Unlimited liability – Atlantic Storm http://atlantic-storm.org/ Wed, 29 Jun 2022 10:31:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://atlantic-storm.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/cropped-icon-32x32.png Unlimited liability – Atlantic Storm http://atlantic-storm.org/ 32 32 Trends in healthcare application in the post-pandemic era https://atlantic-storm.org/trends-in-healthcare-application-in-the-post-pandemic-era/ Wed, 29 Jun 2022 10:31:00 +0000 https://atlantic-storm.org/trends-in-healthcare-application-in-the-post-pandemic-era/

May 31, 2022 – As the world slowly emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic in fits and starts, combating healthcare fraud remains a top priority for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and other government agencies with enforcement authority. Specific areas have gained particularly high priority as COVID-19 has greatly changed the healthcare landscape – in some ways temporarily and in other more permanent ways.

The most obvious post-pandemic law enforcement priority is the pandemic itself, which has seen various government-sponsored relief programs and funds distributed to healthcare providers. Even at the height of the pandemic, DOJ officials made it clear that the use of this relief would be closely scrutinized — and it turned out to be true.

Early investigations and prosecutions related to COVID-19 relief involved what may seem like “low hanging fruit,” but some of the most notable investigations involve allegations of misappropriation of relief funds for personal gain. , for example for the purchase of sports cars and luxury items.

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In April of this year, the DOJ announced a large-scale, coordinated enforcement action that involved filing criminal charges against scores of defendants across the country for alleged misconduct, including using relief funds for personal purchases and charging to patients of services provided that did not occur. However, this was not the first coordinated large-scale fraud-fighting effort related to COVID, and is unlikely to be the last.

In addition to criminal prosecutions, we expect the DOJ – with the help of whistleblowers (or “whistleblowers”) – to use civil remedies, such as the federal False Claims Act (FCA), to prosecute perceived violations of terms and conditions that vendors had to meet to participate in COVID-19 relief programs like the Vendor Relief Fund, Paycheck Protection Program, and COVID-19 Program for the Uninsured .

Legal theories on the matter are likely to be nuanced in many cases and hotly contested and will include allegations of non-compliance with evolving, sometimes randomly issued and unclear technical rules relating to receipt and use. relief funds.

We also expect more traditional survey topics to take on a COVID-19 flavor, such as following Medicare billing rules when performing other services while administering a COVID-19 test or vaccine. 19 or reviewing financial relationships with physicians or other referral sources who may rely on a physician self-referral law (known as the Stark Act) or a COVID-19 waiver of federal anti-referral law. -bribes.

However, hindsight can be 20/20 on these questions; memories fade and the crisis conditions under which healthcare providers operated, combined with the rapidly released and ever-changing nature of the rules, can be forgotten by skeptical prosecutors or reporters seeking to pursue claims and substantial penalties based on what could have been technical “foot faults” causing no loss to the government.

Context will be important in defending these issues. If the rules of the road were messy and changing, that should make it impossible to prove that a given provider or other recipient of COVID-19 aid acted in “reckless disregard” of those rules, as required to establish liability for FCA.

The COVID-19 enforcement review is unlikely to be limited to healthcare providers. For example, even before the pandemic, the government was increasingly focused on private equity investors in the healthcare sector.

As the pandemic unfolded, DOJ officials made it clear that scrutiny in the area of ​​COVID-19 relief would extend to vendor private equity sponsors and others. people who have received aid funds. Although these sponsors do not provide or bill payers for healthcare services, they have been sued under the FCA for “inducing” someone else, such as a provider in which they have invested, to do it.

In the context of private equity, the “causality” theory of liability has not yet been widely debated, although there is case law that has found it to be a viable theory. This means that healthcare private equity sponsors have increasingly been implicated in FCA investigations and named as defendants in FCA lawsuits if for no other reason than they are perceived to be a deep pocket.

The allegations in these cases tend to focus on what the sponsor learned during due diligence before the investment, the role of the sponsor in the operations of the provider/holding company after the investment and whether (or to what extent) this role caused the holding company to submit false claims to government payers.

These claims can be greatly mitigated, and there are many defenses to these claims as well as steps that can be taken to proactively mitigate the risks of investing in healthcare. However, there is no doubt that private equity investors will continue to be at the center of the DOJ’s enforcement efforts and the relationships that bring many FCA cases to the DOJ’s attention.

Finally, there has been a huge increase in the use of telehealth services during the pandemic. While it’s no surprise, the numbers are notable.

For example, government-reported statistics show that in the first year of the pandemic, more than 28 million Medicare beneficiaries used telehealth services, while the previous year fewer than 350,000 beneficiaries of Medicare have used such services. Much of this change is due to the government temporarily waiving requirements to allow Medicare beneficiaries to access expanded telehealth services.

With the increased use of telehealth, there has been a corresponding increase in scrutiny of the application of telehealth. Indeed, even before COVID-19, scrutiny of the application of telehealth was on the rise and is expected to continue in the wake of the pandemic.

Last September, the DOJ charged more than 43 defendants across the country with submitting more than $1.1 billion in false and fraudulent claims related to telemedicine. The allegations at issue in this enforcement action are similar to those seen outside the telemedicine context and included such things as the unnecessary ordering of supplies of durable medical equipment (DME), painkillers and genetic testing, as well as allegations of bribes and the billing of “fictitious” consultations. with the sick. There is no doubt that we can expect to see more enforcement activity in this area.

In short, even though the health sector is just emerging from an unprecedented health crisis, we see no respite in the control of the application of health care laws, and the pandemic itself has led to new areas of application.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author. They do not reflect the views of Reuters News, which is committed to integrity, independence and freedom from bias by principles of trust. Westlaw Today is owned by Thomson Reuters and operates independently of Reuters News.

Tony Maida

Tony Maida is a partner at McDermott Will & Emery. He advises healthcare and life sciences clients on government investigations, regulatory compliance and the development of compliance programs. Having served as a government official, he has extensive experience in health care fraud and abuse and compliance issues, including federal and state anti-kickback and Stark laws and coverage rules and Medicare and Medicaid payment. He is the practice area leader for the firm’s healthcare regulatory and compliance practice in New York.

Laura Mclane

Laura McLane is a partner at McDermott Will & Emery, where she leads the litigation practice group in the firm’s Boston office. She is a nationally recognized litigator under the False Claims Act in the areas of health care and life sciences law enforcement.

Dana Mcsherry

Dana McSherry is a partner at McDermott Will & Emery. She advises healthcare and life science companies in criminal and civil government enforcement matters and related civil litigation, including civil litigation under the False Claims Act. She is based in Boston.

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Naspers “put” tackles one of its Tencent problems https://atlantic-storm.org/naspers-put-tackles-one-of-its-tencent-problems/ Mon, 27 Jun 2022 11:44:00 +0000 https://atlantic-storm.org/naspers-put-tackles-one-of-its-tencent-problems/

The Naspers logo is pictured on a smartphone in front of a stock chart displayed in this illustration taken December 4, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

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LONDON, June 27 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Naspers (NPNJn.J) has finally understood the value of simplicity. The South African company’s main asset is a 29% stake in Chinese internet giant Tencent (0700.HK), which is currently worth $133 billion. But Naspers has always traded at a steep discount to that stake, while tying itself in increasingly complicated knots to close the gap. A pledge on Monday to slowly sell Tencent shares and return the money to shareholders has the merit of being both intelligible and reassuring.

The 16% rise in Johannesburg-listed shares of Naspers on Monday morning will come as a relief to chief executive Bob van Dijk. To date, the Dutchman’s efforts to narrow the gap between the market value of Naspers and that of its underlying assets have mostly benefited corporate lawyers and financiers rather than shareholders. Despite the split of an Amsterdam-listed subsidiary, Prosus (PRX.AS), in 2019, the gap has sometimes widened to 60% or more.

The last plan helps in two ways. First, the open-ended program to sell Tencent shares in the market and use the proceeds to buy back Naspers and Prosus shares effectively creates a put option for investors.

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Second, van Dijk sends a clear signal that the company’s Tencent wealth will be returned to shareholders, not wasted on a high-risk internet startup. It was more than a theoretical risk: Prosus recently delisted its 28% stake in VKontakte, the Russian equivalent of Facebook.

The latest move does nothing to address the other factors weighing on Naspers’ valuation. The company’s clumsy governance structure, particularly the high-voting shares that kick in as soon as it or Prosus seem remotely vulnerable to a takeover, remains in place. Naspers also remains vulnerable to fluctuations in the South African currency and must pay capital gains tax on its investment in Tencent.

The company will long remain a major shareholder of Tencent. To avoid weighing on the Chinese company’s share price, Naspers and Prosus say they will only sell up to 5% of average daily revenue, or at most about 1 million shares per day. . At this rate, it would take until 2033 to dispose of all the shares. And keeping its wording vague – redemptions will last as long as the discount remains “high” – van Dijk has an opportunity to slow the pace if the gap closes as expected. There is beauty in simplicity after all.

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(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The views expressed are his own.)

BACKGROUND NEWS

The South African companies Naspers and Prosus, listed in Amsterdam, announced on June 27 an indefinite program to buy back their shares, financed by the gradual sale of their stake in the Chinese internet giant Tencent.

Prosus, 73% owned by Naspers, has a 28.9% stake in Tencent. Historically, Naspers and Prosus have traded at a significant discount to the value of Tencent’s stake.

The pair said Tencent stock sales would likely be no more than 3% to 5% of the average daily trading volume of the Chinese company’s stock. The program would remain in place as long as the discount is at “high levels”.

Separately, the two companies said they raised $3.7 billion from the sale of their stake in Chinese e-commerce company JD.com.

Prosus shares were up 10.4% at 58.62 euros on June 27 at 07:15 GMT. In Johannesburg, Naspers shares were up 13% to 2,165 rand. Tencent shares closed down 1.6% at HK$378.2.

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Editing by Peter Thal Larsen and Streisand Neto

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The opinions expressed are those of the author. They do not reflect the views of Reuters News, which is committed to integrity, independence and freedom from bias by principles of trust.

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NCLT Mumbai launches CIRP against GIT Textiles https://atlantic-storm.org/nclt-mumbai-launches-cirp-against-git-textiles/ Sat, 25 Jun 2022 09:00:42 +0000 https://atlantic-storm.org/nclt-mumbai-launches-cirp-against-git-textiles/ The National Company Law Court (“NCLT”), Mumbai Bench, consisting of Shri Rohit Kapoor (Judicial Member) and Shri Harish Chander Suri (technical member), when examining an application filed in UCO Bank v GIT Textiles Manufacturing Limitedinitiated the Corporate Insolvency Resolution (“CIRP”) process against GIT Textiles Manufacturing Ltd. for a default that occurred in 2012 and kept this limitation updated each subsequent year when the debtor company recognized the financial debt in its financial statements.

Background Facts

UCO Bank (“Financial Creditor”) had sanctioned credit facilities in the amount of Rs. 20,41,00,000/- to GIT Textiles Manufacturing Limited (“Debtor Company”) see a letter of sanction dated 16.06.2008 and subsequently, the Credit Facilities were renewed on several occasions. The Debtor Company did not reimburse the Financial Creditor and its account was declared NPA on 30.09.2012.

On 04.04.2019, the financial creditor had filed a petition under section 7 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 (“IBC”) requesting the initiation of CIRP against the debtor company for a failure to Rs.54,33,52,844.37/-.

Litigation of the debtor company

The Debtor Company argued that the Financial Creditor had resorted to forum shopping because the latter had also brought an action before the Debt Recovery Court for the same cause. It was further argued that the petition was time-barred because the alleged defect and NPA classification occurred on 30.09.2012, while the petition was filed in April 2019. The statute of limitations had already expired on 30.09.2015.

NCLT bench decision

The Chamber observed that the balance sheets of the Debtor Company for the years 2012 to 2019 showed multiple acknowledgments of debt owed to the Financial Creditor by the Debtor Company. The Chamber relied on the judgment of the Supreme Court in Laxmi Pat Surana v Union Bank of India & Anr., where it was found that:

“Section 18 of the Limitation Act, 1963 is drawn at the time of written acknowledgment signed by the party against which such right to initiate resolution proceedings under Section 7 of the Code ensues. The section 18 of the Limitation Act would come into play whenever the principal borrower and/or the surety company (debtor company), as the case may be, acknowledges their obligation to pay the debt, but this acknowledgment must be prior to the expiry of the limitation period including the new limitation period due to the acknowledgment of the debt, from time to time, for the institution of the procedure under Article 7 of the Code.”

Also in the judgment of the Supreme Court in Innovative Industries Ltd. against ICICI Bank(2018) 1 SCC 407, it was held that:

“…in the case of a corporate debtor defaulting on a financial debt, the contracting authority need only see the information service records or other evidence produced by the financial creditor to ascertain that a default has occurred. It does not matter whether the debt is disputed as long as it is “due”, i.e. payable unless prohibited by law or is not yet due in the sense that it is payable at a later date.

Further, in Khan Bahadur Shapoor Freedom Mazda vs. Durga Prasad(1962) 1 SCR 140, the Supreme Court held:

“… The words used in the acknowledgment must, however, indicate the existence of a legal relationship between the parties, such as that of debtor and creditor, and it must appear that the declaration is made with the intention of admitting such a legal relationship. This intention may be implicit in the nature of the admission, and need not be expressed in words. If the statement is clear enough, the intention to admit a legal relationship may be The admission in question need not be express, but must be made in circumstances and in terms from which the court can reasonably infer that the person making the admission intended to refer to a liabilities subsisting at the date of the declaration.”

On the basis of these judgements, the panel held that because of the specific admissions of debt by the debtor company, section 18 of the Limitation Act 1963 was applicable and that this resulted in a recalculation of the period limitation period of three years from the date of recognition in each balance sheet. “Given that the last of these admissions was made on 31.03.2019, the statute of limitations would last until 31.03.2022. Thus, the present motion was found to be well within the limits of the statute of limitations.”

The bench ruled that there was a liability and a default and therefore the CIRP was initiated against the debtor company and Mr. Sunil Kumar Agarwal was appointed as the interim resolution professional.

Case title: UCO Bank v GIT Textiles Manufacturing Limited, CP (IB) No 600/KB/2019

For the Financial Creditor: Mr. Rahul Auddy, Mr. Shaunak Mitra, Mr. Aditya Goopty, lawyers.

For the corporate debtor: Mr. Ritesh Agarwal, Mr. Patita Paban Bishwal, lawyers.

Click here to read/download the order

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Boris Johnson under pressure after UK election defeats https://atlantic-storm.org/boris-johnson-under-pressure-after-uk-election-defeats/ Fri, 24 Jun 2022 10:19:00 +0000 https://atlantic-storm.org/boris-johnson-under-pressure-after-uk-election-defeats/
  • Party chairman resigns after defeats, says change needed
  • The Tories lose their seat in the heart of the south
  • Johnson’s 2019 election divides
  • PM mired in lockdown holiday scandal

LONDON/KIGALI, June 24 (Reuters) – Boris Johnson’s Conservatives lost two seats in parliament on Friday, a blow to the ruling party that prompted the resignation of its chairman and heightened doubts over the prime minister’s future British.

In Rwanda for a meeting of Commonwealth nations, Johnson was defiant, pledging to listen to voters’ concerns and do more to tackle a cost-of-living crisis after what he described as results “difficult” in the two so-called by-elections. .

The losses – one in the Tory’s traditional southern heartland and an industrial seat in northern England won by Labor in the last election – suggest the broad appeal Johnson presented to win the 2019 election could fracture. .

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Fears Johnson has become an electoral liability could prompt lawmakers to act against him again after months of scandal over COVID-19 lockdown parties at a time when millions grapple with rising prices food and fuel.

Johnson has so far resisted pressure to resign after being fined for breaking lockdown rules at his Downing Street office. Read more

This month he survived a vote of confidence from Tory lawmakers, despite 41% of his parliamentary colleagues voting to oust him, and he is being investigated by a committee to find out whether he intentionally misled Parliament.

“I think as a government I have to listen to what people are saying,” Johnson told broadcasters in Kigali after the results. “We have to recognize that we have to do more.”

Following losses in Tiverton and Honiton in the south west of England and Wakefield in the north, Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden resigned in a carefully worded letter which hinted he might believe that Johnson should take responsibility.

“We can’t carry on business as usual,” he said. “Someone has to take responsibility and I have concluded that in these circumstances it would not be fair for me to remain in office,” added Dowden, a longtime Johnson ally.

Some conservatives have criticized him for running poor campaigns in both polling areas by ignoring local concerns.

Johnson responded by saying he understood Dowden’s disappointment but that “this government was elected with a historic mandate just over two years ago” and would continue to work towards that end.

A Conservative Party source said Johnson was not concerned about further resignations from his ministerial team of senior ministers and took a swipe at the media for what they called “misreporting” of the lockdown parties. Read more

Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said “we all take responsibility” for the defeats. Read more

CONSERVATIVE DISORDERS

But the explanations provided by Johnson and his team may do little to assuage the Conservative Party’s frustration.

Several conservative lawmakers tweeted their support for Dowden, saying he was not responsible for the results in posts suggesting resurgent dissent against Johnson’s leadership.

Although under his party rules, Johnson cannot face another confidence motion for a year, lawmakers fearing for their own futures could try to force a change to prompt a second vote.

It could take some time. This would result in changes to the committee that represents Conservative lawmakers who do not hold government jobs.

A wave of cabinet resignations could also be another avenue to force Johnson out before the next national election, due in 2024. She could be called sooner, but US bank Citi said in a note that the likelihood of this be “limited”.

The by-elections were triggered by the resignation of Tory lawmakers – one who admitted watching pornography in parliament and another convicted of sexually assaulting a teenager.

The party lost its large majority of over 24,000 votes in Tiverton and Honiton to the centrist Liberal Democrats.

“If Tory MPs don’t wake up, I think in the next election voters will send them packing,” said Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey.

In the parliamentary seat of Wakefield, in the north of England, the main opposition Labor party won. Read more

“This result is a clear judgment on a Conservative party running out of energy and ideas,” said Labor leader Keir Starmer.

Johnson led the Tories to their biggest majority in three decades in the 2019 national election, winning in the traditionally Labour-voting areas of northern and central England.

But Wakefield’s loss could indicate his ability to repeat that trick has been compromised.

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Additional reporting by Andrew MacAskill in Kigali, Muvija M, William Schomberg, Kate Holton in London; Editing by Toby Chopra and Alison Williams

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BNSF loses appeal bid in biometric privacy decision https://atlantic-storm.org/bnsf-loses-appeal-bid-in-biometric-privacy-decision/ Wed, 22 Jun 2022 00:34:00 +0000 https://atlantic-storm.org/bnsf-loses-appeal-bid-in-biometric-privacy-decision/
By Celeste Bott (June 21, 2022, 8:34 p.m. EDT) — An Illinois federal judge on Tuesday refused to certify an interlocutory appeal of his ruling denying summary judgment to BNSF Railway Co. in an alleged class action lawsuit alleging he violated Illinois’ biometric privacy law, saying the railroad mischaracterized its decision and waited too long to seek an appeal review.

In summary judgment, the BNSF argued that lead plaintiff Richard Rogers should have brought a lawsuit under Illinois’ biometric information privacy law against a third-party vendor collecting the biometric information. in place. But U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly ruled in March that it appeared the railroad had finally decided if and how biometric information was collected…

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Africa could earn billions in unpaid taxes https://atlantic-storm.org/africa-could-earn-billions-in-unpaid-taxes/ Thu, 16 Jun 2022 13:56:50 +0000 https://atlantic-storm.org/africa-could-earn-billions-in-unpaid-taxes/ Each year, African countries lose huge sums of taxpayers’ money due to a lack of logistical support for business transactions and monitoring systems.

However, the real problem is that a large part of the working population is employed in the informal sector: in markets, in agriculture, arts and crafts, in the construction sector or in transport.

In addition, many small independent businesses are not registered — self-employed people often do not pay taxes or social security contributions.

If collected, more tax revenue could significantly improve health and education, expand infrastructure and contribute to other urgent development projects in many African countries.

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), 2 billion people work in the informal economy worldwide, and in Africa, 85.5% of the population does so.

In sub-Saharan Africa, this percentage rises to 90%, according to the World Bank, which represents 40% of GNP.

Thus, it is neither efficient nor fair, believes the bank.

Formalize the informal sector

What might a fair tax system look like? Professor John Gartchie Gatsi, professor of finance and economics at the University of Cape Coast in Ghana, told DW that it would make sense to bring the informal sector into the overall agenda: “If we develop the informal sector and formalize it through various policy interventions, we will gradually move part of the informal sector to the formal sector, and they will be subject to the normal payment of taxes,” he said.

But he added that Africa had encountered several obstacles along the way. “We have identified digitization, electronics and automation of systems, but we have not been consistent in deploying them.”

Ghana – like many African countries – has developed national identification systems, he said. But instead of taking inspiration from countries like Germany or Sweden, Ghana used only personal identification numbers to determine who was a citizen and could vote.

European governments, he pointed out, also use such identification systems to link economic activities and thus create more transparency.

Ghana has partially overcome this gap by linking mobile phone SIM cards to respective national identification numbers, he said, explaining that by combining mobile payment options with personal data, greater clarity on flow of money resulted. He said such systems already existed in Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya but it was important that they become cheaper and more efficient.

Stricter laws needed

Gatsi also argued that identity documents could be used more. “When people need government benefits, they have to provide their ID, which shows how much they earned from a particular project and whether or not they paid taxes on it.”

The identifiers could thus be linked to the repayment of unpaid debts.

Furthermore, the economist recommended the introduction of a law that would make those who made payments to informal parties liable for tax.

However, he said, there was often a lack of political will, in part because of fears of losing potential voters.

According to Paul Melly, an Africa expert at the London-based Chatham House think tank, a combination of political commitment at the highest level, structural reforms of the administration and public relations has improved the collection of local taxes in the commercial capital of the Nigeria, Lagos.

For him, a non-bureaucratic approach to tax collection is essential to provide a simple solution and incentives even for informal workers.

Simplify the payment of taxes

“It’s possible to bring more people into the tax net through a mix of strong and high profile big income enforcement,” Melly told DW, adding that some simple online payment mechanisms should be made available. provision of people to pay taxes without fear that the money will go astray.

“They need simple ways to quickly measure levels of tax liability so that it is not difficult to determine how much money an informal business should pay.”

Another reason for the reluctance of African taxpayers to pay taxes was also the assumption that they would not benefit them, he added.

Kenyan economist James Shikwati said the issue of informality and tax compliance in Africa is complex. One of the reasons is the perception that governments receive money from outside Africa to support their operations. This, he said, has led to a lack of trust in the government.

“The second is the perception of corruption, which means that even if there were informal business actors willing to pay taxes, they think it will end up in corrupt pockets,” Shikwati told DW.

Millions of dollars “lost” in taxes

Shikwati referred to a statement by the Kenya Revenue Authority, which claimed that the state was losing almost $3 million (2.8 million euros) in taxes each year from the informal sector because workers did not pay no taxes.

“If the government wants the informal sector to pay taxes, it must provide the necessary incentives for informal sector actors to find it useful, to pay taxes,” Shikwati said.

According to a 2019 study by the pan-African polling institute Afrobarometer, most Africans are in favor of their governments raising taxes.

However, many Africans also doubt that the tax burden in their country is fairly distributed and only half of respondents believe that their government uses tax revenues to benefit citizens.

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Legislators urged to strengthen privacy for children and marginalized people https://atlantic-storm.org/legislators-urged-to-strengthen-privacy-for-children-and-marginalized-people/ Tue, 14 Jun 2022 20:57:11 +0000 https://atlantic-storm.org/legislators-urged-to-strengthen-privacy-for-children-and-marginalized-people/

A landmark data privacy bill still lacks adequate protections for minors and marginalized communities, say advocates and a key lawmaker.

Top House and Senate committee leaders have been widely praised for breaking years of deadlock with a bipartisan privacy proposal, as tech companies and consumers push for a uniform data protection regime. national data.

The measure taken by House Energy and Commerce Chair Frank Pallone (DN.J.), ranking member Cathy McMorrisRodgers (R-Wash.), and Ranking Member of the Senate of Commerce, Science and Transportation Roger Osier (R-Miss.) includes a ban on targeted advertising if companies have “actual knowledge” that an individual is under 17.

Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Applications on an iPhone on May 26, 2021.

The term, which was taken from the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (Public Law 105-277), “has been a huge loophole for big tech companies to claim ignorance,” said the representative. Catherine Beaver (D-Fla.) said during an Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on Tuesday. “This is clearly an area where there is room for improvement in the draft if we are serious about protecting children online.”

Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube is the starkest example of a company touting its popularity with child consumers in conversations with potential advertisers — and simultaneously claiming to be a COPPA-free “consumer site,” a said Jolina Cuaresma, senior privacy and technology policy attorney at Common Sense Media.

YouTube did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), the top Republican on the consumer protection subcommittee, said improving the law is important, but within limits.

“To be clear, this is historic, and we must continue to move forward together and leverage constructive feedback while rejecting tactics that may seek to derail our bipartisan work,” he said during the briefing. subcommittee hearing on Tuesday.

Previously: Bipartisan bill would strengthen children’s data privacy

Legal obligations, Lawsuits

Even though the company was subject to COPPA, the law does not require companies to make a good faith attempt to determine a user’s age, Cuaresma added. Common Sense Media, which focuses on children and technology, does not advocate strict liability. Instead, he wants the bill to require companies to use age information not only in their marketing divisions, but also in their legal divisions.

The bipartisan privacy bill would also prohibit companies from transferring the data of individuals they know are between the ages of 13 and 17 without express, affirmative consent. Common Sense advocates that the wording be changed to cover anyone under the age of 18, in part to simplify compliance.

“It’s really easy not knowing if someone is 14 or 17,” Cuaresma said. “My daughter has a pretty mature voice and can often pass for me, so I would like to make sure that we don’t create burdens for small businesses by putting all these different ages in one invoice.”

The bipartisan bill also allows individuals to directly sue companies, known as a private right of action, for certain privacy violations. In cases involving minors, companies are prohibited in the bipartisan bill from requiring consumers to settle the dispute in private arbitration.

David Brody, general counsel for the Digital Justice Initiative at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said it was very important to improve the bipartisan bill’s “narrow private right of action” which “restricts the ability of individuals to obtain redress from a search.”

Earlier: Tech companies couldn’t force arbitration under bill

President of the Senate in charge of trade Maria Canwell (D-Wash.) introduced its own privacy bill with even broader language on the private right of action. Cantwell says she parted ways with her counterparts because the trio’s bill enforcement mechanisms aren’t strong enough.

On the other hand, John Miller, senior vice president of policy and general counsel at the Information Technology Industry Council, said companies are still concerned that the language of private right of action in the bipartisan project is too broad and will not limit a likely wave of litigation.

ITI is a global trade association whose members include such giants as Google, Meta Platforms Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Apple Inc.

Discrimination in algorithms

Advocacy groups, such as the Lawyers’ Committee, the Future of Privacy Forum, and the Electronic Privacy Information Center, have also shed light on how communities of color and marginalized populations face discriminatory algorithms and artificial intelligence models that reinforce structural racism and prejudice.

Caitriona Fitzgerald, deputy director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, recommended adding stronger requirements to algorithm impact assessments “so they don’t just become box-checking exercises,” including requiring companies to explain how each algorithm was developed, training data, and intended goals and capabilities.

Brody of the Lawyers’ Committee praised the “very strong” civil rights provisions in the bipartisan bill, including algorithmic bias assessment requirements and anti-discrimination language, but maintained that the app needs to be better.

“The current proposal inserts several procedural hurdles that will not reduce legal costs but will prevent aggrieved persons from being able to spend their day in court, such as traps designed to trip up people who do not use magic words to argue their rights,” he said. said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mary Curi in washington at mcuri@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anna Yukhananov at ayukhananov@bloombergindustry.com; Sarah Babbage at sbabbage@bgov.com

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D-Day for Trevor Trump https://atlantic-storm.org/d-day-for-trevor-trump/ Sun, 12 Jun 2022 22:20:00 +0000 https://atlantic-storm.org/d-day-for-trevor-trump/

“With the Prime Minister announcing a reshuffle today, she should take this opportunity to confirm that she has lost faith in Trevor Mallard, the Donald Trump of New Zealand politics,” said ACT chief David Seymour.

“The problem with Donald Trump is that he has no respect for the democratic institutions that have given him his way of life and his ultimate position. Mallard has the same problem, Parliament has been good to him, but he will gladly trash the institution for his own survival.

“When it suits him, he is the Speaker of the House with unlimited powers. When it does not, it will hide behind the same privilege at the expense of our democracy.

“Mallard’s behavior contrasts sharply with the Prime Minister’s remarks at Harvard, who said that ‘the foundation of a strong democracy includes trust in institutions, experts and government – and that this can be built over time. decades but demolished in a few years. .’

The question for the prime minister is, how can she square those words with her continued support for Trevor Mallard in the third highest constitutional office after her and Governor General?

“Mallard was always an accidental speaker – he had his farewell speech prepared before he got the last-minute call. Every day is an accident waiting to happen, and the longer he goes on, the bigger the mess. big.

“Enough is enough. This is about a man who falsely accused a staff member of rape, who inflamed parliamentary protest with his immature behavior and who refuses to be held accountable for his actions.

“The mallard may have survived another mallard hunting season earlier this month, but it is time for the Prime Minister to eliminate this duck before the end of his government. The guy is the biggest handicap to democracy since Muldoon, like Donald Trump he has no respect for the institutions that made his career possible.

“A recent 1News poll shows that New Zealanders have lost faith in him and that the institution of Parliament is far too important for New Zealanders to distrust.

“It is time for the Prime Minister to show leadership and have the courage to do what is right.

“Mallard is hands down the worst public speaker New Zealand has ever seen. ACT lost faith in Mallard a long time ago and now so do the public. Ardern needs to stop playing politics and show some real leadership.

“The People’s Parliament is too important to have someone at the top that New Zealanders don’t trust.”

© Scoop Media

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S.127 CrPC | Must Consider Husband’s Financial Status and Altered Circumstances When Determining Alimony in Matrimonial Dispute: Delhi High Court https://atlantic-storm.org/s-127-crpc-must-consider-husbands-financial-status-and-altered-circumstances-when-determining-alimony-in-matrimonial-dispute-delhi-high-court/ Sat, 11 Jun 2022 08:00:46 +0000 https://atlantic-storm.org/s-127-crpc-must-consider-husbands-financial-status-and-altered-circumstances-when-determining-alimony-in-matrimonial-dispute-delhi-high-court/

The Delhi High Court has observed that the determination of alimony in matrimonial disputes depends on the financial status of the husband and the standard of living the wife was accustomed to in her matrimonial home.

Judge Chandra Dhari Singh added that the husband’s financial capacity, his actual income with reasonable expenses for his own maintenance, and the dependent family members he is required to support by law, including liabilities, should be taken into consideration, to arrive at the appropriate amount of child support to be paid.

The Court was of the opinion that the expression “change of circumstances” mentioned in article 127(1) of the CrPC is a complete expression which also includes the change of circumstances of the husband.

“The amount of child support once fixed under Section 125(1) Cr.PC is not something that can be considered a global liability for all time to come. It is subject to variation on both sides.It can be increased or decreased according to changed circumstances,“said the Court.

He added “Moreover, the circumstances alleged by the revisionist/wife already existed at the time of the delivery of the initial maintenance judgment; therefore, evidence of such circumstances cannot form the basis for varying the amount of child support under subsection (1) of Section 127 Cr.PC”

The court was dealing with a petition for criminal review filed by a wife seeking an increase in the amount of child support awarded by the senior family court judge, saying it was lower.

See judgment of November 27, 2017, the motion under Art. 125 of the Cr.PC filed by the wife was allowed, whereby the husband was ordered to pay the court costs of Rs. 11,000.

The Court noted that the marriage between the parties was solemnized, however, due to some differences between them, they began to live separately.

She observed that the intention behind the granting of interim or permanent maintenance is to prevent the dependent spouse from being reduced to destitution or vagrancy as a result of the breakdown of the marriage, not to punish the other spouse.

“The obvious scope of subsection (1) of Section 127 Cr.PC is that a provision is made therein for an increase or decrease in the indemnity following a change in the circumstances of the parties at the time of the request for modification of the original support order. It must be shown that there has been a change in the circumstances of the husband or wife, “ said the court.

The Court held that the amount of child support once determined under s. 125(1) of the Cr.PC is not something which can be considered as a general liability for all time to come and the same is subject to variations on either side.

“It may be increased or decreased depending on the changed circumstances. Furthermore, the circumstances alleged by the revisionist/wife already existed at the time of the initial maintenance judgment; therefore, evidence of such circumstances cannot constitute the basis for varying the amount of child support maintenance under subsection (1) of Section 127 Cr.PC In this case, there is nothing in the record to prove that there is has had a change in circumstances that would warrant improved maintenance,” It said.

The Court noted that the wife had not filed any document to assess the exact income of the husband to establish that he earned such a good sum of money.

“Even this Court finds no evidence on the record to determine the respondent’s exact income and there is no change in the circumstances,” It said.

Accordingly, the plea was dismissed.

Case Title: JYOTI @ GAYATRI v. ROHIT SHARMA @ SANTOSH SHARMA

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 561

Click here to read the order

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Hagens Berman fee award in antitrust case fails again at 9th Circuit https://atlantic-storm.org/hagens-berman-fee-award-in-antitrust-case-fails-again-at-9th-circuit/ Tue, 07 Jun 2022 18:53:00 +0000 https://atlantic-storm.org/hagens-berman-fee-award-in-antitrust-case-fails-again-at-9th-circuit/

The United States Court of Appeals James R. Browning building, home of the 9th United States Circuit Court of Appeals, is pictured in San Francisco, California February 7, 2017. REUTERS/Noah Berger

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  • A split 9th Circuit panel released a $31 million award
  • Objector to charges in price-fixing dispute argues court used wrong starting point

(Reuters) – A divided U.S. appeals court on Monday dealt yet another blow to Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro in a long-running antitrust case, ordering a resumption under a bid by the plaintiffs’ law firm seeking relief. tens of millions of dollars in legal fees. .

The 9th United States Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, ruled 2-1, says a federal trial judge used the wrong base dollar amount to calculate costs when he awarded Hagens Berman more than $31 million last year for his work in a lawsuit over alleged price-fixing of certain optical disc players.

The panel identified a lower starting point of several million dollars and said a final award of $26,646,000 would not be out of bounds.

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Seattle-based Hagens Berman represented U.S. consumers in a $205 million settlement involving claims against companies including Hitachi Ltd, LG Electronics Inc and Sony Corp. The plaintiffs purchased computers with an optical disc drive, which includes a DVD drive. The defendant companies denied any liability.

Monday’s decision was the latest strike against fees in the case spanning more than a decade.

The appeals court previously overturned trial court decisions awarding more than $52.7 million in costs. In a 2020 decision, panel judges found an error in the starting basis for awarding costs.

Hagens Berman’s partner Shana Scarlett, who argued for the company at the 9th Circuit in April, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Robert Clore of Corpus Christi, Texas-based law firm Bandas, which represented an opponent of the appeal, also did not immediately return a similar message.

Clore argued to the 9th Circuit that Hagens Berman’s original fee proposal used marginal rates, not flat rates. Circuit Judges Ronald Gould and Carlos Bea said U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco should have used marginal rates as the basis for awarding fees.

During oral argument, Hagens Berman’s Scarlett defended Seeborg, saying he “considered the totality” of the case to determine the charges. Seeborg said in its July 2021 order that the $31 million award was “reasonable in all the circumstances” regardless of the calculation of the starting point.

In a dissent, Circuit Judge Morgan Christen said Seeborg “is in the best position to decide on a reasonable fee award in this case.” She backed the $31 million prize.

The appeals committee rejected several other claims by Clore, including an offer to reimburse costs based on alleged breaches of attorney ethics rules.

The case is In Re Optical Disk Drive Products Antitrust Litigation, US District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 3:10-md-02413.

For the Indirect Buyer Category: Shana Scarlett of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro

For Conner Erwin, opponent: Robert Clore of the law firm Bandas

Read more:

Plaintiffs’ law firms seek $20 million in legal fees in ATM antitrust case

Class attorneys in App Store deal will seek up to $30 million in fees

Hagens Berman wins $31 million award in record player antitrust fight

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