News Dump Wednesday: Less Than Surprising Edition
Right-wing corruption in Brazil? You don't say
Brazil has been rocked by allegations that a prominent judge repeatedly collaborated with prosecutors during high-profile corruption investigations – including the controversial case that imprisoned former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Prosecutors also allegedly discussed strategies to block a newspaper’s attempts to interview Lula during last year’s election campaign, according to the Intercept, which published cellphone chats it said it had received from an anonymous source.
Opinion polls had indicated that Lula was likely to win the 2018 presidential poll until he was imprisoned and forced out of the race. His last-minute replacement, Fernando Haddad was beaten by the far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro – who then appointed Moro as justice minister.
Lula has been imprisoned since April 2018.
Trump threatens to end occupation of Germany? How terrible
Donald Trump upped his criticism of Germany on Wednesday as he threatened sanctions over Angela Merkel’s continued support for a gas pipeline from Russia and warned that he could shift troops away from the NATO ally over its defense spending.
Echoing previous threats about German support for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Trump said he’s looking at sanctions to block the project he’s warned would leave Berlin “captive” to Moscow. The U.S. also hopes to export its own liquefied natural gas to Germany.
That gathering came days after the EU’s longest-serving leader took Trump to task at a commencement address at Harvard University, urging students to “tear down walls” and not to treat “lies as truth.” Without naming the U.S. leader, Merkel left little doubt as to whom she might mean to a crowd who cheered her on.
In the latest sign of Trump’s frustration over German defense spending, the president said he’s discussed sending as many as 2,000 more U.S. troops to Poland -- and might take them from Germany since he believes Berlin isn’t spending enough on defense as a partner in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. There are more than 30,000 U.S. troops in Germany.
It's called moonlighting
Despite a healthy economy and a strong labor market, 3 in 10 working Americans with a side hustle say they need the extra income to help cover the cost of regular living expenses. That’s one of the key findings from Bankrate’s latest Side Hustle Survey of 2,550 adults. Wages have started to tick up, but they’re no match for the rising cost of living.
“We have seen income stagnation for quite some time,” says Alexandrea Ravenelle, an assistant professor at Mercy College. “And even though incomes are finally back to where they were before the Great Recession, there’s still a perception for a lot of people that their income is just not hitting their expenses. Even if incomes are going up, expenses seem to be going up even faster.”
Overall, nearly half of working Americans (45 percent) report having a gig outside of their primary job. That’s true for 43 percent of full-time workers.
The new normal: Living in your car
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the homeless population in the United States hit 552,830 in 2018, but many believe that the true number is actually a lot higher...
A survey that was conducted in the Seattle area last year found that the number of people living in their vehicles had risen 46 percent over the past 12 months. And according to a report that was just recently released, approximately 16,500 people are currently living in their vehicles in the city of Los Angeles...
In the state of California alone, approximately 399,000 community college students reported “some period of homelessness in the previous year”, and 20 percent of them indicated that they had slept in their vehicles...
instead of trying to address the root issues, many of our lawmakers have decided that it is far easier to pass laws making it illegal to sleep in vehicles…
A recent survey by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP), which tracks policies in 187 cities, found the number of prohibitions against vehicle residency has more than doubled during the last decade.