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Van Horn Law Group Sees Spike in Bankruptcies Significantly Above National Average

Van Horn Law Group, P.A.

While Epic Bankruptcy, a legal services industry leader and American Bankruptcy Institute partner, reported last week, that total bankruptcy filings increased across the nation by 22 percent in February, year over year, Fort Lauderdale-based Van Horn Law Group, P.A. quadrupled that increase. The firm filed 95 percent more cases in February 2024 than in February 2023 and 84 percent more cases in January 2024 than in January 2023. “As one of the leading bankruptcy firms in the country, we operate at the front end of the trend toward increased bankruptcies,” said Chad Van Horn, founding partner attorney at Van Horn Law Group. “We watched it happen initially with a rush of inquiries from prospective clients, and now, we file more and more bankruptcies each month. We expect this surge to continue through the rest of 2024, reflecting the impact of high-interest rates, in some cases exceeding 30%, consumers are facing.” Van Horn Law Group is among the top bankruptcy attorneys in the country based on the number of cases filed (Pacer.gov). The firm filed 129 bankruptcy cases in January and 125 cases in February of this year. By comparison, it filed 70 cases in January and 64 cases in February last year. Van Horn Law Group’s January percentage of an 84 percent increase in bankruptcy filings year over year also is quadruple the 21 percent reported by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Southern District of Florida. (February statistics have not been posted yet.) Chad Van Horn is a relentless advocate for debtors’ rights in the State of Florida and across the country. He aims to dispel the stigma associated with bankruptcy, empower citizens with knowledge of their rights, and provide access to the legal system. He currently has four offices across the state committed to helping people find their way out of overwhelming debt. The path that led him to become an insolvency professional started while he attended law school at night and worked for a financial services firm, scoping out real estate opportunities during the day. When the real estate bubble burst in 2008, he saw firsthand the desperation of those who were in over their heads. His opportunity was twofold—to help those in distress and to build an important, successful practice. The market situation opened up an opportunity, and he was in a position to help. He points to the company’s mission as the reason for its success: to restore peace of mind to individuals in financial distress by providing first-rate, affordable legal services with compassion, understanding, and respect. Van Horn believes his firm offers justice to those who are shut out of the legal system because of their economic circumstances. Van Horn Law Group is committed to finding and implementing ways to make the system more equitable. Van Horn provides significant pro bono work to those in need. The firm has never turned away a pro bono case. As of January 2024, the firm had handled 328 pro bono cases, translating to a contribution of services valued at $574,000. He is a long-time supporter of all Florida legal aid organizations and currently serves as the board chair of Legal Aid Service of Broward County. Van Horn Law Group, P.A. practices in the areas of personal and corporate bankruptcy, student loan consolidation and litigation, foreclosure defense, corporate reorganization, debt negotiation, civil litigation, debt relief, personal injury, and consumer law. The firm is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale and has satellite offices in Doral, North Miami, and Orlando. For more information, call (954) 637-0000 or visit www.vanhornlawgroup.com. Contact Details Cindy Schutt PR Cindy Schutt +1 954-805-0361 cindy@schutt.com Company Website https://www.vanhornlawgroup.com/

March 11, 2024 10:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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A Call to Action: Revitalizing U.S. Maritime Security for Global Stability and Prosperity

MAR LLC

Rarely is there a day without international shipping in the news. From Yemen's Houthi militants attacking shipping in the Red Sea, maritime food blockades around Ukraine, rising hostilities in the South China Sea, drought reducing traffic through the Panama Canal by almost 50%, global shipping is receiving more attention than ever before. And yet barely four years after the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain crunch, blockade of the Suez Canal by the containership Ever Given, the vulnerabilities of the maritime transportation system remain and more needs to be done to protect American interests. ZERO POINT FOUR sheds light on the industry in a way that has never been done before. Bold new solutions are called for and revealed from this cutting analysis after years of working on the front lines of the shipping crisis. If you want to get a strong understanding of why the U.S. remains vulnerable to supply chain risks and a shortage of military sealift support, then this book is required reading. After years of extensive research, The Maritime Accelerator for Resilience (MAR) released the findings of its landmark study in a book entitled ZERO POINT FOUR, spearheaded by Rear Admiral James Watson (USCG Ret.) and an esteemed panel of maritime, security, ocean and supply chain experts. This critical analysis delves into the challenges and strategic imperatives facing U.S. maritime security, emphasizing its indispensable role in global commerce, national defense, and international peacekeeping and offering near, medium and long term leadership opportunities to mitigate America’s vulnerabilities. In an era marked by complex global challenges, the U.S. maritime sector's decline to a mere 0.4% of the global oceangoing commercial fleet signifies not just a loss of commercial prominence but also a critical vulnerability in national security and global economic stability. ZERO POINT FOUR offers a stark examination of the consequences of diminished U.S. influence on the seas, from eroding economic competitiveness to heightened risks in global supply chains, energy dependence, and environmental sustainability. The book highlights five key principles around security—national, economic, energy and food, climate, and workforce-- and outlines a visionary framework for action, advocating for strategic investments in maritime infrastructure, technological innovation, and a revitalized maritime workforce. These initiatives aim to restore the U.S. as a global maritime leader, ensuring the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of international shipping lanes crucial for the flow of trade, energy, and resources worldwide. Furthermore, ZERO POINT FOUR calls for enhanced international maritime cooperation to tackle piracy, illegal fishing, and environmental hazards, reinforcing the U.S. commitment to upholding the rule of law on the high seas and fostering a climate of global peace and cooperation. The impetus for the book came from the author’s recognition of the US’s vulnerability in maritime security, and its impact on all aspects of American life. From the post-World War II period when 50% of all oceangoing commercial vessels were under the US flag to today’s 0.4%, an unsustainable shift of power and influence has occurred which needs to be remedied. In addition to Rear Admiral Watson, authors include maritime mavens Carleen Lyden Walker and Captain Anuj Chopra, technology and sustainability economist Nishan Degnarain, cyber security, physical security, and enterprise resilience veteran Rich Mason, and global supply chain specialist Jonothan Kempe. The Maritime Accelerator for Resilience urges all stakeholders — government officials, industry leaders, and the public — to unite behind these proposals. By doing so, the U.S. can secure a future where its maritime domain not only thrives but also serves as a cornerstone for global trade, environmental stewardship, and international peace. ZERO POINT FOUR is available for purchase on Amazon using this LINK. The Maritime Accelerator for Resilience (MAR LLC) is a U.S.-based maritime organization operating as a maritime policy accelerator and is dedicated to propelling the U.S. maritime industry into a new era of innovation, security, and global leadership. Collaborating with influential figures in shipping, ocean policy and innovation, MAR aims to advance policy, technology, and operational strategies that enhance maritime resilience and competitiveness. Our vision is to motivate the U.S. maritime industry to global competitiveness, navigating challenges and embracing opportunities in the next decade. For more details, visit: www.maritimeresilience.org Contact Details MAR LLC Carleen Lyden Walker +1 203-260-0480 carleen.lw@maritimeresilience.org

March 11, 2024 01:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Rabbis Blast Anti-Defamation League CEO Greenblatt for ‘Slanderous’ Attacks

NLPC

The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), an organization of 2,500 rabbis, has joined the chorus of complaints about Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Even as antisemitism flares around the globe and Israel faces unprecedented threats, Greenblatt has been trashing American conservatives, using ADL’s good name to promote his domestic partisan goals. “The ADL appears as concerned with a target’s politics as whether he or she is actually hateful—much less antisemitic,” said Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, Chairman of the CJV Rabbinic Circle. Greenblatt’s latest assault was on the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), recently held in Washington, D.C. CJV criticized his “slanderous” attacks on what took place at the event, which Greenblatt likened to the rants of Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan. By all accounts, CPAC was a strongly pro-Israel event. As the CJV pointed out, NLPC got a taste of the ADL’s bias in November, despite our long history of fighting antisemitism: In November the ADL issued a statement implying that two policy organizations, the National Center for Public Policy Research and the National Legal and Policy Center, employed “conspiracy theories or conspiratorial language… that could be interpreted as an antisemitic dog whistle.” Both of these organizations are robust fighters for Israel and against antisemitism. This smear of NLPC was in the form of a posting on the ADL website on November 21 titled “Conspiracy Theories, Some With Antisemitic Roots, Crop Up in 2023 Shareholder Proposals.” ADL cited as evidence that NLPC and our ally, the National Center for Public Policy Research, are critical of “globalism” and “globalist organizations” like the World Economic Forum. The ADL gave a clue that it knew its own attack was groundless when it also included this disclaimer: At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that either organization’s agents espouse overt antisemitism, or that these proposals were filed with antisemitic intentions. Elle Krasne-Cohen in a recent opinion piece distributed by the Jewish News Service, also has come to NLPC’s defense. She wrote: More recently, the ADL smeared two mainstream policy organizations—the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) and the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC)—accusing them without evidence of antisemitism. We are grateful that our contributions to fighting antisemitism are being recognized. In case Greenblatt or anyone else is still confused, here is our track record: Ben & Jerry’s- When the Unilever subsidiary Ben and Jerry’s announced in 2021 that it would end ice cream sales in “Occupied Palestinian Territory,” NLPC swung into action, launching the StopBenandJerrys.org website. In September 2021, NLPC filed a Complaint with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) against Anuradha Mittal, the anti-Israel chair of the Ben & Jerry’s board of directors. A few weeks later, she was named 2021 “Antisemite of the Year” by the website StopAntisemitism.org. Mittal appeared to have violated laws governing self-dealing by acting as a trustee of the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation while approving donations to her personal nonprofit where she is executive director taking a full-time salary. Also, the president of Ben & Jerry’s charitable foundation, Jeff Furman, steered more than $100,000 of its funds to his own nonprofit organization. In the wake of the October 7 Hamas attack, Flaherty wrote an op-ed titled, “Unilever, Ice Cream and Antisemitism.” Unilever Divestment- NLPC was a proponent of Unilever divestment efforts in New York, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia. From the September 16, 2021, New York Times: “We are doing this because somebody has to hold the independent board of Ben & Jerry’s accountable for their anti-Semitic use of their platform and company resources,” said Tom Anderson, a director of the National Legal and Policy Center. NLPC collaborated with activist investor Michael Asher in support of Unilever divestment by New York State and New York City. In Virginia, Flaherty met with State Attorney General Jason Miyares and urged him to seek divestment of state funds from Unilever. In North Carolina, NLPC asked Treasurer Dale Folwell to divest Unilever holdings from public pension funds. Black Lives Matter & Patrisse Cullors- As a result of original NLPC research, Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation co-founder Patrisse Cullors was forced to resign from the group in 2021. NLPC’s allegations, detailed in a Complaint to the IRS, related to her purchase of four pieces of real estate, and apparent self-dealing and inurnment. NLPC has also emphasized Cullors’ 2015 call at Harvard Law School for individuals to “step up boldly and courageously to end the imperialist project that’s called Israel.” NLPC was early in reporting about Black Lives Matter’s (BLM) links to anti-Israel groups. In 2016, Carl Horowitz, then a member of the NLPC staff, wrote a website post titled “Black Lives Matter Activists Join Anti-Israel Boycott.” Following October 7, NLPC asked Visa, Inc. to remove its BLM endorsement from its website and condemn Hamas and antisemitism. We had raised the BLM issue earlier in the year at the company’s shareholders’ meeting. NLPC had also raised the issue of Coca-Cola’s support for BLM at the company’s annual meeting. ADL’s Omar Resolution- NLPC has been a persistent critic of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Talib. While we have cited financial irregularities in a Federal Election Commission complaint against Ocasio-Cortez and a House Ethics Committee complaint against Omar, NLPC has also criticized hostility to Jews by these members. In 2019, NLPC endorsed and publicized the ADL-initiated House resolution condemning Omar. See this op-ed titled “Antisemitism and Islamophobia: No Moral Equivalence” by Horowitz. Foreign Funding of U.S. Higher Education- The recent spate of on-campus antisemitic incidents has shed light on the issue of foreign financial support for American colleges and universities, an issue that NLPC has investigated and publicized for several years. See this column by Charles Gasparino that extensively quotes NLPC Counsel Paul Kamenar. Al Sharpton- Whereas the present leadership of the ADL has sought to erase Sharpton’s past, NLPC will not forget his incitements in the 1991 Crown Heights riots, in which a Jew was murdered, nor will we forgive his dangerous statements, such as “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.” Sharpton was fined $285,000 in 2005 by the Federal Election Commission as a result of an NLPC Complaint for running an “off the books” presidential campaign. For several years, NLPC raised the issue of support for Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN) at the shareholders’ meetings of American corporations, including PepsiCo, Anheuser-Busch and Colgate-Palmolive. Unlike the ADL, NLPC has never used the fight against antisemitism as a partisan weapon. In 2010, NLPC objected to the sponsorship of Sharpton’s National Action Network annual meeting by the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the participation of then-RNC Chairman Michael Steele. In 2009, NLPC asked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to end his partnership with Sharpton in a campaign for “education reform.” That same year, NLPC criticized then-President George W. Bush for praising Sharpton. Jesse Jackson- In 2005, the New York Stock Exchange ended its financial support for Jackson’s Citizenship Education Fund, in response to a demand by NLPC that cited Jackson’s 1984 “hymie” and “Hymietown” comments, as well as financial improprieties involving the Fund. And if none of this is good enough for Greenblatt, it should be noted that NLPC has many Jewish supporters, including prominent individuals and former government officials, several of whom serve on the boards of local and national Jewish organizations. From 2001 to the time of his death in 2019, Edward M. Ackerman of Dallas was a key advisor and major donor to NLPC. His legacy is carried on today by NLPC and the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. The ADL itself has partnered with the Ackerman Center. Founded in 1991, the National Legal and Policy Center promotes ethics in public life through research, investigation, education and legal action. Contact Details National Legal and Policy Center Dan Rene +1 202-329-8357 drene@nlpc.org Company Website http://www.nlpc.org

March 07, 2024 04:19 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Roughly Half of Nations That Invest in AI Develop Their Own Generative Models, Reveals the First Global GenAI Landscape

AIport

AIport, an online community dedicated to covering the latest international ML developments, has crafted the first volume of its Global Generative AI Landscape 2024. This initial edition examines notable GenAI players worldwide across several key categories. This is the first generative AI landscape analysis to emphasize regional attributes and encompass four times more nations than the average GenAI landscape available to the public. The research process involved examining all 62 countries invested in the AI market, as featured in the Global AI Index by Tortoise. In-house model developers were identified, filtered by the team of editors and data scientists, and subsequently cross-referenced with current GenAI landscapes from Sequoia Capital, Antler, Base10, and others, before being segmented into ten GenAI categories. As the final step, the data was divided into continental regions: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and Africa. The first volume of the global GenAI landscape from AIport aims to present a balanced view of international companies, encompassing not only Western firms, but also those from other regions. The landscape offers a comprehensive analysis, detailing which players are developing GenAI solutions, their locations, and the specific nature of their contributions. It contains a total of 128 generative models from 107 companies. As Avi Chawla, a data scientist and community manager at AIport, put it: “We noticed that many generative AI landscapes tend to focus either on the Silicon Valley giants or the tech powerhouses of Europe, covering no more than 10 countries on average. While this approach does serve its purpose, it can’t really offer a complete picture. To address this, we decided to dig deeper, and this is what we came up with after weeks of research. We believe Volume 1 of our Global Generative AI Landscape 2024 provides an objectively international outlook. And we’re also planning to delve into other aspects of GenAI more closely in the future.” The landscape and key highlights Of the 62 countries listed in the Global AI Index, only 35 develop their GenAI solutions in-house. Roughly 90% of them focus on one model type. Regional leaders by the number of active GenAI companies are North America – USA; South America – Argentina; Europe – UK and France; Asia – China and Israel; Oceania – Australia and New Zealand; Africa – South Africa. The average number of GenAI models per company is the highest in North America, being the only region to have at least one model from each of the 10 model categories. Approximately 10% of all companies covered in the study have implemented multimodality in their GenAI models, with a majority of these developers located in the US. This indicates that while multimodality represents an emerging trend, its adoption outside North America still remains in the nascent stages. A total of 11 companies worldwide have developed more than one type of GenAI model. Stability AI leads with five distinct GenAI model types (image, video, audio, 3D, and code), followed closely by OpenAI (chatbot, audio, video, and multimodal) and Google (text, image, audio, and multimodal) – both with four model types. Microsoft, Meta, Tencent, Baidu, and Yandex are among those companies that developed between two to three types of distinct GenAI models. 13 companies have developed multiple models within a single GenAI category. AssemblyAI has two speech-to-text models, MosaicML offers two iterations of its MPT for code generation, while IPOXCap has introduced two chatbots designed for business intelligence applications. About AIport AIport is an online community of AI writers, researchers, and data scientists that aims to provide a transnational perspective on AI. Recognizing that most ML-related publications primarily focus on the “big leagues” in the West, AIport seeks to be more inclusive by widening the angle and broadening the narrative. This approach ensures a more diverse and impartial representation, offering a well-rounded take to the global AI community. Contact Details NettResults LLC Nick Leighton +1 949-478-5880 nick.leighton@nettresultsllc.com Company Website https://aiport.substack.com/

March 07, 2024 10:22 AM Pacific Standard Time

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Rabbis Blast Anti-Defamation League CEO Greenblatt for ‘Slanderous’ Attacks

NLPC

The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), an organization of 2,500 rabbis, has joined the chorus of complaints about Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Even as antisemitism flares around the globe and Israel faces unprecedented threats, Greenblatt has been trashing American conservatives, using ADL’s good name to promote his domestic partisan goals. “The ADL appears as concerned with a target’s politics as whether he or she is actually hateful—much less antisemitic,” said Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, Chairman of the CJV Rabbinic Circle. Greenblatt’s latest assault was on the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), recently held in Washington, D.C. CJV criticized his “slanderous” attacks on what took place at the event, which Greenblatt likened to the rants of Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan. By all accounts, CPAC was a strongly pro-Israel event. As the CJV pointed out, NLPC got a taste of the ADL’s bias in November, despite our long history of fighting antisemitism: In November the ADL issued a statement implying that two policy organizations, the National Center for Public Policy Research and the National Legal and Policy Center, employed “conspiracy theories or conspiratorial language… that could be interpreted as an antisemitic dog whistle.” Both of these organizations are robust fighters for Israel and against antisemitism. This smear of NLPC was in the form of a posting on the ADL website on November 21 titled “Conspiracy Theories, Some With Antisemitic Roots, Crop Up in 2023 Shareholder Proposals.” ADL cited as evidence that NLPC and our ally, the National Center for Public Policy Research, are critical of “globalism” and “globalist organizations” like the World Economic Forum. The ADL gave a clue that it knew its own attack was groundless when it also included this disclaimer: At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that either organization’s agents espouse overt antisemitism, or that these proposals were filed with antisemitic intentions. Elle Krasne-Cohen in a recent opinion piece distributed by the Jewish News Service, also has come to NLPC’s defense. She wrote: More recently, the ADL smeared two mainstream policy organizations—the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) and the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC)—accusing them without evidence of antisemitism. We are grateful that our contributions to fighting antisemitism are being recognized. In case Greenblatt or anyone else is still confused, here is our track record: Ben & Jerry’s- When the Unilever subsidiary Ben and Jerry’s announced in 2021 that it would end ice cream sales in “Occupied Palestinian Territory,” NLPC swung into action, launching the StopBenandJerrys.org website. In September 2021, NLPC filed a Complaint with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) against Anuradha Mittal, the anti-Israel chair of the Ben & Jerry’s board of directors. A few weeks later, she was named 2021 “Antisemite of the Year” by the website StopAntisemitism.org. Mittal appeared to have violated laws governing self-dealing by acting as a trustee of the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation while approving donations to her personal nonprofit where she is executive director taking a full-time salary. Also, the president of Ben & Jerry’s charitable foundation, Jeff Furman, steered more than $100,000 of its funds to his own nonprofit organization. In the wake of the October 7 Hamas attack, Flaherty wrote an op-ed titled, “Unilever, Ice Cream and Antisemitism.” Unilever Divestment- NLPC was a proponent of Unilever divestment efforts in New York, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia. From the September 16, 2021, New York Times: “We are doing this because somebody has to hold the independent board of Ben & Jerry’s accountable for their anti-Semitic use of their platform and company resources,” said Tom Anderson, a director of the National Legal and Policy Center. NLPC collaborated with activist investor Michael Asher in support of Unilever divestment by New York State and New York City. In Virginia, Flaherty met with State Attorney General Jason Miyares and urged him to seek divestment of state funds from Unilever. In North Carolina, NLPC asked Treasurer Dale Folwell to divest Unilever holdings from public pension funds. Black Lives Matter & Patrisse Cullors- As a result of original NLPC research, Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation co-founder Patrisse Cullors was forced to resign from the group in 2021. NLPC’s allegations, detailed in a Complaint to the IRS, related to her purchase of four pieces of real estate, and apparent self-dealing and inurnment. NLPC has also emphasized Cullors’ 2015 call at Harvard Law School for individuals to “step up boldly and courageously to end the imperialist project that’s called Israel.” NLPC was early in reporting about Black Lives Matter’s (BLM) links to anti-Israel groups. In 2016, Carl Horowitz, then a member of the NLPC staff, wrote a website post titled “Black Lives Matter Activists Join Anti-Israel Boycott.” Following October 7, NLPC asked Visa, Inc. to remove its BLM endorsement from its website and condemn Hamas and antisemitism. We had raised the BLM issue earlier in the year at the company’s shareholders’ meeting. NLPC had also raised the issue of Coca-Cola’s support for BLM at the company’s annual meeting. ADL’s Omar Resolution- NLPC has been a persistent critic of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Talib. While we have cited financial irregularities in a Federal Election Commission complaint against Ocasio-Cortez and a House Ethics Committee complaint against Omar, NLPC has also criticized hostility to Jews by these members. In 2019, NLPC endorsed and publicized the ADL-initiated House resolution condemning Omar. See this op-ed titled “Antisemitism and Islamophobia: No Moral Equivalence” by Horowitz. Foreign Funding of U.S. Higher Education- The recent spate of on-campus antisemitic incidents has shed light on the issue of foreign financial support for American colleges and universities, an issue that NLPC has investigated and publicized for several years. See this column by Charles Gasparino that extensively quotes NLPC Counsel Paul Kamenar. Al Sharpton- Whereas the present leadership of the ADL has sought to erase Sharpton’s past, NLPC will not forget his incitements in the 1991 Crown Heights riots, in which a Jew was murdered, nor will we forgive his dangerous statements, such as “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.” Sharpton was fined $285,000 in 2005 by the Federal Election Commission as a result of an NLPC Complaint for running an “off the books” presidential campaign. For several years, NLPC raised the issue of support for Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN) at the shareholders’ meetings of American corporations, including PepsiCo, Anheuser-Busch and Colgate-Palmolive. Unlike the ADL, NLPC has never used the fight against antisemitism as a partisan weapon. In 2010, NLPC objected to the sponsorship of Sharpton’s National Action Network annual meeting by the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the participation of then-RNC Chairman Michael Steele. In 2009, NLPC asked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to end his partnership with Sharpton in a campaign for “education reform.” That same year, NLPC criticized then-President George W. Bush for praising Sharpton. Jesse Jackson- In 2005, the New York Stock Exchange ended its financial support for Jackson’s Citizenship Education Fund, in response to a demand by NLPC that cited Jackson’s 1984 “hymie” and “Hymietown” comments, as well as financial improprieties involving the Fund. And if none of this is good enough for Greenblatt, it should be noted that NLPC has many Jewish supporters, including prominent individuals and former government officials, several of whom serve on the boards of local and national Jewish organizations. From 2001 to the time of his death in 2019, Edward M. Ackerman of Dallas was a key advisor and major donor to NLPC. His legacy is carried on today by NLPC and the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. The ADL itself has partnered with the Ackerman Center. Founded in 1991, the National Legal and Policy Center promotes ethics in public life through research, investigation, education and legal action. Contact Details National Legal and Policy Center Dan Rene +1 202-329-8357 drene@nlpc.org Company Website http://www.nlpc.org

March 07, 2024 09:30 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Jewish News Syndicate Commentary: Anti-Defamation League ‘Smeared’ National Legal and Policy Center

NLPC

In an opinion piece distributed by the Jewish News Service titled, “When Will the ADL Start Fighting Antisemitism on the Left?, Elle Krasne-Cohen has come to the defense of National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC). She points to the Anti-Defamation League’s embrace of causes like Black Lives Matter and juxtaposes it with an incident closer to home for NLPC: More recently, the ADL smeared two mainstream policy organizations—the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) and the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC)—accusing them without evidence of antisemitism. The ADL claimed that mere criticism of “globalism” or “globalist organizations,” including the antisemitic United Nations, is an “antisemitic dog whistle.” Krasne-Cohen continues: The NCPPR and NLPC are mainstream organizations, neither of which, to my knowledge, has displayed antipathy towards Jews or any other racial or religious minority. The smear was in the form of a posting on the ADL website on November 21 titled “Conspiracy Theories, Some With Antisemitic Roots, Crop Up in 2023 Shareholder Proposals.” The post appeared only six weeks after the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack, while antisemitic incidents and demonstrations were exploding worldwide. Why the ADL would devote time and resources to attacking NLPC, which has a long history of fighting antisemitism, was completely baffling to us. Equally baffling, the hit piece was dropped as the Thanksgiving holiday was getting underway. It was almost as if the ADL wanted the story out but didn’t want anyone to report it. The strategy, if it existed, worked because no one else covered it. Even more weirdly, the post itself carried this all-purpose disclaimer that tended to negate the impression that every other word of the post was calculated to create: At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that either organization’s agents espouse overt antisemitism, or that these proposals were filed with antisemitic intentions. So what is going on here? What was behind the attempted smear of NLPC and our ally, the National Center for Public Policy Research? Could it be that the ADL just doesn’t like us filing shareholder proposals, a form of activism dominated for many years by the Left? Krasne-Cohen and a number of other Jewish commentators and activists are making this case that the ADL, under the “leadership” of former Obama White House staffer Jonathan Greenblatt, has devolved into an ideological and partisan tool. ADL’s hit and run on NLPC was actually quite clever. Even if no one paid any attention to it when it was published, whoever wrote it (the piece is unsigned) sought to plant it on the internet for anyone to find for years to come. Any journalist seeking to discredit us can now simply describe NLPC as a “group that, according to the ADL, promotes antisemitic conspiracy theories.” It was a nice try but it is not going to work. NLPC’s track record of fighting antisemitism over many years is just too strong. Indeed, while the ADL has been sanitizing antisemitism by partnering with the likes of Al Sharpton, NLPC has been consistent, resolute and effective. To wit: Ben & Jerry’s - When the Unilever subsidiary Ben and Jerry’s announced in 2021 that it would end ice cream sales in “Occupied Palestinian Territory,” NLPC swung into action, launching the StopBenandJerrys.org website. In September 2021, NLPC filed a Complaint with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) against Anuradha Mittal, the anti-Israel chair of the Ben & Jerry’s board of directors. A few weeks later, she was named 2021 “Antisemite of the Year” by the website StopAntisemitism.org. Mittal appeared to have violated laws governing self-dealing by acting as a trustee of the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation while approving donations to her personal nonprofit where she is executive director taking a full-time salary. Also, the president of Ben & Jerry’s charitable foundation, Jeff Furman, steered more than $100,000 of its funds to his own nonprofit organization. In the wake of October 7 Hamas attack, Flaherty wrote an op-ed titled, “Unilever, Ice Cream and Antisemitism.” Unilever Divestment - NLPC was a proponent of Unilever divestment efforts in New York, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia. From the September 16, 2021, New York Times: “We are doing this because somebody has to hold the independent board of Ben & Jerry’s accountable for their anti-Semitic use of their platform and company resources,” said Tom Anderson, a director of the National Legal and Policy Center. NLPC collaborated with activist investor Michael Asher in support of Unilever divestment by New York State and New York City. In Virginia, Flaherty met with State Attorney General Jason Miyares and urged him to seek divestment of state funds from Unilever. In North Carolina, NLPC asked Treasurer Dale Folwell requesting divestiture of Unilever holdings in public pension funds. Black Lives Matter & Patrisse Cullors - As a result of original NLPC research, Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation co-founder Patrisse Cullors was forced to resign from the group in 2021. NLPC’s allegations, detailed in a Complaint to the IRS, related to her purchase of four pieces of real estate, and apparent self-dealing and inurnment. NLPC has also emphasized Cullors’ 2015 call at Harvard Law School for individuals to “step up boldly and courageously to end the imperialist project that’s called Israel.” NLPC was early in reporting about Black Lives Matter’s (BLM) links to anti-Israel groups. In 2016, Carl Horowitz, then a member of the NLPC staff, wrote a website post titled “Black Lives Matter Activists Join Anti-Israel Boycott.” Following October 7, NLPC asked Visa, Inc. to remove its BLM endorsement from its website and condemn Hamas and antisemitism. We had raised the BLM issue earlier in the year at the company’s shareholders’ meeting. NLPC had also raised the issue of Coca-Cola’s support for BLM at the company’s annual meeting. ADL’s Omar Resolution - NLPC has been a persistent critic of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Talib. While we have cited financial irregularities in a Federal Election Commission complaint against Ocasio-Cortez and a House Ethics Committee complaint against Omar, NLPC has also criticized hostility to Jews by these members. In 2019, NLPC endorsed and publicized the ADL-initiated House resolution condemning Omar. See this op-ed titled “Antisemitism and Islamophobia: No Moral Equivalence” by Horowitz. Foreign Funding of U.S. Higher Education - The recent spate of on-campus antisemitic incidents has shed light an issue on foreign financial support for American colleges and universities, an issue that NLPC has investigated and publicized for several years. See this column by Charles Gasparino that extensively quotes NLPC Counsel Paul Kamenar. Al Sharpton - Whereas the present leadership of the ADL has sought to erase Sharpton’s past, NLPC will not forget his incitements in the 1991 Crown Heights riots, in which a Jew was murdered, nor will we forgive his dangerous statements, such as “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.” Sharpton was fined $285,000 in 2005 by the Federal Election Commission as a result of an NLPC Complaint for running an “off the books” presidential campaign. For several years, NLPC raised the issue of support for Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN) at the shareholders’ meetings of American corporations, including PepsiCo, Anheuser-Busch and Colgate-Palmolive. Unlike the ADL, NLPC has never used the fight against antisemitism as a partisan weapon. In 2010, NLPC objected to the sponsorship of Sharpton’s National Action Network annual meeting by the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the participation of then-RNC Chairman Michael Steele. In 2009, NLPC asked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to end his partnership with Sharpton in a campaign for “education reform.” That same year, NLPC criticized then-President George W. Bush for praising Sharpton. Jesse Jackson - In 2005, the New York Stock Exchange ended its financial support for Jackson’s Citizenship Education Fund, in response to a demand by NLPC that cited Jackson’s 1984 “hymie” and “Hymietown” comments, as well as financial improprieties involving the Fund. And if none of this is good enough for the ADL, it should be noted that NLPC has many Jewish supporters, including prominent individuals and former government officials, several of whom serve on the boards of local and national Jewish organizations. From 2001 to the time of his death in 2019, Edward M. Ackerman of Dallas was a key advisor and major donor to NLPC. His legacy is carried on today by NLPC and the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. The ADL itself has partnered with the Ackerman Center. Founded in 1991, the National Legal and Policy Center promotes ethics in public life through research, investigation, education and legal action. Contact Details National Legal and Policy Center Dan Rene +1 202-329-8357 drene@nlpc.org Company Website http://www.nlpc.org

March 04, 2024 03:02 PM Eastern Standard Time

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NASBP and SFAA Host Successful 2024 Legislative “Fly-In”

SFAA

The National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP) and The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA) hosted a Legislative Fly-In on February 29, 2024. The Fly-In enabled surety professionals from across the country to educate members of Congress and staff about the value of construction surety bonds and advocate for their legislative priorities. Their meetings focused on expanding support for H.R. 1740 and S.2928, which would strengthen the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program by ensuring all projects financed with WIFIA assistance have appropriate bonding, regardless of delivery method. In addition, Fly-In participants discussed adding common-sense surety protection in the form of bonding requirements to the principal federal funding programs for broadband infrastructure projects. The meetings allowed NASBP and SFAA members to demonstrate their strong support for H.R. 1740 and S.2928, clarifying the bonding requirements under WIFIA, including Public-Private Partnership (P3) projects. “This legislation ensures the economic value that surety bonds provide through reduced contractor pricing, reduced default rates, and increased project performance are realized and would maintain parity with the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) amendment, which passed the Senate with a unanimous 97-0 vote,” said Patrick Russell SFAA Director of Government Affairs. Mark McCallum, NASBP CEO, stated, “WIFIA is a key financing vehicle for undertaking the water infrastructure projects so badly needed throughout the United States, and making certain that U.S. taxpayer investments in the form of WIFIA loans and grants are protected through performance and payment bond guarantees is vital to realizing that these long overdue projects will be completed and that those supplying labor and materials will be paid.” NASBP and SFAA members also discussed the need for Congress to safeguard federal infrastructure investments in broadband projects. The Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) allocated $42.5 billion to broadband expansion through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program. Originally calling for a Letter of Credit, NTIA recently released a waiver to the BEAD program, allowing surety as an alternative security option. NASBP and SFAA members used their time on Capitol Hill to update policymakers on the critical shift and inform them of the need for other federal agencies involved in broadband infrastructure, including programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the FCC, to adopt similar practices. In over 100 meetings, construction bonding experts met with their elected representatives and their staff to educate them on surety bonds' significant role in advancing and protecting public infrastructure projects. These vital safeguards on construction projects for public entities include protecting taxpayers’ dollars, ensuring project completion, protecting local small business contractors and workers, preserving construction jobs, and promoting economic growth. A recent study by Ernst & Young (EY), The Economic Benefits of Surety Bonds, quantifies these vital protections and concludes bonded projects outperform unbonded projects because of lower default rates, cost and time savings, and other risk mitigation benefits. SFAA Contact: Peter Roth, Co-Managing Director (Interim) Vice President – Communications, Marketing & Research Phone: (703) 401-0676 | E-mail: proth@surety.org NASBP Contact: Kathy Hoffman, Director of Communications Phone: (240) 200-1278 | E-mail: khoffman@nasbp.org ### The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA) is a trade association of more than 425 insurance companies that write 98 percent of surety and fidelity bonds in the U.S. SFAA is licensed as a rating or advisory organization in all states. State insurance departments have designated it as a statistical agent for reporting fidelity and surety experience. www.surety.org Founded in 1942, the National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP) is the association of and resource for surety bond producers and allied professionals. NASBP members specialize in providing surety bonds for construction contracts and other purposes to companies and individuals needing the assurance offered by surety bonds. www.nasbp.org The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan trade association representing all segments of the surety and fidelity industry. Based in Washington, D.C., SFAA works to promote the value of surety and fidelity bonding by proactively advocating on behalf of its members and stakeholders. The association’s more than 425 member companies write 98 percent of surety and fidelity bonds in the U.S. For more information visit www.surety.org. Contact Details Peter Roth +1 703-401-0676 proth@surety.org Company Website https://surety.org/

March 04, 2024 11:55 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Jewish News Syndicate Commentary: Anti-Defamation League ‘Smeared’ National Legal and Policy Center

NLPC

In an opinion piece distributed by the Jewish News Service titled, “When Will the ADL Start Fighting Antisemitism on the Left?, Elle Krasne-Cohen has come to the defense of National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC). She points to the Anti-Defamation League’s embrace of causes like Black Lives Matter and juxtaposes it with an incident closer to home for NLPC: More recently, the ADL smeared two mainstream policy organizations—the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) and the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC)—accusing them without evidence of antisemitism. The ADL claimed that mere criticism of “globalism” or “globalist organizations,” including the antisemitic United Nations, is an “antisemitic dog whistle.” Krasne-Cohen continues: The NCPPR and NLPC are mainstream organizations, neither of which, to my knowledge, has displayed antipathy towards Jews or any other racial or religious minority. The smear was in the form of a posting on the ADL website on November 21 titled “Conspiracy Theories, Some With Antisemitic Roots, Crop Up in 2023 Shareholder Proposals.” The post appeared only six weeks after the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack, while antisemitic incidents and demonstrations were exploding worldwide. Why the ADL would devote time and resources to attacking NLPC, which has a long history of fighting antisemitism, was completely baffling to us. Equally baffling, the hit piece was dropped as the Thanksgiving holiday was getting underway. It was almost as if the ADL wanted the story out but didn’t want anyone to report it. The strategy, if it existed, worked because no one else covered it. Even more weirdly, the post itself carried this all-purpose disclaimer that tended to negate the impression that every other word of the post was calculated to create: At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that either organization’s agents espouse overt antisemitism, or that these proposals were filed with antisemitic intentions. So what is going on here? What was behind the attempted smear of NLPC and our ally, the National Center for Public Policy Research? Could it be that the ADL just doesn’t like us filing shareholder proposals, a form of activism dominated for many years by the Left? Krasne-Cohen and a number of other Jewish commentators and activists are making this case that the ADL, under the “leadership” of former Obama White House staffer Jonathan Greenblatt, has devolved into an ideological and partisan tool. ADL’s hit and run on NLPC was actually quite clever. Even if no one paid any attention to it when it was published, whoever wrote it (the piece is unsigned) sought to plant it on the internet for anyone to find for years to come. Any journalist seeking to discredit us can now simply describe NLPC as a “group that, according to the ADL, promotes antisemitic conspiracy theories.” It was a nice try but it is not going to work. NLPC’s track record of fighting antisemitism over many years is just too strong. Indeed, while the ADL has been sanitizing antisemitism by partnering with the likes of Al Sharpton, NLPC has been consistent, resolute and effective. To wit: Ben & Jerry’s - When the Unilever subsidiary Ben and Jerry’s announced in 2021 that it would end ice cream sales in “Occupied Palestinian Territory,” NLPC swung into action, launching the StopBenandJerrys.org website. In September 2021, NLPC filed a Complaint with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) against Anuradha Mittal, the anti-Israel chair of the Ben & Jerry’s board of directors. A few weeks later, she was named 2021 “Antisemite of the Year” by the website StopAntisemitism.org. Mittal appeared to have violated laws governing self-dealing by acting as a trustee of the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation while approving donations to her personal nonprofit where she is executive director taking a full-time salary. Also, the president of Ben & Jerry’s charitable foundation, Jeff Furman, steered more than $100,000 of its funds to his own nonprofit organization. In the wake of October 7 Hamas attack, Flaherty wrote an op-ed titled, “Unilever, Ice Cream and Antisemitism.” Unilever Divestment - NLPC was a proponent of Unilever divestment efforts in New York, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia. From the September 16, 2021, New York Times: “We are doing this because somebody has to hold the independent board of Ben & Jerry’s accountable for their anti-Semitic use of their platform and company resources,” said Tom Anderson, a director of the National Legal and Policy Center. NLPC collaborated with activist investor Michael Asher in support of Unilever divestment by New York State and New York City. In Virginia, Flaherty met with State Attorney General Jason Miyares and urged him to seek divestment of state funds from Unilever. In North Carolina, NLPC asked Treasurer Dale Folwell requesting divestiture of Unilever holdings in public pension funds. Black Lives Matter & Patrisse Cullors - As a result of original NLPC research, Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation co-founder Patrisse Cullors was forced to resign from the group in 2021. NLPC’s allegations, detailed in a Complaint to the IRS, related to her purchase of four pieces of real estate, and apparent self-dealing and inurnment. NLPC has also emphasized Cullors’ 2015 call at Harvard Law School for individuals to “step up boldly and courageously to end the imperialist project that’s called Israel.” NLPC was early in reporting about Black Lives Matter’s (BLM) links to anti-Israel groups. In 2016, Carl Horowitz, then a member of the NLPC staff, wrote a website post titled “Black Lives Matter Activists Join Anti-Israel Boycott.” Following October 7, NLPC asked Visa, Inc. to remove its BLM endorsement from its website and condemn Hamas and antisemitism. We had raised the BLM issue earlier in the year at the company’s shareholders’ meeting. NLPC had also raised the issue of Coca-Cola’s support for BLM at the company’s annual meeting. ADL’s Omar Resolution - NLPC has been a persistent critic of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Talib. While we have cited financial irregularities in a Federal Election Commission complaint against Ocasio-Cortez and a House Ethics Committee complaint against Omar, NLPC has also criticized hostility to Jews by these members. In 2019, NLPC endorsed and publicized the ADL-initiated House resolution condemning Omar. See this op-ed titled “Antisemitism and Islamophobia: No Moral Equivalence” by Horowitz. Foreign Funding of U.S. Higher Education - The recent spate of on-campus antisemitic incidents has shed light an issue on foreign financial support for American colleges and universities, an issue that NLPC has investigated and publicized for several years. See this column by Charles Gasparino that extensively quotes NLPC Counsel Paul Kamenar. Al Sharpton - Whereas the present leadership of the ADL has sought to erase Sharpton’s past, NLPC will not forget his incitements in the 1991 Crown Heights riots, in which a Jew was murdered, nor will we forgive his dangerous statements, such as “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.” Sharpton was fined $285,000 in 2005 by the Federal Election Commission as a result of an NLPC Complaint for running an “off the books” presidential campaign. For several years, NLPC raised the issue of support for Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN) at the shareholders’ meetings of American corporations, including PepsiCo, Anheuser-Busch and Colgate-Palmolive. Unlike the ADL, NLPC has never used the fight against antisemitism as a partisan weapon. In 2010, NLPC objected to the sponsorship of Sharpton’s National Action Network annual meeting by the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the participation of then-RNC Chairman Michael Steele. In 2009, NLPC asked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to end his partnership with Sharpton in a campaign for “education reform.” That same year, NLPC criticized then-President George W. Bush for praising Sharpton. Jesse Jackson - In 2005, the New York Stock Exchange ended its financial support for Jackson’s Citizenship Education Fund, in response to a demand by NLPC that cited Jackson’s 1984 “hymie” and “Hymietown” comments, as well as financial improprieties involving the Fund. And if none of this is good enough for the ADL, it should be noted that NLPC has many Jewish supporters, including prominent individuals and former government officials, several of whom serve on the boards of local and national Jewish organizations. From 2001 to the time of his death in 2019, Edward M. Ackerman of Dallas was a key advisor and major donor to NLPC. His legacy is carried on today by NLPC and the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. The ADL itself has partnered with the Ackerman Center. Founded in 1991, the National Legal and Policy Center promotes ethics in public life through research, investigation, education and legal action. Contact Details National Legal and Policy Center Dan Rene +1 202-329-8357 drene@nlpc.org Company Website http://www.nlpc.org

March 04, 2024 11:15 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Media and Democracy Project Supports Pennsylvania Senators' Request for Swift Action on WTXF License Renewal

Media and Democracy Project

The Media and Democracy Project (MAD) today renewed its call for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to conduct a thorough investigation into FOX Corporation's (FOX) conduct before approving the license renewal of FOX 29 Philadelphia (WTXF-TV). MAD submitted comments in support of U.S. Senators John Fetterman and Bob Casey’s recent letter, agreeing that the Commission should “act swiftly” and designate the WTXF application for hearing. In light of serious allegations of rule violations and concerns regarding character, MAD emphasizes the critical need for a thorough investigation into a Murdoch-owned FOX broadcasting affiliate. “FOX Corporation’s (FOX) conduct following the 2020 election was so destructive of the national interest that the Commission must designate the application for hearing,” the filing reads in part. “The documents that are the subject of MAD’s motion can only reinforce what is already in the public record, further demonstrating the egregious behavior of FOX and its leadership.” MAD asserts that it has “raised substantial and material questions of fact concerning FOX’s fitness as a licensee based on its promotion of false election narratives and its failure to maintain current political files.” While there is no set timeline for an FCC decision, MAD is encouraging the Commission to: Prioritize a swift but thorough investigation: The Philadelphia community deserves a licensee that operates in the public interest, and any delay in the FCC's decision only prolongs this uncertainty. Grant MAD's Motion for Production of Documents: Access to additional information is crucial to uncovering the truth and ensuring a fair and complete review. Hold a hearing to examine the evidence: MAD believes the seriousness of FOX's alleged misconduct warrants a full and public airing of the facts. “If properly pursued, the Commission likely would conclude that the station is not serving its community well and the community would better be served by a licensee other than FOX,” the filing continues. “Apparently, despite FOX’s entreaties, the senators were willing to give only a lukewarm endorsement to FOX 29, as they would to any television station in the Philadelphia viewing area.” The filing ends, “granting MAD’s Motion for the Production of Documents will enable MAD to bolster its allegations with relevant information not yet in the public domain or available either to it or the Commission. Airing of these documents is essential to the fair and neutral review that the senators request.” The Petition to Deny and Motion for Production of Documents are pending while FOX faces a number of court challenges, including those put forth by election administration company Smartmatic and a host of pension derivative shareholders. The rush by proponents of FOX to support the station and the various calls for its relicensure is more about avoiding the additional scrutiny FOX management is sure to face in the Smartmatic and shareholder lawsuits. Each of these will show what we know to be true from Dominion—management knowingly pushed false news to protect FOX's profits. All the evidence in each of these lawsuits must be evaluated to ensure the FCC has the information necessary to rule on whether FOX, Rupert, and Lachlan Murdoch have the character to remain trustees of the public airwaves. A copy of MAD’s filing can be found here. The Media and Democracy Project: MAD is a non-partisan, all-volunteer, grassroots organization focused on strengthening a free and independent media in the public interest. MAD aims to improve our national discourse so that American voters can engage in informed decision-making. As part of that goal, MAD has an interest in the responsibility of journalists and media to report fully, accurately, and fairly on the electoral process and the outcome of elections. Additional information is available at www.MediaAndDemocracyProject.Org. To sign up for more information from The Media and Democracy Project, click here. Contact Details Raynor Ave. Aaron Alberico +1 202-744-0786 aalberico@raynoravenue.com Company Website https://www.mediaanddemocracyproject.org/

March 04, 2024 11:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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