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Facebook Betrayed America | The New Republic
Mark Zuckerberg promised Congress he would combat the spread of conspiracy theories—while his company was doing the opposite.
facebook  fail  corruption  failboat  propaganda 
21 hours ago by po
Trump Mulls Letting Turkey Kill U.S. Resident to Help Saudis
President Trump is reportedly looking for ways to extradite American resident Fethullah Gülen to Turkey — so as to persuade Turkish president Recep Erdogan to forgive Saudi Arabia for killing U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi.

Murder as currency.
corruption  usa  state.murder  international.politics  government.corruption  nationalism 
yesterday by po
Who’s buying Israeli gas? A company owned by the General Intelligence Service
Hossam Bahgat traces a network of private companies back up to the GIS, set to cash in from the deal
egypt  corruption  energy  gas  israel 
2 days ago by arabist
How Corrupt Party Bosses Chose Iraq's New Leaders - Foreign Affairs, Oct 17, 2018
Following his victory, instead of waiting for the largest bloc in parliament to select a candidate for prime minister, Saleh announced in less than two hours that he had chosen Abdul Mahdi. In fact, Abdul Mahdi had arrived at the parliament while presidential voting was still under way, in order to be in place for the announcement. This strongly suggests that Saleh’s victory and Abdul Mahdi’s appointment were the results of yet another muhasasa backroom deal orchestrated among party bosses. By ignoring the constitutional procedure for choosing the prime minister, Saleh has further undermined the precarious role of the Council of Representatives and raised questions about whether Iraq can legitimately call itself a parliamentary democracy.

It was against this backdrop that the Shiite Islamist party bosses put Abdul Mahdi forward as a compromise candidate for prime minister. Once a central figure in Iraqi politics, Abdul Mahdi had withdrawn from his leadership roles and kept a low profile since 2016. His former party, the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, is weak and fractured. Without a support base, party, or militia of his own, Abdul Mahdi posed no threat to any of the party bosses and hence no threat to the muhasasa system, making him an ideal compromise candidate (similar to Saleh).
Iraq  politics  corruption  Shia  AbdulMahdi  BarhamSaleh 
2 days ago by elizrael
Amazon’s HQ2 Spectacle Should Be Illegal - The Atlantic
"Second, companies don’t always hold up their end of the deal. Consider the saga of Wisconsin and the Chinese manufacturing giant Foxconn. Several years ago, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker lured Foxconn with a subsidy plan totaling more than $3 billion. (For the same amount, you could give every household in Wisconsin about $1,700.) Foxconn said it would build a large manufacturing plant that would create about 13,000 jobs near Racine. Now it seems the company is building a much smaller factory with just one quarter of its initial promised investment, and much of the assembly work may be done by robots. Meanwhile, the expected value of Wisconsin’s subsidy has grown to more than $4 billion. Thus a state with declining wages for many public-school teachers could wind up paying more than $500,000 per net new Foxconn job—about 10 times the average salary of a Wisconsin teacher."
amazon  capitalism  corruption  taxes  policy  government  GOP  economics  business 
3 days ago by conner
Hostage to All? - Carnegie Middle East Center
However, the new government has not seemed to respond to this reality. It is made up of a combination of partisan and independent ministers and is still lacking eight ministers. Although ‘Abdul-Mahdi announced a detailed governmental program, with great emphasis on the economy, there was no major discussion of the program and the government’s proposed policies. Instead, political contestation revolved around the selection of ministers and whether they should be partisan or independent technocrats. Groups such as Sa’iroun and Hikma, led by ‘Ammar al-Hakim, allowed the prime minister more leeway in selecting ministers, while Sunni, Kurdish, and other Shi‘a groups refused to do the same, mostly framing their position as a case of defending the rights of their constituencies.

It will be difficult for ‘Abdul-Mahdi to keep all parties satisfied while trying to adopt serious reforms. But like other prime ministers, he can try to use his office’s power to gain more independence from the parties. He might also exploit pressure from the public to demand a broader mandate, given that most parties fear the further radicalization of street protests. However, making the state more effective is not only about weakening the parties’ clientelist systems, but also about improving the deeply corrupt and dysfunctional public sector and significantly changing public spending patterns, which leave a very small share of the budget for investment.
At the same time, if the 76-year-old prime minister leans further toward Fatah and the pro-Iranian camp, he could provoke the Trump administration and lose Sadr’s support. Yet ‘Abdul-Mahdi also cannot afford to antagonize the Iranians, especially as they are trying to employ their formal and informal connections in Iraq to mitigate the effects of the new U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran. Their main Iraqi ally, the Popular Mobilization Forces—which is practically Fatah’s military wing—is already operating as a parallel state (a term that ‘Abdul-Mahdi used in his inauguration), and there is little the prime minister can do about it. The alliance built by the Iranians to deny the previous prime minister, Haidar al-‘Abadi, a second term in office could well be resurrected to oust ‘Abdul-Mahdi.
Iraq  AbdulMahdi  corruption  Sadr  Iran  politics  patronage 
3 days ago by elizrael
Mitch McConnell has done grave damage to all three branches of government (Opinion) - CNN
The Senate majority leader has delegitimized the presidency, the Senate and the Supreme Court with a vitriolic virus of hyperpartisanship, Paul Begala says. One wonders how they will ever recover.
corruption  politics  government  senate  senator  no.fucking.shit.guys 
3 days ago by po
Illegal 'Whale Jail' Has Been Spotted in Russia, Lifting The Lid on a Massive Animal Exploitation Industry

Over 100 captured whales are being held in small, crowded enclosures in a so-called 'whale jail' off the coast of Russia, where they await suspected sale to Chinese theme parks, according to local media reports.
russia  china  environment  whales  corruption  animal.exploitation  crime  oceans 
3 days ago by po

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