Load More Lack of premium mass strategy begs questions of SJM’s Grand Lisboa Palace launch: analysts RelatedPosts JW Marriott at Galaxy Macau named venue and Galaxy Entertainment Group named Venue Sponsor for 2019 Asian Gaming Power 50 Black Tie Gala Dinner Galaxy Entertainment Group has conducted a crime prevention workshop in conjunction with Macau’s Judiciary Police to discuss prevention measures for common casino crimes.The workshop saw more than 40 frontline Galaxy staff members from the Hotel Operations, Security, Surveillance, Investigation, Table Games, Cage, Sales and VIP Departments run through various case studies with head of the Gaming-related Crimes Patrol Section, Chan Chon In, and Leong Kin Wai of the Gaming-related Crimes Patrol Section. The Galaxy staff were introduced to the responsibilities and institutional structure of the Judiciary Police as well as shared typical cases seen in Macau and their related laws and regulations.Knowledge gained from the workshop is aimed at helping them become more aware of illegal activities such as gaming-related crimes, banknote counterfeiting, pseudo base station fraud and money laundering, Galaxy said.Team members and police officers also analyzed crime deterrence measures.Galaxy also revealed that Kou Keng Lun, who works for the company’s Security Department, will be presented with an Enthusiastic Citizen Award by the Macao Customs Service after he observed and reported a criminal ring that was engaged in selling counterfeit watches on GEG premises earlier this year. Macau GGR tumbles 8.6% in August
Maxwell Air Force Base is not experiencing any significant encroachment issues from the surrounding region, but with recent growth in downtown Montgomery, Ala., city leaders want to ensure land use conflicts jeopardizing the installation don’t emerge in the coming decades.“We don’t want to have anything negatively impacting the mission of Maxwell and the Air Force, especially with the economic development we’ve been having in the downtown area,” Robert Smith, director of city planning, told the Montgomery Advertiser.To prepare for further growth in the River Region and uncover possible compatibility issues, Montgomery, Prattville and Montgomery County are partnering with Maxwell and to conduct a joint land use study. Matrix Design Group introduced the study to local residents at public meeting last week.The study, partially funded by DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment, will look at dozens of compatibility issues, including several conflicts that could arise in the future. The possibility that the Air National Guard’s 187th Fighter Wing moves from Montgomery Regional Airport to Maxwell could lead to noise conflicts if the unit starts flying the F-35. The study also will consider the prospect that frequency interference stemming from Montgomery’s aim to become a “gig city” with the state’s first internet exchange affects Air Force activities.Matrix, which has conducted 130 similar studies since 2005, will look at Maxwell and its Gunter Annex separately because of their geography and diverse missions, according to the story.The easiest way to avoid conflicts between the military and its civilian hosts is for both sides to communicate and coordinate their activities, said Mike Hrapla, the study’s project manager. “About 85 percent of compatibility issues can be resolved by sharing information,” Hrapla said. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
Dabeerpura: Caught in the midst of the two constituencies and with public representatives evading responsibility, the Dabeerpura nala, which has a history of overflow and inundation of the residential colonies nearby, is once again in the limelight, following works of constructing a slab were taken up by the GHMC.Even though the desilting works of the nala have been continuing for the past one month, locals have alleged that the construction works were being taken up without proper removal of garbage and silt which could choke it, even as the past encroachments remain intact. Also Read – Governor felicitates Sai Praneeth Advertise With Us Residents and business establishments near Babu Miyan hotel found that the stench emitting from the nala makes people sick, even as plastic bags and garbage can be seen swirling freely with sewage water. The hazardous situation faced by the locals is still fresh in the minds of the people in whose houses the nala water entered following heavy downpour each year. Even in normal times, the locality drains, near the Dabeerpuranala and gets choked and keeps overflowing. But whenever it rains, the entire area gets flooded, while submerging the tail-end houses. Also Read – Golden 90’s Music Superstars – Alka Yagnik & Kumar Sanu LIVE in Concert will be performing together for the very 1st time in the city of pearls,… Advertise With Us The residents have resigned to their fate as authorities are deaf and blind to their woes. “Several representations have been made to the GHMC and the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply & Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) to clean up the nala, but there is no response. Officials keep passing the buck,” says Shaik Imtiaz Ali, a social activist, while speaking to The Hans India here on Friday. Advertise With Us While the silt and garbage continue to obstruct the free flow of nala, encroachments on its bed have only added to the problem. Over the years, the width of the nala has narrowed to a large extent. Heaps of garbage can be seen strewn all over it. “In the absence of a garbage bin, people keep throwing the waste in the nala. We do educate them against such practice, but we can’t stop them,” Imtiaz Ali lamented. It may be mentioned here that the GHMC Commissioner, Dana Kishore along with local MLA, MLC and Corporator made a visit to the nala. He said that the works were being sanctioned at the nala and along with desilting works and assured that the nala overflow would not happen this time. On Thursday, MLA, Syed Ahmed Pasha Quadri and MLC, Mirza Riyaz ul Hasan Effendi and others visited the spot to examine the works.
.A Dhaka court on Tuesday sentenced five former officials of Oriental Bank Limited, now known as ICB Islamic Bank, to 68 years imprisonment each and fined them Tk 40 million each in four graft cases, reports UNB.Judge Md Akhteruzzaman of the Special Judges Court-5 pronounced the verdict.Former senior vice president of the bank Shah Md Harun, former senior assistant vice president Abul Kashem Mohammadullah, former SEVP Mahmuda Hossain, former EVP Kamrul Islam and former deputy managing director Fazlur Rahman were awarded 68 years jail each.The court issued arrest warrants against all the convicts as they have been on the run.The court also sentenced two other ex-officials of the bank-former AVP Torikul Islam and client Salauddin– 17 years jail each in another two cases.The court also acquitted bank’s former executive officer Inamul Haque from the charges.The four cases were filed in 2006 for embezzling Tk 40 million in the name of loan disbursement and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) submitted chargesheet in the cases in 2013.
Nearly 24 years ago, the United States deployed a small, secretive force to hunt for a drug kingpin whose merchandise had flooded U.S. markets. Pablo Escobar’s cartel was believed to smuggle in at least 80 percent of the cocaine in the United States, and was responsible for a wave of murders in Colombia that stretched back 15 years.For more than a year, the U.S. military’s secretive Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) rotated teams into Colombia from the Army’s elite Delta Force and the U.S. Navy’s Special Warfare Developmental Group, commonly known as DEVGRU or SEAL Team 6, according to the book “Relentless Strike,” a lengthy history of JSOC published last year by journalist Sean Naylor. The U.S. Special Operations troops were supposed to be limited to training Colombia’s elite military forces, but found ways to accompany them on missions.On Dec. 2, 1993, Escobar was finally discovered through phone surveillance, and killed in a raid. Rumors have long persisted that a member of Delta force killed him, but retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin, a longtime Delta operator, denied that was the case in his 2008 book, “Never Surrender.”Recommended: After 23 years in prison, top assassin for Pablo Escobar is a ‘reformed’ manThe operation bears consideration as the United States seeks the extradition of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, a billionaire drug lord who was captured Friday by Mexican marines in the coastal city of Los Mochis, near Baja California. An expansive article by the actor Sean Penn published by Rolling Stone magazine suggested that El Chapo knew that Mexican authorities and officials with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration were closing in, drawing on a secret visit Penn said he had with the kingpin in the mountains of Sinaloa, Mexico.DEA officials said in a tweet that the capture of El Chapo is “further evidence of our two countries’ resolve to ensure justice is served for families who have been plagued by his ruthless acts.”“The DEA and Mexico have a strong partnership and we will continue to support Mexico in its efforts to improve security for its citizens,” the agency added. “We will continue to work together to respond to the evolving threats posed by transnational criminal organizations.” We will continue to work together to respond to the evolving threats posed by transnational criminal organizations.— DEA HQ (@DEAHQ) January 8, 2016 The DEA and Mexico have a strong partnership and we will continue to support Mexico in its efforts to improve security for its citizens— DEA HQ (@DEAHQ) January 8, 2016 The U.S. government has not detailed how it assisted in the capture of El Chapo. But a report by the online magazine SOFREP suggested that Delta Force operators and U.S. law enforcement officials were involved in the mission. The report, which includes bloody photos said to be taken after a firefight with El Chapo’s forces, said that Delta troops served as tactical advisers but did not participate directly in the mission, citing multiple anonymous sources.The SOFREP cite is run by former Special Operations troops, and has been known to break some stories. In one example, they identified former Navy SEAL Robert O’Neill as the veteran who had anonymously described the raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in a 2013 article published by Esquire magazine. O’Neill later identified himself in an interview with The Washington Post.SOFREP’s new report on El Chapo could not not be confirmed on Monday, but involvement of the U.S. military in Latin America has long been a source of intrigue.In another example, Delta Force, Army Ranger units and other Special Operations forces led the 1989 hunt for Manuel Noriega, the Panamanian leader who also had a long history of shipping cocaine to the United States. Operation Just Cause was approved by President George H.W. Bush in late 1989, and took only a few weeks, with Noriega turning himself over to U.S. troops on Jan. 3, 1990, according to an Army history of the operation.Noriega was known to wear red underpants. According to the books by both Naylor and Boykin, a pair ended up in a display case at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the home of both SOC and Delta.© 2016, The Washington Post Facebook Comments Related posts:Sinaloa drug cartel lives on despite ‘CEO’ El Chapo’s capture Mexico wants to question Sean Penn over meeting with ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán Beachcombing along the Caribbean drug trail in Nicaragua Mexico drug lord ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán back in jail, betrayed by biopic bid
Built Technologies, a Nashville-based FinTech company that is “bringing construction lending into the digital age”, today announced its partnership with Fulton Mortgage Company, a division of Fulton Bank, N.A., to automate the company’s draw processing and construction loan services.“Built is a great partner for us as we work to capitalize on the capabilities of today’s ever-evolving digital environment,” said Jeff Scheuren, President and COO of Fulton Mortgage Company. “By teaming with Built to digitize our construction lending process, we are improving the overall experience for borrowers, builders, and inspectors across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia.”“We are excited to partner with Fulton Mortgage Company to enhance their construction loan management process,” said Chase Gilbert, CEO of Built Technologies. “As the implementation of technology continues to increase across the banking industry, now is the time for financial institutions to benefit from the power of this in construction lending.”As an American Bankers Association endorsed provider, Built Technologies complements core systems operated by financial institutions, enhancing all forms of residential and commercial construction loan administration with real-time insights and portfolio analytics.Built serves community, regional, and national lenders coast-to-coast. To find out more visit getbuilt.com, join Built on LinkedIn, or follow Built on Twitter at @BuiltTechnology.Fulton Bank and their affiliates offer a broad array of financial products and services in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia through over 250 branches and specialty offices and almost 300 ATMs. September 26, 2018 513 Views Built Technologies Partners with Fulton Mortgage Company in News Built Fulton 2018-09-26 Seth Welborn Share
The independent boutique winery Oldenburg Vineyards in Stellenbosch, South Africa’s leading wine region, has recently transformed an original Cape Dutch family home into a luxury villa and for the first time is offering farm stays. Tucked away in the scenic Banghoek Valley, off the Helshoogte Pass between Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, The Homestead is a glamourous new offering in gasp-worthy surroundings.Private, bespoke and cosseting, The Homestead is set amidst rolling vineyards and dramatic mountain scenery and will appeal to anyone who prefers a casual, personal approach. With six ensuite bedrooms and optional service of butler, chef or driver, The Homestead is a great option for groups of friends or families. Guests can relax in a secluded environment, conduct wine tastings at Oldenburg’s cellar door and explore the surrounding area. Award-winning restaurants, golf courses, nature reserves, Stellenbosch town and Franschhoek, and some of the region’s best internationally recognized wineries – such as Delaire and Tokara – are just a short drive away.At the heart of the 600-square-metre house is a glass-walled wine cellar housing the owner’s personal wine collection, and a magnificent, fully equipped eat-in kitchen with stunning mountain views. The ground floor features a formal dining room and a living room with open fireplaces, as well as a reception room leading to a cosy verandah overlooking the gardens – a perfect spot to sit and relax on a hot summer’s day.The majority of the furnishings and decorative items were sourced from local South African artisans to create a contemporary yet elegant feel. An earthy colour palette with shades of white, grey and brown creates an ambience of warm, soothing luxury. An eclectic collection of international art and antiques, representing the many countries in which the owners have lived, adds individuality and life to the stylish interiors.www.oldenburgvineyards.com
Tags: #SB, Cole, HB5532, morel mushrooms, morels, removing certification The Michigan House of Representatives today approved State Representative Triston Cole’s legislation to remove the certification requirement necessary to pick and sell morel mushrooms.“As far back as I can remember I was able to forage for morels and sell them to local businesses and restaurants in Northern Michigan, until recently in 2015 when the state adopted a law to require mandatory certification training to sell morels,” Rep. Cole said. “House Bill 5532 will simply eliminate the training necessary to pick and sell morels and revert back to the original law, which did not allow the government to infringe upon an individual’s livelihood.”HB 5582 amends Chapter Six of the Michigan Food Law (Standards for Food Establishments) by adding “morel mushrooms” to the limited list of items that are exempt from required food safety training, as referenced in the U.S. Food Code.“Morel mushroom hunting can be a tremendous source of fun for residents and revenue for various regions across the state,” Rep. Cole said. “This is common-sense legislation because the commonality and unique identification of morel mushrooms make them ideal for exemption to existing regulations.“Restaurants are still well within their rights to only purchase from an individual that has obtained a certificate, however chefs are confident in their knowledge and can continue to purchase from individuals that are not certified.”HB 5582 now moves to the Senate for consideration.###### Categories: Cole News,Featured news,News 31May Rep. Cole’s morel mushroom legislation approved by House
Categories: Wentworth News The Michigan House of Representatives on Tuesday unanimously approved legislation authored by state Rep. Jason Wentworth.The measure would require the Michigan Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act to reflect legislation sponsored by state Rep. John Bizon, of Battle Creek, that allows honorably discharged veterans who provide proof of their 100-percent disabled status to the Secretary of State their state park passport fee waived.“Veterans vary when it comes to disclosing disability statuses,” said Wentworth, of Clare, who chairs the House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. “Because of this, there shouldn’t be just one option – a specific license plate – that gets them into state parks for free.”One-hundred percent disabled veterans can already access state parks for free with a Disabled Veteran (DV) license plate. However, many veterans would rather just get a state park passport sticker instead.“This uniform measure will cover veterans for state park access regardless of whether they forgo a DV license plate or not,” Wentworth said. “Veterans who would rather receive the state park passport sticker from the Secretary of State may get it at no cost.”House Bill 4381 now moves to the Senate for consideration.Photo Information: State Rep. Jason Wentworth, of Clare, chairs the House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee and serves the 97th District in the Michigan House. 13Dec House approves Rep. Wentworth’s disabled veteran legislation
Categories: LaSata News,News 18Dec Students and Victims Deserve Better I am a mother, with one daughter in college and another starting next fall. I am also an educator, with my passion centered on students and their success. I am now a state representative and the current chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education. I speak from all of these roles when I say I could not be more disappointed in one of our state universities for their undeniable mishandling of sexual assault cases on campus.I am consistently going to bat in Lansing for the higher education system in our state. We have fifteen unique public universities that place Michigan on the map when it comes to educating and training the next generation. My argument for increased state investment into our education system has always highlighted our great institutions, each one of them striving to unlock the full potential of our students and our state.But being their strongest advocate also means I am responsible for holding them accountable when the time comes. For Michigan State University, our state’s largest school, that time is now.Michigan State University has demonstrated an unacceptable inability to provide justice for victims of sexual assault on its campus. Their handling of the Dr. Nassar case has lacked not only transparency, but accountability. The one hundred and twenty plus victims of Dr. Nassar deserve better. The many others who have experienced sexual assault on their campus deserve better. And the tens of thousands of students who will attend their institution and trust it as their home deserve better.As chair of Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee, my goal from the start has been to make campuses in our state safe environments where our sons and daughters can learn and succeed. Earlier this spring, I drafted language into my higher education budget that required Michigan’s public universities to send their Title IX reports to the state legislature for review. My hope at the time was to bring this issue to the forefront and start a discussion in the legislature on how we can make our campuses a safer place for our children. As it turns out, it was the absence of a report at Michigan State that has now made the discussion unavoidable.As legislators, we need to identify ways to make sure victims know and understand the disclosure process when they are ready to share, and we need to make sure our public institutions are ready to listen and respond with the right services when that time comes. Additionally, we must also look into how our universities conduct their reviews to ensure there is a uniform and thorough process at each school. Victims deserve a clear, easy to use, and responsive system.The simple truth is we cannot allow something this serious to be mishandled ever again. In my role as chair, I will use every resource at my disposal make sure of that. I plan to hold hearings, get answers, and find solutions to prevent this kind of negligence.No matter what changes take place, students must be the focus of any reform, and my hope is to implement improved policies as part of this spring’s annual state budget process.As for Michigan State, I believe they need to undergo a complete culture change before any healing can begin. As part of this, President Lou Anna K. Simon should seriously consider resigning.While the board has expressed continued confidence, those of us watching around the state have lost ours. MSU must be careful to avoid the impression that the school has done more to protect their president and their image than to protect the victims of assault on their campus. As of now, everyone from students to the victims of assault believes that is the case. And why wouldn’t they when in the very midst of calls for her resignation, the board opted to give her a raise instead.My youngest daughter will be starting college in a few short years. For her sake, and for thousands of others, I pray that the future on college campuses is drastically different than it is in today’s world. Failing these students once was unacceptable. Public institutions in this state must never fail them again.
Rep. Crawford: Override means faster vehicle sales tax relief for MichiganState Rep. Kathy Crawford today voted to accelerate sales tax relief for Michigan families buying motor vehicles by overriding a gubernatorial veto with her House colleagues.The House vote means additional tax relief for people buying cars, trucks and SUVs with a trade-in. Current law calls for phasing in planned sales and use tax deductions on purchases including a trade-in through 2039. With today’s vote, the reductions will be fully implemented a decade earlier.“This legislation makes vehicles more affordable for families across Michigan,” said Crawford, of Novi, after the House joined the Senate in overriding a veto of legislation from Gov. Rick Snyder. “Without this legislation, families will be forced to wait until 2039 to get tax relief on one of the biggest purchases they will ever make. Michigan residents simply can’t wait that long.”The Senate bills overwhelmingly approved by the Legislature were vetoed by the governor in July.The new law speeds reforms approved in 2013, allowing buyers to subtract the value of their trade-ins from the purchase price of a vehicle for sales tax purposes. The accelerated sales tax relief also will apply to boats and recreational vehicles bought with a trade-in. Categories: Crawford News 17Jan House votes to override governor’s veto of tax relief
Categories: News,Steven Johnson News Legislators aim to equalize net metering costs A bipartisan package of five bills removing regulatory barriers to clean energy producers will be unveiled during a news conference in Lansing Tuesday.State Rep. Gary Glenn (R-Williams Township), chair of the House Energy Policy Committee, said the five-bill measure restores fair-value pricing for renewable energy sold back to utility companies.Bill sponsors are Rep. Glenn, Rep. Yousef Rabhi, (D-Ann Arbor), Rep. Tom Barrett (R-Charlotte), Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) and Rep. Steve Johnson (R-Wayland). Termed the Energy Freedom legislation, the package is comprised of House Bills 5861-5865.“We must stop recent attempts by the Michigan Public Service Commission and utility monopolies to eliminate competition by homeowners and farmers using solar panels and other means to produce renewable energy,” Rep. Glenn said. “Michigan residents deserve the freedom to choose for themselves how power will be provided to their homes. By enabling them to have the personal innovation to produce electricity from a diverse selection of renewable energy sources, they can cut back on their electric bills and keep more of their hard-earned money.“This sort of competition from individuals will eventually lower the rates for everyone,” Rep. Glenn said.Rep. Rabhi said regulatory obstacles discourage people from using clean energy, which helps the environment.“Renewable energy is crucial to Michigan’s future,” Rep. Rabhi said. “It keeps our air and water clean, it provides distributed generation capacity, and it fuels our economy through job creation and lower energy bills. The Energy Freedom bills would remove barriers to renewable energy production for homeowners, business owners and non-profits across the state.”Rep. Barrett, chair of the House Agriculture Committee who also serves on the Energy Policy Committee, said reducing the amount of money utilities pay for excess energy is hard on Michigan’s farmers.“Current law places a cap on how many customers can participate in a utility’s distributed generation program,” Rep. Barrett said. “We are quickly outgrowing the arbitrary limit to net metering, and my bill removes that cap so more Michiganders – especially farmers interested in investment in wind and biogas generation – can become energy producers.”Rep. Johnson’s bill is a common-sense solution allowing renewable energy producers to use stored energy to keep the lights on in a power outage.“We have a lot of power outages in Michigan, and under current law, grid-connected customers who generate their own energy are unnecessarily forced to go dark during utility outages,” said Rep. Johnson, who serves on the Energy Policy Committee. “My bill would set up interconnection standards to enable microgrids to operate as ‘islands’ cut off from the grid during outages, so that hospitals, shelters, and other critical facilities can continue to operate with renewable power.”Johnson said the legislation allows studies to determine if expansion of the microgrid system to a greater number of people who generate their own power would be feasible.Rep. Dianda’s legislation establishes a fair price structure for systems capable of producing more than 500 kilowatts, noting that such a structure would benefit rural areas of the Upper Peninsula.“In rural areas like the western U.P., it makes more sense to produce energy near where it will be used,” Rep. Dianda said. “We should encourage people to power their homes and businesses using the U.P.’s rich renewable energy resources, which include mine-based geothermal heat, woody biomass, and solar. My bill will help strengthen our energy infrastructure and provide much-needed jobs by ensuring energy producers get a fair price.”Rep. Glenn said he will conduct committee hearings on the bills later this month.####The bills are House Bills 5861-5865. 30Apr Bipartisan package of bills introduced to support clean energy
Share5TweetShareEmail5 SharesJuly 10, 2014; Kaiser Health NewsThe National Alliance on Mental Illness has just released a report called “Road to Recovery: Employment and Mental Illness,” and the findings are tough. People with serious mental illness have an unemployment rate of more than 80 percent.According to NAMI, employment rates are on the decline, with 17.8 percent of people receiving public mental health services employed in 2012 as compared to 23 percent in 2003. These rates varied greatly by state, from 92.6 percent in Maine to 56 percent in Wyoming. The report found that most adults with mental illness want employment and sixty percent can succeed with support services, but a mere 1.7 percent received those services in 2012.The report cited a number of successful program models, but support for employment for this population tends to be spottily funded. Additionally, the report suggests that the administration of SSI and SSDI provide barriers to work because people on these benefits who obtain work may lose both their cash benefits and their health insurance.“During recessions, we see a spike in disability,” says David Wittenburg, a senior researcher at Mathematica Policy Research. It’s a trend that has been made worse by a shifts in the labor market. “There’s an increasing demand for high-skilled labor, and sometimes people with disabilities get left behind.”Still, NAMI’s Sita Diehl says that now may be the right time for states to fund employment supports. Not only is the economy improving, but the mental health parity law in combination with new insurance options offered under the Affordable Care Act will provide people with new ways to manage their mental health needs while working.Kaiser Health News reports, “Mental health coverage, for example, is now a mandated benefit on plans purchased in the individual and small group marketplaces. And people with a mental illness can no longer be denied coverage for having a preexisting condition.”NAMI is calling on state legislatures to bolster their employment assistance to take advantage of the new options.—Ruth McCambridgeShare5TweetShareEmail5 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares Sally Kern Oklahoma July 2 2009, Image Credit: David GloverJanuary 27, 2015;Colorado IndependentSome policy advocates remind us that because of the gridlock in Congress, the action is at the state level, where legislatures pass thousands of bills annually compared to the couple of hundred emerging from the Washington Beltway. If that’s the case, these state legislators present hurdles that might dampen the enthusiasm of the most ardent nonprofit activist.Dateline – Colorado Springs, Colorado: One would hope that a state legislator would know how to establish a nonprofit organization, but Republican State Representative Gordon Klingenschmitt’s nonprofit, named “Pray in Jesus Name” (not “Jesus’ Name”) has had its troubles. Klingenschmitt apparently failed to file required paperwork, which led to the Colorado Secretary of State suspending its registration as a charity. That hasn’t deterred Klingenschmitt from continuing to solicit donations on his online TV program, “Pray in Jesus Name News.” On the organization’s website, donors are told that their gifts are tax deductible. “God loves a cheerful giver,” says Klingenschmitt on his show, where he is known as the televangelist “Dr. Chaps.” Klingenschmitt (or his alter ego, Dr. Chaps) has demonstrated areas of arcane knowledge beyond his approach to creating charitable organizations. He has compared “homosexual congressman Jared Polis,” as he refers to the man representing Colorado’s Second Congressional District, to ISIS, suggesting that Polis will “join ISIS in beheading Christians, not just in Syria—[but] right here in America.” As a military chaplain, Klingenschmitt claims to have performed an exorcism on a lesbian solder. The Southern Poverty Law Center has listed Klingenschmitt’s Pray in Jesus Name Project as an anti-LGBT hate group. (He’s also got a bill floating around that would permit makers of wedding cakes and marriage confections to deny service for same-sex marriages.) Having Dr. Chaps in the Colorado state legislature may be entertaining to cable TV comedians, but it is troubling for nonprofits. After the Colorado Independent revealed that Dr. Chaps was soliciting tax-deductible donations in violation of the law, within hours Klingenschmitt sent the missing paperwork electronically to the Colorado Secretary of State and claimed that his nonprofit was in good standing with the state, but state officials said that wasn’t accurate. It isn’t clear how Klingenschmitt/Chaps has a nonprofit out of compliance with Colorado state law, but has a Form 990 for 2013 under the name of Persuade the World Ministries, referencing the organization’s 501(c)(3) status, charitable donations received as far back as 2010, and a property valued at $2.6 million. Rather than looking to legislator Klingenschmitt/Chaps for policy, nonprofits had better keep an eye on the legislator/televangelist to make sure he doesn’t cause nonprofits undue collateral damage by his antics.Dateline – Austin, Texas: Republican state representative Molly White decamped from Austin on Texas Muslim Capitol Day, a biannual event organized by the Texas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, but left instructions for the staff in her state capitol office if Muslims come to visit: make them publicly renounce Islamic terrorism and require them to pledge allegiance to the United States and its laws. “We’ll see how long they stay in my office,” she wrote on her Facebook page. White’s Muslim Day reaction follows a series of other unfriendly comments toward Muslims made by Texas officials, including State Representative Debbie Riddle’s 2012 denunciation of U.S. military cultural sensitivity training programs, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s public fretting that the U.S. might become an Islamic country, and former Texas state senator Dan Patrick’s walking out of Muslim prayers in the Capitol in 2007 and 2012—Patrick is now Texas’s lieutenant governor. The 420,000 Muslims in Texas and the 100 or so, mostly children, who showed up for Texas Muslim Capitol Day in all likelihood didn’t find White’s instructions to her staff particularly welcoming.Dateline – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Republican State Representative Sally Kern introduced and then withdrew House Bill 1597 that would allow businesses to deny “services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges related to any lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person, group or association.” Although Kern received negative reactions from LGBT advocacy groups and others, she was unfazed. “Who cares? We are Oklahoma citizens. We are Oklahoma legislators up here. We deal with the issues of Oklahoma. Frankly, I don’t care what the media thinks from Washington, D.C., or Washington state,” Rep. Kern said, reacting to criticism of the denial of service bill and two others she proposed—one that would prohibit state tax money from being used for same-sex marriage licensing and another that would permit parents to obtain conversion therapy for gay children. Outdoing Kern in LGBT antagonism is Republican state representative Todd Russ, an Assemblies of God minister whose opposition to gay marriage runs so deep that he’d rather the state prohibit any marriages, gay or straight, other than those performed by religious officials. Judges, clerks, and other secular officials would not be allowed to perform or issue licenses on their own for same-sex marriages, despite the federal courts’ overturning of a ban on gay marriages approved by Oklahoma voters. An article published by Americans United for Separation of Church and State pointed out that the language of Russ’s bill is more restrictive than it seems, as it authorizes marriage licenses to be issued only by “an ordained or authorized preacher or minister of the Gospel, priest or other ecclesiastical dignitary of any denomination who has been duly ordained or authorized by the church to which he or she belongs to preach the Gospel, or a rabbi.” In other words, if you’re not Christian or Jewish or willing to go for a common law marriage, you’re unlucky in marriage in Oklahoma if Russ’s bill is enacted.Dateline – Florissant, Missouri: State Representative Keith English is leaving the Democratic Party, ostensibly because of his opposition to his former political colleagues on issues of gun rights and women’s reproductive choice. English represents Florissant, the St. Louis suburb that’s neighbor to suburban Ferguson, where a white policeman killed an unarmed black teenager. The police killing in Ferguson may also be an element in English’s estrangement from Democrats. In December, for example, English wrote on his Facebook account that a march organized by the NAACP from Ferguson to the state capitol in Jefferson City to protest racial profiling would be more productive if redirected to Mexico—and to help, English posted a map with a blue line from Missouri to Mexico. In a recent Democratic caucus meeting, English responded to criticism of his vote for a Republican tax cut bill with a non sequitur that Michael Brown wouldn’t have been killed “if he hadn’t been breaking the rules,” after which he left the meeting in a huff. Perhaps English might benefit from learning that the rules that he said Brown was violating—walking in the middle of the street—don’t usually warrant being shot down by the police.Dateline – New York City, N.Y.: And then there’s the saga of Sheldon Silver, New York State Assembly Speaker—or, at least, he was until he resigned that position last week following his indictment and arrest for corruption. Explaining the indictment, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara called the state capitol a “cauldron of corruption,” with Silver as one of the ringleaders. Silver was charged with taking more than $4 million in bribes and kickbacks disguised as legal fees. Someone like Silver who’s willing to pull the levers of bribes and kickbacks to exercise power in Albany had his share of connections to the nonprofit sector. For example, one beneficiary of state government has been the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, which was politically close to Silver during the time that former CEO William Rapfogel embezzled $9 million of its assets. In the indictment, one of Silver’s alleged schemes was to direct a half-million dollars in state funds to Columbia University’s Mesothelioma Center, whose project director, Robert Taub, would then direct people with asbestos-related health complaints to a law firm that then funneled “referral” fees to Silver. In addition, Silver allegedly directed a $25,000 grant to the Shalom Task Force, a nonprofit whose board included Taub’s wife Susan, and helped Taub’s son Jonathan get a job at OHEL Children’s Home and Family Services, a nonprofit closely connected to the Speaker as a longtime beneficiary of so-called “members items.” As NPQ has detailed repeatedly about New York State’s practice of allowing state legislators to direct grants to favored nonprofits with little or no oversight, Silver was a protector and expert implementer of the technique. Now that the assembly speaker’s indictment includes the misuse of nonprofits, the taint of suspicion will spread to other nonprofits. The lesson of Shelly Silver: In New York, beware of state legislators bearing gifts.State Representative Klingenschmitt believes that President Obama is possessed by demons, though he hasn’t apparently tried to perform an exorcism in the White House. “Dr. Chaps” and the other state legislators profiled here, based on their actions during the past couple of weeks, should remind nonprofit advocates that the legislative action may well be at the state level, but will necessitate well grounded lobbying strategies to avoid being sucked into a vortex of kooks and crooks.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share74TweetShare4Email78 SharesOctober 24, 2016; Washington PostThe nation’s collective blood pressure appeared to rise on Monday when federal officials announced that premiums for health care plans sold through HealthCare.gov would increase by an average of 25 percent in 2017. Critics have pointed to these increases—and the withdrawal of some major insurers from marketplaces—as proof of the failure of the Affordable Care Act, with Republican opponents renewing calls for the law’s repeal and replacement. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) called the rate rise unacceptable “sticker shock” and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump leapt upon the news, saying that Obamacare was “blowing up.” Either Trump, or his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, who has spoken previously of the ACA’s affordability issues, will carry the burden of stabilizing the healthcare market over the next four years.Defending the increases, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said that insurers were still adapting to competing for customers through price and quality, rather than denying care for people with existing medical conditions. She blamed the Republican-led Congress for undermining the ACA and blocking money that would have mitigated insurers’ increased customer costs.Some media also came to the defense of Obamacare, criticizing headlines they said were out of context and misleading. In addition to the premium costs, subsidies were also increasing, ThinkProgress pointed out, with the Obama administration anticipating that over 70 percent of those eligible would be able to find a marketplace plan for less than $75 a month. Additionally, only a small fraction of Americans would be affected by the premium increases; six percent of Americans purchase insurance plans from ACA marketplaces.An article on Vox by Sarah Kliff outlined the ups and downs of Obamacare, where it excelled and where it fell short of what was originally envisioned by its architects. She also emphasized that even with the premium spikes, the majority of marketplace consumers were eligible for subsidies that would ensure their plans were affordable.Understanding how health insurance works under the ACA also seems to be playing a role in stoking anxiety around the rate increases. Mother Jones shared tweets from a health care advocate in New Mexico who had been fielding calls from panicked health insurance customers on the day the increases were announced. Colin Baillio tweeted, “Every person I talked to was shielded by subsidies or on [an] employer plan,” adding the hashtag #headlinesmatter.—Melinda CrosbyShare74TweetShare4Email78 Shares
Polish broadcaster TVN is selling control of the Onet internet portal to Ringier Axel Springer Media for €217.5 million.Onet is Poland’s leading portal and Ringier Axel Springer Media, a joint venture between German publisher Axel Springer and its Swiss counterpart Ringier, will take a 75% stake. Under the terms of the agreement a separate holding company will be established in Poland and will have 100% of Onet’s shares – TVN will hold a 25% stake of that company. The deal needs approval from competition bodies.
Hans-Holger AlbrechtHans Holger Albrecht is leaving the Modern Times Group after twelve years at the helm of the pan-Europe broadcast group. Albrecht is leaving to become the CEO of Nasdaq-listed telco Millicom International. He will be replaced by Jørgen Madsen, who becomes MTG’s group president on September 15, when Albrecht departs the company.Albrecht has served on the Millicom board since 2010 and will replace Mikael Grahne at the emerging markets-focused telco. Grahne stepped down after three years in charge of the company in what market watchers considered a surprise move.Jorgen Madsen joined MTG in 1994 and has been a member its executive management team since 2000. He was appointed executive vice-president of MTG’s Nordic Broadcasting operations in October 2011, after having served as CEO of the Group’s Danish operations and Group Head of Sport since 2002. Jørgen was also chairman of the Board of TV Prima in the Czech Republic between January 2008 and October 2011, and was responsible for overseeing the Group’s Hungarian operations from 2010 to 2011.Madsen said: “I am excited by my new role and grateful to the Board for this opportunity. MTG is a great company with a strong culture and tradition of constant innovation. Our channels are now available in 36 countries spanning four continents, which is quite a platform on which to build, as we focus on further enhancing our content offering, embracing new technologies, and expanding into new markets.”David Chance, chairman of MTG’s board of directors said: “Under [Hans Holger’s] leadership, MTG’s sales have tripled since 2000 to SEK13.5 billion (€1.6 billion) in 2011, while the Group’s market capitalisationn has increased to over SEK 21 billion with a low net debt level, and an additional SEK7 billion has been distributed to shareholders in the form of equity or cash dividends and share buy-backs.”
Traditional pay TV operators in the US are facing an unprecedented challenge and their growth will hinge on the success of their TV Everywhere services, according to new research.As OTT and broadband content services win market share and the number of broadband customers in the US approaches parity with the number of pay TV subs, pressure is on the traditional cable and satellite operators to generate returns from new services, IHS Screen Digest says.By 2016 there will be 99.9 million broadband subs in the US. At the same point there will be 100.4 million cable, DTH and IPTV pay TV subscribers.“Based on our continuing analysis of TV Everywhere and OTT services like Netflix, it’s clear that the US pay TV industry has reached a historic juncture,” said Tom Adams, IHS director and principal analyst for US media research, ahead of a presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show. “Neither print nor audio media have been able to properly capitalise on – or even just withstand – the internet juggernaut. So, the key question for US pay-TV operators in the years ahead is: will TV Everywhere keep customers coming to them, rather than to their OTT competitors, for video entertainment?”
Satisfaction with video-on-demand is growing in the US, according to a survey carried out for technology company Vubiquity by Frank N Magid Associates.According to the survey, carried out in the fourth quarter of last year, VOD was ranked as the number one service available to them by 62% of respondents, ahead of DVR at 60%, HD channels at 55% and premium channels at 47%.According to the survey, satisfaction with VOD grew 5% compared with a similar survey in 2010. The biggest areas of improved satisfaction were the quality of programs, up 6%, availability of programs in HD, up 8%, and the number of choices available, up 6%. Sixty-five per cent of VOD users agreed with the statement, “Everything I might ever want to watch is easily available” on-demand. In a similar survey Vubiquity conducted in the fourth quarter of 2010, only 12% agreed with that statement.The survey found that ‘binge’ viewing had grown significantly. Seventy-six per cent of respondents watched three or more episodes of a TV show consecutively in one sitting, with nearly 40% indicating that they do this more often now compared with 12 months ago.The survey also found that almost 70% of homes had a TV screen with access to the internet. Some 35% of respondents said they viewed kids animated content on alternative screens, with 30% and 28% respectively viewing scripted and reality shows on alternative screens.Frank N Magid Associates interviewed 1,700 consumers with access to VOD services.