Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was on Capitol Hill Wednesday to testify before the the House Financial Services Committee about Libra, Facebook’s controversial cryptocurrency plan. At least, Libra was theoretically his reason for being in Washington, DC. Once he was in the hot seat, however, lawmakers pinned him down with questions about basically everything, making clear just how much ire the ostensible social network now draws at the highest level.
Trump pressed then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to help persuade the Justice Department to drop a criminal case against an Iranian-Turkish gold trader who was a client of Rudy Giuliani, according to three people familiar with the 2017 meeting in the Oval Office.
Dystopian fiction – from Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange to Russell T Davies’s spectacular recent BBC1 series Years and Years – is usually intended to take elements of the present and then imagine a future in which they have become inescapable, so as to warn us of what might already be in our midst.
But the 21st century is challenging this technique in one bracing sense: the way the world now seems to race beyond the wildest aspects of our collective imagination before we have even started to think about what might come next. Consider last week’s news about Facebook, and the fact that three years of corporate disgrace – and rising noise from legislators about bringing the tech giant to heel – have yet to slow its terrifying quest to insinuate its workings into every area of our lives. Now, in a move that could have been taken from a futuristic novel, it wants to create nothing less than a new global currency.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are teaming up to ask important questions about Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s role in the collapse of retail empire Sears. More than 175,000 Sears employees lost their jobs while a handful of billionaires, including Mnuchin, walked away with billions. And Warren and Ocasio-Cortez want answers.
Mnuchin and his old pals sucked everything out of the company and left employees high and dry, without even a penny of severance pay. This is happening across the nation as investment firms buy up, raid, and tear down retail outlets.
The US is becoming more diverse and progressive, but white men’s grip on power is being exercised via the courts, gerrymandering and dark money in politics
The opinion editors back home in Kentucky are not really thrilled with the idea of the Russians getting an economic hold on the state. Not just the Russians, but the Russian mob. At the LouisvilleCourier Journal, Joseph Gerth is not too excited at the prospect that “by the middle of the year, we’ll be in business with Oleg Deripaska, a buddy of Vladimir Putin.” Kentucky is looking for $200 million from the Russian to invest in a $1.7 billion aluminum plant there. He goes on to describe Deripaska’s “deep ties to Russian organized crime,” and the allegations of Deripaska’s violent, ruthless, criminal past in Russia.