An Inheritance Tax Bill You ‘Can’t Fathom’: $10.8 Billion – Samsung

inheritance tax Samsung

The Samsung family in South Korea will also donate billions of dollars’ worth of art, including Picasso and Monet.

Picasso, Monet and Dalí are among the assets South Korea’s richest family is parting with as it prepares to pay one of the largest inheritance tax bills in history.inheritance tax Samsung

The Samsung family announced on Wednesday that it would pay $10.8 billion in inheritance taxes after the death of Lee Kun-hee, Samsung’s chairman, last year. South Korea has one of the highest inheritance taxes in the world. ​The family is required to inform the tax authorities of how it plans to pay the bill by Friday.

The answer will have deep implications for the family’s control of the company, the biggest and most profitable family-run conglomerate in South Korea. ​

Mr. Lee was credited with turning Samsung into a global tech giant known for its semiconductors and smartphones. But the reclusive chairman kept many secrets, including how he wanted to split his wealth ​among his wife and three children after he died.

Mr. Lee’s only son, Lee Jae-yong, is the de facto leader of Samsung. If he inherits his father’s shares in Samsung subsidiaries, it will tighten his control of the company. But it remains unclear how much he will inherit or how he will raise the billions of dollars needed to pay the inheritance tax. ​

Analysts expected Mr. Lee to sell some nonessential Samsung shares and secure bank loans​, hoping to pay them back with dividend payouts ​from his Samsung holdings​.

“How to split Chairman Lee’s fortune is at the heart of the question of who controls Samsung,” said Chung Sun-sup, editor of chaebul.com, which monitors South Korea’s family conglomerates, also known as chaebol. “It appears that the family has not yet reached a complete agreement.”

The Lees are South Korea’s richest family. The $10.8 billion is more than half the value of the father’s total estate, and more than three times the total inheritance taxes the government collected last year, according to Samsung.

 

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He was adopted months after he was born. After decades of searching, he’s finally met his birth family

adopted

 

The door was open and a “frail little voice” called out for the brothers to come inside.

Sitting in a medical lifting chair was their mother, a woman in her late 80s who Martin Hauser had never known.adopted
 
After 30 years searching for his biological family, Hauser, 59, finally got to meet his birth mother just a day after meeting his brother for the first time. It’s been a week since the emotional moment and the family is starting to mend old wounds.
 
“Not only did I come to North Carolina to see my brother for the very first time, I met my birth mother, which was totally unexpected,” Hauser told CNN this week. “Every experience we’ve had has been a blessing, has been a goose pimples, hair-raising experience of what we’ve been going through.”
 
The journey to get here wasn’t an easy one for Hauser, who was adopted months after he was born in 1962 in North Carolina.
 
Hauser and his sister were told they were adopted at a young age — Hauser was adopted in Greensboro. He said his adoptive mother, who lives in Georgia with his adoptive sister, always encouraged him to find his birth family.
 
Hauser, a resident of Mesa, Arizona, spent his childhood in Greensboro before going to junior high school in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He and his adoptive mother moved to Tucson, Arizona, after his parents divorced.
 
He had to overcome obstacles as he tried to learn about his biological family.
 
Adoption records are closed and sealed in North Carolina. He requested family medical information from Guilford County’s child services department when he started having his own children in the early 1990s, he said. No identifying information could be released at that time.
 
Cnn.com, May 1, 2021. by Christina Zdanowicz
 
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Maternal and Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality Among Pregnant Women With and Without COVID-19 Infection

COVID pregnant

The INTERCOVID Multinational Cohort Study

Key Points

Question  To what extent does COVID-19 in pregnancy alter the risks of adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes compared with pregnant individuals without COVID-19?COVID pregnant

Findings  In this multinational cohort study of 2130 pregnant women in 18 countries, women with COVID-19 diagnosis were at increased risk of a composite maternal morbidity and mortality index. Newborns of women with COVID-19 diagnosis had significantly higher severe neonatal morbidity index and severe perinatal morbidity and mortality index compared with newborns of women without COVID-19 diagnosis.

Meaning  This study indicates a consistent association between pregnant individuals with COVID-19 diagnosis and higher rates of adverse outcomes, including maternal mortality, preeclampsia, and preterm birth compared with pregnant individuals without COVID-19 diagnosis.

Abstract

Importance  Detailed information about the association of COVID-19 with outcomes in pregnant individuals compared with not-infected pregnant individuals is much needed.

Objective  To evaluate the risks associated with COVID-19 in pregnancy on maternal and neonatal outcomes compared with not-infected, concomitant pregnant individuals.

Design, Setting, and Participants  In this cohort study that took place from March to October 2020, involving 43 institutions in 18 countries, 2 unmatched, consecutive, not-infected women were concomitantly enrolled immediately after each infected woman was identified, at any stage of pregnancy or delivery, and at the same level of care to minimize bias. Women and neonates were followed up until hospital discharge.

Exposures  COVID-19 in pregnancy determined by laboratory confirmation of COVID-19 and/or radiological pulmonary findings or 2 or more predefined COVID-19 symptoms.

Main Outcomes and Measures  The primary outcome measures were indices of (maternal and severe neonatal/perinatal) morbidity and mortality; the individual components of these indices were secondary outcomes. Models for these outcomes were adjusted for country, month entering study, maternal age, and history of morbidity.

Results  A total of 706 pregnant women with COVID-19 diagnosis and 1424 pregnant women without COVID-19 diagnosis were enrolled, all with broadly similar demographic characteristics (mean [SD] age, 30.2 [6.1] years). Overweight early in pregnancy occurred in 323 women (48.6%) with COVID-19 diagnosis and 554 women (40.2%) without. Women with COVID-19 diagnosis were at higher risk for preeclampsia/eclampsia (relative risk [RR], 1.76; 95% CI, 1.27-2.43), severe infections (RR, 3.38; 95% CI, 1.63-7.01), intensive care unit admission (RR, 5.04; 95% CI, 3.13-8.10), maternal mortality (RR, 22.3; 95% CI, 2.88-172), preterm birth (RR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.30-1.94), medically indicated preterm birth (RR, 1.97; 95% CI, 1.56-2.51), severe neonatal morbidity index (RR, 2.66; 95% CI, 1.69-4.18), and severe perinatal morbidity and mortality index (RR, 2.14; 95% CI, 1.66-2.75). Fever and shortness of breath for any duration was associated with increased risk of severe maternal complications (RR, 2.56; 95% CI, 1.92-3.40) and neonatal complications (RR, 4.97; 95% CI, 2.11-11.69). Asymptomatic women with COVID-19 diagnosis remained at higher risk only for maternal morbidity (RR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.00-1.54) and preeclampsia (RR, 1.63; 95% CI, 1.01-2.63). Among women who tested positive (98.1% by real-time polymerase chain reaction), 54 (13%) of their neonates tested positive. Cesarean delivery (RR, 2.15; 95% CI, 1.18-3.91) but not breastfeeding (RR, 1.10; 95% CI, 0.66-1.85) was associated with increased risk for neonatal test positivity.

Conclusions and Relevance  In this multinational cohort study, COVID-19 in pregnancy was associated with consistent and substantial increases in severe maternal morbidity and mortality and neonatal complications when pregnant women with and without COVID-19 diagnosis were compared. The findings should alert pregnant individuals and clinicians to implement strictly all the recommended COVID-19 preventive measures.

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Connecticut Looks To Ensure Parentage Rights For LGBTQ Couples

Connecticut lgbtq

Connecticut lawmakers will consider a bill that would extend parental status to non-biological, unmarried and LGBTQ couples for the children under their care.

Proponents told the state judiciary committee that the Connecticut Parentage Act would fill the gaps in the existing state law and ensure equal protection for these LGBTQ parents to have custody, parenting time, and legal and medical decision making. It also ensures that children are connected to their parents’ healthcare.Connecticut lgbtq

Advocates argue that the current law is outdated and unconstitutional.

“Even though I was not legally the child of one of my fathers, even though many treated us with disgust and disdain, I am certain that my life and the moment I was born has brought my fathers deep and abiding joy,” said Malina Simard-Halm, a New Haven resident and member of LGBTQ+ family advocacy organization COLAGE. “And because of my dads, I have grown up in a family that has shown me the meaning of love, that supported me so much that now I am lucky enough to be here advocating so that people don’t have to go through what they did.”

On Monday, state lawmakers on the judiciary committee heard testimony from Simard-Halm and other advocates for the bill, including members of non-traditional families, doctors, lawmakers, lawyers and nonprofit organizations. 

Simard-Halm said her fathers used a surrogate mother to have her and fought through what she described as a “hostile legal system” to raise her.

“Exclusive parentage law sends a message that children like me do not belong,” she said. “When I was growing up, laws like Connecticut’s gave authority to the schoolyard bullying and kindled my own insecurities. At times, it led me to feel ashamed of the people who loved me and fought for me the most,” she said.

Douglas NeJaime, a professor of family and constitutional law at Yale Law School, helped draft the bill and has pushed for its passage since it was introduced in 2019.

“The Connecticut Parentage Act solves the problems in our parentage law,” NeJaime said. “It satisfies constitutional requirements. It reflects the diversity of families in our state. It protects children who are vulnerable under current law. It brings order to an area where there is uncertainty. It updates law that is outdated and it reflects best practices.”

A 2019 version of the bill was reintroduced this year with input and revisions from state courts and agencies.

wshu.org, March 9, 2021 by Alek Lewis

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Biden’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau declares anti-LGBTQ credit discrimination illegal

consumer financial protection bureau LGBTQ

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said that sex-based protections include LGBTQ people now that Joe Biden is in office.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), under the direction of the Biden administration, has announced it will now include discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual discrimination within discrimination outlawed by the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA).consumer financial protection bureau LGBTQ

The CFPB is implementing President Joe Biden’s executive order from his first day in office, which directed federal agencies to interpret bans on discrimination based on sex to include LGBTQ people, in line with the Supreme Court’s Bostock decision from last year. The ECOA and Regulation B ban discrimination on the basis of sex “in any aspect of a credit transaction.”

CFPB’s Acting Director David Uejio, appointed by Biden, stated, “In issuing this interpretive rule, we’re making it clear that lenders cannot discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The CFPB will ensure that consumers are protected against such discrimination and provided equal opportunities in credit.”

The issuance of the “interpretative rule” means that the Bureau will interpret existing laws and policies with a common understanding, rather than creating new or circumventing existing laws and policies. It will be the position of the CFPB, responsible for enforcing the ECOA among other federal consumer finance regulations, that anti-LGBTQ discrimination is not legal for anyone under their jurisdiction.

Being rejected for a credit application by a lender or lending service because of your identity will now not be allowed.

“This prohibition also covers discrimination based on actual or perceived nonconformity with traditional sex- or gender-based stereotypes, and discrimination based on an applicant’s social or other associations,” CFPB stated.

LGBTQNation.com, March 10, 2021 by Juwan J. Holmes

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Three dads, a baby and the legal battle to get their names added to a birth certificate

three dads

Meet the three dads: Ian Jenkins and his partners, Alan and Jeremy.

They’re a “throuple”: a committed polyamorous relationship involving three people.birth certificate
 
And after a complicated and expensive court battle to all become legal parents, the trio are raising two toddlers in Southern California — and proving how families come in all forms.
 
They’re part of a unique and very modern family that includes three dads, two surrogates and one egg donor. In a new book, “Three Dads and a Baby,” Jenkins chronicles their search for potential egg donors and a surrogate, and a fight to change a medical and legal system geared toward heterosexual couples.
 
The three men have all been together for more than eight years. Jenkins says they fought to get all three of their names listed on the birth certificates to protect their parental rights and the rights of their children. The process was emotionally grueling.
“But we are hopeful that other people benefit from the experience we had,” he told CNN in a recent interview, “and that it’s easier, less expensive and less stressful for them.”
 
As a gay teenager in Virginia, Jenkins says he faced death threats after coming out and couldn’t imagine he’d ever be able to openly love another man.
 
“I was completely isolated. I didn’t know a single gay person when I was in high school,” he says. “I thought I’d never be able to live an authentic life.
 
“It never occurred to me that people could even have two partners.”
He met Alan while they were doing their medical residencies in Boston.
“He was smarter than the other students. It was obvious, even though he wasn’t straining to show off his medical knowledge, like half of them were,” Jenkins says.
 
cnn.com, 3/6/2021 by Faith Karimi
 
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We Expect 300,000 Fewer Births Than Usual This Year

fewer births

Signs are pointing to a sizable pandemic baby bust in the United States, with implications that will be with us for years to come.

Opinion – The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown the country into an economic recession and an unprecedented restructuring of our work and social lives. Early on, some likened the public health crisis to a blizzard, imagining that people would stay home, cozy up with their romantic partners and make babies.fewer births

These playful visions have given way to a more sobering reality: The pandemic’s serious disruption of people’s lives is likely to cause “missing births” — potentially a lot of them. Add these missing births to the country’s decade-long downward trend in annual births and we can expect consequential changes to our economy and society in the years to come. Unfortunately, there are no easy fixes.

Research we did last year showed that the Covid pandemic would lead to a decline in U.S. births of about 8 percent, as compared with the number of expected births without a pandemic, resulting in 300,000 fewer births this year than would otherwise be expected. This prediction was based largely on the fact that economic factors affect people’s decisions about whether and when to have a baby.

There is a well-documented cycle to the nation’s birthrate: When the labor market is weak, aggregate birthrates decline; when the labor market improves, birthrates improve. At the individual level, there is also a well-documented link between changes in income and births: When income increases, people often expand their families; when people experience job or income loss, they have fewer children.

This effect was evident after the Great Recession. States that experienced higher increases in unemployment experienced larger declines in birthrates; a one percentage point increase in the unemployment rate was associated with a subsequent drop in births of 1 percent. Estimates suggest that U.S. unemployment will have risen by around 5.5 percentage points in the year following the start of the pandemic. From the unemployment effect alone, we might therefore expect a 5.5 percent reduction in births on account of the Covid pandemic.

NYTimes.com, March 7, 2021 by Melissa S. Kearney and 

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Major Evangelical Adoption Agency Will Now Serve Gay Parents Nationwide

adoption gay

The decision comes as more cities and states require organizations to accept adoption applications from L.G.B.T.Q., gay, couples or risk losing government contracts.

One of the country’s largest adoption and foster care agencies, Bethany Christian Services, announced on Monday that it would begin providing services to L.G.B.T.Q., gay,  parents nationwide effective immediately, a major inflection point in the fraught battle over many faith-based agencies’ longstanding opposition to working with same-sex couples.adoption gay

Bethany, a Michigan-based evangelical organization, announced the change in an email to about 1,500 staff members that was signed by Chris Palusky, the organization’s president and chief executive. “We will now offer services with the love and compassion of Jesus to the many types of families who exist in our world today,” Mr. Palusky wrote. “We’re taking an all hands on deck’ approach where all are welcome.”

The announcement is a significant departure for the 77-year-old organization, which is the largest Protestant adoption and foster agency in the United States. Bethany facilitated 3,406 foster placements and 1,123 adoptions in 2019, and has offices in 32 states. (The organization also works in refugee placement, and offers other services related to child and family welfare.) Previously, openly gay prospective foster and adoptive parents in most states were referred to other agencies.

The decision comes amid a high-stakes cultural and legal battle that features questions about sexuality, religious freedom, parenthood, family structure and theology.

Adoption is a potent issue in both conservative Christian and gay communities. Faith-based agencies play a substantial role in placing children in new families. Meanwhile, more than 20 percent of same-sex couples with children have an adopted child, compared to 3 percent of straight couples, according to a 2016 report from the Williams Institute at U.C.L.A. School of Law. Gay couples are also significantly likelier to have a foster child.

NYTimes.com, March 1, 2021 by Ruth Graham

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House Passes The Equality Act – Sweeping Gay and Transgender Equality Legislation

equality act

The bill, The Equality Act, which was first passed by the Democratic-led House in 2019, faces a steep climb in the Senate.

A divided House on Thursday narrowly passed a sprawling bill, The Equality Act, that would extend civil rights protections to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, but the measure faced an uphill battle to enactment, with Republicans almost uniformly opposed.equality act

The legislation, passed 224 to 206, almost entirely along party lines, stands little chance of drawing enough Republican support in the Senate to advance, at least in its current form. It was the second time the Democratic-led House had passed the measure, known as the Equality Act, which seeks to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to add explicit bans on discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in both public and private spaces.

“In most states, L.G.B.T.Q. people can be discriminated against because of who they are, or who they love,” said Representative David Cicilline, an openly gay Democrat from Rhode Island and the lead sponsor. “It is past time for that to change.”

In a landmark decision in June, the Supreme Court ruled that the 1964 civil rights law protects gay and transgender people from workplace discrimination, and that the language of the law, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, also applies to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Equality Act builds on that ruling, and would expand the scope of civil rights protections beyond workers to consumers at businesses including restaurants, taxi services, gas stations and shelters.

It would also water down the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the 1993 law at the heart of the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case that set a high bar for governments to enact laws that “substantially burden” an individual’s freedom to exercise religious beliefs. Those protections have been cited by, for example, bakers or photographers who object to serving same-sex weddings.

The House first passed the legislation in 2019, but the Republican-controlled Senate at the time refused to take it up. Upon taking office, President Biden encouraged the Democratic-controlled Congress to “swiftly pass” the bill, calling it a “critical step toward ensuring that America lives up to our foundational values of equality.”

But 10 Republicans would need to join Democrats to reach the 60-vote threshold needed to pass legislation under normal Senate procedures, a level of support its proponents are unlikely to muster, unless substantial changes are made.

Senator Susan Collins of Maine, the only Republican in that chamber to co-sponsor the legislation during the last Congress, told The Washington Blade that she would not do so again, citing the lack of certain revisions she had requested. Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, has indicated he would not support the legislation, saying it lacked “strong religious liberty protections.”

In the House, consideration of the measure devolved into bitter acrimony after Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, the first-term Republican from Georgia who is known for spreading false and bigoted conspiracy theories and has a history of online trolling, attacked the daughter of Representative Marie Newman, Democrat of Illinois.

NYTimes.com, February 25, 2021 by Catie Edmundson

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More Adult Americans Are Identifying as L.G.B.T., Gallup Poll Finds

L.G.B.T. Overlooked

A survey found that 5.6 percent of adults described themselves as L.G.B.T. in 2020, up from 4.5 percent in 2017.

A Gallup survey released Wednesday has found that more adult Americans are identifying as L.G.B.T., a shift that pollsters see as driven, at least in part, by people in younger generations who are more likely to consider themselves to be something other than heterosexual.L.G.B.T. inclusive sex education

The poll found that 5.6 percent of adults identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, rising from 4.5 percent in 2017, the last time Gallup reported an annual update. The poll also found that more than half of L.G.B.T. adults identified as bisexual.

One in six adults in Generation Z, people born between 1997 and 2002, identify as L.G.B.T., the poll found. The growth in Americans who identify as L.G.B.T.Q. is likely to continue to increase, Gallup’s senior editor, Jeffrey Jones, wrote in announcing the results. That is because those in younger generations are more likely than those in older generations to to consider themselves L.G.B.T., he said.

Americans have been more supportive of equal rights for L.G.B.T.Q. people, Mr. Jones said, prompting an increase in people who identify themselves as L.G.B.T.

“I think the findings prove that visibility and acceptance, when combined, will bust out closet doors,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, the president and chief executive of GLAAD, an L.G.B.T.Q. media organization and advocacy group.

The survey was based on more than 15,000 interviews conducted throughout 2020 with Americans in all 50 states and the District of Columbia who were 18 or older. Those surveyed were interviewed by both cellphone and landline. They were asked: “Which of the following do you consider yourself to be? You can select as many as apply: straight or heterosexual; lesbian; gay; bisexual; transgender.”

Gallup said the poll’s margin of error was plus or minus one percentage point for all adults, and plus or minus five percentage points for L.G.B.T. adults.

The identity question in the most recent poll was more detailed than in previous years, Mr. Jones said. Respondents answered their precise sexual orientation instead of answering “yes” or “no” to whether they identified as L.G.B.T.

The Supreme Court has made several landmark rulings in the past decade, adding to a more supportive climate for L.G.B.T.Q. people. In 2013, the court ruled that married same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits. In 2015, the court ruled that same-sex marriage was a nationwide right. Most recently, it ruled in June that civil rights law protected gay and transgender workers.

NHYTimes.com, by Christina Morales, February 25, 2021

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