Headlines 

Cambridge Analytica Took 50M Facebook Users’ DataAnd Both Companies Owe Answers

Cambridge Analytica, a data analysis firm that worked on President Trump's 2016 campaign, and its related company, Strategic Communications Laboratories, pilfered data on 50 million Facebook users and secretly kept it, according to two reports in The New York Times and The Guardian. The apparent misuse of Facebook data—and the social media giant's failure to police it—leave both companies with plenty still to answer for. Facebook has suspended both Cambridge and SCL while it investigates whether both companies retained Facebook user data that had been provided by third-party researcher Aleksandr…

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The Geeks Who Put a Stop to Pennsylvania’s Partisan Gerrymandering

The morning John Kennedy was set to testify last December, he woke up at 1:30 am, in an unfamiliar hotel room in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, adrenaline coursing through his veins. He'd never gone to court before for anything serious, much less taken the stand. Some time after sunrise, he headed to the courthouse, dressed in a gray Brooks Brothers suit, and spent the next several hours reviewing his notes and frantically pacing the halls. “I think I made a groove in the floor,” Kennedy says. By 3:30 pm, it was finally…

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A Blockbuster Indictment Details Russia’s Attack on US Democracy

Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation into Russia’s impact on the 2016 election entered a new phase Friday, as his team indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian organizations for their “conspiracy” to illegally influence the US presidential campaign. It was an indictment unprecedented in American history—a direct and public charge that America’s main foreign adversary meddled extensively, expensively, and expansively in the core of the American democratic process, attempting to influence voters, spread disparaging information about the Democratic nominee, and “help” presidential candidate Donald Trump take office. The new charges…

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Blockbuster Reforms May Take Back Seat as Modi Eyes Elections

India’s national sales tax might be the last big-ticket reform from Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he prepares for about a dozen of state polls and seeks re-election in 2019, government officials say. Modi is expected to conclude already-underway measures such as the privatization of state carrier easier to do business in India, reforming taxation and taking measures to pull banks out of their bad debt trap. Still, while global investors look favorably at Modi, his policies have not addressed the growing disenchantment among farmers and unemployed youth and senior…

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How a Tokyo-Born Outsider Became the Face of Czech Nationalism

Tomio Okamura’s background is about as multicultural as you can get. The son of a Czech mother and a Japanese-Korean father, he suffered racist bullying in Japan and the Czech Republic that was so severe he developed a stutter and wet his bed until the age of 14. Which may or may not help explain why his Czech political party is adamantly opposed to immigration, wants the country to leave the European Union and compares Islam to “Hitler-style Nazism.” The message is resonating: Okamura’s Freedom and Direct Democracy may become the fourth-strongest…

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Headlines 

Las Vegas Horror Drives All-Too-Predictable Gun Stock Rally

The grim predictability of stock-market reactions to U.S. mass shootings—where before a final tally of casualties can be reached, shares of gun makers rise—continued Monday in the wake of a Las Vegas attack that killed at least 58 and wounded 515. Historically, gun stocks have experienced a bump after a mass shooting for reasons both political and emotional. Gun sales typically rise over concerns that a deadly event could lead to more stringent gun-control legislation. An additional driver of sales, and by extension shares, is the rush by some consumers to purchase guns to…

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Odds and Ends 

Leaked NSA report names Russia in pre-election hacks, contradicting Putins claims of innocence

Attribution is not an easy thing to do in the case of cyberattacks, especially if the actors have been careful. But the NSA seemed confident enough regarding certain pre-election hacks that it has directly named Russian intelligence as the perpetrators an accusation rather at odds with President Putins claims that the country never engaged in that type of activity. The information comes courtesy of The Intercept, which obtained a top secret report from the NSA, issued in May and subsequently confirmed as genuine. The 5-page report can be read in…

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