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Showing posts from March 18, 2017

Uber’s garbage year somehow gets even worse

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[There are endless 'bad news' stories about Uber, the Übermensch of the so-called sharing economy. So, naturally, Minister says ride-hailing service Uber will operate in B.C. by end of 2017. See also: Uber in Canada: Cutting corners on taxes and benefits. *RON*]
Chris Mills, BGR, 16 March 2017

2017 has not been gentle to Uber. Between the sexual harassment allegations, video of Uber’s CEO being a jerk, and reports of an insidious program to avoid government inspectors, it’s not a good time for one of the tech industry’s biggest startups.

But believe it or not, things are getting worse. Two separate events have unfolded today: Taiwan’s government seized Uber assets in lieu of tax payments that the government claims Uber owes; and a report suggests that Spotify is considering cutting ties with Uber over the ride-sharing company’s recent bad PR.

B.C. relaxes foreign buyer tax with refunds for workers

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[Premier Christy Clark says the exemption is aimed at helping attract skilled workers to the province. Since we all know how well she can be counted on to do the right thing from pure humanitarian motives, how much would you care to bet this is being done to appease the Chinese government over its ability to give all the good-paying jobs to Chinese citizens for its mythical LNG project? Plus, of course, the fact that the real estate sector is by far the largest donor to the BC Liberals. *RON*]

Mike Hager, Globe and Mail, 17 March 2017

British Columbia has loosened its 15-per-cent tax on foreign home buyers to exempt several thousand international residents on provincial work permits, and will hand out refunds to some who already paid it.
The government announced the policy change on Friday, seven months after introducing a tax that has been criticized as unfair to new immigrants living and working in B.C. The tax was applied to home purchases in…

Can Christy Clark Dance Away From Donation Scandal?

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[ELECTION BC 2017!!! I was going to say 'I don't want to keep harping on this issue...' but, well, yes, I kind of do. The RCMP investigation brings damage control, but no real change. While you're at it, see: Energy Megaprojects, and How They Aim to Seduce Us, and BC Left Without Information and Privacy Commissioner. *RON*]
Dermod Travis, TheTyee.ca, 17 March 2017

Last week Premier Christy Clark heard the four letters that every politician dreads, particularly when they are hitting close to home — RCMP.
Only five days after Elections BC announced its investigation into The Globe and Mail’s report that some lobbyists may have had their personal donations to the BC Liberal party reimbursed by third parties, the agency called in the RCMP.

The RCMP’s sensitive investigations unit — part of the serious and organized crime’s financial integrity group — has been tasked with investigating the possible “cleansing” of political donations.

Ottawa says Human Rights Tribunal can't force it to give equal funding to Indigenous children

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[The Sunny Ways government doesn't particular care for the human rights of Aboriginal people. While you're at it: Trudeau following Harper's lead in denying justice to illegally imprisoned Muslim men. And try to fathom this story by way of a comparison: Canada Pledges Almost $120M After UN Calls For Aid In World's 'Largest Humanitarian Crisis'. *RON*]

Press Progress, 16 March 2017

Don't like a human rights ruling?
Why not ignore it?

That's effectively the Government of Canada's response to a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling ordering the government to immediately address the $155 million funding gap for Indigenous children in Canada.

Donald Trump fuels diplomatic row with Britain after apology from US officials over GCHQ wiretapping claims

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[Classic. What started as Trump wiretapping claim: Did Obama bug his successor? quickly became Britain's GCHQ Rebuts 'Ridiculous' Trump 'Wiretap' Claims, resulting in United States APOLOGIZES to Britain over bizarre White House claim that UK spies at GCHQ could have been used by Obama to tap Trump's calls, which is now nullified, here, by an unrepentant Trump blaming Fox News for the whole thing. Insanity reigns. See also: A Timeline on Trump's Wiretap Claims, and Beware the Trump Wiretap Rabbit Hole. *RON*]

Steven Swinford, Telegraph, 18 March 2017

Donald Trump remained unrepentant amid a diplomatic row with Britain on Friday, hours after US officials made a formal apology for accusing GCHQ of helping Barack Obama spy on the then presidential candidate.

Sean Spicer, the president's press secretary, repeated a claim on Thursday evening – initially made by an analyst on Fox News – that GCHQ was used by Mr Obama to …

Google to revamp ad policies after UK, big brands boycott

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[Money talks to the corporatocracy. Google announces changes to its advertising policies after major brands pulled ads from the platform because they appeared alongside anti-Semitic content. See also: BBC and Whitehall pull ads from Google amid row over videos on extremist websites; and French advertising giant pulls out of Google and YouTube. *RON*]
Joe Mayes & Jeremy Kahn, Live Mint, 18 March 2017
London: Google, the primary revenue driver for Alphabet Inc., announced changes to its advertising policies after major brands pulled ads from the platform because they appeared alongside offensive content, such as videos promoting terrorism or anti-Semitism.