Sunday, October 13, 2013

Gleaned from my local Sunday paper

Some affecting only Switzerland as well as others that have the potential for affecting the world.

1) Information about an upcoming vote: Nov.24 the Swiss will vote on the Young Socialists initiative: 1:12 (seeking to limit the top pay in any given company to 12 times that of the lowest pay).
2) On page 33 – Economy section – a small article announcing  that the NSA can still collect telephone meta-data:

October 11, 2013

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Approves Government's Application to Renew Telephony Metadata Program
As indicated by a declassified court order and amended memorandum opinion published by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Sept. 17, 2013, the court authorization requiring the production of certain telephony metadata under the "business records" provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, 50 U.S.C. Section 1861, expires Oct. 11, 2013.

Previously on several occasions, the Director of National Intelligence declassified certain information about this telephony metadata collection program in order to provide the public with a more thorough and balanced understanding of the program. Consistent with his prior declassification decision and in light of the significant and continuing public interest in the telephony metadata collection program, DNI Clapper has decided to declassify and disclose publicly that the government filed an application with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking renewal of the authority to collect telephony metadata in bulk, and that the court renewed that authority.

The administration is undertaking a declassification review of this most recent court order.

Shawn Turner
Director of Public Affairs
Office of the Director of National Intelligence

3)   Still under “Economy” that, as of August 1st, 2013 all pharmaceutical companies selling medicines and drugs in the USA have to transmit to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) a list of gifts given to doctors. Called the Sunshine Act, the pharmaceutical industry ‘s largesse towards those who proscribe their medicines will be available in the USA as of the 30th of September 2014. In Switzerland this won’t take place until 2016

And I haven’t even finished reading the paper – amazing what one can learn with a bit of assiduous reading. OK, time to take that walk.