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Top News Links: Friday, March 27

Obama wants stricter payday loan rules

Embracing proposed new rules aimed at payday lenders, President Barack Obama on Thursday said working families need protections from heavy debt burdens and warned Republicans that he would veto attempts to unravel regulations that govern the financial industry. Obama praised the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for its proposal to set standards on a multibillion-dollar industry that has historically been regulated only at the state level. Obama's remarks before about 1,800 people at Lawson State Community College come on the same day the consumer agency was announcing the proposed payday lending rules in a hearing in Richmond, Virginia. – AP/StLToday

Obama: Rich cool about tax cuts

President Obama argued in Birmingham Thursday that Republicans should abandon their proposal to eliminate the estate tax on large inheritances. “These folks at the very top, the top one-tenth of one percent, are wonderful people. Warren Buffett’s a great friend of mine. They’ve done amazing things, they’ve invested, they’ve created businesses. They deserve great success. But they really don’t need a tax cut,” he said to applause. “And if you talk them, they’ll tell you, ‘I already got a couple planes, I already got a boat, I already got … five or six houses, I’m OK.’” Obama’s comments clearly referred to a House GOP plan to eliminate that tax. – The Blaze

Cook will donate his $1B fortune

Apple chief executive Tim Cook is joining the roster of the very rich who are giving away their wealth. Fortune magazine cited the head of the world's largest technology company as saying he planned to donate his estimated near-$1 billion fortune to charity - after paying for his 10-year-old nephew's college education. "You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripples for change," Cook told the magazine. AFRWeekend

AEA’s PAC easily outruns the field

A list of Alabama’s largest Political Action Committees (PACs) compiled by the Birmingham Business Journal shows that the Alabama Education Association’s (AEA) A-VOTE PAC had the most cash to work with in 2014 — and it wasn’t even close. At $4.62 million, A VOTE piled more money into its coffers than the next four largest PACs on the list combined. – Yellowhammer

Dynetics introduces Cyber RiskScope

Dynetics has developed Cyber RiskScope, a portfolio of cyber risk management solutions, to help cyber risk stakeholders discover answers to critical questions about the following:  the impact of potential cyber incidents, the most likely cyber threats facing today’s enterprises and the appropriate levels of cybersecurity needed for those enterprises. – News release

State wants money for ‘on-demand’ entertainment

The Alabama Department of Revenue has proposed an amendment to the state’s rental tax regulation. If finalized, the regulation would tax the rental of “digital transmissions,” such as “on-demand” movies, television programs, streaming video, streaming audio and other similar programs, regardless of the method of transmission or the length of time of the rental. – Lexology.com

Suit to silence ex-Kemper manager dismissed

A lawsuit that, in part, would silence a former manager of the Kemper Project power plant has been dismissed. Jefferson County Circuit Judge Elisabeth French dismissed the case against Brett Wingo on Wednesday afternoon after attorneys for the plaintiffs, Southern Company Services, Inc., filed a motion to dismiss it earlier that day. Southern Company Services is an arm of Southern Company, the parent company of Mississippi Power that’s building the integrated coal gasification plant in east Mississippi. – Watchdog.org

Group launched to help Bentley efforts

Two former Bentley Administration staffers have launched a new tax-exempt group with the goal of helping the governor win public support for his agenda, including his recent $541 million tax increase proposal and future reforms to the state’s healthcare system. – Yellowhammer

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