The Labour party has called for new laws to strengthen the hunting act, a total ban on foie gras and an end to the badger cull as it seeks to distinguish itself from the Conservatives as the “party of animal welfare”. Labour on Wednesday published a 50-point animal welfare draft policy which also proposes a ban on exporting live animals for slaughter and expanding affordable veterinary care.Japan maintains tough stance on refugees, only 20 accepted in 2017 - Asahi Shimbun
Japan received a record 19,628 asylum applications in 2017, but only 20 were successful, according to preliminary figures released by the Justice Ministry on Feb. 13.Why there’s so much chaos in the Trump administration - Vox
Dysfunction at the top, inexperience below: the White House’s management crisis, explained by Ezra KleinPeter Thiel’s Unfortunate World: On “The Know-It-Alls” by Noam Cohen - Los Angeles Review of Books
A review of Noam Cohen's book The Know-It-Alls - The Rise of Silicon Valley as a Political Powerhouse and Social Wrecking Ball
... the crisis brought on by the neoliberal hegemony that enables Republican and Democratic administrations alike, alongside Congress, to decide against effectively prosecuting, regulating, or taxing these giant monopolies. Maybe the technology world advanced too rapidly for lethargic bureaucrats who lacked the imagination to see that the consumer-focused anti-trust position advanced into consensus by Robert Bork, the coward infamous for his role in the Saturday Night Massacre, was and is woefully inadequate. They couldn’t see or they did not care to see that consumer interest was not a functional frame when hundreds of millions of people are not the consumer, but the thing being consumed. ...Their ideologies are corrosive and would always have been problematic, but the crisis is that their ideology or competency was relevant in the first place. Their level of power — so vast and so undemocratically amassed — is the problem. A healthier and more democratic society would be one where such a thing is not possible in theNetwork Effects, Big Data, and Antitrust Issues For Big Tech - Conversable Economist
first place. All there is to do now is to break up the companies and aggressively tax the über rich, though neither is particularly likely anytime soon. What comes next, instead, will be further concentration. More power for fewer people. The longer it goes on, the harder it will be to strip away.
In the case of big tech companies, a common theory is that they hold a monopoly position because of what economists call "network effects." The economic theory of network effects started with the observation that certain products are only valuable if other people also own the same product--think of a telephone or fax machine. Moreover, the product becomes more valuable as the network gets bigger. When "platform" companies like Amazon or Facebook came along, network effects got a new twist. The idea became that if a website managed to gain a leadership position in attracting buyers and sellers (like Amazon, OpenTable, or Uber), or users and providers of content (like Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter), then others would be attracted to the website as well. Any potentially competing website might have a hard time building up its own critical mass of users, in which case network effects are acting as an anticompetitive barrier.
Of course, the idea that an already-popular meeting place has an advantage isn't limited to the virtual world: many shopping malls and downtown areas rely on a version of network effects, too, as to stock markets, flea markets, and bazaars.
But while it's easy to sketch in the air an argument about network effects, the question of how network effects work in reality isn't a simple one.
National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian ordered his subordinates to shoot drug dealers, especially foreign nationals, dead on the spot if they resist arrest, as police look to ramp up anti-narcotics efforts.