Cameron says he had ‘big economic investment’ in Greensill Capital

David Cameron has said he had a “big economic investment” in Greensill Capital but insisted that did not motivate his intense lobbying of the Government for the collapsed firm. The Conservative former prime minister said it was a “panful day” for him on Thursday as he gave evidence to MPs over his controversial lobbying of senior figures including Chancellor Rishi Sunak. Mr Cameron placed calls and sent dozens of texts and emails to ministers and senior officials as he appealed for their help in gaining access for Greensill to Government Covid support programmes. Rishi Sunak (Yui Mok/PA) Appearing before the Commons Treasury Committee, he insisted there was “absolutely…

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Weaponizing Trump’s Big Lie: Ari Berman on GOP’s War on Democracy & Voting Rights

This year Democracy Now! is celebrating our 25th anniversary—that's 25 years of bringing you fearless, independent reporting. Since our very first broadcast in 1996, Democracy Now! has refused to take government or corporate funding, because nothing is more important to us than our editorial independence. But that means we rely on you, our audience, for support. Please donate today in honor of our 25th anniversary and help us stay on air for another 25 years. We can't do our work without you. Right now, a generous donor will even DOUBLE your gift, which means it’ll go twice as far! This is a challenging time for us all, but…

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Shoshana Zuboff: Facebook’s Oversight Board Is Not Enough. The Government Has to Regulate Big Tech

This year Democracy Now! is celebrating our 25th anniversary—that's 25 years of bringing you fearless, independent reporting. Since our very first broadcast in 1996, Democracy Now! has refused to take government or corporate funding, because nothing is more important to us than our editorial independence. But that means we rely on you, our audience, for support. Please donate today in honor of our 25th anniversary and help us stay on air for another 25 years. We can't do our work without you. Right now, a generous donor will even DOUBLE your gift, which means it’ll go twice as far! This is a challenging time for us all, but…

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As Global Pandemic Worsens, U.S. Keeps Blocking Vaccine Patent Waivers Amid Big Pharma Lobbying

Big Pharma has hired an army of lobbyists to pressure U.S. lawmakers to block an effort at the World Trade Organization to loosen intellectual property rules on COVID-19 vaccines, which would allow countries around the world to ramp up production, vaccinate more people and bring the pandemic to an end sooner. Dozens of countries from the Global South, led by India and South Africa, are demanding a temporary waiver on vaccine patents, but rich countries, including the U.S. under both the Trump and Biden administrations, have opposed the move. Lee Fang, investigative journalist at The Intercept, says there is a “glut” of vaccines going to wealthy countries while…

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The government must prove it’s not helping big pharma screw over poorer countries getting vaccines

MPs and campaigners are urging the government to prove it’s not putting the interests of pharmaceutical companies above poor countries in need of vaccines. Cross-party MPs came together to demand the government publish details of communications with pharmaceutical companies and lobbyists to ensure businesses have not been given preferential treatment in vaccine policy. This comes amid revelations that the Covax programme, meant to provide vaccines to poorer countries, is severely behind on its delivery targets. Pharmaceutical and humanitarian campaigners have called for intellectual property rights on vaccines to be waived so they can be mass-produced and get to struggling nations faster. However, the UK, along with the US…

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Tory government refuses to give details of its renewed NHS contract with this ‘Big Brother’ firm

The Johnson-led government is refusing to publish further details of an NHS contract with a US firm. This firm has been embroiled in controversies relating to intelligence gathering for several years. More transparency needed Palantir was co-founded by billionaire Peter Thiel. Thiel is a board member and major investor of Facebook and was a member of Donald Trump’s transition team. In the UK, Palantir has been awarded a £23m extension of its NHS datastore contract, but this was scrutinised by openDemocracy. This resulted in the government reportedly agreeing “not to extend Palantir’s contract beyond COVID without consulting the public”. openDemocracy also said that the government agreed “to engage…

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Will Georgia’s Voting Law Be Repealed as Big Business Joins Critics Opposing “Jim Crow” Suppression?

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.AMY GOODMAN: A stunning new report from the Brennan Center for Justice finds Republican state lawmakers have now introduced 361 bills to restrict voting rights across 47 states. Restrictive bills are now moving through legislatures in 24 states, and 29 bills have already been passed by at least one chamber of statehouses. Early on Thursday morning, the Republican-controlled Texas Senate approved a bill to limit early voting hours, ban ballot drop boxes, end drive-thru voting and to allow poll watchers to videotape voters. This is one of just 49 bills to restrict voting being considered in…

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“A Big Deal”: Bill McKibben on Rutgers Fossil Fuel Divestment & the Future of Climate Justice

Rutgers University has voted to begin divesting from fossil fuels, following a campaign by the student-organized Endowment Justice Collective that grew out of the Global Climate Strike in 2019. The organizing efforts led to a referendum vote in 2020 in which 90% of students supported divestment. About 5% of Rutgers’s $1.6 billion endowment is invested in fossil fuels, and under the terms of the agreement, it will now cease new fossil fuel investment and divest from passive index funds with fossil fuel investments. It said it also plans to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency and that the school’s investment office will annually report on divestment progress.…

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Share the Technology: Experts Say We Must End Big Pharma Monopoly on COVID Vaccine Supply & Price

As rich countries race to roll out their vaccination programs, leaders in the Global South and global health advocates are increasingly decrying vaccine hoarding that has pushed poorer countries to the back of the line during the pandemic. Some rich countries have secured enough COVID-19 vaccines to inoculate their populations several times over, while poorer countries struggle to secure enough doses, almost certainly prolonging the pandemic by months or even years. Public health policy expert Dr. Mohga Kamal-Yanni says an obvious way to address the issue is to share technology so more companies in more countries can produce the vaccines. “There is a supply issue,” she says. “We’re…

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Is Big Tech Too Powerful? Chris Hedges & Ramesh Srinivasan Debate Twitter & Facebook Banning Trump

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The Quarantine Report. I’m Amy Goodman. After years of debate, Twitter and Facebook have removed President Trump from their platforms. Today we’ll host our own debate on the moves by Big Tech. Twitter permanently suspended Trump Friday, cutting off his instant line of communication with 89 million followers, after reviewing two tweets it said could incite violence and contribute to a possible, quote, “secondary attack” on the U.S. Capitol and other government facilities next weekend, ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration Wednesday. Trump’s tweets were, quote, “The 75,000,000 great American…

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