Welcome to Snippets, Blawgconomics' semi-regular attempt at covering a lot of topics from the worlds of law, economics and politics in a little time. Some would call this lazy; economists prefer the term 'efficient.'

-  Let's kick things off this edition with a story that just as well could have been a 'Lawsuit of the Week' posting on its own. Paul Mason, once 'The World's Biggest Man,' is suing the National Health Service of his home nation England for 'letting (him) grow' after physicians only told him to get more exercise in response to his requests for help. Mason claims that any compensation gained from the suit would be used to help others. Presumably, this would not include the average English taxpayer, each one of whom has already contributed some fraction of the 1 million pounds Mason's medical care is estimated to have cost.

- In other British health news, Citigroup analyst Adam Spielman has noted that, at current trends, there may be no smokers left in the realm by 2050. Luckily for Big Tobacco, Asians sadly seem to be picking up the slack.

- In a case worthy of the most intense interest of anyone curious about the intersection of law and economics, the high court of Massachusetts held that two bank foreclosures had been invalid because the banks, in a soupy mess of anonymous collateralized debts, couldn't prove that they owned the mortgages. Though the ruling is only precedential in Massachusetts, it was viewed by many as a test case which, particularly with the result it led to, could be a guide to other judges around the country as additional foreclosure cases inevitably come before courts. Banking indices declined over 2% yesterday as a result of the ruling.

- In addition to the legal fallout of the WikiLeaks saga, there is now some palpable economic impact as the US government has assisted in the relocation of a handful of the several hundred individuals the State Department has identified as being at risk by the leaks. According to State Department spokesperson P.J. Crowley, the agency process is to '... (focus) on people who have been identified in documents and assess whether there is a greater risk to them of violence, imprisonment or other serious harm, particularly in repressive societies around the world.'

- It seems as if nobody knows who is the author behind the Obama White House roman a clef being touted by Simon & Schuster as a potential bestseller. Maybe not even the author... 

- Meanwhile, in the sports world, soccer's ruling body is giving fans yet another example of its entirely nonchalant (bordering on apathetic) proclivity toward doing exactly what it wants, consequences be damned. After FIFA somewhat bizarrely awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, many fans and pundits were left wondering what would be done about the 100+ degree temperatures the tiny oil state averages during the months which have always been the temporal home of the event, June and July. Their questions have perhaps been answered as FIFA head Sepp Blatter suggested, almost offhand, that the event could rather be hosted in the Winter, seemingly forgetting the scheduling problems this would create for nearly every major league around the world.

- Finally, on a very sad note, it is being reported that Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was among 7 people shot at a 'Congress on Your Corner' event in Tucson this morning. Let this be one of those rare times Americans can put their partisan issues aside as we all keep the third term Democrat, as well as the other victims, in our thoughts.

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