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July 21, 2013 2:48 PM Mideast peace talks might be derailed before starting and other afternoon reads

By Samuel Knight

*The recently announced resumption of peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators has been thrown into doubt. Factions within the Israeli government made hostile comments about the prospects for peace and said that the construction of settlements will continue irrespective of discussions. Meanwhile, Hamas leaders described negotiations between Fatah and the Israelis as “betrayal,” and Fatah leaders said they haven’t received written assurances from John Kerry that pre-1967 borders will form the basis for a settlement [via the Guardian].

*Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said he doesn’t expect the federal government to bailout Detroit, on “Face The Nation” this morning. With the city having lost a quarter of its population last decade alone, it’s hard to see bondholders not having to accept a significant haircut as a result of this mess.

*John McCain said that state legislatures should reconsider “Stand Your Ground Laws” on CNN this morning. How brave of him to pressure Republicans with whom he has no direct working relationship.

*A story for all of you losing sleep over the Chinese real estate bubble: new banking regulations issued by the People’s Bank of China could see Chinese banks needing to raise $100 billion over the next two years [via the Wall Street Journal].

*Commercial banks here that speculate on commodities prices - back in the spotlight thanks to the New York Times - could find themselves out of a business model, soon [via Bloomberg].

The Federal Reserve “announced July 19 that it’s reviewing a 2003 precedent that let deposit-taking banks trade physical commodities. Reversing that policy would mark the Fed’s biggest ejection of banks from a market since Congress lifted the Depression-era law against them running securities firms in 1999.”

*In a little noticed speech yesterday, Antonin Scalia said that a non-originalist interpretation of the Constitution could lead to fascism or sharia or something.

That’s it from me this weekend. Good luck with Monday.

Samuel Knight is a freelance journalist living in DC and a former intern at the Washington Monthly.

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