Haven’t done one of these in a while, but a lot of stuff happened over the weekend so here you go.
S.& P. Downgrades U.S. Debt Rating For The First Time – [NY Times]
Standard & Poor’s removed the United States government from its list of risk-free borrowers for the first time on Friday night, a downgrade that is freighted with symbolic significance but carries few clear financial implications.
The company, one of three major agencies that offer advice to investors in debt securities, said it was cutting its rating of long-term federal debt to AA+, one notch below the top grade of AAA. It described the decision as a judgment about the nation’s leaders, writing that “the gulf between the political parties” had reduced its confidence in the government’s ability to manage its finances.
31 U.S. Soldiers Die, Including 22 SEALs from Team Six, In Helicopter Hit With RPG – [The Atlantic Wire]
Yesterday’s news that 30 U.S. troops had died when the Taliban shot down a helicopter, marking the deadliest day for Americans in the war in Afghanistan, was met with mourning across the nation. Furthermore, details emerged that 22 of the troops killed were members of Navy SEAL Team 6, the elite unit that carried out the operation that killed Osama bin Laden (although none of those who died were participants in his death themselves). Considering how few members of the armed forces are Navy SEALs, the loss was called “unbearable.”
More reports are being released on the fatal operation. The U.S. Navy Seals and other troops in the helicopter were on a rescue mission, the Associated Press reports, according to two U.S. officials. They were rushed to the mountainous area in eastern Afghanistan to help a U.S. army ranger unit that was under fire from insurgents. The rescue team had completed the mission, subdued the attackers, and were departing when their helicopter was hit.
Riots Erupt In Tottenham Over Shooting Of 29-Year-Old By Metropolitan Police – [The Daily What]
Riots erupted in the North London area of Tottenham last night, ostensibly over the recent shooting of 29-year-old Mark Duggan by the Metropolitan Police near Tottenham Hale station.
Duggan was reportedly a target of an ongoing police investigation into gun crime in London’s black communities, and was shot after allegedly firing on a Specialist Firearms Command officer with an illegal handgun.
A protest march organized by family and friends of Duggan turned violent after a rumor that police officers assaulted a teenage girl caused longstanding tensions to boil over. Many shops were looted and vehicles were set on fire, including two police cars and a double-decker bus. Several buildings sustained heavy damage after being petrol bombed by the rioters.
Captain Morgan’s Pirate Ship Found Near Panama – [Discovery]
The lost wreckage of a ship belonging to 17th century pirate Captain Henry Morgan has been discovered in Panama, said a team of U.S. archaeologists — and the maker of Captain Morgan rum.
Near the Lajas Reef, where Morgan lost five ships in 1671 including his flagship “Satisfaction,” the team uncovered a portion of the starboard side of a wooden ship’s hull and a series of unopened cargo boxes and chests encrusted in coral.
The cargo has yet to be opened, but Captain Morgan USA — which sells the spiced rum named for the eponymous pirate — is clearly hoping there’s liquor in there.