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It Only Costs Google $20 Million A Year To Control The U.S. Government

(Zero Hedge) Google has fired six of its largest lobbying firms in an attempt to overhaul its global government affairs and policy operations amid greater government scrutiny of its business, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Over the last few months, the company has changed its roster of lobbying firms, as well as its Washington policy team, and lost two senior officials who helped build its “influence operation” into one of the largest in the nation’s capital. The company had been paying about $20 million annually for lobbying, and the firms that Google has now let go made up about half of that cost.

The shake up is part of a “continuing modernization” of Google’s influence operation and it comes at a time when government scrutiny has never been more of a factor. The Justice Department is reportedly getting ready to conduct an antitrust investigation into the company and Congress and state attorneys general are also reviewing its practices. Some politicians are even calling for the company to be broken up.

And so Google is taking the paltry $20 million per year that it has been using to control the government and trying to reallocate it. Among those who are no longer working for the company are “Charlie Black, a longtime Republican strategist, and firms that have relationships with senior Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, including Off Hill Strategies LLC, which has ties to fiscally conservative Republicans.”

People familiar with the restructuring say that it helps reflect the company’s global reach and will help it deal with regulators and lawmakers across regions and markets. The moves are also seen as a shake up by Google’s new head of policy and government relations, Karan Bhatia.

Bhatia was brought in last summer to serve as Google’s VP of Policy and Government Relations and, since then, he’s been reassessing the company’s lobbying needs. Susan Molinari, a former Republican congresswoman, stepped down as Google’s head of Washington operations last year and the company has yet to name a successor.

Another executive leaving Google during the shake up is Adam Kovacevich, who ran the firm’s public-policy division. He led the company’s campaign to head off a 2012 FTC investigation into anti-competitive tactics and also helped launch several advocacy groups to help promote public policy matters that benefited the company.

In 2006, Google was spending about $800,000 on lobbying and had four firms on retainer. By 2018, the company had 100 lobbyists across 30 firms and spent $21.7 million to lobby Washington. This sum made it the largest spender on lobbying among US corporations, despite the relatively small dollar amount for the massive tech giant.

The company also spends millions on donations to think tanks, political entities, universities and other third-party groups that generate data and host conferences that help Google shape the debate into its business practices.

Meanwhile, Google employees helped the company become one of the largest sources of donations to the Democratic Party and candidates like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. In the 2018 elections, Google’s employee funded PAC donated $1.9 million to political candidates in both parties. Employees of the company donated a total of $1.6 million to Clinton’s 2016 campaign and after Obama took office in 2012, Google and its lobbying team “scored a string of victories” in Washington, like fending off the FTC from an anti-trust case.

Google also won favorable net neutrality rulings from the FCC and secured favorable legislation on self driving vehicles.

But over the last few years the company has continued to hit headwinds from both sides of the aisle while its public image has taken a beating over privacy concerns and critics claiming that it fails to police content.

The new lobbying structure has regional leaders in the US, Canada, Asia, the Pacific, Europe and countries that the company views as emerging markets. It also includes teams that will continue to lobby governments in areas like privacy and handling controversial content.

The preceding information is a news update. In general, staying informed as to events taking place is essential as an individual because it helps you navigate the world, and socially because you can gain and maintain rapport with your fellows. This rapport can be used to share information that can help others and improve the conditions of humanity in general. However, one must learn how to exercise discernment and proper critical thinking so they can make effective use of information gained.

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Underworld

US coronavirus medicine will cost $ 3120

Gilead Sciences, an American biopharmaceutical company, has announced the value of its coronavirus drug. The general course of treatment for 5 days will have a price tag of $ 2,340.

Until September, remdesivir will be sold only in the United States. The cost of a full course of treatment for people with private insurance is $ 3,120, for an ampoule – $ 520. For patients with state insurance, as well as for patients from other countries, the price of the drug will be $ 2,340 per course and 390 per bottle.

Remdesivir was approved in early May for the treatment of coronavirus in the United States. Although the drug was originally developed to combat Ebola, it was not able to show visible results against this disease. But later, the drug had an effect in the treatment of SARS and MERS infections.

A large clinical study by the National Institute of Allergology and Infectious Diseases showed that the drug reduced recovery time by an average of four days, but did not affect the number of deaths.

Since the United States has a fairly large network of insurance institutions, the importance of remdesivir is not only in its benefit to the patient, but also for the healthcare system.

“Based on the example of the United States, an earlier discharge from the hospital will save her about $ 12 thousand per patient,” said Daniel O’Day, director general of Gilead Sciences.

Since receiving permission for emergency use of the drug, Gilead Sciences has transferred remdesivir to hospitals to treat patients. The last batches of donated drugs were distributed on Monday, June 29th.

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In Germany, for almost 30 years, the authorities secretly gave orphans to pedophiles

In Germany, the University of Hildesheim published the final report on the scandalous Kentler project – a terrifying social experiment, during which for about 30 years children were given up for adoption to pedophiles, calling it molestation “socialization” and “sexual education,” Deutsche Welle writes.

In the 1960s in Germany, people in some circles viewed sex with children not as taboo, but as something progressive. One of the key figures in such thinking was Helmut Kentler, professor of psychology and pedagogy in Berlin. For a long time he was considered a seer and one of the most prominent sexologists in Germany. His books on education sold well, he was a popular expert and commentator on radio and television, and held leading positions in the Berlin center for educational research. 

The psychologist founded the theory of “emancipatory sexual education”, suggesting that children have the right to express their sexuality. Beginning in the 1970s, he conducted clinical trials in which pedophiles were allowed to adopt homeless teenage boys aged 13 to 15 for their “mutual benefit”. According to Kentler, pedophiles could become particularly loving adoptive parents.

By 1988, the professor summed up the results of the first stage of the experiments, calling it successful. He argued that sexual relations between adoptive fathers and minors are harmless and help adolescents quickly adapt to society and facilitate the process of growing up. The fact that the boys entered into adulthood with a broken psyche did not bother Kentler.

The experiments were secret, but were carried out with the full approval of the authorities of West Berlin. In his papers, the psychologist wrote that he “managed to enlist the support of responsible local authorities”: from academic institutions to state social welfare services.

For many years, the professor managed to convince the authorities of the normality of his ideas, so he was never prosecuted by the court. By the time his victims made statements, his statute of limitations had expired. The scandal flared up only in 2015; Kentler himself died in 2008.

When the full-scale investigation began, it turned out that there was a whole network in which officials from the Berlin Office for Juvenile Affairs, the city Senate and a number of educational institutions were involved. All of them “accepted, supported and defended” the experiment and its adult participants. In addition, it was possible to establish that among the adoptive fathers were, including eminent scientists from the Max Planck Institute, the Free University of Berlin and the Odenwald school, which are now suspected of pedophilia. (By the way, the Odenwald school was already the subject of litigation in 2014, when a case was launched on the corruption of minor students.) According to Marco and Sven, who became victims of the experiment, one person, The suspect in involvement in this system – the former head of the youth welfare service – is still alive. However, no investigation has yet been made.

The first report on the Kentler experiment was published in 2016 by the University of Gottingen. Researchers then stated that the Berlin Senate did not seem interested in clarifying the truth.

Berlin senator for youth and children Sandra Sheres called the results of the investigation of the University of Hildesheim “shocking and terrifying.” She openly expressed her sympathy for the victims and condemned the crimes, which she calls “simply unimaginable.” Although the statute of limitations for these crimes has expired, Sheres promised financial compensation for the suffering.

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Largest ever CIA cyber weapon secret data leak

The reason for the largest secret data leak in the history of the CIA in 2016 was the negligence of elite personnel who focused on creating a new cyber weapon to the detriment of improving the security of computer systems. 

This is written by the American publication The Washington Post with reference to the organization’s internal report, which was written in 2017.

It is noted that the leak was discovered only a year after it occurred, after the WikiLeaks organization published a large archive called “Vault 7”. At the same time, the report says that the CIA might not have known about the leak if WikiLeaks had not released the documents. 

“If the data got to the enemy state and remained secretly with them, we would not know anything about their loss,” the report said.

The authors of the documents also wrote that the exact size of the stolen information could not be established. It probably reaches 34 terabytes, or 2.2 billion pages. It is noted that the level of security system developed by the CIA cyber division was “terribly weak”.

After an internal investigation as a result of leakage under suspicion of transferring WikiLeaks about CIA operations data was Joshua A. Schulte, a former employee of the security services. He was one of the developers of programs that the CIA uses to hack into computers of people suspected of terrorism. In March 2020, the jury could not reach a verdict in the Schulte case.

The archive “Vault 7” mentioned software developed by the special service that allows access to phones running iOS and Android, computers running Windows and smart TVs by Samsung.

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