A few weeks ago, Spotify announced that they surpassed 40 million subscribers; this growth rate doubles over the streaming service’s rival Apple Music. While SoundCloud recently launched a paid subscription service, they haven’t made enough profit to sustain their once-free music streams. Now, it seems as though Spotify is currently seeking to formally acquire SoundCloud, according to The Financial Times. The plot continues to thicken, as the streaming wars ensue.SoundCloud has been in financial trouble for some time now, losing upwards of $70 million over the last two years, according to a report from February. Earlier this summer, the company considered selling their online streaming service for $1 billion. The report made it clear that, while the company had “adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future,” SoundCloud was heavily reliant on “further capital investment” to continue operating in 2015.Now, we see another potential – for the Spotify giants to step in and take over SoundCloud. If they were to successfully do so, the company would acquire all 200 million SC users. This would be an interesting turn of events, as both companies started in October of 2008. The details remain unclear of how the transition would navigate paid subscriptions versus free memberships, but Spotify’s acquisition of SoundCloud would be an undeniable win for Spotify.Let’s see how this one pans out…[H/T CoS]
May 1, 2001 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News Bar’s MDP panel gets down to business Senior Editor Improving education about what constitutes the unlicensed practice of law, investigating CPA-approved “cognitors,” finding out whether attorneys and social workers are wrongfully sharing fees, and other issues are getting the attention of the Bar’s Special Commission on Multidisciplinary Practice and Ancillary Business. The commission met recently and discussed plans for a CLE course to help lawyers who want to set up ancillary businesses and ways to educate Bar members about both MDP and ancillary business issues. The committee will also continue to gather input from Bar members. Commission Co-chair John Hume told the Bar Board of Governors March 30 that the commission is working actively on several matters. The commission has contacted a wide variety of voluntary bars, Hume said, to get their views about ancillary businesses and multidisciplinary practices. The “overwhelming response,” he said, despite years of debate and study by the Bar is many lawyers are still unfamiliar with the issues surrounding those topics. The commission is working to get speakers who can go to those bars and explain the issues, he said. (An ancillary business is when a lawyer or law firm wants to branch out into a nonlegal business, which may be related to the law firm’s services, such as financial or investigative services. The Bar has proposed a rule, suggested by a prior MDP committee and which is pending at the Supreme Court, to address ancillary businesses since there was no single place in the Bar rules to guide lawyers on this issue. Lawyers, under the proposed rule, would be bound by their ethical duties as a lawyer to ancillary business customers unless they disclose to the customer, preferably in writing, that no legal services are being provided and there is no attorney-client relationship. A multidisciplinary practice is when the lawyer works for a business that is wholly or partially controlled by nonlawyers and provides legal services for clients of that business. The Board of Governors has opposed that as contrary to the core values of the profession of independent judgment and loyalty to the client.) As part of the education effort, one subcommittee has been studying what constitutes the practice of law and through UPL Director Lori Holcomb prepared a summary of UPL case law. Hume said that document is intended to help lawyers and nonlawyers understand what constitutes UPL and improve reporting of possible violations. A copy is reproduced here for Bar members’ information. The commission is looking into two topics related to MDPs, Hume said. One is the possible illegal combination of lawyers and social workers in adoption cases where legal fees perhaps are being split with nonlawyers. Tampa area attorney Jeanne Tate, who has talked to commission members, relayed a case she saw in which a social worker did all the adoption work, and then an attorney submitted the bill and split the fee with her. Work done by the social worker included interviewing the adoptive and birth parents, taking the legal papers to the birth parents to relinquish their rights, and other similar tasks. “It seemed like the attorney was using the social worker to do everything in connection with the adoption, charging a rather large legal fee and then giving a cut [of the fee] back to the social worker,” she said. The second issue is a new trend by CPAs and accounting firms to use “cognitors.” “He subcontracts out the legal work and other work [to a client]. He’s sort of a fixer,” Hume said. “This seems to get in the area of multidisciplinary practice. They say you don’t have to be a CPA to be one, but you have to be recommended by two of them to be considered a cognitor. This is part of their vision to control the practice.” He said the commission is gathering more information about cognitors. On ancillary businesses, Hume said the commission is working on two different ways to help Bar members. One is a model client disclosure form to use with the pending ancillary rule, he said. The second is a CLE program to be run by the Young Lawyers Division during the Bar’s January Midyear Meeting. The tentative plan is for that course to be low cost and also include ethics and professionalism credits, Hume said. The commission is continuing to seek input, questions, and areas in which it might investigate from Bar members. Interested lawyers should contact Bar Ethics Counsel Elizabeth Tarbert at (850) 561-5780, e-mail at [email protected], or by writing her at The Florida Bar, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee 32399-2300. Bar’s MDP panel gets down to business
Legislature eyeing court’s request for more judges March 15, 2002 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News Legislature eyeing court’s request for more judges Senior EditorFlorida’s budget crunch will be hitting the courts hard, as it appears likely only a small percentage of new judges sought by the Supreme Court will be approved by legislators. But plans to offer student loan repayment incentives to prosecutors and public defenders are moving ahead.The Senate Judiciary Committee on February 26 took up SB 1654, which originally contained the 49 new judges certified as needed by the Supreme Court earlier this year to keep up with rising caseloads and population growth.With little discussion, the bill was amended to include only 10 new judges — seven circuit and three county — for the 2002-03 fiscal year. A similar House measure, HB 1927, funds only two new district court of appeal judges, one each in the Second and Fourth DCAs.The court had asked for 34 new circuit judgeships, 13 new county judge posts, plus the two DCA judgeships in the House bill.Committee Chair Sen. Locke Burt, R-Ormond Beach, said the 10 positions are what were included in the preliminary Senate budget.“These are the 10 places where the court said there is the greatest need,” he added.The bill provides for one new county judge each in Duval, Palm Beach, and Broward counties, and one new circuit judge each in Fifth, Eighth, Ninth, 10th, 11th, 13th, and 20th circuits.The bill next goes to the Appropriations Committee. The action appears to continue the Supreme Court’s recent difficulty in getting new judgeships. In 2000, the court asked for 43 new positions, but due to a legislative oversight, none were approved. Last year, the court asked for 44 new judgeships, but only 26 were authorized.The committee also unanimously passed SB 1138, which sets up a state fund to repay the student loans for assistant state attorneys and assistant public defenders.Sponsor Sen. Skip Campbell, D-Tamarac, said the typical starting salary for those attorneys is $35,000 — far less that many private sector jobs — and they can have student loan debts of up to $120,000. That has, he added, contributed to a 25-percent turnover rate for public defender and state attorney offices.The bill authorizes the state to repay $3,000 a year of student loans after an assistant public defender or assistant state attorney has been employed in an office for three years. It hikes that to $5,000 after six years and terminates after 12 years, or a maximum repayment of $44,000.At Burt’s suggestion, Campbell agreed to an amendment that would add lawyers working for the three capital collateral regional counsels to the bills. The committee discussed but decided against making another change that would allow lawyers to count cumulative service between various public defender and state attorney offices toward getting the loan repayments. Sen. Jim Sebesta, R-St. Petersburg, said that could defeat the goal of getting stable employment within each office.Similar legislation, HB 307, has cleared two committees in the House and is pending before the Criminal Justice Appropriations Subcommittee.
continue reading » U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren said one of the biggest injustices of the Equifax Inc. hack is that the company might actually benefit from the fact that a majority of Americans’ personal data is now in the hands of criminals.“Equifax will be just fine,” Warren told former Equifax Chief Executive Officer Richard Smith at a Senate Banking Committee hearing Wednesday. “Heck, it could actually come out ahead.”Warren, one of the finance industry’s most relentless critics, noted that the company advertises fraud-protection services and profits from selling consumer-data that it promises to keep safe. On Equifax and its competitors, the Massachusetts Democrat said she wants the “entire industry to be transformed.”Smith responded that after the breach, Equifax is offering victims free fraud protection tools and other services. 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Sales said that two extremists from Sweden, known for its generosity toward refugees, traveled in August 2016 to Saint Petersburg to undergo 11 days of paramilitary training with the group.They returned to Sweden and carried out a series of attacks including a bombing outside a migrant center in Gothenburg that gravely injured one person, the State Department said.”This group has innocent blood on its hands,” Sales said. ‘Nonsense,’ leader saysThe monarchist movement has deployed volunteers to fight in nationalist causes, including on behalf of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine. “It’s incredible. It’s nonsense, of course,” Denis Gariyev, one of three leaders put on the blacklist, told AFP of the designation.”In the same way you could recognize tens of thousands of volunteers as terrorists. Yes, we took part as volunteers,” he said of the group’s participation in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine.He denied that the group promoted racial supremacism, saying: “We couldn’t do so because we are an Orthodox organization.””This is politics. Probably they want to use us as a bogeyman. They need an ‘image of the enemy,’ after all,” he added.The group’s website says its militants train in martial arts and knife-fighting in the belief that “not being a warrior for a modern man in Russia is criminal weakness.”A Russian court in 2012 banned a group website as extremist, according to the justice ministry, but Moscow has not designated the group as a whole as terrorist. The United States on Monday branded a Russian far-right organization a terrorist group, the first time it has targeted purported white supremacists with action frequently used against jihadist groups.The move comes after ambivalent messages about white supremacists by President Donald Trump, who notoriously defended participants in a neo-Nazi rally.The State Department said the Russian Imperial Movement runs two paramilitary training camps in Saint Petersburg and has pulled in neo-Nazis from across the Western world, including Swedish militants who carried out violent attacks. Globalized nationalists Sales said that white supremacists around the world have increasingly been interconnected.Last year a gunman targeting Hispanics killed 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and said he was inspired by the white supremacist who massacred Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand.Sales said the State Department had seen reports that the Russian Imperial Movement “reached out to Americans or even travelled to the United States,” although he did not draw a link to any incidents.Trump himself has faced widespread criticism for his uncritical treatment of white supremacists as well as his rhetoric that demonizes non-white immigrants as criminals.In 2017, Trump said that neo-Nazis whose march in Charlottesville, Virginia devolved into violence included “very fine people.”Violent hate crimes in the United States soared to a 16-year high in 2018, including a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, according to the FBI. Sales said that Monday’s designation was made possible after an order by Trump that allows designation of terrorists based on their training activities, not necessarily participation in violence.Despite the calls on Russia to act, the United States itself does not designate domestic groups as terrorists, owing largely to the US Constitution’s broad guarantees of freedom of speech. Topics : “This is the first time the United States has ever designated white supremacist terrorists, illustrating how seriously this administration takes the threat,” said Nathan Sales, the State Department counterterrorism coordinator.”We are prepared to target any foreign terrorist group, regardless of ideology, that threatens our citizens, our interests abroad or our allies,” he said.The Russian Imperial Movement and three of its leaders were blacklisted as Specially Designated Global Terrorists, meaning that they will not be admitted to the United States and that any US assets they hold will be blocked.The designation also aims to have a chilling effect on banks and other institutions overseas unlikely to want to deal with a US-described terrorist group.
Riots in Burundi The United Nations has warned that Burundi is “on the brink of devastating violence” ahead of the contested and controversial Presidential election.The country’s President Pierre Nkurunziza is pushing ahead with plans to seek a third term in office at next week’s polls, despite calls for a further postponement.Two weeks after the contested legislative and communal elections that took place in Burundi and with presidential polls just days away, senior United Nations officials now warn that the situation prevailing in the Central African country is once again at risk of sliding into violence.The officials warned the Security Council saying that Burundi is on the brink again and that it faces grave danger.UN Assistant-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Taye-Brook Zerihoun said said the situation should not be underestimated, given the increasing polarization and the apparent choice of Burundian leaders to put personal interest before those of the country.“An escalating pattern of politically motivated violence, coupled with this country’s history of recurring bloodshed and atrocities, should alert us to the potential for serious crisis,” underlined UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.Both officials echoed similar concern as they briefed the Security Council on the situation in Burundi; Mr. Zehiroun on the electoral process and the political and security situations through the work of the UN Election Observation Mission (MENUB) and Mr. Zeid on the protection and promotion of human rights.“On 2 July, MENUB assessed that the legislative and communal electoral process of June 29 took place against the background of a political crisis, and in a climate of widespread fear and intimidation in parts of the country,” said the Assistant Secretary-General.Some opposition political parties and civil society organizations, notably those opposed to a third term for President Pierre Nkurunziza, called the elections a “sham” and declared they would not recognize the results.Burundi has been hit by violence since the April announcement that President Pierre Nkurunziza would run for a third term in presidential elections set for July 15.Protesters say Nkurunziza must go because the constitution limits the president to two terms, but the president’s supporters say he is eligible for a third term because he was chosen by lawmakers — and not popularly elected — for his first term.
Great BBQ and music for a great cause will be taking place Saturday at the Battery Park parking lot of Sioux City’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino .It’s the annual “Rib Fest” to benefit Camp High Hopes.Funds raised will support programs for kids and adults with disabilities at Camp High Hopes on Correctionville Road.There’s a $10 entry fee at the gate with kids 12 and under admitted free.You can then purchase a $10 punch card to taste BBQ ribs and chicken cooked by the competing teams.The event runs from 11am-4pm on Saturday at the corner of 4th and Water Streets at the west end of downtown.