A 67-year-old Slidell man [in Louisiana] who served as a go-between for an international team of scammers running a "Nigerian prince" email scheme has been arrested after an 18-month investigation. Michael Neu, who is neither Nigerian nor a prince, has been charged with 269 counts of wire fraud and money laundering. Neu helped shuttle fraudulently obtained money to his co-conspirators, some of whom actually do live in Nigeria, according to the Slidell Police Department.
A guest at Disney World got very, er, animated while attending the Hall of Presidents attraction on Wednesday. At the point in the proceedings where an animatronic version of Donald Trump takes the presidential oath, comedian and actor Jay Malsky decided to add some editorial commentary. As heard at the 1:20 mark in the video above, Malsky began chanting "Lock him up!" ... Later, Malsky told the blog Theme Park University that he didn't stop chanting until "a few folks walked towards me and security came to make sure it didn't turn into a Trump rally." read more
Almost two months into it, Saudi Arabia's crackdown on corruption is yielding at least some of the $100 billion the kingdom is targeting. Dozens of former officials and businessmen have exchanged part of their wealth for freedom.
But in the increasingly drawn-out case of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the public face of the Saudi royal family to many foreign executives and investors, there's more at stake than taking over his global business empire and talks on a settlement have hit an impasse.
The Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, is about to enter a crucial few months that will show his true motives and the scope of his power. How the case unfolds will help investors and diplomats answer a question puzzling them since the nightly raids of Nov. 4: Whether the purge is an effort to root out graft before selling shares in the country's oil giant, or simply a shakedown to boost state coffers while he asserts himself at home and abroad. read more
President Donald Trump and his predecessor, Barack Obama, have at least one thing in common: identical approval and disapproval ratings in one national poll after their first year in office. Rasmussen Reports' latest poll showed Thursday that Trump had a 46 percent approval rating compared to a 53 percent disapproval figure, which were near the same percentages Obama received at the end of 2009. Obama polled at 46 percent approval and 54 percent disapproval in Rasmussen's December 31, 2009, results, according to its historical index of the 44th president's ratings. However, only 24 percent of respondents strongly approved of Obama's work at the time, and 42 percent strongly disapproved. read more
For this viewer, the meaning of the Trump show began to change with last week's tax bill. Republicans' performance at last week's White House in celebration of the party-line tax bill may have been bombastic and obsequious, but the party placed its bet on a growing economy.
Every bit as hysterical, excessive and embarrassing was the countershow put on by Democrats. But they put themselves on the side of bad things happening. Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and their junior shadows danced around the maypole, lighted candles, burned effigies -- in hope that you will lose your job in 2018, see your hours cut, fail to get an expected raise. This probably is an ill-advised bet by Democrats.
The world's major economies are in a synchronized upswing. The world's central banks are using the window to withdraw their histrionic and destabilizing monetary accommodations of the past decade. To the extent that "it's the economy, stupid" still trumps, the GOP will benefit. read more