Last week was a busy week, news-wise, but the Kavanaugh debacle swallowed everything else up. Here’s a quick handful of important stories you might have missed or forgotten about.
💰 Donald Trump’s Businesses Are Basically a Criminal Endeavor
This is one of those stories where you’re like “Well, yeah, duh, obviously,” but seriously, pay more attention to this. The Trump Organization is pretty much a giant cesspool of crimes and frauds.
- New York Times: Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father – The Trump family committed millions of dollars in tax fraud to enrich themselves and pass on their wealth without paying taxes on it.
- New York Times: 11 Takeaways From The Times’s Investigation Into Trump’s Wealth – The above story is a novella. If you don’t have the time, you can scan the takeaways.
- Buzzfeed News: A Series Of Suspicious Money Transfers Followed The Trump Tower Meeting – BuzzFeed News has reporters following Trump’s money trail. Don’t scoff at Buzzfeed News just because they have the Buzzfeed branding. It’s separate from their little quizzes and listicles, and they’re doing pretty good work.
- Washington Post: David A. Fahrenthold – Fahrenthold has been tracking Trump’s finances and business interests since the 2016 election and he’s dug up a lot of shady stuff.
⛈️ Climate Change Is Worse Than We Thought and We’re on a Ten-Year Time Clock
The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released a new report on climate change and the news is all bad. The report says that in order to avoid catastrophic changes to our climate, the kind of changes that will pretty much kill us all and make us miserable the whole time it’s doing it, we need to enact painfully drastic changes right now. Since the odds of that happening are slim to none… I mean, I guess we’re screwed.
- Washington Post: The world has just over a decade to get climate change under control, U.N. scientists say – This is the Post’s article summarizing the IPCC’s report.
- Washington Post: What climate change is actually expected to do – Does what it says on the tin. It’s tricky to predict what’ll happen exactly with climate change since our climate is a hugely complicated system, but here’s the experts’ best theories. Remember that in science terminology, “theory” doesn’t mean “guess,” it means “this is an idea that we have a lot of evidence for.”
- Washington Post: Trump administration sees a 7-degree rise in global temperatures by 2100 – The Trump administration’s own report predicts a 7-degree rise on global temperatures in less than 100 years. Such an increase would be… is there a word for something worse than “catastrophic”? I mean, that basically turns us into Venus, right? The Trump admin’s report concludes that we’re screwed so there’s no point in trying to fix anything and we might as well go full steam ahead.
The thing is that it’s already too late to completely correct the effects of climate change. But if we act right now, we could avoid the worst effects of climate change. That’s the ten year time clock. We have ten years to make it so we can still exist in some level of comfort on our own planet.
⚖️ The Department of Justice is Going After Anti-Trump Protesters
- CNN: DOJ demands Facebook information from ‘anti-administration activists’ – One of the basic tenants of America is that you’re allowed to protest what your government is doing. Trump’s Department of Justice is going after those protesters.
💻 Bloomberg’s Big China Hacking Story
- Bloomberg: The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies – Bloomberg says that China implanted tiny, tiny chips on computer parts they made, and they used the chips to infiltrate US servers.
When it comes to computers I’m not a hardware girl, but I follow a lot of hardware people on Twitter, and they all think there’s something hinky about this story. The general gist of their opinion seems to be that Bloomberg got close to a story, but what they reported isn’t actually accurate.
Both Apple and Amazon strenuously deny Bloomberg’s reporting, and folks in tech security and the government are all, “We have no idea what Bloomberg’s going on about.”
Apparently there were rumors of this sort of thing going around months back, but no one could confirm it. Bloomberg went ahead and reported it, so they seem to think they have it confirmed, but no one with any expertise in the arena agrees with them.
The upshot being, something’s not right with this story. @SwiftOnSecurity, a Twitter account that seems at first glance like a joke but that is run by someone with plenty of knowhow and expertise, has a long Twitter thread full of expert thoughts and resources on the story: Twitter thread.
Featured Image: Newspapers, by JonS on Flickr. Source and licensing.