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PBC News & Comment: Catching Up After 10 Days Away

Federal appeals court finally declares the obvious: bulk collection of phone records is illegal, but Mitch McConnell is oblivious….

--media promotes false narrative that Congress is making real reforms to domestic surveillance

--McConnell gets desperate, says full renewal of Patriot Act is needed so US doesn’t “go dark”

--new poll shows broad bipartisan support for surveillance reform

--Senate Dems showed moment of promise, as all but one Dem voted against TPP cloture vote—then most flipped in less than 24 hours after pressure from Obama

--rival biker gangs shoot it out in Waco, 9 killed and 18 injured

--Obama visits Camden, NJ announces new ban on transfer of military gear to local cops

--death sentences for Tsarnaev in Boston and Morsi in Cairo show that US has veneer of justice leading to same barbaric outcome

--as US brags about strikes that killed #2 IS leaders in Syria and Iraq, Iraqi forces yield Ramadi to IS, following release of taped message from al Baghdadi

--following Camp David meetup with promises of more US arms, Saudis threaten to buy nuke weapons from Pakistan

--Saudis have beheaded 85 so far this year, hiring more executioners

--Assad government is reportedly using crude chlorine chemical weapons, further complicating Obama’s “red line”

--Pope Francis announces Vatican recognition of Palestine and hosts Abbas, calling him “angel of peace”; Raul Castro thanks Frankie for brokering deal with US