The court that rules the world


August 29, 2016

An explosive BuzzFeed News investigation looks at a court that lets corporations bully entire countries. Meet the Republican who thinks that Donald Trump is playing too nice. And a look at how people are remembering the life of Mexican music legend Juan Gabriel.



A private global super court empowers corporations to bend entire countries to their will.

Known as Investor-State Dispute Settlement, or ISDS, it is written into the treaties that govern international trade.

It’s supposed to be a reliable, impartial forum to resolve conflicts between international corporations and the countries where they operate. But it is not a level playing field.

When countries try to regulate pollution or fight corruption, corporations have used this court to demand hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars in retribution. And the odds are stacked in their favor.

A four-part BuzzFeed News investigation starts with a shocking look at how executives convicted of crimes use this special forum to escape punishment.

Mike McQuade / BuzzFeed News

Mike McQuade for BuzzFeed News



Trump’s shifts on immigration

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has come under renewed scrutiny, particularly by those in his own party, for his apparent shift on immigration. But it’s not the first time the blustery candidate has shifted and changed his language on immigration, whether on undocumented immigrants already living in the US, or his proposed ban on all Muslims entering the country.

And a little extra.

Meet Steve Goldberg, a Republican who thinks Trump is playing too nice. Goldberg is a kind of underground legend in Republican politics — best known for inventing what is now called “push polling.” And here in 2016, Goldberg admires Donald Trump’s core proposition: “His scenario is that the silent majority is angry, powerful, and ready to rumble.”

Mark Abramson / BuzzFeed News

Mark Abramson for BuzzFeed News



Mexican music legend Juan Gabriel died at the age of 66.

The singer-songwriter was known for his mariachi tunes and love ballads. Born in Michoacán, Mexico, as Alberto Aguilera Valadez,  Gabriel’s discography comprised of dozens of studio albums and live recordings dating back to the 1970s and his 1984 album, Recuerdos II, sold 8 million copies and remains the best-selling album of all time in Mexico.

Gabriel was in the midst of a US tour and had been scheduled to perform Sunday night in Texas. His final show was last Friday in Los Angeles. This is how people are remembering him.



Gif via Giphy


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