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House votes to protect ‘dark money’ political donors

WASHINGTON ( ) – The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to protect the identities of wealthy individuals and others who make anonymous, or “dark money,” donations to politically active nonprofit groups.

The measure, which drew lobbying support from billionaire industrialists,上海夜网Naia, Charles and David Koch, was approved in a 240-180 vote along party lines. It would prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from collecting the names and addresses of donors who contribute $5,000 or more to 501(c) organizations, a name that re,夜上海419龙凤论坛Nadine,fers to the tax code section that covers them. The action sent the bill on to the Senate.

Although the measure would apply to all 501(c) tax-exempt groups, such as universities, hospitals and charities, politically active nonprofi上海夜网ts are the intended beneficiaries.

Republicans said the legislation would prevent the Internal Revenue Service from targeting conservative groups following 2013 revelations that Tea Party organizations were subjected to extra scrutiny.

Political spending by nonprofit groups including the Koch- aligned Americans for Prosperity has grown dramatically since 2010, when the Supreme Court opened the way to unlimited spending on political campaigns by individuals, corporations, unions and other groups in its landmark Citizens United ruling.

The White House on Monday said it opposed the bill, the Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act, claiming it would constrain the IRS from enforcing tax laws and reduce transparency among private foundations.

Democrats argued that the legislation could make it easier for foreign entities to finance political campaigns inside the United States.

Charity regulators have also warned that the loss of donor information would make it harder to protect the public against charity fraud. The change would reduce available information on a range of organizations, IRS data shows.

Republicans said the bill is necessary to protect donors from potential leaks that could subject them to harassment. Donor identities are not supposed to be released to the public, hence the term “dark money.”

But leaks have occurred, including the 2012 release of donors to the conservative National Organization for Marriage that resulted in a settlement requiring the IRS to pay the organization $50,000.

Supporters of the legislation also pointed to signs that the IRS may seek to end the disclosure requirement on its own.

Nonprofit groups,上海夜网千花Hal, could spend more than $500 million on this year’s presidential and congressional elections, up from $10 million in 2008, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

House Republicans are also pushing to censure and impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen for allegedly failing to cooperate with a probe of the IRS scandal.

Written by shyw on August 12, 2019 Categories: zchmvozq Tags: , ,

Families in Afghanistan’s north seek shelter as Taliban ups pressure

MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan ( ) – Dozens of families displaced from their homes in the northern province of Sar-e Pul by Taliban pressure have arrived in the provincial capital, as the insurgents have tightened their grip around the city, residents and officials said.

    Taliban fighters have been threatening oil fields around the city of Sar-e Pul as they have stepped up operations with the apparent aim of strengthening their position during peace talks with U.S. officials.

    “In general, the security situation in Sar-e Pul province has been in critical condition and the Taliban are trying to carry out their attacks on the districts close to the city,” said Zabiullah Amani, spokesman for the governor of Sar-e Pul.

    The fighting comes as peace talks between U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban representatives have stalled over the insurgents’ demand to focus the agenda for peace talks on the withdrawal ,上海夜生活群Kaiden,of U.S. troops from,夜上海419龙凤论坛Kaia, Afghanistan.

    The increasingly confident Taliban now control broad swathes of the countryside outside the main cities of Afghanistan and have set their stamp ever more clearly on areas under their control as government forces struggle to push them back.

    In Sar-e Pul, officials said around 40 families had arrived in the provincial capital from Kohistan, an isolated district firmly under Taliban control, and have mostly been seeking shelter from the freezing winter temperatures in city mosques.

    With punishing winter temperatures making life a misery for displaced people, little help has come from the government.

    “These families are now in the center of the city of Sar-e Pul and are in a very bad state because they do not have any kind of living materials,” Amani said.

    Accounts from the displaced families suggest the Taliban singled out families believed to have sympathies with the government or family members in the police and expelled them.

   Haji Azizullah, an elder who oversaw the transfer of displaced families from Kohistan district, said those driven from their homes were all suspected of being close to the military or the security forces.

    “The Taliban told us to either take,上海晚上耍女人的地方Ida, your children and work together with the Taliban under our authority or move you out of this area,” he said.

    With the Taliban still refusing to talk directly with the Afghan government, the pressure on families on the opposing side points to some of the likely problems in any post-settlement Afghanistan after more than 17 years of war.

    Saber, a resident of Kohistan who left the district with her six children last week上海夜生活网, said Taliban had approached her a week ago and told her to bring her son, a member of the Afghan Local Police, in to them.

    “When I refused, four people from the Taliban came yesterday and told me I had to get out of the area,” she said.

The Taliban spokesman was not immediately for comment.

Al Qaeda affiliate claims Mali attack that killed U.N. peacekeepers

DAKAR ( ) – A Mali-based al Qaeda affiliate has claimed responsibility for an attack that killed 10 Chadian peacekeepers in the north of the country, the SITE Intelligence Group said on Monday, citing the Israeli Prime Minister’s visit to Chad as the motive.

Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM) – an umbrella group for al Qaeda-linked militants in West Africa’s Sahara – launched attacks to disrupt Mali’s presidential elections in July last year and claimed credit for a spate of attacks in neighboring Burkina Faso.

Their most recent strike occurred near Mali’s northern village of上海夜生活网 Aguelhok on Sunday. Aside from the deaths, assailants in armed vehicles wounded at least 25 others.

SITE, citing a statement from the group,上海夜网千花Sabia,, said the attack was carried out in response “to Chad’s diplomatic pursuits with Israel”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Chad on Sunday to stress the two countries’ mutual interest in confronting Islamist insurgencies on the continent.

The visit is seen as a bid by Israel to rebuild ties in Africa, damaged by the occupation of Palestinian territories in the 1967 Middle East war.

Chad’s President Idriss Deby visited Jerusalem in November, the first official visit by a Chadian leader since the country severed ties with Israel in 1972.

Deby has been in power since 1990 and has been an ally of the West in a fight against Isl,上海会所夜网Macey,amist militants in West Africa. But Chad itself faces destabilizing forces on multiple fronts, including jihadists with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State.

Violence by Islamist militants has proliferated in the sparsely-populated Sahel in recent years, with groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State using central and northern Mali as a launchpad for,上海仙霞路夜生活Oakley, attacks across the region.

French forces intervened in 2013 to drive a Tuareg uprising a year earlier, and some 4,000 French troops remain there. The U.N. Security Council then deployed peacekeepers, which have been targets of a concerted guerrilla campaign.

Federal judge blocks Florida law to end abortion clinic funding

TAMPA, Fla. ( ) – A federal judge has blocked parts of a new Florida law aimi,上海夜生活桑拿会所Fabiana,ng to cut off state funding for preventive health services at clinics that also provide abortions, acting shortly before the restrictions took effect on Friday.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle issued a preliminary injunction late on Thursday after state Planned Parenthood affiliates challenged certain provisions as unconstitutional.

Hinkle found the clinics were unacceptably targeted by state efforts to eliminate funding for other healthcare services they also provide, such as birth control and screening for cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.

“The state’s only beef is that the plaintiffs provide abortions,” he wrote, noting that Florida already prohibits funding for abortions, as courts have held permissible.

Florida is among many states adopting new abortion laws as con,上海夜生活怎么玩Caitlin,servatives seek to chip away at the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

Supporters argued that the wide-ranging law adopted this spring in Florida would protect women’s health. It included restrictions similar to those in a Texas law that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down earlier this week.

Planned Parenthood, however, did not challenge in its lawsuit a related provision requiring doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, a type of formal affiliation that can be difficult to obtain.

The organization’s lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for Northern District of Florida, focused on the f上海夜生活论坛unding cuts, which it said jeopardized about $500,000 annually. Planned Parenthood also challenged a new requirement that state inspectors review 50 percent of patient medical records at abortion clinics.

Hinkle’s 25-page injunction also blocked the additiona,夜上海419龙凤论坛Octavien,l inspections, noting that the volume requirements for abortion clinics far exceeded the standards for other medical facilities.

“The inspection provision is a solution in search of a problem,” Hinkle wrote.

In the lawsuit, Planned Parenthood also raised concerns about changes in how the state defines gestational stages. The terminology was clarified during a court hearing, said Laura Goodhue, executive director of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, who applauded the judge’s ruling.

“This means this vital programs will continue to go forward,” she said in a phone interview. “Because anti-women’s health politicians want to end abortion, they went to the lengths of trying to stop these preventive services.”

The Florida Department of Health, named in the lawsuit, did not immediately provide comment. Neither did the office of Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican.

Count of Paris, pretender to French throne, dies aged 85

PARIS ( ) – Henri d’Orleans, Count of Paris and pretender to the defunct French throne, died on Monday – exactly 226 years after his distant cousin Louis XVI was guillotined in Paris.

His death, aged 85, was announced on Facebook by his son Jean.

Henri was said to harbor royal ambitions, but the movement to restore France’s monarchy has progressively dwindled since the years leading up to World War Two, when it was viewed in some quarters as a credible threat to Republicanism.

Henri, the Orleanist pretender, ,上海夜网后花园Hadrian,vied for the claim with the Bourbons, based in Spain and headed by the 44-year-old Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou.

France overthre上海夜生活w its m,上海高端夜生活在那里Hadleigh,onarchy in the revolution of 1789, briefly restoring it after the fall of Napoleon. The last French king, Louis Philippe, was toppled in 1848.

In an opinion ,上海夜生活男人好去处Fabian,piece published in Le Figaro last October, Jean d’Orleans criticized the French constitution, calling for “changes” to the role of head of state but falling short of urging the abolition of the republic.

“The role of arbitrator, which is held by the head of state in our thousand-year old tradition, is no longer carried out effectively. It is not surprising, therefore, that the French, who value political symbols, vote to reject rather than to approve in each presidential election,” he wrote.

Israeli student killed in Australia is buried in her home town

BAQA AL-GHARBIYYE, Israel ( ) – The family and friends of an Israeli student who was killed in Australia walked in a funeral procession through the streets of her home town on Wednesday.

Mourners gathered to witness the body of 21-year-old Aiia Maasarwe being laid to rest in a cemetery in the Arab town of Baqa al-Gharbiyye in northern Israel, a week after she was found dead.

The procession wound several kilometres through the narrow streets to a mosque near the central market. She was then buried in a tree-filled cemetery on the eastern edge of town, as an imam prayed over her body, saying: “May God stay with her, and raise you to heaven in peace, Aiia.”

Maasarwe’s death c,上海高端夜生活在那里Oakley,aused outrage in Australia, where thousands marched over the weekend calling for safety for women.

She was killed while walking home after a night out with friends in Melbourne, where she was attending La Trobe University on a six-month exchange from Shanghai University, where she,上海021夜网Rae, was studying.

Her body was found by passers-by early on Jan. 16 near the university’s Bundoora campus.

Maasarwe’s death has shocked the close-knit community of Baqa al-Gharbiyye, which lies next to the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Its 30,000 residents are members of the Arab minority who make up around a fifth of Israel’s population.

Near the family’s front gate, neighbours had hun,上海夜生活桑拿会所Octavia,g signs reading “Stop picking our flowers”. Another banner read: “Killing the dream and killing education is killing ambition and humanity.”

As relatives wept, girls held banners in Arabic and English saying: “Aiia, your beautiful soul will never be forgotten.”

A family member said Maasarwe had been talking on the phone to her sister in Israel when she was attacked, and that she often made such calls to feel safer while walking home at night.

It was the second time in seven months that a young woman had been killed on her way home at night in Melbourne, which has an active night life and is popular with overseas students.

After the funeral her father, Saeed, thanked Australians for their help. “There are 上海夜生活网many things the Australian people can teach,” he said. “Their humanity and the solidarity they show people when they have problems. I appreciate their support.”

A 20-year-old man who has been charged with murder was remanded in custody in Melbourne on Monday. His case has been adjourned until June.

Sex traffickers hold 20,000 Nigerian women and girls in Mali,…

LAGOS ( ) – As many as 20,000 women and girls are feared to have been trafficked from Nigeria to Mali where they ar上海夜生活网e stranded after being forced into prostitution,上海夜生活乌托邦Quaid,, the head of Nigeria’s anti-trafficking agency said on Tuesday.

Julie Okah-Donli, director general of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), said a fact-finding team from NAPTIP and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) had uncovered the extent of the trafficking during a visit to southern Mali last month.

Dozens of women and girls were repatriated from the Kangaba area of ,上海夜网邀请码Octavia,southern Mali in the preceding months. The team, which went to the area to investigate, found hundreds more being held there, Okah-Donli said in a telephone interview.

“They were reliably informed by the locals that they had over 200 such p,上海足浴夜网联系方式Dalton,laces scattered around the southern part of Mali. In each of the shacks where they held them they had 100 to 150 girls in the area. That is how we came to the figure” of at least 20,000 being held, she said.

The women and girls, most aged 16-30, had been told they would be taken to Malaysia to work in hospitality but instead were forced into prostitution.

“They are held in horrible, slave-like conditions,” said Okah-Donli. “They can’t escape because they are kept in remote locations, like deep in forests.”

Thousands of women and girls are taken out of Africa’s most populous country each year, where 70 percent of the 190 million inhabitants live on less than two dollars a day. A large proportion of them arrive in Europe but others are transported to other parts of west Africa.

Okah-Donli said her agency had partnered with IOM, which arranged the repatriation of 41 women and girls from Mali in December and was working on returning others home.

They come mostly from states in southern Nigeria, including Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, Anambra and Edo.

Others are also thought to be trafficked to other west African countries including Ghana, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast, said Okah-Donli.

Barnier to UK MPs: Agree alternative to stop no deal

BRUSSELS ( ) – EU negotiator Michel Barnier warned British lawmakers on Wednesday that their disparate efforts t,上海夜生活怎么玩Cadence,o amend, delay or thwart Brexit will see Britain crash out of the EU in March if they cannot rally behind one alternative.

Referring to parliament’s rejection of a negotiated withdrawal treaty and raging cross-party debate about preventing a March 29 departure without a deal to cushion businesses and people, Barnier said the House of Commons faced a choice:

“There are two possible ways to leave the EU,” he told a gathering of business and labour leaders in Brussels. “Numb,上海夜网Fabi,er one — an orderly withdrawal based on the agreement that we have built step-by-step with the UK over the last 18 months.

“Number two — a disorderly withdrawal.

“Leaving the EU without a deal is the default scenario and there appears to be a majority in the House of Commons to oppose a no-deal. But opposing no-deal will not stop no-deal from happening at the end of March. To stop no-deal, another majority will have to emerge,” said the former French minister, speaking in English to drive home his message to British politicians.

Referring to the need to build a majority behind an alternative to a no deal, he added: “This is the objective of the political consultations that Theresa May has started and we hope, sincerely we hope, that this process will be successful.”

Prime Minister May has said she will seek amendments to the existing deal to try to overcome massive resistance even within her own party, but some of her own Conservatives in parliament are working with Labour opponents to pass legislation that seeks to force May to seek a delay in leaving rather than exit without a deal.

EXTENSION QUESTIONS

Asked by several people from the floor of the conference of the European Economic and Social Committee, including several representatives上海夜生活网 of British and Irish businesses,上海夜生活网419Hadley,, if the Brexit deadline of March 29 could be put back, Barnier was cautious.

He noted that a request for extension to the deadline under Article 50 of the EU treaty would have to come from the British government, which has not done so yet. It would then have to be approved unanimously by the other 27 national leaders.

“If this question is presented, they will have questions for the British government: What is it for, what is the purpose? For how long?” Barnier said.

Referring to elections to the European Parliament in late May, he also said any extension to Britain’s membership of the EU should not “disrupt the democratic functioning of European institutions”. Some EU officials say Britain might have to hold its own EU legislative election if it is not leaving by July.

Barnier restated his readiness to swiftly revise plans linked to the withdrawal treaty for a future trade pact with Britain if London changed its “red lines”. May rules out staying in a customs union with the EU, while Labour favours that.

A customs union could ease problems with guarantees on the Irish border that anger many British lawmakers, though Barnier again stressed that, while it did not expect those guarantees to be used, the EU would not ease its support for Ireland.

AfD lawmakers walk out on Holocaust survivor’s speech in Bavaria

BERLIN ( ) – Lawmakers from the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) walke,上海夜生活Dalton,d out of the Bavarian parliament on Wednesday after a Jewish community leader accused the party during a speech to commemorate the Holocaust of playing down Nazi crimes.

“A party is represented here today that disparages those (democratic) values and downplays the crimes of the National Socialists,” Charlotte Knobloch, a Holocaust survivor and President of the Jewish Community in Munich, told the regional assembly.

All but four AfD lawmakers in the Bavarian lower house stood up and left the hall as legislators from the other five parties applauded Knobloch.

The AfD, which has always rejected charges of racism, entered the Bavarian parliament for the first time in a regional election last year, winning 22 seats to become the fourth largest party, on a par with the centre-left Social Democrats.

The rise of the AfD, which has representatives in all of Germany’s 16 regional assemblies, has alarmed Jewish leaders ,上海足浴夜网联系方式Gabriella,who accuse it of contributing to a rise in anti-Semitism.

The AfD also entered the lower house of the federal parliament in Berlin, the Bundestag, for the first time in a national election last year, drawing support from a broad array of voters angry with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision in 2015 to welcome almost a million, mainly Muslim asylum seekers.

“HATE AND EXCLUSION”

“The so-called AfD bases it politics on hate and exclusion and doesn’t abide by our democratic constitution,” Knobloch said in her speech, given in remembrance of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis.

Katrin Ebner-Steiner, the AfD’s parliamentary leader in Bavaria, defended her colleagues’ protest walkout.

“It is scandalous that the president of the Jewish community in Munich abused a memorial service for the victims of Nazism to defame the whole AfD and its legitimate and democratically elected faction using evil blanket insinuations,” she said.

Knobloch later told she was not surprised when AfD lawmakers walked out on her speech.

“The supportive reaction from the democratic factions made me really happy,” she wrote in an email. “Democrats in our,上海高端夜生活在那里Sabina, country must stand against the AfD also in the future.”

German politicians in June rebuked AfD co-leader Alexander Gauland after he said Hitler and the Nazis “are just bird shit in 1,000 years of successful German history”.

Two years ago, Bjoern Hoecke, the AfD’s leader in the eastern state of Thuringia, triggered anger after he told supporters that Berlin’s memorial to上海夜生活 the victims of the Holocaust was a “memorial of shame” and that history books should be rewritten to focus more on German victims.