Welch and Vermont Country Store owner urge reform of credit card fees

first_imgCongressman Peter Welch and Vermont country store owner Kathy Miller urged the House Committee on Financial Services Thursday to crack down on unfair credit card swipe fees paid by small businesses. At a hearing to debate Welch’s Credit Card Interchange Fees Act (HR 2382), Welch and Miller asked the committee to consider the plight of small retailers forced to pay close to two percent of every purchase in swipe fees to credit card companies and big banks. Miller, who owns the Elmore Store in Elmore, Vermont, said the unfair and abusive practices mean she and her husband Warren often lose money on small purchases.Welch’s legislation would allow merchants to offer discounts for cash payments and set a minimum for credit card purchases, and it would prevent card companies from charging merchants more for rewards card transactions. The bill would increase transparency by requiring card companies to disclose the terms of their agreements to merchants and consumers, and it would increase oversight by empowering the Federal Trade Commission to determine whether any practices are unfair or anti-competitive.“Credit card companies and big banks are finding more and more ways to squeeze small retailers, for whom the profit on an individual sale can be completely canceled out by the cost of the burdensome interchange fee,” Welch told the committee. “What is at issue here is a question of basic fairness and reasonable regulation of credit card and large bank practices.”Miller, a fifth generation Vermonter who has owned the Elmore Store for 26 years, said, “We have streamlined our business to reduce costs as best we can. Maintenance doesn’t get done as it should, less money goes out in payroll, but we just can’t keep absorbing these fees and survive in these tough economic times. If interchange swipe fees were fair and reasonable, Warren and I would have more money to invest back into our business.”The amount of money big banks collect in interchange fees has tripled from 2001 to 2008, costing American consumers $36 billion a year. The average family pays $300 a year in fees. Only 13 percent of those fees go toward processing and transaction costs, while 44 percent goes to subsidizing rewards programs.Miller told the committee she loses money when customers pay for a pack of gum with a credit card and she makes only two cents when a customer buys a bag of chips.“I would like to ask you on your next ride home to look and see how many vacant store fronts there are in your small downtowns. Just this winter alone, six stores closed within a 50 mile radius of us,” she told the committee. “Some days I feel like I should just turn in my keys – but too many people count on us. Elmore is a town of 850 people. We are the hub of the community. When someone needs something, who do you call? ‘Mom’ or ‘Pop’ at the Elmore Store. We are just trying to keep our doors open.” # # #last_img read more

Real Madrid in quarantine as La Liga suspends fixtures

first_imgA club statement read: “A player from our basketball first team has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus.”Since then, the recommendation has been made to quarantine both the basketball first team and the soccer first team, given that the two squads share facilities in Ciudad Real Madrid.   “Likewise, it has been decided to close the facilities at our training ground and it is also recommended that all Real Madrid personnel who work there remain in quarantine.”La Liga has also followed Italy’s Serie A in suspending its matches, following a meeting on Thursday with the Spanish Football Federation and the Spanish Players Union (AFE).It means league fixtures over the next two weekends in Spains’ top two divisions will be postponed.A La Liga statement read: “In view of the circumstances known this morning, referring to the quarantine established in Real Madrid and the possible positive tests from players at other clubs, La Liga considers that the circumstances now exist to continue with the next phase of action against COVID-19.””La Liga agrees to suspend at least the next two matchdays,” the statement added. “This decision will be re-evaluated after the quarantine at affected clubs and other possible situations that could occur have ended.”Topics : Real Madrid went into quarantine on Thursday as La Liga announced Spain’s top two divisions will be suspended for at least two weeks over the coronavirus.La Liga authorities made the decision after Real Madrid confirmed its senior soccer team is in quarantine after one of the club’s basketball players tested positive for the virus.Real Madrid’s soccer and basketball players share facilities at Ciudad Real Madrid, the club’s training ground in Valdebebas.last_img read more

PREMIUM75 years on, Indonesia’s electoral system still needs improvement

first_imgGoogle Topics : Linkedin Forgot Password ? Facebook #Elections elections-in-Indonesia democracy-in-Indonesia democracy #Democracy #Indonesia75 Log in with your social account “Documenting 75 years of resilience” is a series of special reports by The Jakarta Post to celebrate Indonesia’s Independence Day on Aug. 17, 1945.Indonesia has hosted democratic elections and peacefully transferred powers after the fall of the authoritarian New Order regime, but experts say improvements are needed for the country to establish itself as a substantive, rather than procedural, democracy.The country has directly elected House of Representatives members since 1999,  president and vice president since 2004, and mayors, regents and governors since 2005 — all in an electoral process hailed as free and fair.The Freedom House’s annual Freedom in the World index shows Indonesia’s score in political rights has been stable in the past 15 years since Indonesia organized the first direct regional elections in 2005, with Indonesia scoring 30 … LOG INDon’t have an account? Register herelast_img read more

Tema Youth eye boardroom points to survive relegation

first_imgTema Youth want the Ghana FA to fast track their protest against Ashantigold which could see them profit three points from the boardroom.The Harbour warriors have dragged the miners to the disciplinary of the FA for fielding an unqualified player during their Premier League game at Tema on April 17.Youth claim Ashantigod defender Malik Akowuah was unqualified to feature in the game having picked up an accumulated three yellows cards.With just three games to end the season, the club is unhappy with the delay in prosecuting their case and want it resolve before their next game against New Edubiase on June 9.“We are not happy because the matter has been on the table of the disciplinary committee since April and we have not heard anything,” Deputy Chief Executive Henry Asante Twum told Soccernet“We believe Malik Akowuah was unqualified to play and so we filed a protest against the club. “It’s important the matter is resolved quickly so no one is given a raw deal. We are firm in our conviction that the ruling will go our way.”A favourable ruling for Tema Youth will see them being awarded three points and three goals which will helped them greatly in their relegation fight.last_img read more

Needs to be stopped

first_img– Robert Gilbert Van Nuys The iron law Re: “Our so-called life” (March 22): When was the law of supply and demand repealed? If the population increases and jobs do not increase to keep pace, wages go down. If the population increases and the availability of housing does not increase, the cost of housing goes up. If employers who offer high paying jobs leave, the average wage goes down. – John Reynolds Canoga Park Brand A is Brand B Re: “Recall has worried pet owners rushing to vets” (March 12): Well, seems even dogs can’t trust the labels. The recent Menu Foods’ recall showed that despite over 60 different labels the dog food is manufactured at the same place. Walmart dog food is the same as Science Diet, I guess. Luckily, not many of the millions of pets were adversely effected by the new gluten ingredient. The recall does make you wonder as to human food, though. Are all soups really made by Campbells? Are all cereals made by General Foods? If it is all the same, why do we pay more? Apples are apples, right? These revelations make it clear that what is Brand A is also Brand B, whether it is dog food or human food. Of course, our animals won’t know the difference between one brand and another, but will we have to learn some new tricks. – Leigh Datzker Woodland Hills No, Virginia, there … Re: “Iconic holiday parade canceled” (March 23): What makes the cancellation of the annual holiday event a particular shame is not only its unfortunate timing: now that Hollywood is upscaling with all those million-dollar condos under construction around Hollywood and Vine. The real problem is that it gives the fundamentalists ammunition in their charge that wicked, secularist Hollywood has declared “war” on Christmas. (Maybe the Christians would be willing to underwrite a new parade, replacing Santa with a manger scene featuring Stephanie Edwards and Bob Eubanks as Mary and Joseph.) Bah humbug, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. And we thought Santa’s Village closing several years ago was bad enough. – Kevin Dawson Tujunga Not-so-hidden agenda Re: “Apartment planner trying to build case” (March 21): What a smoke screen. Another huge multi-family project is planned for Warner Center. Yet our city officials are only concerned about “affordable rents” and imposes this as a means to mitigate traffic. Please, don’t insult our intelligence. Oh, and they also want a $1 million traffic fee. That will work. What a joke. The only way to mitigate our ever-worsening traffic congestion is to stop development. And no one seems to be worrying about our dwindling water supplies. We are all going to be out of water and out of driving space. We are being sold down the dry L.A. River by our tax revenue hungry politicos with their not-so-hidden agendas. – Bill Hamburg Woodland Hills Integrity? Re: “Police union tries sticking us up again” (Their Opinions, March 20): Bernard Parks said, “only 15 percent of the officers live and can vote in the City of Los Angeles.” That’s not a requirement of an officer. Parks suggests the city should use Reagan’s playbook and fire officers who don’t sign the financial disclosure. Good luck. There isn’t an agency in the world that would turn away 600 LAPD-trained gang or narcotics officers. Parks transgressions: excluded then D.A. Garcetti’s office from Rampart investigation material, refused to meet Connie Rice and the Rampart Review Panel. Try to remember, Bernie, “Integrity In All We Say and Do.” – Jeff Lovick Hawthorne Marijuana issues Personally, I don’t believe in drug use. It But there comes a time to face facts. Marijuana is not going away. Rumor has it that marijuana is the number one crop in the USA. It goes by unchecked and untaxed. Who’s paying for all the rehab people need? Maybe we should legalize Marijuana and tax it the same way we tax cigarettes and liquor. – Michael Riboloff Reseda Anything but Paris Say it isn’t so! The Daily News has apparently joined the ranks of The Globe, Star, and the other trash papers with a front page photo of the queen of vapidity, and a large one at that. There must be someone who has actually accomplished something in life that is more deserving. How about Karl Rove, or the porn queen who is relegated to the back pages. Please, anything but Paris Hilton. – Mike Belson Studio City Do as I say I would have more confidence in what Al Gore has to say about the environment if he practiced what he preached. Gore wants us all to ride our bikes and drive hybrids, but according to your article yesterday, Mr. Gore left the Washington hotel where he addressed an audience on the perils of global warming, in a Lincoln Town Car, which gets about nine miles to the gallon. Gore also owns more than one home, and his home in Tennessee has twenty rooms and nine bathrooms. I think he has a political agenda, and likes to dictate to others what he won’t do himself. – Marsha Roseman Van Nuys Such a deal Wow, what a deal! President Bush offered to let White House officials testify privately, provided they can lie and later deny what they said – i.e., no oath or transcripts. – Ernst F. Ghermann Winnetka Snow job Has anyone noticed the deft dancing around the subject that Tony Snow has shown his former press associates on the refusal to allow White House associates to testify? It is a truly professional “Snow-job.” – Hal Rattner Santa Clarita Scheduling conflict? Tell me why, oh why did the street cleaning crew changed their cleaning date to Tuesdays? That’s our trash pick-up day. – Joy Stovall Woodland Hills Studio City Stop preaching Re: “Mayor’s dropout plan only looks new” (March 22): Maybe our mayor should add these to his nine: Stop preaching “you have to go to college to be successful.” Hold the teachers and instructors to the same standards he proposes for the principals and administrators. Bring back the shop classes, Auto, Machine, Electrical and Woodworking. There are many students who would never have the grades for college who could be trained to fill jobs in these fields. The public is tired of paying for shoddy work, performed by unqualified workers who work under a Contractors License. Re: “Boycott LAX-area hotels” (March 23): I have to keep pinching myself to see if I’m dreaming, do we live in socialist times? Is the government telling private business what to pay their workers? Is the government actively trying to re-direct business away from those who don’t follow their commands? This is the City Council you people voted for – this pathetic legislative body, the highest paid elected officials in the Country. There is so much wrong with this system, its hard to start but suffice it to say, we can’t roll over on this – this new wave of socialism led by Eric Garcetti needs to be stopped. – Kim Greene last_img read more