Traditional organized-crime rackets like betting and construction are bleeding the New York mafia dry. But in Italy, the mobs are stronger than ever.
ROME—The New York mafia is taking a hit from the novel coronavirus pandemic after many of its money-making outlets have been shuttered.
Gambling halls, sporting events, and construction projects have long fed the Empire State gangs, but now that they are taking an “historic” blow, a law-enforcement source told the New York Post. “There’s never been a time when they weren’t making money through gambling,” the source said.
The American mafia families are also losing out on the extortion racket after restaurants and other entities close their doors under New York City’s “shelter in place” order. A halt to non-essential construction jobs, which includes transportation and port entry, has also put a dent in the U.S. mob’s profits.
AS THE NEW CORONAVIRUS spreads illness, death, and catastrophe around the world, virtually no economic sector has been spared from harm. Yet amid the mayhem from the global pandemic, one industry is not only surviving, it is profiting handsomely.
“Pharmaceutical companies view Covid-19 as a once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity,” said Gerald Posner, author of “Pharma: Greed, Lies, and the Poisoning of America.” The world needs pharmaceutical products, of course. For the new coronavirus outbreak, in particular, we need treatments and vaccines and, in the U.S., tests. Dozens of companies are now vying to make them.
“They’re all in that race,” said Posner, who described the potential payoffs for winning the race as huge. The global crisis “will potentially be a blockbuster for the industry in terms of sales and profits,” he said, adding that “the worse the pandemic gets, the higher their eventual profit.”
China has taken the beloved Hugo-winning site offline amid stringent new internet laws.
The Archive of Our Own (AO3), the Hugo-winning fanfiction website, is the latest casualty of Chinese censorship, amid a continued crackdown in the country on queer content, sexually explicit content, and websites based abroad.
Reports surfaced on February 29 that AO3 was no longer accessible through the national Chinese web, and the site appears to be blocked from view within the country, according to Comparitech, a service that allows users to check whether China has blocked a website. In a tweet confirming the ban, the Organization for Transformative Works, the non-profit group that runs AO3, seemed surprised. It’s unclear whether the OTW was contacted by Chinese authorities before the site was blocked. (Vox has reached out to the OTW for comment.)
INTERPOL has launched the Cooperation Against ‘Ndrangheta (I-CAN) project, a joint initiative with Italy to combat the increasingly insidious and global threat of mafia-type crime.
Funded by the Italian Department of Public Security, the project will focus on the ‘Ndrangheta which is the most extensive and powerful criminal organization in the world.
Present in 32 Countries, 17 of which are European, the ‘Ndrangheta is supported by its enormous financial power built mainly on drug trafficking, corruption and the diversion of public funds through fraud and rigged contracts.
“We need a global approach to counter a global threat. We have promoted a targeted project with INTERPOL for a global attack to eradicate it, involving the State Police, the Carabinieri and the Guardia di Finanza,” said Prefect Vittorio Rizzi, Deputy Director General of Public Security.
Whilst the project will initially be focusing on specific countries, the ultimate goal of the I-CAN project is to enhance the ability of law enforcement worldwide to more effectively identify and combat mafia-type organizations.
Read Full Article
When a gossip site posted a photo of a pregnant-looking Beyoncé, it probably didn’t anticipate the fallout: A major copyright decision that could imperil the site’s business model and undermine a legal defense used by other websites that depend on user content.
The decision, handed down Friday by a federal appeals court in California, came as a defeat for LiveJournal, which hosts the popular blog called “Oh No They Didn’t,” a forum for users to upload news about celebrities and chat about them.
The ruling came after a paparazzi operation called Mavrix, which the court describes as “specializing in candid photographs of celebrities in tropical locations,” sued Live Journal for copyright infringement over the Beyoncé photo and 19 other photos.
Full Read – http://fortune.com/2017/04/10/dmca-ruling-livejournal/