have stated he had been previously denied entry and no record of Dhiab entering the country exists.

U.S. officials are now working with Uruguayan authorities to locate Dhiab.

LIBOR scandal nets just five convictions:  Despite $300 trillion in mortgages, loans, and derivatives losses in the biggest market manipulation in history, a scant five brokers or bankers have been sentenced to prison for their role in the scandal.

The July 4, 2016, convictions of three former Barclays employees for manipulation of the LIBOR rate offset the Serious Fraud Office’s failure to convict six others in a similar case of manipulation of EURIBOR or LIBOR rates.

Although the scandal predates the 2008 economic meltdown, Barclays was the first to settle with British regulators to the tune of $400 million in fines.

Despite the failure to earn more convictions for individual wrongdoing, banks are expected to pay slightly over $300 billion for a variety of securities fraud perpetrated between 2005 and 2007.


[RT News] [Politico] [The Independent] [NPR] [Quartz]