Oct 18, 2017

George Soros' $18B bet

George Soros, Founder and Chairman of the Open Society Foundation, waits for the start of a meeting at EU headquarters. Photo: Olivier Hoslet, Pool Photo via AP

George Soros has invested $18 billion in Open Society Foundations, according to foundation officials, the Wall Street Journal reports. And Soros, who is one of the world's most successful investors, has done it again.

Why it matters: "Now holding the bulk of Mr. Soros's fortune, Open Society has vaulted to the top ranks of philanthropic organizations, appearing to become the second largest in the U.S. by assets after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, based on 2014 figures from the National Philanthropic Trust."

  • About: "Having lived under both communism and a Nazi occupation in Hungary ... Soros hoped to foster 'open societies' in places where authoritarian governments held power."
  • Abroad: "Open Society ... operates through a network of more than 40 foundations and offices in countries from Afghanistan to South Africa. It has funded refugee relief, public-health efforts ... Open Society's activism has sometimes angered nationalist governments."
  • At home: "In the U.S., where Mr. Soros is a major contributor to liberal and Democratic causes, he is a lightning rod for conservatives. Open Society has supported efforts to overhaul immigration policies and the criminal-justice system ... It has supported activists working on issues raised by ... Black Lives Matter."

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American carnage

Protesters race up a hill to avoid tear gas in Philadelphia, June 1. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The list of victims has swiftly grown since George Floyd died in police custody just eight days ago.

The big picture: Protests against police brutality have turned into a showcase of police brutality, with tear gas and rubber bullets deployed against crowds. The police have the arsenals at their disposal, but we're also seeing law enforcement officers becoming targets.

McConnell blocks resolution condemning Trump's actions against peaceful protesters

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked a resolution introduced by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday that would have condemned the use of tear gas and rubber bullets against peaceful protesters outside the White House on Monday in order to allow President Trump to walk to St. John's Church.

What they're saying: "Justice for black Americans in the face of unjust violence, and peace for our country in the face of looting, riots, and domestic terror. Those are the two issues Americans want addressed," McConnell said on the Senate floor.

George W. Bush breaks silence on George Floyd

Goerge Bush in Michigan in 2009. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Former President George W. Bush (R) wrote in a statement Tuesday that he and his wife, Laura, are "anguished" by the death of George Floyd, and said that "it is time for America to examine our tragic failures."

Why it matters: It's a stark juxtaposition when compared to fellow Republican President Trump's response to current civil unrest. While Trump has called for justice in Floyd's death, he's also condemned protestors and threatened to deploy military personnel if demonstrations continue.