Tom Steyer: The Billionaire Who Could | US News


Tom Steyer, the former hedge fund manager turned progressive environmental activist worth an estimated $1.6 billion, was Robert Rubin’s protege at Goldman Sachs before becoming one of the Democratic Party’s most generous donors and hosting Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton at his San Francisco home that sits on a cliff overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.

But this self-made investing titan who has immersed himself in the uppermost echelons of power has begun honing an outsider’s pitch: admonishing Washington’s obsession with itself, embracing a post-ideological approach and positing that those “closest to the people” will yield the most success in 2018.

Source: Tom Steyer: The Billionaire Who Could | The Report | US News

Did FBI miss a warning before Florida high school shooting?


The massacre at a Florida high school is again raising concerns about whether the FBI missed signs that might have stopped a mass shooting.

Last fall, a Mississippi bail bondsman and video blogger noticed a comment on one of his YouTube videos that said, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” He immediately reported it to YouTube and the FBI and the next day two agents came to his office to take a printout of the comment and ask him whether he knew anything about the person who posted it.

Source: Did FBI miss a warning before Florida high school shooting?

For South Korea’s military to thrive, it needs to get off the US dole | TheHill


South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in is trying to find the thin line between conciliating the North and satisfying America. Neither is easy; doing both is well-nigh impossible. But the key to success lies in following up on a pledge made by President Moon late last year.

In speaking to the Republic of Korea’s (ROK) National Assembly, he advocated that Seoul “retain overwhelming military superiority” against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in order to respond “to provocations by North Korea.”

Source: For South Korea’s military to thrive, it needs to get off the US dole | TheHill

A new military order? Defense spends by China, Russia, India on the rise | Times of India


While China, Russia and India have been increasing their defense spends, spends by the US and UK have seen a decline. Despite that the US continues to be an undisputed military giant. Its defense expenditure in 2015 was a massive $1.68 trillion, about 36 per cent of the total global military spending that year.

Source: A new military order? Defence spends by China, Russia, India on the rise – Times of India

More Banks Are Beginning to Acquire Fintech Startups


Since 2013, only 18 fintech startups were acquired by just 10 of the top 50 US banks.

Eight of the acquisition took place in 2017, the most seen in any year across the time period.

Source: More Banks Are Beginning to Acquire Fintech Startups

Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Will Lead to More Harm: We Need Broad-Based Public Investment


I think the structure of the plan is what we expected to see. It is only $200 billion in federal funding, as opposed to the headline claims of either $1.5 trillion or $1 trillion that the administration had been claiming.

Of that, $100 billion goes to this sort of grant program that kicks the funding decisions to states and localities. They are required to come up with 80 percent of the funding and the federal government only provides 20 percent.

There is $50 billion for rural projects. All of it comes back to what appears to be their belief that state and local governments need to spend even more on funding our infrastructure.

Then, there are quite a lot of boilerplate claims about leveraging the private sector.

Source: Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Will Lead to More Harm: We Need Broad-Based Public Investment

For the Love of Liberation: Let’s Stop Belittling Others and Start Organizing


The road to better insights, which many of us are still actively traveling on, is often marked by people who take the time to help us learn and grow, and who don’t belittle others simply because they’re not as informed.

During difficult times like these we’re living in, there will always be people who are prone to behave in desperate ways. Some are ready, willing and able to quickly betray themselves and/or others for anything that even just slightly appears to resemble relief or security.

They may be capable of committing themselves to the same political missteps that helped lead us all to this despicable moment we’re in.

Actual progress and change can die and do die at the hands of an overzealous optimism that relies on the same to give us anything new.

Source: For the Love of Liberation: Let’s Stop Belittling Others and Start Organizing

The perils of going digital with an imperfect design

[India]


.. digitization is actively being looked upon as a solution to numerous challenges. However, it is often forgotten that digitization is merely a mode for delivery of solutions and not the solution itself.

While digitization of a process may help in enhancing the outreach, its design process must establish clear objectives and an inclusive and good planning.

.. The agricultural lard records available online are not free of errors; also these cannot be used for legal purposes (as the website itself claims). In short, the government assumes no responsibility for the land records, they have facilitated on their websites.

In fact, the entire process has become even more cumbersome than before, thanks to the entry of another layer of authentication, the tehsildar.

Source: The perils of going digital with an imperfect design

Kerala Temple Sets An Example By Replacing Elephants With Wooden Structures For Festivals

[Kerala]


Elephants are the vital part of temple festivals in Kerala. They are used as a tribute to the God and are major attractions during these festivals. Most of the elephants are kept in captivity. The abuse and isolation that they have to face have been a much-debated topic.

.. Nalapathenneeswaram Sree Mahadeva Temple in Cherthala, situated in Alappuzha district has decided to go against the tides as they said that they will replace elephants with wooden structures.

Source: Kerala Temple Sets An Example By Replacing Elephants With Wooden Structures For Festivals

5Pointz graffiti artists were awarded millions after developer Jerry Wolkoff painted over their pieces | Quartzy


The case is of particular interest to street art lovers everywhere because it involves the famed “United Nations of graffiti” in Queens, New York called 5Pointz.

The mecca for the world’s most prominent street artists has been demolished and turned to luxury condos. This is the first time that graffiti writers—once considered a scourge upon cities, but now increasingly lauded as artists—won a lawsuit based on the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (VARA), which bestows artists certain rights to their work regardless of who owns it or where it’s installed.

Source: 5Pointz graffiti artists were awarded millions after developer Jerry Wolkoff painted over their pieces — Quartzy