Friday, July 10, 2009

1,400 Tamils Die Per Week in Sri Lankan Internment Camp

Days after the Sri Lankan government asked aid groups to begin scaling back their operations in the country, The Times reports that about 1,400 people die per week in the Manik Farm camp, which houses Tamil refugees.  Most of the deaths are caused by water-borne illnesses, such as diarrhea, and British aid workers report that there are inadequate food and medical supplies.  There are currently 300,000 displaced Tamils in Sri Lanka.

TARP Funds Are Hurting Charities

Banks who received money from the Troubled Assets Relief Program (“TARP”) are cutting back on sponsorships in response to public scrutiny over the use of the funds.  Wells Fargo and US Bancorp have both refused to renew sponsor the John Deer Classic golf tournament, which raised $400,000 last year for 500 local charities.  This move followed the intense pressure on Northern Trust Corp, which paid for Sheryl Crow to perform at a PGA event last February.

Senators Debate the Efficacy of Nonprofit Hospitals

In an effort to find funding for health care legislation, Senators are considering modifying or eliminating the tax breaks received by nonprofit hospitals, some of which are being criticized for holding massive cash surpluses and providing little charitable care.  Senator Baucus (D., Mont.) and Senator Grassley (R., IA) have proposed that nonprofit hospitals be forced to provide a set minimum amount of charity care or face an excise tax.  Nonprofit hospitals argue that their budgets are already tight and that removing their nonprofit status would made it far more difficult to raise money, as donations would no longer be tax deductible.