Usher’s News & Analysis for Jan. 14, 2021


The new legislation quietly passed by Congress last month after a decade-long fight is the most sweeping banking reform of its kind since passage of the Patriot Act, in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

For the first time, shell companies will be required to provide the names of their owners or face stiff penalties and jail sentences. ...
“Congress was late to acknowledge that secrecy is alive and well in the United States,” said David P. Weber, a former U.S. Treasury investigator who was one of two experts to review the Panama Papers before publication. He now is a forensic accounting professor at Salisbury University in Maryland. “Kleptocrats and corrupt foreign officials did not need secret bank accounts in Switzerland. They were right here.”

New Law Cracks Down on Shell Companies to Combat Corruption

When she represented Flynn, she did a great job for him. Since then, she hasn't seemed like the same person.

Voting System Firm Files $1.3B Defamation Lawsuit Against Pro-Trump Lawyer Powell

A strong storm swept through Texas City around 6 p.m. on Jan. 6, causing heavy damage to a 129-unit apartment complex ....

Tornado in Houston Suburb Damages Apartment Complex, Displaces 100s

Amazing and not surprising:

The combined effectiveness of three COVID-prevention strategies on college campuses—mask-wearing, social distancing, and routine testing—are as effective in preventing coronavirus infections as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to a new study co-authored by a Case Western Reserve University researcher.

Study: Masks, Distancing, Testing Shown As Effective As Vaccines on College Campuses

New Report Finds Oil and Gas Industry Responsible for 70 percent of Colorado’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions

“It’s been five years since the Paris Agreement was signed, and three years since the alarming report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was publicly released. Numerous countries all over the globe have committed to seemingly ambitious pledges about reaching 'net-zero' emissions. Empty promises like these can be a very dangerous phenomenon because they give the impression that sufficient action is being taken, but in fact, that is not the case as these targets are full of loopholes, creative accounting, and unscientific assumptions.” said Maya Ozbayoglu from Poland.

'No More Empty Promises': Climate Strikers Announce Date for Next Global Climate Strike


No American—regardless of the color of their skin, their zip code, or their income—should ever have to choose between heating their homes, keeping the lights on, the broadband they need to work or learn remotely, and putting food on the table.

600+ Groups Urge Biden To Halt Water, Electricity, and Broadband Shutoffs Through Emergency Executive Order on Day 1

You could see this coming from miles away. Employees will not be allowed to reap a windfall for long.

Dropbox, which offers file hosting in the cloud and is headquartered in San Francisco, and which had announced on October 13 that it was switching to permanent work-from-anywhere, today announced cost cutting moves associated with this shift: laying off 11% of its workforce.

In a new twist that will likely become more common, it specifically cited work-from-anywhere as one of the reasons for these layoffs because suddenly, with people working remotely, there are “teams” that used to deal with those people in the office, and that used to deal with the office itself, that aren’t needed anymore.

Citing Permanent Shift to Work from Home, Dropbox Cuts 11% of its Workforce

This is terrible news.

One L.A. County hospital ICU is operating at triple its capacity amid COVID-19 surge