By Stelios OrphanidesTHREE days after Interpol dismissed for the fifth time a Russian arrest warrant against Hermitage Capital founder Bill Browder, a group of European Parliament deputies urged Cyprus, the single EU state cooperating with Russia on the matter, to reconsider its cooperation and to instead clamp down on illicit Russian funds.“We write to you with grave concern about the role that corrupt Russian government officials are playing in Cyprus in relation to the laundering of massive criminal schemes coming from Russia,” the 17 MEPs said in a joint letter to President Nicos Anastasiades dated October 26. “We are equally concerned that while Cyprus is neglecting its duties under the European directives to combat money laundering, the Cypriot government is actively assisting the Russian government in furthering human rights violations through assistance with politically motivated prosecutions, in contravention of its obligations under European conventions”.The European lawmakers told Anastasiades, who completed a three-day working visit in Moscow on Tuesday and held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, that they were “surprised and disheartened” over the island’s lack of action in investigating a tax theft exposed by lawyer Sergei Magnitsky nine years ago, “despite millions of dollars of those proceeds having been laundered through Cyprus”.“Cyprus has not prosecuted those involved in the $230m (€198m) fraud and money laundering despite the evidence of them holding assets in Cyprus,” the MEPs said. “Cyprus has stalled or significantly delayed mutual legal assistance to other EU countries which have been conducting investigations into the $230 million money laundering, most significantly France where it took two years for Cyprus to respond”.“Finally, at the same time as Cyprus is neglecting its obligations to investigate this crime and money laundering, Cyprus has been actively assisting the Russian government in politically motivated proceedings against Browder, the main person who is advocating for justice for Magnitsky,” who died in a Russian prison a year later after the police officials he implicated in the case arrested him and subjected him to torture, they said.Browder filed last month an application for an emergency injunction at the Nicosia District Court in an attempt to force Cypriot authorities to stop their cooperation with Russia in a case launched against him after he successfully advocated the adoption of legislation in the US targeting Russian nationals involved in Magnitsky’s death. The next hearing is set for November 6.In 2014, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution asking member states to adopt similar legislative measures like the US Magnitsky Act of 2012, and not to cooperate with Russia’s government in its vendetta against Browder.“While every other European country, Interpol and the Council of Europe have deemed the Russian proceedings against Browder to be politically motivated, your country has taken a contrary position, and agreed to provide assistance to a Russian politically-motivated process, clearly in violation of your obligations under the rule of law,” the deputies said.They include Ana Gomes, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Marju Lauristin and Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar of the socialist faction, the conservatives Anna Fotyga and Monica Macovei, the liberals Maite Pagazaurtundua Ruiz, Petras Austrevicius and Fredrick Federley, the greens Rebecca Harms and Judith Sargentini, and Christofer Fjellner, Bendt Bendtsen, Lars Adaktusson, Laima Andrikiene, Gunnar Hokmark and Sandra Kalniete of the European Peoples Party to which Disy, Anastasiades’s party is part of.“We were appalled to learn that Cyprus agreed to cooperate with the Russian government in the case against Browder despite the evidence of the high level of political direction and the political nature of those proceedings having been recognized internationally, including by the Council of Europe,” they said. “The Magnitsky case is the most emblematic case of corruption and human rights abuse in Russian modern history. The conduct of Cyprus in this case will have implications that go far beyond this case”.Five years ago, when Cyprus was facing its worst fiscal and banking crisis in its history, euro area members declined to bail out Cypriot banks on the grounds that the banks helped Russian oligarchs launder ill-gotten gains.You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoYahoo SearchThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Research Best Compact SUV CarYahoo SearchUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
The Housing Finance Corporation (HFC) is expanding its low-interest lending activities to household goods, overdrafts, student and medical loans, it announced on Wednesday.The corporation, which has traditionally issued only housing loans for low-income groups, said it was expanding its role and that a public information campaign would be launched shortly.In a statement to CNA, HFC director-general Andreas Georgiou said that apart from its existing activities, which include mortgages for housing and land, and renovation loans, a new plan had also been put in place for young couples.The overdraft facilities it plans to offer would be a first for the HFC, he added.“With that, we are completing the range of products we promised last year,” said Georgiou, adding that HFC credit cards might also be in the offing by the end of the year, or by early 2019.The interest rate on the mortgage scheme for young couples, Georgiou said, would be 1.9 per cent for the first five years, rising to 2.5 per cent thereafter.The student loan would be 1.7 per cent for the first five years, going up to 2.7 per cent, healthcare between 3 per cent and 3.5 per cent and for household goods, 3.3 per cent to 3.5 per cent. The overdraft rate will be 3.7 per cent to 3.9 per cent depending on whether someone has their salary paid into the HFC.With a wage remittance an account-holder could have their overdraft fixed at €15,000 while for other account holders the overdraft ceiling would be set at €4,000.You May LikeTravel Feed12 most remote places at the end of the worldTravel FeedUndoWeightLossHelper.orgTop 20 Foods You Should Eat For Weight LossWeightLossHelper.orgUndoFaresaver.TravelHawaiian Airlines Deals From Only $79.99 One-Way!Faresaver.TravelUndo Limassol police investigating attempted murderUndoCypriot ambassadors gather in Nicosia for annual briefingUndoLicences for ENI and Total to explore block sevenUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
A woman is being treated for bites and shock at a private clinic after being attacked by a Rottweiler on Sunday afternoon in Limassol.The woman and her husband were walking with their two dogs, one of them a cross between a German shepherd and a husky and the other one a cross between a Labrador and a German pointer, in the tourist area of Limassol when the incident happened.While they were walking they came across a man with a Rottweiler. The woman told the Cyprus Mail that the Rottweiler slipped off his collar and grabbed one of her dogs by the neck and started shaking him right and left. She said when she tried to rescue her dog the Rottweiler attacked her.The owner of the Rottweiler went to the police following the incident, the woman said, and reported he too had been bitten on his finger but that he didn’t know which of the dogs did it. He reportedly received first aid at Limassol general hospital. “I did not press charges but I asked him to do something about his dog, to have him trained,” the woman said. She said that she is to be discharged by the clinic on Tuesday. The case is now being investigated by the police and the veterinary services, she said. You May LikeAutoversedQuiz: Can You Guess Engine Parts from a Hint?AutoversedUndoWater Purifiers | Search AdsWater Purifier Prices Might Surprise YouWater Purifiers | Search AdsUndoJay's ProductsElectric Razor For Men By JTrim 3DFLEX Wet dry System JPT-GF500Jay’s ProductsUndo Protest outside the House over foreclosures lawUndoFrom space heroes to artists: women written out of historyUndoLED-lighting the way by 2020Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
The Republic of Cyprus will forge ahead with natural gas plans, having international law and the international community on its side, government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said on Tuesday.He was responding to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan who warned of instability in the area if Cyprus continued.“If the Greek Cypriot side insists on continuing its unilateral hydrocarbon activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, security and stability in the area will be continuously in danger. I am saying this openly and clearly…” Erdogan was quoted as saying during a visit to Britain on Monday.Prodromou said the island’s energy plans were in line with international law and had the support of Russia and the US, as well as the European Council.“What’s certain is that the Republic of Cyprus has international legality on its side and the support of the international community and of course it will continue to exercise its sovereign rights in cooperation with neighbouring countries with which we have agreements, but also with EU member states,” Prodromou said.The spokesman said Turkey’s provocations have already received a response from the European Council that urged Ankara to refrain from illegal actions that caused tensions.If Turkey meant what it said about not wanting tension in the area, the way to show it is by supporting the resumption of the reunification negotiations, Prodromou added.“Turkey can really contribute by accepting the parameters set by the UN Secretary-General for the abolition of guarantees and withdrawal of the army, to achieve a solution of the Cyprus problem and truly have conditions without tensions.”In February, Turkish warships prevented Italian energy company ENI from drilling in a field inside block 6 of the Republic’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).Turkey argues it is safeguarding the rights of Turkish Cypriots, but it also has its own claims inside Cyprus’ EEZ.The government has made it clear that it recognises Turkish Cypriot rights, which they can exercise as part of the island’s reunification.The Greek Cypriot side says Turkish and Turkish Cypriot claims over hydrocarbon exploration are overridden by the convergences already reached on the issue during negotiations.The two sides had agreed the exploitation of natural resources would be the responsibility of a federal state in reunited Cyprus.You May LikeSmart SecurityCheapest Way to Protect your HomeSmart SecurityUndoHealthZap50 Places No One Is Ever Allowed To VisitHealthZapUndoThis magazineFoods against bad breath which really workThis magazineUndo Heroes’ welcome for Israeli teens after woman detained for false rape claim (Update 2)UndoClear winner in first round of Kition bishop voteUndoProtest outside the House over foreclosures lawUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
Existing housing that is currently empty could be put to use to offer some relief for the homeless, Volunteerism and NGO Commissioner Yiannis Yiannaki said on Tuesday.Yiannaki told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that in a letter to Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides, he proposed that “we make use of existing housing potential for those who need aid, such as in refugee neighbourhoods, where there may be apartments or houses that are not being used.”There are also Turkish Cypriot houses, Yiannaki said, “which could be given to vulnerable groups.”Yiannaki called on the relevant services to evaluate both the problems burdening the vulnerable groups of Cyprus, as well as the current situation in terms of the use of existing housing structures.“After such an effort, if we see that there are still deficiencies and the construction of additional housing is required – various such proposals have been made – the state will have to take on the task of construction, either this consists of modular homes or something more permanent.”You May LikeFreedom Debt ReliefPeople In Heavy Debt Are In For A SurpriseFreedom Debt ReliefUndoPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GameUndoComparisons.orgRowland Heights Pays Homeowners to Install Solar. See if your zip code qualifiesComparisons.orgUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
By Elias HazouOver the course of the next seven years (2014 to 2020), Cyprus may raise some €80m from the auctioning off of carbon credits, minister of agriculture and the environment Nicos Kouyialis said yesterday.The proceeds would come from selling surplus carbon allowances, or credits, to other EU countries given that Cyprus would remain below its emissions quota, said Kouyialis.He was speaking after a meeting of the Cabinet which decided, among others, the establishment of a ‘Green Development Fund’.Kouyialis said the fund would be used for ‘green projects’ – such as investing in electric buses, energy-saving buildings, and R&D in renewable energy sources – aimed at further lowering the island’s carbon footprint.The various projects would also create jobs geared at young unemployed people, the minister said.The special fund, as well as a fleshed-out policy plan, would be set up by springtime 2014.From 2014 to 2020, said Kouyialis, the island’s ‘low emissions’ would allow it to auction off its carbon allowances, raising approximately €80m during this period, and perhaps as much as €110m.But as far as power production is concerned, Cyprus goes well beyond its EU carbon allowances.Back in September 2011 the island requested from the European Commission a temporary exemption from the rule that full auctioning of EU ETS allowances would apply from 2013 in the power sector.The Commission accepted Cyprus’ request, clearing Cyprus for about 11 million ETS carbon credits – or EU allowances – for 2013 to 2019. These carbon credits were to be allocated for free to power plants during the period in question.But the electricity sector here has always exceeded its emissions quota. Antonis Patsalis, head of production at the Electricity Authority of Cyprus, told the Mail that each year the power utility emits some 4 million tonnes of carbon.One carbon credit corresponds to a tonne of carbon dioxide. Thus for the eight-year period (2013 to 2020) the Cyprus power sector will roughly generate a total of 32 million tonnes of carbon, or 32 million carbon credits – well above the €11 million free allowance. The EAC has to buy the extra credits on exchanges.A country’s emissions quota is not limited to the power sector; it also includes heavy industry (such as cement factories) and transport.It was thus not clear whether the minister was referring to these other sectors when saying that Cyprus would be able to ‘save’ and sell credits. Also not clear was how the minister arrived at the €80m figure; Kouyialis could not be reached for comment yesterday.Cyprus participates in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), launched in 2005, that works on the “cap and trade” principle: there is a “cap”, or limit, on the total amount of certain greenhouse gases that can be emitted by the factories, power plants and other installations in the system. Within this cap, companies receive emission allowances which they can sell to or buy from one another as needed. The limit on the total number of allowances available ensures that they have a value.At the end of each year each company must surrender enough allowances to cover all its emissions, otherwise heavy fines are imposed. If a company reduces its emissions, it can keep the spare allowances to cover its future needs or else sell them to another company that is short of allowances.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo Cruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
The cabinet on Wednesday approved the employment of three experts to help investigators looking into the causes of the island’s economic collapse.The government’s intention to strengthen the team had been announced last week after officials reviewed the course of the investigation in a meeting headed by President Nicos Anastasiades.There has been criticism in recent days over the speed of the investigation into the collapse, which saw one bank close and another recapitalised by seizing clients’ deposits.The scope of the police inquiry covers the banks’ expansion into Greece, bank corporate governance, the acquisition of Greek bonds, and how now-defunct Laiki Bank came to amass some €9 billion in emergency liquidity, a liability since passed onto the Bank of Cyprus.Cypriot banks lost about €4.5 billion when European Union leaders agreed in late 2011 to a Greek debt write-down, designed to make that country’s debt burden more sustainable.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoKelley Blue BookYou Won’t Believe How Affordable These Ford Car Models AreKelley Blue BookUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
Cyprus and Egypt have signed a memorandum of understanding to examine the transport of natural gas through an underwater pipeline.The agreement was signed by the Cyprus hydrocarbon company and Egypt’s natural gas holding company at Sharm El Sheikh.The two companies have agreed to look into technical solutions to transport natural gas from Cyprus’ offshore Block 12 to Egypt through an underwater pipeline.“Without a doubt, the memorandum of understanding is an important step to strengthen the co-operation of Egypt and Cyprus in the area of oil and natural gas, which will further the friendly relations between the two countries,” an announcement said.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
President Nicos Anastasiades departs on Sunday night for Moscow for a two-day official working visit that will include meetings with senior state officials.According to a statement, Anastasiades, flanked by Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, Finance Harris Georgiades, Transport Minister Marios Demetriades and government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides, will meet with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday and President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.On the agenda will be bilateral relations, the latest developments in the Cyprus problem talks, Russia’s relations with the European Union, as well as regional and international matters.During the meeting with Putin, Anastasiades will sign bilateral agreements in areas like commercial shipping, international road transportation and communications, as well as memoranda of cooperation in areas like the economy, the statement said.The two presidents will make remarks to the press after the meeting.During his stay in Moscow, Anastasiades will also have contacts with Russian businessmen at a dinner organised by the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency, as well as reporters at a news conference for the Russian media at the Tass news agency.The president and his delegation are scheduled to return to Cyprus on Tuesday.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoSmart Tips DailySeniors With No Life Insurance May Get A $250,000 Policy If They Do ThisSmart Tips DailyUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
01Feb Webber: Bipartisan bills provide access to government Categories: News,Webber News Representative says accountability a priority State Rep. Michael Webber today joined his colleagues in a Capitol news conference to unveil bipartisan legislation that gives people access to public records and continues to make state government transparency a priority.Webber, of Rochester Hills, co-sponsored the 11 bills that create the Legislative Open Records Act (LORA) and subjects the governor and lieutenant governor to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The bills are similar to a legislative package that Webber supported last session that passed the House but never made it to the governor’s desk for signature.“The government works for the taxpayers, and people deserve access to public records that show how the money entrusted to the state government has been used,” Webber said. “Michigan and Massachusetts are the only two states that do not allow this type of transparency. It’s high time we changed that.”Webber said local governments are subject to FOIA provisions, and state government should not be exempt.“During my time as a Rochester Hills City Councilman, I was always subject to FOIA,” Webber said. “The fact that, as a state legislator, I am not subject to the same requirement just doesn’t make sense. These bills work to address that concern.”The LORA bill exempts some records, among them letters to and from people in the district, human resources files, and ongoing legislative investigations or lawsuits. Only one other state exempts its legislature and governor from FOIA-like scrutiny.#####
State Rep. Beth Griffin today voted to approve a package of bills aimed at providing income tax relief for families and seniors.The bills continue and increase personal exemptions for Michigan taxpayers and their dependents on their income taxes, while providing additional relief for senior citizens.Griffin, of Mattawan, voted for the three-bill package that will enable people to keep more of their hard-earned money.“This is a win for all of the taxpayers in southwest Michigan,” Griffin said. “The state budget is in good shape and our economy continues to grow. The time is right to ease the tax burden and put more money back into the pockets of Michigan families.”Griffin said the technical fix related to the federal reforms saves $172 per person on state income taxes each year, or $688 for a family of four. Raising the personal exemption provides an additional $102 in relief for a family of four.The legislation, House Bills 5420-5422, will:Ensure Michigan taxpayers can continue claiming personal exemptions on income taxes after federal tax reforms signed into law last month, andIncrease the state personal exemption from the current $4,000 to $4,300 for the 2018 tax year, with gradual increases reaching $4,800 for 2020;Certify taxpayers in Michigan cities with an income tax will continue to be able to claim exemptions; andHelp senior citizens in addition to the personal exemption increase by providing a $100 income tax credit for a single filer age 62 or older – or $200 for joint filers.House Bills 5420-5422 now go to the Senate for consideration.### Categories: Griffin News 25Jan Rep. Griffin votes to provide tax relief to Michigan families, seniors
Share2TweetShareEmail2 SharesPhiladelphia Inquirer / Paul SablemanJanuary 12, 2016; Philadelphia InquirerNews that ownership of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and the website Philly.com would be transferred to the Philadelphia Foundation took the journalism world by storm. Owner Gerry Lenfest, who bought the media at auction in 2014 for $88 million, announced that the plan to transfer the properties to a new media institute managed within the foundation’s Special Asset Fund had been in the works for some time and is meant to preserve independent public interest journalism in Philadelphia, free from the demands of profit-seeking stakeholders. Included in the deal will be a $20 million endowment.In a column at the Poynter website, writer Rick Edmonds points out that there is a precedent for this historic move in the gifting of the Tampa Bay Times to the Poynter Institute. In that case, he said, the shift has kept the Times “committed to ambitious journalism, independent and locally owned.” But this deal is quite different. The holding of Lenfest’s Institute for Journalism in New Media inside of the Philadelphia foundation is definitely a new, untested wrinkle. The mission may fit—Foundation President and CEO Pedro Ramos, who has been in leadership at the foundation for six months, called the match a good one, saying at the announcement that democracies and “great cities need and depend on quality journalism”—but the structure of the deal is complex.Management of the media entities and a separate board of directors will remain at the for-profit Philadelphia Media Network. This group is charged with making business decisions. The institute will, according to Lenfest, start with only “an executive director, a program officer, a development officer and a secretary,” but the institute basically is the umbrella owner of the whole. The governance systems are separate.The agreement also stipulates: “The editorial function and news coverage of PMN shall at all times remain independent of the institute, and the institute shall not attempt to influence or interfere with the editorial policies or decisions of PMN.”What is clear is that Lenfest intends to use the new tax status to attract philanthropic dollars from wealthy individuals and local and national foundations. He thinks that the new entity’s success will depend upon its ability “to raise the endowment to many times what it is now.” He also says he hopes that the institute will act as a laboratory, testing new technologies and models for delivering public interest journalism.Lenfest, whose background is in media, has given away close to a billion dollars in his career as a philanthropist. He says he believes that this may be the most important thing he has ever done. A note of caution: NPQ has recently covered a few stories, including one on the JFK Library, about the problems that can occur between related institutions with separate governing bodies awkwardly patched together. We look forward to watching this develop and seeing the details of how this will work and what it will produce.—Ruth McCambridgeShare2TweetShareEmail2 Shares
Share3TweetShare4Email7 Shares110325-G-5709T-028-Ethics Forum, Eric Greitens / US Coast Guard AcademyOctober 11, 2016; St. Louis Post-DispatchEric Greitens is the Republican nominee for governor of Missouri after winning the Republican primary in August 2016. Greitens is a former Rhodes Scholar and Navy SEAL (Bronze Star and Purple Heart are among his military awards). He founded The Mission Continues in 2007 after leaving military service. A primary initiative of The Mission Continues is to offer six-month “Fellowships” to post-9/11 veterans to volunteer at nonprofit or community organizations of their choice. Greitens stepped down as CEO of The Mission Continues in July 2014 and resigned from the board of directors in 2015.David Lieb, writing for the Associated Press, reports that in potential violation of federal law, Greitens asked The Mission Continues donors to support his campaign.Financial records analyzed by the Associated Press show Greitens has received nearly $2 million from donors who previously gave significant amounts to The Mission Continues—an overlap that was especially beneficial during the crucial startup of his campaign.A separate Excel spreadsheet obtained by the AP suggests that correlation is no coincidence.The spreadsheet, labeled “All donors $1K total and up—as of 5-7-14,” shows the names, email addresses and phone numbers of people who gave at least $1,000 to The Mission Continues.Its properties show it was created by a Mission Continues employee May 6, 2014, shortly before Greitens stepped down as CEO, and was last saved March 24, 2015, by Michael Hafner, who had been working for Greitens’ gubernatorial exploratory committee.Greitens denies any coordination with or intentionally soliciting the donors of The Mission Continues. Greitens does acknowledge raising money from donors who had become his friends over time: “We were calling people who had become friends and gotten to know me over the course of seven years, who invested in The Mission Continues, and got to know me as a leader.”NPQ has reported in its nonprofit newswire on the ambiguities inherent in the IRS guidelines on “The Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations.” And we would want to give a war hero such as Greitens the benefit of the doubt. But politics is anything but forgiving.Greitens received nearly 14 percent of his money from donors who previously gave at least $1,000 to The Mission Continues or who are tied to businesses and foundations that did. Of the more than $525,000 he raised during an initial two-month period in 2015, about 85 percent of it came from donors who previously gave to The Mission Continues.Greitens received a PhD from Oxford, created a renowned charity doing good work with veterans, and served as a White House Fellow. Greitens is currently a lieutenant commander in the United States Navy Reserve after being deployed four times to Iraq and Afghanistan. Whether he can now survive Missouri politics and the never-ending vagaries of IRS rules remains to be seen.—James SchafferShare3TweetShare4Email7 Shares
Share5Tweet16Share13Email34 SharesBy Gustave Doré (1832 – 1883) [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsOctober 4, 2017; Bakersfield Californian and WABEAfter nine months of the Trump presidency paired with unified Republican control of Congress, it is very clear that, at all levels, our assumptions about public policy and funding need to be reconsidered. It doesn’t matter whether you agree or disagree with the new administration’s direction; if you are responsible for governing an organization that partners with a state or federal program, you are facing a very changed landscape.For example, as October began, funding authorization for several long-standing federal health insurance programs was allowed to lapse. Nonprofits depending on funding connected to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Community Health Centers, and the Health Service Corps were left in limbo. They await word on if Congress will act and reauthorize some or all of their funding and to see if the president will agree to sign. While this drama plays to its end, they face a crisis.Amy Simmons, who directs communications for the National Association of Community Health Centers, told the Bakersfield Californian that “Facilities across the nation have begun instituting hiring freezes, limiting hours at health centers, reducing staff hours and tapping into their reserve funds. The health center funding cliff is affecting health centers right now. You can’t deliver healthcare effectively on a month-to-month basis. That’s a lot of uncertainty when it comes to patients’ lives being on the line.” Carole Maddux, the executive director of the Good Samaritan Health & Wellness Center in Jasper, Georgia told WABE that “it’s affected her ability to plan for the center, which has been expanding. For instance, I’ve got several openings on my staff right now that I’m trying to fill, and in the back of mind there’s always this uncertainty because the funding hasn’t been renewed yet.”These are examples of nonprofit leadership stepping up in the midst of a funding crisis to make the necessary decisions in response to an immediate threat, limiting damage to their clients and their organizations. While they’re at it, they ought to advocate for political leaders to support their programs and to restore funding as well. This is hard and important work, and planning for these challenges should have begun perhaps months, or even years, earlier.Nonprofit Quarterly, in covering the impending loss of funding for important health programs, recognized, that “the September 30th deadline was set up two years ago and so should not come as a surprise.” Was that when serious planning should have begun?The 2018 federal budget just approved by the House targets much of the federal ‘safety net’ for drastic funding cuts. In almost every sphere of government activity, there are powerful forces pushing for rollbacks and reversals. Whether these changes make it through the Senate or not, that they’ve gotten this far should be enough to prompt serious planning to develop the strategic directions needed to respond to the “what if?” question.So, why are we caught scrambling so often when possible scenarios become our realities? Are we afraid to place another burden on the agendas of organizations that are already stretched? Are we afraid to take on a difficult balancing act, one that requires meeting today’s pressing needs while we think through the next year and beyond? Is the discussion of unpleasant possibilities and difficult choices, like those now facing Community Health Centers, too upsetting and demoralizing to have before the checks stop arriving?Good governance requires good planning, and good planning requires an assessment of many possible futures. It allows us to think through how we would respond to even unpleasant possibilities before we have no choice. It lets us consider new solutions. It does not guarantee a future free of pain or risk, but it gives an organization a better chance to take control of its future.—Martin LevineShare5Tweet16Share13Email34 Shares
Swisscom is launching a new catch-up TV service as it revealed the growing popularity of its on-demand platform.The telco has begun market testing a service that enables customers to watch programmes from 70 channels up to 24 hours after the original broadcast. Several hundred customers currently have access to the service that the telco said would gradually extend to its entire customer base by mid-year.Last year, Swisscom had 6.3 million requests for on-demand content from its 600,000 TV customers. It also revealed that its iPad app, which lets users watch Swisscom TV on the device, has been downloaded 150,000 times since launching in July, 2010.
UAE-based pay TV operator YahLive has added a local version of kids channel Cartoon Network to its DTH platform.Cartoon Network Arabic is now available to YahLive subscribers in HD. The channel airs various international and locally produced kids shows including LazyTown, Ben 10 and Powerpuff Girls.Mohamed Youssif, CEO of YahLive, said: “With Cartoon Network Arabic HD going live on our satellite, we are able to bring children’s favourite cartoon characters to life in high definition. As the home of HD, YahLive is delighted to have Cartoon Network Arabic be a part of our growing channel bouquet and a new addition to the HD hotspot for the region.”
Netflix on YouView search screenUK connected TV platform YouView has added Netflix access to its set-top boxes, allowing its users to click to access the subscription video-on-demand service.Rolling out today, the Netflix app will be available on Humax-made YouView boxes bought from a retailer, as well as on pay TV provider BT’s YouView-powered set-top boxes.YouView boxes provided by pay TV provider TalkTalk, as well as retail set-top boxes from Huawei will receive the Netflix update early in the new year, said YouView.“Netflix is a brilliant addition to our already impressive line-up of TV programming. We are really excited about Netflix and giving YouView audiences even more choice,” said YouView CEO Richard Halton.Netflix offers TV box sets, films, comedy specials, documentaries and children’s programming and its titles will now will be integrated into YouView’s ‘seamlessly integrated search’ function.Existing Netflix subscribers can login to the player on YouView by entering their Netflix username and password using the YouView remote control.BT first revealed that it had agreed to offer Netflix access to its TV customers last week. BT TV customers, who sign up for Netflix alongside BT broadband and TV offers, will also be able to pay for Netflix via their BT bill –a first for Netflix.YouView now offers free and paid on-demand content from services including BBC iPlayer, 4oD, ITV Player, Demand 5, UKTV, Quest from Discovery, NOW TV from Sky and Sky Store.
UK video-on-demand regulator ATVOD has ruled that two adult services have breached statutory rules put in place to protect children. The regulator ruled that Daisy Rock UK and She Bang TV allowed under 18s to access content viewable on-demand by allowing free, unrestricted access to videos and images and by making full-length videos available to any visitor who paid a fee.ATVOD said that the operator of Daisy Rock UK subsequently put its content out of reach of children, but had appealed with Ofcom against a separate ATVOD ruling that its service falls within the scope of the statutory rules.The operator of She Bang TV failed to become fully compliant in accordance with a timetable set by ATVOD. The service provider has therefore been referred to Ofcom for consideration of a sanction.
Telekom Austria has partnered with SPI International/Filmbox International to launch the FilmBox thematic channels in the territories where it is active.Telekom Austria Group plans to introduce the channels in “at least two” of their markets in the first half of this year.With its ‘direct2home’ platform Telekom Austria Group will also act as a technical distribution and contribution provider for the FilmBox channels’ Balkan and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) feeds over the Eutelsat 16A satellite.