Thursday, March 24, 2016

John Oliver on Trump's beautiful border wall

Donald Trump, US presidential candidate, has put a range of price tags on the wall he wants to build on the 2,000-mile border with Mexico. It would be 1,000 miles long, made of precast concrete slabs, rising 35 to 40 feet in the air.

John Oliver, the British presenter of Last Week Tonight, a US comic news show, says Trump’s estimates of the cost range from $4bn, $6bn, $7bn, $10bn and $12bn. Estimating the cost of the wall based in part on a piece by Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post, Oliver concluded that the wall would actually cost “conservatively” $25bn.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

War on Drugs: How to make money selling drugs

A documentary on how a street dealer can rise to drug cartel lord with relative ease. 'How to Make Money Selling Drugs' is an insider's guide to the violent but extremely US lucrative drug industry. Told from the perspective of former drug dealers, and featuring interviews with 50 Cent, Eminem, Russell Simmons, Susan Sarandon, and David Simon (creator of The Wire).

The film gives you the lessons you need to start your own drug empire while exposing the corruption behind the war on drugs.

Finfacts 2015: Disastrous War on Drugs and ignoring the evidence

Finfacts Blog 2015: What happened when Portugal decriminalised drugs — Overdose deaths fell to lowest in Europe


The Economist wrote in June 2015:

WITH less than 5% of the world’s population, the United States holds roughly a quarter of its prisoners: more than 2.3m people, including 1.6m in state and federal prisons and over 700,000 in local jails and immigration pens. Per head, the incarceration rate in the land of the free has risen seven-fold since the 1970s, and is now five times Britain’s, nine times Germany’s and 14 times Japan’s. At any one time, one American adult in 35 is in prison, on parole or on probation. A third of African-American men can expect to be locked up at some point, and one in nine black children has a parent behind bars. [ ]
Reducing the prison population to European levels is probably impossible, for America is still a much more violent place, even if most districts are reasonably safe. There are roughly 165,000 murderers in American state prisons and 160,000 rapists. If America were to release every single prisoner who has not been convicted of killing or raping someone, its incarceration rate would still be higher than Germany’s.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Living in Bangkok as a foreign correspondent

In this episode of My City, the FT’s Bangkok regional correspondent Michael Peel takes a closer look at the Thai capital. He meets outspoken critics of the ruling junta and those trying to help the country’s most vulnerable.