Reuters blog archive
from Photographers Blog:
By Jonathan Ernst
Police were shutting down intersections. Tensions were high as I begged an officer to let me down a back alley to a secret parking lot I know about – this is Capitol Hill, but it’s also my home. I found my way to the church’s back lot, threw open my trunk, grabbed a pair of bodies and lenses and made sure I had a few memory cards.
The U.S. Capitol was a blur on my right behind the pulsing lights of police cruisers as I hustled over to Pennsylvania Avenue. In the tony northwest quadrant of the city, the White House is this street’s most important landmark, but here in the gritty Southeast is where the real city rubs up against the federal government.
It was brisk, and the wind was really blowing through the breaks in the buildings around me. I was excited. My blood was pumping. This is the city where important people do important things. A city of naked ambition, exposed agendas, bold truths and bald lies.
This is the city built on Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt and, well, Washington. I could see the four of them up ahead me, in fact. In their boxer shorts. Surrounded by mostly naked people. Who had been drinking. Which is also, if you dig up a collection of the city’s more sordid headlines, pretty much par for the course.
from The Human Impact:
By Maria Caspani
Techno music and revolving images of hungry babies were among the most disheartening, not to say disturbing aspects of the event that kicked off the 'Enough Food for Everyone IF' campaign at London's Somerset House this week.
The catchphrase – ‘There is enough food in the world to feed everyone, yet 2 million children die from malnutrition every year' – was repeated so many times during the hour-long event on Wednesday evening that, by the end of it, I felt like the words had lost their meaning.
from Global Investing:
"Wouldn't you rather your donations achieve a lot rather than a little? Then you'll need to get serious and proactive. If you do it wrong, you can easily waste your entire donation."
Caroline Fiennes is not one to pull her punches when talking about charitable giving, but the more I talk to her, or read her new book - 'It Ain't What You Give It's The Way That You Give It' - the more it becomes apparent that her philosophy is not all that different from that of a professional fund manager.
from Tax Break:
A Federal Trade Commission report listed identity theft as the top complaint from consumers in 2011 – for the 12th year in a row. Of those 280,000 complaints, about 24% were tax or wage-related. This is something of a stark wake-up call to the perils of our electronic lives, which can be hacked without our knowledge, right up until we hit the send buttons on our electronic tax returns, says Jonnelle Marte for Smart Money’s tax blog: “For some victims, the fraud isn’t discovered until they hit the send button on their electronic tax returns — and get a rejection note from the IRS. Other times it takes a little longer to know something is wrong, such as not receiving a refund check.”
If you have been unlucky enough to be hacked, correcting the error could take the IRS from 6-12 months, according to Marte.
from Unstructured Finance:
By Katya Wachtel
The classic Wall Street haunt Cipriani, where Hedge Fund Cares held its annual children charity gala on Thursday night, was noticeably devoid of any people who work for hedge funds.
Instead, the room was filled with those who help keep hedge funds running; there was a ton of guests from the Big Four accounting firms, in particular KPMG, as well as law firms, tax groups, and service providers like Citco and BTIG LLC. There were some hedge fund firms represented of course, including Fortress Investment Group and Tudor Investment Corp.
from Unstructured Finance:
By Matthew Goldstein
It's been an eventful month for hip-hop promoter and commodities trader Tyrone Gilliams, the man federal authorities allege defrauded investors out of at least $5 million.
The self-styled Philadelphia philanthropist was indicted by federal prosecutors on securities fraud charges on Nov. 14 after being arrested on criminal complaint in October. The Securities and Exchange Commission this week also filed civil fraud charges against the 44-year-old former University of Pennsylvania graduate and college star basketball player.
from Environment Forum:
Coca-Cola has one of the most recognizable brands on the planet: the red can with the white letters. World Wildlife Fund has an equally eye-catching logo: a black-and-white panda. This week, the two are joining forces to change the Coke can's look from red to white. It's meant to raise awareness and money to find a safe haven for polar bears, listed as a threatened species because their icy Arctic habitat is melting under their paws due to climate change.
In a project called Arctic Home, Coke plans to turn 1.4 billion of its soft-drink cans white for the first time in its history, replacing the familiar red with an image of a mother polar bear and two cubs making their way across the Arctic. There will also be white bottle caps on other drinks the company sells. The new look is to show up on store shelves from November 1 through February 2012.
U.S. donations to charity rose to $291 billion last year, but it was still more than 6 percent below a 2007 record as the nation struggles to recover from its worst recession in decades. Americans gave nearly 4 percent more in 2010 compared to 2009, the Giving USA Foundation and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University said, perking up after the recession sparked the biggest giving slump in four decades.
The following is a guest contribution. Reuters is not responsible for the content and the views expressed are the authors’ alone. Abigail Frymann is Online Editor of the British Catholic weekly The Tablet, where this first appeared.
from India Insight:
With the Gates-Buffett give-it-away tour just in India, many have been questioning if the country's rich are up to such philanthropy. Gross exaggerations of wealth and poverty are on display every day in India - the BMW next to the bullock cart or the coiffured Jimmy Choo-wearing woman waiting for her driver as the shoeless human mule shuffles past with two oil drums on his back. With millions malnourished and uneducated, with ancient monuments crumbling, with indigenous art, theatre and music unsupported and fading, why can't the uber rich give to the country that helped them so?
India is a country with a long tradition of charity, whether Samadhi (the last stage of life when, after having sought prosperity, one gives away all possessions as a step to enlightenment) or giving alms and tithe (giving ten percent of your income away to the poor). There is also a strong culture of giving to one's immediate family and supporting the families of domestic help. It would be unfair to say that many of the rich in India don't donate to countless charities and religious institutions. They do and without the generous tax incentives offered in many other countries.