The Story of the Moment remains the ongoing government shutdown and the possiblity of a government default—both of which appear likely (fingers crossed!) to be taken care of tonight. For the current state of play in the nation's capital, head on over to Slate's shutdown live-blog or check out the shutdown landing page. But for those of you who need a break from the constant D.C. updates, today's PM is rounding up the day's biggest non-shutdown stories.
Greenwald's New Home: Washington Post: "Glenn Greenwald, the blogger and journalist who has revealed key details about the National Security Agency’s massive surveillance program, is leaving Britain’s Guardian newspaper to join a new news venture backed by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar. The new, as-yet-unnamed news site has also sought to hire Laura Poitras, the documentary filmmaker who was instrumental in linking former NSA contractor Edward Snowden to Greenwald and Barton Gellman of The Washington Post. Another potential hire is Jeremy Scahill, national security reporter of the Nation magazine, said a person familiar with the venture."
Alleged Silk Road Founder Hires Prominent Terrorism Lawyer: Forbes: "For an attorney who’s spent a career defending some of the most high-profile terrorism cases, a client accused of merely running a billion-dollar online narcotics market and money-laundering scheme may be a welcome change. New-York-based lawyer Joshua Dratel has been hired to defend Ross Ulbricht, the 29-year-old man arrested earlier this month and accused of creating and managing the Silk Road, the anonymous online black market for drugs that generated as much as $1.2 billion in Bitcoin-based sales according to the FBI’s criminal complaint against him. Ulbricht has until now been represented by San Francisco-based public defender Brandon LeBlanc, but is expected to be extradited this week from San Francisco to stand trial in New York."
Two Charged With Felonies in Florida Cyber-Bullying Suicide: New York Times: "For the Polk County sheriff’s office, which has been investigating the cyberbullying suicide of a 12-year-old Florida girl, the Facebook comment was impossible to disregard. In Internet shorthand it began 'Yes, ik' — I know — 'I bullied Rebecca nd she killed herself.' The writer concluded that she didn’t care, using an obscenity to make the point and a heart as a perverse flourish. Five weeks ago, Rebecca Ann Sedwick, a seventh grader in Lakeland in central Florida, jumped to her death from an abandoned cement factory silo after enduring a year, on and off, of face-to-face and online bullying."
Another Flesh-Eating Drug Case in Illinois: Chicago Tribune: "Unusually large and scaly lesions on a heroin user treated in McHenry County have led a doctor to believe his patient might have injected the 'flesh-eating' drug krokodil. This follows a Joliet physician's announcement last week that he has treated five people with signs of possible addiction to krokodil, though skeptics still question whether the obscure drug has truly arrived in the Chicago area. When injected, kokodil is said to cause horrific, green-tinted lesions that cause skin to rot away and, in the worst cases, require amputation."
Ariel Castro Kidnapping Victims Could Get Sizeable Reparations: NBC News: Ohio lawmakers have given initial approval to a bill that would provide Ariel Castro's three kidnapping victims up to $25,000 for each year they were held captive, plus other benefits. The legislation would cover anyone held in "involuntary servitude" for at least eight years, but was tailored with Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus in mind. It passed a committee vote on Wednesday and now moves to the full state House of Representatives. If it becomes law, the women would get between $225,000 and $275,000 each, minus whatever other victims assistance they receive. They would also be entitled to free tuition and living expenses at a state college, and medical expenses.
See you back here tomorrow. Until then, tell your friends to subscribe, or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.
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Happy Constitution Day!
Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.