Corporate Corruption News StoriesExcerpts of Key Corporate Corruption News Stories in Major Media
This comprehensive list of corporate corruption news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
The reptilian annual World Economic Forum at Davos, where the masters of the universe meet to congratulate themselves on their benevolent dictatorship, is home to many sinister ideas. This year, one of the creepiest discussions of all was delivered under the guise of progress and productivity. Nita Farahany, a Duke University professor and futurist, gave a presentation at Davos about neurotechnology that is creating “brain transparency.” The new technologies, which Farahany says are being deployed in workplaces around the world ... include a variety of wearable sensors that read the brain’s electrical impulses and can show how fatigued you are, whether you’re focused on the task at hand or if your attention is wandering. According to Farahany, thousands of companies have hooked workers ranging from train drivers to miners up to these devices already, in the name of workplace safety. But what we are really discussing is workplace surveillance. Farahany paints a picture of a near future in which every office worker could be fitted with a small wearable that would constantly record brain activity, creating an omnipotent record of your thoughts, attention and energy that the boss could study at leisure. Farahany acknowledges that there could be drawbacks here: “Done poorly, it could become the most oppressive technology we’ve ever introduced on a wide scale.” All of this raises the question: what exactly is your employer buying when they give you a paycheck? For bosses, the answer is simple: “Everything.”
Note: Tune into a fascinating, 17 min. conversation about this issue that raises important questions about the overreliance on technology as a tool of control, under the guise of workplace safety. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.
The “Twitter files” revealed an FBI operation to monitor and censor social media content. Dozens of FBI employees worked on the identification and removal of material on a wide range of subjects and that Twitter largely carried out their requests. Nor was it just the FBI, apparently. Emails reveal FBI figures like a San Francisco assistant special agent in charge asking Twitter executives to “invite an OGA” (or “Other Government Organization”) to an upcoming meeting. A week later, Stacia Cardille, a senior Twitter legal executive, indicated the OGA was the CIA, an agency under strict limits regarding domestic activities. Twitter’s own ranks included dozens of ex-FBI agents and executives. The dozens of disclosed emails ... do not include still-undisclosed but apparent government coordination with Facebook and other social media companies. Much of that work apparently was done through the multi-agency Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF), which operated secretly it seems to censor citizens. This is a First Amendment violation. The Twitter files have substantiated long-standing concerns over “censorship by surrogate” or proxy. As with other amendments like the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches or seizures, the government cannot use private agents to do indirectly what it cannot do directly. Just as a police officer cannot direct a security guard to break into an apartment and conduct a search, the FBI cannot use Twitter to censor Americans.
A war between China and Taiwan will be extremely good for business at America’s Frontier Fund ... according to audio from a February 1 event. The remarks occurred at a tech finance symposium hosted at the Manhattan offices of Silicon Valley Bank. “If the China-Taiwan situation happens, some of our investments will 10x, like overnight,” [a] person who identified as “Tom” said. “So I don’t want to share the name, but the one example I gave was a critical component that ... the total market value is $200 million, but it is a critical component to a $50 billion market cap. That’s like a choke point, right. And so if it’s only produced in China, for example, and there’s a kinetic event in the Pacific, that would 10x overnight, like no question about it. There’s a couple of different things like that.” AFF is surely not the only venture fund that would see stratospheric returns throughout their portfolio in the case of a destabilizing global crisis, like a “kinetic event in the Pacific” — that is to say, war. Gilman Louie, AFF’s co-founder and current CEO, serves as chair of the National Intelligence University, advises Biden through his Intelligence Advisory Board, and was tapped for the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board. Louie previously ran In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital arm. In other words, AFF stands to massively profit from a geopolitical crisis while its CEO advises the Biden administration on geopolitical crises. AFF was founded last year with support from former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
Note: While the detection of a Chinese spy balloon drums up significant fear and outrage over hostile foreign “threats,” an incisive article reveals how US surveillance of foreign countries is quite common, including their recent expansion of military bases in Southeast Asia to monitor and surveil China. Furthermore, many independent journalists are questioning the war-fueling narrative that China is a threat to national security. Watch an insightful analysis uncovering the deeper story of what’s behind the growing tensions between the US and China.
A federal appeals court in Philadelphia rejected Johnson & Johnson ‘s use of chapter 11 bankruptcy to freeze roughly 40,000 lawsuits linking its talc products to cancer, blunting a strategy the consumer health giant and a handful of other profitable companies have used to sidestep jury trials. The Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday dismissed the chapter 11 case of J&J subsidiary LTL Management LLC, which the company created in 2021 to move the talc injury lawsuits to bankruptcy court and freeze them in place. J&J is now exposed once again to talc-related cancer claims that have cost the company’s consumer business $4.5 billion in recent years and are expected to continue for decades. J&J tried to stanch those costs through an emerging corporate restructuring strategy that offered J&J and other companies the protections of bankruptcy, despite their solvent balance sheets and solid credit ratings, and put a total of more than 250,000 injury lawsuits against the businesses on hold. Monday’s decision marks the first time a federal appeals court has disapproved of the bankruptcy strategy, known in legal circles as the Texas Two-Step. The court’s decision could mark tougher scrutiny of the legal tactic, which would make it harder for big companies to move past potentially costly and time-consuming personal-injury litigation. Bankruptcy allows companies swamped by lawsuits to drive settlements of legal liabilities through a chapter 11 plan and stop litigation from advancing in the civil justice system.
Note: Johnson & Johnson knew that its products caused cancer and lied to the public about it for decades. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.
A recent Gallup poll found that a whopping 18 million Americans—including 20 percent of Americans who make less than $24,000 annually—cannot afford at least one of their prescriptions. The status quo is sad and tragic and needs to end. Congress can help by addressing seemingly monopolistic forces in the industry that may be keeping costs high. Congress should start by investigating the potential anti-competitive activities posed by the nation's leading drug wholesalers. The nation's three largest pharmaceutical distributors own an estimated 75 percent of the nation's pharmacy services administrative organizations (PSAOs)—the organizations that are supposed to negotiate good drug contract deals on pharmacies' behalf. If the major companies that sell drugs owning the entities that are supposed to restrain drug prices sounds like a clear conflict of interest, that's because it probably is one. And the fact that these three pharma distributors have already been the subject of nationwide Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission lawsuits for seemingly predatory business activities only compounds this alarming antitrust issue. A growing number of states—including Louisiana, Maryland, and Wisconsin—have begun investigating the role that PSAOs may play in America's drug price-gouging problem and have passed legislation to increase PSAO transparency and oversight. That said, this is a federal issue and requires a federal solution.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.
A number of Indigenous communities in the Amazon say that “carbon pirates” have become a threat to their way of life as western companies seek to secure deals in their territories for offsetting projects. Across the world’s largest rainforest, Indigenous leaders say they are being approached by carbon offsetting firms promising significant financial benefits from the sale of carbon credits if they establish new projects on their lands, as the $2bn (£1.6bn) market booms with net zero commitments from companies in Europe and North America. Proponents of carbon markets, especially those that aim to protect rainforests, say that carbon credits are a good way to fund the new areas and pay Indigenous communities for the stewardship of their lands. The resulting credits could then be used for climate commitments by western companies. Indigenous communities are being taken advantage of in the unregulated sector, with opaque deals for carbon rights that can last up to a century, lengthy contracts written in English, and communities being pushed out of their lands for projects. Examples include Peru’s largest ever carbon deal involving an unnamed extractive firm, where the Kichwa community claim they have been forced from their land in Cordillera Azul national park and received nothing from the $87m agreement. Several Indigenous communities spoke of training themselves in carbon market regulation and organising global exchanges to help others avoid falling victim to “carbon pirates”.
Note: An excellent investigation reveals that over 90% of rainforest offsets are likely to be “phantom credits” and do not represent real carbon reductions, yet are being used by Disney, Shell, Gucci, Salesforce, the band Pearl Jam, and other large corporations. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on climate change from reliable major media sources.
The U.S. government may have awarded roughly $5.4 billion in coronavirus aid to small businesses with potentially ineligible Social Security numbers, offering the latest indication that Washington’s haste earlier in the pandemic opened the door for widespread waste, fraud and abuse. The top watchdog overseeing stimulus spending — called the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, or PRAC — offered the estimate in an alert issued Monday and shared early with The Washington Post. It came as House Republicans prepared to hold their first hearing this week to study the roughly $5 trillion in federal stimulus aid approved since spring 2020. The suspected wave of grift targeted two of the government’s most generous emergency initiatives: the Paycheck Protection Program, known as PPP, and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan, dubbed EIDL. Studying more than 33 million applicants, the PRAC uncovered more than 221,000 ineligible Social Security numbers on requests for small-business aid. That included thousands of cases where the number was “not issued” by the government, for example, or it did not match the correct name and birth information. More than a quarter of those applications, using nearly 70,000 suspect Social Security numbers, were still approved between April 2020 and October 2022 despite the questionable data — and the government loaned those applicants about $5.4 billion, the watchdog found. The full extent of taxpayers’ losses remains unknown, even to Washington.
Among the many surprising assets uncovered in the bankruptcy of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX is a relatively tiny one that could raise big concerns: a stake in one of the country’s smallest banks. The bank, Farmington State Bank in Washington State, has a single branch and, until this year, just three employees. It did not offer online banking or even a credit card. The tiny bank’s connection to the collapse of FTX is raising new questions about the exchange and its operations. The ties between FTX and Farmington State Bank began in March when Alameda Research, a small trading firm and sister to FTX, invested $11.5 million in the bank’s parent company, FBH. At the time, Farmington was the nation’s 26th-smallest bank out of 4,800. Its net worth was $5.7 million. FTX is a now bankrupt company that was one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. A judge allowed the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell to continue advising FTX on bankruptcy. It’s unclear how FTX was allowed to buy a stake in a U.S.-licensed bank, which would need to be approved by federal regulators. Banking veterans say it’s hard to believe that regulators would have knowingly allowed FTX to gain control of a U.S. bank. “The fact that an offshore hedge fund that was basically a crypto firm was buying a stake in a tiny bank for multiples of its stated book value should have raised massive red flags for the F.D.I.C., state regulators and the Federal Reserve,” said Camden Fine, a bank industry consultant.
Note: An in-depth investigation by Whitney Webb and Ed Berger further unearths the mysterious connections between FTX and Farmington State Bank. Extending far beyond Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX, they make a case for a deeper criminal network at play, with troubling connections to this bank. Incidentally, the firm Sullivan & Cromwell has old connections with the CIA. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial industry corruption from reliable major media sources.
A pair of attorneys defending FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried against one of the biggest white-collar prosecutions in decades are veterans of high-profile cases, including ones involving drug lord “El Chapo” and disgraced socialite Ghislaine Maxwell. Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell, former federal prosecutors who are now partners in the New York-based boutique firm Cohen & Gresser ... are up against hard-charging Justice Department lawyers who moved quickly to indict Mr. Bankman-Fried after FTX’s collapse and secured two of his former top lieutenants as cooperating witnesses. The Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office this past month charged Mr. Bankman-Fried with stealing billions of dollars from FTX customers while misleading investors and lenders connected to his crypto-trading firm Alameda Research. He faces charges of fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and campaign-finance violations and pleaded not guilty last week. Messrs. Cohen, 59 years old, and Everdell, 48, have already navigated their client through a thorny extradition from the Bahamas, where Mr. Bankman-Fried had been jailed after the Justice Department requested that local police arrest him. The two lawyers worked with local counsel to secure his transfer to U.S. custody while negotiating with federal prosecutors his pretrial release under a $250 million bond. They are now tasked with combing through voluminous and technical discovery, including documents relating to FTX investors, debtors and political campaigns.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial industry corruption from reliable major media sources.
After an exhaustive historical investigation into the barrels of DDT waste reportedly dumped decades ago near Catalina Island, federal regulators concluded that the toxic pollution in the deep ocean could be far worse ... than what scientists anticipated. In internal memos made public recently, officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determined that acid waste from the nation’s largest manufacturer of DDT — a pesticide so powerful it poisoned birds and fish — had not been contained in hundreds of thousands of sealed barrels. Most of the waste, according to newly unearthed information, had been poured directly into the ocean from massive tank barges. Other chemicals — as well as millions of tons of oil drilling waste — had also been dumped decades ago in more than a dozen areas off the Southern California coast. “That’s pretty jaw-dropping in terms of the volumes and quantities of various contaminants that were dispersed in the ocean,” said John Chesnutt ... who has been leading the EPA’s technical team on the investigation. “This also begs the question: So what’s in the barrels? There’s still so much we don’t know.” These revelations build on much-needed research into DDT’s toxic — and insidious — legacy in California. As many as half a million barrels of DDT waste have not been accounted for in the deep ocean. Women face greater risk of obesity, earlier menstruation and possibly breast cancer if their grandmothers were exposed to DDT during pregnancy, researchers say.
Note: Back in 2020, LA Times wrote an excellent investigative piece on the history and background of this unsettling issue. Consider watching a brief and shocking video of how the US government made the public believe DDT was so safe you could eat it and spray it on children. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
The situation for India’s more than 260 million agricultural workers is dire. Nearly 30 people in the farming sector die by suicide daily, according to the most recent figures available, typically due to overwhelming debt. Indeed in 2020, more than 10,000 people in the agricultural sector ended their own lives, according to government data. India’s economic backbone – its farmers and their families – is in collapse. They face crushing pressures: insurmountable debt, environmental degradation, and extreme rates of cancer linked to exposure to pesticides. This strain is compounded by climate change and extreme weather – from ground water depletion to water shortages and crop damage due to rising temperatures – effects which have been tied to increasing suicides in India. Many are subsistence farmers who are drowning in the volatility caused by the Green Revolution which began in the 1960s as a way of industrializing the agriculture sector with high yielding seeds, mechanized tools and pesticides. In some cases, farmers cannot work their land due to illness linked to the revolution’s pesticides and fertilizers. They are dealing with deep-rooted battles against multinational corporations. And all the while having to take out loans each year to make the agricultural cycle possible. And then, when farmers are unable to get loans from legitimate banks, illegal moneylenders ... step in, charging exorbitant interest rates and creating an inescapable debt-trap for farmers, in some instances pushing them to suicide.
Note: Watch a compelling talk by food sovereignty advocate Vandana Shiva, who explains how the "Green Revolution" doesn't bring any gain in food security, and has done more harm than good in India. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
Vaccine-makers sought to shape content moderation actions at Twitter. Stronger, a campaign run by Public Good Projects, a public health nonprofit specializing in large-scale media monitoring programs, regularly communicated with Twitter on regulating content related to the pandemic. The firm worked closely with the San Francisco social media giant to help develop bots to censor vaccine misinformation and, at times, sent direct requests to Twitter with lists of accounts to censor and verify. Internal Twitter emails show regular correspondence between an account manager at Public Good Projects, and various Twitter officials, including Todd O’Boyle, lobbyist with the company who served as a point of contact with the Biden administration. The content moderation requests were sent throughout 2021 and early 2022. The entire campaign ... was entirely funded by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a vaccine industry lobbying group. BIO, which is financed by companies such as Moderna and Pfizer, provided Stronger with $1,275,000 in funding for the effort, which included tools for the public to flag content on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for moderation. Many of the tweets flagged by Stronger contained absolute falsehoods. But others hinged on a gray area of vaccine policy through which there is reasonable debate, such as requests to label or take down content critical of vaccine passports and government mandates to require vaccination.
Job growth and wages are slowing. This is music to the ears of Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell, because the Fed blames inflation on rising wages. The Fed has been increasing interest rates to slow the economy and thereby reduce the bargaining power of workers to get wage gains. But aren’t higher wages a good thing? The typical American worker’s wage has been stuck in the mud for four decades. Most of the gains from a more productive economy have been going to the top – to executives and investors. The richest 10% of Americans now own more than 90% of the value of shares of stock owned by Americans. Powell’s solution to inflation is to clobber workers even further. But if the demand for workers exceeds the supply, isn’t the answer to pay workers more? Not according to Powell and the Fed. Their answer is to continue to raise interest rates to slow the economy and put more people out of work, so workers can’t get higher wages. The Fed projects that as it continues to increase interest rates, unemployment will rise to 4.6% by the end of 2023 – resulting in more than 1m job losses. The problem isn’t that wages are rising. The real problem is that corporations have the power to pass those wage increases – along with record profit margins – on to consumers in the form of higher prices. If corporations had to compete vigorously for consumers, they wouldn’t be able to do this. Competitors would charge lower prices and grab those consumers away.
Note: The above was written by former US Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week, the public relations juggernaut Edelman will publish the latest edition of its “trust barometer”, an annual survey that purports to measure whether people around the world trust businesses, governments, NGOs and the media. There’s just one problem: even as Edelman promotes its brand and pursues clients with stern warnings about the importance of trust, critics charge the company appears reluctant to follow its own advice. The firm’s clients have ranged from ExxonMobil to the Saudi government and members of the Sackler family, the former owners of the opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma. Successful PR firms do more than simply promote and spin – they actually infuse the public discourse with their clients’ perspectives. “These companies are trying not just to manage trust, but to make trust,” [media studies professor Melissa] Aronczyk said. “And if they themselves are the owners of that survey, or barometer, or whatever it is, then, of course, they become the proprietors of that kind of value.” Edelman’s most effective case study might be the firm itself. It has managed to cultivate a reputation for trust even as its business model appears regularly to contradict its advice and its CEO’s admonitions. Over the past four years Edelman has signed about $9.6m worth of deals with the government of Saudi Arabia and companies controlled by the regime, while simultaneously urging businesses to stand up for human rights.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.
A Journal article in 2021 cited internal [Facebook] research showing that steps to promote engagement had favored inflammatory material, with publishers and political parties reorienting their posts toward outrage and sensationalism. After the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. said it wanted to scale back how much political content it showed users. [Chief Executive Mark] Zuckerberg and [Meta's] board chose the most drastic, instructing the company to demote posts on “sensitive” topics as much as possible ... an initiative that hasn’t previously been reported. Depending on the mix of suppression features deployed, projected Facebook traffic to Fox News, MSNBC, the New York Times, Newsmax, the Atlantic and The Wall Street Journal would initially fall by as much as 40% to 60% beyond the already enacted reductions. Suppressing civic content didn’t appear likely to convince users that Facebook wasn’t politically toxic. According to internal research, the percentage of users who said they thought Facebook had a negative effect on politics didn’t budge with the changes, staying consistently around 60% in the U.S. Ravi Iyer, a former Meta data-science manager ... said there should be more focus on the way platforms allow certain content to go viral, rather than subjective decisions about what to leave up or take down. “Having employees judge good vs. bad speech often creates more problems than it solves,” he said. “Our goal should be fewer judgment calls.”
The former attorney general for the Virgin Islands, who recently secured a $105 million settlement from the estate of Jeffrey Epstein, was recently fired following months of friction between her and the U.S. territory’s governor over the handling of the investigation into the disgraced financier, according to people briefed on the matter. Denise N. George, the former official, was dismissed by Albert Bryan Jr., the governor of the Virgin Islands, on New Year’s Eve, four days after her office sued JPMorgan Chase in federal court in Manhattan for its dealings with Mr. Epstein, who died of an apparent suicide in 2019 while in federal custody. The timing of Ms. George’s firing fueled media speculation in the Virgin Islands and beyond that the suit against JPMorgan was the immediate cause. In late December, Ms. George’s office sued JPMorgan in federal court in Manhattan, claiming that bank was derelict in providing banking services to Mr. Epstein during the time he was charged with sexually abusing teenage girls and young women at Little St. James and elsewhere in the U.S. The lawsuit accused JPMorgan of facilitating and concealing wire and cash transactions that should have raised suspicions that Mr. Epstein was engaging in the sexual trafficking of teen girls and young women. The lawsuit contends the bank essentially turned a “blind eye” to Mr. Epstein’s conduct because it was profitable. JPMorgan, the largest U.S. bank by assets, was Mr. Epstein’s primary banker from the late 1990s to 2013.
The government of the U.S. Virgin Islands alleges in a lawsuit filed this week that JPMorgan Chase "turned a blind eye" to evidence that disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein used the bank to facilitate sex-trafficking activities on Little St. James, the private island he owned in the territory until his 2019 suicide. In a more than 100-page complaint filed by U.S.V.I. Attorney General Denise George in the Southern District of New York in Manhattan on Tuesday, the territory alleges that JPMorgan failed to report Epstein's suspicious activities and provided the financier with services reserved for high-wealth clients after his 2008 conviction for soliciting a minor for prostitution in Palm Beach, Fla. The complaint says the territory's Department of Justice investigation "revealed that JP Morgan knowingly, negligently, and unlawfully provided and pulled the levers through which recruiters and victims were paid and was indispensable to the operation and concealment of the Epstein trafficking enterprise." It accused the bank of ignoring evidence for "more than a decade because of Epstein's own financial footprint, and because of the deals and clients that Epstein brought and promised to bring to the bank." "These decisions were advocated and approved at the senior levels of JP Morgan," it said. The bank allegedly "facilitated and concealed wire and cash transactions that raised suspicion of — and were in fact part of — a criminal enterprise whose currency was the sexual servitude of dozens of women and girls," according to the complaint.
Note: Just days after filing the lawsuit against JP Morgan Chase, the district attorney of US Virgin Islands was fired. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking ring from reliable major media sources.
The so-called Twitter Files, released ... by the independent journalist Matt Taibbi, set off a firestorm among pundits, media ethicists and lawmakers in both parties. It also offered a window into the fractured modern landscape of news, where a story’s reception is often shaped by readers’ assumptions about the motivations of both reporters and subjects. Mr. Musk teased the release of internal documents that he said would reveal the story behind Twitter’s 2020 decision to restrict posts linking to a report in the New York Post about Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s son, Hunter. Mr. Musk, who has accused tech companies of censorship ... pointed readers to the account of Mr. Taibbi, an iconoclast journalist. Published in the form of a lengthy Twitter thread, Mr. Taibbi’s report included images of email exchanges among Twitter officials deliberating how to handle dissemination of the Post story on their platform. Skeptics of Mr. Taibbi seized on what appeared to be an orchestrated disclosure. “Imagine volunteering to do online PR work for the world’s richest man on a Friday night, in service of nakedly and cynically right-wing narratives, and then pretending you’re speaking truth to power,” the MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan wrote in a Twitter post. Mr. Taibbi clapped back on Saturday, writing: “Looking forward to going through all the tweets complaining about ‘PR for the richest man on earth,’ and seeing how many of them have run stories for anonymous sources at the FBI, CIA, the Pentagon, White House, etc.”
Note: Matt Taibbi is one of the few journalists who reports it as he sees it and is willing to look far beneath the surface. We subscribe to his excellent reports as one very useful source of unraveling the jumble of news that comes our way. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable sources.
In response to a 2017 request from the Pentagon, Twitter kept online a network of accounts that the U.S. military used to advance its interests in the Middle East, according to internal company emails that were made public on Tuesday by The Intercept, a nonprofit publication. A counterterrorism division at Twitter knew about the arrangement, but others did not, five people with knowledge of the matter said. The situation was unusual because Twitter normally removes and publicly discloses influence campaigns conducted by governments. The internal documents published by The Intercept were provided by Twitter under its new owner, Elon Musk. Mr. Musk has made an archive of documents available to select journalists to scrutinize the decisions of the company’s previous leaders. The situation began in 2017 when an official working with U.S. Central Command requested that Twitter verify some of the military’s accounts. The accounts had been flagged by a Twitter system used to automatically detect terrorist content and were not easy to find in searches. The Pentagon asked Twitter to “whitelist” the accounts, which would prevent the automatic tools from flagging them and make them more broadly visible on the platform. Twitter’s counterterrorism team complied. While the company regularly disclosed other state-backed influence campaigns in transparency reports, executives ... feared they could violate national security laws by speaking publicly about the takedown of the campaign.
Federal regulators fined Wells Fargo a record $1.7 billion on Tuesday for “widespread mismanagement” over multiple years that harmed over 16 million consumer accounts. Wells Fargo’s “illegal activity” included repeatedly misapplying loan payments, wrongfully foreclosing on homes, illegally repossessing vehicles, incorrectly assessing fees and interest and charging surprise overdraft fees. The CFPB ordered Wells Fargo to pay the $1.7 billion civil penalty in addition to more than $2 billion to compensate consumers for a range of “illegal activity.” CFPB officials say this is the largest penalty imposed by the agency. The misconduct described by the CFPB echoes previously reported revelations that have emerged about Wells Fargo since 2016 when the bank’s fake-accounts scandal created a national firestorm. “Wells Fargo’s rinse-repeat cycle of violating the law has harmed millions of American families,” Rohit Chopra, the CFPB’s director, said in a statement. Chopra noted that the settlement does not provide immunity for individuals at Wells Fargo, and the agency recognizes the $3.7 billion in fines and restitution will not fix the bank’s problems. Although Chopra credited Wells Fargo with making some progress, he said it’s not clear “they are making rapid enough progress” and said the agency is concerned that the bank’s product launches, growth initiatives and profit-boosting efforts have “delayed needed reform.”
Note: In 2016, Wells Fargo was caught opening millions of fake accounts in its customers' names. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial system corruption from reliable major media sources.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.