NORTHEAST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – Cellphone footage captured an SUV that caught fire in Northeast Miami-Dade, Saturday.The blaze sparked in the area of Northeast 125th Street and Ninth Avenue. The footage shows flames shooting from the engine.A Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crew put out the fire.No injuries were reported.Remember, if you see news happening and can do so safely, take a picture or shoot video and send it to: email@example.com.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Amazon is shifting responsibility for dealing with counterfeit items back to other companies. Holger Hollemann/picture alliance via Getty Images Amazon is trying to clean up its site by streamlining its anticounterfeiting process.The e-commerce giant said Thursday that it’s giving brands more responsibility for eliminating fakes by letting them immediately take down listings for removal through its new Project Zero program. As the name implies, Project Zero is an initiative designed to clear Amazon of counterfeits through a mix of its own automated protections and other companies’ vigilance.Up to now, the slow reporting process required brands to highlight alleged fake items, after which Amazon would investigate. The new system gives brands more direct control over handling such items and feeds data to Amazon’s automated systems so they’re more likely spot counterfeits in future. 0 1:12 Amazon’s also adding a serial code service that creates a unique designation for each product unit, so it can scan them to double-check their authenticity as they pass through its warehouses.”Our aim is that customers always receive authentic goods when shopping on Amazon,” Dharmesh Mehta, vice president of worldwide customer trust and partner support, said in an emailed statement.”Project Zero builds on our long-standing work and investments in this area. It allows brands to work with us to leverage our combined strengths to move quickly and at scale to drive counterfeits to zero.”Right now, Project Zero is invite-only — a bit like Target’s marketplace expansion — but it’s “working to add more brands quickly.”The program’s name is oddly similar to “Shipment Zero,” which was announced last week with the aim of cutting the carbon footprint created by its shipments in half by 2030.First published at 5:07 a.m. PT.Updated at 8:36 a.m. PT: Clarifies that the new tool lets brands immediately remove listings for fake items. Post a comment Tags Amazon Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: Amazon’s environmental initiative, a retina-quality VR… Internet Services Tech Industry read more
Enlarge ImageHere’s a rendering of what to expect from Harley-Davidson’s Chinese-market motorcycle. Harley-Davidson At the end of May, reports surfaced and claimed that Harley-Davidson was working on a small, inexpensive motorcycle specifically to cater to Asian markets, a place where the bike manufacturer’s foothold isn’t exactly strong. Now, as June wraps up, Harley-Davidson has confirmed some of these details.Harley-Davidson announced on Wednesday that it’s established a collaboration with Qianjiang Motorcycle Company Limited to build a small, affordable bike. The bike, which will be for the Chinese market, is expected to go on sale by the end of 2020. It’s unclear if there is any desire to sell this bike in the US, but it will likely head to other Asian markets eventually, like India.While it doesn’t yet have a name, Harley-Davidson promises that the bike will “embody a distinctive look, sound and feel.” Both the bike and its engine will be built at a Qianjiang factory in China. This is a promising market for H-D, which saw its Chinese retail sales grow 27 percent in 2018 over the year before. “Harley-Davidson has always been about inspiring riders around the world. Our More Roads plan is all about bringing our brand of freedom to more people, in more places, in more ways,” said Matt Levatich, CEO of Harley-Davidson, in a statement. “We’re excited about this opportunity to build more Harley riders in China, one of the world’s largest motorcycle markets, by creating new pathways to our brand.”Harley-Davidson’s had some frustrations of late. The company earned the president’s ire after announcing its plans to move some of its production outside the US to get around tit-for-tat tariffs that saw H-D’s European import tax rise from 6% to 31%. Instead of taking a $2,000-ish hit per bike, the manufacturer figured it would just ramp up production at one of its overseas facilities. 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better 2019 Subaru Ascent review 1:41 More From Roadshow 47 Photos Share your voice 2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire first ride: Harley’s electric future is bright Harley-Davidson Now playing: Watch this: Tags 1 Comment Harley-Davidson-themed 2019 Ford F-150 debuts at the… Motorcycles Car Industry Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire is the sporty electric streetbike we need read more
PR HandoutActor Ram Pothineni and director Puri Jagannadh’s first collaboration iSmart Shankar is all set to hit the screens on July 18 and this film is loaded with pucca mass masala elements that would attract the audience to the theatres.The trailer of the film was unveiled recently and looks like it has some different concept and story to narrate. But since the release of the trailer, speculations about its originality have been rife. It’s been reported that the concept of the film is very much similar to the story of iBoy, a British film which has Adam Randall as the director and is based on Kevin Brooks’s book which has the same name. This book tells the story of a teenager, who wakes up from coma and learns that one part of his broken phone has been embedded into his brain and it turns him into a man with some superhuman powers.Well, it is not yet clear whether Puri Jagannadh and Charmee Kaur have bought the remake rights of the film iBoy or they have decided to remake it for free. While the speculations are still rife that iBoy and iSmart Shankar are pretty much similar, we have to wait for an official confirmation and this can happen only after the release of the film. TwitteriSmart Shankar has Nabha Natesh and Nidhhi Aggerwal as the leading ladies and music by Mani Sharma. Dhimaak Kharab and Undipo are two songs which have become very much popular in recent times. Ram plays the role of a pucca Hyderabadi guy and his fans have a lot of expectations on the movie.Nabha Natesh has even learnt the ‘dakhini’ language and the dialect for the film. read more
AdamTots Presents: Kiki’s Dealer ServiceMay’s Garden House Restaurant is The First Licensed Totoro Restaurant Hayao Miyazaki fans are usually voracious when it comes to checking out what the prolific and beloved creator has brought to fruition. So the NI-Tele Really BIG Clock, or the giant clock at the Shiodome section of Tokyo at Nippon Television’s headquarters is a big draw for fans of Miyazaki’s work. He designed it, after all.The clock itself is made of over 20 tons of copper and steel, and it’s three stories high at 60 feet wide. But it’s more than just a boring old clock. It’s got 30 diferent mechanical vignettes that play at certain hours of the day, including a wheel spinner, boiling teapot, cannons, blacksmiths, and more. The design itself is somewhat reminiscent of a cuckoo clock or special tin toys.The clock itself runs Monday through Friday, though it has some special shows as well on Saturdays and Sundays. If you’re looking to visit, the shows start four minutes ahead of the hour, and you can see them from around the Nippon TV tower. There’s so much detail that’s gone into the impressive clock that you’ve simply got to see it in person if you’re a fan of his work or even just great craftsmanship. It’s been likened to his work on the film Howl’s Moving Castle, so if you enjoy that movie particularly, there’s a lot to love about this work as well.If you’re looking for recommendations on which Miyazaki films you should check out and are totally inspired by the clock, however, the answer to that question is all of them. Personal favorites, however, include Princess Mononoke, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Spirited Away, and My Neighbor Totoro. Honestly, you could pick a point within his catalogue and just start viewing from there if you really wanted to. You can’t go wrong. There’s something awesome for every member of the family. Stay on target read more
Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailA nursery building was left damaged after an accident involving a lorry earlier today. Police and firefighters were called to Sydney Road in Crewe at around 7.30am this morning. The lorry had collided with a fence post, causing damage to the building. No one was injured in the incident. A Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said: “Shortly before 7.30am firefighters were called to a report of a heavy goods vehicle having collided with a fence post on Sydney Road in Crewe. “On arrival the crew discovered that the incident had caused damage to a nursery building and that no-one was injured. Read MoreThree men charged following burglaries across Potteries “Firefighters cordoned off the affected area and Cheshire East Council arranged for a structural engineer to assess the damage done to the building. “Firefighters were in attendance for around an hour. The police also attended.” Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – Tweet us @SOTLive or message us on our Facebook page . And if you have pictures to share, tag us on Instagram at StokeonTrentLive . read more
Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Comments Share Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility (Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) STOCKHOLM (AP) – After three days of science awards the Nobel spotlight turns to the art of writing Thursday when the Swedish Academy will announce the winner of the Nobel Prize in literature.Will it be a woman for the first time since 2009? Or the first American in two decades?The secretive academy drops no hints but that doesn’t stop literature buffs and other Nobel watchers from guessing. Here are some of the themes and potential candidates being mentioned in this year’s speculation: ___BETTORS’ FAVORITESIn recent years the academy has stepped up efforts to prevent leaks before the announcement. Nevertheless, every other year or so the winner is among those getting the most attention by those who bet money on the prize. When French writer Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio won in 2008, his odds had plunged in the final hours before the announcement, triggering suspicions of a leak. Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer and China’s Mo Yan, the winners in 2011 and 2012, were also among the top candidates on betting sites. On Wednesday, Japanese author Haruki Murakami was the favorite to win at betting firm Ladbrokes, followed by Munro, Alexievich and Oates. Other writers whose odds have dropped significantly in the past days are Norwegian playwright Jon Fosse and Kenyan Ngugi Wa Thiog’o.___Follow Malin Rising on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/malinrising Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober WOMENAlthough the number of female laureates has risen sharply in the past 10 years, only 12 women have won the coveted award since its inception in 1901. The permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, Peter Englund, has acknowledged that it’s an “embarrassingly small” number. If the academy picks a woman this year, Belarusian author Svetlana Alexievich or Canada’s Margaret Atwood could be hot contenders, according to literature critics. Egyptian author Nawad el Saadawi, Canadian short story writer Alice Munro and Algeria’s Assia Djebar are other perennial favorites.German writer Hertha Muller was the last woman to win the Nobel literature award, in 2009. Prominent female authors that the Swedish Academy never awarded include Virginia Woolf and Karen Blixen.___AMERICANSThe last American to win a Nobel Prize in literature was Toni Morrison in 1993. The previous permanent secretary of the academy, Horace Engdahl, sparked outrage in U.S. literary circles in 2008 when he told The Associated Press that American writers were too “insular” and “too sensitive to trends in their own mass culture.” Engdahl’s successor, Englund, has not been so dismissive _ conceding that it is a problem that academy members are biased toward European literature. The academy has a tendency to pick authors who aren’t widely known, which works against many popular U.S. writers. But if the academy were to look across the Atlantic, potential U.S. winners could include Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, Philip Roth or Joyce Carol Oates. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement How do cataracts affect your vision? Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Patients with chronic pain give advice read more
The latest US State Department report on international religious freedom lists a number of areas where authorities on both sides restrict freedoms in this area.The report, said the Cyprus government granted Turkish Cypriots access to religious sites in the area it controls, including for visits by approximately 2,650 Turkish Cypriots and foreign nationals to Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque on three occasions and that seven of the eight functioning mosques, with the exception of Hala Sultan Tekke, in the government-controlled area were open for all five daily prayers, and six had the necessary facilities for ablutions.However it added: “Despite long-standing requests, the government did not grant permission to the Muslim community to make improvements at mosques,” it says.It also said a representative of the Buddhist community reported that authorities raised obstacles to the operation of a temple in a village outside of Nicosia and forced the community to relocate the temple, while in July the government removed a requirement to designate a person’s religion on civil marriage applications and certificates.The ombudsman’s office also reported it was investigating new complaints regarding ministry of education regulations for exempting students from religious instruction. “The government required those who objected to military service on religious grounds to perform alternate service for longer periods”.It also says that the Jewish community reported incidents of assault, verbal harassment, and vandalism and that some religious minority groups reported pressure to engage in religious ceremonies of majority groups.Members of the Greek Orthodox majority also reported they sometimes faced social ostracism from the Greek Orthodox community if they converted to another religion, such as Islam, while a hotel reportedly refused to hire Muslim women for a cleaning job because they wore a hijab.In the north, the report said, Turkish Cypriot authorities continued to restrict access to religious sites.UNFICYP had reported that of 112 requests it received to facilitate religious services at churches in the northern part of the island during the year, the north’s “ministry of foreign affairs” approved approximately 67. The ‘ministry’ reported that, of 133 total requests (including both UNFICYP-facilitated and non-UNFICYP-facilitated requests) to hold religious services during the year, it approved 83″.“Alevi Muslims said they lacked places to worship and funding to construct them and that authorities treated them and other religious minorities unequally,” the report added. In May the ‘ombudsman’ stated the ‘ministry of education’ was violating freedom of religion by imposing mandatory religion courses based on Sunni Islam at schools, without presenting alternatives to non-Sunnis. Some minority religious groups continued to report police surveillance and restrictions of their activities”.It further said that “the Turkish-Speaking Protestant Association (TSPA) continued to report societal discrimination toward Protestants, and some minority religious groups said Turkish Cypriots who converted to other faiths, particularly Christianity, faced criticism.It added that the US embassy officials met with Turkish Cypriot representatives to discuss access to religious sites and the ability to hold religious services at the sites without restrictions. Embassy officials continued to meet with leaders from different religious groups to discuss freedom of worship and access to religious sites,” it said. US embassy staff also met with the government, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), and religious leaders to discuss religious freedom issues, including access to religious sites island-wide and discriminatory treatment of minority religious groups. Embassy officials encouraged religious leaders to continue their dialogue and hold reciprocal visits to places of religious significance on either side of the “green line.”It noted that the leaders of the main religious groups on the island continued to meet and reaffirmed their commitment to the promotion of religious freedom across the island. You May Likearea399.comHow to Upgrade Your Original PS4 Hard Drive HDDarea399.comUndoJobs in Dubai | Search AdsInterested to Work in Dubai?Jobs in Dubai | Search AdsUndoBrilliant EarthMost Popular Engagement Rings According to InstagramBrilliant EarthUndo Korkolis brings magic to the stageUndoLED-lighting the way by 2020UndoHouse rejects presidential veto over repossession lawUndoby Taboolaby Taboola read more
21Jan Franz road funding information meeting in Benzie County State Rep. Ray Franz invites Benzie County residents to a meeting in the Benzonia Township Hall on Jan. 26 to share information regarding the state’s upcoming road funding proposal.While the lawmaker looks forward to addressing any concerns or ideas residents may have with state government at the meeting, he will focus much of his presentation on details regarding the proposal.“This is the second meeting I’m hosting on the road package, and based on the Ludington turnout, as well as the phone calls I’ve received, people have a lot of questions and concerns about it,” said Franz, R-Onekama. “I welcome everyone to come to this meeting so we can get the conversation moving, or to bring up other topics that are on their minds. People are always welcome to call my office, plus I’ll have additional local meetings to keep people informed as we go along.”The Jan. 26 meeting is 10 a.m. The hall is located at 1020 Michigan Ave. in Benzonia.To contact Franz and his office staff about any issues regarding state government call toll free 1-855-DIST-101 (1-855-347-8101), or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters can be sent to the representative at P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, Michigan 48933, and his online office website address is www.RepRayFranz.com. Categories: News read more
Ag committee chair puts focus on producers 25Mar Rep. Lauwers welcomes agriculture industry to Capitol Categories: Lauwers News,News State Rep. Dan Lauwers, chair of the House Committee on Agriculture, today welcomed representatives of the Michigan agriculture industry to Lansing during Ag Day at the state Capitol.Rep. Lauwers, R-Brockway Township, touted the diversity of agriculture in Michigan during the day-long appreciation for the industry, including meeting with representatives from a variety of producers and farmers from across the state.“Michigan ranks second only to California in terms of agricultural diversity, with annual agriculture products exceeding $13 billion on the market,” Rep. Lauwers said. “Michigan produces more than 300 commodities on a commercial basis, and the agriculture industry provides more than 923,000 jobs in the state. The industry feeds both Michigan residents and our economy.”In addition to meeting with producers and representatives from across the state, Rep. Lauwers met with St. Clair County farmer Travis Fahley, who is Michigan Farm Bureau District 6 director, representing Farm Bureau members from Huron, Lapeer, Macomb, Sanilac, St. Clair and Tuscola counties on the Michigan Farm Bureau Board of Directors.“Michigan’s agriculture industry is a boon to the state’s economy and preserves a time-honored profession that passes from family member to family member,” Rep. Lauwers said. “It was great meeting with so many people involved in making Michigan a top state in the field of agriculture.”Rep. Lauwers also recognized those from the industry who participated in Ag Day in a floor speech during session.##### read more
Appropriations chair leads push to eliminate backlog Categories: Cox News,Cox Photos,News 05Oct Rep. Cox spearheads funding for rape test kit tracking program State Rep. Laura Cox, chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, has taken the lead on securing funding to help victims of sexual assault track the progress of their rape cases.Cox, of Livonia, spearheaded a presentation on Wednesday before the committee in support of a $4.3 million appropriation to fund the first four years of a program that will enable victims using a secure online program to track the progress of their rape kits as the kits are processed and the crime is investigated.Cox said more than 11,000 untested rape kits were recovered from a closed Detroit Police storage facility in 2009. Since that time, officials have sought federal and state funding to have the kits tested so investigations may proceed. Cox, a former U.S. Customs Department officer currently serves on the Michigan Sexual Assault Evidence Kit Tracking and Reporting Commission. She pointed out that the problem of untested rape kits is not limited to one city.“It is important to note this issue is not a Detroit-only issue,” Cox said. “Cities large and small have faced this problem as well. A recent statewide inventory of untested kits revealed at least 3,400 such kits outside of the city of Detroit. This situation impacts our entire state.”Under the tracking system software, law enforcement agencies will update the status of the kit as it leaves the investigating agency, when it arrives at the lab for testing, the point at which analysis is complete and when the kit is returned to the investigating agency. Victims will be able to log in through a secure portal and follow their kit as it progresses through the process.Testimony indicated that 109 convictions have resulted thus far from testing the kits from Detroit, including a number of serial rapists who committed assaults in Michigan and other states as well.The committee approved the bill and it now goes to the full House for consideration.##### read more
Legislation fixes issue brought to light by Nassar assault investigationState Rep. Beth Griffin, R-Mattawan, testifies in support of her bipartisan plan to add athletic trainers and physical therapists to the list of professionals who are required to report evidence of child abuse, neglect and sexual abuse. She is joined by Rep. Kristy Pagan, D-Canton, left.State Rep. Beth Griffin today testified before the House Judiciary Committee in support of her bipartisan plan to fix one of the problems brought to light by the House’s inquiry into the handling of the Larry Nassar sexual assault investigation.Griffin, of Mattawan, said her solution better protects Michigan children by increasing the number of authority figures who are required to report evidence of child abuse, neglect and sexual abuse. As a former teacher, Griffin herself was a mandatory reporter.“In many cases, trainers and physical therapists are in the best position to identify abuse or neglect,” said Griffin, who was a competitive gymnast as a child and has also coached youth sports, including gymnastics. “These adults spend a significant amount of time with student athletes, and in many cases are even closer to students than teachers.”Current law requires a number of licensed professionals – including teachers, doctors, social workers and dentists – to report signs of abuse to the proper authorities. Griffin’s plan, House Bill 4376, adds athletic trainers, physical therapists and physical therapist assistants who work with K-12 and college athletes to the list.“Recent events have made it clear that sometimes abuse goes unreported or is overlooked,” Griffin said. “If we ensure more people are proactive in identifying and reporting abuse it will better protect our children.”A separate measure co-sponsored by Griffin would ensure people who work in the required professions are properly trained to understand the duties and responsibilities of being a mandatory reporter. The bills are part of a larger package designed to protect Michigan children from sexual abuse and assault.House Bills 4376-77 remain under consideration by the House Judiciary Committee.### Categories: Griffin News 14May Rep. Griffin plan requires athletic trainers, physical therapists to report child abuse read more
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesDecember 17, 2013; Patriot-NewsIn the wake of Jerry Sandusky’s arrest and conviction for child molestation, Second Mile, the nonprofit organization he founded (and where he allegedly conducted much of his victim procurement) shut down and transferred its remaining assets to another organization. An internal investigation within Second Mile to figure out who knew what when about Sandusky’s activities was abruptly shut down. There is little question that Second Mile executives’ failure to act for several years despite repeated notifications of Sandusky’s inappropriate behavior amounts to nothing less than a cover-up, which warrants Second Mile’s demise.Sandusky is in jail, albeit still protesting his innocence and filing appeals in court, but the saga continues with the theme of more cover-ups, as the lines are blurred between Sandusky’s Second Mile nonprofit and his relatively unfettered access to the facilities of the Penn State football team, where Sandusky had served as an assistant coach under the legendary Joe Paterno. In December, three former Penn State administrators, including former president Graham Spanier, were in court, having been charged with lying to a grand jury about their awareness of Sandusky’s actions, their knowledge of allegations about Sandusky dating from 2001, and then concocting and participating in a cover-up.Part of the story involves one Cynthia Baldwin, an attorney for Penn State at the time of the 2011 grand jury proceedings, who Spanier thought was representing him during his appearance. But she says that she was representing the university, not Spanier personally. In 2012, Baldwin apparently contacted the Sandusky prosecutors, though there is debate as to whether it was on her own volition, to say that Spanier lied in his grand jury testimony, a conclusion she reached after the investigative report prepared by former FBI Director Louis Freeh was released, with e-mails and other details of Spanier’s knowledge of the longstanding and repeated allegations about Sandusky. Spanier’s current personal attorney, Elizabeth Ainslie, claims Baldwin turned on Spanier in order to avoid being charged as part of the cover-up herself.The Freeh report suggests some cracks in Spanier’s story, but Spanier himself has been consistently steely and adamant about his role. In a two-hour ABC interview in 2012, the full text of which was only just released due to the cover-up litigation, Spanier left no wiggle room in his answer to the charge about his knowledge: “Never in my time as president of Penn State did I ever receive a report—or even a hint—that Jerry Sandusky was engaged in child abuse, a sexual act, criminal activity, or anything resembling that with any child.” Spanier said, “Had I known that, or had I even suspected it, I would have forcefully intervened. But I never heard a report of that kind, and you can ask me that question ten different times, and the answer is going to be the same.”Since the release of the Freeh report with the e-mail exchanges between Spanier and others, the former university attorney is now no longer convinced by Spanier. “He is not a person of integrity,” Baldwin told prosecutors and the grand jury in 2012. “He lied to me.” The New York Times editorial page pulled no punches when it described these developments as “the cover-up orchestrated by university administrators of early complaints about Mr. Sandusky’s predatory behavior.”It is a little difficult not to be suspicious of the motivations for university’s recent hiring of five experts (with plans for nine more) to conduct a national study on the prevention of child abuse, but in the Second Mile and Penn State incidents, child abuse may not have been the only problem revealed by the Sandusky imbroglio. The problem may be less a matter of divining Sandusky’s psychology than examining what makes nonprofit and public sector agencies cover up truly heinous crimes, as though any damage to their institutional reputations or fundraising could outweigh the harm done to the young men abused by the former assistant football coach. The Times recommended that the Pennsylvania legislature pass a “pending bill [that] would mandate the prompt reporting of suspected abuse to government officials…to prevent the kind of in-house secrecy that compounded the Sandusky crimes.”Like the exposure of Comic Relief’s investments in alcohol, tobacco, and guns, the explanations and quasi-apologies come a little too late with minimal credibility. In the cases of Second Mile and Penn State, Second Mile’s Jack Raykovitz and Penn State’s Graham Spanier “resigned.” Spanier now faces charges of having lied and covered up for Sandusky and others. Spanier’s timeline of potential, if not actual, knowledge of Sandusky’s pedophilia roughly tracks Raykovitz’s, with both organizations doing nothing to rein Sandusky in until well after dozens of kids had become his victims. As Spanier is now having to learn, covering up is a pretty poor way of making amends.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares read more
Share3TweetShareEmail3 Shares June 25, 2015; News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)Earlier this year, an NPQ newswire reported on nonprofit organizations in North Carolina fighting to maintain the state tax rebate they enjoy. Legislation was being proposed for the upcoming state budget that would severely limit the amount that could be claimed in the program. In 2014, a similar plan was explored by the legislature with attempts made to either remove the rebate altogether or significantly lower it. As NPQ reported, the budget bill was passed with a rebate cap in place, but at a level that caused little or no damage to the budget of nonprofit organizations. Now, according to a report in the News & Observer, the rebate is back on the table for discussion.North Carolina requires all nonprofit organizations to pay sales tax on items that are considered “tangible personal property.” Certain tax-exempt nonprofits that use such tangible personal property to assist in carrying out their mission are allowed to apply to the state for a rebate of those sales taxes. These rebates are only available to certain tax-exempt organizations such as hospitals, educational institutions, many faith-based organizations, and some group homes for older adults. The rebates are offered twice a year.Currently eligible tax-exempt organizations are allowed to claim rebates of sales taxes paid up to $45 million. In the budget currently being considered, that could be reduced to $1 million, which would obviously have a significant impact. The argument by proponents of the cap is that the rebates are creating an unfair competitive environment: Nonprofit hospitals do not have to pay property tax and they are eligible for the rebate while for-profit hospitals in the same community have to pay both taxes. Advocates in favor of maintaining the higher cap suggest that the reduction could cause crippling damage to hospitals in rural and impoverished communities.In the same proposed budget is a provision that would reduce the itemized personal income tax deduction at $20,000, including charitable contributions. Proponents of this provision argue that it affects as few as 1.5 percent of the population and these people are rich enough that their contributions are not driven by tax deductibility. One Republican legislator who is also a wealth management professional says that in fact he has personally encouraged significant gifts from his clients by demonstrating the positive tax implications of such a donation.The deadline to pass the budget is Tuesday, June 30th, and it is almost certain that a deal will not be reached in time. As recently as last Thursday, a deal to extend the current budget for a limited time could not be passed either, although there has been precedent for that in recent years. A vote to keep the government running beyond Tuesday and allowing for time to consider proposals such as the cap on the state tax rebate is possible in the next day or two.—Rob MeiksinsShare3TweetShareEmail3 Shares read more
Russian service provider ER-Telecom has launched TV and internet services in the cities of Rostov-on-Don and Tver in European Russia.The operator is providing 65 channels of TV and 100Mbps internet access. The operator has built fibre-to-the-building services in these and other cities across Russia, with 3.65 million subscribers as of October this year.
Cumulative revenues from Western Europe’s pay digital terrestrial TV services will top US$2 billion (€1.5 billion) by 2016, according to new research from Informa Telecoms & Media.Its data shows that pay DTT generated US$1.4 billion across the region last year and that will steadily increase, reaching 2.1 billion in 2016. The total in Eastern Europe, meanwhile, will be significantly lower. Revenues last year totalled US$40 million and will reach US$59 billion by 2016.
Vivendi’s Management Board is to allocate 50 bonus shares to the employees of all its French subsidiaries.Employees of SFR and its subsidiaries, Canal Plus Group and its subsidiaries, VME-Zaoza, Digitick, Wengo, and Universal Music France and its subsidiaries will receive the bonus. This measure concerns 16,000 employees and was agreed between management and unions.Separately, some 10,000 Vivendi employees have participated in a reserved capital increase, with 12.3 millin new shares being issued to employees for a total of €126.9 million, taking the share of Vivendi owned by employees to 3.4%.
The Weather Channel in the US has partnered with video and broadband technology provider Arris, using the latter’s encoders and decoders to deliver “more regionalised data and linear services.”The network is using the Arris DSR-4440 and DSR-4460 integrated receiver decoders (IRDs) to optimise its network and reduce bandwidth demands.It is also upgrading its satellite network using Arris MPEG-4 SE-6000 encoders and IRDs that enable MPEG-4 distribution via satellite to affiliates.The Weather Channel said that these would address “immediate needs for network capacity for more regionalised data, as well as future unique content experiences.”
Some 10% of US broadband homes bought a streaming player or stick in the first three quarters of 2014 with Roku retaining its lead of the market, according to Parks Associates. The research said that Roku accounted for 29% of US streaming device sales, followed by Chromecast with 20%, which overtook Apple TV at 17%. Amazon’s Fire TV took fourth place with 10% of sales.Overall, Parks said that sales of streaming devices in the first nine months of 2014 had already overtaken full-year 2013 sales.Last year Roku accounted for 46% of streaming media sales in the US, followed by Apple with 26%. Both have since seen their market share fall since the launch of Chromecast and Fire TV.“Nearly 50% of video content that US consumers watch on a TV set is non-linear, up from 38% in 2010, and it is already the majority for people 18 to 44,” said Barbara Kraus, director, research, Parks Associates.“The market is changing rapidly to account for these new digital media habits. Roku now offers a streaming stick, and Amazon’s Fire TV streaming stick leaves Apple as the only top player without a stick product in the streaming media device category.”Parks predicts that more than 25% of US broadband households will have a streaming media player by 2015, and by 2017, there will be nearly 50 million streaming media players sold globally.“Their low cost will make streaming media devices popular gifts this holiday season, and the race to meet consumer demands for online video will make this product category a very hot topic at the 2015 International CES,” said Kraus. read more