A Dubai real estate mogul and former business partner of Donald Trump was sentenced to prison for collaborating on a deal that would swindle the Egyptian people out of millions of dollars — but then he turned to ISDS and got his prison sentence wiped away.
In El Salvador, a court found that a factory had poisoned a village — including dozens of children — with lead, failing for years to take government-ordered steps to prevent the toxic metal from seeping out. But the factory owners’ lawyers used ISDS to help the company dodge a criminal conviction and the responsibility for cleaning up the area and providing needed medical care.
Two financiers convicted of embezzling more than $300 million from an Indonesian bank used an ISDS finding to fend off Interpol, shield their assets, and effectively nullify their punishment.
Source: ‘Trade Deals’ & Corporate Sovereignty: How Convicted Executives Escape Punishment | Techdirt
This week marks the 20th anniversary of “welfare reform,” the 1996 law passed by Congress and administered by President Bill Clinton that strictly limited the amount of federal cash assistance that the poorest Americans can receive — transforming the Aid for Families with Dependent Children program into the more restrictive Temporary Aid for Needy Families.One of the main impacts of the law was to help double the number of American households living in extreme poverty in America – defined as living on less than $2 a day.
Source: 20 Years Later, Poverty Is Up, But Architects of “Welfare Reform” Have No Regrets
IN THE SUMMER months, 84 inmates at the Price Daniel Unit, a medium-security prison four hours west of Dallas, share a 10-gallon cooler of water that’s kept locked in a common area. An inmate there can expect to receive one 8 oz. cup every four hours, according to Benny Hernandez, a man serving a 10-year sentence at the prison. The National Academy of Medicine recommends that adults drink about twice that amount under normal conditions and even more in hot climates. According to Hernandez, in the summer the temperature in his prison’s housing areas can reach an astonishing 140 degrees.The prison provides ice for the cooler twice a day, but the ice has long melted before the hottest part of the day, he wrote in a post on Prison Writers, a website where inmates share their experiences behind bars. “Prisoners look upon the summer months in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) with dread and trepidation,” he wrote. “For one is acutely aware that one may not survive another summer. Many do not.”
Source: “Deadly Heat” in U.S. Prisons Is Killing Inmates and Spawning Lawsuits
As part of its criminal case against Megaupload, the U.S. Government seized several domain names belonging to Kim Dotcom’s file-hosting service. Nearly five years later the authorities still control the domains but they haven’t done a very good job of securing them. Megaupload.org now links to a soft porn portal.
Source: FBI-Controlled Megaupload Domain Now Features Soft Porn – TorrentFreak
It’s not uncommon for Zellerbach to go missing when people need him. When Zellerbach ran the DA’s office, he was rarely there. The DEA found his office to be just as accommodating, with or without him, though. Although the DEA was supposed to run its wiretap warrant requests through federal judges and have them signed by the district attorney himself, it often found it easier to obtain a signature from whoever happened to be at the office and run them by Riverside County judge Helios Hernandez, who approved five times as many wiretap applications as any other judge in the US.The wiretap applications’ reach frequently exceeded their jurisdictional grasp, traveling far outside of Riverside County, California, to be deployed against suspects as far away as North Carolina. But that was only one issue with the warrants applications approved by Zellerbach’s office.
Source: Arrest Warrant Issued For District Attorney Involved In DEA’s California Wiretap Warrant Mill | Techdirt
The CEO of a former Fortune 500 company, who is also the daughter of a U.S. senator, is under fire for jacking up the rates of a life-saving anti-allergy treatment.
Source: EpiPen Uproar Highlights Company’s Family Ties to Congress
Over the last few weeks there’s been plenty of controversy over plans on the Côte d’Azur in the south of France to ban burkinis — a kind of full body bathing suit favored by some Muslim women. As the Guardian pointed out recently, the whole thing seems like a “bizarre inversion” of Muslim countries where making sure women are covered is enforced
Source: Nice Officials Say They’ll Sue Internet Users Who Share Photos Of French Fashion Police Fining Women In Burkinis | Techdirt
John Krenik lives in St. Paul, Minn. and owns two collector cars that he keeps in his driveway. I’d like to tell you more about the cars, but I can’t because they’re both under tarps. Tarps that were used to “screen” the cars, per Minnesota law. Incredibly, this isn’t enough for Krenik’s neighbors or the state of Minnesota, which has declared these cars a public health hazard. Get ready to get so frustrated you punch your screen.
Source: Stupid Stupid Minnesota Law Says Cars Parked In A Driveway Are A Safety Hazard
Audit finds lack of oversight has “diminished the system’s crime-fighting value.”
Source: Error-filled state gang database lists 42 people less than 1 year old | Ars Technica
Cook is “optimistic” that both parties will want to slash corporate tax rates next year, at which point Apple may deign to pay its taxes.
Source: CEO Tim Cook Decides Apple Doesn’t Have to Pay Corporate Tax Rate Because It’s “Unfair”