Showing posts from January 9, 2017

VW's US head of regulation arrested

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[#SoNotABanker *RON*]
By Karen Hoggan, BBC Global News, 9 January 2017

A senior US Volkswagen executive is due to appear in court in Miami on Monday, following his arrest on Saturday over the emissions-rigging scandal.

Oliver Schmidt was in charge of VW's US environmental regulatory compliance office from 2012 until March 2015.

He was arrested on charges that he took part in a conspiracy to defraud the US and VW customers.

Separately, VW owners in the UK are seeking several thousand pounds in compensation over the scandal.

Inside Sears' death spiral: How an iconic American brand has been driven to the edge of bankruptcy

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[This is where arrogant, ideologically Ayn Rand-style neoliberalism gets you: bankruptcy. *RON*]

Hayley Peterson, Business Insider, 8 January 2017

One morning in late 2015, on Sears' vast Illinois campus, more than a dozen employees huddled in a videoconference room on a floor dubbed "B6."

There, two mid-level employees were preparing a presentation for the CEO, Eddie Lampert, when their boss rushed in with some last-minute advice.

On a chart pad he wrote three words.

The Humans and Machines That Built New York’s Most Expensive Subway

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[If Trump would make the right kind of investments, these are the people who could, in fact, make America great again. *RON*]
Derek Mead, Madison Margolin, Alex Pasternack, Motherboard, 5 January 2017
Back in June 26, 2012, a Second Avenue subway construction crew blasted rock for the future 72 St. Station in Manhattan. At that time, Motherboard dove into the story of the longest-lasting transportation project in New York City's history. First proposed in 1929 and again in 1951, but persistently hobbled by money woes and community opposition, the Second Avenue subway finally opened this year.

We went underground to see the construction of the subway—controlled explosions, and lots of manpower and machinery—being carried out back in 2013, and again when it opened just a few days ago. We went back this week to see the fruits of one of the largest transportation projects ever mounted in human history. Here is our journey.

Israel apology after plot against UK politicians

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[Shocking behaviour even if, arguably, unsurprising. "In response, Cameron promised that Britain would 'stand by Israel'." Al Jazeera reveals discussions of Israeli diplomat and UK civil servant to 'take down' anti-settlement politicians. See also: Netanyahu caught trying to negotiate more favorable press coverage. *RON*]

Al Jazeera Investigative Unit, 8 January 2017

Al Jazeera's Investigative Unit uncovers Israel's covert influence campaign in Britain Investigation involved six-month undercover infiltration of anti-boycott campaignDiscussions between Israeli diplomat and British civil servant to 'take down' politicians revealed The Israeli embassy has apologised to UK deputy foreign secretary Sir Alan Duncan for comments made by one of its staff members on plans "to take [him] down" due to his criticism of Israel's settlement activity in the occupied West Bank.

Commentary: Reading news in the age of Trump? Think like a spy.

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[A real 'keeper' on how to assess the quality of the sources of news stories with intelligent skepticism: read the news like a spy. *RON*]
Peter Van Buren, Reuters, 5 January 2017
President-elect Donald Trump is clearly antagonistic toward the mainstream media. That attitude is unlikely to change after Inauguration Day. His disdain for journalists and reluctance to release details about his finances and business ventures may force journalists to rely increasingly on anonymous sources, a strategy that reputable news organizations have long frowned upon.

So in the age of Trump, how should a reader approach coverage that relies primarily on anonymous sources?

Read the news like a spy.

Today's Trumpery

[Take your pick from the following pastiche of Trumpisms and responses thereto. *RON*]

Trump slithers and wriggles his way through every possible and imaginable response to Russian election hacking
1) It never happened. Trump's team again denies Russian election hacking, calls Obama's response 'political', Daily KOS
2) It's just an excuse for sore losers. Trump Links C.I.A. Reports on Russia to Democrats’ Shame Over Election, New York Times
2) You can't tell if it happened or not. "Hacking is very hard to prove": Trump denies Russian interference in US election, News Talk 106-108 FM
3) Okay, maybe it happened. Trump 'accepts' findings that Russia tried to meddle in U.S. election, incoming chief of staff says, CBC News
4) I'm not denying it! Donald Trump 'not denying Russia was behind hacking campaign', says Priebus, The Guardian
5) But it's all the Democrats' fault! Donald Trump blasts 'fools' who oppose good Russia…