New York surpasses Brexit London as the world's second-hottest luxury property market

If you are an oligarch or criminal looking to exfiltrate and launder your money, London property markets have been your go-to asset class: London lux is real-estate that behaves like cash, thanks to the long line of oligarchs and criminals who'll pay cash for your safe-deposit box in the sky on a few hours' notice, should you need to liquidate ahead of a purge or an indictment. Read the rest

Cambridge Analytica data-raid: the number is "much greater than 87 million"

Brittany Kaiser is an ex-Cambridge Analytica employee who gave written testimony and answered questions at the UK Parliament this week in which she revealed that the Facebook apps that Cambridge Analytica used to covertly gain access to millions of users' data went far beyond the ones disclosed to date, and that the number of total users implicated is "much greater than 87 million." Read the rest

Referendums and low-engagement voters produce catastrophic outcomes (but what about corruption?)

The idea of representative democracy is that we pay lawmakers to give serious attention to the nuances of policy questions and cast votes on our behalf in accord with their understanding of our preferences, applied to those nuanced understandings. Read the rest

Facebook insists that Cambridge Analytica didn't "breach" data, but "misused" it, and they're willing to sue anyone who says otherwise

Yesterday's bombshell article in the Guardian about the way that Cambridge Analytica was able to extract tens of millions of Facebook users' data without their consent was preceded by plenty of damage control on Facebook's part: they repeatedly threatened to sue news outlets if they reported on the story and fired the whistleblower who came forward with the story. Read the rest

Brexit is deflating the London housing bubble, with prices down 15% in some neighbourhoods

London's housing bubble has appeared unprickable, stabilised by influxes of offshore money from "investors" who saw property in the capital as a safe, easily liquidated bet even after the 2008 crisis when the rest of the UK saw housing prices tumble. Read the rest

#BrexitStamps: The sarcastic commemorative Brexit stamps of Twitter

MP Andrea Leadsom wants the Royal Mail to commemorate Brexit with a postage stamp. Twitter has run with the idea, shooping and tagging with #BrexitStamps, making sure to tag @andrealeadsom. Read the rest

Scotland is still a financial secrecy exporter, laundering billions for Russia's crime-bosses and oligarchs

If you're an oligarch in the former Soviet Union, chances are you owe your billions to corruption and even overt criminal activity, and your ability to hang onto that money is entirely contingent on the sufferance of the even-more-corrupt strongmen at the top, like Vladimir Putin -- one wrong move and you may find yourself stripped of your assets (or even assassinated in broad daylight). Read the rest

Morgan Stanley, with a long rapsheet for corporate crimes, says Jeremy Corbyn holding them to account would hurt them worse than the worst Brexit

Morgan Stanley is one of the world's largest banks, so naturally it has racked up a long list of frauds, crimes, and misdemeanors, which it has emerged from largely unscathed, thanks to the unwillingness of governments to tackle corporate crime, especially in the finance sector. Read the rest

Jeremy Corbyn tears into the Tories over incoherent Brexit bumbling

A frequent criticism of Jeremy Corbyn and the revitalised, principled, post-Blair Labour Party is their lack of clarity on Brexit -- some speculated that Corbyn felt that Brexit would, at least, allow for re-nationalisation of privatised industries, something the EU might block -- but at Wednesday's Prime Minister's Questions, Corbyn shredded Theresa May and the Tories with a series of relentless, devastating questions about the slow-motion train-wreck that is the Tories' bungling handling of Brexit. Read the rest

For $25, you can target Facebook users based on race and sexual orientation

Point created an obviously fake company with tons of alarm-raising inconsistencies, allocated it $25, and then used their budget to target Facebook users based on race and sexual orientation, a move that, depending on the ad's content, can violate US civil rights law. Read the rest

Brexit: UK Tories propose changing thousands of laws in secret, without Parliamentary oversight

Much of the UK's system of laws and "unwritten constitution" derives from EU law, so with Brexit inexorably advancing, the UK has to pass a whole raft of parallel legislation that will replace the EU laws with UK versions, lest there be a "legal black hole" the day after Brexit. Read the rest

London house-purchase volume falls off a cliff

In May 2014, 259 Islington homes changed hands; in May 2016, 139 houses were sold in the Borough: this May, it was 89. Read the rest

Corbyn's Labour surges to an 8-point lead over the Tories

Yougov's latest poll numbers put the "unelectable" Jeremy Corbyn and his "unrealistic" "unworkable" political platform eight points ahead of Theresa May and her Conservative Party, who were only able to form a government by allying themselves with the terror-supporting young-Earth creationists of the DUP. Read the rest

Theresa May says she won't address climate change at the G20 summit

When the Tories led the UK into its disastrous Brexit referendum, the Conservative cheering squad of Westminster right-wing thinktanks immediately celebrated the impending "wide-ranging … revolution on a scale similar to that of the 1980s" that included "removing unnecessary regulatory burdens on businesses, such as those related to climate directives and investment fund[s]." Read the rest

The guy who thought up the Brexit Bus and its NHS lie says referendum was a "dumb idea"

One of the most enduring symbols of 2016's UK Brexit referendum was the huge red "battle bus" with its message, "We send the EU £350 million a week, let's fund our NHS instead. Vote Leave." Read the rest

Theresa May and the Holy Grail

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation's merciless mashup of the UK's bumbling pound-shop Thatcher with Monty Python's classic work of historical documentary is bound to infuriate the reactionary wing of the Pythons, but it brought a lasting smile to my face. (Thanks, Robbo!) Read the rest

A cloud shaped like Britain

This image, taken by Matt Hallas in the East Midlands, was sent into the BBC's splendid Weather Watchers page, which has many more atmospheric delights. Read the rest

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