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Ron Paul’s nonprofit refuses to disclose list of donors to the IRS

Paul’s relentless efforts to abolish the Fed have without a doubt been a hallmark of the 78-year-old libertarian’s career in Congress, but recent attempts from the IRS to compel a nonprofit organization run by the former presidential hopeful for details about its contributors has pushed him to pursue yet another fight with the federal government. Last week, Paul signed his name to an email sent to supporters acknowledging that the IRS has billed his nonprofit, Campaign for Liberty, for failing to hand over the names of donors when the group filed its taxes for the year 2012. But Megan Stiles, the group’s director of communications, now tells the Washington Examiner that the organization will fight the government’s demands. “There is no legitimate reason for the IRS to know who donates to Campaign for Liberty,” Stiles told the Washington Examiner on Tuesday. “We believe the First Amendment is on our side as evidenced by cases such as NAACP v. Alabama and International Union UAW v. National Right to Work. Many 501(c)(4) organizations protect the privacy of their donors in the very same way as Campaign for Liberty. For some reason the IRS has now chosen to single out Campaign for Liberty for special attention. We plan to fight this all the way.” Stiles’ confirmation of an impending fight between Campaign for Liberty and the IRS comes just days after Paul told his supporters via email that the government’s latest actions “is likely just the first in a long line of unconstitutional and likely illegal ‘excuses’ this rogue government agency will use to try to shut us up and shut us down by fining us to death.” “Forcing organizations like Campaign for Liberty to publicize donor information would have an incredibly chilling effect on political speech,” Paul wrote. “Many liberty-loving Americans would silence themselves for fear of becoming targets of political ‘retribution,’” he continued. “And after the Obama IRS was caught red-handed targeting pro-limited government groups for harassment and intimidation, these fears could not be more well-founded.” “The statists’ goal is to cripple Campaign for Liberty and perhaps even force us to shut our doors,” he added. On the official Campaign for Liberty site, the group published a bill from the US Department of Treasury sent late last month for $12,900 levied on account of the organization’s failure to file its 2012 taxes completely. Specifically, the group’s paperwork was absent a Schedule B form — required by the IRS from American tax-exempt nonprofit organizations that receive $5,000 or more in donations each year — that would list the names of contributors and how much they handed to an organization. IRS Fines Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty “Paying this outrageous extortionist fine — just to exercise our rights as American citizens to petition our government — may even be cheaper in the short run,” Paul added in his email. “But it’ll just embolden an alphabet soup of other federal agencies to come after us.” Robert Wenzel, a reporter for the Economic Policy Journal, wrote this week that the letter “raises many more questions than it answers and is one more indication that it is going to be one hot and sticky summer” for the business end of Paul’s politics. “Given the many things that C4L can fight against, a battle that can jeopardize the organization’s very existence, as the letter suggests, seems like an odd battle to fight, especially when it has already disclosed to donors that it is collecting data as a result of federal law,” Wenzel wrote. “Or is there something about the contribution list that C4L doesn’t want to disclose for other reasons?” Another possibility, according to Wenzel, is that the agency’s new-fangled interest in Paul’s organization is connected in some way to reports that surfaced earlier this year into an alleged grand jury probe that’s been launched to investigate possible corruption involving Ron Paul 2012 deputy campaign manager Dimitri Kesari. “The IRS technically requires donor information from 501(c)(4) organizations and is forbidden by law from releasing it to the public, yet despite this they have ‘mistakenly’ released the information repeatedly over the years,” Stiles added to Examiner reporter Joel Gehrke on Tuesday. “Often these leaks have been made to political opponents of the conservative groups whose information was leaked. Leaking the donor information is intended to harass and to intimidate those donors from donating to political causes. Campaign for Liberty has refused to provide donor information to the IRS to protect the privacy of our members. Now the IRS has demanded the information and fined Campaign for Liberty for protecting its members’ privacy.” Read More

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Bitcoin ATM in your pocket

The launch of the Picasso ATM coincides with the Chinese crackdown on financial institutions using bitcoin, and could boost BTC’s international customer base. The web-based application will be in place of a physical ATM, and can be used to transfer the cryptocurrency into hard currency worldwide. The physical ATM is located at the IC Coffee Shop in Shanghai’s Pudong Zhangjiang tech park. Here people can insert yuan into the machine in exchange for bitcoins, but cannot withdraw any cash. Although there is no current ban on cryptocurrencies in China, the People’s Bank of China has warned financial institutions that they shouldn’t trade digital tender, like bitcoin. The People’s Bank of China (PBC) warned financial institutions in December they should be “on guard” against the cryptocurrency bitcoin because the risk of fraud and money laundering. However, on April 11 the governor of the People’s Bank of China said the government is not going to ban bitcoin. Last week two bitcoin exchanges reported domestic Chinese banks received notice local lenders would shut down trading accounts. As of April 16, BTC China is still up and operational, according to CEO Bobby Lee. In late February, the bitcoin world was shaken when Japan-based Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy, after millions of dollars in bitcoin went missing. Individuals, using the new application, will be able to bypass local banks that are skeptical of bitcoin, but are still engaging with the currency “at their own risk”. In the eyes of the PBC it is not a real currency. Online retailers have also banned the anonymous currency. Financial regulators worldwide are worried about bitcoin exchange, as the digital currency is often used to illegally purchase products like weapons and drugs. There is no institutional backing of bitcoin- that is it isn’t insured by any governing body or physical commodity, like gold. Read More

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DARPA turns aging drones into WiFi hotspots for troops

In a release dated April 7, the military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects agency (DARPA) stated it’s looking to mount older fleets of drones with wireless internet capable of transmitting one gigabyte of data per second, roughly the equivalent of modern 4G cellular networks. According to Ars Technica, the agency will repurpose its fleet of RQ-7 Shadow Drones – originally deployed on surveillance missions in Iraq – so that they can be used to ensure troops in remote areas around the globe have the same access to mission data, intelligence, and information that other units do in more connected regions. “We’re pleased with the technical achievements we’ve seen so far in steerable millimeter-wave antennas and millimeter-wave amplifier technology,” DARPA program manager Dick Ridgway said in a statement. “The novel networking approaches needed to maintain these high-capacity links [will be the] key to providing forward deployed units with the same high-capacity connectivity we all enjoy over our 4G cell-phone networks.” As noted by The Verge, this project’s first phase actually began back in 2012, with the second one beginning last month and a third planned for sometime in the future. The 11-foot Shadow Drones will be equipped with an 8-inch pod, specifically designed to hold all the necessary parts to ensure internet connectivity for up to nine hours. “The Phase 1 field tests were very successful,” Ridgway said to Ars Technica. “The pointing, acquisition, and tracking algorithms were very fast, with some showing millimeter-wave link alignment in just a few seconds.” This will “enable the formation of a high-capacity backhaul network between aerial and ground platforms.” Of course, DARPA isn’t the only group looking to equip the skies with an internet connection. As RT reported last month, Facebook announced plans “to deliver the internet to everyone” using drones and satellite technology. The initiative falls under the title of “,” and CEO Mark Zuckerberg hopes to bring up to five billion online who currently don’t have access. Unlike this initiative, though, DARPA’s project probably does not have much potential for civilian use, though Ars Technica reports the technology could be useful to rescue workers in emergency scenarios or potential disasters. Read More

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Benefit sanctions, greater poverty forcing more people in UK to use food banks

In March, the Trussell Trust, the largest food bank provider in the UK, and the parenting website MumsNet conducted a survey that revealed that more working families are struggling to make ends meet. In fact, more than half a million people are now dependent on so-called food banks to fend off hunger. The report comes alongside statistics saying that 1 in 40 had turned to a food bank for help, with more than 70 percent saying that they would only do so as a last resort. Nevertheless, the data for this year shows that there is an increase of 63 percent of people who are visiting food banks in the UK. RT: The UK government says that the welfare reforms introduced a year ago, which temporarily stopped benefit payments, are in no way linked to the use of food banks. Can that be true? Alison Inglis-Jones: We have research from Warwick University commissioned by DEFRA, the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, saying that there is no evidence that simply because food banks existed people were coming. But a number of university researchers have come up with the opposite – that welfare reforms are having a significant impact, and there does appear to be a closer link between benefit sanctions and benefit reform, and the way it’s being implemented, and that being the reason of why people are coming to the food banks. The Trussell Trust has a system – the people are referred by front-line care professionals. That could be school governors, doctors, healthcare professionals employed by local authorities. They are given the vouchers by the job centers and by ourselves, and they give their vouchers to people. We have to assume that these 20,000 professionals that have the vouchers know what they are doing, they have an understanding of the families with which they are working. They hand a voucher to them and they tick the relevant box (benefit sanction, benefit delay, debt etc.). So we know why the people are coming. RT: Do you think the idea of food banks is useful for society? Maybe it’s just an easy way out for those who are not willing to work? AIJ: The users of food banks are people who are coming as a result of benefit sanctions, benefit delays, family breakdown, debt. People who are unable to make ends meet for whatever reason. The idea of a food bank is that it creates a short space of time, a breathing space, so that people can have food. It’s essentially three days’ worth of food. What we help them to do is to work with them to try and work out with them what’s going wrong with their benefits sanctions. And it’s often just the case of ticking the wrong box, or writing the wrong thing. We help them do that to find out what’s going on and then send them to people who can actually help them more long-term. We are a short-time help. RT: Do the statistics on food banks show the full picture of social problems in the UK? AIJ: If you are suggesting that people are coming simply because they are not willing to work and they are there for free food – that is not the case. Again it’s back to this issue of the 20,000 frontline professionals who hold the vouchers, these professional people. They don’t have vouchers for people to come to a food bank simply because they are not willing to work. They have intimate, good understanding of what these people, families are going through. On the basis of that, we rely on their knowledge. So it’s the frontline professionals who hold the vouchers, these people are extremely good. We are the major food bank network for 400-plus food banks within the UK. What we think when looking at statistics of 113,000 for this year, an increase of 63 percent, and also the research that we have done with the MumsNet here, and also an understanding of what the food banks are doing and what’s happening with other food banks across the UK, this is the tip of the iceberg. There are many people who are very stretched financially, the cost of living has gone up, incomes are static, and there are many people living on the edge. That’s gives us the understanding that people are extremely stretched and it’s worth saying that research also indicates that people do not want to visit a food bank. We are the end of the road and so if people are coming who are really pushed, then there are others who are pushed but haven’t come. Read More

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​Sochi Olympics made $22m profit

“It is impressive the organizing committee has earned over 800 million rubles more than was spent, this is a good result as in recent years the Olympic Games haven’t made a profit,” Interfax quotes Kozak as saying. According to the head of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee Dmitry Chernyshenko, the operating profit on the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi, that includes the property which was transferred to sports development in the country, totals around $140 million. The whole Sochi Olympic Games cost $6 billion, of which $2.7 billion came from central government, the remainder was financed by private companies. “Distribution of the profit hasn’t been done yet. The Organizing Committee, the Sports Ministry and the Ministry of Finance are deciding where the money will go”, Kozak said. The funds will be ploughed back into Russian sport. “The Russian Olympic Committee and Paralympic Committee of Russia are asking for part of this money. And I think that we will grant both requests”, Kozak added. At the end of March at the council meeting President Vladimir Putin suggested profits from the XXII Winter Olympic Games will be used to develop mass sports. In particular the Russian leader wanted to support the “Sports for all” movement, and also to give help to sports clubs which are located “within walking distance”. Annually the state budget will allocate $111 million to the maintenance of Sochi’s sport venues and road networks. As Dmitry Kozak said, the venues which were transferred to Krasnodar Krai, will be financed by the regional budget, while the federal venues will receive funds from the central budget. Read More

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Dozens of Ukrainian troops surrender APCs, withdraw from Slavyansk

According to Interfax, citing local self-defense activists, some 300 Ukrainian troops agreed to lay down their weapons and “go home” following negotiations in Slavyansk. Ukrainian soldiers,who’s APCs were taken by protesters earlier today, leave Slovyansk. Some soldiers genuinely support protesters — Ольга Ившина (@oivshina) April 16, 2014 “We managed to negotiate with them. About 300 military – only some of those who closed around the city – decided to lay down their arms and go home,” a self-defense activist was quoted as saying. Conflicting reports are emerging about whether the activists would or would not allow the troops to keep their weapons and APCs. According to Western journalists present at the scene, the locals would not allow them to take back the APCs surrendered earlier, but the soldiers were allowed to march away with their rifles. The militia let departing Ukrainian soldiers keep their guns but not their APCs… — Alec Luhn (@ASLuhn) April 16, 2014 Под крики “молодцы” украинские военных покидают Славянск. Оружие и техника осталась у протестующих — Ольга Ившина (@oivshina) April 16, 2014 DETAILS TO FOLLOW Read More

Dronningen blev fejret i Aarhus

Dronningen blev fejret i Aarhus

16. apr. 2014 16.19 Indland


Dronningens fødselsdag blev fejret på Marselisborg Slot i Aarhus.

Onsdag var der flag på busserne i Danmark. Det er en tradition, når et medlem af det danske kongehus har fødselsdag.

Onsdag var det dronningens fødselsdag.

Dronning Margrethe er født i 1940, få dage efter Danmark blev besat af tyskerne under Anden Verdenskrig.

Dronningen fyldte 74 år

Hun fylder altså 74 år i år og fejrede dagen i Aarhus.

Ved middagstid kom dronning Margrethe frem på terrassen ved Marselisborg Slot og vinkede til de mange, der ville ønske til lykke.


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