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Murdoch’s News Corp. cements ties with Saudi prince

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Saudi prince al-Waleed bin Talal has been described by Forbes as the worlds fifth richest man. He is known for his financial ties to the Bush family and the Carlyle Group and for owning a fair-sized stake in Disney and in Citigroup.

These connections were not enough to keep al-Waleed out of trouble, however, when he suggested immediately after September 11 that US policies might have contributed to the attack. Then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani refused to accept a $10 million disaster relief contribution from the prince — and Fox News applauded Giuliani for his stance.

Since then, al-Waleed has formed multiple connections with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., the owner of Fox News. In September 2005, he acquired 5.46% of voting shares in News Corp., and just a few months later, when Fox ran coverage of riots in Paris under the banner “Muslim riots,” he allegedly phoned Murdoch and had him change the heading to “civil riots.”

Now the partnership is growing even closer, with News Corp. acquiring a 10% stake in al-Waleed’s media conglomerate, Rotana, along with an option for another 10%. Rotana, which already broadcasts Fox programming in the Middle East, is involved in producing films, television, recordings, and magazines, and it is thought that Murdoch is hoping to get a toehold in the growing Arab market through the deal.

Glenn Beck on the air in Saudi Arabia? Probably not anytime soon. But it remains to be seen what really will come of the partnership.

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New York’s legislature gives landlords a lesson in democracy

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The knockout punch that the New York State Legislature just landed fighting landlords over spiraling rents ought to be attracting wider attention.

Just as with healthcare access or prescription drug prices, the cost of rent increases that mostly benefit big apartment owners is a challenge to the income-gap society that are at the heart of the national political debate. Every urban center in the country is having housing problems, and rents, like mortgages, are a subject at every kitchen table.

For once, the New York Legislature, whose Democrats overcame internecine divisions this session, has abolished rules that let building owners deregulate apartments, and closed loopholes that have permitted landlords to raise rents. And the changes for better tenant protection were made permanent, eliminating the recurring drama over these issues.

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Trump’s EPA wants minimal limits on poison in drinking water

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The Trump EPA calculated recommended limits of a dangerous chemical sometimes found in drinking water that can harm babies’ brain development that were more than 9 times higher than those imposed by a few states by fudging a key number in the calculation.

The Trump recommended a limit for perchlorate, which can harm infant brain development, of 56 micrograms per liter, far above the limit of 6 that California imposed and 2 that Massachusetts set, more than a decade ago.

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MSNBC’s Mika scorches Trump over sex assault denials: ‘What type of woman would you rape?’

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MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski revealed the horrific meaning behind President Donald Trump's defense against new rape claims.

Author and columnist E. Jean Carroll has accused the president of raping her more than 20 years ago after a chance meeting at a Manhattan department store, but Trump insists he couldn't have assaulted her because she's not his "type."

"We're talking about sexual assault, talking about actual rape and the president said that she's not his type," the "Morning Joe" co-host said. "So I guess the follow-up question is, since you have a type when it comes to rape, what's your type, Donald Trump, and is it any of the other women who claimed that you raped them?"

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Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

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