The Economist, a leading source of analysis on international business and world affairs, today announced “Open Future”, an editorially driven initiative (www.economist.com/openfuture) which aims to remake the case for The Economist’s founding principles of classical British liberalism which are being challenged from all sides in the current political climate of populism and authoritarianism.
“Although the world has changed dramatically since James Wilson founded The Economist to fight against the Corn Laws, the liberalism we have championed since 1843 is as important and relevant as ever,” said Zanny Minton Beddoes, editor-in-chief, The Economist. “Yet the core tenets of that liberalism—faith in free markets and open societies—face greater resistance today than they have for many years. From globalization to free speech, basic elements of the liberal credo are assailed from right and left.”
Content for Open Future will be developed and organised around five themes: Open Society (diversity, and individual rights versus group rights); Open Borders (migration); Open Markets (trade, markets, taxes and welfare reform); Open Ideas (free speech); and Open Progress (the impact and regulation of technology). In addition to content from The Economist editorial staff, the Open Future hub will feature commentary from outside contributors, including from those with dissenting points of view.
The initiative launches with a debate between Larry Summers and Evan Smith about no-platforming and free speech at universities. Mr Summers is the Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus at Harvard University. He served as Secretary of the Treasury for President Clinton and as the Director of the National Economic Council for President Barack Obama. Evan Smith is a Research Fellow in history at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia and is writing a book on the history of no-platforming.
A special report on the future of liberalism written by editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes will appear in the newspaper’s 175th anniversary edition dated September 15th. And on that Saturday, the newspaper will host the Open Future Festival, to be held simultaneously in Hong Kong, London and New York. There will also be an Open Future essay contest for young people; surveys and other data visualizations; podcasts; social-media programs and new video from Economist Films.
It is that time of the year again, when Americans start preparing their tax returns, but there’s good news as most taxpayers can expect to receive an average refund of $2,895 according to the IRS. This year, South African Tourism is once again launching its Tax Refund campaign to encourage savvy travelers and adventure seekers to make the most of their refund with an out-of-this-world trip to South Africa. Partnering with the top US travel trade partners South African Tourism unveils six new exciting packages priced between $1,700-$3,200 to reflect the average tax refund. The packages offer a variety of experiences focusing on romance, adventure and culture throughout South Africa.
Today’s favorable exchange rate also guarantees US travelers’ hard-earned refund money goes further than ever in South Africa. South African Tourism is also excited to collaborate with TurboTax® this season on a blog post inspired by South Africa’s 10 most Instagrammable locations which will be live onwww.blog.turbotax.intuit.com/.
Whether a history buff, art and culture enthusiast, foodie, adventurer or nature lover, South Africa has something to offer every discerning traveler looking for an affordable vacation. This year’s exclusive deals include:
- Gate 1 – 8 Day South Africa Tour with Game Drives & Flights — 8 days and 6 nights
- South African Airways Vacations – Love Cape Town — 7 days and 5 nights
- Great Safaris – Zululand Express Safari — 6 days and 4 nights
- Indus Travel – Super South Africa & Dubai — 13 Days and 9 nights
- Lion World Travel – Classic South Africa — 10 days and 9 nights
- South African Airways Vacations – Romantic Beach and Bush — 9 days and 9 nights
“South Africa is blessed with breathtaking natural scenery, world-class safari experiences, and adrenaline pumping adventure activities; and with celebrations around the Nelson Mandela Centenary planned throughout 2018, now is the ideal time to visit,” said Bangu Masisi, President of South African Tourism, Americas. “These packages from our partners showcase the variety of exciting travel experiences that are made possible by using your tax refund”. To book these packages or view additional South Africa travel deals, please visit southafrica.net/deals. For more information on South Africa’s rich and diverse offerings visit www.southafrica.net, follow @SouthAfrica on Twitter and @VisitSouthAfrica on Instagram and Facebook.
CALA is a nonpartisan grassroots movement of concerned citizens and businesses who are fighting against lawsuit abuse in California. CALA serves as a watchdog to challenge abuses within our civil justice system, and engages the public and the media to deliver the message that lawsuit abuse is alive and well in California – and that all Californians are paying the price. CALA members and supporters represent a broad and diverse cross section of Californians. They own small retail stores and hotels, manufacturing firms, real estate brokerages, trucking companies, and more. However, the bulk of CALA’s supporters are several thousand consumers concerned about the impacts of lawsuit abuse.
As set forth more fully below, the citizens of California face significant risks as a result of the decision of the Sixth District Court of Appeal (the “Decision”), including potential health risks from wholesale abatement of even intact lead-based paint, and a reduction in property values of all pre-1981 properties. In addition, California’s businesses and economy will suffer from the reductions in tax revenue. For these reasons, CALA urges this Court to review the Decision.
The court’s abatement plan creates unnecessary risks to the public.There is no pressing public safety issue that warrants judicial usurping of a successful legislative program. In fact, the enforcement of local building regulations and the State’s current program to minimize lead exposure have drastically reduced the number of children with elevated blood lead levels. The court’s unprecedented abatement plan, which orders the abatement of even intact lead paint, puts the health of California’s children at risk. The court’s plan would actually expose children to more lead dust, not less, as studies by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) show. The vast majority of states around the country – and HUD- favor keeping lead paint covered rather than removing it. Currently, HUD will not pay to abate windows with intact lead paint.
The Decision will lower property values. The Decision, which labels more than 3 million homes in ten jurisdictions as public nuisances, will cause property values across California to plummet. Property owners are required to disclose the existence of a nuisance when selling a property. In addition, the trial court requires that any properties that do not participate in the abatement plan, “should be deferred for actionable lead hazard control until the property owner vacates or sells the property.” Homeowners may not be able to take out a second loan or home equity line of credit. Sellers may be forced to lower the sale price if the home appraises lower than a buyer’s offer. This phenomenon will not be restricted to the 10 jurisdictions. Under existing law, pre-1978 properties in California are presumed to contain lead-based paint. (17 Cal. Code Regs. 35043.) The trial court expanded that presumption to pre-1981 homes and held that lead-based paint — even in an intact condition on certain friction surfaces – poses an imminent risk of harm and is a nuisance. Although this ruling applies only to the 10 jurisdictions, it has placed the legal status of intact lead paint throughout the State in question, and buyers across the State will be wary of purchasing pre-1981 properties.
California’s economy will suffer from the lost property tax revenue. California lost property tax revenue from depressed home values will undoubtedly cause critical public services to be cut. The Decision is likely to impair local governments’ ability to provide education, public safety, and other services residents demand and need. K-12 spending per pupil in California is tied to the Proposition 98 funding guarantee, and
would fall dramatically should The Decision be upheld. This would force school districts in the state to cut programs such as music, physical education, and art, reduce class offerings, and lay off staff. These cuts are likely to disproportionately affect lower-income communities just when the average blood lead levels of minorities and the poor are coming in line with the average blood lead levels of the general population.
The Decision rewards slumlords at the expense of responsible property owners.
The Decision places property owners with 10 or more housing code violations at the front of the line to get their properties inspected and abated. This will create a situation in which law-abiding citizens who have maintained their properties will have to endure crashes in property values and wait in line while the bad actors get rewarded for willfully failing to maintain their properties.
For the reasons set forth above, CALA urges this Court to review the case in order to restore order and predictability for California’s property owners and tenants, and to put law making on the critical issues of housing and public health back in the hands of the legislature.
ABA urges Congress to apply pass-through tax reductions to professional service businesses on nondiscriminatory basis
American Bar Association President Hilarie Bass sent a letter today to House and Senate conferees for H.R. 1, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” urging them to adopt the Senate’s version of “pass-through” business tax relief.
The ABA’s letter also urged the conferees to apply the tax relief to all pass-through entities — including law firms and all other types of professional service businesses — on an equal and nondiscriminatory basis.
The full letter can be found here.
Go to www.abalegalfactcheck.com for the ABA’s new feature that cites case and statutory law and other legal precedents to distinguish legal fact from fiction.
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