Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) – Cyprus has condemned plans by a group from the U.S.-based Biblical Archaeology Society to travel to the ethnically split island through its breakaway north.Cyprus’ Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website Wednesday that the group’s planned arrival on June 11 through Turkish-dominated north would breach Cypriot and international law and be “inconsistent with scholarly ethics.” It appealed to the group to amend its itinerary. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Cyprus was divided in 1974 into a Greek speaking south and a Turkish speaking north in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece.The Society’s two-week trip to Turkey and Cyprus traces the footsteps of the Apostle Paul on his 1st century A.D. mission to spread Christianity in the region.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Top Stories Comments Share New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths
February 20, 2012 396 Views Chase Partners With Nonprofit to House Veterans As many as 100 wounded veterans and service members may receive homes free of charge, thanks to a new partnership between the mortgage lending unit for “”JPMorgan Chase””:http://www.jpmorganchase.com/corporate/Home/home.htm and nonprofit “”Operation Homefront””:http://www.operationhomefront.net/default.aspx.[IMAGE]The financial institution will pair homes it currently owns with qualifying families the nonprofit serves, including active-duty, Guard or Reserve, and honorably discharged service members.[COLUMN_BREAK]Any veteran from any era is eligible to apply, as are surviving single spouses of service members killed-in-action and post-9/11 disabled veterans.””This is an incredible gift from Chase to our men and women in uniform,”” “”Jim Knotts””:http://www.operationhomefront.net/about.aspx?id=1945, president and CEO of Operation Homefront, said in a statement.””We’re proud to partner with Operation Homefront in awarding homes to members of the military and their families,”” “”Frank Bisignano””:http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/people/person.asp?personId=2133325&ticker=JPM:US, JPMorgan Chase chief administrative officer and CEO of mortgage banking, said in a statement. Brad Cooper, executive director of Joining Forces, a subunit within the office of First Lady “”Michelle Obama””:http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/first-lady-michelle-obama, called the program “”exactly the type of wonderful, collaborative effort that the First Lady and Dr. [Jill] Biden hoped to see when they rolled out ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├ï┼ôJoining Forces’ last year ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô companies and organizations coming together to better serve veterans, service members and their families.””As part of the effort, Operation Homefront will also accept donated goods to furbish homes for veterans and service members. Agents & Brokers JPMorgan Chase Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-02-20 Ryan Schuette in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Share
More Evidence Suggests QM Rule Isn’t Having ‘Significant’ Impact on Lending Yet in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News, Origination Before implementation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s qualified mortgage (QM) and ability-to-repay rules, many industry analysts expressed concerns over the ultimate impact of these rules on mortgage lending and access to credit. Now that the rules have been in effect several months, the debate over the impact of these rules has only intensified.In fact, the Federal Reserve’s recent Senior Loan Officer Survey, which explored the topic of lending in the post-QM/ability-to-repay environment, lead to various interpretations of the rules’ ultimate impact on mortgage lending so far. The survey found lending for prime residential mortgages at large banks has not changed much since the new rules went into effect.A new analysis from the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan research group, maintains there has been “surprisingly little impact on the origination numbers” as a result of the QM and ability-to-repay rules.”While there remains a great deal of uncertainty over the ultimate impact of the QM rule, we do not yet see significant changes in the market,” the institute stated on its MetroTrends Blog.The Urban Institute attributed the minimal impact of the rules to the already tight lending environment prior to rule implementation and to the “patch” that allows the GSEs and Ginnie Mae to continue to abide by their own standards for the next seven years. With agency loans accounting for about 80 percent of today’s originations, the majority of loans remain unaffected by the new rules.However, the Urban Institute did acknowledge the potential for further impact as some institutions may have been slow to implement the rules, which are still relatively new.Furthermore, the institute lacks data from small banks and credit unions, and these institutions may be reacting differently than larger banks and government agencies, analysts said.According to the institute’s data, QM restrictions on interest only loans, prepayment penalty loans, and loans with debt-to-income ratios higher than 43 percent have thus far had little impact on lending.”Very few IO and essentially no PP loans were made before QM went into effect, and that is still the case,” according to the Urban Institute, while the percentage of loans with DTIs exceeding 43 percent “has remained relatively steady.” The institute did note a small decline in high-DTI loans at the GSEs, however.Another source of potential impact is the QM stipulation that adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) carry the maximum possible interest rate for the first five years of the loan. The impact of this stipulation is difficult to measure thus far as ARM loans began to climb alongside interest rate hikes in the second half of last year. Since January, ARM share has “declined marginally” while remaining higher than early last year during a lower interest rate environment.One segment of the market where the Urban Institute did see a decline in lending since QM implementation is among loans for less than $100,000. However, this decline appears to have started in November and is not overly broad. “[T]here was only a 400-loan decline in the number of new small loans in the bank portfolios between November 2013 and March 2014,” according to the institute. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Credit Standards Qualified Mortgage Urban Institute 2014-08-24 Krista Franks Brock August 24, 2014 642 Views Share
An oasis of calm and relaxation awaits Lufthansa First Class passengers and HON Circle members at the newly opened First Class Lounge in Concourse B at Frankfurt Airport. An exclusive First Class Spa area within the lounge offers a retreat from the every day travel norm, with six spa-quality bath facilities — two of them with Jacuzzis. For the first time at a Lufthansa Lounge, two spa treatment rooms help guests refresh and unwind with a range of cosmetic treatments and massages which can be paid for with Miles & More award points.“Frequent flyers and business travelers are constantly on the go — so time becomes a precious asset. Far removed from the hustle and bustle of the airport, we offer guests at the new First Class Lounge an opportunity to use the time to relax in an exclusive atmosphere or to work,” said Lufthansa Hub Manager Dr. Karl-Rudolph Rupprecht.With a total floor space of more than 13,000 square feet –slightly bigger than the Frankfurt First Class Terminal — the new lounge can seat some 100 guests. It also provides the same exclusive amenities that Lufthansa’s First Class lounges have become known for. A spacious comfort area with relaxing leather armchairs offers a view of the airport apron and invites guests to sit back and unwind. Two quiet rooms with leather day beds and Bang & Olufsen sound systems are available for guests wishing to rest or sleep. Fully-enclosed office units equipped with telephones, PCs with Internet access and writing amenities provide an opportunity for guests to work as they await their departure. Complimentary WLAN access is also available throughout the lounge.Guests looking for some fun can take advantage of the new Wii Activity Room at the First Class Lounge, offering a choice of Wii Sport an d Wii Fit games. The game CDs, balance board and remote controls are available from the Lounge Concierge Desk.A separate Cigar Lounge features a view of the airport apron as well as a snack bar, drink selections and increased air exchange rate for a pleasant atmosphere without the smell of smoke.International culinary selections provided by the world-renown Viennese caterer Do & Co pamper guests in the restaurant and bistro area. An extensive buffet is provided or meals can be ordered à la carte. Dishes are freshly prepared in front of lounge guests and served by waiters. In the bar area, an assortment of beverages and spirits are offered in an open, inviting atmosphere.A new addition to Lufthansa’s Lounge product is the limousine service for passengers whose flights are departing from Terminal areas A and C – or, in the case of flights to a non-Schengen or non-EU destination, from an apron position. This service was previously only available at the Frankfurt First Class Terminal. In addition, passengers arriving at or transferring from an apron position will be taken by limousine from their aircraft to the Bus Arrivals point in Terminal B, where they will be met by a dedicated Lufthansa staff member and directed to the new First Class Lounge.www.lufthansa.com
By Evie Mitsidou PhillipsWEEE Cyprus, the non-profit organisation set up for the collection of waste electrical and electronic equipment has to-date recycled 17,351 tons of electric and electronic appliances, the organisation’s President Stelios Athanasiou told CNA, noting that at present there are over 260 points of collection throughout Cyprus.Athanasiou said WEEE Cyprus was an initiative set up by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) in June 2008, to encourage consumers to recycle their old electric and electronic appliances instead of throwing them away.Legislation adopted in 2002 defines the framework of electric and electronic equipment producers’ duties and responsibilities which also concerns importers of such equipment.Athanasiou said that 378 companies are registered with WEEE Cyprus, adding that 26 of those are shareholders in the organisation.“We collect information and telecommunications equipment, consumer products, such as televisions, lamps, electric and electronic tools, games and sport entertainment equipment, medical appliances, monitoring devices and automatic distribution devices,” he explained.To put it plainly, “our organisation can recycle anything which uses a power plug or batteries.”Of the 260 collection points, 76 are for the collection of lamps, 145 pallets for small appliances and 39 hook containers, with that number rising to 68 after a significant investment of €100,000.As regards the volume of appliances recycled, Athanasiou said that “from 2009 to 2011 we collected small quantities of electric appliances. From 2011 onward, quantities increased at a steady rate.”In 2018, “we collected 2,603 tonnes of electric and electronic appliances, 32 tonnes of lamps, while 160 tons were reused.”Athanasiou also raised the issue of “free-riders”, who do not manage the appliances in the appropriate manner, resulting in these ending up in scrap metal waste.“Our organisation guarantees that appliances will be recycled in the appropriate manner,” which end up in the system’s sorting and storage centre in Geri industrial estate where ordinary citizens, companies and government departments can also take their appliances.“Once appliances are weighed, they are categorised in various groups in accordance with how they will be dealt with later,” he explained.The WEEE Cyprus President said that the organisation’s operational cost is covered by the companies who participate in the system, that is to say importers of electric and electronic appliances who sell their products in Cyprus.Companies pay a fee every year depending on the quantity of appliances they import and their weight, and that “naturally the cost is then transferred on the consumer.”Because of that, Athanasiou noted, “our goal is to maintain the collection and management cost as low as possible so that the end consumer pays the lowest possible cost.”More information is available on the organisation’s website www.weeecyprus.com.cy(CNA)You May LikeCalifornia Earthquake AuthorityMake earthquake insurance a family priorityCalifornia Earthquake AuthorityUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoIcePopMan Notices A Strange Hole In This Lake, So He Gets A Drone, Flies It Inside And Captures ThisIcePopUndo Our View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoCyprus and Italy in hot water over tax breaks for yachtsUndoGreek PMs visit ‘of utmost importance’, spokesman saysUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
18Mar Franz welcomes local students to Lansing State Rep. Ray Franz met with Leelanau County 4-H students today during MSU’s 4-H Capitol Experience. Pictured from left: Franz, Olena Radulova from Glen Lake High School, 4-H leader Karin Stevens, and Andrew Roberts from Leland High School. The annual MSU conference focuses on civic engagement by teaching participants how to influence public policy, helping them increase their leadership and citizenship skills, and providing greater understanding and knowledge of state government. Categories: News
16Jan Rep. Kesto to chair House Judiciary Committee Categories: Kesto News,News State Rep. Klint Kesto was named by Speaker Kevin Cotter to serve as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and will sit on three other committees during the 2015-2016 legislative session.Kesto, R-Commerce Township, said his experience as an assistant prosecuting attorney will be invaluable as the Judiciary Committee addresses key issues affecting Michigan.“We made great progress last session in cracking down on issues such as human trafficking and scrap metal reform, making Michigan a safer state for our hard-working families in the process,” Kesto said. “We have achieved much, but still have a great deal of work to do to make our neighborhoods safe.”The second-term lawmaker also will serve on the House Regulatory Reform, Health Policy and Elections committees.House committees review all legislation that affects their issue area and make recommendations as to whether the full House should take up the bills. Committee chairs decide when bills are heard, run the committee meetings and organize informational hearings to help lawmakers and the public understand important issues.#####
05Feb Michigan House Republicans announce policy blueprint for 2015-2016 legislative term Categories: Lauwers News,News Michigan House Republicans today released their plan for the next two years, with a focus on continued job growth, opening up new opportunities for young people and creating a better government for all.Speaker of the House Kevin Cotter and House Republicans unveiled the policy blueprint, titled “Focused on Michigan’s Future: Charting a Course for Continued Recovery,” at a Capitol press conference this afternoon. The document places the legislative goals of the caucus into six policy pillars: Fostering Job Growth and Strengthening our Economy, Creating a Brighter Future for All, Preparing Students for Tomorrow, Making Government More Accountable, Getting Michigan Moving and Powering its Future, and Eliminating Obstacles Created by Government.“Talk is cheap, but actions can be priceless,” said Cotter, R-Mt. Pleasant. “We have shown year after year that we turn our policy goals into real results for Michigan families. This term will be no different, with another plan full of public commitments that will hold us accountable to the people of Michigan.“For the public to truly hold us accountable, our actions and goals must be transparent. The people deserve to know where we stand, and they deserve representatives who will stand by their word.”Four years ago, House Republicans released a document called the Guiding Principles, and at the end of the term, 80 percent of the goals had been completed. Two years ago, the caucus released an Action Plan that laid out new goals, 80 percent of which were then accomplished.This year’s plan was created with input from all 63 members of the Republican caucus, led by the Policy Development Workgroup and its chair, state Rep. Dan Lauwers.“Our members did a great job collecting ideas from the people in their community and really listening to what the people of Michigan want from their state government,” said Lauwers, R-Brockway Township. “This document won’t come close to touching everything we will do in the next two years, but it shows the shared focus we all have as a caucus, and it highlights some of our top priorities and issue areas statewide. I am proud to stand by their efforts today, and I look forward to working hard alongside them as we accomplish these goals over the next two years.”A digital copy of the House Republican Action Plan can be found online at www.GOPHouse.com.
Categories: Sheppard News Free Fishing Weekend is June 10 and 11, and state Rep. Jason Sheppard encourages people to take advantage of the event by heading out to Lake Erie, River Raisin, or a nearby stream and cast a line.“Free Fishing Weekend is a great opportunity for residents to explore the family-friendly fishing options Monroe County has to offer,” Rep Sheppard said. “Fishing is fun for people of all ages and I encourage you to get outdoors to enjoy the resources that Michigan has to offer.”Michigan Department of Natural Resources hosts Free Fishing Weekend twice a year to promote awareness of the state’s aquatic resources. During the weekend, fishing license fees will be waived, but all regulations still apply.For more information on this summer’s Free Fishing Weekend, including a list of activities across the state, visit www.michigan.gov/freefishing. 05Jun Rep. Sheppard encourages residents to enjoy Free Fishing Weekend
Bill secures school funding while high school students get on-the-job training State Rep. Brandt Iden’s legislation to help increase professional skills opportunities for high school students in now law.Rep. Iden’s bill and its partner legislation allows students to participate in an off-campus internship or a work experience program for school credit.“Work and internship experience allows students to gain hands-on opportunities and develop valuable career skills,” said Iden, of Oshtemo Township. “This helps students to explore their future career goals and makes them more marketable upon graduation.”Michigan Department of Education guidelines allow work-based paid or volunteer internships in grades 9-12 with students working four to 10 hours a week. The two-bill package signed into law will help eliminate administrative red tape, giving a local school district’s board of education the authority to approve and oversee the program, to maintain student funding and to count the outside experience as credit toward graduation.“This is hugely beneficial to participating students, along with being an awesome opportunity for many of our local businesses,” Iden said. “Having workforce-ready graduates entering our community allows for greater job market participation, stronger business growth, and a higher level of success for these students.”Iden’s legislation is now Public Act 185 of 2018.##### Categories: Iden News,News 26Jun Iden plan to expand internship opportunities becomes law
Categories: Lightner News 11Jun House committee approves Rep. Lightner’s plan to honor fallen trooper from Jackson County Measure renames portion of I-94 after Trooper Manuel H. FieldsThe Michigan House Transportation Committee today approved a plan introduced by state Rep. Sarah Lightner to rename a portion of I-94 in Jackson County after fallen Michigan State Police Trooper Manuel H. Fields.State Rep. Sarah Lightner (right) testified before the Michigan House Transportation Committee with Brenda Gibson (center) and Officer Paul Long (left).Lightner’s plan renames a portion of I-94 between the US-127 South interchange and Hawkins Road as the “Trooper Manuel H. Fields Memorial Highway.”“Trooper Fields proudly served with the Michigan State Police, and his memory will live on with this highway renaming,” said Lightner, of Springport. “We must recognize the courageous men and women who are on the front lines every day to protect and serve us.”Fields was struck by a vehicle and killed on the westbound portion of I-94 in Leoni Township on Aug. 27, 1994.Brenda Gibson, Trooper Fields’ widow, testified in support of the bill. So did Officer Paul Long, a friend and colleague of Fields, who witnessed the incident.Fields was the 46th Michigan State Police trooper to die in the line of duty.HB 4572 is now referred to the Ways and Means Committee.#####
Share3TweetShareEmail3 Shares July 5, 2015; New York TimesIn Sunday’s New York Times, Eric Lightblau suggests that the IRS should not be expected to contain political spending through nonprofits during the 2016 election, and especially not conservative spending. Not only is the IRS underfunded, he writes, but they will also be unwilling to step into the climate of deep suspicion that persists two years after charges that the agency targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.Lightblau reports that at least eight Republican presidential candidates, including Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, have relationships with nonprofit groups set up to raise hundreds of millions of dollars. Hillary Clinton’s supporters are reported to be considering the same course. Such groups, of course, are not obliged to disclose their donors.“It’s ‘anything goes’ for the next couple of years,” said Paul Streckfus, a former nonprofit specialist at the IRS, talking about the 501(c)(4)s. “The whole system has really collapsed.”Audits for electoral campaigns are extremely rare, and complaints languish in the best of times, but an overstretched IRS in a touchy, suspicious political environment is unlikely to move quickly, and electoral candidates may see that as a major opportunity to increase the role of 501(c)(4)s in the coming election.While there are clear distinctions for much of the sector between (c)(3)s and (c)(4)s and between advocacy and electioneering, the general public, when faced with reports of massive political spending through (c)(4)s, will only hear “nonprofit.” This will encourage the public to think of nonprofits as a sector full of unaccountable activity. Beyond the damage done to the democratic process, this situation will do damage to nonprofits, particularly those engaged in legitimate advocacy activities.—Ruth McCambridge Share3TweetShareEmail3 Shares
Share11TweetShare1Email12 SharesImage Credit: hias.orgDecember 3, 2015; Washington PostEven as some GOP politicians are proposing new ways to exclude Syrian refugees from resettlement in the United States, and the Senate had to vote down a crackdown measure last night, many faith communities are mobilizing to advocate for fair treatment. One of the more emotionally striking efforts is a campaign centered on a letter signed by more than 1000 Rabbis that reads, in part:Since its founding, the United States has offered refuge and protection to the world’s most vulnerable. Time and time again, those refugees were Jews. Whether they were fleeing pogroms in Tzarist Russia, the horrors of the Holocaust or persecution in Soviet Russia or Iran, our relatives and friends found safety on these shores.We are therefore alarmed to see so many politicians declaring their opposition to welcoming refugees.It went on to say:In 1939, the United States refused to let the S.S. St. Louis dock in our country, sending over 900 Jewish refugees back to Europe, where many died in concentration camps. That moment was a stain on the history of our country – a tragic decision made in a political climate of deep fear, suspicion and anti-Semitism. The Washington Post released public opinion polling from the early 1940’s, showing that the majority of U.S. citizens did not want to welcome Jewish refugees to this country in those years.In 1939, our country could not tell the difference between an actual enemy and the victims of an enemy. In 2015, let us not make the same mistake.We therefore urge our elected officials to support refugee resettlement and to oppose any measures that would actually or effectively halt resettlement or prohibit or restrict funding for any groups of refugees.The statement is published on the HIAS website and has been placed as a breathtaking advertisement, reminiscent of some Holocaust memorials. The Jewish community has been particularly active in making comparisons between their own refugee experiences and history and that of the newcomers. Last month, the Anti-Defamation League appealed to the governors of the states trying to block resettlements.“This country must not give into fear or bias by turning its back on our nation’s fundamental commitment to refugee protection and human rights,” ADL chief Jonathan Greenblatt said. “Now is precisely the time to stand up for our core values, including that we are a proud nation of immigrants. To do otherwise signals to the terrorists that they are winning the battle against democracy and freedom.”“The current refugee crisis in Europe is the worst since World War II,” he said. “The Jewish community is particularly affected by the images of men, women and children forced to flee their homes only to find they are unwanted anyplace else. Many of these refugees are fleeing the same terrorists who perpetrated the horrendous attacks on Paris.”Many other national faith groups with a tradition of working with refugees are issuing their own statements and calls to action, including:Episcopal Migration MinistriesChurch World ServiceHIASLutheran Immigrant and Refugee ServiceS. Conference of Catholic BishopsAnd the action on the national level is being supported by action at the local level, where groups are offering resources and advocacy on a statewide or even municipal basis. On November 15th in New Brunswick, New Jersey, religious organizations, comprising Catholic, Methodist, Reformed, Nigerian and Indonesian Christian churches, a mosque and four Muslim organizations, three synagogues, and one Buddhist organization participated in a walk to draw attention to the issue. Two days later, Governor Christie announced he was unwilling to have his state accept any more Syrian refugees despite the fact that a large community of Syrians is already settled in the area.There are many options for involvement, in other words.—Ruth McCambridgeShare11TweetShare1Email12 Shares
Share11Tweet27Share3Email41 Shares“Protest against announced repeal of DACA” by Harrie Van VeenSeptember 5, 2017; New York TimesActing on his campaign pledge, President Trump on Tuesday, through a statement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, ordered an end in six months to the Obama-era executive action that protects some 800,000 undocumented immigrants known as “Dreamers” from deportation. Trump urged Congress to replace the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program with legislation before March 5, 2018. “Congress, get ready to do your job – DACA!” the president tweeted Tuesday morning. And, late last night, he followed up with the following:Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can’t, I will revisit this issue!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 6, 2017Mr. Trump said in his written statement, “I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents. But we must also recognize that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws.” The New York Times notes that, “In the statement, he notably did not endorse bipartisan legislation to codify the Dreamers’ protections.”Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent this letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), recommending an end to DACA. DHS announced on its website on Tuesday that no new requests for DACA will be accepted, that pending requests for DACA will be adjudicated, and that DACA renewal requests received by October 5, 2017 from current beneficiaries whose benefits will expire before March 5, 2018, will be adjudicated. All DACA benefits are provided on a two-year basis, so individuals who currently have DACA will be allowed to retain both DACA and their work authorizations (EADs) until they expire. But if Congress fails to make DACA law, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children could face deportation to countries where most of them have never lived. The DHS Memorandum on Rescission Of DACA goes into much more detail.A number of conservative publications, including the National Review, praised President Trump’s executive action. On June 29, 2017, 10 state attorneys general sent this letter to Mr. Sessions, threatening to mount a legal challenge unless the administration phased out the DACA program. However, the outcry was immediate and forceful. Protest marches blossomed in Philadelphia, in Washington D.C., at Trump Tower in New York City, in Denver, in Los Angeles, and elsewhere. Others are planning protests, such as in Kentucky and more in Los Angeles.According to the Migration Policy Institute, California is home to more than one in four DACA participants. The California attorney general, Xavier Becerra, and Governor Jerry Brown promised legal action to challenge the Trump administration’s decision. Becerra and 19 other state attorneys general penned this letter to Trump urging him to defend the DACA program, one month after Texas and the nine other states threatened to sue if it wasn’t ended. It is likely that Becerra will be able to recruit these same attorneys general in the months ahead to defend DACA participants, with more to come.Apple objected. New York State Attorney General Schneiderman and Governor Cuomo threatened to sue. The president of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce resigned Tuesday from President Trump’s diversity coalition in protest.The Constitution gives the president broad powers regarding immigration. With nearly 12 million undocumented people in the United States, Obama humanely put the Dreamers at the back of this impossibly long line for deportation. By rescinding DACA, Trump placed the DACA participants at the head of the line, since they dutifully disclosed all their and their parents’ personal information to qualify for the program. Punting the issue to Congress, and cowardly making Sessions serve as his mouthpiece, will not protect Trump from the moral outrage this decision has begun to ignite.According to the Center for American Progress analysis of various studies, Trump’s decision will result in a loss of $460.3 billion from the national GDP over the next decade. Moreover, nearly eight in 10 voters support DACA, including three-quarters of Trump voters.Trump’s moral authority consistently reaches new lows, to the point of cliché. The wake of Trump’s decision to rescind DACA, however, is about to splash shame and the nation’s condemnation on Congress, if Congress fails to act on behalf of the young people who only know America as home and received and believed in America’s promise of protection and support.Former President Obama said in a statement on Facebook that Trump’s decision was “self-defeating” and “cruel.” Mr. Obama created the DACA program after Republicans in Congress repeatedly blocked passage of legislation to protect young, undocumented immigrants from deportation. Obama also said this in his Facebook statement:It is precisely because this action is contrary to our spirit, and to common sense, that business leaders, faith leaders, economists, and Americans of all political stripes called on the administration not to do what it did today. And now that the White House has shifted its responsibility for these young people to Congress, it’s up to Members of Congress to protect these young people and our future. I’m heartened by those who’ve suggested that they should. And I join my voice with the majority of Americans who hope they step up and do it with a sense of moral urgency that matches the urgency these young people feel.—James SchafferShare11Tweet27Share3Email41 Shares
Share4Tweet6ShareEmail10 Shares“Petition,” League of Women VotersApril 23, 2018; Daily CameraJust one day after Johns Hopkins University demanded their name be removed from a petition for a Boulder, Colorado ballot initiative on marijuana sales, the nonprofit spearheading the effort pulled the plug.The 501c4 organization Funding Our Future initiated the petition in order to seek sales tax revenue for “preventative health care.”Forty-five percent of the revenue would go to the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins. The remainder of the revenue would be spread among Boulder Community Health, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center, Clinica Family Health and “other appropriate nonprofit organizations to be determined by the City Council.”At some point, even city residents who were initially supportive of the petition began to wonder why they were attempting to raise revenue in Colorado that was aimed squarely for the East Coast. In a further blow to the nonprofit advocacy group’s credibility, there are now allegations that this aspect of the measure was not clearly disclosed. Eric Budd, a former candidate for the Boulder City Council and a signatory on the petition, claimed, “I’m honestly trying to understand who’s running this and what’s their intention. I put my name on it because I wanted to be part of this conversation” about preventative health care, “which I think could do some good for our community, but now I’m questioning that this is being run by a reputable organization.”Funding our Future, through its only public spokesperson, Jennifer Koch-Donovan, a former Colorado Democratic Party leader, has not provided context for the group’s platform or strategies. The Boulder Daily Camera also noted that the organization “has no presence online and has never been involved with ballot measures prior to the current Boulder effort.” Koch-Donovan is a partner at Paladin Political, a group used to conducting partisan campaign and advocacy work, particularly in the Midwest.Johns Hopkins University declared in a formal statement that they “would not have accepted, nor did we ever intend to accept, funds raised from new taxes proposed in this ballot initiative.” They claim their institution was named “as a result of a miscommunication and misunderstanding between our staff and ballot initiative supporters” and that they never granted permission for the ballot measure to use its name or fundraise on its behalf.NPQ has raised the alarm in the past that charitable nonprofits can be subject to exploitation by political groups for public relations gains. We have even published calls for further disclosure of dollars going to (c)4, (c)5, and (c)6 organizations engaged in more than a de minimis level of political activity.Nonprofits of any stripe must guard against being misleading at best, and exploitive—or exploited—at worst. Johns Hopkins was at some point alerted to the alleged unauthorized use of its name by this nonprofit. Removal of the university’s name would’ve meant the petition would have had to have been redrafted, reapproved, and then circulated once again. In the end, Funding Our Future clearly decided that was too steep a hill to climb. They scrapped the initiative, along with its over 4,000 signatures. The effort seems notable for its amazing lack of transparency. What’s also clear is that something else that Funding Our Future might also lack…is a future.—Jeannie FoxShare4Tweet6ShareEmail10 Shares
French service provider SFR has launched a cloud-based gaming-on-demand service, allowing subscribers to access games via the Neufbox TV service.Games are available via a games-on-demand icon or via channel 70 on Neufbox TV. Users can begin playing immediately, without the need to download. As theservice is cloud-based, users do not need to acquire a console, PC or additional software and the operator said the entry price would be kept low.SFR is currently offering a catalogue of about 80 games across four categories, ranging from casual games including 7 Wonder, Peggle and 4 elements, ‘gamer’ titles including Trine, Broken Sword and Shadowgrounds, and kids games including Kirikou, to simulation titles aimed at a broader audience including Farming Simulator, the bestselling PC game in France in 2011.Users can play using the Neufbox Evolution remote control, SFR’s dedicated games controller or one of a number of PC games controllers. Games are available from €1.99 to €2.99 for a single play, or via one of two subscription offers, for €4.99 for casual games only, or €9.99 for the full catalogue. Users can also transfer the game they are playing from the TV to the PC, and SFR plans to introduce the ability to play on smartphones or tablets that can be used in conjunction with the Neufbox Evolution later this year.
Kosovan public broadcaster RTK has launched a second channel to serve the country’s largest minority groups.RTK 2 will programmes in the Serbian language, along with Bosnian, Turkish and Roma programmes.The channel will have a 50-strong staff, including journalists, editors, camera operators and film editors.Kosovo’s population is 90% ethic Albanian, with the Serbs forming the largest minority.The EBU established RTK in 1999 under an international mandate. The new channel is being launched as part of a an EU-financed EBU action plan designed to strengthen the public service media of EU accession countries.
Netflix said that its relaunch of Arrested Development helped boost membership numbers in its second quarter, with more gains expected in the current quarter with its forthcoming Netherlands launch. Announcing its second quarter earnings, Netflix confirmed that the Netherlands launch would come “within the quarter” and set its sights on further international rollouts – though did not comment on what markets would come next.“Netherlands is about half the size of Canada, and is a good opportunity for us as we prepare for entry into more markets. We’ll continue to expand in 2014 based upon the progression of our existing markets and on confidence in the expansion opportunities,” said CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells in a letter to shareholders.On the firm’s earnings call Hastings added: “We are investing substantially all domestic profits in international expansion and we think that’s very smart. If you look at our international growth, it’s tremendous. We think there is a huge opportunity around the internet in the international markets and we’re investing for the long term in that.”In Q2 Netflix added 630,000 domestic streaming customers, taking this number to 29.8 million. International streaming customer numbers grew by 610,000 to 7.75 million.Netflix said that though it expected net additions in Q2 to be lower than the same period last year, this quarter proved an exception “we believe due to the launch of Arrested Development.” Netflix said that the show already had a strong brand and fan base, generating a “small but noticeable bump in membership when we released it.”The show is one of a string of original productions that Netflix has launched and follows the release of Lilyhammer, House of Cards and Hemlock Grove with prison drama Orange is the New Black having also recently gone live.Netflix said that each has “engaged large audiences” across its markets and has allowed it to broaden its overall reach. The firm announced that it will now be expanding its Netflix Originals initiative “to include broadly appealing feature documentaries and stand-up comedy specials.”In terms of other new developments, Netflix said that in Q3 it will be rolling out its profiles features that will allow households to have distinct profiles for different members or viewing tastes within their home, offering “a much more personalised experience for our members.” It added that improvements to its recommendation algorithm in Q2 now means more than 75% of the hours streamed on Netflix come from personalised suggestions.Overall in the quarter, Netflix reported global revenue of US$1.069 billion, up from US$889 million in the same quarter last year. Net income came in at US$29 million, up from US$6 million year-on-year.
Sky Italia is launching a raft of new channels, including A+E Networks-owned Crime & Investigation.The Italian satcaster is also launching a dedicated Moto GP channel, a HD news channel called Sky TG24 and a new ‘walled garden’ Sky Loves Kids feature to protect children from adult content. Fox Sports HD, which will carry the English Premier League, Spain’s La Liga and France’s Ligue 1, also launches in August, as previously announced.Factual-themed C&I is operated by A+E Networks UK, the joint venture between A+E Networks and Sky Italia’s UK cousin, satcaster BSkyB. It already runs in numerous territories across Europe.The announcements came during a press conference this week in Italy to recognise Sky Italia’s tenth year of business. The News Corp-backed platform launched in 2003 and this year became Italy’s leading broadcaster in terms of revenue, according to AgCom. However, Italy’s media sector is crashing under the weight of recession and other economic pressures.Speaking at yesterday’s event, Sky Italia CEO Andrea Zappia said: “Italy will remain an interesting market for the media sector but we need to approach it in a different way; it should be let free to develop itself.”He added: “The TV market has changed incredibly in the last 10 years. We are moving towards a single entertainment market in which you compete in order to capture people’s attention. In Italy, content is still sold on a platform basis, a useless thing.”Sky Italia revealed it has invested €10 billion (US$13.2 billion) in the past decade and more than €150 million on original productions in the past year. The platform has 4.78 million subscribers, as of March 31, and comprises 180 channels.The news also comes soon after News Corp realigned the Sky Italia business to bring all of its programming activities into one unit to mirror the structures of UK satcaster BSkyB and Germany’s Sky Deutschland.
AOL Platforms-owned video advertising specialist Adap.tv has struck an extended partnership with StickyADS.tv, the video supply side platform for premium publishers in Europe.The deal will enable media buyers on Adap.tv’s Audience Path platform to buy programmatically through StickyADS.tv, the leading leading player in this field in France and a significant player in other EMEA markets including Germany, Italy, Spain and Turkey.Similar to integrations with other third-party exchanges, Audience Path customers can enable StickyADS.tv as an inventory source directly from the platform console, extending their ability to reach audiences across European markets, according to Adapt.tv.“We have been working with StickyADS.tv for the past two years to enable them to offer programmatic trading to media buyers in France, Germany and Spain. This newest implementation is the culmination of many months of hard work by everyone involved,” said Phil Duffield, Senior Vice President of International, Adap.tv.“It is a significant move because it opens up a large part of the European video ad market to programmatic trading.”