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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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Tax havens are entrenching poverty in developing countries | Richard Miller

Category : Business

Poorer nations lose three times more money to havens a year than they get in aid. The G8 has the chance to change this

The Guardian has brought yet more news about the widespread use of tax havens by some of the world’s largest multinationals operating in developing countries. From ActionAid’s own investigations we know that these tax havens can all too often provide vehicles for tax avoidance that hits the world’s poorest hardest.

In the case of just one FTSE100 multinational we recently investigated – Associated British Foods, maker of Ryvita and Silver Spoon sugar – we found the company had used tax haven conduit companies to legally avoid enough Zambian tax to put 48,000 children in school. Zambia is a nation where almost half of children fail to complete their education.

Tax haven secrecy can also be used to deflect scrutiny from a range of unaccountable transactions in developing nations. Kofi Annan’s Africa Progress Panel last week highlighted mining deals involving two FTSE100 multinationals, carried out through companies in the British Virgin Islands, Panama and Gibraltar, which the panel claims have deprived the Democratic Republic of Congo of an estimated $1.36bn – almost twice the country’s education and health budgets combined.

From near-deserted Caribbean islands to major financial centres, tax havens offer a harbour for wealth and profits siphoned from around the world. Tax havens provide the legal machinery for tax avoiders, and protection for illegal tax evaders, denying developing economies the public revenues needed for hospitals, schools, clean water and functioning roads. The figures are staggering. According to the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development, developing countries lose three times more money to tax havens each year than they receive in aid.

The statistics cannot, of course, show the tax impact of each tax haven company. Some may indeed have real business, and not simply be avoiding taxes in places where real business is done. But this is precisely the point: corporate reporting fails to show the transactions and tax bills of multinationals’ operations in many of these jurisdictions. And these same jurisdictions often deny this information to under-resourced tax authorities in the world’s poorest countries too.

Tax haven structures may be nearly universal, but they are not a fact of nature in modern business. Financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown and mining company Fresnillo, for instance, have no tax haven subsidiaries at all, despite operating in sectors that are no strangers to “offshore”. Others are making efforts at least to disclose their tax structures around the world: when ActionAid put questions about their tax haven companies to all FTSE100 companies, 15 responded with significant extra details.

Yet overall there is little incentive not to place profits and assets in tax haven companies, or to disclose these profits and assets, unless governments themselves end the secrecy and abusive tax regimes that tax havens offer. The countries represented at June’s G8 have a unique combination of economic and political weight, responsibility and jurisdiction over the problem. The UK alone is responsible for one in five of the world’s tax havens, more than any other single country in the world. Yet while the UK and other wealthy countries have recently begun to push their tax havens to disclose the financial assets that their taxpayers hold offshore, these deals as yet leave developing countries out in the cold.

The G8 can and must commit to ending the anonymous ownership of tax haven companies and trusts, and making tax havens disclose the information that tax authorities around the world desperately need. To fix the biggest part of this problem the information it generates must be available for all countries – including the poorest – from day one.

When the UK government convenes the leaders of the world’s wealthiest countries at the G8 summit this June, it has an opportunity, an interest and a duty to do something extraordinary: to tackle one of the biggest hidden obstacles in the fight against poverty by putting an end to tax havens. With David Cameron, George Osborne, François Hollande, Angela Merkel, other world leaders and ordinary taxpayers calling for change, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. None of us – from the richest to the poorest countries – can afford for the G8 to miss it.

Extend migrants’ benefits says EU

Category : Business, World News

The European Commission will unveil plans on Wednesday to extend the length of time home states must support their own citizens seeking work in other EU countries.

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World’s 5 hottest stock markets

Category : Business, Stocks

From Japan and the Philippines to the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, these countries’ stock markets have rallied more than 20% so far this year.

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Seeker Tec International Inc. (SNTL: OTC Pink Current) | Seeker Tec International, Inc. Announces International Appointment (

Category : Stocks, World News

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Seeker Tec International, Inc. Announces International Appointment (

PR Newswire

MANDEVILLE, La., April 26, 2013

MANDEVILLE, La., April 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –

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Ticket machine card fraud rise in EU

Category : World News

Several European countries have reported a rise in card crime at ticket machines and petrol pumps, says study

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Cyprus bailout: Europe’s love just got even tougher

Category : Business

Getting tough on Cyprus was sensible. Elsewhere in the eurozone, a much softer touch is needed

Once again the euro has been saved, but the eurozone continues to stumble towards disaster. The distinction matters, even if European finance ministers emerged from their late-night negotiations talking proudly of having kept Cyprus inside the euro and – though they didn’t say this explicitly of course – of having stiffed Russian fatcats. For while southern European debtors are the problem for the euro, it is northern European creditors who are the problem for the eurozone.

In technical terms, the ministers have reason to be pleased. With the Cyprus deal, they have achieved two things. They have proved that member countries will do almost anything to stay inside the single currency, rather than suffer the ignominy and economic cardiac arrest that an exit would bring. If neither Greece nor Cyprus will leave, then no one will, short of revolution.

Second, they showed that the German-led emphasis on running the euro through tough love still works. And toughness is right when faced with banking crises, which is what Cyprus’s troubles amounted to: ever since the great Walter Bagehot coined the phrase “lender of last resort” in the 1860s, it has been evident that financial rescues must be mixed with punishment.

In 2008-09, amid panic after the Lehman collapse, there was too little punishment of bankers, shareholders and creditors who had let their institutions take reckless risks. Rescuing the financial system took priority. The same was true during the European bailouts for Ireland and Spain. The Cyprus deal improves on that, and sets a helpful new precedent.

Those who deposited large sums in Cypriot banks were not just tax-evaders in their home countries, though often they were that; they were also lenders to these banks who enabled them to act recklessly in Greece and elsewhere. A bank deposit is the same as a loan. So making depositors of €100,000 or more pay for part of the rescue is just the same as defaulting on debt.

Nevertheless, the Cypriot deal is a sensible reinforcement of tough love. The real problem with it at least as a focus of eurozone policy and politics, or as a cause of back-slapping satisfaction, is that it misses the bigger point. It is all about tough, and not at all about love. For the love part is what the eurozone now needs to focus on. Not for Cyprus, specifically, but across the whole single-currency area.

A currency can be saved, rather as in the 1920s the gold standard was preserved, but it is the countries that really matter. If the eurozone economies spiral further into in recession, their politics are going to turn nastier and nastier. The 25% vote in Italy’s election for the anti-establishment Five Star Movement led by the former comedian, Beppe Grillo, is a foretaste. And Italy may well have a second election in the next few months, in which the rebellion against austerity, the euro and above all Germany is likely to intensify.

Banking crises in countries such as Greece, Cyprus and Spain do pose genuine dangers. But a never-ending recession, with youth unemployment at 36% in Italy and over 50% in Spain, is a much greater hazard. And the tragedy is that it is avoidable – if only Germany and the other northern Europeans would drop their insistence on fiscal austerity for all and in every circumstance.

This week the International Monetary Fund advised the Netherlands that it really did not need to keep on cutting its budget deficit. It was good advice, and the same applies to Germany. They should be stimulating demand, not repressing it in a fit of sado-masochism.

The hope has to be that German policy will change once the federal elections are safely out of the way in September. Yet by then, Italy, the zone’s biggest sovereign debtor and its third-largest economy, might have elected a vehemently anti-German government, led either by Grillo or by the man he calls “the psycho dwarf”, Silvio Berlusconi. If the prospect of that doesn’t make the northern Europeans see sense, then nothing will.

Japan seeks to join TPP trade talks

Category : Business, World News

Japan says it wants to join the talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a free trade agreement currently being negotiated among 11 countries.

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Eurozone crisis: dispute over job cuts imperils Greece’s hopes of more aid

Category : Business

Troika of international lenders leaves country after failing to agree over future of 25,000 civil servants

Greece’s “troika” of international lenders – the EU, the European Central Bank and the IMF – have left the country amid a dispute over sacking 25,000 civil servants.

After extending their trip by several days, troika inspectors said they would return in April to finish their review.

Insiders confirmed that progress on an agreement to unlock the country’s next €2.8bn aid instalment, vital to public coffers, had been impeded by creditors’ demands to cut 25,000 civil servants from the state payroll by the end of the year.

Athens’s fragile government had hoped to convince lenders of the need to gradually transfer the employees into a special labour reserve by 2014, citing record levels of unemployment, anger with austerity and growing social unease. None of the mission chiefs was persuaded, however, given the reluctance of past administrations to shed staff who under the constitution enjoy jobs for life. Other disagreements included a relief plan for overindebted households and a controversial property tax levied through electricity bills.

Although both sides put on a brave face and played down the postponement – with the Greek finance minister Yannis Stournaras saying “there has been significant progress in the talks with the troika” – well-briefed sources did not share the same view. A member of one of the governing parties said there were “very real concerns” that further aid disbursements to Greece would be stopped. “The government is not going to axe civil servants. Full stop. There are very real concerns that come the summer the next loan disbursement [from the bailout] will not be made. Nothing is certain.”

If Athens refuses to press ahead with redundancies, the inevitability of the government having to adopt further cuts and tax rises looms. With revenue shortfalls in January and February described as much worse than expected, there are fears that the country’s reform programme will be derailed.

The Greek impasse came as European leaders joined battle in Brussels in an increasingly sterile argument over whether austerity or stimulus was the magic formula for arresting decline and spurring growth in the EU and single currency zone.

But for the first time since the sovereign debt and single currency crises ushered in the age of austerity three years ago, the leaders of the 27 countries or the 17 of the eurozone were unlikely to take any far-reaching decisions.

The summit was the first since the heads of government were stunned by the outcome of the Italian election, which delivered a resounding rejection of the harsh medicine prescribed by Germany and administered by Brussels.

“Italy is the talk of the town,” said a senior EU official. “One of the things that has shifted the debate is the Italian election. People are worried,” added a senior European diplomat.

But all the signs from Berlin and Brussels indicated that while voters may kick out policymakers, they cannot overturn the policies since the room for manoeuvre in the declining economies of, say, Italy or France, as well as bailout recipients, is too narrow if they want to retain the confidence of the financial markets.

“If you need to get people to lend you money, if you finance yourself in the markets, an economic policy shift is not viable,” said the senior diplomat. “It’s about credibility.”

The Thursday evening summit focused on economic policy options and was to be followed by another meeting of the 17 eurozone leaders at which Mario Draghi, the head of the European Central Bank, was to brief the meeting and was expected to name and blame countries failing to implement adequate structural reform.

While the draft summit communique repeatedly referred to the need to stimulate growth and deplored Europe’s record levels of unemployment – more than 26

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AUDIO: Bank bonus cap ‘will not reduce risk’

Category : Business

Negotiations to introduce a bonus cap in the European Union have stalled after EU countries and the bloc’s parliament clashed over how far to go in curbing pay for the industry’s top earners.

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EpiCept Corp. (EPCT: OTC Link) | Immune Initiates Bertilimumab Phase II Clinical Trial in Ulcerative Colitis

Category : Stocks, World News

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