Crackdown on tax evaders

19.45 Britain and Germany have signed deals with Switzerland to get at funds hidden there by their citizens and extract tax. Now Italy's Senate has urged its government to do the same.

The move would be the latest step in a crackdown on tax evaders in Italy, which saw an advertising campaign launched in August labeling them "parasites on society" that cost €100 billion a year. telegraph

The End of Offshore Banking

The recent actions by the US Justice Department and the IRS against the UBS highlight the increasing pressure on the so called offshore banking model. Private Banks in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Austria, Singapore, and many Caribbean jurisdictions are well known for managing money which has left the home country of his owner without taxation. banking

Greed at the highest levels of Wall Street

NEW YORK (AP) — A former board member of Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble surrendered Wednesday after a federal indictment was unsealed accusing him of acting as "the illegal eyes and ears in the boardroom" for a friend who was already convicted in the biggest insider trading case in history. The case, built partially on use of wiretaps for the first time in insider trading, stands to offer unprecedented insight into allegations of greed at the highest levels of Wall Street. yahoo/AP
Action is needed

Credit markets are gumming up again, business and consumer confidence is falling off a cliff, and there is a growing sense of panic over Europe’s apparent inability to act. The damage caused by a rogue trader at the Swiss banking giant UBS (NYSEArca: DJCI - news) has added to the impression of a wholly dysfunctional, out-of-control financial system. yahoo/telegraph

Divide and Rescue

Chancellor Angela Merkel has always rejected a two-track Europe. But with the euro crisis persisting, Berlin is now considering far-reaching new powers for the Euro Group - to the detriment of the European Commission. spiegel

Note: there's no way with types like grecs and corrupts as the portuguese politicians, the "great" portuguese administrators, a huge slice of the portuguese lawyers & solicitors and some magistrates are. Have to choose between maniacs (like the Germans) or corrupts (like the Portuguese) is the main evidence of how patetic Europe is. Austrians are - perhaps - more maniacs than Germans? Perhaps...

But the question is: why the UE gave so many money for that "mediterranean" and "balcanic" countries, without a tight control? In fact it was a bit perverse because the UE knowed that even if the money w'd go trought the corrupt channels it w'd finish in european cars and european goods, wich did increase the German and French (the British in some way) industries. So German and France (England in some way) are  responsibles for the "mediterranean" and "balcanic" caos, corruption and bankruptcy and should fix it.

(Even if the British are not europeans. They are... "liberals"... But still accountables.)

(Romanians, and some others, are corrupts, mafious and violents. Wich criteria has had the European Comission, and Mr. Barroso, to lead them inside the EU?)


Crossing the Tibetan plateau (2010)

Evicted from home

DETROIT (AP) — A 101-year-old woman was evicted from the southwest Detroit home where she lived for nearly six decades after her 65-year-old son failed to pay the mortgage. yahoo/AP
Richard William Hamilton

24 February 1922 – 13 September 2011

Was a British painter and collage artist. His 1956 collage, Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing?, produced for the This Is Tomorrow exhibition of the Independent Group in London, is considered by critics and historians to be one of the early works of pop art. wikipedia


Opposition activists brutally treated

The BN (National Front) government, dominated by UMNO (United Malay National Organisation), is going all out, including by using repression and intimidation, to strengthen its position in the next general election expected soon - either this year or early next year. It was alarmed by the unprecedented victories in the 2008 general election of the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Coalition) which denied them their two-thirds majority after almost four decades in power. In that election, the Pakatan Rakyat capitalised on the momentum created by the rallies organised by BERSIH (Coalition for Fair and Clean Elections), which demanded clean and fair elections, and by HINDRAF (Hindu Rights Action Force) which demanded rights for the Indian minority in November 2007, to weaken BN support. Now, to suppress similar attempts, BN is going all out to stop a repeat of the same process, in order to continuously sustain its more than 50 years in power since independence from British rule in 1957. chinaworker

Note: very, very interesting. How about human rights and freedom of speech in China?

Fear of false accusations and blackmail

In China, an elderly man falls, bleeds from the head, but no one stops to help him. The case becomes a cause celebre. Online surveys indicate that most people would not help for fear of false accusations and blackmail. asianews


Asia Bibi

In June 2009, Asia Noreen, a farm hand from the village of Ittan Wali in Sheikhupura District, was asked to fetch water; she complied, but some of her Muslim fellow workers refused to drink the water as they considered Christians to be "unclean". Apparently some arguments ensued. There had already been a running feud between Noreen and a neighbour about some property damage. Later some coworkers complained to a cleric that Noreen made derogatory comments about Prophet Muhammad. A mob came to her house, beating her and members of her family before she was rescued by the police. However, the police initiated an investigation about her remarks, resulting in her arrest and prosecution under Section 295 C of the Pakistan Penal Code. She spent more than a year in jail. In November 2010 Muhammed Naveed Iqbal, judge at the court of Sheikhupura, Punjab, sentenced her to death by hanging. Additionally, a fine of an equivalent of $1,100 was imposed. wikipedia

Note: that people dosn't deserve any help. That people should be let to their "karma".

Muslims oppose 'religion-neutral flag' proposal

Ivica Petrusic, vice president of immigrant association Secondos Plus suggests dropping the cross from the Swiss flag and adopting a different flag instead. "The Swiss cross no longer suits today's multicultural Switzerland," says Petrusic. Instead, Petrusic suggests using the green, red and yellow flag of the short-lived Helvetic Republic (1799)

Petrusic says he himself is Christian, but he does not think a Christian symbol should be used in a country with so many atheists and people who profess other religions. He says the cross does not represent the religious and cultural diversity in Switzerland today.

His proposal met with broad opposition. Hisham Maizar, head of Federation of Islamic Organisations in Switzerland said the proposal for a religion-neutral flag was counter-productive. "We don't have any demands to upend the ancient traditions of other countries." islamineurope

Note: this is probably a (funny) joke. Since then the immigrants can change the flag of the countries did accept them?


Al-Qaeda links

Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi's regime. telegraph


Islam and democracy

“OF COURSE they say nice things these days,” says a Lebanese woman, a sophisticated Sunni Muslim in her 50s, gliding between English, French and Arabic. “They know who they’re talking to. But you cannot trust them—absolutely not.” economist

Dreaming of a caliphate

The Koran mandates flogging for unlawful sex, and a strongly held tradition ascribes to Muhammad the view that adulterers should be stoned to death. Over inheritance, the Koran is also specific—a daughter is entitled to have half as much as a son—and the various legal schools of Islam are even more so, setting out with absolute precision the entitlement of each distant relative. economist


Are Political Suicides Needed?

The situation can only get worse, since nobody's interests align. The Greeks want more time to meet their budget targets without having to make more cuts that would cause more public angst. The Germans, whose opinions arguably matter the most since they have the financial ammo, are already in a huff with German Chancellor Angela Merkel about expanding the eurozone's bailout fund. More pushback from Greece about meeting its current austerity measures only fuels the fire. The ECB, meanwhile, is struggling to salvage its cherished reputation after vacuuming up billions of dollars in dodgy European sovereign debt, so more slack from its camp is also a tall order. And dinky Finland is making a fuss by demanding collateral for any more cash it forks over to Greece. curiouscapitalist