Author Archives: Alice Green

Trump Strikes Unexpected Trade Deal with EU

President Trump met with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday to talk about trade. At the end of the meeting, the two leaders announced a plan to work towards the elimination of all tariffs and trade barriers between the EU and the US. Trump had proposed the complete elimination of barriers the day before, suggesting on Twitter that the ...

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SCOTUS Eliminates Union Fair Share Fees

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that unions cannot force government employees to pay dues. The ruling essentially overturns a 41-year-old decision that had given states the authority to decide whether public employees, including non-members, were required to contribute to the unions that represent them. “The 5-4 decision fulfills a longtime wish of conservatives to get rid of the so-called ...

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Facebook Puts Health Research Project on Hold Amid Privacy Concerns

Facebook has decided to pause a patient data harvesting program it says was intended to help connect doctors with patients in need of specialized care. The decision, announced Thursday, comes amid increasing criticism regarding the Cambridge Analytica data leak scandal. The health research project, led by Stanford cardiologist Freddy Abnousi, aimed to combine anonymized medical data (provided by hospitals) with ...

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Tennessee Lawmaker Takes on Facebook to Protect Privacy

The FTC announced last week it had opened an official, non-public investigation into Facebook’s privacy practices after the company allowed access to consumers’ information to a third party. Not only does this data-sharing represent a violation of users’ trust, but it most likely violates a consent decree imposed on Facebook after it settled a similar FTC investigation in 2011. To ...

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China Softens – Agrees to Negotiate over Trade Deficit

The stock market made a sharp recovery on Monday after China offered to negotiate better trade deals to decrease its trade surplus with the US. The Dow Jones jumped 669.4 points Monday (the biggest single-day gain since 2008) following a massive loss last week amid concerns of a trade war between the US and China. The market fluctuations came after ...

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China Responds to Tariffs by Targeting Trump’s Voter Base

In response to President Trump’s trade offensives, China is planning to implement tariffs on key agricultural exports like soybeans, sorghum, and live hogs – a move that will disproportionately affect states that voted for Trump. Retaliatory plans were laid out last month during a meeting between China’s Commerce Ministry and Chinese companies that import significant amounts of US farm products. ...

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Putin Wins Presidential Election (Big Surprise…)

Vladimir Putin won the Russian presidential election on Sunday with an expected landslide victory that saw him earn over 75% of the vote. With an approval rating around 80% and support from the ruling party and state media, his victory was never in question. Putin’s fiercest rival – opposition leader Alexei Navalny – was banned from participating in the election. ...

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China Expands Party Policing to All Government Workers

The National People’s Congress on Sunday approved a sweeping government overhaul that cements the Communist Party’s control over key functions of the government. “To turn today’s crushing momentum against corruption into a crushing victory, we must further strengthen the party’s leadership,” said party official Yang Xiaodu. The changes include the formation of a “National Supervision Commission” that will be tasked with ...

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Apple Hands Database to Chinese Government

Last week, Apple transferred all iCloud accounts registered in China (and the digital keys needed to unlock them) to Guizhou-Cloud Big Data (GCBD), a sate-run company based in China’s Guizhou province. GCBD has close ties to the Chinese government and the Communist Party. What this means is that Chinese authorities will no longer have to go through an international legal ...

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