We’ve heard this story before. But it still doesn’t get any easier to understand.
At a Trump rally Monday, a Secret Service agent slammed down a photographer for Time Magazine.
Gif of the moment in question in case Instagram gets pulled. Brutal. pic.twitter.com/Lh9Q65WW07
— Brian Ries (@moneyries) February 29, 2016
The incident took place at a Trump rally in Redford, VA a day before the critical Super Tuesday slate of primary elections across 13 states.
According to CNN’s Jim Acosta, the photog is named Chris Morris and he is planning on pressing charges despite being attacked by the agent.
Here’s moments prior. The reporter says “f*ck you” — that’s when it got physical pic.twitter.com/h9K2wIbEWQ
— Joe Perticone (@JoePerticone) February 29, 2016
The rally had been interrupted by numerous Black Lives Matter protestors according to Talking Points Memo.
Morris claims that he stepped out of the predetermined photography box by about 18 inches and then was assaulted.
Time photog Chris Morris tells me how he was grabbed and taken down at Trump rally pic.twitter.com/XKDJarpXda
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) February 29, 2016
Turns out that a Fascist Presidential candidate can even turn the Secret Service into a mob.
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You’ve probably been hearing a lot about something called the Panama Papers in recent days.
That’s because on Sunday morning The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and other media organizations announced the largest data leak in the history of journalism.
The leak contained 2.6 terabytes of information with over 11.5 million files that identified corruption amongst some of the top political figures in the world. It’s larger than the Wikileaks leak in 2010 or what Edward Snowden brought to light in 2013.
Now, what is in the leak exactly?
Mossack Fonseca is a law firm which specializes in the creation of shell companies and offshore accounts. It’s where the rich stash their ill-gotten or legally obtained earnings from their governments. These accounts are completely legal and can be used to protect their assets from raids or simply for inheritance reasons and estate planning.
However, there are other common reasons for stashing money in a offshore company, such as money laundering, dodging sanctions, and avoiding taxes.
The firm is based out of Panama but runs a worldwide operation.
On their website they claim to have a global network with 600 people working in 42 countries. It has franchises around the world.
It operates in tax havens including Switzerland, Cyprus, the British Virgin Islands, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man.
Mossack Fonseca has their fingers dipped in many questionable pies. From Africa’s diamond trade, the international art market, to dealing with Middle Eastern royals and Russian oligarchs.
The firm rejects that it has ever been involved with dirty money.
“Recent media reports have portrayed an inaccurate view of the services that we provide and, despite our efforts to correct the record, misrepresented the nature of our work and its role in global financial markets,” a statement on the Mossack Fonseca reads. “These reports rely on supposition and stereotypes, and play on the public’s lack of familiarity with the work of firms like ours.”
FIFA, the international football association, an organization often connected to corruption and scandal, is also featured.
The leaked documents allegedly show that FIFA ethics committee member Juan Pedro Damiani, a Uruguayan lawyer, had business links with three men who have been indicted by U.S. officials on corruption charges: former FIFA vice president Eugenio Figueredo and father and son Hugo and Mariano Jinkis.
The latter two were convicted of paying bribes to obtain broadcast rights for soccer matches in South America. Documents show that Damiani’s law firm represented a company registered to Jinkis and seven others registered to Figueredo in a tax haven.
Interestingly, the British government has been especially vocal against offshore companies in recent years, but Prime Minister David Cameron hasn’t come out of this squeaky clean. His late father is one of the names revealed in the leak.
It is not yet clear, if Cameron himself has financially gained from off shore accounts.
According to some of the reporting in the aftermath of the leak, Mossack Fonseca has helped Russian President Vladimir Putin hide $2 billion, setting up offshore banks under the name of two of his close acquaintances.
The now former Prime Minister of Iceland, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, has also been implicated and was facing calls for his resignation as the public’s confidence in his leadership had been shattered.
He resigned on Tuesday, and is the first political casualty. Also listed are Iceland’s minister of finance, Bjarni Benediktsson, and Iceland’s Interior Minister, Olof Nordal.
China’s leaders have relatives who are named in the leak, propelling the government to limit local access to western media coverage of the leak and accusing them of being biased.
In a further twist, documents show Mossack Fonseca’s links to Rami Makhlouf, a cousin of the Syrian president, even though Washington imposed sanctions Makhlouf in 2008.
Though the firm is under no obligation to comply with US sanctions, it was legally bound to react to EU measures in 2011. It took until September of that year for the firm to finally resign from Makhlouf’s companies. By that time, Syria was in the middle of a genocidal civil war.
Other world leaders in the leak include Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s prime minister; Ayad Allawi, ex-interim prime minister and former vice-president of Iraq; Petro Poroshenko, president of Ukraine; and Alaa Mubarak, son of Egypt’s former president, just to name a few.
The list of questionable characters goes on, although it gets worse. It includes Ponzi schemers, drug kingpins, tax evaders, dictators and at least one jailed sex offender.
And that’s when it becomes unbearable. The sex offender was a U.S. businessman traveling to Russia to have sex with underage orphans. He signed papers for an offshore company while he was serving his prison sentence in New Jersey.
It’s notable that Mossack Fonseca is the fourth biggest provider of offshore services, meaning that if this much information is coming from this company, larger law firms with these same services must have shocking anonymous beneficiaries.
In reply to ICIJ questions about their methods, Mossack Fonseca said that backdating of documents “is a well-founded and accepted practice” that is “common in our industry and its aim is not to cover up or hide unlawful acts.” The company is extremely protective of their clients’ privacy.
Honestly, should we be surprised by this leak?
The exposé once again emphasizes the need for world financial reform. It shows that not only is the global tax system broken, but with so many world leaders involved, global governance itself is fractured too.
Due to this leak the ability of the super rich to hide their money may be made more difficult. But if government officials themselves are doing this, how are we meant to expect them to do anything about tax havens?
The storm may be about to arrive in the United States as well.
A reporter from the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung responded to tweets about the lack of names from the United States, by saying “Just wait for what’s coming.”
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us!
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Internships are a way of life for millions of young Americans each year.
And lots of them suck. Like they suck a great deal. They can be soul crushing, demeaning and huge wastes of time and money.
Some people relocate for a semester long unpaid internship in a far-flung locale only to find out that they will be doing little more than getting coffee for the next 10 weeks.
Into this depressing mix enters Internpub, a website promising to give young people “knowledge about what they are getting themselves into when interning for a specific organization, company, or elected official.”
Founded by Ian Crueldad last year, the site boasts more than 2,500 personal reviews of popular internships around the country.
Raised by a single mom in San Jose, Crueldad graduated from George Washington University in 2015 and has been involved in politics for his entire adult life.
The self-described “political junkie” had never been involved in a startup before Internpub but felt that there was a real need for something like this.
“The idea of Internpub came from the experiences I had when I was interning in college,” Crueldad said in an interview with RISE NEWS. “I never had a bad internship myself. Nevertheless, I noticed through interacting with other interns that many of them were either unprepared for the internship, did not receive the internship experience they thought they were going to receive, or were not treated fairly Therefore I knew the idea for Internpub would provide the platform needed to help interns find the internship that best fits them.”
Crueldad said that he thinks that internships are necessary today in the US due to the fact that “more and more employers are demanding that a person have some sort of internship experience before even considering to hire them.”
Indeed, more than 1.5 million internships are filled each year in the US and the trend for more and more of this type of work is only increasing.
While young people may not need more places on the web to find internship listings, Crueldad is betting that they want to make smarter decisions about where to intern.
“I believe that in the future, Internpub could be the main website where interns can rate and review internships and be the platform that help interns start their careers,” Crueldad said.
And what about that whole entrepreneurial element? After-all, Crueldad is a pretty young guy to be running a startup that hopes to revolutionize an important part of the economy.
“I would say to a young person who wants to start their own startup is to overcome any self doubt and just get things started,” Crueldad said. “I started Internpub and received investments for it before graduating from college. I did not have a business background or a technical background when I first started Internpub. Yet I simply got things started, eventually received investments, and now the website is growing.”
For more information about Internpub, you can visit their website: www.internpub.com
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
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What’s News In This Story?
–Miami Waterkeeper Rachel Silverstein has built her non-profit into a legit force in the South Florida political and legal world.
-They’ve entered the scene at the perfect time to give our waters a fighting chance.
-From pollution to ecosystem crushing algae blooms to sea level rise and a nuclear power plant that could end up being swallowed by the sea- there’s a lot at stake right now.
–Silverstein leads a team of five lawyers and scientists who advocate for ecological protections and smart public policy through advocacy and scientific research.
–They also sue polluters. And they threaten people who are trashing Miami’s waters with lawsuits. They do that a lot.
–In 2014, Miami Waterkeeper sued Miami-Dade county to protect coral reefs that were impacted by the Port Miami dredging project. The county settled with Miami Waterkeeper and paid over $400,000 to relocate the corals to a University of Miami lab.
–Silverstein is concerned about the future of FPL’s Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant. She thinks that the plant will be submerged by the impacts of sea level rise by 2040. FPL wants to continue to use the site until at least 2052.
——Here’s Something Completely Different: ——
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