COVID-19 Forces Companies Like Uber to Reckon With Workers’ Rights

Trump's Company Paid Bribes to Reduce Property Taxes, Assessors Say ; What Makes Dogs So Special? ; and More Picks

rideshare drivers, sick time, COVID-19
The author writes, “Uber and Lyft achieved multi-billion-dollar valuations by classifying drivers as independent contractors who are ineligible for benefits. Now the spread of coronavirus may force the gig economy to reform. Both companies have announced funds to compensate drivers who have been quarantined or diagnosed with COVID-19, in response to pressure from those who say they cannot afford to take time off work even if they are sick.” Photo credit: Aaron Parecki / Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)
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Chelsea Manning Attempted Suicide in Jail on Wednesday (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “U.S. prosecutors are attempting to ‘coerce’ Manning into testifying about her past association with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange by keeping her in jail. Assange, who has been detained in London for nearly a year, is currently battling extradition to the U.S. where he faces an 18-count indictment, including alleged violations of the Espionage Act, for publishing documents leaked by Manning in 2010. Manning, who previously served seven years in a military prison for the leak, has stated her ongoing defiance stems from a contempt for the grand jury process itself. In a letter to Judge Anthony Trenga last year, Manning said she objected to the grand jury ‘as an effort to frighten journalists and publishers who serve a crucial public good.’”

Trump’s Company Paid Bribes to Reduce Property Taxes, Assessors Say (Reader Steve)

From ProPublica and WNYC: “Five former city employees and a former Trump Organization employee say the company used middlemen to pay New York City tax assessors to lower building assessments and pay less taxes in the 1980s and 1990s.”

Media Dutifully Report Trump’s Fiddling as Coronavirus Burns Through World (Russ)

The author writes, “When elected officials’ words are treated as worthy of seriousness just because of the nature of their office, it both gives them added weight and casts any dissent as mere political disagreement, rather than a factual correction.”

Super-Rich Jet Off to Disaster Bunkers Amid Coronavirus Outbreak (Chris)

The author writes, “Robert Vicino, founder and chief executive of Vivos Group, a California-based company constructing underground shelters designed to withstand a range of natural disasters and catastrophes, said his firm had seen a surge in inquiries and sales since the crisis took hold.”

What Makes Dogs So Special? Science Says Love (Chris)

From Courthouse News: “The idea that animals can experience love was once anathema to the psychologists who studied them, seen as a case of putting sentimentality before scientific rigor. But a new book argues that, when it comes to dogs, the word is necessary to understanding what has made the relationship between humans and our best friends one of the most significant interspecies partnerships in history.”

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