Friday, July 1, 2016

Austria presidential election result overturned. New election to be held in Sept. or Oct. So-called 'far-right' Freedom Party and its candidate Norbert Hofer challenged original result. Hofer now part of group of parliamentary officials ruling on temporary basis-BBC

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7/1/16, "Austria presidential poll result overturned," BBC

"Austria's highest court has annulled the result of the presidential election narrowly lost by the far-right candidate of the Freedom Party. The party had challenged the result, saying that postal votes had been improperly handled.

The Freedom Party candidate, Norbert Hofer, lost the election to the former leader of the Greens, Alexander Van der Bellen, by less than a percentage point.

The election will now be re-run.

Announcing the decision, Gerhard Holzinger, head of the Constitutional Court, said: "The challenge brought by Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache against the 22 May election...has been upheld." 

If elected, Mr Hofer will become the first far-right head of state of an EU country.

His party has based its election campaigns around concern over immigration and falling living standards for the less well-off. Following the court's order to re-run the vote, President Heinz Fischer will be replaced on a temporary basis by three parliamentary officials, including Mr Hofer.

The new election is expected to be held in September or October."
























map from BBC


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Maine House of Representatives passed unanimous symbolic resolution 142-O against Trans Pacific Trade Partnership, TPP-Bangor Daily News

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6/29/16, "Trump rips Clinton, courts working-class voters in Bangor," Bangor Daily News, Michael Shepherd
 
"Earlier this year, the Maine House of Representatives unanimously passed a symbolic resolution against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, [142 to O, 4/29/16] a trade deal with Pacific rim nations negotiated by President Barack Obama’s administration."...(parag. 8)

...............

Added: 11/9/2015, Presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said she would not try to influence congress about TPP, CNN tweet:








Added: TPP will likely be decided in 2016 lame duck session:

6/27/16, "Hillary Clinton risks losing Ohio and the working class unless she alters her stance on trade: John Russo (Opinion)," Cleveland.com
.......
 "It is widely speculated that the Obama administration will push for TPP acceptance in the lame-duck session following the 2016 general election. According to a tweet from CNN's Dan Merica, Clinton says she will not lobby Congress on the issue. But this will only undermine her credibility....

Clearly, trade policy poses a problem for Democrats and their presumptive candidate. Clinton has been tied to former President Bill Clinton's NAFTA legislation and its Wall Street proponents. While she has stated that she is against TPP at this time, many Ohioans hear that as weasel words that only contribute to their distrust of Clinton....

She should stop talking about retraining and promising high-tech jobs, which only reminds voters of how hollow such programs have been in the past.

Instead, Clinton should acknowledge that we have lost the trade war and pledge to use every legal means at her disposal to protect American workers and industries from the continued onslaught of imports. This would include initiating trade cases against countries that target American industries by subsidizing their exports, exploiting workers, manipulating their currencies, and polluting the environment.

She should threaten to impose tariffs on every imported product from countries that refuse to implement the same U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations and federal, state and local tax requirements that are imposed on American businesses.... 

  
In the latest Quinnipiac poll, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are tied in battleground Ohio. This suggests a very close race in Ohio in the fall.

Economic issues, especially trade, led many former Democrats to cross party lines to support Trump in the Republican primaries. Many who hadn't voted in recent elections joined them. We're likely to see a repeat of this in November unless Democrats change their trade policies.

None of this should surprise Democrats, especially those in Ohio."...

===================

6/21/16, "New Ohio poll shows Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump tied in Ohio," Cleveland.com, Andrew J. Tobias

"Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's race for Ohio remains a toss-up, with a new poll finding the two presumptive nominees are tied in the perennial battleground state."...


===========

"U.S. trade deficit with the TPP countries cost 2 million jobs in 2015, with job losses in every state"...

3/3/16, "Ohio lost 112,500 jobs due to trade with TPP countries (graphic): EPI," Cleveland Plain Dealer, Olivera Perkins, Cleveland, Ohio

"Ohio lost 112,500 jobs in 2015 resulting from the United States' trade deficit with countries that are part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, according to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute.

That places Ohio sixth, in terms of the percentage of jobs lost to trade with TPP countries, among the 50 states and the District of Columbia ranked in the report released Thursday by the liberal Washington, D.C.-based think tank. The lost jobs represent nearly 2.2 percent of employment in Ohio, according to the analysis....

The TPP is a free trade agreement between the United States and 11 partnership countries, including Canada, Mexico, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia. While the countries have reached final agreement on the trade accord, it probably will not go into effect for several months. The agreement must clear several hurdles, including final ratification by Congress....

"Currency manipulation is one of the key driving forces behind the high and rapidly rising U.S. trade deficit with the 11 other members of the TPP," states the report, co-authored by Elizabeth Glass, an EPI trade and manufacturing policy research assistant.

"In 2015, the U.S. deficit with TPP countries translated into 2 million U.S. jobs lost, more than half (1.1 million) of which were in manufacturing."

The report says that the TPP should include "a set of restrictions and/or enforceable penalties against member countries that engage in currency manipulation."

"Without such provisions against currency manipulation, the TPP could well follow other trade agreements and leave even greater U.S. trade deficits in its wake," the report states.


Such concerns about currency manipulation are unfounded, according the USTR website.

"We have worked with macroeconomic authorities of TPP countries to secure a joint declaration that recognize our mutual interest in addressing unfair currency practices," it states.


Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, said that is not enough.

"EPI's new report quantifies what a mistake it was to leave currency rules out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership," he wrote in a news release. "The trade deficit with TPP countries-attributable in large part to misaligned currency-cost America's working families 2 million jobs in 2015, more than half in manufacturing."
 

"Omitting currency rules from the TPP benefits Wall Street, making the TPP a tool for off-shoring jobs, not for job creation," he wrote. "If Congress is waiting for more evidence that TPP is a bad deal, this is it.""...

......................
============ 

From Economic Policy Institute report:

3/3/16, "Trans-Pacific Partnership, currency manipulation, trade, and jobs"

 
"U.S. trade deficit with the TPP countries cost 2 million jobs in 2015, with job losses in every state," Economi
c Policy Institute, by Robert E. Scott and Elizabeth Glass


Currency manipulation occurs when a country artificially depresses the value of its currency. Currency manipulation acts like a subsidy to the exports of the manipulating country, and a tax on U.S. exports to every country where U.S. exports compete with the currency manipulator’s exports. In this way, currency manipulation increases U.S. imports, suppresses U.S. exports, and inflates U.S. trade deficits. As past EPI research has shown, currency-manipulation-fueled trade deficits have reduced U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), eliminated millions of U.S. jobs, driven down U.S. wages, and propelled the outsourcing of U.S. jobs to currency manipulators.
..........
Many members of the proposed TPP, including Malaysia, Singapore, and Japan, are known currency manipulators. Others, namely Vietnam, appear to be following the lead of currency manipulators by, for example, acquiring excess foreign exchange reserves to depress the value of their currency. Currency manipulation explains a substantial share of the large, persistent U.S. trade deficit with the 11 other TPP countries that has not only cost millions of U.S. jobs but also increased income inequality and put downward pressure on American wages. We can’t afford a trade agreement that not only allows but would intensify these harmful trends:"...


================

Below, 11/9/2015, "Clinton Will Oppose TPP But Not Encourage Congressional Opposition," You Tube



 
 



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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Japan Supreme Court upholds government's blanket surveillance of the country's Muslim community-UK Independent

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6/29/16, "Japan's top court has approved blanket surveillance of the country's Muslims," UK Independent, Matt Payton

"Japan's Supreme Court has upheld the government's blanket surveillance of the country's Muslim community.

The court struck down the second appeal by Japanese Muslim plaintiffs against what they perceive as an unconstitutional invasion of their privacy and freedom of religion. 

A 2010 leak of 114 police files revealed nationwide surveillance of Japanese Muslims. The files revealed that Muslim places of worship, halal restaurants and Islam-related organisations across the capital, Tokyo, were being monitored.

Within a few weeks of the leak, the data had been downloaded 10,000 times in 20 different countries from a file-sharing website. A group of 17 Japanese Muslims, mostly from Middle Eastern and North African countries, decided to sue the Japanese government for infringing on their constitutional rights.

Mohamed Fujita, a native of Japan who converted to Islam over 20 years ago, is one of the 17 plaintiffs fighting the surveillance.

He told Al Jazeera: "They made us terrorist suspects, we never did anything wrong - on the contrary."

The Supreme Court finally dismissed the case after two appeals on 31 May. 

The plaintiffs were awarded ¥90 million ($880,000) as compensation due to violation of their privacy by the leak. However, the presiding judges did not make a judgment on police profiling and surveillance tactics which a lower court had upheld as "necessary and inevitable" to guard against international terrorism.

A lawyer for the plaintiffs, Junko Hayashi said: "We were told we don't have a constitutional case, we're still trying to figure out how it is not constitutional."

Speaking at a Tokyo symposium on government surveillance via weblink, NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden said: "People of the Islamic faith are more likely to be targeted...despite not having any criminal activities or associations or anything like that in their background, simply because people are afraid.""

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Comment: Why are they "afraid," Edward? Because their government knowingly participates in the genocide of its citizens. Citizens are defenseless and "afraid." OK?



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Per NBC News Wall St. Journal poll, voters prefer Trump to Hillary on major issues: Dealing with economy +10, Being honest and straightforward +16, Standing up for America +8, Terrorism and Homeland Security +5, gun issue +8, Changing business as usual in Washington +30. June 19-23, 2016, 1000 registered voters nationwide

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6/27/16, "NBC News/ Wall St. Journal Survey

Poll dates, June 19-23, 2016, 1000 registered voters nationwide, 43% Dem, 39% Repub., 11% Independent (p. 26). 47 Male, 53 Female (+6 female), p. 1. Error margin, 3.1%. "450 respondents reached with cell phone only, 50 respondents reached on a cell phone but who also have a landline."...

June 2016, among registered voters nationally:

page 10, Top priority of fed. gov. should be

28 National security and terrorism
22 Job creation and economic growth
14 The deficit and government spending

=================

page 25: For whom did you vote in 2012 (if you voted)?

42 Obama
31 Romney
9 Someone else
15 Did not vote 

=================

page 26: Political party identification

Totals:  

43 Democrat (strong, not strong, lean)
39 Republican (strong, not strong, lean) 
11 Strictly Independent

How strong:

22 Strong Democrat
9 Not very strong Democrat
12 Independent/Lean Democrat
....................
11 Strictly Independent
....................

9 Independent/Lean Republican
9 Not very strong Republican
21 Strong Republican
5 Other
2 Not sure

============

page 27, Do you or does anyone in your household own a gun?

45 Yes
50 No
5 Not sure

=====================

page 12, Presidential preference today among Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Gary Johnson (Libertarian), and Jill Stein (Green):

Hillary 39
Trump 38
Johnson 10
Stein 6
None, other, not sure 7

=========

page 12, Presidential preference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump only:

Hillary 46
Trump 41
----------------

page 12, If you didn't prefer either Hillary or Trump, but there were no other candidates, and you were voting today, which would you choose?

Hillary 30
Trump 29
Not sure 41

------------------



Comparing Trump and Hillary on major concerns:

page 17, Who would be better, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?

"Changing business as usual in Washington"

Trump 53
Hillary 23

======================

page 17, "Dealing with the economy"

Trump 47
Hillary 37

==================

page 17, "Standing up for America"

Trump 45
Hillary 37

--------------

page 17, "Terrorism and Homeland Security:

Trump 44
Hillary 39

........................

p. 17, "The gun issue"

Trump 43
Hillary 35

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page 18,  Who would be better, Trump or Hillary?

"Being effective at getting things done"

Trump 42
Hillary 39

...............................

page 18, "Being honest and straightforward"

Trump 41
Hillary 25

============

page 22, Which worries you more, that the US won't go far enough in monitoring potential terrorists living in the US, or won't go far enough? (Asked of one half the respondents, Form A)

54 Will not go far enough
39 Will go too far

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page 24, Recently, Donald Trump has called for a "total and complete shutdown temporarily" of Muslims entering the US. What is your view on this?

23 Strongly favor
11 Somewhat favor
13 Somewhat oppose
36 Strongly oppose
17 No opinion either way

---------------------------


https://www.scribd.com/doc/316881192/Nbcwsj-June-Poll

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Ed. note: Tiny text above in subhead, "Comparing Trump and Hillary on major concerns" is by order of google. I added a screen shot in legible type above the tiny text. This is how obsessed google is with preventing or sabotaging speech it disagrees with.



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Current head of EU, Juncker, gave billions in tax breaks to fat cats when he was Luxembourg Prime Minister. No jail time for EU's Juncker--jail time is demanded for whistleblowers who made Juncker look bad in LuxLeaks-BBC (Where is everybody invoking Hitler and Nazis when such comparisons actually apply?)

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"In some instances, the leaked records indicate, companies have enjoyed effective tax rates of less than 1 percent."

Juncker in 2011


 












6/29/16, "LuxLeaks scandal: Luxembourg tax whistleblowers convicted," BBC

"Two whistleblowers have been found guilty in the so-called "Luxleaks" tax scandal and given suspended sentences, while a journalist has been acquitted.

Former PricewaterhouseCoopers employees Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet received 12 and nine-month sentences respectively for leaking documents.

Prosecutors had sought 18-month jail terms for the two men. Edouard Perrin, a journalist who reported on the leaks, was acquitted of all charges.

Deltour, 31, and Halet, 40, also received suspended fines of €1,500 (£1,250; $1,650) and €1,000 respectively.

They have 40 days to appeal against the verdict. Deltour told Agence France-Presse that he intended to do so.

The prosecution accused Deltour and Halet of theft and said they violated a confidentiality agreement in their employment contract with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The two men faced a maximum sentence of 10 years.

The 30,000 pages of documents leaked by the whistleblowers exposed favourable tax arrangements offered by Luxembourg to some of the world's biggest companies - including Apple, Ikea, and Pepsi - while Jean-Claude Juncker, now head of the European Commission, was prime minister....

The same data received wider coverage after an international investigation of the data organised by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. 

But despite the revelations prompting parliamentary debates, select committee hearings, and an EU probe into anti-competitive tax deals, it is the two former employees of PWC and Edouard Perrin who ended up in the dock.

Although they have been given suspended sentences, the guilty verdicts for the two former PWC employees are likely to increase calls for more robust protections for whistleblowers....

The leak was the biggest expose of corporate tax deals until last month's publication of the Panama Papers, which revealed links between a number of international leaders and offshore shell companies that can be used to hide or launder wealth."

Juncker in 2011, above image caption: "Wrong man for the job': Jean-Claude Juncker tucks into his food - and wine - at a European finance ministers' meeting in 2011. A senior diplomatic source claims Mr Juncker 'reportedly has cognac for breakfast'," Reuters via Daily Mail


=================

May 2016 article

5/15/16, "LuxLeaks trial: Prosecutor demands jail for 'whistleblowers'," BBC

"The files showed how Luxembourg granted lucrative tax breaks that saved firms including Apple, Ikea and Pepsi billions of dollars in taxes, at a time when Jean-Claude Juncker, now head of the European Commission, was prime minister....

The documents were originally used for a 2012 report on French public television in collaboration with the BBC's Panorama. They gained international interest in 2014 with the huge "LuxLeaks" dump of all 30,000 pages into the public domain.

LuxLeaks was the biggest expose of corporate tax deals until last month's publication of the Panama Papers, which revealed links between a number of international leaders and offshore shell companies that can be used to hide or launder wealth."

..........................

Nov. 2014 report: 

"In some instances, the leaked records indicate, companies have enjoyed effective tax rates of less than 1 percent....Disclosure of the leaked documents comes at a sensitive time for Luxembourg, a nation with a population of less than 550,000. Amid the EU probe of Luxembourg’s tax deals, former Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker is in his first week in office as president of the European Commission, one of the most powerful positions in the EU....The European Union and Luxembourg have been fighting for months over Luxembourg’s reluctance to turn over information about its tax rulings to the EU, which is investigating whether the country’s tax deals with Amazon and Fiat Finance violate European law. Luxembourg officials have supplied some information to the EU but have refused, EU officials say, to provide a larger set of documents relating to its tax rulings."...

11/5/2014, "Leaked Documents Expose Global Companies’ Secret Tax Deals in Luxembourg," Int. Consortium of Investigative Journalism, icij.org, by Leslie Wayne, Kelly Carr, Marina Walker Guevara, Mar Cabra and Michael Hudson

""The landlocked European duchy has been called a “magical fairyland” for brand-name corporations seeking to drastically reduce tax bills.

Pepsi, IKEA, FedEx and 340 other international companies have secured secret deals from Luxembourg, allowing many of them to slash their global tax bills while maintaining little presence in the tiny European duchy, leaked documents show.

These companies appear to have channeled
hundreds of billions of dollars through Luxembourg and saved billions of dollars in taxes, according to a review of nearly 28,000 pages of confidential documents conducted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and a team of more than 80 journalists from 26 countries.

Big companies can book big tax savings by creating complicated accounting and legal structures that move profits to low-tax Luxembourg from higher-tax countries where they’re headquartered or do lots of business. In some instances, the leaked records indicate, companies have enjoyed effective tax rates of less than 1 percent on the profits they’ve shuffled into Luxembourg.

The leaked documents reviewed by ICIJ journalists include hundreds of private tax rulings – sometimes known as “comfort letters” – that Luxembourg provides to corporations seeking favorable tax treatment.

The European Union and Luxembourg have been fighting for months over Luxembourg’s reluctance to turn over information about its tax rulings to the EU, which is investigating whether the country’s tax deals with Amazon and Fiat Finance violate European law. Luxembourg officials have supplied some information to the EU but have refused, EU officials say, to provide a larger set of documents relating to its tax rulings.

Today ICIJ and its media partners are releasing a large cache of Luxembourg tax rulings – 548 comfort letters issued from 2002 to 2010 – and reporting on their contents in stories that will be published or broadcast in dozens of countries. It’s unclear whether any of these documents are among those still being sought by EU investigators, but they are the kinds of documents that go to the heart of the EU’s investigation into Luxembourg’s tax rulings.

The leaked documents reviewed by ICIJ involve deals negotiated by PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the world’s largest accounting firms, on behalf of hundreds of corporate clients. To qualify the companies for tax relief, the records show, PwC tax advisers helped come up with financial strategies that feature loans among sister companies and other moves designed to shift profits from one part of a corporation to another to reduce or eliminate taxable income. 

The records show, for example, that Memphis-based FedEx Corp. set up two Luxembourg affiliates to shuffle earnings from its Mexican, French and Brazilian operations to FedEx affiliates in Hong Kong. Profits moved from Mexico to Luxembourg largely as tax-free dividends. Luxembourg agreed to tax only one quarter of 1 percent of FedEx’s non-dividend income flowing through this arrangement – leaving the remaining 99.75 percent tax-free. 

“A Luxembourg structure is a way of stripping income from whatever country it comes from,’’ said Stephen E. Shay, a professor of international taxation at Harvard Law School and a former tax official in the U.S. Treasury Department. The Grand Duchy, he said, “combines enormous flexibility to set up tax reduction schemes, along with binding tax rulings that are unique. It’s like a magical fairyland.”

FedEx declined comment on the specifics of its Luxembourg tax arrangements. Other companies seeking tax deals from Luxembourg come from private equity, real estate, banking, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and other industries, the leaked files show. They include Accenture, Abbott Laboratories, American International Group (AIG), Amazon, Blackstone, Deutsche Bank, the Coach handbag empire, H.J. Heinz, JP Morgan Chase, Burberry, Procter & Gamble, the Carlyle Group and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. 

For their part, Luxembourg’s officials and defenders say the landlocked nation’s system of private tax agreements is above reproach.

“No way are these sweetheart deals,” Nicolas Mackel, chief executive of Luxembourg for Finance, a quasi-governmental agency, said in an interview with ICIJ.

“The Luxembourg system of taxation is competitive – there is nothing unfair or unethical about it,” Mackel said. “If companies manage to reduce their tax bills to a very low rate, that’s a problem not of one tax system but of the interaction of many tax systems.”

Less than 1%

Disclosure of the leaked documents comes at a sensitive time for Luxembourg, a nation with a population of less than 550,000. Amid the EU probe of Luxembourg’s tax deals, former Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker is in his first week in office as president of the European Commission, one of the most powerful positions in the EU.

Juncker, Luxembourg’s top leader when many of the jurisdiction’s tax breaks were crafted, has promised to crack down on tax dodging in his new post, but he has also said he believes his own country’s tax regime is in “full accordance” with European law. Under Luxembourg’s system, tax advisers from PwC and other firms can present proposals for corporate structures and transactions designed to create tax savings and then get written assurance that their plan will be viewed favorably by the duchy’s Ministry of Finance.

“It’s like taking your tax plan to the government and getting it blessed ahead of time,” said Richard D. Pomp, a tax law professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law. “And most are blessed. Luxembourg has a very user-friendly tax department.”

The private deals are legal in Luxembourg but may be subject to legal challenge outside the country if tax officials in other nations view them as improper.

Luxembourg’s Ministry of Finance said in a statement that “advance tax decisions” are “well established in many EU member states, such as Germany, France, the Netherlands, the U.K. and Luxembourg” and that they don’t conflict with European law as long as “all taxpayers in a similar situation are treated equally.” 

PwC said ICIJ’s reporting is based on “outdated” and “stolen” information, “the theft of which is in the hands of the relevant authorities.” It said its tax advice and assistance are “given in accordance with applicable local, European and international tax laws and agreements and is guided by a PwC Global Tax Code of Conduct.”

In its statement PwC said media do not have “a complete understanding of the structures involved.” While the company can’t comment on specific client matters, it rejects “any suggestion that there is anything improper about the firm’s work.”

ICIJ and its media partners used corporate balance sheets, regulatory filings and court records to put the leaked tax rulings in context. News organizations that have worked together on the six-month investigation include  

The Guardian,  
Süddeutsche Zeitung and 
NDR/WDR in Germany, the 
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation,  
Le Monde
Japan’s Asahi Shimbun
CNBC, 
Denmark’s Politiken
Brazil’s Folha de S. Paulo and others.

U.S. and U.K. companies appeared more frequently in the leaked files than companies from any other country, followed by firms from Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland. Most of the rulings in the stash of documents were approved between 2008 and 2010. Some of them were first reported on in 2012 by Edouard Perrin for France 2 public television and by the BBC, but most of the PwC documents have never before been analyzed by reporters.

The files do not include tax deals sought from Luxembourg authorities through other accounting firms. And many of the documents do not include explicit figures for how much money the companies expected to shift through Luxembourg.

Experts who’ve reviewed the files for ICIJ say the documents do make it clear, though, that the companies and their advisors at PwC engaged in aggressive tax-reduction strategies, using Luxembourg 

in combination with other tax havens such as 

Gibraltar, 
Delaware and 
Ireland."...

Among deals documents show:

"Belgium’s richest family, the billionaire de Spoelberch dynasty, obtained a private tax ruling from Luxembourg in 2008. The de Spoelberch clan, part of the country’s old nobility and close to the royal family, holds a big stake in ABInbev, the world’s biggest brewer whose labels include Budweiser, Stella Artois, Corona and Beck’s. The records indicate the de Spoelberch’s routed €2 billion through Ireland and then Luxembourg, reducing taxes with each step. The only sign of Luxembourg companies controlled by the family appears to be  

a small letter box at an address that lists nearly 
190 other companies
....
Gilded Age

Last month, in the Gilded Age splendor of New York’s private Metropolitan Club, Pierre Gramegna, Luxembourg’s minister of finance, tried to woo the Wall Street crowd with some premier cru wine and a little levity. He told assembled financiers that he wanted to dispel the myth that his tiny country is nothing more than a tax haven: “Luxembourg is not an offshore place. I say it loud and clear.”

What he got back was hearty round of laughter.

In the wake of the EU’s probe of its tax practices, Luxembourg officials continue to bristle at their nation’s tax haven label. The country, a founding member of the EU, boasts of being a multi-lingual nation in the heart of Europe with a business-friendly and stable government. Once primarily a steel-maker and manufacturer, Luxembourg has transitioned into a financial center rivaling London, New York or Hong Kong. With $3.7 trillion in assets under management by banks and other institutions, Luxembourg is second only to the U.S. as a global investment center.

More than 170 of the Fortune 500 companies have a Luxembourg branch, according to Citizens for Tax Justice, a nonprofit research and advocacy group. A total of $95 billion in profits from American corporations’ overseas operations flowed through Luxembourg in 2012, the most current statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis show. On those profits, corporations paid $1.04 billion in taxes to Luxembourg- just 1.1 percent.

Other tax havens, Ireland for example, openly advertise rock-bottom corporate tax rates of 12.5 percent. Luxembourg instead maintains a statutory tax rate of 29 percent, but the leaked files show that the duchy has routinely approved tax rulings that whittle down what counts as taxable income to practically nothing. 

This can drop Luxembourg’s effective tax rate deep into single digits."...

............


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Princeton, NJ woman awakes to Guatemalan illegal alien intruder raping her. The rapist currently resides in Princeton-NJ Star Ledger

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"Arias-Santiago is from Guatemala and living in the country illegally." 
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6/29/16, "Princeton woman awakes to being sexually assaulted by stranger," NJ Star Ledger, Anna Merriman, Princeton

Arias-Santiago
"A Princeton woman woke up early Wednesday to a stranger sexually assaulting her in her house, police said.

The intruder, later identified as Pedro Arias-Santiago, 26, of Princeton, was arrested outside of the woman's home in the 200 block of Birch Avenue by responding officers.

He was charged with aggravated sexual assault, burglary and theft.

The 28-year-old victim told police she was sleeping in her home when she woke up a little after midnight to find Arias-Santiago sexually assaulting her, the statement said.

Police do not believe the woman knew Arias-Santiago before the assault.

The woman ran from her house and called police, who captured Arias-Santiago just outside the house. They searched the 26-year-old and found he was carrying a few items of the woman's clothing.

Police believe Arias-Santiago got into the woman's house through an unlocked door.

Arias-Santiago is from Guatemala and living in the country illegally and federal immigration authorities were notified of his arrest, police said.

A judge later Wednesday set Arias-Santiago's bail at $200,000 and he was lodged at the to Mercer County Correction Center in Hopewell Township.

A spokesperson for the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office said they do not yet have a date set for Arias-Santiago's bail hearing."

Image caption: "Pedro Arias-Santiago, police photo.



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NY State Conservative Party Chair Mike Long says support for Trump is 'overwhelming' among party's 287 member committee. Trump polling 'extremely well' in Nassau, Suffolk, and upstate, Trump making NY State competitive for Republicans-Newsmax, 6/29/16

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6/29/16, "Conservative Party Chair: Trump Could Turn NY Around," Newsmax, John Gizzi
............
"New York Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long predicts that Donald Trump would make his state “very competitive” in the fall.
........
He’s running extremely well in Suffolk and Nassau Counties and upstate, Long told me, citing “privilege polling” he had recently seen. There’s a revolution against politics as usual taking place and, while winning New York is difficult for any Republican, Donald Trump is making it competitive.

............
"In so doing, he can change the dynamics of the election this November.”

..........
Long underscored that support for Trump was “overwhelming” among the party’s 287-member state committee.

..........
With New York one of the five states in which candidates can appear on multiple ballot lines and have all of their votes counted in an aggregate total, the Conservatives are expected to officially “cross endorse” Trump at their state committee’s September meeting.

..........
The state is also eyeing two important Republican primary contests for open U.S. House seats: the 19th District, in which former State Assembly Minority Leader John Faso rolled up nearly 70 percent of the vote, and the 22nd District, in which State Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney emerged the winner in a three-candidate race with 42 percent of the vote.

........
Long was a pivotal player in the wins of Faso and Tenney, both of whom are stalwart conservatives. With Long’s strong encouragement, the Conservative Party gave its fall ballot line to Faso and Tenney.

...........
“And in both races, this sent a clear message to rank and file Republicans as to who was the real conservative in the primary,” Long told us, “You might call our endorsement the ‘Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” of conservatism.”

...........
Agreeing that both Faso and Tenney would succeed two far more moderate GOP U.S. Representatives (retiring Reps. Chris Gibson and Richard Hanna respectively), Long said that “the primary wins of John and Claudia gives us an opportunity to hold these open seats with Republicans who are far more conservative than the outgoing congressmen.

.............
"The election of both would be a clear upgrade for conservatism.”"

.............
"John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax."



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Trump and Hillary in statistical tie in June 21-27, 2016 Quinnipiac Poll, 42H-40T. Trump leads Hillary as better job creator by 12 points, Trump more trustworthy by 8 pts, Trump stronger leader by 6 pts, Trump better at handling ISIS by 13 pts. Trump at 33 among Hispanic voters, better than Romney's 27 and McCain's 31

.
33% of 2016 Hispanic voters choose Trump in latest Quinnipiac national poll putting him ahead of both Romney and McCain's final result in this group. Only 27% of Hispanic voters chose Romney in 2012, 31% chose McCain in 2008.
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Poll dates, June 21-27, 2016, 1610 registered voters nationwide, 2.4 error margin. Sample: 28% R, 31% D, 33% Independent. Cellphone only 39%, landline only 5%, combinations of both, 15% and 40%.

6/29/16, "Quinnipiac University Poll"

Hillary v Trump with no other candidates: q. 1

Hillary 42
Trump 40

Hillary v Trump After adding third party candidates: q. 2

Hillary 39
Trump 37 
Johnson-Libertarian 8
Stein-Green 4

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Independent voters, p. 3

Trump 36
Hillary 34

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Hispanic voters, p. 3

Hillary 50
Trump 33

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Trump better at creating jobs than Hillary by 12 points, 52-40, p. 9

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Trump more trustworthy than Hillary by 8 points, 45-37, p. 12

Among independent voters, Trump more trustworthy by 20 points, 47-27, p. 12

Trust for Hillary drops 10 points among Hispanic voters who said they'd vote for her. 50% said they'd vote for her, only 40% say she's more trustworthy, p. 12

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Trump better at handling ISIS than Hillary by 13 points, 52-39, p. 9

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Trump a stronger leader than Hillary by 6 points, 49-43, p. 12

Among independent voters Trump a stronger leader by 12 points, 51-39, p. 12

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Added: Media says it's "shocking":

To deflect from so-called "shock" of the dead heat, pollster and media sell old standby, "hate," in a never ending quest to pollute and dispirit the electorate: 
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6/29/16, "They're TIED: Trump vs. Clinton is suddenly too close to call as pollsters say Americans hate 'mean-spirited, scorched earth campaign between two candidates they don't like'," Daily Mail, David Martosko 
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"A shocking national poll released Wednesday morning shows the U.S. presidential race as a statistical dead heat, with Democrat Hillary Clinton's lead over Republican Donald Trump shrinking to just 2 percentage points, a number that's within the survey's margin of error.
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The respected Quinnipiac University poll found Clinton with a 42-40 lead in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup, narrowing from a 4-point gap a month ago....
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The Quinnipiac poll showed two ethnic trends behind the scenes of the results, with blacks favoring Hillary by an iron-clad 91-1 margin and Hispanics favoring her 50-33.
If Trump were to win the support of one-third of Hispanic voters, he would outperform both Mitt Romney in 2012 (27%) and John McCain (31%) in 2008. Those men, the last two GOP nominees, polled 27 per cent and 31 per cent, respectively, among Hispanics on Election Day."...
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