In Vermont and San Francisco, the right of employees to ask for flexible work schedules is now enshrined in law. That doesn't mean, however, that employers are compelled to grant them.
Vitamin deficiencies near the time of conception change which genes get turned on during early development, scientists find.
Each year, the Chronicle of Philanthropy releases a list of the American charities that have raised the most money from private donors. United Way topped the most recent list; the Salvation Army took the third spot. At number two was Fidelity Charitable, named for the giant financial services corporation which sponsored the creation of the charity and still provides investment and technology services.
Fidelity Charitable helps people set up donor-advised funds, which offer a twist on traditional charitable giving. For example, rather than writing a check to the Salvation Army, a donor would put that money into a Fidelity Charitable giving account. The money can then be invested or granted right away, explains Amy Danforth, president of Fidelity Charitable.
"Granting is when they turn to the causes they care about, and log in to our website, or contact us by phone, and make a grant to the charity they care about: [their] alma mater, their church, the Red Cross, a food bank," Danforth said.
Which sounds a lot like traditional charitable giving. So, why not just give the money directly to the food bank? Danforth says donor-advised funds work best for people who give to more than one charity a year.
"I would say if you are only giving to one charity, one time a year, that a donor-advised fund would not be the right solution," Danforth said. "Many people give to multiple charities, and multiple times in a given year." She says choosing donor-advised funds can cut down on both paperworth and confusion. And they are not just for cash. You can donate assets -- like, say, property -- and Fidelity Charitable will help expedite what can be a complicated process.
Compared to many other charities, donor-advised funds are booming.
"They are growing like gangbusters," said Stacy Palmer, editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy. "The rest of the charity world is growing very slowly, but donor-advised funds are seeing giant increases."
The funds are seeing growth among all kinds of donors.
"It's a mix of average people and very wealthy people," Palmer said. "You can put as little as $3,000 into one of these accounts, or you can put in many millions."
The benefit of the fund is that once the money is deposited, the donation can be written off on the donor's taxes. And that's why the funds are controversial, because even as the tax break is given, there's no deadline for when the money must be given away.
"There is no time limit at all," said Ray Madoff, a professor at Boston College Law School, "so the money can stay in the fund for a decade, a century, or many centuries."
Madoff says some donor-advised funds are even marketed as family foundations, for people to pass the spirit of charitable giving on to kids and grandkids.
"The problem is," said Madoff, "there's a difference between the spirit of charitable giving and real charitable giving."
For its part, Fidelity Charitable does insist that donors give away some part of their fund within seven years. But as with any donor-advised fund, even a small fraction of the money can be granted, while the donor still recieves a tax deduction for the full amount.
The LA Clippers' owner had a track record of discriminatory behavior. Though the NAACP rescinded a planned award for him after his racist rant, it has honored him in the past.
Spring in Edirne means the annual Liver Festival, where locals feast on the fried livers of lambs that grazed on nearby plains. It's just the thing to get you through a long day of oil wrestling.
Current and former NBA players are praising the league's decision to punish LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling with a lifetime ban over racist remarks he made in an audio recording.
[2014-04-29 13:00:00] By the year 2050, it’s projected that the world will have 9 billion mouths to feed. We’ll talk this hour about the challenges the planet will face to produce enough food with Jonathan Foley, whose piece “Feeding 9 Billion” is the cover story for the May issue of National Geographic.
[2014-04-29 12:00:00] The conversation surrounding the Dallas Independent School District is whether or not it should become a home-rule district. We’ll talk this hour about the pros and cons of re-imagining DISD with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and school board member Bernadette Nutall.
A new survey reports voting interest among 18- to 29-year-olds has declined in recent months. Only a quarter say they'll definitely vote in the midterm elections.
The contrast between the racial makeup of the league's ownership class and its players usually goes unmentioned. But the Donald Sterling fracas has pushed that not-quite-subtext to the fore.
The European Union today slapped sanctions on 15 more people it accuses of aggravating the crisis in Ukraine. This follows yesterday’s move by the U.S. targeting another seven individuals and 17 companies. This may suggest a degree of coordination between the U.S. and Europe -- a kind of one-two punch. But look a little closer, and you'll see a big difference between the American and the European measures.
The EU has now imposed travel bans and asset freezes on a total of 48 people, and all of them have one thing in common: They’re all directly implicated in the Ukrainian crisis. That’s not the case with the U.S. sanctions.
“The American approach has been much more targeted on Mr. Putin’s inner circle, and on businesses that are believed to be controlled by those individuals,” says John Lough, Associate Fellow at the Chatham House think tank in London.
Take one of the principal victims of the American asset freeze announced on Monday: Igor Sechin, head of the Russian energy giant Rosneft. He is not believed to have been involved in the alleged attempt to destabilize Ukraine. But he is a very close ally of President Putin .
Meanwhile the Europeans today penalized – among others – several Ukrainian separatists and the head of Russian military intelligence.
“You could say the Europeans are pussy-footing around in the sense that they are being more legalistic. They are going after the instruments of this policy rather than going for the most sensitive area of the Russian elite, the people on whom President Putin depends,” says Nick Redman of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
The softer European approach is not surprising. The EU does ten times as much trade with Russia as the US does. Europe also depends on Russia for 30 percent of its natural gas. Redman says don’t expect the Europeans to hit the Russians where it really hurts - say in the energy sector - for fear of Russian retaliation.
“Obviously sanctions that would be more effective and would go further, would impose costs on the imposing nations," he says.
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case testing if police may search cell phones possessed by persons they arrest. It has broad implications for police work and protection of personal data.