Skyscanner to power MSN Travel Search

first_imgGlobal travel search engine, Skyscanner, is powering flight search for MSN Travel in 31 markets, including Australia, New Zealand, U.S., United Kingdom, India, Singapore, France, Hong Kong and Mexico.Through the Skyscanner White Label product, the partnership with Microsoft will ensure that those searching for flights on MSN will benefit from Skyscanner’s global content, giving them the ability to search for their best itinerary options and book flights in 17 languages via a MSN branded product, powered by Skyscanner.“Skyscanner for Business aims to power the travel Internet,” said Hugh Aitken, Director of Business Development, Skyscanner.“Our new partnership with Microsoft is another example of how Skyscanner is helping partners expand their flight product globally, by providing an exhaustive amount of international flight options to their users.“We look forward to working with Microsoft to deliver a global product that provides their users with the best information, delivered through an easy to use solution.”Skyscanner powers 300 partners through its Skyscanner for Business suite of products, including the White Label and API tools, which gives partners access to flight, hotel and car rental searches.The Skyscanner for Business White Label product allowed MSN to customize its flight search with the complete MSN branding that users are familiar with, while benefitting from backend fulfillment from Skyscanner’s flight product.The Skyscanner White Label allows for full language translation, including its newest language addition of Arabic.Skyscanner to power MSN Travel SearchSource = Skyscanner Businesslast_img read more

Maryland Sees 9th Bank Collapse of 2014

first_img Bank Failure FDIC 2014-06-03 Colin Robins Following a prior collapse in Ohio, FDIC announced over the weekend the closure of another bank: Slavie Federal Savings Bank of Bel Air, Maryland, has been closed. The agency entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Bay Bank, FSB of Lutherville, Maryland, to assume all the deposits of the recently shuttered Slavie Federal Savings Bank.”As of March 31, 2014, Slavie Federal Savings Bank had approximately $140.1 million in total assets and $111.1 million in total deposits. Bay Bank, FSB will pay FDIC a premium of 0.20 percent to assume all of the deposits of Slavie Federal Savings Bank,” FDIC said in a statement.In addition to assuming all of the deposits of the failed bank, Bay Bank agreed to purchase approximately $129.9 million of the failed bank’s assets. FDIC will retain the remaining assets for later disposition.FDIC estimated that costs to the Deposit Insurance Fund will be $6.6 million. Bay Bank’s acquisition was the least costly solution for the fund.Slavie Federal Savings Bank is the ninth FDIC-insured institution to fail this year and the first in Maryland. The last FDIC-insured institution closed in the state was Bank of the Eastern Shore in Cambridge, Maryland, in April 2012. Maryland Sees 9th Bank Collapse of 2014 June 3, 2014 436 Views center_img in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News Sharelast_img read more

What happens to my payment when I book a flight yo

first_imgWhat happens to my payment when I book a flight you’ve found on Skyscanner?As a travel search engine, Skyscanner is a tool to help you find the perfect flights. Once you’ve found your flights and hit the green ‘select’ button we transfer you to the airline or travel agent to complete your booking. This means you make your payment with them, not with Skyscanner, so they process it and your money goes through their systems, rather than ours.Once you click ‘select’ you are redirected to the airline or travel agent’s website and this is where your payment is processed Where does my money go after booking?To the airline or travel agent you booked through, not to us – that’s why we’re free to use.Does Skyscanner process my payment or have any involvement?No. We don’t have access to individuals’ booking information. Instead you are transferred to your chosen airline or travel agent, and your payment is processed by them directly.Got more questions about Skyscanner or any of our features? Check these out:Does Skyscanner manage my booking and flight details?Who issues your booking confirmation and who should you contact if your flight is cancelled, you need to change your flights or get a refund? We’ve got the answers to these common Skyscanner queries, so you can stop worrying about booking flights and start planning what you’re going to do when you get there!Do browser cookies increase flight prices?How to search ‘Everywhere’ on Skyscanner for real holiday inspirationThe Skyscanner guide to finding last-minute cheap flightsHow to use Skyscanner’s multi-city flights searchAlternatively, send a question to our friendly help centre folk and they’ll be able to help you with any specific query you might have.Skyscanner is the world’s travel search engine, helping your money go further on flights, hotels and car hire.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedDoes Skyscanner manage my booking and flight details?Here are all the details you need about what happens once you’ve booked a flight you’ve found on Skyscanner, including: – Who holds your flight itinerary and booking details – If Skyscanner keeps any record of your booking or payment details – Who to contact if you don’t receive booking…Skyscanner’s search toolsSkyscanner’s search toolsSkyscanner skill for Amazon AlexaTravel is only a conversation away with Skyscanner’s skill for the Amazon Alexa voice service. So if you’re not sure where to go next or are looking for a great deal, just ask Alexa.last_img read more

Foreclosure law ineffective ESM says

first_imgCyprus’ legal frameworks aimed at reducing non-performing loans are inefficient and hardly used by banks whose bad debt stock remains a key vulnerability, according to a report released by the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).The ESM also stressed that Cyprus must resume reforms in important sectors and diversify economic activity, which currently focuses on tourism and construction.“Although the necessary legal frameworks aiming at reducing NPLs are now in place, they are still inefficient and little used. Instead, banks are more and more in favour of offloading impaired assets from their balance sheets, mostly via debt-to-asset swaps, which deliver NPL reduction in the short-run but leave banks with significant exposure to the real estate sector,” the ESM board of governors’ report for 2017 said.“Furthermore, new regulatory requirements challenge the banks’ outlook.”The ESM has now joined a number of other EU institutions and the International Monetary Fund, which pointed out that the foreclosure framework passed by parliament in 2014 was ineffectual as it made it very difficult for banks to collect their dues.The high level of NPLs remains a key vulnerability for banks, which suggests the need for a reform of the insolvency and foreclosure framework and poses a risk for the economy going forward, the ESM said.“The ample liquidity and the relatively high capital ratios were certainly important mitigating factors, but risks stemming from weak profitability, the high NPL ratio of 43 per cent, and the coverage of 47 per cent that is still slightly below the euro area average could quickly destabilise the system.”The ESM acknowledged the solid recovery achieved by the island in the past few years but stressed that it had to resume the stalled reform programme and diversify economic activity.To boost economic resilience, the country needs to consolidate public finances by further reducing public debt and counteracting the concentration of economic activities by diversifying from the tourism and construction sectors.“Cyprus must regain reform momentum to enhance the efficiency of the public sector and judiciary while supporting fiscal sustainability.”You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoSmart Tips DailySeniors With No Life Insurance May Get A $250,000 Policy If They Do ThisSmart Tips DailyUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Rep Jenkins welcomes Addison fire chief to 911 ceremony

first_img Categories: News 08Sep Rep. Jenkins welcomes Addison fire chief to 9/11 ceremony Addison Fire Chief Tim Shaw (right), joins state Rep. Nancy Jenkins (left), in the Capitol rotunda as her guest during the annual House of Representatives 9/11 Memorial Ceremony. House members invited first responders and members of the military from their communities to be their guests for the service. The ceremony included the ringing of a fire bell for those who died in the line of duty since Sept. 11, 2015. “It was an honor to have Chief Shaw with me here today,” said Rep. Jenkins, R-Clayton, “I’m pleased to have the opportunity to extend my gratitude for the selfless work he and his department do for the community as well as pay our respects to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our safety over the past year.”###last_img read more

Rep Gary Glenn Reviewing last year in the Michigan House of Representatives

first_img Categories: Glenn News,News (Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Williams Township, represents portions of Bay and Midland counties in the Michigan House of Representatives.) We can make life better in mid-Michigan by limiting the size of government and focusing it on what’s most important. The Legislature took significant steps in that direction during 2017.Our state budget reined in spending but still invested record amounts in K-12 education and improving roads, both vital to improving Michigan’s long-term economic future.I was particularly gratified by adding Midland Public Schools for the first time to the state’s targeted spending program for “at risk” students, who comprise over one-fourth of all MPS students. On top of the annual increase received by all public schools statewide, MPS this year received an additional $500,000 specifically to assist students at risk, and that new funding should continue every year.The Legislature also took significant action to pay down debt in both public school and local government employee retirement systems. I personally sponsored one bill in the local government reform package recently signed by Gov. Rick Snyder to help protect the retirement benefits of police and firefighters, who put their lives on the line for us every day.Another bill of mine that has already become law protects victims of human trafficking, and removes an unwarranted cloud of suspicion over law enforcement personnel, by eliminating an unintended exemption from prosecution if undercover police officers engage in sex with prostitutes or trafficking victims. Michigan was the last state to remove that loophole, something that should have been done years ago.My bill protecting the right of civilians and military personnel to carry concealed firearms while at state military facilities was approved by the House. Other legislation I sponsored would establish a work requirement for able-bodied Medicaid recipients and restore full local control to our schools by repealing state Common Core educational standards.I was honored to be selected “Legislator of the Year” by the Associated Builders and Contractors and the Michigan Propane Gas Association. As chairman of the House Energy Policy Committee, much of my work is focused on driving down the cost of electricity and other bills.Michigan has the Midwest’s highest electricity rates. We could lower those rates by allowing alternative energy suppliers significantly more than the 10 percent of the market they are limited to under current state law.More competition for Consumers Energy would lower utility bills. We see that already through an Electricity Choice program for Michigan schools, which saves participating districts about $15 million a year, or $35 per student. The Energy Policy Committee recently heard testimony on a bill, which I support, that would allow all schools the freedom to save you money by choosing a supplier less expensive than Consumers. It’s ridiculous that under current law some districts are allowed to save taxpayer money while others are not.The committee is also considering my bill to prohibit members of local government planning commissions from voting on issues in which they or their families have direct financial interests. The bill includes strong provisions to make sure local officials can’t vote, for example, to approve wind turbine projects if they would personally profit by having signed a wind lease contract on their own private property.Efforts to advance this legislation will continue in 2018. So will my fight to lower taxes and end Michigan’s tenure as the state with the highest auto insurance rates in the nation.For the past year, I’ve served as associate speaker of the House Pro Tem, one of four House members entrusted to hold the gavel and preside over the formal proceedings of the House floor.Lord willing, I’ll also continue the perfect attendance record I’ve maintained since taking office in January 2015, never missing a committee meeting, caucus, or vote on the House floor, including during five months of chemotherapy last year for cancer, thankfully still in remission.In 2018, I will continue to take seriously the privilege and duty of being on the job to represent you and your family. Please contact me at garyglenn@house.mi.gov or 517-373-1791 if I can be of help with any issue regarding our state government.center_img 12Jan Rep. Gary Glenn: Reviewing last year in the Michigan House of Representativeslast_img read more

COLUMN Stepping up the fight against opioids

first_img07May COLUMN: Stepping up the fight against opioids Categories: Iden News,News Tags: Opioid By state Rep. Brandt Iden of Oshtemo TownshipA growing problem generally calls for a larger response – especially when the lives of Michigan residents hang in the balance.The number of heroin and prescription opioid overdose deaths in Michigan has doubled during the past five years. In Kalamazoo County, 24 residents were treated each month on average for unintentional overdoses – 13 for heroin, 11 for other opioids – at local emergency rooms in 2016. The number of accidental drug-related deaths more than doubled from 2015 to 2016 and 38 of the first 47 accidental drug-related deaths in the county in 2017 involved opioids, according to data from the Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department.But simply enumerating these losses doesn’t underscore the emotional toll that prescription drug abuse is taking on our families. We are losing mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, co-workers, neighbors, classmates and friends. We must do more to keep from losing lives.Near the end of 2017, I voted for a plan to create an environment in Michigan to help our citizens control addiction. Under this plan, doctors will be required to use a new online prescription tracking database run by the state to review and record patient history, limit the number of pills given over weekly periods and formulate a legitimate relationship with a patient before extending them a prescription. These are preventative measures to help dam up a now-raging river created with prescribed opioids leading to the use of highly addictive and dangerous illegal substances such as heroin.Bringing this problem to light and addressing it openly in our society is a key concept of this plan. The Michigan Department of Education will instruct students on the dangers of prescription drug abuse and addiction. More prescription drug drop off bins will be available statewide and an expanded Good Samaritan Law will encourage people to call emergency services if they or someone they are with experience an overdose, without the fear of being arrested for drug use during or after their care.I don’t want 2018 and beyond to be additional years in which opioid-related deaths continue to rise in record numbers. For the well-being of our residents, we needed to acknowledge this issue and ensure Michigan is a driving force on the road to fixing it. Rep. Brandt Iden, of Oshtemo Township, is in his second term in the Michigan House serving the 61st District, which encompasses the city of Portage and townships of Oshtemo, Prairie Ronde, Schoolcraft and Texas.last_img read more

Rep Kahle welcomes student as Rep For A Day

first_imgPHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Bronna Kahle welcomed Ava Depew, a fourth-grade student at Lincoln Elementary School in Adrian to the state Capitol. Ava was the winner of Rep. Kahle’s summer reading contest and was invited to serve alongside the representative as a ‘Rep For A Day’. Rep. Kahle worked with several local libraries and organizations over the summer to provide a reading contest designed to encourage students to read throughout their summer break.#### 30Nov Rep. Kahle welcomes student as ‘Rep For A Day’ Categories: Kahle News,Kahle Photoslast_img read more

Archbishop of NY Lobbies for Tax Credits for School Donations and Scholarships

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesMarch 18, 2014; New York Times A leader of the original nonprofit—the Catholic Church—is advocating for change in New York.The New York Times reports that a proposed state tax credit for donations to schools and scholarship programs is gaining traction in the state capital, and “turning the archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, into something of a lobbyist.”The proposed “education investment tax credit” would create a new state tax credit for those who donate money to public schools or to scholarships for poor and middle-class students attending private schools, including religious ones. It is a much larger credit than the deduction that now exists for such contributions.Supporters of the bill tell the Times that it would help public schools struggling to keep class sizes down, parochial schools that have been losing students for years, and students who cannot afford expensive private school tuition.Cardinal Dolan has spoken and blogged on the topic and addressed rallies around New York to support the proposal. On Tuesday, he plans to go on the road to Albany for one last push before the state’s April 1st budget deadline.“Anything we can do to help education, to help our kids, we want to do it as vigorously as possible,” Cardinal Dolan said at a news conference at Cathedral High School in Manhattan. {loadmodule mod_banners,Ads for Advertisers 5}Although some 17 labor unions support the bill, the paper reports, teachers’ unions see it as a “thinly disguised voucher program redirecting state revenue to private schools,” with the head of the New York State United Teachers calling it a “fundamental and disgraceful attack” on public school pupils.The advocacy effort is being paid for in part by an organization founded by an investment banker and former aide to President Richard M. Nixon, as well by as a hedge fund billionaire, “as part of a concerted effort to counter the political spending by the teachers’ unions.”The Times says that the idea dates back to the 1970s as a way to address Catholic school closures. Later on, it gained support from the Orthodox Jewish and Lutheran communities, and in 2012, a bill introduced in the State Senate was changed to broaden its appeal by including public schools and adding a tax credit worth at least $100 for teachers who bought their own classroom supplies. A similar bill has moved through the Assembly for the past five years, but never reached a floor vote.The article points out that “a sticking point has been the inclusion of charter schools, which are not included in [the Assembly] measure but are included in the Senate version.” In both versions, credits for individual taxpayers would be capped. The total amount of donations in any year would also be capped, and before giving, donors would have to file an application with the state.“This bill would enable increased charitable donations and scholarship opportunities for children in poverty and middle-class households,” a spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York told the Times, “so that parents would have additional financial means to continue to send their children to non-public schools that best meet their needs.”—Larry KaplanShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

NYC High Line Completed Is it a Net Positive for NYC

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares September 22, 2014; Cherry Hill Courier-PostThe wait is finally over for New Yorkers and tourists eager to explore the entirety of the 22-block elevated walkway park, known as the High Line at the Rail Yards, along Manhattan’s West Side. It has taken 15 years and, according to the Courier-Post, it cost $223 million in public and private money to build. The completion of the High Line at the Rail Yards has been greeted with celebration, consternation, and criticism.The celebration came on Saturday, September 20th, with the official opening of High Line Park. The Friends of the High Line led the celebration, which included a procession of community members, volunteers, and business owners who walked the full length of the park carrying banners and ribbons. Friends of the High Line, a 501(c)3 that includes such celebrities as actor Edward Norton, has been the driving force behind the redevelopment of the abandoned elevated freight railway into “one of the nation’s most distinctive urban transformations.” They were joined by New York city, state, and federal officials at the opening event.The consternation was focused on one of the possible attendees at the High Line’s opening event, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. As reported by the NPQ Newswire in October 2013, de Blasio has been seen as a threat to private conservancies, such as the Friends of the High Line, for his support of a plan to redistribute some of their wealth to neglected public city parks and spaces. New York Post columnist Steve Cuozzo wondered last week whether Mayor de Blasio would even show up for Saturday’s dedication. Cuozzo seemed to throw down the gauntlet to the mayor, in whom he has little confidence, when he wrote: “Let’s see if he shows his face at the park dedication with its implicit, but unmistakable challenge: Match this!” Mayor de Blasio did show up and, with an apparent shout-out to his predecessor Michael Bloomberg’s administration (which may have surprised Cuozzo) praised the High Line, saying, “The High Line is a true testament to our city’s embrace of innovative and pioneering urban planning.”The criticism has come from at least three fronts. In 2012, Jeremiah Moss complained in a New York Times opinion piece that the park had already become an overrun catalyst for gentrification to the point of being “Disney World on the Hudson.” Gardeners have weighed in on the park with their complaints, even as they welcome the focus on green space. It is, however, the gentrification issue that can be found as a subtext to nearly every criticism. As the Courier-Post article highlights, those businesses and people who benefit from the High Line Park are thrilled with the visionary “redevelopment” of the rail yards. Those who are forced to relocate due to high rents and inflated prices, in a neighborhood that is emerging as one of the trendiest in New York City, have had enough of “gentrification.”The High Line at the Rail Yards extends from Gansevoort to West 34th Street along Manhattan’s West Side, offering a unique view of the Hudson River to the west and New York’s iconic skyline to the east. There are multiple entry points to the walkway along its route. This opening week at the High Line features a variety of events including walking tours, yoga and tai chi, stargazing, and live music.—Tom Klaus ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

Do 9 out of 10 Nonprofits Fail as Ben Carson Asserts No

first_imgShare136TweetShareEmail136 SharesOctober 21, 2015; FactCheck.orgFactcheck.org yesterday took on Ben Carson’s assertion that “9 out of 10 nonprofits fail,” making mincemeat of that particular factoid. Carson, a neurosurgeon, and therefore presumably a man of science, made that claim in interview on ABC’s This Week last Sunday in response to a question asked by host George Stephanopoulos about Carson’s capacity to negotiate with leaders of China, Russia, and Iran as president—a question that has been advanced by Donald Trump, the GOP frontrunner.In highly surprising and questionable response, Carson referenced his Carson Scholars Fund, a nonprofit college scholarship program he founded in 1994.Carson, October 18th (2:11 mark): “I had to negotiate with many people in different cities as we were putting the Carson Scholars Fund together. It’s now active in all 50 states. As you know, 9 out of 10 nonprofits fail. Not only that, it has won major national awards that are only given to one philanthropic organization in the country out of tens of thousands. That’s not done without having the ability to negotiate.”FactCheck.org reports that the campaign did not, when asked by them, substantiate the awards claims with supporting documentation, and the website does not list any awards that would fit the description of being “only given to one philanthropic organization in the country.”But getting to the claim that “9 out of 10 nonprofits fail,” a claim that without a time frame is relatively meaningless, FactCheck consulted Tom Pollack of the National Center for Charitable Statistics.“Our data do NOT support this claim,” wrote Thomas Pollak, program director for NCCS, a project of the Urban Institute, in an email to FactCheck.org. He then produced a table indicating that 64 percent of the nonprofit organizations that obtained tax-exempt status from the IRS in 2005 are still considered active in 2015, and—maybe more to the point, since Carson was comparing his own nonprofit effort to that of others—51.3 percent of the nonprofits awarded tax-exempt status in 1994, the year that the Carson Scholars Fund started, are still alive.There are, of course, some problems in the data, but those problems would tend to increase the percentages of those still alive.So the question is, does Carson’s wild flinging out of vague stats with not a whit of accuracy to support his position in the moment give us faith in his diplomatic skills?—Ruth McCambridgeShare136TweetShareEmail136 Shareslast_img read more

Illinois State Budget Impasses Impact Varies by Organization and Gender

first_imgShare8TweetShare3Email11 SharesJanuary 25, 2016; Herald-News (Joliet, IL)As reported in the Herald-News, Catholic Charities in Joliet, Illinois, is still delivering services in the midst of the state’s budget impasse. This is in spite of the fact that the state owes the organization more than $300,000 for services rendered since the stalemate began in July. However, no new programs are being implemented at Catholic Charities, and its leadership will have to consider cuts to its existing programs if the state is unable to start paying soon. In October, NPQ reported that other organizations within the state were dipping into reserves or taking out lines of credit so that they could continue delivering services. Other organizations have reduced or cut services completely, placing even more strain on those that are able to keep doors open—for now.NPQ has been covering the budget impasse for months. Main sticking points between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and the Democratic majority in the state legislature are proposed changes in worker’s compensation and collective bargaining rights for unionized public employees. Critical state entities, such as the state police and the prison system, have received funding during this time. Other service providers, such as Medicaid, have obtained court orders to keep payments coming in. However, many nonprofit organizations that have delivered services with the help of state funding in the past are not as lucky.This lack of funding affects Illinois citizens of every age. According to the St. Louis Fox affiliate, the East Side Health District facility will have to close its family case management unit by the end of the week, affecting new mothers and their infants. That report, coupled with the Rockford Register Star report on a recent statement from the League of Women Voters, highlights ways that this impasse is more harmful to women than to men. Of particular note is that the majority of employees in nonprofit organizations are women—and nonprofit organizations are poised to layoff staff as a strategy to continue delivering services. Adding to that concern is the lack of state funds available to programs that provide child-care assistance, which largely helps households of which women are the head. Organizations that provide meals to seniors that are food insecure, of which 60 percent are women, are offering scaled down services or none at all. Meals on Wheels, a provider to those seniors, and others with disabilities, has had to close some locations that stopped receiving funding in July.Yet, even when a budget is passed, there will likely be long-lasting repercussions. In 2009, Pennsylvanians lived through a 101-day budget impasse. Many nonprofit organizations in Pennsylvania made use of lines of credit, often with a high interest rate, in order to continue delivering services during the 2009 stalemate. According to the Times-Tribune, once the budget was passed and the organizations started receiving state funds again, they were not reimbursed for the interest costs incurred to keep programs running. With Illinois nearing double that amount of time without a budget, the interest payments on lines of credit could be yet another barrier to people in need receiving services. Those organizations who have been able to dip into reserves or otherwise avoid a line of credit to continue delivering services will be able to get back to “business as usual” quickly. But the number of organizations that fit that criteria is quickly dwindling.—Kelley MalcolmShare8TweetShare3Email11 Shareslast_img read more

The Trump Foundation Investigation and Its Lessons for Nonprofits

first_imgShare26Tweet4Share36Email66 SharesBy Michael Vadon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia CommonsJanuary 4, 2017; PoynterDavid Fahrenthold’s investigative reporting for the Washington Post attracted much attention and wide praise this year. His series of articles on the charitable activities of Donald Trump and the Donald J. Trump Foundation were so compelling and important to the 2016 presidential campaign that many people are surprised Fahrenthold was also the reporter who broke the story about the infamous 2005 Access Hollywood tape featuring Trump and host Billy Bush (Jeb Bush’s first cousin, by the way) discussing Trump’s groping of women.Fahrenthold’s extensive reporting was the source for a number of NPQ stories on Trump and the Trump Foundation. We’re not surprised that he has already received the Post’s own Ben Bradlee award for investigative reporting and is being mentioned frequently for a Pulitzer Prize. How did he get the story, and what does it mean for other nonprofits?Fahrenthold wanted to get the story because public statements made by the Trump campaign about his charity were inconsistent—in short, the numbers weren’t adding up—and the campaign wouldn’t give him the numbers he was seeking. Trump’s personal income tax returns might or might not have provided information on his charitable gifts, but he wasn’t making those returns public. So, Fahrenthold started investigating, looking at online records that were available and talking to people he could reach by telephone and by social media.Form 990 returns are available online through GuideStar, the Urban Institute’s National Center for Charitable Statistics, and ProPublica. DonorSearch’s database of donors helped Fahrenthold understand that relatively few gifts came from Trump personally. Twitter proved especially helpful, allowing the reporter to “deputize” the public to help him, for example, find a portrait of Trump purchased using Trump Foundation funds hanging in a bar at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago golf resort. Unlikely web resources like the Palm Beach Social Diary helped identify charity galas Trump might have attended or been involved with.The Internet and social media, however, are only part of the story. The rest of the story consists of classic pen-and-paper notetaking and speaking with real people. Fahrenthold made hundreds of phone calls to charities asking about Trump’s claims of support, often finding that he had never made a donation, either personally or through his foundation.What are the lessons for charities and other nonprofits, almost none of which will ever be associated with a candidate for president? First, the ability to research and investigate nonprofit organizations and activities is easier now than it ever has been, thanks to communications technology and archival access to years of Form 990 returns and other records. Telling an inconsistent or confusing story, then refusing to provide information to clarify the story, is an invitation to a reporter to access those records, draw their own conclusions, and write their own story for the public. At that point, the inconsistencies, not the nonprofit or its programs, become the focus of the story. Fahrenthold’s success will inspire reporters, bloggers, and others to imitate his process and apply it to other charities, so don’t be surprised if the questions your charity is asked start sounding like they’re coming from the Washington Post.Nonprofits should be sure that the story their documents tell is not only consistent, but also understandable to the general public. For example, the Form 990 is a public relations document just as much as it is an IRS compliance document. Form 990 questions about mission, programs, leadership, finances, and governance should match your organization’s annual report and brochures. Most importantly, if a reporter asks questions about your nonprofit, be responsive and candid. If there are legitimate and verifiable limits of privacy and other legal concerns, acknowledge them: “I can’t talk about the previous executive director because most information about personnel matters is subject to confidentiality under the law, mainly to protect the rights of individual employees.” Generally, honesty and cooperation are the best ways for a nonprofit to preserve its reputation and tell its story. Obfuscation and lack of cooperation can be the same as waving a red cape at a bull or shooting a starter’s pistol at a race, inviting investigation by a motivated person with an impressive array of freely available tools at their disposal.—Michael WylandShare26Tweet4Share36Email66 Shareslast_img read more

The Story of Lancaster Ohio How Predatory Finance Dismantled a Community

first_imgShare24Tweet1ShareEmail25 Shares“Lancaster-Anchor Hocking Plant (CORF),” Ohio Redevelopment Projects – ODSAAugust 16, 2018; ShelterforceBig cities may be growing, but, as Alan Mallach notes in Shelterforce, many smaller cities of 25,000 to 150,000 people “are struggling, particularly places like Trenton, New Jersey or Youngstown, Ohio…numbering in the hundreds, those places form an archipelago of mingled revival and distress which—although most heavily concentrated in the industrial Midwest—stretches from coast to coast.”Mallach makes these remarks as part of a book review essay. One book he focuses on came out last year: Brian Alexander’s Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town. Alexander looks at the city of Lancaster, Ohio, “and the evisceration of the town’s flagship manufacturer, iconic glassmaker Anchor Hocking.”Lancaster, Ohio is a working-class town with a little over 40,000 people. Located around 30 miles southeast of Columbus, Lancaster’s population is 93.6 percent white, with a modest median household income of $38,625—well below the national median of $61,500. The poverty rate is estimated at 20.5 percent.One key observation Mallach makes is that the creation of the “Rust Belt” actually took place in two stages. The first—and better known—stage occurred in the late 1970s and early 1980s and is marked by such developments as the shutdown of Youngstown Sheet & Tube in 1977, a time when the layoff of 5,000 workers could make front-page national news.But then, Mallach adds, manufacturing unemployment actually “stayed reasonably stable through the 1980s and most of the 1990s.” US manufacturing did not recover to its glory days, but jobs were steady. Then, the second shoe fell. Between 1998 and 2010, “the United States lost over six million manufacturing jobs, or roughly one out of every three factory jobs in the country.” Eight years later, only a million of those jobs have come back, Mallach adds.Mallach acknowledges that some plant closures surely would have occurred without predatory financial practices, but he insists that “Wall Street firms, variously known as corporate raiders, venture capitalists, private equity funds, or leveraged buyout specialists, systematically turned company after company into piggybanks, milking them for unconscionable fees while loading them with ever-larger amounts of debt, collecting the profits while saddling the companies with unsustainable repayment burdens, ultimately destroying firms that without those burdens would have still been able to make a competitive product at a reasonable profit.”Anchor Hocking in Lancaster, Mallach adds, “became the victim of the predatory capital game, passed like a hot potato from one investor to another, its various parts spun off and increasingly loaded with debt. Once the city’s mainstay employer, it still exists after going through two rounds of bankruptcy, but as a shadow of its former self, employing only 900 or so people instead of the 5,000 who once worked there.”As Aimee Picchi reported for CBS News, Anchor was largely shielded from global competition. Glass, Picchi writes, “is relatively resistant to foreign imports because it’s heavy and breakable, so it’s still largely economical to manufacture glassware in the US and ship it domestically.”So, it wasn’t globalization that did Lancaster in. Rather, it was financialization. Alexander, building off the research he conducted for his book, explains how this took place in the Atlantic:Anchor Hocking was sold off in a debt-financed buyout to the huge private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management. The company promptly fell into bankruptcy, out of which it was sold in another debt-financed buyout to a much smaller private-equity firm called Monomoy Capital Partners. There was a forced marriage with the silverware company Oneida, then an initial public offering after which the stock soon tanked. In quick succession came a shutdown, a notice (in accordance with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act) that the place might close for good, a second bankruptcy during which the former creditors became the equity owners, and countless leadership rotations. During the past 15 years, it’s had three different corporate owners.According to Picchi, former Anchor Hocking CEO Sam Solomon explained the process to Alexander this way: “It’s not about making product. It’s about making money appear, and the 99 percent don’t understand that.” And that, adds Picchi, is why poverty levels in Lancaster are about double the level they were in 1999, back when Anchor Hocking was still in local hands.—Steve DubbShare24Tweet1ShareEmail25 Shareslast_img read more

SESs new satellite Astra 1N has entered commercia

first_imgSES’s new satellite Astra 1N has entered commercial service at the orbital position of 28.2° East.Astra 1N, equipped with 52 Ku-band transponders, was launched on August 6. The satellite is notably being used by UK broadcasters Channel 4 and ITV and will also allow SES to offer its satellite-based broadband service Astra2Connect from 28.2° East to complement its service from the 23.5° East position.last_img

Video monitoring specialist Wohler Technologies an

first_imgVideo monitoring specialist Wohler Technologies and digital media facility Loft London Solutions have formed an alliance that will provide professional services and support for Wohler Technologies’ RadiantGrid solution.The partnership aims to help content providers based in the EMEA region to deliver to multiple platforms.RadiantGrid is a solution for the orchestration of file-based workflows including standards conversion, format conversion, transcoding, QC, loudness correction and image-quality enhancement. Loft London Solutions will support Wohler’s EMEA team in offering RadiantGrid customers a range of professional services, including design and build, training and post-sales support.“We are pleased to inaugurate operations in our new facility by partnering with Wohler, a leading global brand supplier to broadcasters and content providers,” said James Gibson, managing director of Loft London Solutions. “By integrating closely with the Radiant Grid API and working with Wohler to standardize hardware, we have been able to produce an enterprise-class remote monitoring platform that feeds data back live to our NOC on a four-tier basis. This in turn allows for proactive rather than reactive support, ensuring clients achieve the maximum TCO from the install. We are also working on a number of new RadiantGrid-based solutions, in which we have integrated other best-of-breed vendors to produce solutions for end-to-end workflows that are offered as off-the-shelf-solutions.”last_img read more

Russian holding company Onexim the vehicle of tyc

first_imgRussian holding company Onexim, the vehicle of tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov, is looking to buy a 10.5% stake in state-controlled service provider Rostelecom from businessman Konstantin Maolofeyev’s Marshall Capital, according to local reports.According to Vedomosti, Malofeyev is seeking to sale his stake in the operator for €51.6 billion, a significant premium on the company’s share price.last_img

Czech pay TV operator Skylink has made a number of

first_imgCzech pay TV operator Skylink has made a number of changes to its programming line-up.Skylink has added kids channel Minimax to its line-up. The channel, targeted at three-to-seven year-olds, will air from 06:00-20:00 as part of the Mini, Flexi 7, Multi, Kombi, Multi HD and Komplet packages.Skylink has also added sports channel Slovak Šport to all its basic packages. The channel, which was previously included in Skylink’s line-up on a trial basis, is broadcast in MPEG-4, requiring an HD satellite receiver.Other new channels on the platform include Music Deluxe HD, which will be included in pay TV packages HD Plus, Multi HD and Komplet, and adult channel Hustler.Skylink has also made kids channel Disney Channel available with an English soundtrack.last_img read more

Discovery has reported healthy revenue and profit

first_imgDiscovery has reported healthy revenue and profit increases across its international channels. First quarter revenues also edged up across the company’s domestic channels business, but year-on-year profits were down 5%.First quarter revenues at international networks were US$444 million (€339 million) and profit was US$184 million, a 17% and 8% increase respectively. Advertising revenue was up 23% and affiliate fee revenue 15%.Revenues increased 1% at the domestic networks, taking the first quarter total to US$686 million. Profit was down 5% at US$377 million with the company saying the decline was caused by higher operating costs and additional licensing revenue recorded in the same quarter last year.Operating costs were also up sharply across the international business with Discovery citing content costs and the consolidation of its Japanese business.Speaking to analysts in the wake of the results, CEO David Zaslav (pictured) noted that Discovery would take an option, later this year, to carry on a programming deal with Netflix for a third year.“We’re going to take our third year option on Netflix because we’ve seen no degradation in audience. And that’s, I think, significant incremental margin for us with Amazon and with Netflix because they’re buying content that’s mostly 18 months and older, some of it, two, three or four years old. Our relationship is good. They like our content. We like this window.”Zaslav also spoke about Discovery’s much-anticipated move into original scripted programming with Klondike. He said: “It’s an experiment. I think it’s going to do very well. But it’s a very small piece of our overall strategy.”The Discovery boss added: “You might see us using scripted if this works as a tent-pole strategy, sort of the way we use Frozen Planet in North America as part of that overall approach to aggrandise the brand, but it’s not going to change who we are.”last_img read more

BBC executive board member Howard Stringer has cal

first_imgBBC executive board member Howard Stringer has called on the corporation to make content first for mobile and to appeal to social audiences, in order to hit its internal target of doubling its global reach by 2022.In a report titled ‘2022: Towards 500 Million,’ Stringer, who was formerly chairman and CEO of Sony, said that with the BBC and BBC News in particular should interact more with audiences on social sites and establish an international opinion forum.Other ‘action points’ listed for reaching an audience of 500 million people include: providing more video and re-versioning it across as many languages as possible; partnering with another national or international broadcaster for deeper newsgathering collaboration; and looking for joint venture TV opportunities in mature markets.“The combination of the growth in mobile broadband and the growth in the young, aspiring global middle class dictates that the BBC must focus on serving the needs of that audience in whichever market it is operating in,” said Stringer.“Fundamentally, the BBC has to shift its focus from putting traditional broadcasting first to putting mobile first. By 2022, the BBC should be mobile first in every market outside the UK.”In the report, which was commissioned by BBC Director of News and Current Affairs, James Harding, Stringer also suggested that the BBC look for opportunities “to exploit successful BBC programme brands including The One Show and Countryfile.”Elsewhere, Stringer said that the BBC should examine the case for a multi-genre free to air channel in Africa.He also said the BBC should consider opportunities to open “at least one new language service for an audience facing a severe deficit in free and impartial news” – suggesting Ethiopia and North Korea as potential options.Responding to the report, Liliane Landor, acting director of BBC World Service Group, said: “We welcome Sir Howard Stringer’s report – it is stimulating and ambitious, and asks refreshing, sometimes provocative, questions of the BBC.”last_img read more