Trump hotel in D.C. made $2 million profit in 4 months, now charges highest rates in town

President Trump and his family own, operate, and profit bigly from the most expensive hotel in the nation's capital. Driving the inflated rates at the Trump International Hotel in Washington: favor-seekers from around the world know to stay there when they hope to curry favor with Trump's government.

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Chinese cops treat kidnapping as a routine form of largely acceptable debt-collection

If you owe someone money in China and kidnap them to get paid, the police are likely to treat the whole thing as a civil matter of "unlawful detention" and stay out of it (especially if the debtor is a foreigner and the lender is Chinese). Read the rest

Crowdfunded by listeners, EFF perma-kills a bogus podcasting patent

Five years ago, a patent troll called "Personal Audio" started demanding money from podcasters, claiming that their patent on mailing cassette tapes of people reading magazines (a ridiculous patent on its face) also covered podcasting. Read the rest

Monsanto's lawyers forgot to ask a court to suppress damning evidence about cancer and corrupt science

Monsanto is facing over 100 lawsuits in a Federal district court in San Francisco brought by people who attribute their non-Hodgkin's lymphoma to exposure to glyphosate in Monsanto's Roundup weed-killer, and as part of the discovery process, it submitted internal documents to the court that detailed shenanigans in the company's internal science and its dealings with regulators and the press. Read the rest

Days before elections, the official in charge of Kenya's voting machines has been tortured and murdered

Chris Msando is the Kenyan electoral commission IT manager who oversaw the country's computerized voting systems; now, just days before a hotly contested election, his body has been found in the Kikuyu area in Nairobi's outskirts, and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission says he was tortured and murdered. Read the rest

Foxconn's corporate welfare deal will cost Wisconsin taxpayers more than 3 billion dollars

The recent trumpist trumpeting about the plans of Chinese manufacturer Foxconn to open a manufacturing facility in Wisconsin omitted a few key details -- like the fact that Foxconn is being given a sweetheart tax-break that's topped up with 15 years' worth of guarantees of up to $200m/year in cash subsidies at taxpayer expense -- a record-setting taxpayer subsidy that exceeds the previous Wisconsin record-holder by a factor of fifty. Read the rest

Audit shows that pharma companies are still cheating by suppressing trials

It's been years since the major pharma companies agreed to participate in the Registry of All Trials, meaning that they'd end the practice of only reporting on trials whose outcomes they were pleased with, leaving about half of all trials unreported-on. Read the rest

Peak no-fucks-given Jeff Sessions boosts asset forfeitures

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, having been thrown under the bus by Donald Trump, has clearly run out of fucks to give, and so now he's not only reviving the feel-good anti-drug program that convinced kids to take drugs, not only directing fed cops to arrest people who take weed in states where it's legal -- he's also calling for more civil asset forfeiture, that being the polite name for the widespread, illegal practice of cops stealing your stuff and selling it off to fund off-the-books spending on surveillance gear and other goodies. Read the rest

Proposed Massachusetts law would let cops steal your car if it had a "hidden compartment"

Hey, remember how Bill Clinton doubled down on the War on Drugs, perfecting Reagan's haphazard and shoddily made race-war into a well-oiled incarceration machine that turned America into the world's greatest incarcerator, a nation that imprisoned black people at a rate that exceeded Apartheid-era South Africa? Read the rest

Trump's pick for federal wage watchdog stiffed her house-cleaners

The word on the Hill is that Trump will nominate Cheryl Stanton to head the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division, a step up from her current job as head of the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, where her tenure has been marked by high-profile resignations over her plans to trump up claims against employees she disliked and wanted to fire, and (you can't make this stuff up) a lawsuit by the agency that cleans her house because she refused to pay them. Read the rest

Networks hide badly rated shows by misspelling their names in Nielsen submissions

When a network TV show performs badly, the networks deliberately introduce errors into the episodes' metadata before submitting it to the Nielsen ratings, so that the episode is counted as a separate show and doesn't bring the season's average rating down. Read the rest

David Cameron and Prince William condemned in leaked FIFA bribery and corruption report

FIFA is the scandal-haunted governing body for world soccer/football; their internal report on corruption has leaked and it reveals a widespread culture of bribery and other corrupt practices. Read the rest

Big Cable asks FCC to ban states' investigations into lies about broadband speed

The cable industry lobby has petitioned the FCC, asking it to ban states from investigating and taking action on deceptive advertising claims about broadband speed -- seeking an end to actions like last year's New York State Attorney General's investigation into Time-Warner's lies about its broadband offerings. Read the rest

Israeli company's spyware used to target corruption-fighting journalists and lawyers in Mexico

The NSO Group is an Israeli firm that describes itself as a "cyber warfare" company, dealing exclusively to governments, including the famously corrupt and dysfunctional government of Mexico. The NSO Group is presently for sale, with a $1 billion pricetag. Read the rest

China's billionaires are disappearing into police custody and/or early graves

Dozens of the richest executives in China have disappeared under mysterious circumstances and are assumed to be in police detention as the country pursues an aggressive anti-corruption agenda. Read the rest

Trump's no-experience, fake-degree wedding planner will be in charge of billions in NYC housing spending

Lynne Patton has no experience with housing policy, claims to have a law degree from a university that says she dropped out after two semesters, claims an affiliation with Yale that no one can explain, and is implicated in the Eric Trump charity scam that directed cash earmarked for children's cancer research into the Trump Organization's pockets -- and as of July 5, she'll oversee billions in spending in the New York housing authorities. On the plus side, she reportedly did a great job as Eric Trump's wedding-planner. Read the rest

A Hong Kong parking space just sold for USD664K

The 188 square foot parking space went for HKD5.18m (USD664,300) -- HKD27,500/sqft. Read the rest

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