A Maryland bill proposes changing the state’s standard corporate income tax apportionment formula to a single-sales factor formula. The bill has been introduced in the Maryland Senate.If enacted, the new standard apportionment formula would apply to tax years beginning after 2017.Current Three-Factor FormulaThe current standard formula is a three-factor formula (sales, property, and payroll), with a double-weighted sales factor.S.B. 1090, as introduced in the Maryland Senate on February 12, 2018Login to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.
US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently announced a massive data breach, containing very personal and private data of government and military personnel. The stolen data was originally gathered to process security clearances and contains a plethora of background information, including criminal records, mental conditions, drug usage, veteran status, birthdates, social security numbers, pay histories and pension figures, insurance data, financial records, home addresses, contacts, and other profile data. Millions of records in total were stolen, for current and previous government workers, contractors, and partners. Investigators concluded the attack was conducted by another nation state. This leads to the question of why would another nation launch such an attack and how will they use such personal information to their advantage? The answers might be shocking.Unlike cybercriminals, who would be interested in opening lines of credit, filing fictions tax refunds, creating false identities, siphoning financial assets, and fraudulently charging on accounts, nation states have different motivations which drive their actions. Nation states are interested in influencing policies in their favor across the globe, boosting national economic strength, military power projection, enhancing intelligence gathering capabilities, and protecting themselves from foreign attempts to do the same against them.For centuries, one of the best ways to accomplish these goals has been by influencing, manipulating, or outright controlling important people in other countries. Employing tactics to achieve such lofty goals requires two things. First, key foreigners with the necessary power or access must be identified. Secondly, the means to best influence them must be determined. History has shown that with both pieces to the puzzle, governments can maneuver in advantageous ways to achieve nothing short of world change. Many nations have elaborate infrastructures and organizations dedicated to these goals. They use a variety of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), Human Intelligence (HUMINT), and Cyber Intelligence (CYBINT) methods to gather insights and data. Nowadays, OSINT is very effective and with the meteoric rise in social media sharing and personal applications, has become a highly productive tool at providing personal details of a populace. However, the deepest secrets and most private information is still difficult to come by. CYBINT can fill the gaps and provide the hard to come by intelligence and personal connections which are highly valuable for these campaigns. Profile IntelligenceWith the wealth of personal data fleeced from OPM, an attacker can begin building a database of interlocking profiles. The result is a network showing people, connections, access, knowledge, and spheres of influence. This information will be blended with any other high confidence data, garnered from other sources, to paint a better picture of individuals who may be of interest. They will likely be looking for those who are active in local and national politics, drive or enforce inter-agency government policies, leaders and technical advisors to the military, those who possess influence in the decisions of others, have internal access to valuable data, are part of the offensive/defensive intelligence apparatus, and people who have earned the trust of those in power.These people become targets of focus and opportunity for various types of influencing tactics, including bribery, blackmail, marketing, facilitation of revenge, social pressure, ethical conundrums, retribution of justice, and demonstrations of patriotism. Professional manipulators can be very creative in how to position and push people in certain directions.Methods of InfluenceThese profiles are also intended to give insights to how people can be motivated and controlled. Building a collective social picture can show how key individuals are influenced. It may highlight the respected close community around a target who offer advice and guidance. Past indiscretions can provide an understanding of how someone is vulnerable to situations involving drugs, money, sex, ideology, or fame. This can be exactly what is needed by manipulators. Personal and private information can be embarrassing or give the necessary signs of weakness. Some people can be blackmailed, threatened, tricked, cheated, bribed, or flipped to provide information, access, or facilitate the influence of others. A cascade effect can take place as people are linked. In rare cases, some assets may be groomed to become direct action operatives, where the risks, impacts, and rewards can be much higher. Achieving success is no easy task for nation state orchestrators. Private information is a highly prized chip in this game. The more sensitive, revealing, and humiliating the data, the more valuable it is to those who plan to use it as leverage for their benefit.Beyond the targeting of individuals, such data can be valuable in other ways. To disrupt the operational effectiveness of an organization, key personnel can be affected with campaigns to publicly embarrass or undermine renewals for top clearances therefore causing gaps or delays in the work of important positions. This can also provide advancement avenues for others who may be more conducive to support the attacker’s objectives.Compromising computer systems becomes much easier. In the cybersecurity realm, private information and a list of known contacts makes phishing attacks near impossible to defend against. Emails, texts, attachments, and files can appear to be sent from friends, family, coworkers, academia, and professional colleagues with no good way for the average person to discern the difference between legitimate and malicious, until it is too late. These phishing attacks can bypass system defenses and allow hackers to gain access to computers, networks, databases, and cloud environments. Follow-on attacks in this manner should be expected, both at home and work. Infecting and controlling devices of people with security clearances is an opportunity not likely passed-up by nation state attackers.The data itself has value and can be sold, traded, or given to a variety of other groups. Terrorists, allies, political rivals, in-country revolutionaries, radicals, or other nation state intelligence agencies would be likely interested parties. There are national economic advantages as well. Discretely providing profile data to state-owned companies can greatly improve their business negotiations, bidding, pricing, employee recruiting activities, and overall competiveness abroad. This can boost domestic economies while undermining foreign positions. Politically, in a bit of irony, such attacks may also drive the desire of attacked nations to establish international accords governing global cybersecurity practices with their attackers. In essence, hacking can motivate governments to come to the negotiation table and put them at a disadvantage in the agreement of terms. With the loss of millions of highly personal records, the outlook is not a pretty picture. Time will tell which of these tactics will be employed by those who took OPM data. But keep in mind such spycraft has been around for thousands of years. The intents and purposes are not new, just the scale, tactics, and tools have changed to include the information rich world of cyber. My heart goes out to those whose data was part of the recent breach, their families, friends, and associates. In a very personal way, they are all now part of a larger geopolitical game. Take all necessary precautions to protect your name, reputation, finances, history, and honor. Although the attack cannot be undone, governments around the world can learn from these situations and institute better controls, data policies, and political responses to protect future generations.
Actor-politician Jaya Bachchan filed her nomination for Rajya Sabha as a Samajwadi Party candidate on Saturday. A former Rajya Sabha member, Jaya filed her nomination in the presence of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and other party MLAs. Jaya was earlier elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2004 as SP nominee and completed her term in 2010. She, however, refused re-nomination. She is the sixth Samajwadi Party nominee to file her nomination for the Upper House. Naresh Agarwal, Kiranmay Nanda, Darshan Singh Yadav, Brijbhushan Tiwari and Munawwar Saleem had filed their nominations on Friday. Samajwadi Party, which has a strength of 225 (with one Independent MLA Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya) in the 403-member Uttar Pradesh Assembly, can send six members to Rajya Sabha. Meanwhile, BJP nominee Vinay Katiyar also filed his nomination papers for the biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha. Senior party leaders Kalraj Misra, Suresh Khanna, Hukum Singh were among those who were present on the occasion.
TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Fiorentina swoop for Sevilla attacker Luis Murielby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFiorentina have signed Sevilla attacker Luis Muriel.Milan had been touted as favourites to sign Muriel, but he has personally chosen to join the Viola.He joins Fiorentina on-loan to the end of the season. There is an option to make the deal permanent for €13m.Fiorentina will be Muriel’s fourth Italian club after previous spells at Lecce, Udinese and Sampdoria.
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart will continue to operate through CVS Health’s pharmacy benefit management commercial and managed Medicaid retail pharmacy networks.Shares of CVS, which have been under pressure since Tuesday when it said it could not come to an agreement with Walmart on pricing, rose more than 2 per cent before the opening bell Friday.Including Walmart, the CVS Caremark national pharmacy network will have nearly 68,000 participating pharmacies for members to choose from, including independently-owned, community-based pharmacies, other local pharmacies in grocery stores and mass merchants and regional and national chains.Walmart Inc. and CVS Health Corp. have an existing agreement for Walmart’s participation in the CVS Caremark Medicare Part D pharmacy network. Walmart’s Sam’s Club also has an existing deal to participate in the CVS Caremark pharmacy networks.The Associated Press
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The B.C. Oil & Gas Commission has issued an order to Coastal GasLink after an investigation determined the company carried out cutting without having an archaeological impact assessment completed.Some of the requests within the order, from the OGC, include that Coastal GasLink submits a post-impact archaeological assessment for review by the Commission of a portion of Section 8 right of way by October 11, 2019, and that they must submit records indicating the implementation of the Pre-Construction Compliance Assurance Process and Procedure on the specific area by October 25, 2019.In August, Coastal GasLink said construction began in a number of places before archaeological assessments were complete. The company said an internal audit found there were two areas along the right of way east of Kitimat where land was cleared before archaeological impact assessments occurred.The Coastal GasLink pipeline inspired global protests when hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation said it had no authority without their consent.The company said it had signed agreements with all 20 elected First Nations along the 670-kilometre route to LNG Canada’s export terminal on the coast in Kitimat, including the Wet’suwet’en council.Coastal GasLink does have the opportunity to appeal this order to the Oil and Gas Appeal Tribunal.
Greater Noida: Gautam Buddh Nagar police have arrested a rewarded criminal, carrying bounty of Rs 25, 000 on his head, from Mamura area of Noida on late Thursday night. Police said that the accused was wanted in a gang rape case with a minor girl by Jewar police. According to police, the arrested accused has been identified as Furkan Qureshi, native of Jahangirpur area of Jewar. Cops said that Qureshi, along with his accomplice Nanhe allegedly abducted a girl student from Jewar area in a car after making her consume a drink laced with sedatives, in the month of June last year. The duo of accused kept the girl at a secluded place and gang raped her for a couple of days. Later they let her go and threatened her with death consequences if she tells about the incident to anyone. However, the minor rape victim reached home and narrated her ordeal to parents, following which a case was registered.
Shillong: A report by the Meghalaya High Court has suggested that illicit drugs were openly being sold in Shillong, as the peddlers connive with the state police to keep the business thriving.It also stated that students of prominent schools and colleges in the city were involved in the trade, some as traffickers and others consumers. The court had taken up the case based on a PIL filed by chairperson of Meghalaya State Commission for Protection of Child Right Meena Kharkongor. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghSome of the schoolchildren, as young as 11 or 12, get involved in the trade despite knowing the antecedents, said the report, which has not been made public, but a copy of which was available with PTI. “Police are not taking any action at all and they are in connivance hand-in-hand with the peddlers,” it asserted. The narcotics are openly procured from Kalain area in Assam’s Silchar district, and sold in around 30 places in the city, including high-security areas near the gates of the Assam Rifles, and police beat house besides the city’s police bazaar area, the court said in the report. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroad”The places where drugs are easily available usually go unchecked, with the peddlers moving at liberty,” it said. The high court has also sought improved coordination among the opioid substitution centres, narcotic cell of police, customs and the intelligence agencies to curb the growing menace. It directed the state government to set up separate jails for drug users to prevent them from mingling and influencing other inmates into becoming addicts. According to sources in the government, Additional Senior Government Advocate S Sengupta has forwarded the report of the high court to the administration. They also said the court has directed the state government to submit documents, detailing the ways adopted to stop the sale of illicit drugs in the state.
NEW DELHI: BJP chief Amit Shah’s first roadshow in Kolkata ended with violence, arson and a police lathicharge Tuesday as the rallyists clashed with students holding “Amit Shah Go Back” posters. Shah called it an attempt to “strangulate democracy”. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the violence was triggered by goons the BJP brought from outside Bengal.Violence erupted Tuesday evening at the gates of Calcutta University. Some students in the campus allegedly shouted anti-BJP slogans and BJP supporters rushed at them with rods. Policemen stepped in to prevent a clash. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange frameworkLess than a kilometre down College Street, Amit Shah’s van passed by Vidyasagar College but rallyists following him allegedly charged at the students standing with “Go Back Amit Shah” posters. The BJP supporters rushed into the campus, set motorcycles on fire and vandalised the bust of Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar – a 19th-century educationist and social reformer. Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee visited the college in the evening. The police initially used batons to bring the crowd under control. Later, several people were arrested for the violence, a police officer said. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygenA BJP delegation, comprising Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, GVL Narasimha Rao and others went to the Election Commission Tuesday evening over the clashes. Shah said while clashes erupted police remained a mute spectator. He said he was told by police that the permission for the roadshow ended near the college and that he will be taken to the ancestral home of Swami Vivekananda on Bidhan Sarani. Banerjee hit right back, calling Shah a “goonda”. “If you lay your hands on Vidyasagar, what will I call you other than a goonda,” she told a rally in Behala in the city. “I hate your ideology, I hate your ways,” she said and announced a protest rally on Thursday against the vandalisation of the bust of Vidyasagar. Gautam Kundu, principal of Vidyasagar college said, “The BJP supporters carrying party flags barged inside the office and started abusing us. They tore papers, ransacked the offices and union rooms and while leaving desecrated the bust of Vidyasagar. They locked the gates and set bikes and motorcycles on fire”. A few students were injured by the BJP supporters, he said.
George Saville, the Northern Ireland midfielder, is happy with his upgrading move from Millwall to Middlesbrough.It is known that the Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis has a technical reputation of playing past his midfielders in directing the defense to play long passes and quick past the midfield.According to The Irish News, Saville has been caught in an awkward moment when he was confronted with his take on this issue in an interview, whether he had consulted Gareth McAuley and Jonny Evans about their days under Pulis: “Yeah, we touched on it a little bit obviously, but they were wishing me the best going into it and, speaking to them, they told me what I needed to know and be ready for….Official: Ex-Chelsea star John Obi Mikel joins Middlesbrough Andrew Smyth – January 24, 2019 Middlesbrough have announced the shock signing of ex-Chelsea star John Obi Mikel on a short-term dealThe Nigeria captain, who featured at last summer’s World Cup in Russia, previously…“The style of play is not like the fantastic football Manchester City will play, but he is effective and he knows how to win football matches and in the Championship that’s what it is about and getting out of the league.“You have two games every week and it’s non-stop for the nine months. For me, Tony knows how to win football matches and that’s all I care about.”