In another major blow to Uber’s ability to operate profitably within the European Union, the EU’s highest court ruled on Wednesday that the ride-hailing app company is, in fact, a transportation company, and its drivers should be subjected to all pertinent regulations for taxi and livery-cab drivers. The decision opens the US ride-hailing app up to tougher national regulation in Europe’s 28 member states. The judgment effectively shifts Uber’s legal status from a digital company to a transportation company, giving it less freedom from regulation in the EU’s single market, according to the Financial Times. What’s worse, the final ruling from Luxembourg judges cannot be appealed and follows a preliminary ECJ opinion earlier this year that said Uber was more than a ‘mere intermediary’ for customers trying to hail a cab, despite its use of mobile technology.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 20, 2017.
Episode #204 of SUNDAY WIRE SHOW resumes on Oct 1st, 2017 as host Patrick Henningsen brings you this week’s LIVE broadcast on the Alternate Current Radio Network (ACR) – covering all the top news stories both at home and internationally… LISTEN LIVE ON THIS PAGE AT THE FOLLOWING SCHEDULED SHOW TIMES: 5pm-8pm UK Time | 12pm-3pm ET (US) | 9am-12am PT (US) This week the SUNDAY WIRE is broadcasting LIVE from the UK as host Patrick Henningsen joined is in-studio by special guest, Adam Garrie, editor of the The Duran, covering the biggest stories internationally. In the first hour, we’ll cover the fall-out from the recent Kurdish referendum, as well as London’s Uber taxi controversy. In the first hour we’ll also connect with former M15 whistleblower Annie Machon, to discuss the state and corporation’s tightening noose around civil liberties and the restriction free access of information, and we’ll look at how mainstream Russiaphobia and America’s Russiagate are pushing the West back into a New Cold War. In the second hour we’ll connect with Syrian and blogger and activist Mimi Al-Lahamaka Syrian Partisan Girl, to her 7 year battle to get the truth out about her home country and the Middle East, as well as discuss ISIS in retreat in Deir Ezzor, Syria, and also the Kurdish issue. Later, we’ll also connect with on of London’s premier street poets, artist Bryan ‘Beedy Man’ Wilson, for a live spit about poli-tricks and the wars in our name. Enjoy the show…
SUPPORT 21WIRE – SUBSCRIBE & BECOME A MEMBER @21WIRE. TV Strap yourselves in and lower the blast shield – this is your brave new world… *NOTE: THIS EPISODE MAY CONTAIN STRONG LANGUAGE AND MATURE THEMES*
Trump’s UN speech makes it clear that Trump’s presidency, in terms of his campaign promise to remove Washington from the ‘policeman of the world’ role, exit the Middle East, and repair the damaged relations with Russia, is over. The CIA and the military/security complex are in full control of the US government. Trump has accepted his captivity and his assigned role as the enforcer of Washington’s hegemony over every other country. Washington uber alles is the only foreign policy that Washington pursues. At the UN Trump actually threatened to wipe North Korea off of the face of the earth. He added to this threat threats against Venezuela (and Iran. He demonized these countries as ‘rogue states,’ but it is Washington that is playing that role. Washington has destroyed in whole or part eight countries in the young 21st century and has 3 to 5 more in its crosshairs. One question is: why did not the UN audience shout Trump down, a man standing before them telling obvious lies? The answer, of course, is money. The US taxpayers pay roughly one-quarter of the UN’s annual budget, leaving the other 130+ countries a light load. Washington is succeeding in driving the world to Armageddon, because the world’s leaders prefer money to truth, to justice, to survival. The UN diplomats see in their cooperation with Washington the opportunity to make money by sharing in the West’s exploitation of their own countries.
When Raef Lawson filed his $586.56 lawsuit in San Francisco he probably didn’t realize he could potentially end up disrupting the entire ‘gig economy’ that subsidizes a plethora of Silicon Valley tech giants from Uber to DoorDash, but that could very well end up being the outcome. As Yahoo points out today, Lawson used to be a delivery driver for GrubHub but now he finds himself at the epicenter of an ongoing legal battle over whether 1099 contractors working for firms GrubHub and Uber should really be counted at employees rather than independent contractors. In a windowless, 15th-floor courtroom in downtown San Francisco last week, GrubHub was defending its 1099 independent contractor employment model for its delivery drivers. There’s no verdict yet, and there probably won’t be for at least another week. This trial, Lawson vs. GrubHub, is looking to determine whether or not plaintiff Raef Lawson, an ex-GrubHub driver, was misclassified as an independent contractor while delivering food for GrubHub.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 11, 2017.
David McWilliams: Great Disaster Looms as Technology Disrupts White Collar Workers – Every era, every century, every generation has its massive technological disruption – Taxi drivers being ‘disrupted’ by technology of Uber – History shows how ‘middle men’ frequently made redundant – Skill set of many professionals today can be replicated by machines and technology – Technology may make lawyers, accountants, architects and doctors redundant – We risk ‘cannabalising ourselves’ with internet and emerging technologies *** Looking out to sea at the huge winter waves crashing upon the Cape Town shore, it’s hard to imagine what the first local tribesman thought when he saw, in the distance, Vasco De Gama’s tiny Portuguese ship sail round the Cape of Good Hope, heading out towards the Indian Ocean in search of profit. You wonder what went through the local’s mind? Could he have imagined the calamity that was soon to befall his people and most of the peoples of Africa? Once the Portuguese had opened up the passage to India via the Atlantic, the old Silk Roads, the commercial superhighways of the medieval ages from China to Istanbul, were gradually downgraded in global commerce. Economically, the Earth shifted on its axis from Asia to the Atlantic. This was the great disruption.
This post was published at Gold Core on August 10, 2017.
A powerful news broadcast yesterday covering Parliament’s new ‘Brexit Backslider’ phenomenon, NATO tries to absorb the Ukraine, BBC Panorama’s links to Terrorist organisation in Syria, the police claims of low Grenfell numbers, and the ethics of Uber, and much more…
Here’s the real nutshell issue with so-called “business today”: Now, Uber has for the first time has acknowledged that Levandowski informed its now-departed CEO, Travis Kalanick, that he had five disks filled with Google’s information five months before joining Uber. In other words the company recruited and hired this guy knowing he had stolen trade secret information from Google. If you think this sort of event is isolated, it’s not. Witness nearly one in four Medicaid recipients being prescribed opiods in the last 12 months. I remind you that a large percentage of Medicaid recipients are kids so the percentage of opiod abuse among adults funded through Medicaid is probably within spitting distance of half of all adult recipients. Do you really think the pharma companies and doctors don’t know this? Of course they do, but they worked mightily to conceal it because they also know damn well that their lives will be upended if it comes to light. Then the truth eventually does come out and what is the reaction? A few lawsuits aimed at some pharmaceutical companies instead of indictments for drug pushing, 20,000 dead people a year be damned.
An Uber driver who was dropping off a customer at the Miami Airport has be fined $250 by airport security because she doesn’t speak English. According to the Miami Herald, the security officer approached Carmen Hechevarria’s vehicle during passenger drop-off and began addressing her in English. After several attempts to communicate, officer Detra Johnson realized that Hechevarria didn’t understand English. ‘She looked at me like she did not understand me,’ MIA officer Detra Johnson wrote. Johnson called over a Spanish-speaking colleague to translate. ‘The more he spoke to her,’ Johnson wrote, ‘the more he realized she could not speak or understand English.’ Johnston then proceeded to write Hechevarria a $250 citation for violating a Miami-Dade County law requiring for-hire drivers to ‘be able to communicate in the English language.’
This post was published at shtfplan on June 20th, 2017.
The OPEC oil deal is not in peril, though the mainstream media would have you think otherwise… Oil prices fell yesterday after member countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Qatar. These nations have closed borders and ceased all travel to and from Qatar, demanding that Qatari military troops be withdrawn from the war in Yemen. The nations initiating the separation claim that their small, uber-wealthy neighbor was, and has been, actively supporting Islamic terrorists. And, yes, news of the severance with Qatar – a top global liquefied natural gas (LNG) and condensate shipper – immediately dented the oil market… Brent crude prices reversed initial 1% gains after the news, trading down 1%, at $49.45 a barrel by 2:34 p.m. ET. WTI futures ended Monday’s session at $47.40 a barrel, down $0.26, or 0.6%. U. S. gasoline futures led the sector’s largest fall in the afternoon, down 2.4% to $1.54 a gallon. But mainstream media sites followed the various oil price dips with headlines speculating about imminent doom for OPEC’s recent agreement to cut production:
Futures flat as Trump tax plan awaited (Reuters) Trump’s 15% Tax Plan May Just Be His Opening Gambit (BBG) Budget Director, After Health-Law Missteps, Preps for Spending Battle (WSJ) 100 Days: Trump’s victories dimmed by misfires (Reuters) White House Intervened to Toughen Letter on Iran Nuclear Deal (WSJ) Trump Changing Tactics on Tax After Health-Care Failure (BBG) Is Justin Trudeau the Anti-Trump? (BBG) Oil prices slip on bulging U. S. crude stockpiles, ample supplies (Reuters) Congress moves closer to avert shutdown (Reuters) Hungarian opposition struggles to build on anti-Orban sentiment (Reuters) FCC Chief Poised to Roil Capital With Net Neutrality Rollback (BBG) Currency Moves Suggest U. K. Data Seen Before Release (WSJ) America’s Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Replaced by Robots (BBG) China’s biggest property markets still hot, prices may rebound if curbs lifted (People’s Daily) French intelligence says Assad forces carried out sarin attack (Reuters) America’s $1.2 Billion Mexico Milk Trade Is Now at Risk (BBG) Express Scripts Faces a Future Without Its Biggest Customer (WSJ) Europe’s Car Makers See Light at the End of the Tunnel (WSJ) South Korea court says Uber violated transport law, latest setback for U. S. firm (Reuters) Tesla Restores Auto-Brakes Amid Consumer Reports Downgrade (BBG) Turkey says detains 1,000 ‘secret imams’ in police purge (Reuters) China seeks to cement globalization credentials at Silk Road summit (Reuters) Climate Evangelists Are Taking Over Your Local Weather Forecast (BBG) Syrian refugees must buy travel papers – from Assad (Reuters) EU Ankara negotiator calls for suspension of Turkey accession talks (Reuters) Overnight Media Digest WSJ – An African-American on-air host for Fox News has joined a group of current and former employees suing the cable channel and some of its senior executives for alleged racial discrimination.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 26, 2017.
A decade ago, they were the masters of the universe, moving stocks and entire markets with a mere gesture. Now, adding insult to years of underperformance in central banker-planned markets, soaring redemptions and declining fees, America’s hedge fund gurus find their world turned upside down, trading on the defensive at the unpredictable whims of every Trump tweet. As a result, as the WSJ writes, “Many hedge funds are loading up on cash and sheltering their portfolios from the risks of an unknown future.” In short, unable to find “an edge”, the “smartest people in the room” are increasingly seeking to boycott the market – which makes new record highs every day – altogether. The reason is clear: Donald Trump: “Wall Street’s early exuberance at the election of President Donald Trump is giving way to reticence and in some instances outright hostility.” Billionaire hedge-fund managers and day traders initially cheered Mr. Trump’s surprise win, propelling major U. S. indexes to all-time highs on the hope of increased government spending, tax cuts and loosened regulation. Such Wall Street-favored tax and economic policies, however, are taking an early back seat to Mr. Trump’s polarizing moves on immigration and a predilection for intemperate interactions with foreign powers and would-be congressional allies.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 15, 2017.
A group of top Silicon Valley tech companies have filed a rare legal brief stating Trump Administration’s Executive Order on immigration is discriminatory and ‘departs dramatically from the principles that have governed our immigration law for decades.’ This legal filing follows the report Friday when a Federal Judge issued a temporarily restraining order blocking US Border Patrol, Customs and Immigration Services from enforcing President Trump’s recent executive order, which bars entry to the U. S. to anyone coming from seven ‘majority Muslim’ countries. This story and the leaked text of the legal challenge was a Washington Post exclusive on Sunday….
In the backlash over Trump’s executive order on immigration, Alphabet, Apple, Facebook, Uber, Stripe, CPG and various manufacturing companies have penned a letter opposing U. S. President Trump’s travel ban, ReCode reported overnight. The letter stresses that the executive order’s blanket “suspension” – it avoids the word “ban” – is “not the right approach” to strengthening national security. The letter also argues in favor of supporting the DACA program. The goal is to publish the open letter this week, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. Changes are still being made to the document, and it’s possible it may not be released. “We share your goal of ensuring that our immigration system meets today’s security needs and keeps our country safe,” said a draft of the letter. “We are concerned, however, that your recent Executive Order will affect many visa holders who work hard here in the United States and contribute to our country’s success.’ The draft, noted by Bloomberg, also states that “our nation’s compassion is part of what makes it exceptional,” and continues by offering to help the administration come up with ways to set up thorough screening while avoiding a complete suspension to U. S. refugee programs. The companies also offer aid in resolving the status of the 750,000 so-called “Dreamers,” undocumented immigrants brought to the U. S. as children and governed by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The program, created by former President Barack Obama in 2012, has allowed more than 700,000 people to obtain renewable two-year work permits. The companies note that they hire “both thousands of Americans and some of the most talented people from abroad, who work together to help our companies succeed and expand our overall employment.” The letter ends by asking President Trump to use the companies as “a resource to help achieve immigration policies that both support the work of American businesses and reflect American values.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 2, 2017.
US-president Donald Trump just assumed office on January 20th, but already, his ‘America First’ agenda is sending a big chill through Silicon Valley and India’s biggest tech stocks. The US tech industry has long lobbied for an easier way to recruit talent from abroad and had expected Hillary Clinton to expand high-skilled immigration. However, under President Trump, it now appears highly likely there will be a new set of rules that will dramatically ratchet back immigration overall into the US. White House officials say Silicon Valley chieftains and their suppliers of cheaper labor from abroad- are right to be nervous, especially about changes to the visa program. Chief strategist Steve Bannon and policy chief Stephen Miller are known to be deeply skeptical of the H-1B program and will have a strong, vocal ally when Jeff Sessions gets confirmed as Attorney General. On the campaign trail, Trump promised to ‘end forever the use of H-1B as a cheap labor program.’ He later signaled in a meeting with tech leaders that he’s most concerned about companies misusing the visas to displace lower-wage American workers. Google, Apple, Microsoft and other tech giants have expressed great dismay over President Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ policy. Aaron Levie, chief executive of cloud computing company Box, said seeing Mr. Trump win the elections for the presidency had been ‘incredibly stressful’ and ‘painful’ for many in Silicon Valley. ‘Given the rate of growth we are seeing in so many different tech companies from Facebook to Uber to Google or a company like Box, there’s simply a shortage of really great talent,’ Mr. Levie said. ‘When you have incredible talent that wants to work in your organization but you are preventing them from doing so, that is disastrous to innovation and competition.’
Britain’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Parliament must vote on whether the government can begin the country’s exit from the European Union. It means the Brexit — Britain’s departure from the E.U., as voted on in a June referendum – requires approval of Parliament’s members and peers prior to the start of talks, and not after. The government of British Prime Minister Theresa May planned on beginning the withdrawal procedure — invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty — by the end of March. While it is unclear if the court ruling will change May’s schedule, it is expected she has enough votes in Parliament to proceed. “The British people voted to leave the E.U., and the government will deliver on their verdict — triggering Article 50, as planned, by the end of March. Today’s ruling does nothing to change that,” May’s office said in a statement Tuesday. Supreme Court President Lord David Neuberger, reading the ruling, saying, “By a majority of eight to three, the Supreme Court today rules that the government cannot trigger Article 50 without an act of Parliament authorizing it to do so.” The court ruled that because the legal consequences of leaving the E.U. were so great, an act of Parliament was required to begin the process, which likely will take about two years. Although Parliament members from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can be involved in arguing and voting on the issue, the British government will not need the approval of their respective Parliaments to begin the exit, the court added. In June’s referendum, 52 percent of all voters chose to leave the E.U., while 62 percent of Scottish voters chose to remain.
The never-Trumpers are never going to surrender the myth that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the hacking of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee to defeat Clinton and elect Donald Trump. Their investment in the myth is just too huge. For Clinton and her campaign, it is the only way to explain how they booted away a presidential election even Trump thought he had lost in November. To the mainstream media, this is the smoking gun in their Acela Corridor conspiracy to delegitimize Trump’s presidency. Incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sees Russian hacking as a way to put a cloud over the administration before it begins. But it is the uber-hawks hereabouts who are after the really big game. They seek to demonize Putin as the saboteur of democracy – someone who corrupted an American presidential election to bring about victory for a ‘useful idiot’ whom Clinton called Putin’s ‘puppet.’ If the War Party can convert this ‘fake story’ into the real story of 2016, then they can scuttle any Trump effort to attain the rapprochement with Russia that Trump promised to try to achieve.
This post was published at Lew Rockwell on December 21, 2016.
The new gig-economy seems to struggle with the ancien world’s regulations. Uber lost a first judicial battle in the United Kingdom. The California-based firm has been ordered to change the legal nature of its relationships with its drivers who claim the right to be considered as workers rather than independent contractors. This new legal definition is not harmless. If this decision is confirmed on appeal, it would lead Uber’s relations with its drivers to be settled according to British labor law rather than ordinary law. Labor law would imply the duty to implement the minimum wage, holiday pay regulations, and other kinds of special rules. It would therefore increase transaction costs on the market. Uber’s business model would be undermined. Similar legal contests across various major countries can be observed. In France, the URSSAF, a network of organizations which belong to the social security system, has also brought a lawsuit against Uber which has been accused of practicing what can be translated as ‘hidden wage labor’ or ‘disguised employment relationships.’ The French administration is seeking to change the legal nature of Uber’s relationships with its drivers to implement French labor laws, notably in order to collect ‘social contributions’ – taxes on labor – which aims to finance public insurance schemes. Even in the US, Homejoy – a market place for housecleaning – has ceased its activities because of similar legal pressures. The gig-economy seems to suffer from legal uncertainties because of the tenuous distinction regularly made between workers and contractors.
In what may soon emerge as the latest middle-east diplomatic scandal, not to mention roil the just concluded OPEC deal, Bloomberg reports that state-sponsored hackers have conducted a “series of destructive attacks on Saudi Arabia over the last two weeks, erasing data and wreaking havoc in the computer banks of the agency running the country’s airports and hitting five additional targets.” Additionally, ‘several’ government agencies were also targeted in attacks that came from outside the Kingdom, according to state media. However, according to early reports from a Saudi probe, “digital evidence” suggests the attacks emanated from Iran. While Bloomberg believes that this could present President-elect Donald Trump with a major national security challenge as he steps into the Oval Office, it also threatens to destabilize the recent detente between the two countries, which granted Iran bragging rights to be the only country allowed to boost output as part of the Venna OPEC production cut deal. To be sure, one can’t discount the possibility of a false flag attack, with the intentional purposes of destabilizing relations. According to Bloomberg, unlike a 2012 attack on Saudi Aramco or the one by North Korea against Sony Pictures in 2014, “the latest was perpetrated by detonating a cyber weapon inside the networks of several targets at once. Concerns over a broader campaign set off a search in computer networks throughout the Gulf for more traces of the digital bomb.” It is unclear whether Iran has the technological wherewithall to engage in such a complex cuberattack.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 1, 2016.
Now that it is widely accepted by everyone except the president in denial, that Obamacare is an epic debacle, one which boosts GDP because it is fundamentally a tax that counts toward healthcare expenditures yet takes away from other discretionary spending leading to a downtrend in overall US consumption, most also have an opinion on how it unwinds. However, few are as gloomy as economist Chris Butler of Butler, Lanz and Wagler, who discussed the rising cost of health insurance plans rising next year under the Affordable Care Act, and said he expects riots as the populace begins to expresses outrage upon learning many will be priced out of health care options. Butler told Chris Stigall on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT to expect more public demonstrations of anger as prices move upward. Cited by CBS Philadelphia, Butler said that ‘right now, I think you do have to say that A, it’s failing and that B, I think next year, you’re going to have a bunch of people that don’t get the subsidies that make the premiums a little bit more affordable that are just going to riot because it’s just too expensive for most people if you don’t qualify for subsidies.’ Butler said he still objects to court rulings siding with the government requiring individuals to purchase insurance or pay a penalty. In that case, he will be even angrier to learn that according to Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber, the “solution” to prevent millions of Americans opting to pay penalties instead of be enrolled, is to hike the penalty even more.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 29, 2016.
Editor’s Note: The system KNOWS this is hurting the Middle Class… but since they want to both crush the Middle Class and destroy the private healthcare system in one fell swoop to usher in the government-run single-payer socialist model, they’re going to continue to ride this bat straight into Hell. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor and architect ofObamacare Jonathan Gruber told CNN’s Carol Costello on Wednesday that Obamacare, which is set to see a sharp increase in premium prices next year, is going just as planned. When asked what could be done to the Affordable Care Act in order to drive the prices of premiums down, Gruber responded by saying ‘the law is working as designed.’