Life in Late Stage Capitalism
“It’s much easier to imagine the end of all life on earth than a much more modest radical change in capitalism.”
– Slavoj Žižek
2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019
- Apple knowingly relied on child labour for three years to cut costs.
- Google and Facebook agreed to team up against possible antitrust action related to their online advertising.
- Unicef to feed hungry children in U.K. for first time in 70-year history:
A YouGov poll in May commissioned by the charity Food Foundation found 2.4 million children (17%) were living in food insecure households. By October, an extra 900,000 children had been registered for free school meals.
Unicef has pledged a grant of £25,000 to the community project School Food Matters, which will use the money to supply 18,000 nutritious breakfasts to 25 schools over the two-week Christmas holidays and February half-term, feeding vulnerable children and families in Southwark, south London, who have been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
- Australian cricket umpires to carry deodorant ads under their arms.
- 50 years of tax cuts for the rich failed to trickle down, economics study says.
- America’s biggest companies are flourishing during the pandemic and putting thousands of people out of work:
Between April and September, one of the most tumultuous economic stretches in modern history, 45 of the 50 most valuable publicly traded U.S. companies turned a profit […].
Despite their success, at least 27 of the 50 largest firms held layoffs this year, collectively cutting more than 100,000 workers […].
Then, 21 big firms that were profitable during the pandemic laid off workers anyway. Berkshire Hathaway raked in profits of $56 billion during the first six months of the pandemic while one of its subsidiary companies laid off more than 13,000 workers. Salesforce, Cisco Systems and PayPal cut staff even after their chief executives vowed not to do so.
- Some of Australia’s biggest companies paid more in political donations than tax in 2018–19:
New data has revealed that 192 of Australia’s biggest companies paid tax of 10% or less of their profit in 2018-19, including seven that paid more in political donations than they did in tax.
Companies paying little or no tax in 2019, despite declaring a profit, range from the local arm of US fossil fuel giant Chevron, Chevron Australia Holdings, which had taxable income of $900m but zero tax payable, and Wilson Parking Australia 1992, the operator of Wilson Parking car parks in Australia, which paid no tax on a profit of $2.76m.
- Chicago teens are skipping high school class to work, in order to help their families during the pandemic.
- Pennsilvania misses deadline to spend $108 million in rent, mortgage relief from CARES Act because state programs distributing the funding made it too hard to access. The remaining money will be redistributed to the state’s Department of Corrections.
- U.S. Congress approves almost $1.4 billion for border wall.
- U.S. government study shows taxpayers are subsidizing “starvation wages” at McDonald’s, Walmart, and others:
The report found that, in every state studied, Walmart was one of the top four employers whose workers rely on food stamps and Medicaid. McDonald’s is among the most subsidized employers in at least nine states.
Walmart employs about 14,500 workers in Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Carolina, Tennessee and Washington who rely on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, the study showed, while McDonald’s employs about 8,780 SNAP recipients in those states.
- GoDaddy disguised a phishing email test as $650 holiday bonus announcement.
- Around 1.67 million Indians died from exposure to toxic air in 2019.
- Texas high school opened a grocery store for struggling families where good deeds are accepted as payment.
- BMW is targeting out-of-warranty drivers with smart billboards and license plate readers:
Located in key locations across the UK, the advertising billboards will display a message to those out of warranty BMWs using an image and tag line tailored to the model you’re driving […] to highlight you’re no longer covered for any potentially expensive problems.
- Beyoncé will offer $5,000 grants to help people facing foreclosures or evictions due to the housing crisis.
- Violence breaks out at Indian iPhone manufacturing plant after workers haven’t been paid what they were promised.
- Google told its scientists to “strike a positive tone” in A.I. research publications.
- U.S. schools are buying phone-hacking tech that the F.B.I. uses to investigate terrorists.
- French army gets ethical go-ahead for bionic soldiers.
- Uber wants drivers and delivery workers to get priority access to Covid-19 vaccine.
- Google “virtually surveilled” and then interrogated workers engaging in employee activism, and later fired them.
- U.K. government asks consultants for advice on ending use of consultants.
- Authorities in Sicily have asked Cuba’s government to send medics as Italiy struggles with the second coronavirus wave.
- Five years after the Volkswagen emissions scandal, VW engines still activate their emissions controls only during laboratory testing.
- Protesters set part of the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala building on fire, after a controversial budget bill brought a series of long-simmering crises to a boiling point, spurring anti-government demonstrations.
- U.K. cycle courier set to lose his job for shaving off his beard:
[T]he company asked him to send a self-image for real-time verification of his Uber Eats account. He took a selfie […] but it was flagged by the computer and verification failed. Why? Because it didn’t “match” his original, bearded profile picture […]. He had decided to go clean shaven in anticipation of getting a job interview.
- YouTube will now show ads on all videos even if creators don’t want them.
- Managers of Tyson Foods Inc., which produces 20% of the beef, pork and chicken in the U.S., participated in a betting pool on how many employees would become ill with Covid-19.
- “Extremely aggressive” internet censorship spreads in the world’s democracies:
Ensafi’s team found that censorship is increasing in 103 of the countries studied, including unexpected places like Norway, Japan, Italy, India, Israel and Poland—countries which the paper notes are rated as some of the freest in the world by advocacy group Freedom House. They were among nine countries where Censored Planet found significant, previously undetected censorship events between August of 2018 and April of 2020. […]
While the study observed an increase in blocking activity in these countries, most were driven by organizations or internet service providers filtering content. The study did not observe any nationwide censorship policies such as those in China.
Some news websites were blocked in a few networks in Japan during the G20 Summit in June of 2019. News, human rights, and government websites saw a censorship spike in certain networks in Poland while a series of protests occurred in July of 2019, and social media websites were blocked in Sri Lanka after a series of bomb blasts in the country in January 2019. Some online dating websites were blocked in India after the country repealed laws against gay sex in September of 2018.
- Shelters struggle to house the estimated 1,500 homeless on the streets of Jackson, Mississippi.
- Twitch streamers report D.M.C.A. takedowns for in-game sound effects:
[M]ultiple content creators have criticized Twitch for muting the audio or issuing DMCAs on their videos for sounds such as grandfather clock chimes, bird and insect noises, police sirens, and wind.
- 1.5 million New Yorkers can’t afford food. Tens of thousands of New Yorkers have shown up at the city’s food banks since the pandemic began.
- Two protesters killed by police at pro-democracy demonstrations in Lima, Peru.
- Cheating-detection companies made millions during the pandemic while students are accused for moving their eyes while taking tests in home office:
“Online proctoring” companies saw in coronavirus shutdowns a chance to capitalize on a major reshaping of education, selling schools a high-tech blend of webcam-watching workers and eye-tracking software designed to catch students cheating on their exams.
They’ve taken in millions of dollars, some of it public money, from thousands of colleges in recent months. But they’ve also sparked a nationwide school-surveillance revolt, with students staging protests and adopting creative tactics to push campus administrators to reconsider the deals.
Students argue that the testing systems have made them afraid to click too much or rest their eyes for fear they’ll be branded as cheats. Some students also said they’ve wept with stress or urinated at their desks because they were forbidden from leaving their screens.
- Zoom lied to users about end-to-end encryption of its video chats for years.
- U.K. officer dressed as clown during five-year undercover police operation into “clown army”.
- 15.9% of Germans (13.2 million people) are considered as poor, study shows.
- The bodies of hundreds of people who died in New York City during the Covid-19 surge in the spring are still in storage in freezer trucks:
Many of the bodies are of people whose families can’t be located or can’t afford a proper burial, according to the city’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner. About 650 bodies are being stored in the trucks at a disaster morgue that was set up in April on the 39th Street Pier in Sunset Park.
- Microsoft enabled “workplace surveillance” features in its office productivity software that allow managers to use Microsoft 365 to track their employees’ activity at an individual level.
- Thousands of cars form lines to collect food aid in Texas:
North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) distributed more than 600,000 pounds of food for about 25,000 people on Saturday […].
- 42% of product reviews on Amazon may be fake:
About 42% of 720 million Amazon reviews assessed by the monitoring service Fakespot from March through September were unreliable, up from about 36% for the same period last year. The rise in fake reviews corresponded with the stampede online of millions of virus-avoiding shoppers.
- Chinese company installed timers over employees’ toilets in an effort to increase productivity.
- College students at university in Bali permitted to pay their tuition with coconuts.
- GameStop started company-wide contest that asked employees to perform a synchronised TikTok dance in exchange for prizes like extra work hours on Black Friday.
- Yahoo C.E.O. reveals work conditions at former employer Google:
The actual experience was more like, ‘Could you work 130 hours in a week?’
“The answer is yes, if you’re strategic about when you sleep, when you shower, and how often you go to the bathroom. The nap rooms at Google were there because it was safer to stay in the office than walk to your car at 3am. For my first five years, I did at least one all-nighter a week, except when I was on vacation—and the vacations were few and far between.”
- Electronic Arts (EA) earns nearly $1 billion from micro-transactions last quarter alone.
- U.K. women were married by undercover cops as part of covert operations:
The women outlined their experiences in an opening statement read out at the judge-led inquiry, which is looking at how 139 undercover officers spied on more than 1,000 political groups over more than four decades.
- E.U.’s border agency Frontex accused of illegal and dangerous “pushbacks” of asylum seekers:
The evidence has emerged from a joint investigation by Lighthouse Reports, Bellingcat, Der Spiegel, ARD and TV Asahi based on open source video and images, testimonies and internal documents. The findings appear to demonstrate a degree of complicity, ranging from direct participation by Frontex vessels to failure to rescue people from boats in distress and a systematic failure of the agency’s internal system for reporting human rights violations.
- Walmart pulls guns from display over “civil unrest” concerns in U.S.
- Australian banks complain they have too much money, more may be on the way:
Australia’s banking system has more money than it can use, a challenge that will likely grow next week with the central bank widely expected to trim interest rates to near zero and boost the amount of bonds it buys.
“There’s all this liquidity flushing around and I don’t have much productive use for it, because people don’t want it,” Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd ANZ.AX CEO Shayne Elliott said […].
Australia’s household debt-to-income ratio is at a record high of near 200% compared with a median level of less than 150% for 22 advanced economies […].
“Money is essentially free today. Making it more free doesn’t really change anything,” said Elliott, after announcing a 40% slump in profits.
- The 2020 U.S. election campaign is the most expensive ever: The total cost of the races for the White House, the Senate and the House is expected to hit nearly $14 billion.
- Elon Musk’s SpaceX will not recognise international law on Mars, according to the Terms of Service of its Starlink internet project.
- Facebook charged Biden a higher price than Trump for campaign ads.
- Only 3% of problem gamblers in U.K. get help.
- Therapy patients blackmailed for cash after clinic data breach:
Many patients of a large psychotherapy clinic in Finland have been contacted individually by a blackmailer, after their data was stolen.
The data appears to have included personal identification records and notes about what was discussed in therapy sessions.
About 300 records have already been published on the dark web […].
[The clinic] has set up a helpline and is offering all victims one free therapy session, the details of which will not be recorded.
- Owners of an “Oculus” VR headset will lose access to all games and apps if they delete Facebook accounts.
- Australian special forces reportedly shot and killed an Afghan prisoner after being told he would not fit on the U.S. aircraft coming to pick them up:
He says the commandos then called up the US aircraft to pick them and about seven prisoners up.
He says the Americans only had room on the aircraft for six.
“And the pilot said, ‘That’s too many people, we can’t carry that many passengers.’ And you just heard this silence and then we heard a pop. And then they said, ‘OK, we have six prisoners’.
- Female domestic workers in Qatar face widespread abuse.
- California insurers are dropping homeowners threatened by wildfires:
Insurance companies in California have stopped covering tens of thousands of homeowners in areas devastated by wildfires, even though the homeowners want to remain insured. […]
There were 235,250 policies discontinued last year, a 31% increase from 2018 […].
- Fourteen South Korean delivery workers die because of pandemic overwork.
- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers allegedly used torture to make Africans sign own deportation orders.
- U.S. life expectancy sees no improvement in 10 years and progress made in health has reversed.
- Armed militia groups control more than half the territory of Rio de Janeiro.
- Video game company 2K added unskippable in-game ads to full-price game a month after release.
- Lawyers say they can’t find the parents of 545 migrant children separated by U.S. administration. About two-thirds of those parents were deported to Central America without their children.
- Nigeria’s security forces have shot dead demonstrators protesting against police brutality.
- U.S. President paid more taxes in P.R. China than in U.S.A.:
Tax records reviewed by the New York Times showed a previously unreported bank account in China controlled by Trump International Hotels Management. The account paid $188,561 in taxes in China between 2013 and 2015 in connection to potential licensing deals, according the newspaper.
Earlier reporting by the Times showed he paid just $750 in US taxes in 2016 and 2017.
- Proprietary grapes come with End User Licence Agreement (EULA) for consumers:
When you purchase a bag of delicious and sugary Carnival brand grapes, you enter into an agreement whereby you will consume the grapes and do nothing else with them. This kind of warning against reproduction is something we’re used to with digital products like video games, but is jarring to see spread to the world of consumer produce.
- Amid pandemic, democracy and human rights decline in 80 nations as governments have responded by abusing power, silencing critics, and weakening institutions:
Examples abound, across continents, from Sri Lanka to Cambodia to Belarus and beyond. In Egypt — a U.S. ally — the report reflects that “the military regime has used COVID-19 as an opportunity to further repress political activists, rights defenders, lawyers, journalists, and doctors, arresting dozens, denying them basic assistance in places of detention, and placing several on terrorist watch lists.”
- Apple tells secure messaging app Telegram to take down protestor channels in Belarus.
- Indigenous activists are killed in the Philippines for protesting Canadian mining.
- U.K. government missed 16,000 coronavirus cases because officials exceeded the data limit on their Excel spreadsheet.
- White House economic advisers warned investors about pandemic, but not American public.
- Texas billionaire charged with biggest tax evasion case in U.S. history, with an estimated $2 billion in losses.
- Between 2008 and 2019, 4,998 people died in U.S. jails before their day in court.
- U.S. student’s lease for her apartment was terminated by her landlord because she spoke to other tenants about her mental health.
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security used unmarked vehicles to transport migrants to border of Guatemala.
- French ex-president Sarkozy charged with “criminal conspiracy” for allegedly accepting Libyan cash to fund his 2007 presidential campaign.
- University of Miami used video surveillance to track down protesters.
- U.S. President has at least $1 billion in debt.
- Brazilian police catch senator hiding cash between his buttcheeks.
- 1.29 million pensioners in Germany go to work, 73% more than in 2005.
- U.S. students expose themselves to Covid-19 in hopes of getting paid more for blood plasma.
- New retail chain “Covid-19 Essentials” opens in U.S.:
[T]he owners of Covid-19 Essentials are betting that Americans are willing to put their money toward covering where their mouth is. Prices range from $19.99 for a simple children’s mask to $130 for the top-of-the-line face covering, with an N95 filter and a battery-powered fan.
- Virginia’s voter registration website went down on the final day for people in the state to register ahead of Election Day, due to a network outage caused by a cut cable.
- Nearly 100,000 New York City voters have been sent invalid absentee ballots, with wrong names or addresses.
- Fossil of Tyrannosaurus rex sold for $31.8 million to unknown bidder, the highest price ever paid at auction for a fossil:
“That’s an astronomical price that borders on absurdity, based on my knowledge of the market,” added paleontologist David Evans, the vertebrate paleontology chair at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, who suggested the anonymous buyer could have spent the same funds in a far more effective way to deepen humanity’s understanding of the prehistoric beasts. “If this kind of money [were] invested properly, it could easily fund 15 permanent dinosaur research positions, or about 80 full field expeditions per year, in perpetuity,” […].
- U.S. true unemployment rate at 26.1%:
Since the recession, only 46.1 per cent of white Americans over the age of 16 have a full-time job that pays more than $20,000 annually. Only 40.8 per cent of black Americans under that criteria have a full-time job making more than $20,000 annually.
- Uber, Lyft, and other gig economy companies have spent $185 million to back ballot proposition in California that would limit workers’ rights, masquerading political ads as “progressive”:
If it passes, however, gig corporations won’t have to contribute to Social Security, Medicare or unemployment insurance. They won’t have to offer paid sick leave, workers compensation or unemployment benefits to drivers. The proposition does make available some compensation to app-based drivers, provided they meet certain hourly requirements.
An analysis by the UC Berkeley Labor Center earlier this year found that had California’s gig economy law been in place between 2014 and 2019, Uber and Lyft would have paid $413 million in unemployment insurance alone.
- Sydney university professor who teaches law of protest arrested at student protest:
A University of Sydney law professor, who was observing a student protest […] as part of research into protest law, was thrown to the ground by police, then arrested and fined.
Multiple students and staff were arrested at the university as hundreds protested the government’s changes to higher education, university funding cuts and job losses.
[He] said he had been arrested and fined $1,000 for breaching the Covid-19 health restrictions.
- 37% of French nurses want to quit, 57% on the verge of burnout.
- One-fifth of the world’s countries are at risk of their ecosystems collapsing because of the destruction of wildlife and their habitats.
- Child labour on the rise in India:
Dhananjay Tingal, executive director of the Bachpan Bachao Andolan movement which rescues trafficked children, said that between April and September, it had rescued over 1,200 children who were being trafficked illegally to work in factories or farms, a spike unlike anything he had seen before. The children were usually aged between eight and 18, though some were as young as six. Their average salary was usually 1,000 rupees (£10.50) per month, around 40p per day.
- U.S. Republican Party placed more than 50 deceptively labeled “official” drop boxes for mail-in ballots in California:
The dark gray metal boxes have been popping up over the past two weeks near churches, gun shops and Republican Party offices, mostly in conservative areas of a deep-blue state, affixed with a white paper label identifying them as either an “Official Ballot Drop off Box” or a “Ballot Drop Box.”
To the average voter, they are virtually indistinguishable from drop-off sites sanctioned by the state, which are governed by strict regulations intended to prevent the partisan manipulation of ballots.
- Elon Musk’s SpaceX has won a contract to build satellites for the U.S. Department of Defense, its first contract to build satellites for the military.
- Facebook fires employee who shared proof of right wing favouritism.
- U.S. Senator wrote legislation that made millions for her husband’s lobbying firm.
- California kept prison factories open amid Covid-19 pandemic:
Hall was one of thousands of incarcerated workers who stayed on the job in high-risk positions during the pandemic, making wages that ranged from 8 cents to $1 an hour. They cooked the food. They walked from cell to cell delivering meals. They cleaned everything from communal showers to COVID-19 units in prison hospitals. And they labored in prison factories making products, such as masks, hand sanitizer and furniture, that were sold to state agencies for millions of dollars.
Factory staff, they said, warned that workers would lose their jobs — their only source of income — if they missed a day. Some said they were threatened with discipline that could jeopardize their chances for release from prison if they refused to work because of COVID-19 fears.
- More than 200 companies, special-interest groups and foreign governments have funneled millions of dollars to President Trump’s properties while reaping benefits from the president and his administration.
- Est. 29 million women and girls are victims of modern slavery, exploited by practices including forced labour, forced marriage, debt-bondage and domestic servitude.
- Apple forced monetisation of free app:
[O]ne app developer revealed to Congress that it — just like WordPress — had been forced to monetize a largely free app. That developer testified that Apple had demanded in-app purchases (IAP), even though Apple had approved its app without them two years earlier — and that when the dev dared send an email to customers notifying them of the change, Apple threatened to remove the app and blocked all updates.
- 68 percent of Americans say the upcoming presidential election is causing significant stress in their lives.
- Billionaire wealth hits $10 trillion for first time ever:
Between April and July, billionaires grew their wealth by 27% from $8 trillion at the beginning of April. This was largely thanks to government stimulus packages.
- Singapore will launch cruises again, but with no destinations:
Singapore announced cruises will start sailing next month — but in order to keep crew and passengers safe amid the coronavirus pandemic, the ships will make no stops and simply return to the port they came from.
- Disney is laying off 28,000 employees of its theme parks amid pandemic.
- Years after they fought in Afghanistan, U.S. troops watch as their children deploy to the same war.
- U.S. Army trials augmented reality goggles for dogs.
- Google is giving data to police based on search keywords.
- Amazon warehouse data suggests serious injuries have been on the rise for years and robots have made the job more dangerous.
- U.S. diabetes patients turn to underground insulin networks:
The struggle to afford insulin has forced many people into that underground network. Through social media and word-of-mouth, those in need of insulin connect with counterparts who have a supply to spare. […] Though it’s illegal to share a prescription medication, those involved say they simply don’t care: They’re out to save lives.
- Investors extracted $400 million from U.S. hospital chain that sometimes couldn’t pay for medical supplies or gas for ambulances.
- French bar and cafe owners arrested for operating free WiFi without logging:
In one of the weirdest arrests of the year, at least five bar and cafe managers from the French city of Grenoble were taken into custody last week for running open WiFi networks at their establishments and not keeping logs of past connected users.
According to French law number 2006-64, they now risk up to one year in prison, a personal fine of up to €75,000, and a business fine of up to €375,000.
- Amazon blocks access to “bought” ebooks on Kindle devices.
- U.S. employers spying on remote workers in their homes.
- Mexico’s “pirate ambulances” profiteering in the pandemic:
The poorly equipped, often broken-down rattletraps ply Mexico City streets listening to emergency radio dispatch frequencies and race to beat legitimate ambulance services to medical emergencies. They charge patients’ desperate relatives outrageous sums to take them to a hospital, and sometimes even divert them to poorly equipped private clinics from which they receive kickbacks for bringing in business.
- Austrian employer pours gasoline over employee and threatens to set him on fire because he is dissatisfied with his work performance.
- 61% of Americans are dreading the holidays due to increased spending, with 57% having angst over Christmas specifically.
- University of California wrongly admitted at least 64 wealthy students over the past six years as favours to donors, family, and friends.
- 58% of U.S. workers report burnout:
A July 2020 poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation on adults in the US found 53% reported their mental health was negatively affected by coronavirus related worry and stress, compared to 32% reported in March.
- Iowa fines beef plant $957 after huge coronavirus outbreak.
- Walmart cuts workers’ hours but increases workload as sales rise amid pandemic.
- 89-year-old Utah man has to deliver pizzas about 30 hours a week as he can’t live solely on social security.
- Tennessee Sheriff’s Office armed jail response team with electric pulse shields that are capable of delivering a pulsating shock of 210 – 320 volts.
- In 2019, a total of 10,281 farmers and farm labourers died by suicide across India:
Taking one’s own life is still a crime in India, and experts have said for years that the actual numbers are far higher because most people fear the stigma of reporting.
- 52 Indian teachers accuse management of private school of secretly filming them in toilet for blackmailing over salary.
- Teaching material calling for end of capitalism banned from British schools as ministers brand it “extreme.”
- Donald Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017.
- Texas deployed S.W.A.T. team and bomb robot to arrest woman for “anti-law enforcement rhetoric” on her car windows.
- 1 in 3 U.S. families with kids don’t have enough food:
One in three families with kids is experiencing food insecurity during the pandemic, double the rate since 2018, and a higher proportion than at the peak of the Great Recession, according to a new analysis from The Hamilton Project, which examined Census data. By comparison, about 1 in 4 households is food insecure, the analysis found.
- Wall Street is about to start trading futures contracts on California’s water supply amid record heat and wildfires.
- Between 1992 and 2009, the Russian population declined by almost seven million people:
In the seventeen years between 1992 and 2009, the Russian population declined by almost seven million people, or nearly 5 percent—a rate of loss unheard of in Europe since World War II. Moreover, much of this appears to be caused by rising mortality. By the mid-1990s, the average St. Petersburg man lived for seven fewer years than he did at the end of the Communist period; in Moscow, the dip was even greater, with death coming nearly eight years sooner.
- U.S. home sales surged to their highest level in nearly 14 years, median existing house price jumped 11.4% from a year ago.
- Americans have lost $145 million to scams linked to Covid-19.
- Used condoms cleaned and resold in southern Vietnam:
Market authorities in Binh Duong Province have seized 324,000 used condoms that were about to be cleaned and resold in the market.
Besides the used condoms weighing 360 kilos in total, inspectors also found thousands of condoms that had been packed and readied for sale, without brand names.
- Gucci sells grass-stained jeans and overalls for $1,200 and up.
- Pentagon used relief funds meant for masks and medical supplies to make jet engine parts and body armour:
A $1 billion fund Congress gave the Pentagon in March to build up the country’s supplies of medical equipment has instead been mostly funneled to defense contractors and used to make things such as jet engine parts, body armor and dress uniforms.
- Protests against police brutality leave several dead, hundreds injured in Bogota, Colombia.
- U.S. start-up hires gig workers to help landloads evict people amid pandemic:
Civvl, a “property preservation” firm with reported branches in all 50 states, is hiring people to join its “eviction crew.” The company has posted job listings all over Craigslist seeking workers over the age of 18 to help it “secure foreclosed residential properties,” according to the ads.
- Surveillance cameras used to monitor U.K. school toilets:
In west Norfolk, public records show the cameras have been installed in toilets in Smithdon high school in Hunstanton, reportedly “to secure the health and personal safety of all students and to prevent vandalism and damage”.
- World’s richest 1% caused double CO2 emissions of poorest 50% from 1990 to 2015.
- U.S. nursing homes oust unwanted patients with claims of psychosis:
Across the United States, nursing homes are looking to get rid of unprofitable patients — primarily those who are poor and require extra care — and pouncing on minor outbursts to justify evicting them to emergency rooms or psychiatric hospitals. After the hospitals discharge the patients, often in a matter of hours, the nursing homes refuse them re-entry […].
- Walmart and Amazon among donors to Tennessee lawmaker who promoted QAnon.
- Global banks defy U.S. crackdowns by serving oligarchs, criminals, and terrorists:
In some cases the banks kept moving illicit funds even after U.S. officials warned them they’d face criminal prosecutions if they didn’t stop doing business with mobsters, fraudsters or corrupt regimes.
JPMorgan, the largest bank based in the United States, moved money for people and companies tied to the massive looting of public funds in Malaysia, Venezuela and Ukraine, the leaked documents reveal.
The bank moved more than $1 billion for the fugitive financier behind Malaysia’s 1MDB scandal, the records show, and more than $2 million for a young energy mogul’s company that has been accused of cheating Venezuela’s government and helping cause electrical blackouts that crippled large parts of the country.
HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank and Bank of New York Mellon also continued to wave through suspect payments despite similar promises to government authorities, the secret documents show.
In all, an ICIJ analysis found, the documents identify more than $2 trillion in transactions between 1999 and 2017 that were flagged by financial institutions’ internal compliance officers as possible money laundering or other criminal activity — including $514 billion at JPMorgan and $1.3 trillion at Deutsche Bank.
- U.S. deported a key witness in an ongoing investigation into sexual abuse at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centre in El Paso.
- U.S. Senator accepted more than $20,000 in campaign contributions from pharmaceutical companies within two weeks of sponsoring a bill related to drug prices.
- Louis Vuitton unveils full face shield with gold studs that reportedly will cost nearly $1,000.
- Canada’s 20 richest people saw their fortunes grow by $37 billion during Covid-19.
- Abandoned gas wells in California are left to leak Methane forever.
- Asian airlines started to offer flights to nowhere:
Qantas Airways Ltd. said a seven-hour scenic flight over Australia’s Outback and Great Barrier Reef had sold out in 10 minutes, as it joined a growing trend in Asia offering “flights to nowhere” that take off and land at the same airport.
Many frequent flyers miss getting on planes and airlines including Taiwan’s EVA Airways Corp. and ANA Holdings Inc., desperate for revenue and to keep their pilots’ licenses current, have offered special sightseeing flights.
- Three years after hurricane Maria, U.S. administration releases aid for Puerto Rico to rebuild electrical grid.
- U.S. president’s club charged Secret Service agents $500 a night for rentals even when it was closed for the pandemic. Government spendings for Trump Organization properties have surpassed $1.1 million.
- Woman died from abuse and neglect in Texas for-profit jail:
Since 2015, at least four detainees at Bi-State have died in custody […]. In 2016, Morgan Angerbauer died after staff failed to follow health protocols and check on the 20-year-old diabetic. A nurse at the jail later pleaded guilty to negligent homicide. The year prior, 35-year-old Michael Sabbie told jail guards he couldn’t breathe after he was pepper-sprayed and handcuffed. He was left in his cell unmonitored and found dead the next day.
- U.S. federal law enforcement were searching for crowd control technology deemed too unpredictable to use in war zones and had authorised the transfer of about 7,000 rounds of ammunition, amid protests over police killings:
Just before noon on June 1, the Defense Department’s top military police officer in the Washington region sent an email to officers in the D.C. National Guard. It asked whether the unit had a Long Range Acoustic Device, also known as an LRAD, or a microwave-like weapon called the Active Denial System, which was designed by the military to make people feel like their skin is burning when in range of its invisible rays.
The technology, also called a “heat ray,” was developed to disperse large crowds in the early 2000s but was shelved amid concerns about its effectiveness, safety and the ethics of using it on human beings.
- The world has failed to meet a single target to stem the destruction of wildlife and life-sustaining ecosystems in the last decade, according to U.N. report.
- After 200 meat plant workers in U.S. died of Covid-19, federal regulators issued financial penalties of just $29,000.
- U.S. drug company hiked prices on some of its biggest selling medicines after receiving $1 billion in government aid.
- High rate of hysterectomies and medical neglect at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility:
According to the new complaint, Wooten reported an alarmingly high rate of hysterectomies – a surgery in which part or all of the uterus is removed – being performed on Spanish-speaking immigrants, many of whom did not appear to understand why they had undergone the procedure.
The complaint also alleges health and safety violations related to the procedures. One woman said she was not properly anesthetized during a procedure and overheard the doctor say he had mistakenly removed the wrong ovary, rendering her unable to have children. Another went in to have a cyst drained and ultimately got a hysterectomy instead, the complaint said.
- More than 100,000 New York City public school students lack permanent housing:
Over the course of 2019, 132,660 people slept in the New York City municipal shelter system; over two-thirds were families, and almost 45,000 were children. […] A federal law, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, requires that public schools ask incoming students about their housing status; at the end of last year, families in New York City reported that 114,000 school-age children met the McKinney-Vento definition of homelessness: lacking a “fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.”
- Widespread hate speech on Facebook fuels ethnic violence in Ethiopia.
- Austrian police uses facial recognition technology to identify protesters in demonstrations.
- Northern Hemisphere endures its hottest summer on record.
- IBM discriminated against older workers when making thousands of layoffs between 2013 and 2018 in the U.S.
- Amazon appointed former National Security Agency chief to its board of directors.
- Florida sheriff department uses predictive policing to monitor and harass citizens:
Deputies gave the mother of one teenage target a $2,500 fine because she had five chickens in her backyard. They arrested another target’s father after peering through a window in his house and noticing a 17-year-old friend of his son smoking a cigarette.
Criminal justice experts said they were stunned by the agency’s practices. They compared the tactics to child abuse, mafia harassment and surveillance that could be expected under an authoritarian regime.
- World animal populations fell by 68% in 50 years.
- Utah police shot a 13-year-old boy with autism during mental crisis. His mother started a GoFundMe page for his medical bills.
- Almost 60% of people in England are living in areas where levels of toxic air pollution exceeded legal limits.
- One in eight deaths in the European Union is linked to pollution.
- Amazon U.K. pays 3% more in tax despite 35% rise in profits:
The group’s warehouse and logistics operation, which employs more than two-thirds of its 30,000-plus UK workforce, Amazon UK Services, said its corporation tax contribution was £14.46m in 2019, up from £14.03m the year before. Pretax profits at the division soared 35% to nearly £102m as revenues rose by 29% to nearly £3bn […].
- The U.S. Federal Reserve now owns 30% of all outstanding mortgage bonds, nearly $7 trillion in securities and $2 trillion in mortgages.
- Poor broadband across the U.S. is making online education impossible for millions of students amid Covid-19 pandemic:
According to the Pew Research Center, about 15 percent of all households with school-age children lack a high-speed internet connection. Some of these families live in areas that broadband providers don’t service, but others simply can’t afford the broadband that runs right outside their doorstep. In fact, some estimates suggest that the majority of people who don’t have internet actually live in cities and suburbs, not in rural areas.
- New Zealand police setting up $9m facial recognition system which can identify people from CCTV feed.
- The Zimbabwean Government is handing out coal mining concessions in conservation areas.
- U.S. places sanctions on International Criminal Court prosecutor over the investigation of U.S. soldiers for alleged war crimes in Afghanistan.
- U.S. president suggests supporters vote twice on upcoming election.
- Minnesota law allows police to seize and sell cars of non-lawbreakers:
A controversial law that allows police in Minnesota to take and sell someone’s personal property is coming under more scrutiny after the state patrol seized a woman’s car during a drunk driving stop late last year, even though she was not driving or charged with a crime.
[S]even months after losing a car she had already paid off — Dietrich gave up her fight and instead agreed to buy back the vehicle from State Patrol for $4,000.
- Police across Canada are using predictive policing algorithms.
- Maltese anti-corruption journalist was killed over reporting on government-sponsored power station deal.
- Unable to pay medical bills, Indian couple “sells” newborn to hospital.
- Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott says some elderly Covid-19 patients could be left to die naturally:
He claimed it was costing the Australian government as much as $200,000 (£110,000) to give an elderly person an extra year’s life, substantially beyond what governments would usually pay for life-saving drugs.
- Suicides among teenage girls and young women in England and Wales have almost doubled in seven years.
- 50% of all U.S. adults are concerned that a major health event in their household could lead to bankruptcy, an increase from 45% measured in early 2019.
- Amazon drivers are hanging smartphones in trees to get more work:
Someone places several devices in a tree located close to the station where deliveries originate. Drivers in on the plot then sync their own phones with the ones in the tree and wait nearby for an order pickup. The reason for the odd placement, according to experts and people with direct knowledge of Amazon’s operations, is to take advantage of the handsets’ proximity to the station, combined with software that constantly monitors Amazon’s dispatch network, to get a split-second jump on competing drivers.
- Amazon relies on extensive worker surveillance to boost employee output and potentially limit unionisation efforts around the U.S.
- F.B.I. worried that Amazon’s Ring doorbells are spying on police.
- Australian Federal Court has ruled workers have a legal right to go to the toilet and drink water while at work.
- Elon Musk has unveiled a pig with a computer chip in its brain to demonstrate a brain-to-machine interface.
- Collapse of Wirecard AG revealed Germany’s biggest accounting scandal, with 3.2 billion euros ($3.8 billion) of debt lost.
- U.S. teen who held Black Lives Matter protest gets hit with $2,500 bill for police overtime.
- World’s most expensive sheep sold for £368,000.
- Belarusian officials shut down Internet with technology made by U.S. firm.
- Brazil’s plan to protect Amazon has opposite effect:
The Brazilian army appears to be focusing on dozens of small road-and-bridge-building projects that allow exports to flow faster to ports and ease access to protected areas, opening the rainforest to further exploitation.
- Canadian police forces have received millions of dollars from oil companies, banks and financiers, through shadowy charitable foundations that have little public oversight.
- U.K. is providing military training to most countries on its own human rights abusers list.
- Hong Kong Chief Secretary recomments university graduates to try dishwashing in order to gain work experience.
- German police uses tracking dogs and helicopter in large-scale manhunt to catch alleged shoplifter who stole a bottle of water from a supermarket.
- Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, increases his wealth to an estimated $202 billion amid Covid-19 pandemic:
In three months — a period in which US economy has contracted by 4.8 per cent and more than 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment — his personal wealth has grown by of $34.2 billion, an overall growth rate of more than $15 million per hour. Were his wealth to grow at this rate for a year, Bezos would make more money in 2020 than Morocco, a country of almost 36 million people.
- New Tennessee law penalises protesters who camp on state property with up to six years in prison and loss of voting rights.
- Low-paid employees in England who test positive for Covid-19 will receive just £13 a day if they cannot work from home.
- U.S. cooperations have banned employees from alerting others to coronavirus outbreaks:
Hundreds of U.S. employers across a wide range of industries have told workers not to share information about Covid-19 cases or even raise concerns about the virus, or have retaliated against workers for doing those things, according to workplace complaints filed with the NLRB and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
- Arizona man dies after being restrained by police on hot asphalt for six minutes following his arrest for allegedly stealing a drink from a shop.
- 38% of Americans who have lost a job or had their income reduced due to Covid-19 couldn’t last more than a month off of savings of any kind.
- Facebook funnelling readers towards Covid-19 misinformation.
- U.S. Secret Service paid to get citizens’ location data without a warrant.
- British student who wrote an award-winning piece of speculative fiction about a biased algorithm that determines students’ grades had her own grades downgraded by an algorithm.
- Greek government secretly expelled more than 1,000 refugees from Europe’s borders in recent months, sailing many of them to the edge of Greek territorial waters and then abandoning them in inflatable and sometimes overburdened life rafts.
- U.K. landlords dodging an estimated £1.73 billion in tax.
- Scientists rename human genes to stop Microsoft Excel from misreading them as dates.
- U.S. to start charging asylum seekers application fees.
- Texas Covid-19 patients will be “sent home to die” if deemed too sick:
The county has been forced to form what is being compared to a so-called “death panel.” A county health board – which governs Starr Memorial – is set to authorize critical care guidelines Thursday that will help medical workers determine ways to allocate scarce medical resources on patients with the best chance to survive.
A committee will deem which COVID-19 patients are likely to die and send them home with family, Jose Vasquez, the county health authority, said during a news conference Tuesday.
- U.K. government gave £6.5 billion on emergency contracts to private firms during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Est. 57% of public school teachers across Japan worked over 80 hours of overtime in the month of July.
- Greenland’s ice sheet has melted past the point of no return.
- German Federal Constitutional Court declares taking food from a supermarket waste bin as illegal.
- Oxford University first pledged to donate rights to their Covid-19 vaccine, then sold them to pharma:
Last year only four companies were making vaccines for the U.S. market, down from more than 20 in the 1970s. As recently as Feb. 11, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, complained that no major drug company had committed to “step up” to make a coronavirus vaccine, calling the situation “very difficult and frustrating.”
Oxford University surprised and pleased advocates of overhauling the vaccine business in April by promising to donate the rights to its promising coronavirus vaccine to any drugmaker.
A few weeks later, Oxford—urged on by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—reversed course. It signed an exclusive vaccine deal with AstraZeneca that gave the pharmaceutical giant sole rights and no guarantee of low prices—with the less-publicized potential for Oxford to eventually make millions from the deal and win plenty of prestige.
AstraZeneca stock and options owned by CEO Pascal Soriot have increased by nearly $15 million in value since early April, according to calculations by KHN based on company disclosures. The stock hit an all-time high in July. The stock market value of Novavax, a biotech that never recorded a profit in more than two decades, soared tenfold to $10 billion after a nonprofit and the Trump administration agreed to give it $1.6 billion to make a vaccine.
- While most of the U.S. waits seven to 14 days for coronavirus test results, a privileged few have access to rapid tests.
- At least 4,800 chicks shipped to farmers through the U.S. Postal Service have arrived dead in the recent weeks since rapid cuts hit the federal mail carrier’s operations.
- California facing a shortage of prison inmates to fight wildfires:
Inmates who participate in fire crews are required to go through the same training as the state’s seasonal firefighter employees and often must work on the front lines of the fires. However, people on the inmate fire crews are paid between $2 and $5 a day, with an additional $1 per hour when they are on a fire […].
- Low-wage workers in U.S. face retaliation for demanding Covid-19 safety measures at work.
- U.S. health insurers doubled profits in second quarter amid pandemic:
The country’s largest health insurer, UnitedHealth Group, reported its profits were $6.7bn in the second quarter of 2020 compared with $3.4bn in last year’s. Anthem’s profits rose to $2.3bn from $1.1bn for the same three-month period in 2019. Humana reported last week its earnings rose to $1.8bn, compared with $940m in 2019.
- Brazilian supermarket covers a deceased worker’s body with umbrellas to keep store open.
- Toyota and Amazon will develop cloud platform to monetise collected driving data:
Toyota said its Mobility Services Platform will enable it to process and analyze data that can be used to develop vehicle services from ride and car sharing to behavior-based insurance and maintenance notifications.
- S&P 500 hits all-time high despite Covid-19 pandemic.
- Houston mother received eviction notice with smiley-face emoji:
The single mother of two says she lost her job in March when the restaurant where she was working cut hours. She was denied unemployment and fell behind on rent for June, July and August.
The letter goes on to say, “Pay your outstanding balance, or release your apartment and turn in your keys to the leasing office by 6 p.m. today. Eviction will be filed promptly Tuesday morning.”
“The notice wasn’t there until 2 o’clock in the evening, and the time says 6 o’clock,” Lee said.
- U.K. government debt has risen above £2 trillion, 100% of G.D.P.
- Califonia hit by rolling blackouts:
As temperatures began to rise in California on Friday and again on Saturday, the manager of much of the state’s electric grid called on utilities to cut power to hundreds of thousands of customers.
- The California Department of Motor Vehicles is selling drivers’ data to private investigators and bail bondsmen.
- From 2008 to 2019, almost 110,000 Americans died while waiting for a Social Security disability hearing. Between 2014 and 2019, 50,000 people filed for bankruptcy waiting for their cases to be resolved.
- Facebook algorithm found to actively promote Holocaust denial:
An investigation by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a UK-based counter-extremist organisation, found that typing “holocaust” in the Facebook search function brought up suggestions for denial pages, which in turn recommended links to publishers which sell revisionist and denial literature, as well as pages dedicated to the notorious British Holocaust denier David Irving.
- At least 500 chicks died in one day in a shed at a U.K. farm supplying Tesco because they were considered too weak to be profitable.
- U.S. Postmaster General has $70 million invested in companies that compete with the United States Postal Service.
- 1 in 5 children in Germany grow up in poverty.
- TikTok exploited an Android privacy loophole to track users.
- U.S. president admits he is refusing to fund the U.S. Postal Service to sabotage mail-in voting:
“They want $25 billion — billion — for the post office. Now they need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump said. “Now, in the meantime, they aren’t getting there. By the way, those are just two items. But if they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting … because they’re not equipped.”
- Former clients of acting U.S. Homeland Security chief received millions in department contracts.
- In 2019, more than 140,000 people living in Germany had no health insurance, as opposed to 79,000 four years previously.
- U.S. diabetic man dies after taking cheaper insulin to pay for wedding.
- Portland protesters released from jail on condition they no longer attend protests.
- After lobbying, Catholic Church won $1.4 billion in coronavirus aid.
- Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is fined $4 million after its neglected power lines caused California’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire, leaving 85 dead.
- Netgear has quietly decided not to patch more than 40 home routers to plug a remote code execution vulnerability – despite security researchers having published proof-of-concept exploit code.
- The U.S. military is using online gaming to recruit teens.
- Kodak C.E.O. got stock options day before news of $50 million loan sent stock soaring.
- Ireland removes unemployment benefits from people if they go on holiday abroad:
Both Garda officers and welfare officials are checking the details of holidaymakers leaving at the airport to check whether they are receiving unemployment benefits.
- Fast food company KFC admits a third of its chickens suffer painful inflammation.
- Drugstore chain Rite Aid deployed facial recognition systems in hundreds of U.S. stores, largely in lower-income, non-white neighbourhoods:
The cameras matched facial images of customers entering a store to those of people Rite Aid previously observed engaging in potential criminal activity, causing an alert to be sent to security agents’ smartphones. Agents then reviewed the match for accuracy and could tell the customer to leave.
- Icelandair to fire all flight attendants and make pilots do their jobs.
- U.S. federal law enforcement use unmarked vehicles to grab protesters off Portland streets.
- Full-time minimum wage workers cannot afford rent in any U.S. state.
- Almost £4.79 billion of coronavirus bailouts from the Bank of England – close to 30 per cent – handed out to firms based in tax havens.
- New records show Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have thousands of previously unreported military and law enforcement contracts.
- Ayn Rand Institute approved for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan of up to $1 million.
- More than 170 jade miners killed in landslide in northern Myanmar:
Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, on Friday blamed the disaster on joblessness in the country, lamenting in a Facebook Live broadcast that informal workers had to go to the mines for lack of other employment.
- Romanian workers reveal dire conditions at German slaughterhouses:
Most workers interviewed, many of whom were very upset, have been either employed by the huge meat producer Tönnies or its subsidiaries. They have described extremely exhaustive work and aggressive language. The workers accused managers of not putting enough protective measures in place in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some have also said that the shared accommodation, in which they were forced to live, was cramped and inhumane.
- NBA and players’ union agree on 29 approved social justice messages for jerseys.
- BMW about to introduce charging subscriptions for car features:
BMW is still being fairly vague for now, and there has been no word at all on prices. But what it has said, is that features like advanced driver assistance systems, augmented sports exhaust sounds, adaptive M suspension and, yes, heated seats, could be offered on a subscription basis, with periods mentioned ranging from one month to three years.
- E-bike ad banned in France for criticising auto industry:
The company’s first TV advertisement was banned in France for its negative portrayal of car traffic and pollution. The commercial was rejected by France’s advertising regulatory authority, ARPP, because it “discredit[s] the automobile sector […] while creating a climate of anxiety.”
- Australia plans university fees hike for humanities students, in a bid to push people into more useful, “job-relevant” courses like maths and science.
- Home security camera company has gone out of business, leaving behind unpatched security flaws and essentially useless cameras.
- Google has fired a security engineer who updated a company tool to notify co-workers of their right to organise.
- More than 30% of civilian pilots in Pakistan have fake licenses and are not qualified to fly.
- Facebook creates fact-checking exemption for climate deniers.
- Over the past 3 months, 44 million U.S. workers filed for unemployment while billionaires got $637 billion richer.
- U.S. nursing homes evict old and disabled residents and sending them to homeless shelters and rundown motels.
- German police, intelligence agency, and counter-terrorism centre investigated ad-busting in public space.
- As of the end of 2019, U.S. non-financial business debt totaled $10 trillion, climbing 64% from the beginning of the decade:
According to a Forbes investigation, which analyzed 455 companies in the S&P 500 Index—excluding banks and cash-rich tech giants like Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft—on average, businesses in the index nearly tripled their net debt over the past decade, adding some $2.5 trillion in leverage to their balance sheets. The analysis shows that for every dollar of revenue growth over the past decade, the companies added almost a dollar of debt.
- Facebook blocks and bans users for sharing newspaper article showing Aboriginal men in chains, on grounds of nudity.
- Global displacement reached 79.5 million people last year – almost double the number of people in crisis registered a decade ago – owing to war, violence, persecution and other emergencies.
- Private rents in England hit record high during coronavirus lockdown.
- Over 1,000 prison leavers in England and Wales left homeless amid pandemic. A further 1,209 men, women and young adults were released with unknown circumstances.
- Los Angeles county sees homelessness rise 13% to 66,433. The number of homeless seniors age 62 and older increased by 20%.
- Private Equity is entering health-care, buying up doctor’s offices, cutting costs, and putting pressure on physicians:
Over the past five years, the firms have invested more than $10 billion in medical practices, with a special focus on dermatology, which is seen as a hot industry because of the aging population. Baby boomers suffer from high rates of two potentially lucrative conditions: skin cancer and vanity. Some estimates suggest that private equity already owns more than 10% of the U.S dermatology market. And firms have started to expand into other specialties, including women’s health, urology, and gastroenterology.
- Cargo ship crews find their mental health under threat after stuck on board for months amid Covid-19 pandemic:
There are more than 50,000 merchant vessels in the world, including 5,150 container ships, each with an average crew of 22 persons – that makes for a workforce of well over one million people, responsible for delivering 90 per cent of the world’s goods stocking our shops. These men (and some women) are continuing to work seven days a week through the pandemic, their contracts extended because they are unable to disembark their ships.
- U.S. ranked worst for workers’ rights among major economies:
Globally, the ITUC said the situation has worsened for workers, with violations of rights at a seven-year high. The worst region is the Middle East and North Africa, and the organization noted a number of countries have impeded the registration of unions, as well as banned strikes and collective bargaining.
Excluding countries where there are no rights due to a breakdown of the rule of law, the 10 worst in the survey are Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, Philippines, Turkey, and Zimbabwe. All are rated 5, for “no guarantee of rights.”
- Google Chrome extensions downloaded more than 32 million times were used to spy on the popular browser’s users in a massive global surveillance campaign.
- The U.S. Federal Reserve is going to start buying up to $750 billion in individual corporate bonds.
- Two-thirds of jobless U.S. workers make more in unemployment than they did at work.
- At least 4 members of U.S. Congress benefited from loans under the $670 billion small business aid programme.
- Teleconferencing company Zoom acknowledged it shut down the accounts of several activists and online commemorations of the Tiananmen Square massacre at China’s request.
- New Facebook tool allows employers to suppress words like “unionise” in workplace chat.
- In 2019, combined subsidies for both consumption and production of fossil fuel totalled $478 billion in 77 economies.
- Novartis’ Sandoz unit, Teva Pharmaceuticals’ Actavis unit, Mylan, Pfizer Inc. and other drugmakers accused of conspiring to rig the market between 2009 and 2016 for more than 80 drugs.
- Tesla defied county orders so it could restart production. Days later, workers tested positive for the coronavirus.
- Los Angeles schools police will return grenade launchers but keep M-16 rifles, armored vehicle:
The Los Angeles School Police Department, which serves the nation’s second-largest school system, will return three grenade launchers but intends to keep 61 rifles and a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicle it received through the program.
- More than 2,000 protesters in New York have been unnecessarily arrested and detained for as long as 48 hours in “abysmal” conditions without access to masks, food and water.
- ISP slows Internet speeds in entire neighbourhoods to punish any heavy users:
Cox, a cable company with about 5.2 million broadband customers in the United States, has been sending notices to some heavy Internet users warning them to use less data and notifying them of neighborhood-wide speed decreases. In the case we will describe in this article, a gigabit customer who was paying $50 extra per month for unlimited data was flagged by Cox because he was using 8TB to 12TB a month.
- Pentagon war game, called the 2018 Joint Land, Air and Sea Strategic Special Program (JLASS), includes scenario for military response to domestic Gen Z rebellion in America in the mid-2020s:
According to the scenario, many members of Gen Z — psychologically scarred in their youth by 9/11 and the Great Recession, crushed by college debt, and disenchanted with their employment options — have given up on their hopes for a good life and believe the system is rigged against them.
- U.S. law enforment officers slashed tires on parked vehicles of protesters and journalists amid Minneapolis demonstrations.
- More than 140 journalists have been arrested or attacked by law enforcement during U.S. protests.
- The U.K. government gave big data analytics company Palantir access to sensitive NHS patient data.
- Seattle police used tear gas against protesters despite city ban.
- U.S. protesters are being interrogated by F.B.I. agents about their political views.
- In Mumbai, Covid-19 patients are dying as they wait for ambulances and hospital beds:
In public hospitals, coronavirus patients have been asked to share beds, sleep on the floor, or share wards with corpses that have been left on beds for hours because families refuse to claim them.
With just under 100 vehicles in its fleet in Mumbai, the government’s 108 helpline for free ambulances is of little help for patients who need urgent hospital admission. “Patients have to wait for six to eight hours on an average for a 108 ambulance to show up” […].
- Florida plastic surgeon offers drive-through Botox to quarantined residents.
- U.S. president says he hopes George Floyd “looking down” and seeing today’s jobs numbers as “a great day for him”:
His remarks follow Thursday’s memorial for Mr Floyd, who was killed by police on Memorial Day after an officer forced his knee on the back of his neck for nearly nine minutes while facing the ground in handcuffs.
The president said: “Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying, ‘This is a great thing that’s happening for our country. It’s a great day for him, it’s a great day for everybody. It’s a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day.’”
- A Twitter account that copies U.S. president’s tweets word for word got suspended within three days.
- I.R.S. fails to pursue thousands of rich tax cheats:
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that 879,415 high-income individuals who didn’t file returns cumulatively failed to pay $45.7 billion in taxes from 2014 to 2016 and that the agency hasn’t tried to collect from many of those taxpayers. The IRS didn’t put 326,579 of the cases into its enforcement system, and it closed 42,601 of the cases without ever working on them.
- U.S. spends twice as much on law and order as it does on cash welfare:
Up until about 1980, American governments spent roughly the same amount on criminal justice and cash welfare: a little over 1 percent of total national income for each. But those trend lines have steadily diverged ever since: Welfare spending has been on a long, uneven decline, while law and order spending ballooned almost unabated until about 2010, when it amounted to nearly 2.5 percent of national income. Since then, law and order spending has fallen to a hair under 2 percent, while welfare spending stands at about 0.8 percent of national income.
- The U.S. administration has deployed officers in riot gear and no identifiable markings to police demonstrations in Washington, D.C.
- More than 10,000 people have been arrested in protests decrying racism and police brutality in the U.S.
- More than 70 children killed in 10 airstrikes in Afghanistan in the last two years.
- New York City police officers forced two Associated Press journalists to stop covering protests.
- Minnesota is using Covid-19 contact tracing to track protesters amid demonstrations.
- Australian news crew has been assaulted by U.S. police while reporting on protests outside the White House.
- Police fire tear gas, deploy flash bangs to disperse peaceful protest near White House ahead of U.S. president speech.
- Of the 121 countries, 64 spent more money annually servicing their external debt payments than they did on healthcare.
- U.S. president made 19,127 false or misleading claims in 1,226 days.
- U.S. law enforcement are deliberately targeting journalists during protests against racism and police brutality.
- Thousands line up for hours for food aid in Geneva, one of the world’s richest cities.
- U.S. president vetoed a measure that would have made it easier for students defrauded by for-profit colleges to obtain the cancelation of their federal student loans.
- Microsoft replaces journalists with robots. News stories now generated by A.I.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency is flying an unarmed version of the Predator drone, military technology used for surveilling and killing terrorists abroad, over Minneapolis as protesters continue to demonstrate against police brutality.
- Minnesota governor calls National Guard troops to restore public order after police murdered Black man. On the same day, Kentucky governor calls National Guard after protests over the death of a Black woman who was fatally shot eight times by police at her home.
- White House won’t release formal economic projections this summer that would forecast extent of downturn.
- Australian mining corporation destroyed 46,000 years old Aboriginal site to expand iron ore mine.
- 20 large U.S. hospital chains received more than $5 billion in federal grants even while sitting on more than $100 billion in cash:
[…] It is the Providence Health System, one of the country’s largest and richest hospital chains. It is sitting on nearly $12 billion in cash, which it invests, Wall Street-style, in a good year generating more than $1 billion in profits.
And this spring, Providence received at least $509 million in government funds, one of many wealthy beneficiaries of a federal program that is supposed to prevent health care providers from capsizing during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Prison inmates made helmets for the U.S. military, and tens of thousands were defective.
- American Airlines is planning to cut 30% of its management and support staff, a reduction of about 5,000 jobs, after receiving parts of a $25 billion federal aid package set aside for airlines.
- Companies owned by Donald Trump’s campaign manager have received nearly $40 million from the president’s reelection committees.
- The Secret Service is paying $179,000 to rent golf carts at one of Trump’s courses this summer.
- 11,250 Facebook moderators who developed PTSD on the job receive a minimum of $1000 compensation:
In September 2018, former Facebook moderator Selena Scola sued Facebook, alleging that she developed PTSD after being placed in a role that required her to regularly view photos and images of rape, murder, and suicide. Scola developed symptoms of PTSD after nine months on the job.
- Thousands of perfectly fine electric bikes and scooters will be shredded after Uber-owned start-up was sold to competitor.
- New York governor gave immunity to nursing home executives after big campaign donations, amid higher nursing home death rates during the pandemic.
- Poorer parts of England, many of them Covid-19 hotspots, have lost out on more than £100m of emergency funding, after ministers diverted it to richer – mostly Tory-run – areas.
- U.S. local TV stations broadcasted news on Amazon – produced by Amazon.
- Alberta’s energy minister says it is a good time to build a pipeline because public-health restrictions limit protests against them.
- German companies hiring private investigators to spy on workers in home office during Covid-19 pandemic.
- The first fast-food franchisee to advise U.S. president on reopening restaurants has donated more than $400,000 to his reelection – including $200,000 in March.
- Colombian company creates hospital beds that can double as coffins.
- Canadian for-profit nursing homes have had far worse Covid-19 outcomes than public facilities – and three of the largest paid out $1.5 billion to shareholders.
- Report shows severe neglect inside several of Ontario’s long-term care homes during the Covid-19 pandemic:
The military report includes observations of understaffing, poor sanitation, neglect of residents and employee burnout at five care homes in the Toronto area […]. Cockroach infestations were observed in two of the centers. There are multiple reports of residents with untreated bed sores due to prolonged bed rest.
The report also notes serious hygiene problems, including patients being left in soiled diapers or on bare mattresses due to a lack of clean linen.
- Amazon is handing out “Thank you” t-shirts to warehouse workers as it cuts their hazard pay.
- One billion people will suffer from “unliveable” heat within 50 years, study finds.
- One in four U.S. workers claiming jobless benefits amid Covid-19 pandemic.
- U.S. national debt has increased $5.2 trillion during Trump’s 3 years as president.
- The price for a gene therapy drug to treat an intractable disease in toddlers was set at about 167 million yen ($1.56 million) per patient, Japan’s most expensive medicine covered by national health insurance.
- Private jet company founded by Trump donor gets $27 million bailout.
- A plastics factory in India where a chemical gas leak killed 12 people and sickened hundreds more last week lacked federal environmental clearance but had been issued state permits to operate anyway.
- Members of Venezuela’s opposition in October negotiated a $213 million deal with a small Florida security company to invade the country and overthrow President Nicolas Maduro.
- More than 12,000 Catholic churches in the U.S. applied for federal loans amid pandemic – and 9,000 got them.
- U.S. senator who dumped shares after coronavirus briefing reportedly got a $9 million payout as she left the publicly traded company run by her husband.
- Months into economic shutdown, millions of Americans still haven’t received unemployment checks.
- Drug traffickers hand out food and lend money without interest to families suffering from the coronavirus in Mexico.
- Louisiana lawmakers vote by mail to restrict vote by mail.
- Maryland National Guard protecting Covid-19 tests from seizure by U.S. federal government in undisclosed location.
- Oregon hospitals rely on prison labour to do their laundry during the pandemic.
- Hungary no longer a democracy according to report:
Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s dismantling of checks and balances over the past decade, including a decision to indefinitely rule by decree triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, pushed the nation into the “hybrid regime” category between democracies and autocracies, according to a report published Wednesday by Freedom House […].
- Nearly 50 million Americans just had their credit card limits cut amid pandemic.
- Amazon makes nearly $10,000 per second, as many consumers stepped up their online purchases during coronavirus-fueled lockdowns.
- U.S. Senator urges high school principals to warn students about predatory for-profit colleges.
- U.S. government continues to garnish the wages of federal student loan borrowers who fall behind on payments amid pandemic.
- One in seven U.S. Americans, almost 35 million people, would not seek medical care for coronavirus symptoms due to fear of cost.
- Invoking the Korean War-era Defense Production Act, U.S. president signed an executive order mandating that American meat production keep running at all costs.
- State officials have stopped releasing the list of coronavirus deaths being compiled by Florida’s medical examiners, which has at times shown a higher death toll than the state’s published count.
- Despite Covid-19, employees in Texas and Iowa told to get back to work or lose unemployment benefits.
- U.S. farmers are destroying their products, as they aren’t able to adjust the distribution amid pandemic:
Dairy Farmers of America, the country’s biggest dairy co-op, has called many of its members and instructed them to dump their milk. The cooperative has estimated that farmers are now dumping up to 3.7 million gallons of milk per day. Sanderson Farms, a chicken processor, smashes 750,000 eggs each week.
- More than 40% of U.S. Americans whose work was affected by the pandemic said they weren’t able to pay the rent, mortgage or utility bills.
- Bleach manufacturers have warned people not to inject themselves with disinfectant after U.S. president falsely suggested it might cure the coronavirus.
- Oil prices dip below zero as producers forced to pay to dispose of excess.
- Illinois car dealership mailed advertisement that pretends to contain Covid-19 stimulus assistance.
- A chicken processing company based in Delaware killed nearly 2 million chickens after many of its workers were sidelined by illness or quarantine orders related to the coronavirus.
- Chinese tech giant Xiaomi is recording millions of people’s private web and phone use.
- Amazon-owned Whole Foods is quietly tracking its employees with a heat map tool that ranks which stores are most at risk of unionizing:
Some of the factors that contribute to external risk scores include local union membership size; distance in miles between the store and the closest union; number of charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board alleging labor-law violations; and a “labor incident tracker,” which logs incidents related to organizing and union activity.
- Amazon tried to shut down a virtual event for workers to speak out about the company’s coronavirus response by deleting employees’ calendar invites.
- Jared Kushner’s real estate company files eviction lawsuits amid coronavirus outbreak.
- Over 43,000 U.S. millionaires receive $1.7m in coronavirus relief as most taxpayers get $1,200 payments.
- Hungry South Africans clash with police over food aid in Cape Town.
- Wisconsin hospitals suing patients over debt amid pandemic.
- 1.5 million Britons reported not eating for a whole day because they had no money or access to food.
- Mafia distributes food to Italy’s struggling residents.
- A third of U.S. renters didn’t pay the rent on time in April.
- North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr sold off a significant portion of his portfolio after receiving classified briefings about the coronavirus.
- A huge bridge section has collapsed in Tuscany, the latest case of Italy’s infrastructure crumbling after years of neglect.
- U.S. Sen. David Perdue of Georgia bought stock in a company that produces protective medical equipment the same day senators received a classified briefing on the coronavirus.
- Two Mississippi doctors fired after speaking out about coronavirus safety.
- WWE to resume live TV tapings after being deemed “essential business” by Florida governor’s office amid coronavirus outbreak.
- Amazon fires three critics of warehouse conditions in pandemic.
- U.S. hospitals tell doctors they will be fired if they speak out about lack of gear.
- Las Vegas parking lot turned into outdoor shelter for the homeless during coronavirus crisis:
Photos of the vagrants at the temporary shelter show them close to each other lying on the concrete in the painted white boxes on the ground. Federal guidelines advise people to maintain a distance of six feet from others.
- Philadelphia hospital to stay closed after owner requests nearly $1 million a month. Hahnemann University Hospital could hold 500 patients with the coronavirus.
- U.S. administration saved Walmart from facing criminal charges over opioid sales.
- Celebrities and the ultrawealthy have better access to tests for the coronavirus than ordinary Americans.
- American arts and crafts stores chain refuses to give workers paid sick leave during coronavirus pandemic:
In a memo to Hobby Lobby store managers obtained by Business Insider, vice president of operations Randy Betts wrote that sick workers will be required to use personal paid time off and vacation pay, or else take an “unpaid leave of absence until further notice.”
- Wisconsin senator calls to reopen parts of the coronavirus-stricken economy because ”death is an unavoidable part of life”.
- U.S. president says Republicans would “never” be elected again if it was easier to vote.
- Georgia senator downplayed the coronavirus, simultaneously invested in maker of protective gear.
- U.S. states bid against each other for medical supplies.
- U.S. billionaires want people back to work amid coronavirus outbreak:
“The damages of keeping the economy closed as it is could be worse than losing a few more people,” said Golisano, founder and chairman of the payroll processor Paychex Inc. “I have a very large concern that if businesses keep going along the way they’re going then so many of them will have to fold.”
- New York state to produce hand sanitiser using prison labour.
- The Trump Organisation bribed New York City tax officials to pay lower taxes on multiple properties.
- AT&T C.E.O. pay rose to $32 million in 2019 while he cut 20,000 jobs.
- Whole Foods suggests that workers share paid time off during coronavirus:
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey sent out an email to grocery store employees with a list of benefits and options for those who fall sick during the coronavirus pandemic.
Among his six suggestions was an option for employees to “donate” their paid time off (PTO) to coworkers facing medical emergencies.
- U.S. airline industry seeks about $50 billion in federal help.
- U.K. private hospital sells 2,000 coronavirus test kits to wealthy.
- The Federal Reserve injects $1.5 trillion to prop up crashing markets.
- U.S. administration tried to buy German firm to get exclusive access to a coronavirus vaccine.
- Super-rich jet off to holiday homes and disaster bunkers amid coronavirus outbreak.
- Airlines are burning thousands of gallons of fuel flying empty planes so they can keep their flight slots during the coronavirus outbreak.
- The world is less free than a decade ago:
Countries like Indonesia, Hungary and Mali that were considered “free” in 2009 are now “partly free,” while the likes of Nicaragua, Thailand, Turkey and Venezuela have joined the ranks of the “not free.”
Internet freedom is in decline around the world as governments increasingly use social media to monitor their citizens and spread disinformation. Countries from India to Iran to Zimbabwe shut down the internet this year to combat protests.
- A Canadian energy company bought an Oregon Sheriff’s Unit:
In addition to hosting the law enforcement training, the unit used Pembina’s funds to purchase riot control equipment, monitor the activities of Jordan Cove opponents, and coordinate intelligence-gathering operations with private security companies that also worked for Pembina.
- Amazon’s Ring logs every doorbell press and app action.
- Wealthy Indonesians use names of low-income people to avoid paying tax.
- Video of scientific panel discussing copyright law has been blocked by YouTube’s Content ID system for multiple claims of copyright infringement.
- Torture is prevalent and effective in popular films:
The majority of popular films, including those for children, have at least one torture scene, and the scenes are usually depicted as achieving the torturer’s goal, according to a study involving a researcher at The University of Alabama.
- Apple, Samsung and Sony among 83 global brands using Uighur Muslim “forced labour” in factories.
- Texas rapidly reduced number of polling sites in Black and Latino communities.
- Majority of retired NHS staff don’t want to return to tackle Covid-19 crisis,
say going back would threaten their mental and physical health:
“After the way I was treated I would rather shove a rusty six-inch nail up my backside than return to my old job,” said a 67-year-old former staff nurse from Manchester.
- Starbucks and Nestlé rely on child labour for their coffee.
- New cars producing more carbon dioxide than older models.
- 32% of U.S. workers run out of money before payday.
- Hong Kong government gives free “helicopter money” to residents: each will receive a cash handout of HK$10,000 (US$1,200) in an effort to fight recession.
- Homelessness five times worse in U.K. than government admits as figures reveal 28,000 now sleeping rough.
- Miami man has to pay $3,275 bill for coronavirus test, after showing symptoms:
Jackson Health officials say that there are more bills for Azcue on the way, but it’s unclear what those will total […].
- U.K. Department for Work and Pensions destroyed reports into people who killed themselves after benefits were stopped. Around 50 reviews into deaths following the loss of social security payments before 2015 have been shredded.
- As medical costs soar, more Americans turn to crowdfunding. Eight million Americans have started campaigns for themselves or a household member to cover a range of medical expenses.
- Alabama blocked a man from voting because he owed $4.
- Britain has closed almost 800 libraries since 2010.
- New forms of facial recognition can now recognise not just people wearing masks over their mouths, but also people in scarves and even with fake beards.
- Airbnb is recommending surveillance devices to make sure guests behave:
Functionality varies: Whereas the Minut device “monitors noise, temperature, motion, humidity and alarms when your property is unoccupied,” the NoiseAware Indoor Sensor “will alert you within minutes of sustained noise levels, not instantaneous noises like doors slamming,” and is being marketed as “the best way to protect your home, your neighbors, and your reputation.”
- Indonesian minister calls on the rich to marry the poor as a way to cut country’s poverty rate.
- Confidential therapy notes are being used against migrant children in U.S.
- U.S. president pardoned a construction-company owner whose family donated over $200,000 to his campaign.
- India hides poor people ahead of U.S. president visit, by building a brick wall alongside a slum area containing 2,000 people.
- U.S. retailer Target raised wages, then cut workers’ hours and doubled their workload.
- Apple permits film productions to use its products onscreen, but bad characters can’t have an iPhone on camera.
- The typical U.S. worker can no longer afford a family on a year’s salary.
- Google redraws the borders on maps depending on who’s looking.
- Australian court ruled that a police raid on public broadcaster ABC’s offices in connection to stories it produced about alleged war crimes in Afghanistan was legal.
- A Pennsylvania elementary school called the police after a kindergartner with Down syndrome made a finger gun at her teacher.
- Secret Service has paid rates as high as $650 a night for rooms at U.S. president’s properties:
The records show more than $471,000 in payments from taxpayers to Trump’s companies. But — because these records cover only a fraction of Trump’s travel during a fraction of his term — the actual total is likely to be higher.
- California police shared data on the movements of millions of drivers without having policies in place, disregarding state law.
- The 17th inmate died in Mississippi’s prison system in less than two months:
At least 17 Mississippi inmates have died since late December, most of them in outbursts of violence. Most of the deaths occurred at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.
- Earth just had hottest January since records began.
- More than half Malta’s traffic police, including its chief, have been arrested for fraud.
- U.S. school children terrified by active shooter drills:
“In Indiana they were shooting teachers with rubber pellets so they would feel the adrenaline of what a school shooting would feel like,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, which is part of Everytown. “In California recently, a superintendent hired a stranger to wear a mask to rattle the doors of classrooms without letting faculty and students know. We’ve seen students asked to pretend to be victims and lie down using fake blood in the hallway.”
- U.K. universities are using “gagging” clauses to stop students from going public with complaints of sexual assault, bullying and poor teaching.
- Antivirus program Avast tracked users’ browsing habits, data sold to third parties.
- In Hungary, at least 122 people have frozen to death this winter. The majority died in their unheated apartments.
- Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil has more than doubled in January compared with the previous year.
- The medical data of millions of NHS patients has been sold to American and other international drugs companies. The information can be traced back to individual medical records.
- The world spends nearly $3 trillion a year on military expenditures.
- Schools in England are equipping teachers with body cameras to monitor pupil behaviour and improve safeguarding.
- Tesla remotely disables Autopilot feature on used Model S after it was sold.
- After disasters, Puerto Ricans are left with $1.6 billion in unpaid insurance claims. Some insurers have gone out of business.
- TikTok reportedly waited nearly 3 hours to call police in Brazil after a teen’s death was livestreamed on the platform, but the company notified its own PR team almost immediately.
- U.S. private hospitals are now consulting a secret medical credit score before patients even see a doctor.
- One in four U.S. renters now spend more than half their incomes on housing.
- More than 1.51 million children in Germany depend on social security (Hartz IV).
- Jeff Bezos paid more than $16,000 in parking tickets while renovating his $23m, Washington, D.C. mansion.
- More than a third of U.K. workers risk health in low-quality jobs.
- Amazon workers condemn unsafe conditions at warehouse:
The petition called on Amazon to consolidate workers’ two 15-minute breaks into a 30-minute one. Workers say it can take up to 15 minutes just to walk to and from the warehouse break room. Workers also called for Amazon to provide more reliable public transit services to the warehouse. They also called attention to reports of high injury rates at the facility there, which were found to be three times the national average for warehouses, based on the company’s injury reports to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
- Homeless U.S. student population highest in more than a decade:
Most of the 1.5m homeless children stayed with other families or friends after losing their homes.
But 7% lived in abandoned buildings or cars […].
- German banks are hoarding so many Euros they need more vaults.
- On-going violence in Alabama prisons:
During a single week, the Justice Department chronicled at least four stabbings, one fatal; four beatings, one that involved a sock full of metal locks; a prisoner’s bed being set on fire while he slept; three sexual assaults, including a man being forced to perform oral sex on two men at knife point; and a death by drug overdose.
- Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, added $13.2 billion to his wealth of $129.5 billion in about 15 minutes, due to a price surge of his Amazon, Inc. shares.
- Airbus to pay €3.6bn in penalties for international bribery scheme.
- U.S. health-records company pushed opioids to doctors in secret deal with drugmaker, in an effort to boost prescriptions for addictive pain pills.
- London to deploy live facial recognition to find wanted faces in a crowd.
- 43 Republicans in U.S. Congress profited from tax cuts bill they passed.
- Clothing retailer H&M has kept detailed and systematic records about employees’ health, from bladder weakness to cancer, and about their private lives, such as family disputes or holiday experiences.
- Electronic Arts’ iOS Tetris games will be disappearing from the App Store and no longer be playable on iPhones and iPads – even if users paid for them.
- More than three in five Americans are lonely, with more and more people reporting feeling like they are left out, poorly understood and lacking companionship.
- Lottery underway for rare muscle-wasting disease gene therapy:
Pharmaceutical giant Novartis has begun accepting applications for a lottery-based program to give away 100 doses of a gene therapy for spinal muscular atrophy, a sometimes-deadly muscle-wasting disease that affects about 1 in 10,000 births.
Zolgensma was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in May 2019 as the most expensive drug ever, with a cost of $2.1 million.
- U.S. farmers are buying 40-year-old tractors because they’re actually repairable:
John Deere makes it difficult to repair its new tractors without specialized software, so an increasing number of farmers are buying older models.
- U.S. military veteran who served in Vietnam and Iraq has claimed that his prosthetic legs were taken away after the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) would not cover the cost.
- Being wealthy adds nine years to healthy life expectancy, according to transatlantic research across the U.K. and the U.S.
- Woman arrested at Auckland International Airport over student loan debt:
The Government says arresting student loan debtors at airports is an “absolute last resort”, but it’s not a policy that will be changed any time soon.
- Approximately half of Manhattan’s luxury-condo units that have come onto the market in the past five years are still vacant. At the same time, about 79,000 people live in shelters or on the streets.
- Mississippi man gets 12 years in prison for possessing a cellphone in county jail.
- Ontario’s government wants to replace teachers with computers, for “cost saving and revenue generation.”
- As student loans are becoming harder to pay back in the U.S., students turn to “sugar dating”:
Texas State University in San Marcos came in at No. 25 with 945 students using the site to make extra cash, while Texas A&M University was No. 24. The College Station campus has 997 student members.
As far as Texas goes, the University of Texas at Austin has the most students using SeekingArrangement — 1,118 members to be exact.
- British gambling company owners make millions treating gambling addicts.
- Airline demands female passenger takes a pregnancy test before boarding flight from Hong Kong to U.S. island of Saipan over immigration concerns.
- College graduates in U.S. face A.I,-based assessments for entry-level jobs:
At schools such as Duke University, Purdue University, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, career counselors are now working to find out which companies use AI and also speaking candidly with students about what, if anything, they can do to win over the algorithms. This shift in preparations comes as more businesses interested in filling internships and entry-level positions that may see a glut of applicants turn to outside companies such as HireVue to help them quickly conduct vast numbers of video interviews.
- Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg’s massive ad campaign hikes TV prices for other candidates.
- U.K. counter-terrorism police placed Greenpeace, Extinction Rebellion (XR), and Peta on a list of extremist ideologies.
- Millions of Americans – as many as 25% of the population – are delaying getting medical help because of skyrocketing costs .
- In Japan, companies have begun to offer fold out beds that fit under the desks of their workers.
- Giving birth in America now costs more than a woman earns in a month. The average new mom spent $4,500 out-of-pocket to give birth in 2015, a 50% increase from 2007.
- 162 billionaires have the same wealth as half of humanity:
There are 2,153 billionaires globally, and, in 2019, they held more wealth combined than 4.6 billion people, according to the report, which uses data from the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report and Forbes’ billionaire rankings.
- Homeless man in hospital after Dublin council clean-up removes tent with him inside.
- 50% of Canadians face insolvency amid “debt hopelessness”.
- U.S. alcohol-related deaths have doubled over the past nearly 20 years. Nearly 73,000 people died in the U.S because of liver disease and other alcohol-related illnesses. That is up from just under 36,000 deaths in 1999.
- Facebook is forcing its moderators to log every second of their days – even in the bathroom.
- 82 protesters have been seriously wounded by less-than-lethal weapons of French police forces in the last months. One protestor died by tear gas, four people lost a hand by a grenade, and 18 were blinded by rubber bullets and grenades.
- Smart-home appliances will become useless overnight as manufacturer turns off Cloud service.
- Facial recognition start-up partners with 600 law enforcement agencies across the U.S. The F.B.I., the Department of Homeland Security, and local police forces have access to a database of 3 billion images, taken from Facebook, YouTube, Venmo, and millions of other sites.
- In Illinois, hospital visits associated with homelessness have tripled since 2011.
- Physician burnout in U.S. is widespread, especially among those in midcareer.
- U.S. government-funded low-end Android phones come preinstalled with unremovable malware.
- Research suggests that raising the minimum wage by $1 may prevent thousands of suicides each year in U.S. An increase of $2 in each U.S. state’s minimum wage could have prevented more than 57,000 suicides.
“[E]mancipatory politics must always destroy the appearance of a ‘natural order’, must reveal what is presented as necessary and inevitable to be a mere contingency, just as it must make what was previously deemed to be impossible seem attainable.”
– Mark Fisher