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The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published a leak of 11.9 million files of financial data to several news organizations Sunday. According to the massive leak, 35 current and former national leaders, and more than 330 politicians and public officials in 91 countries are hiding their wealth. Now reporters are calling it the “Pandora Papers.”
Scale of the Pandora Papers
Among the allegations, Vladimir Putin’s alleged girlfriend Svetlana Krivonogikh is revealed to have a secret Monaco apartment. She became the owner shortly after giving birth to Putin’s supposed daughter, who is now 18 years old. Leaks also accuse current Czech Republic Prime Minister Andrej Babiš of owning a secret $22 million estate in France.
Those in the consortium have not revealed how they came across the files. But they come from 14 sources and 2.94 terabytes of data. It is the largest scale offshore-finance leak so far. In addition, they plan to publish more.
Reactions to the Leak
Whistleblower turned fugitive Edward Snowden tipped his hat to the whistleblowers involved. “The humorous side of this very serious story is that even after two apocalyptic offshore finance/law firm leaks, those industries are still compiling vast databases of ruin, and still secure them with a Post-It Note marked ‘do not leak,'” Snowden tweeted.
Then, heads of state responded to the leak. President Biden tweeted that he is determined to change the wealthy’s “free ride.”
“Those at the top have been getting a free ride at the expense of the middle class for far too long. With my Build Back Better Agenda, we’re going to change that,” Biden wrote.
Chancellor of Exchequer Rishi Sunak appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Today program. “It is a global problem,” Sunak said. “And we need other countries to cooperate with us to tackle this. But we are determined to do that.”
Finally, Babiš denied any wrong doing in a debate Sunday. However the Kremlin has not responded to requests for comment.
You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.
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No help at our border, but Biden announces $5 billion going to bike paths, wider sidewalks
In the world of Democrat delusion, they think $5 billion is necessary, at this point in time, to make bike paths and widen side walks. You cannot make this up. They have approved $40 billion in aide to Ukraine in a heartbeat under President Biden, while having rejected former President Trump’s request for a mere $5 billion to secure our border.
The news also comes as fentanyl and the drug overdoses are the number one cause of death in the U.S. There’s also an increase in human smuggling and extortion to pay to cross the border. But no; let’s make some bike paths and widen sidewalks. That is an immediate emergency.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced Monday that money will be used over five years under his department’s new “Safe Streets & Roads for All” program. The $5 billion ini federals funds will be used “to slow down cars chia more speed cameras, carve out bike paths and wider sidewalks and urging commuters to public transit” reports Daily Mail.
“The aim will be to provide a direct infusion of federal cash to communities that pledge to promote safety for the multiple users of a roadway, particularly pedestrians and bicyclists.” The announcement also coincides with the six-month anniversary of President Biden’s infrastructure legislation, and the beginning of the 2022 “infrastructure week.”
The desire to fix roads is a noble one, as “road traffic injuries also are the leading cause of death among young people aged 5-29. Young adults aged 15-4 account for more than half of all road deaths” reports Daily Mail, which adds:
Still, much of the federal roadmap relies on cooperation from cities and states, and it could take months if not years to fully implement with discernible results – too late to soothe 2022 midterm voters unsettled by this and other pandemic-related ills, such as rising crime.
The latest U.S. guidance Monday invites cities and localities to sketch out safety plans in their applications for the federal grants, which are to be awarded late this year.
It cites examples of good projects as those that promise to transform a high-crash roadway, such as by adding rumble strips to slow cars or installing speed cameras, which the department says could provide more equitable enforcement than police traffic stops; flashing beacons for pedestrian crosswalks; new ‘safe routes’ via sidewalks or other protected pathways to school or public transit in underserved communities; and other ‘quick build’ roadway changes designed with community input.
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