Packer has emerged as a key figure in ongoing corruption investigations into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Arnon Milchan, a Hollywood producer who also figures prominently in the investigations of Netanyahu, and Packer are friends and have mutual business interests. The Haaretz daily reported that in 2015 Milchan and Packer tried wooing Cohen to join a global security firm called Blue Sky International, which was started by Milchan in 2008. The businessmen wanted Cohen to take up a partnership in a cybersecurity project. At the time, Cohen was head of the National Security Council and in December 2015 Netanyahu selected him to lead the Mossad, putting the kibosh on Milchan and Packer’s offer.
The development in Cohen’s case came after the Civil Service Commission in December began looking into reports that months before he took up the position as director of Israel’s spy agency, he had received from Packer tickets worth thousands of shekels to attend a Carey concert in central Israel in August 2015....
How the Chinese Government Fabricates Social Media Posts for Strategic Distraction, not Engaged Argument
The Chinese government has long been suspected of hiring as many as 2,000,000 people to surreptitiously insert huge numbers of pseudonymous and other deceptive writings into the stream of real social media posts, as if they were the genuine opinions of ordinary people. Many academics, and most journalists and activists, claim that these so-called "50c party" posts vociferously argue for the government's side in political and policy debates. As we show, this is also true of the vast majority of posts openly accused on social media of being 50c. Yet, almost no systematic empirical evidence exists for this claim, or, more importantly, for the Chinese regime's strategic objective in pursuing this activity. In the first large scale empirical analysis of this operation, we show how to identify the secretive authors of these posts, the posts written by them, and their content. We estimate that the government fabricates and posts about 448 million social media comments a year. In contrast to prior claims, we show that the Chinese regime's strategy is to avoid arguing with skeptics of the party and the government, and to not even discuss controversial issues. We infer that the goal of this massive secretive operation is instead to regularly distract the public and change the subject, as most of the these posts involve cheerleading for China, the revolutionary history of the Communist Party, or other symbols of the regime. We discuss how these results fit with what is known about the Chinese censorship program, and suggest how they may change our broader theoretical understanding of "common knowledge" and information control in authoritarian regimes...
Spencer and others have said that he created the term "alt-right", a term he considers a movement about white identity.
Spencer has repeatedly quoted from Nazi propaganda and spoken critically of the Jewish people, although he has denied being a neo-Nazi. Spencer and his organization drew considerable media attention in the weeks following the 2016 presidential election, where, in response to his cry "Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!", a number of his supporters gave the Nazi salute similar to the Sieg Heil chant used at the Nazis' mass rallies. Spencer has defended their conduct, stating that the Nazi salute was given in a spirit of "irony and exuberance"...