Amazon needs NY more than NY needs Amazon
by Richard Florida
via NY Daily News
— Where New York is concerned, Amazon’s decision was foremost about talent; the company said tax incentives played a role, but talent obviously mattered most. Even before its HQ2 search was launched, one of its top executives said at a tech conference that many of the people the company will need to hire in the future won’t want to live in the Pacific Northwest. New York City in particular has the deep pool of talent that Amazon is looking for.
— And what they were after is a very unique and specialized type of talent that can only be found in New York City in the United States (and maybe only London outside of it). To grow a world-straddling corporation, you need management, financial, business and media expertise, which New York has in spades.

Denver teachers will walk out
Colorado Public Radio
— Tensions boiled over Saturday night as several hours of discussion between the teachers union and Denver Public Schools aimed at averting a strike came to a halt and a Monday walkout appeared inevitable.
— Exasperated negotiators for the Denver Classroom Teachers Association ended talks after they asked whether or not Superintendent Susana Cordova would agree to their concept of a salary schedule that gives teachers more opportunities to advance and rewards them for professional development classes.

White House figure got off easy after child porn conviction
— The Lebanese-American businessman who features prominently in special counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry was once sentenced to six months on child pornography charges in Virginia…
…. George Nader, who is now cooperating with U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe and reportedly delivered grand jury testimony last month, attended a high-level meeting with the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and former chief political strategist Steve Bannon at Trump Tower in New York in December 2016, just before Trump took office, according to CNN.
— About a month later, Nader, former Blackwater head Erik Prince and a Russian banker linked to President Vladimir Putin all attended a meeting in Seychelles with Emirati crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed.

Dem: Investigate dark money that kept Garland off Supreme Court
Raw Story
“Wait til we start digging out who the $18 Million donor was to the @judicialnetworkto stop Garland and get Gorsuch on the Court,” he wrote before adding the warning:  “Follow the money…This ain’t over.”

Reddit users aflame as notorious Chinese censor becomes investor
— As part of China’s notorious censorship regime, the Great Firewall of China, Tencent’s impending investment in the Silicon Valley company and what sort of influence it will gain at Reddit still remains unclear.

Average tax refund down
——–> Some people never learn.

Apple, Google hosting Saudi app that tracks women, stops them leaving the country
saudi app

Bizarre back story in L.A. plane crash fatal to 5
L.A. Times
crashed plane

The pilot, Antonio Pastini, was carrying Chicago police credentials, but …
… Chicago police said Pastini never worked for them. The revelation casts into doubt two decades of interviews Pastini gave with newspapers in Nevada, where he lived and owned restaurants, describing himself as a veteran of the Chicago force.
…. When his deli opened in 1991, the Reno Gazette-Journal published a story with the headline, “Ex-cop brings piece of Chicago with him.”
“Rather than nab criminals,” it begins, “former Chicago police officer Tony Pastini has turned in his badge and opened a Reno delicatessen.”
… Pastini also changed his name …. twice.
… Pastini also was the personal pilot for famed Nevada brothel owner-turned-politician Dennis Hof, who died unexpectedly in October at age 72.
… Pastini’s daughter, Torrance resident Julia Ackley, has declined to discuss publicly her father’s name changes or claims of serving in the Chicago police force.


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