‘Cheap Words: Amazon is good for customers. But is it good for books?’, George Packer in New Yorker

The titans of the net may be ‘user-friendly’ but are they really different from the big unloved names of American corporate history?

“Venezuela Beyond the Protests: The Revolution is Here to Stay” continues its valuable work — and its coverage and analysis of the riots supported by the Venezuelan 1%.

“ The revolution that is here to stay is the Bolivarian Revolution, which began in 1998 when Hugo Chavez was first elected president and has subsequently transformed the mega oil producing nation into a socially-focused, progressive country with a grassroots government…Those protesting do not represent Venezuela’s vast working class majority, which struggled to overcome the oppressive exclusion they were subjected to during administrations before Chavez. The youth taking to the streets today in Caracas and other cities throughout the country, hiding their faces behind masks and balaclavas, destroying public buildings, vehicles, burning garbage, violently blocking transit and throwing rocks and molotov cocktails at security forces are being driven by extremist right-wing interests from Venezuela’s wealthiest sector. [They are] led by hardline neoconservatives, Leopoldo Lopez, Henrique Capriles and Maria Corina Machado – who come from three of the wealthiest families in Venezuela, the 1% of the 1%…”


“Venezuelan Government Reiterates Calls For Dialogue With Opposition”:

President Maduro urged more talks with student groups, and that he wanted “constructive dialogue to define key issues.”

Maduro also called for strength in the face of ongoing violent demonstrations across the country: “Decent people of this country,…we have to keep fighting to defeat these fascist gangs, who were trained for two or three years.”


“What’s going on in Venezuela?”:

“Chavez came from nowhere, he’s a grave danger for Venezuela and the world, and … oh wow, how did he get elected again?!… [This is] the crux of the situation in Venezuela. It is not about a sudden emergence of economic problems, corruption or crime. It is about the ultra-rich and their supporters,…who for 15 years have spent their time, energy and resources trying every measure possible to overthrow the will of the people.”



Corruption and conflict of interest in IPL: the Justice Mudgal IPL Probe Committee Report, two volumes

Read the findings of this excellent enquiry, constituted by the Supreme Court of India, into corruption and conflict of interest in the IPL– independent, clear-sighted, perceptive, clinching where the facts in hand warrant it. (The two volumes of the Report are attached as pdf files.)

The Mudgal Probe Committee concludes that (a) “the role of Mr. Gurunath Meiyappan in Chennai Super Kings as the team official stands proved and the allegations of betting and passing on information against… [him] stand proved” and “the allegations of [match-] fixing require further investigation”; (b) the “allegations of betting and spot fixing against Mr. Raj Kundra, team owner of Jaipur Cricket Private Limited, need to be further investigated”; (c) the cases of alleged Match Fixing and Spot Fixing against S. Sreesanth and four others playing for Rajasthan Royala have been adequately dealt with under the criminal law and also by the BCCI but the Committee “has come across many allegations of sporting fraud,” which remain to be investigated; (d) it was “abundantly clear that as per the Anti-Corruption Code the scope of investigation of the BCCI’s ACU was wider,” in other words, the BCCI’s Anti Corruption Unit was not doing its job; and (e) “the issue of conflict of interest in Mr. N. Srinivasan being the BCCI President and CEO of India Cements has been raised by several persons who are neither in the BCCI hierarchy nor are beneficiaries of BCCI,” and while the issue was “not directly in our terms of reference,” it was “serious and may have large scale ramifications on the functioning of cricket,” so the Committee was bringing it to the attention of the Supreme Court.

The Probe Committee infers that (a) the BCCI’s measures to combat sport fraud are “ineffective and insufficient”; (b) there is a need for “stringent and effective control on Players’ Agents”; and (c) the issue of “conflict of interest and amendment of Clause 6.4.2 of the Regulation for Players, Team Officials, Managers, Umpires, and Administrators and BCCI Code” was a serious and widespread concern, flagged by many persons who appeared before the Committee.

The Probe Committee makes several recommendations to clean up IPL and cricket in general in India.

pdf icon Justice-Mudgal-IPL-Probe-Committee-Report-Volume-1.pdf
pdf icon Justice-Mudgal-IPL-Probe-Committee-Report-Volume-2.pdf

How Edward Snowden went from loyal NSA contractor to whistleblower | World news | The Guardian

‘He was politically conservative, a gun owner, a geek – and the man behind the biggest intelligence leak in history.’ An excerpt from a new book by Luke Harding on Edward Snowden’s transformation: