Trump vacancy raises consternation with Europe

A key vacancy in the State Department is creating friction between the European Union and United States over a new agreement affecting thousands of U.S. companies that do business in Europe.

The agreement, known as the privacy shield, allows businesses to swiftly send personal data across the Atlantic, something that affects a huge swath of U.S. companies, from Facebook and Apple to Netflix and Google.

Without the shield, companies that operate in Europe would have to enter into special contracts to transfer personal data.

EU officials are worried that the Trump administration has yet to nominate an ombudsman at the State Department to oversee complaints from Europeans about the access U.S. national security agencies may have to their data.

Trump vacancy raises consternation with Europe | TheHill

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Has asset forfeiture gone too far? Truck seizure case sparks outrage, a call for change 

Critics argue that civil asset forfeiture program’s abuses outweigh its benefits.

Has asset forfeiture gone too far? Truck seizure case sparks outrage, a call for change | Fox News

Although the truck incident is unfair it is far from the most egregious example of asset seizure gone wrong. Apparently the truly outrageous thing here is that this dude is a white republican???

Asset seizure IS wrong but this case is nothing compared to what’s out there.

NAFTA: The view from a mind-bogglingly massive Mexican marketHerald

Avocado is on such a winning streak one merchant feels invincible in the face of Donald Trump. Rene Torres says a case of avocados that sold for as little as $13 a few years ago now costs $97.

…Oscar Moherano says he’s worried about what the end of NAFTA would mean to his market.

“The product would drop,” he said. “We’d be producing here with no other place to sell it.”

But these successes don’t tell the full NAFTA story. In fact, for agriculture, it’s been mostly negative. While salaries have gone up in industrial sectors like auto production, traditional farmers have been steamrolled by American competitors.

Margarita Rodriguez Lopez runs an association of farmers at the market. She says specialty products like avocados and papayas have thrived under NAFTA, but there have been sad stories in other sectors.

…Men in cowboy hats overseeing a corn delivery express opinions, discreetly. 

Mexico’s corn producers have been devastated under NAFTA. Imports have surged nearly tenfold from the more productive U.S. As much as manufacturing communities have gained, Mexico’s traditional corn-farming communities have suffered.

“Prices are low,” says a man calling himself Oscar.

A friend next to him says of NAFTA: “It hasn’t helped.”

NAFTA: The view from a mind-bogglingly massive Mexican market | The Chronicle Herald

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University of Wisconsin and the aftermath of destroying professor tenure.

But academics don’t want tenure because they think they’re better or smarter than you. Academics, whether they have it or not, want some form of tenure to exist to protect the integrity of the knowledge that is produced, preserved, and disseminated.

Wisconsin professors simply do not want research limited by the whims of 18 people appointed by a governor with an openly stated anti-education agenda. And you shouldn’t, either. Think university research doesn’t affect you? You’re wrong. Hundreds of technological and social advances that you depend upon have been made thanks to the research of some brainiac at some university somewhere: what kind of cities to plan; how (and where) to alleviate poverty and hunger; what kind of diseases to treat; what kind of drugs to invent (or make obsolete); what kind of bridges and roads to build (and where). If professors are not protected from disagreeing with the agenda of their “bosses”—whether that be Dow Chemical, Gov. Walker, or President Trump—the consequences will go far beyond one person’s paycheck.

University of Wisconsin and the aftermath of destroying professor tenure.

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