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Nonprofit news roundup for April 18, 2008

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British prime minister urges cooperation with U.S.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is proposing increased cooperation between the U.S. and the U.K. in enterprise, university exchanges, philanthropy, and health and climate-change research in an opinion column in The Wall Street Journal April 16. The Hunter Foundation and Carnegie Corporation of New York have agreed to host a meeting of charities from both countries, and nonprofit sector regulators have also planned to meet, Brown said.

Luxury summit focuses on philanthropy

The changing world of philanthropy was the focus of this year’s invitation-only American Express Publishing Luxury Summit which took place April 12-15 in Westlake Village, California, Deidre Woollard said in The Luxist blog April 16. Discussion topics ranged from branding techniques to forging authentic celebrity-cause connections and how the Internet has revolutionized fundraising, Woollard said.

Micro-tax on global transactions could aid poor

A tax of one-hundredth of a percentage point on global financial transactions could provide $230 billion a year for developing countries, The Financial Times reported April 16. The proposal is one in a series of plans heard by the United Nations in recent days that propose taxing private business to support development.

Bloodbanks should let gay men donate, advocates say

Some advocates have been calling for looser restrictions on blood donations by sexually-active gay men, the BBC reported March 7. In recent petitions in Scotland, advocates have said that other countries that allow gay and bisexual men to give blood have seen a drop in HIV contracted by donors, The Press Association reported April 15.

World Bank calls on donors for $500 million in food aid

The European Union has set aside $253 million to boost food supplies in the poorest countries and is considering further measures, and World Bank chief Robert Zoellick is calling on top donors to provide $500 million in emergency aid by May 1, The Associated Press reported April 14. But countries like Bangladesh are criticizing international lenders like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund for a lot of talk, but no action, Xinhua reported April 15.

In Brief:

* The Bush administration is seeking $900 million from international donors, including Iraq itself, to help 2 million Iraqi refugees as their conditions reportedly worsen in countries like Jordan and Syria, The Associated Press reported April 9.

* As nonprofits simultaneously face increasing demand and shrinking resources, senior volunteers can be a valuable source of energy, The Warwick Beacon reported April 15.

* Donors to former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer’s defunct re-election campaign are seeking refunds after the revelation of his involvement with a prostitution ring caused Spitzer to resign, The New York Sun reported April 16.

* The closing of 33 Catholic parishes in New Orleans has left empty churches that residents worry will fall into disrepair, possibly hindering post-Katrina rebuilding in the neighborhoods where they are located, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans reported April 9.

* Facing opposition from Native American tribal leaders, a California legislator has temporarily shelved a bill that would allow state charities that raise money through casino games to offer prizes above the current $250 limit, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported April 15.

* Kenyan Tourism Minister Najib Balala is asking foreign donors to contribute to the 1.5 billion shillings, or $24 million, he estimates the country’s tourism sector needs to recover from recent political unrest, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation reported  April 14.

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