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In a New York Times op-ed published Saturday evening, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio condemned Amazon for its decision to pull the plug on its HQ2 expansion in Queens, calling it a byproduct of massive economic power concentrated in the hands of few wealthy corporations.

"As the mayor of the nation's largest city, a place that's both a progressive beacon and the very symbol of capitalism, I share the frustration about corporate America. So do many of my fellow mayors across the country. We know the game is rigged. But we still find ourselves fighting one another in the race to secure opportunity for our residents as corporations force us into all-against-all competitions.
Amazon's HQ2 bidding war exemplified that injustice."

The big picture: De Blasio suggested that had Amazon taken the time to "talk in earnest" with local activists, the project — which "could've opened a path to the middle class for thousands of families" — might have been salvaged. Instead, Amazon decided it "didn't want to be in a city where they had to engage critics at all," which de Blasio called "a pattern."

  • "When Seattle's City Council passed a tax on big employers to fund the battle against homelessness, the company threatened to stop major expansion plans, putting 7,000 jobs at risk. The tax was rescinded."
  • De Blasio also highlighted the recent reports that Amazon paid $0 in federal income tax in 2018, despite record profits. He called it "galling," especially at a time when middle-class Americans are reportedly seeing smaller tax returns as a result of President Trump's tax plan.

The bottom line, according to de Blasio: "We just witnessed another example of what the concentration of power in the hands of huge corporations leaves in its wake. Let's change the rules before the next corporation tries to divide and conquer."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.