Civil society gears up for big funds squeeze

A recent set of changes to India’s foreign donation laws, however, has put hundreds of small NGOs like Arpan in a spot. “Our work has come to a halt after the donor agency asked us not to use funds till rules (arising from the new laws) are framed,” said Renu Thakur, who heads the non-profit. “It looks like we will have to let go of some of our staff and curtail our geographic spread.”

In late September, India’s Parliament approved sweeping changes to the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010. From now on, larger FCRA registered organisations are barred from transferring foreign donations to smaller non-profits (a practice known as sub-granting) who often find it difficult to access donors on their own. Also, all FCRA registered non-profits have been asked to limit their administrative expenses to 20% of donations (from the earlier norm of 50%) which is likely to force

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Big Tobacco goes big in effort to quash law banning sales of flavored tobacco products

A coalition of big tobacco companies and small retailers is paying professional signature gatherers upward of $10 a name in an attempt put the brakes on the statewide law barring brick-and-mortar stores from selling menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products.



Suresh Raina standing in front of a store: Employee Majid Abbas (left) helps a customer buy flavored tobacco at City Smoke and Vape Shop in San Francisco in 2017.


© Gabrielle Lurie / The Chronicle 2017

Employee Majid Abbas (left) helps a customer buy flavored tobacco at City Smoke and Vape Shop in San Francisco in 2017.


With the Nov. 30 deadline approaching for submitting signatures to qualify the measure for the 2022 ballot, the high-dollar effort has become an interesting blend of California politics and potentially huge business profits, with a dash of coronavirus shutdown tossed in for good measure.

At issue: SB793, authored by state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, and signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom in August. Stores that break the ban on selling flavored tobacco and e-cigarettes would face a

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Gov. Murphy Signs 8 NJ Bills Into Law, Big COVID-19 Testing Step

NEW JERSEY – Gov. Phil Murphy has signed eight bills into law, creating a big testing expansion for New Jersey now that cases have been on the rise.

Murphy has signed legislation sponsored by Senators Vin Gopal and Linda Greenstein that authorizes pharmacists to order and administer tests for COVID-19 and COVID-19 antibodies.

The law comes as Murphy also announced that New Jersey will double its testing capacity after the Trump administration promised to supply the Garden State with millions of additional coronavirus tests. Read more: Gov. Murphy: NJ Gets 2.6M More Tests That Could Be ‘Game Changer’

The testing expansion recognizes “the vital importance of rapid, accurate and widely available testing to the ongoing battle to limit the spread of the coronavirus,” lawmakers said.

The testing expansion also comes as New Jersey has had its highest daily case numbers in months. Murphy said expanding the state’s testing capacity has

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Long-term first-time buyer mortgages will need big government backing

New home almost finishedImage copyright
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There is very little detail on the idea of supporting first-time buyers with small deposits with new long-term mortgages.

Mortgages that offer 95% of a property’s value have been a fairly commonplace feature of the market, but have always been more expensive, reflecting their risk.

In recent weeks they have spiked in cost, and become less available, despite Bank of England base rates being slashed to historic lows.

Commercial banks are focusing on the risk of losing money as unemployment rises, particularly in the immediate aftermath of rapidly rising house prices.

This is a risky time to be lending to the riskiest part of the residential mortgage market.

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Returning that market to normal would be challenging enough.

Banks are currently being told to accept mortgage holidays. But Boris Johnson also wishes to make these new mortgages available on long-term fixes, which has

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Uber, Lyft spend big in California to oppose even costlier gig-worker law

By Tina Bellon

(Reuters) – Uber Technologies Inc and Lyft Inc together are spending nearly $100 million on a November California ballot initiative to overturn a state law that would compel them to classify drivers as employees.

That sum looks less huge, however, than the potential costs of complying with the existing law, according to a Reuters analysis.

The two ride-hailing companies would each face more than $392 million in annual payroll taxes and workers’ compensation costs even if they drastically cut the number of drivers on their platforms, a Reuters calculation showed.

For a graphic on potential price hikes click here: https://tmsnrt.rs/3isaZ1q

Using a recently published Cornell University driver pay study in Seattle as a basis, Reuters calculated that each full-time driver would cost the company, on average, an additional $7,700. That includes roughly $4,560 in annual employer-based California and federal payroll taxes and some $3,140 in annual workers’

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Uber, Lyft spend big in California to oppose even costlier gig worker law

By Tina Bellon



a close up of a sign: A sign marks a rendezvous location for Lyft and Uber users at San Diego State University in San Diego


© Reuters/Mike Blake
A sign marks a rendezvous location for Lyft and Uber users at San Diego State University in San Diego

(Reuters) – Uber Technologies Inc and Lyft Inc together are spending nearly $100 million on a November California ballot initiative to overturn a state law that would compel them to classify drivers as employees.

That sum looks less huge, however, than the potential costs of complying with the existing law, according to a Reuters analysis.

The two ride-hailing companies would each face more than $392 million in annual payroll taxes and workers’ compensation costs even if they drastically cut the number of drivers on their platforms, a Reuters calculation showed.

Using a recently published Cornell University driver pay study in Seattle as a basis, Reuters calculated that each full-time driver would cost the company, on average, an additional $7,700. That includes roughly $4,560 in annual

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Big Law Firms Prosper Despite Covid-Impaired Economy

Lawyers at large law firms aren’t worried, as many Americans are, about job security while the coronavirus pandemic continues to upend everyday life. Some of them are even collecting extra bonuses.

Many large law firms have excelled financially this year, even as some clients in sectors ranging from hospitality to retail have suffered. The most elite firms say they are on track for a record year, thanks to hot practice areas like restructuring and public-offerings work, and many are doling out extra money to lawyers this fall.

Firm leaders and consultants attribute the stability to lawyers’ ability to easily work from home, business that comes from a range of industries and practice areas, and a major reduction in travel expenses.

“It’s like building bridges in wartime—you prefer a different environment,” said Robert Hays, the Atlanta-based chairman of King & Spalding LLP. “But we’ve built the bridge. So in terms of

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Palantir IPO reinvigorates debate over Big Tech-military relationship

  • Palantir’s IPO is reinvigorating debate over Big Tech’s role as a partner of US military and government agencies.
  • Big Tech faces increasing stakeholder pressure to adjudicate the ethics of such projects.

Big data software contractor Palantir held its direct-listing IPO this week, raising funds at a valuation of around $21 billion, while also spurring renewed scrutiny over the relationship between Silicon Valley and the US military and government agencies.

US law enforcement information requests to amazon

Palantir’s IPO reinvigorates debate over Big Tech-military relationship.

Business Insider Intelligence


In a letter to the SEC filed in September and released this week, Congressional Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Jesús García called for greater transparency from Palantir before it went public. Ocasio-Cortez and García asserted that Palantir should disclose to shareholders any “contract[s] with foreign governments known to engage in corrupt practices and human rights violations.”

They also expressed concern over Palatir’s project with the US Department of Health and

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Big Tech hearing gives clues on future of antitrust law

In the last of seven hearings to investigate concerns that Google parent Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN) and Apple (AAPL) are operating as illegal monopolies, witnesses before the House Antitrust Subcommittee Thursday clashed on whether Congress should overhaul U.S. antitrust law.

Proposals from witnesses before the committee, including several antitrust experts, could be a clue to changes forthcoming from the committee. They ranged from introducing legislation that would break up Big Tech companies and overturn judicial precedent to increased funding for antitrust law enforcers to maintaining status quo. 

‘Quintessentially a congressional job’

Zephyr Teachout, associate professor of law at Fordham University School of Law, told the subcommittee on Thursday that Congress, not the Supreme Court, should regulate Big Tech. “It is quintessentially a congressional job to respond to this threat,” Teachout said, calling for “significant” new legislation.

NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES - 2018/09/13: Zephyr Teachout seen speaking on phone during her campaign for Attorney General. (Photo by Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES – 2018/09/13: Zephyr Teachout seen speaking
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