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Post Your Interesting News Articles Here

A.

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #1730 on: August 15, 2007, 06:15:58 AM »
I think there might be a case for emotional damage...this was in the national media for weeks.  However, I agree that it probably wasn't specific enough.  I wonder if the whole team could sue.

Gengiswump

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #1731 on: August 15, 2007, 06:17:29 AM »
the key here is just to have enough merit to make it past summary judgment. If it does that, settlement cause the defendants aren't going to want a trial and have all that negative publicity. Will it get past SJ?  I have no clue. From what I know - probably not because 1) the statements may not rise to the specificity needed and 2) I don't see how there is any specific damage to the plantiff. Reputation? Everyone was disgusted at the comments, it was universally agreed that the statements were at the least an exaggeration of fact. Emtional damage? weak.





I'm fairly certain you don't have to prove some sort of IIED or actual damage in order to have an action for defamation, merely exposure to scorn, hatred, or ridicule, essentially just damage to your reputation alone is sufficient.

As for specificity, if there's no way to interpret it where he's not talking about her, and it's not a really a matter of opinion but a statement of purported fact (unlike Denny's Southerners example), than it's likely sufficiently specific for a cause of action.


t...

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #1732 on: August 15, 2007, 07:32:43 AM »
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20070813/katrina-luxury-condos/

"

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. With large swaths of the Gulf Coast still in ruins from Hurricane Katrina, rich federal tax breaks designed to spur rebuilding are flowing hundreds of miles inland to investors who are buying up luxury condos near the University of Alabama's football stadium.

About 10 condominium projects are going up in and around Tuscaloosa, and builders are asking up to $1 million for units with granite countertops, king-size bathtubs and 'Bama decor, including crimson couches and Bear Bryant wall art.

While many of the buyers are Crimson Tide alumni or ardent football fans not entitled to any special Katrina-related tax breaks, many others are real estate investors who are purchasing the condos with plans to rent them out.

And they intend to take full advantage of the generous tax benefits available to investors under the Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005, or GO Zone, according to Associated Press interviews with buyers and real estate officials.

The GO Zone contains a variety of tax breaks designed to stimulate construction in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. It offers tax-free bonds to developers to finance big commercial projects like shopping centers or hotels. It also allows real estate investors who buy condos or other properties in the GO Zone to take accelerated depreciation on their purchases when they file their taxes.

The GO Zone was drawn to include the Tuscaloosa area even though it is about 200 miles from the coast and got only heavy rain and scattered wind damage from Katrina.

The condo deals are perfectly legal, and the tax breaks do not take money away from Katrina victims closer to the coast because the depreciation is wide open, with no limits per state.

But the tax breaks are galling to some community leaders, especially when red tape and disorganization have stymied the rebuilding in some of the devastated coastal areas.

"The GO Zone extends so damn far, but the people who need it the most can't take advantage of it," said John Harral, a lawyer in hard-hit Gulfport, Miss.

"It is a joke," said Tuscaloosa developer Stan Pate, who has nevertheless used GO Zone tax breaks on projects that include a new hotel and a restaurant. "It was supposed to be about getting people ... to put housing in New Orleans, Louisiana, or Biloxi, Mississippi. It was not about condos in Tuscaloosa."

Locals say Tuscaloosa was included in the GO Zone through the efforts of Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, who is from Tuscaloosa, graduated from Alabama and sits on the powerful Appropriations Committee. But Shelby aides said Tuscaloosa made the cut because it was classified as a disaster area by the government after Katrina, not because of the senator's influence.

Defenders of the GO Zone said the Tuscaloosa area needed the aid because of the hundreds of evacuees who remained here for weeks after the hurricane.

"The senator believes that the GO Zone program, and others enacted since then to assist with the rebuilding efforts following the devastating 2005 hurricane season, have been extremely successful in accomplishing their goal," said Shelby spokeswoman Laura Henderson.

The GO Zone investor tax breaks are credited with contributing to the condo boom in Tuscaloosa.

Dave Toombs, a real estate investor from Irvine, Calif., with no connection to Alabama, bought two new, upscale townhouses at The Traditions, just minutes from campus, as investment properties. He said he hopes to use GO Zone tax benefits when he files his taxes.

"If we qualify for the GO Zone it will be icing on the cake," said Toombs, who is consulting with an accountant because the rules are complicated. "It's another plus check to put in the column."

An investor could write off more than $155,000 of the cost of a $300,000 condo in the first year and use the savings to lower his taxes on other rental income, according to Kelly Hayes, a tax attorney who advises investors in Southfield, Mich. Without the GO Zone tax break, the depreciation benefit from a single year on such a property would typically be just $10,909.

(The tax break is not available to people who buy a home for their own use.)

Andy Turner, a real estate agent who specializes in condominium sales in Tuscaloosa, estimates the GO Zone depreciation benefit has helped spur 10 percent of all recent condo sales in the city.

Tuscaloosa real estate broker Richard Ellis said an investor from Birmingham contacted him about GO Zone property and wound up buying 30 condo units for about $180,000 each.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the GO Zone bonds and accelerated depreciation would cost the government $3.5 billion in revenue from 2006 to 2015.

President Bush signed the GO Zone bill less than four months after Katrina struck. It was sponsored by GOP Sen. Trent Lott, who lost his beachfront home in Pascagoula, Miss., and was modeled after the legislation passed to stimulate the recovery of lower Manhattan after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The GO Zone covers 49 counties in Mississippi, 31 parishes in Louisiana and 11 counties in western Alabama.

Originally set to expire next year, key benefits under the bill were extended to 2010 in the hardest-hit areas of Mississippi and Louisiana as the recovery lagged. Many of the benefits expire next year in Alabama, and that prospect has helped spur the construction surge.

The White House and state officials say the economic package has been vital to helping with the cleanup and rebuilding after Katrina and Hurricane Rita. Tens of millions in tax-free bonds have gone for affordable housing for hurricane victims, officials say.

In hard-hit Slidell, La., not far from New Orleans, officials said a shopping center is being built using $8 million in tax-free GO Zone bonds.

"The GO Zone has helped. If someone is looking to come to this area, it's a good tool for them to use," said Brenda Reine, executive director of the St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation.

Yet state reports reviewed by the AP and interviews show that the most ballyhooed part of the GO Zone bill _ $15 billion in tax-exempt bonds _ has had relatively little effect so far.

The three states have approved nearly $10 billion in bond sales to spur investment, the AP found. But only a fraction of that _ $2.8 billion _ has actually been issued in bonds, meaning most projects are still on the drawing board nearly two years after the storm.

Mayor Chipper McDermott of Pass Christian, Miss., yearns for a GO Zone boost in his hard-hit Gulf Coast town.

"Everybody here is fighting every day just to get the life back in their towns," he said. "We're not looking at the rosebuds. We're in the thorns."

On the storm-raked shores of Lake Pontchartrain in Slidell, Chad Mayo, a pawn shop operator whose business was flooded by Katrina, asked: "The GO Zone? What's that? We're in the dead zone."

A.

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #1733 on: August 15, 2007, 07:38:17 AM »
More surprising than the inclusion of Tuscaloosa in the GO Zone is the fact that they're selling multiple million-dollar condos in the middle of Alabama.  Not houses, but condos.  And not on the beaches of Gulf Shores, but in Tuscaloosa.  Very interesting.  I know football is king, but still.  Maybe I should invest down there.

t...

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #1734 on: August 15, 2007, 07:39:20 AM »
Whenever tragedy strikes, opportunity knocks.


Denny Crane

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #1735 on: August 15, 2007, 07:57:24 AM »
Sounds more like just poor planning again by the government than mere opportunism on the part of the real estate developers. 


Should've limited the GO zone to people more directly impacted by Katrina's devastation.  Maybe some behind-the-scenes lobbying took place to extend the zone so deep inland. 

mugatu

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #1736 on: August 15, 2007, 08:20:51 AM »
Whenever tragedy strikes, opportunity knocks.



Truer words...

Statistic

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #1737 on: August 15, 2007, 08:29:43 AM »
Whenever tragedy strikes, opportunity knocks.



Truer words...

..go on...

A.

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #1738 on: August 15, 2007, 10:54:31 AM »
I miss allofmp3.com.  I might have to try out this new site:

Court acquits allofmp3.com site owner

    * Story Highlights
    * Owner of music download site allofmp3.com not guilty of breaching copyright
    * Allofmp3.com Web site angered Western music companies
    * The site reportedly undercut the price of downloads
    * Allofmp3.com attracted millions of bargain-hunting music lovers across the world

MOSCOW, Russia (Reuters) -- A Russian court found the former boss of music download Web site www.allofmp3.com not guilty of breaching copyright on Wednesday in a case considered a crucial test of Russia's commitment to fighting piracy.

The allofmp3.com Web site angered Western music companies by undercutting the price of downloads in deals they said breached copyright law.

Denis Kvasov, head of MediaServices which owned the site, was put on trial after entertainment companies EMI Group Plc, NBC Universal and Time Warner Inc. pressed for a prosecution.

"The prosecution did not succeed in presenting persuasive evidence of his involvement in infringing copyright law," said judge Yekaterina Sharapova.

A local official with the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which is representing copyright holders in the case, said it would appeal the decision.

"We are disappointed with the verdict and will appeal," IFPI regional director Igor Pozhitkov told reporters.

The site has been a thorny issue in negotiations between Russia and the United States over Russia's accession to the World Trade Organisation, a key aim of President Vladimir Putin.

At the beginning of the year global credit card companies stopped allowing customers to pay allofmp3.com for music downloads and by July the Web site had quietly closed down.

Kvasov always said he was within the law because the site paid part of its income to ROMS, a Russian organisation which collects and distributes fees for copyright holders.

The judge agreed with his defence.

"Everybody who uses soundtracks has to pay a certain amount of their income to the rights holders and this company has done that," she said. "MediaServices has paid a certain amount of money to ROMS."

At the height of its popularity allofmp3.com attracted millions of bargain-hunting music lovers across the world. It would typically sell the world's most popular tracks at a huge discount to U.S. competitors.

Russian marketplaces and underground passes are full of cheap copies of music and film on DVDs and Russia's government has been accused of being too lax on protecting intellectual property rights, a basic principle of WTO membership.

But in July Russia's top negotiator on WTO entry said he thought a deal would be ready by the end of the year.

Although allofmp3.com has disappeared, another Russia-based discount music Web site has since emerged -- www.mp3sparks.com, also owned by MediaServices.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/biztech/08/15/russia.site.reut/index.html

A.

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #1739 on: August 15, 2007, 11:31:58 AM »
Can you use your CC?