Shocking photos and text messages sent by high school students the night a girl was attacked in the Ohio city turned the crime into an international story. Two high school football players were convicted of rape on Sunday. Now a grand jury will consider whether others should be charged.
All eyes are on the tiny island nation of Cyprus today as the country debates a controversial financial rescue plan. The country, which reached a $10 billion bailout agreement with European regulators over the weekend, is considering a one-time tax on bank deposits in order to offset some of the costs. Bank accounts with less than $130,860 could be taxed up to 6.75 percent, and accounts with more than $130,860 would be taxed at an even higher across-the-board rate.
As you read about the bailout, here are five things you need to know about Cyprus:
1. Where in the world is Cyprus? The country is located south of Turkey in the Mediterranean Sea, joined the European Union in 2004, and adopted the euro in 2008. Cyprus has a yearly GDP of $22 billion, ranking as the world's 125th largest economy. The size of its economy is roughly equal to Jamaica, Burkina Faso, or Zambia. The country accounts for about only 0.2 percent of eurozone economic output.
2. How does Cyprus compare? In 2012, unemployment in Cyprus was 8 percent, lower than many other EU countries including France (9.8 percent), Italy (10.9 percent), Ireland (14.6 percent), and Spain (24.9 percent). In 2012, Cyprus had public debt amounting to 81 percent of its GDP. As a comparison, Germany's public debt accounts for 80 percent.
3. What's got Cyprus down? Cyprus' financial problems are heavily tied to Greece. Cyprus' biggest banks are among the largest holders of Greek bonds and have a significant Greek presence through bank branches and subsidiaries.
4. What's Russia got to do with it? Some of Cyprus' biggest bank customers are Russian. EU officials are weary of bailing out Cyprus because the country is a known tax haven and location for Russian money launderers. Bank assets in Cyprus were 896 percent of GDP in 2010, as compared to an average of 357 percent in the EU. Though the proposed levy is aimed at addressing this concern, smaller depositors worry they will be hurt unfairly by the tax.
5. Will the tax actually go through? Cyprus' parliament is likely to lower the tax before passing the bailout measure. Though the current agreement calls for a 6.75 percent tax on accounts less than $130,860, experts expect the tax to fall to closer 3 percent for these smaller depositors. Some even say the tax proposal will be abandoned altogether.
The graphic memoir about growing up in revolutionary Iran has been pulled from 7th grade classrooms. Also: An "obituary" for Philip Roth's alter ego, Nathan Zuckerman; the resurgence of independent bookstores; and the best books coming out this week.
Inventors walking into their labs or garages today are walking into a new world, now that significant changes to U.S. patent law have kicked in.
The U.S. has long operated on a "first to invent” system. But as of Saturday, when the America Invents Act took effect, patents will now go to whoever is the "first to file." And for many solo inventors, or ones who work at small companies, that shift is a big deal.
Take Ron Katznelson of Encinitas, CA. He’s an electrical engineer and what you might call a "garage inventor," though he actually works from a room inside his house.
“I do have storage in the garage,” he jokes, for old scientific instruments used in previous inventions. They have lead to an impressive track record. Katznelson sold one of his last start-ups to Motorola.
Katznelson says small business inventors like him are good at coming up with new ideas that push technology forward. But, without huge labs and armies of scientists, it also takes more time to refine and test those ideas, and figure out which one is worth a patent.
“The resources that we have as start-ups are much less than those that large companies have,” Katznelson says. “They can take six months from conception to practice something that might take us two years.”
Until now, if Katznelson kept good records to prove he'd had an idea first, he would win the patent on it, even if a large company might be first to file the paper work at the patent office.
But under the new law, what matters is the date you file, says Colleen Chien, a professor of patent law at Santa Clara Law School in Silicon Valley.
“Now it really will be a race to the patent office, because if you don’t have your filing date in a timely manner, there’s a chance that your delay will cause you to lose out the rights,” Chien says. She points out that Europe and much of the rest of the world have been on a first-to-file approach for a long time, so large multi-national companies in the U.S. are already used to the new system. But smaller companies will have to adjust.
In the large majority of inventions, the new system will not likely make a difference in who will win the patent, says Rob Merges, a Professor of Intellectual Property Law at University of California, Berkeley.
“In most cases when you file first, you're the first to invent.” But, Merges says, “there are a few cases where that's not true.”
Small-business inventors like Ron Katznelson hope they won't become one of those cases. Beyond those individual concerns, Katznelson also worries that the new law could have a chilling effect on investment in small companies like his, for fear they are at a disadvantage in the patent filing process.
“The old law protected the start-up way of doing business, the boot-strap way of doing business,” Katznelson says. “This will kill it.”
Today, the Republican Party releases a report, summarizing what went wrong for the GOP during last year's presidential election. A priority for Republicans is hiring a chief technology officer or CTO. And it's starting its search in (where else) Silicon Valley.
There are dozens, if not hundreds of CTO candidates well versed in social media and mobile platforms, but it may be tough to find one willing to give up a cushy corporate job and the salary that comes with it.
“It depends on the size of the company, but you’re talking, you know, $250,000 base and above,” says Kathy Ullrich, an executive recruiter in San Mateo, California.
Perhaps an even bigger hurdle?
“We’re going to want to find a Republican in Silicon Valley, right?” Ullrich jokes.
She is one, but there are two Democrats for every Republican there.
Harper Reed was the CTO for President Obama’s reelection campaign, and he says Democrats and Republicans had the same equipment, and each spent millions of dollars on technology.
“We knew we could not underestimate them.”
So why did the Democrats’ tech strategy prevail? Reed says it came down to personnel. There was a skills divide.
The Repblican National Commitee's new CTO will have to bridge that, and Reed has some advice:
“Hire someone very carefully that you know you can trust,” he says.
Someone who buys into the party’s mission, and maybe most challengingly, someone who is willing to move to Washington.
It was 23 years ago today that thieves dressed as police officers walked out of Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum with half a billion dollars of art, including works by Degas and Rembrandt, tucked under their arms.
It's widely regarded as one of history's biggest art heists. And I mention it because today the FBI said in a press conference they know who did it. But they're not gonna tell us.
The FBI does say they think at least part of the haul was fenced in Philadelphia, but that the statute of limitations has run out for the original thieves.
The FBI is still offering a $5 million reward for information that leads to recovery of the art.
Going back to 1892, which of the following institutions has seen the fewest changes in leadership?
a. The Catholic Church
c. The United States
d. General Electric
e. The United Kingdom
Scroll down to see the answer and click on the audio player above to hear more about leadership around the world. For full text version of this Globalist Quiz, click here.
d. General Electric. CEO Jeffrey Immelt is the company's ninth leader since 1892.