Suggestive of their ability to fight back against a wave of shoplifting decriminalization efforts, the broader retail and loss prevention communities will likely be keeping an eye on a new state ballot initiative campaign in California.The effort aims to modify Proposition 47, which passed in 2014 and raised the felony-shoplifting threshold in the state to $950. If successful, the new measure would make repeat offenders eligible for felony prosecution after a third theft valued at $250 or more.Aaron Moreno“Since 2014, we’ve seen a significant increase in both incidents and in the value of cases as it became known that no matter how many time you’re caught—so long as you stay under $950—you’ll just get a citation to show up in court,” said Aaron Moreno, senior director for government relations at the California Grocers Association, a member of the California Public Safety Partnership, which is sponsoring the ballot measure.- Sponsor – Presently, the partnership is raising money for advertising to generate awareness of the ballot initiative. To get on the November 2018 ballot, the campaign will need to collect nearly 360,000 valid signatures by the end of April.Among other provisions, Prop 47 reduced certain drug possession felonies to misdemeanors and was passed, in part, to alleviate stress on California’s overcrowded jails. Moreno says that the current effort seeks to address problematic elements of Prop 47 rather than to undo it or subvert the will of voters.“This effort is not to overturn Prop 47, because that was passed by voters and there have been parts of it that have been good for the state,” he said. “But as is often the case when you use the initiative process, there are some unintended consequences that result—issues that don’t get fleshed the way they do when issues go through the traditional legislative process.”Prop 47 FrustrationsPrior to Prop 47, a person who entered a store with the intent to steal something could be found guilty of commercial burglary and could be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony at the prosecutor’s discretion. After Prop 47, those who enter a store during regular business hours with the intent to steal merchandise or property where the value does not exceed $950 are only guilty of “shoplifting,” a misdemeanor offense. At a press conference announcing the initiative Oct. 30, state assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) said some criminals are committing serial thefts and keeping each one to $949 or less to avoid punishment.In a 2016 survey by the National Retail Federation, several loss prevention practitioners expressed related frustrations. “We are a victim of Proposition 47. We now use trespass as the only means of dealing with repeat criminals at our stores,” wrote one. “Shoplifters are more confrontational with our LP officers. Even if we do catch them, it’s just a slap on the wrist,” wrote another California LP executive.A Potential FixAfter an effort to amend the law this summer hit a roadblock, a coalition including police officers and prosecutors formed to put forth a new state initiative. If the new initiative passes, an individual’s first two thefts would be treated the way they are under current law—as a misdemeanor if the value of the theft is under $950. However, if an individual is caught a third time for theft—at a value of over $250—he or she could be charged with a felony.The fix was aimed to be a compromise between adhering to the initial goals of Prop 47 to reduce the number of non-violent prisoners, while providing recourse to hold serial offenders more accountable, according to Moreno. “If all you’re ever going to get is a misdemeanor citation and you’re an enterprising criminal, you’re going to see shoplifting as low risk and high reward.” The new initiative aims to recalibrate that perception, Moreno suggested.In addition to changes to make serial theft a felony, the proposed initiative would add 15 crimes to the list of violent crimes for which early release is not an option. These include child abuse, rape of an unconscious person, trafficking a child for sex, domestic violence, and assault with a deadly weapon.In addition, DNA collection for certain crimes would be permissible, including from drug offenses that were reduced to misdemeanors under Prop 47. The measure also mandates a parole revocation hearing for anyone violating the terms of parole three times.The prospects of the new proposition initiative are unclear. Police and prosecutors have been vocal in criticizing Prop 47, including placing blame on it for recent increases in crime across California. Prop 47 passed with 59 percent of the vote, however, and a more recent survey by the Los Angeles Times suggests that it remains popular with the public. Some state lawmakers also routinely tout the millions the state has saved by reducing the state’s jail population.Success of the new initiative will likely hinge on the campaign’s ability to raise awareness among the public that the new ballot initiative will correct Prop 47’s problems and fill its holes and not subvert its more popular provisions. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now
Proposed regulations provide much anticipated guidance on the base erosion and anti-abuse tax (BEAT) under Code Sec. 59A and related reporting requirements. The regulations are proposed to apply generally to tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, but taxpayers may rely on these proposed regulations until final regulations are published.Code Sec. 59A was added by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97) (the Jobs Act) and imposes a tax on base erosion payments of taxpayers with substantial gross receipts. The tax is equal to the base erosion minimum tax amount for the tax year. The Jobs Act also added reporting obligations regarding the BEAT for 25-percent foreign-owned corporations subject to Code Sec. 6038A and foreign corporations subject to Code Sec. 6038C.Proposed BEAT RulesThe proposed regulations generally provide rules for determining whether a taxpayer is an applicable taxpayer on which the BEAT may be imposed and rules for computing the taxpayer’s BEAT liability. In particular, the proposed regulations provide rules:– 1. for determining whether a taxpayer is an applicable taxpayer on which the BEAT may be imposed ( Proposed Reg. §1.59A-2);– 2. for determining the amount of base erosion payments (Proposed Reg. §1.59A-3(b));– 3. for determining base erosion tax benefits arising from base erosion payments (Proposed Reg. §1.59A-3(c));– 4. for determining the amount of modified taxable income, which is computed in part by reference to a taxpayer’s base erosion tax benefits and base erosion percentage of any net operating loss deduction (Proposed Reg. §1.59A-4);– 5. for computing the base erosion minimum tax amount, which is computed by reference to modified taxable income (Proposed Reg. §1.59A-5);– 6. for applying the proposed regulations to partnerships (Proposed Reg. §1.59A-7);– 7. that are specific to banks and registered securities dealers;– 8. that are specific to insurance companies;– 9. that disregard certain transactions having a principal purpose of avoiding Code Sec. 59A (anti-abuse rules) (Proposed Reg. §1.59A-9);– 10. regarding the general application of the BEAT to consolidated groups (Proposed Reg. §1.1502-59A);– 11. addressing limitations on a loss corporation’s items under Code Secs. 382 and 383 in the context of the BEAT (Proposed Reg. §1.383-1); and– 12. regarding reporting and record keeping requirements under Code Sec. 6038A.Proposed Applicability DatesConsistent with the Code Sec. 59A applicability date, the proposed regulations (other than the proposed reporting requirements for qualified derivatives payments (QDP)) are proposed to apply to tax years beginning after December 31, 2017. However, taxpayers may rely on these proposed regulations for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, until final regulations are published, provided the taxpayer and all related parties consistently apply the proposed regulations for all those tax years that end before the finalization date.The proposed reporting requirements for QDPs apply to tax years beginning one year after the final regulations are published. However, the simplified QDP reporting requirements are proposed to apply to tax years beginning after December 31, 2017.Any provision that is finalized after June 22, 2019, will apply only to tax years ending on or after the date of filing of the proposed regulations in the Federal register.Comments and Hearing RequestsWritten or electronic comments and requests for a public hearing must be received by the date that is 60 days after the proposed regulations are published in the Federal register. Send submissions to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-104259-18), room 5203, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044. Submissions may be hand delivered Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-104259-18), Courier’s desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20224, or sent electronically, via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov (IRS REG-104259-18).Proposed Regulations, NPRM REG-104259-18IR-2018-250Other References:Code Sec. 59A– CCH Reference – 2018FED ¶5461A– CCH Reference – 2018FED ¶5461C– CCH Reference – 2018FED ¶5461E– CCH Reference – 2018FED ¶5461G– CCH Reference – 2018FED ¶5461I– CCH Reference – 2018FED ¶5461K– CCH Reference – 2018FED ¶5461M– CCH Reference – 2018FED ¶5461O– CCH Reference – 2018FED ¶5461Q– CCH Reference – 2018FED ¶5461S– Code Sec. 383– CCH Reference – 2018FED ¶17,204D– Code Sec. 1502– CCH Reference – 2018FED ¶33,145D– CCH Reference – 2018FED ¶33,148B– CCH Reference – 2018FED ¶33,190B– CCH Reference – 2018FED ¶33,193ABCCH Reference – 2018FED ¶33,193FCCH Reference – 2018FED ¶33,209Code Sec. 6038ACCH Reference – 2018FED ¶35,561ADCCH Reference – 2018FED ¶35,561BDCCH Reference – 2018FED ¶35,561DDCode Sec. 6655CCH Reference – 2018FED ¶39,572BTax Research ConsultantCCH Reference – TRC INTL: 18,206Login to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.
Attendees will learn about the pros and cons of high-density computing versus low-density computing and ready-to-use container data centers versus traditional brick and mortar data centers. There will also be a panel discussion on energy efficiency metrics, which will take a look at everything from chips to cooling systems and how they play a role in energy efficiency. Hank Lea and myself (Jason Davidson) will be covering the Eco-Technology debates at the Marriot Hotel in San Francisco on Monday, August 18th. We will also be hosting a blog talk radio show around this event at 5:15 PM. In my tenure at Intel, I have had the pleasure of walking into major companies, educational institutes, non-profits, and government agencies to talk technology with many great people. “How green is this solution” is a topic on many minds lately – no matter which topic of discussion. Being an engineer by trade and scientist by education, I will typically dive into the details of around each component’s power consumption and the discussion ends with some simple math multiplying a number of units by their thermal numbers. However, there is so much more to the overall impact, and as I walk in and out of these locations, I am always amazed at the number of larger issues with much larger impacts that are unresolved or overlooked. For more information on these items, here is a blog. The Eco-Technology Great Debates provide a unique and entertaining forum to expand your understanding of today’s most pressing data center and IT issues. Come hear industry leaders take up both sides of some of the hot topics facing the industry. The energy consumption of servers and data centers has doubled in the past five years and is expected to almost double again in the next five, costing about USD 7.4 billion annually.1 There is no single right answer on what to do about this critical situation. Take an active step in solving this challenge by attending *The Eco-Technology Great Debates* and IDF at a special money-saving price. Register for IDF now and enter promo code *CLOECOT* (admission to the Eco-Technology Great Debate and a 2-day pass to IDF) or enter promo code *CLTECOT*(admission to the Eco-Technology Great Debate and a full conference pass to IDF). The debate takes place at the San Francisco Marriott Hotel (located across the street from IDF). 1 [EPA Reports Significant Energy Efficiency Opportunities for U.S. Servers and Data Centers (August 2007).|http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0de87f2b4bcbe56e852572a000651fde/4be8c9799fbceb028525732c0053e1d5!OpenDocument]
Andre Onana’s agent has confirmed Barcelona are interested in signing the goalkeeper back from Ajax.The 22-year-old shot stopper joined Barca in 2010 from the Samuel Eto’o Foundation in Cameroon but left to join the Amsterdam giants in 2015. Since replacing Jasper Cillessen in Ajax’s first-team in 2016, Onana has been the undisputed No.1 and made over 120 appearances for the club. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Barca are said to be on the hunt for a new backup goalkeeper amid reports Cillessen could leave the Catalan side and believe Onana would be a good option to take his place once again.And the Cameroon international’s agent says the Spanish champions have already expressed a desire to get him back.”That’s correct. It’s not a secret that Barcelona are interested,” Albert Botines told De Telegraaf.But the Dutch newspaper reports that there are more clubs keen on signing Onana, as Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and West Ham have also made their interest known. Although Barca are reportedly willing to pay around €20 million (£17m, $23m), De Telegraaf claims the Dutch club will hold out for at least €10m more.Rumours the Catalan side wanted to re-sign the Cameroon international resurfaced late last year, but Ajax’s CEO Edwin van der Sar said his side are determined to keep him. “I think Andre is fantastic,” he told Goal in November. “He came to Ajax aged 18 or 19 and the way he developed and the natural attributes that he already had, his speed, his reaction and I think he set himself as a great goalkeeper… I think there are always a lot of rumours about players from Ajax. We develop great players, not only in Amsterdam but hopefully also in Cape Town and there is interest in a lot of our players, but we like to keep them for as long as possible.”Onana talked about a potential return move back to Spain two years ago, saying: “I would love to come back because La Liga is one of the best leagues in the world. We’ll see if I return to Barcelona. If I leave Ajax, it’ll be to join an even bigger club.”Onana is currently contracted to Ajax until 2021.
Map locating Reau prison southeast of Paris, France. Photo: AFPA notorious gangster who said his life of crime was inspired by films such as “Scarface” pulled off a brazen jailbreak on Sunday, fleeing a prison near Paris aboard a hijacked helicopter in a commando-style operation.Redoine Faid, 46, broke out of the prison with the help of two accomplices who used smoke bombs and angle grinders to overcome wardens in the facility’s visiting room where Faid was talking to a brother, according to prison unionist Martial Delabroye.The men quickly made good their escape in the helicopter in an operation lasting just 10 minutes, Delabroye told AFP at the penitentiary in Reau in the French capital’s southeastern suburbs.It is the second time Faid has pulled off a spectacular jailbreak-in 2013, he blasted his way out of a prison in northern France using dynamite.The helicopter-hijacked from a terrified flight instructor-landed at around 11:15 am (0915 GMT) in the prison yard.The two black-clad men armed with assault rifles set off smoke bombs before breaking their way into the prison’s visitation room using the power tools.Informed sources earlier said there were three accomplices.The wardens, who were unarmed, fled to safety and raised the alarm.The helicopter was later found in a northeastern suburb of Paris about 60 kilometres (37 miles) from the prison, one source said, adding that a manhunt has been launched across the entire Paris region.A police source said the helicopter pilot was a flight instructor waiting for a student when he was seized by Faid’s accomplices. He was forced to fly before being later freed in a state of shock.The men apparently went on to use a car that was later found torched in a shopping mall carpark, police said.The escape came after an appeals court in April sentenced Faid to 25 years for masterminding a botched armed robbery in 2010 in which a policewoman was killed.‘The Author’Faid has been behind bars since mid-2011 for breaking the terms of his parole over past convictions for bank robberies and brazen heists of cash-in-transit vehicles.In his 2013 jailbreak, he briefly took four guards hostage with a pistol before escaping in a waiting getaway car. All the hostages were released unharmed.Faid was recaptured six weeks later at a hotel in an industrial area on the outskirts of Paris.A woman working at the hotel told AFP at the time that Faid’s accomplice had paid for the room in cash and that the two men had been there for several days.Faid had earlier been released from a 10-year stint behind bars after convincing parole officers that he regretted his criminal past and was determined to start afresh.Police nicknamed him “The Author” for two books he co-wrote about his delinquent youth.Faid, who has a cult following in the tough immigrant suburbs outside Paris where he grew up, has made several television appearances.‘He’s very polite’At a Paris film festival in April 2009, Faid approached Michael Mann, director of the 1995 gangster film “Heat” starring Al Pacino and Robert Niro, telling him: “You were my technical adviser.”He wrote that he had watched the film dozens of times to perfect his bank-robbing prowess.One of his prison supervisors said that Faid had never had any conflict with staff, “but we must always be wary”.“In the corner of his mind, he never lost the idea of escaping. Behind all his manners-he is very polite-he always hid his game,” the supervisor said.Delabroye, the prison union rep, said the yard where the helicopter landed is the only area not equipped with anti-aircraft netting because inmates never use it-“except to leave the prison”.