China-watchers observed the rise-and-rise of Chinese premier Xi Jinping with caution and sometimes alarm, but also held out some hope that despite his authoritarian tendencies and thin skin, Xi was genuinely committed to rooting out the rampant corruption that has plagued the country since its rapid industrialization under Deng Xiaoping: the creation of an untouchable elite and a hereditary princeling class immune to civil justice; looting by respected members of the business community; and a sense that the looters are exfiltrating their money, bypassing currency controls, and stashing the booty in apartments overseas, fueling both the Bitcoin and real-estate bubbles worldwide.
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Former FBI Director James Comey was in Los Angeles talking to FBI employees when the TV in the room delivered the news that he'd been fired. "He immediately thought it was a prank, and a pretty funny one at that," says The Week. But no one else was laughing.
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His staff knew it wasn't a joke, and told Comey to wrap it up and join them in a private office. He stopped, shook hands with the employees he had been addressing, and then joined his staff, who confirmed he had been fired.
The Department of Energy has rebuffed Donald Trump's demand for the names of employees and contractors involved in shaping and executing government climate policy -- which was widely viewed as a prelude to a politicized purge, to be carried out by Trump's climate-denying DoE leadership. Read the rest
The Trump administration will put a fox in every henhouse, from the Goldman Sachs execs who'll run the treasury to the working conditions repeat offender who'll run the Department of Labor to the public school abolitionist who'll run the Department of Education, but when it comes to climate and energy, the Trump administration is pulling out all the stops. Read the rest
Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues his massive, authoritarian purge of his country's public institutions, news media and civil society groups with a fresh wave of public-sector firings, bringing the total number of jettisoned public servants to 100,000. Read the rest