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Texas Gets US Supreme Court Review on Voided Voting Districts

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Senator Claims Acting CFPB Director is Weakening ‘Critical Agency Functions’

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Intel’s CEO sold a ton of stock after finding out about chip security flaw


Intel’s CEO reportedly sold $24 million worth of company stock and options after being informed of a serious security flaw in its chips — but before the flaw became publicly known. 

The stock sale was first reported by Business Insider.

In late 2017, Brian Krzanich, who has been chief executive of Intel since May 2013, sold as much stock as he was contractually allowed. Executives routinely sell stock, but this move caused some suspicion at the time for just how much stock Krzanich sold. 

Months later, news broke that two massive security flaws had been found in variety of computer chips — with Intel’s hardware being under particular scrutiny. Read more…

More about Cybersecurity, Intel, Ceos, Tech, and Cybersecurity

Source: http://mashable.com/2018/01/04/intel-ceo-stock-sale-security-flaw/

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Trump’s Cabinet of Billionaires operates in unprecedented (and illegal) secrecy

Eight of Trump’s 17 cabinet secretaries do not release any information about their travel schedules — a standard practice under the Obama and GW Bush administrations; 4 others only release incomplete, “sporadic” information; Treasury only started releasing Munichin’s schedule in November and six departments illegally withhold details on who their cabinet secretaries meet with (two released some information after being sued).

Source: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/30/unprecedented-secrecy.html

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Producer of Cancer Drug Ingredients Ignored Hundreds of Bad Quality Tests, FDA Says

U.S. regulators warned Fresenius SE after the company’s Indian plant that makes cancer-drug ingredients for the U.S. market aborted hundreds of drug-quality tests because they seemed like they were going to fail due to impurities.

When workers at the plant found potential tainted products, they halted the tests and said human or machine errors were to blame instead, according to a Food and Drug Administration warning letter dated Dec. 4 that cited 248 aborted checks at the West Bengal facility.

“It is essential that you initiate an immediate and comprehensive assessment of your company’s global manufacturing operations to ensure that systems and processes, and ultimately, the products manufactured, conform to FDA requirements at all your sites,” the agency said in its letter, which was posted on Tuesday.

The agency recommended that Fresenius hire a consultant to help it improve its manufacturing practices. The company, based in Bad Homburg, Germany, didn’t respond to requests seeking comments.

The names of the ingredients involved were redacted in the FDA letter.

Fresenius is one Europe’s biggest provider of health care. According to documents known as “drug master files” filed in the past with the FDA, Fresenius manufactures ingredients used in chemotherapies to treat many kinds of cancer. The India plant cited in the letter is run by a unit called Fresenius Kabi, which has over 25 manufacturing facilities worldwide.

In its warning letter, the FDA asked Fresenius to review all failed quality tests that were invalidated for products that are meant to be sold in the U.S. and to evaluate all instances when a test was aborted and determine the potential effect on the quality of drug ingredients released for distribution.

The agency also warned that if the company doesn’t correct the issues raised in the letter, FDA workers could refuse products made at the facility admission into the U.S.

Source: http://time.com/5080796/fresenius-quality-tests-india/

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Price gouging? Cancer drug price spikes from $50 to $768 per pill after change of owner

Preview A long-standing medication for cancer has become almost unaffordable for most of patients, as its price has skyrocketed 1,500 percent over four years. The company behind the drug is under fire.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Source: https://www.rt.com/business/414344-cancer-drug-price-surge-lomustine/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

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Trump tells Mar-a-Lago friends ‘You all just got a lot richer’ after he signs GOP tax bill

President Donald Trump began the holiday break by telling friends he invited to Mar-a-Lago for dinner that “You all just got a lot richer,” referring to the Republican tax bill — which largely benefits the wealthy. Trump told his guests this Friday evening just hours after signing the bill into law, according to CBS News.

Trump likes to argue the tax bill will not benefit him personally or high-income earners more broadly, and instead protects low- and middle-income earners. He’s repeatedly made this claim to the American public in speeches.

“This is going to cost me a fortune, this thing, believe me,” he said last month in Missouri while pitching the GOP tax bill. “This is not good for me. Me, it’s not so — I have some very wealthy friends. Not so happy with me, but that’s OK. You know, I keep hearing Schumer: ‘This is for the wealthy.’ Well, if it is, my friends don’t know about it.”

Trump’s repeated claim that he nor any of his wealthy friends would benefit is false. As PolitiFact noted, Trump “should come out far ahead” under this tax bill. Independent analysis by the New York Times and NBC found he could save $1 billion dollars. Washington Post’s Greg Sargent recently echoed these reports:

Rs keep claiming their plan is fundamentally a middle class tax cut in the short term.

Here’s the reality, using TPC data averages.

Bottom quintiles get relatively tiny tax cuts.

Top 1% gets over $50,000

Top 0.1% gets nearly $200,000https://t.co/ijnySc7FTt pic.twitter.com/6ZdTGLtyKm

— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) December 19, 2017

It’s impossible to definitively know how much Trump benefits as he refuses to release his tax returns. The New York Times and NBC used a leaked 2005 tax return and his estimated wealth in its analysis. However, the tax law will undoubtedly help top earners.

“There’s clearly no question that the benefits of this tax break are going to go primarily to the top 4 percent [of earners],” senior fellow at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy Matt Gardner told CNBC’s John Schoen.

According to the Tax Policy Center (TPC), about 90 percent of earners receive a tax break under the GOP tax bill, which adds $1.5trillion to the deficit over a decade. However this tax break is temporary because most changes to individual filers expire after 2025, due to Senate budget rules. The corporate tax cut — from a 35 percent to 21 percent rate, however, is permanent.

Those top earners are the exclusive demographic at Mar-A-Lago: only the most elite can afford to this kind of direct access to the president. Since Trump’s inauguration, initiation fees at the club have risen to $200,000 and the annual membership has gone up to $15,000. That doesn’t include additional fees for events, like the New Year’s Eve party, where tickets are as much as $750 per person.

Source: https://thinkprogress.org/trump-tells-mar-a-lago-friends-you-all-just-got-a-lot-richer-after-he-signs-gop-tax-bill-0a0c4c0edd5a/