News Burst 5 October 2021 – Get The News!

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  • Two Danish metal detector enthusiasts found a large silver trove put into the ground outside Ruds Vedby in the middle of the island of Zealand. Over 600 coins were buried at some point between the 11th and the 12th century, and they date from the period when the Viking Age turned into the Middle Ages.
  • China plans to build a special pad at the Wenchang Space Launch Site in Hainan to launch the next-generation Long March 8 rockets on a weekly basis, the head of the Long March 8 project at the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), Xiao Yun, said on 4 October. “Our current preliminary plan is that we will be able to carry out one launch every seven days to meet public needs,” Xiao told China Central Television. The first Long March 8 test launch was successfully carried out last December, delivering five satellites to orbit.
  • Facebook and its subsidiaries Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are down, according to tracker DownDetector, frustrating social media users worldwide. Facebook says it is working to solve the issue. Users began reporting problems accessing servers to the major social media sites on Monday morning and afternoon, according to DownDetector, which logs user issues with popular websites.
  • At least 126,000 gallons (3,000 barrels) of oil have spilled into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Orange County, California, decimating wildlife and upsetting beachgoers, with the clean-up expected to take weeks or even months. The oil may have begun leaking on Friday, with authorities pointing to an offshore rig operated by Beta Offshore as the likely culprit. By Sunday, the slick had reached the coast and covered some six miles (9.6 km) of Huntington Beach shoreline.
  • The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) published the Pandora Papers on 3 October, revealing that over 35 current and former world leaders, as well as more than 330 officials around the world, used offshore companies to avoid taxation of income. The dossier contains over 11.9 million leaked financial documents.
  • The ICIJ led what it called “the world’s largest-ever journalistic collaboration,” involving over 600 journalists from 150 media outlets in 117 countries, to comb through the trove of 12 million documents, dubbed the ‘Pandora Papers’.
  • The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has released the Pandora Papers, the largest trove of leaked offshore data, accusing world leaders, businessmen, and celebrities of engaging in offshore activities. The consortium, which receives general support funding from the Open Society Foundations, founded by Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros.
  • The recent publication of the Pandora Papers has shown that the US is the largest tax haven, despite Washington’s vows to fight against money laundering, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on 4 October. The Pandora Papers earlier revealed that some American states, namely South Dakota and Nevada, have become perfect places to hide billions of dollars in wealth linked to people previously accused of financial crimes.
  • According to the investigation, King of Jordan Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein used companies in the British Virgin Islands and other offshore territories to buy property in the UK and US worth more than $100 million. The reports claimed that he bought mansions in Malibu, California, and properties in London and Ascot in the UK. The royal palace of Jordan,issued a statement on Monday, explaining how King Abdullah II was widely known to be a rich man and stating that the part of Pandora Papers revealing his finances doesn’t show any impropriety.
  • Lebanon’s last two prime ministers and the serving governor of the country’s Central Bank are wiring funds to offshore accounts at a time when the country is struggling with a crippling economic crisis and the banking system is in disarray, the ICIJ said in the Pandora Papers exposé. The current prime minister, Najib Mikati, has a fortune of more than $2 billion and is one of the richest people in the country, according to the exposé.
  • President of Chile Sebastian Pinera denies the claims made by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) regarding the sale of the copper and iron mine Minera Dominga in the British Virgin Islands. According to the new ICIJ leak (Pandora Papers), Pinera’s family sold the Minera Dominga business to the president’s childhood friend, businessman Carlos Alberto Delano, in 2010 with a deed signed in Chile for $14 million and another in the Virgin Islands for $138 million.
  • The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) said on 4 October that it will look into the journalistic exposé of tax evasion schemes among top-level officials worldwide, known as the Pandora Papers, to identify any possible Australian links.
  • British businessman Mohamed Amersi advised a Swedish multinational telecoms company Telia on a 2010 deal, found to be a $220m (£162m) bribe for Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of the then president of Uzbekistan. That’s according to leaks by the Pandora Papers, led by the BBC Panorama and The Guardian in the UK.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has allegedly used offshore schemes so that his family could receive profits from their undeclared businesses overseas, the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) said on 3 October, citing the Pandora Papers. “The files also show how another European leader elected on an anti-graft platform, Volodymyr Zelensky, appears to have used complex offshore arrangements to allow his family to continue benefiting from overseas business without declaring it”, the OCCRP said in a statement.
  • Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis has commented on the Pandora Papers claim that he allegedly used an offshore company to purchase a lavish chateau for $22 million, saying that all his actions were within the legal framework. According to the Pandora Papers, the five-bedroom Chateau Bigaud on the French Riviera is registered to a subsidiary of one of the Czech companies indirectly owned by Babis. The papers allege that Babis moved $22 million through offshore companies to buy the lavish estate in 2009, while keeping his ownership secret.
  • The family of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has allegedly traded almost 400 million pounds ($542 million) worth of UK real estate in recent years, The Guardian reported on Sunday, citing the Pandora Papers. According to the newspaper, the findings reveal activities of a network of offshore companies linked to Aliyev’s family and associates. One of the properties is said to have been sold to the Queen’s crown estate. The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) said, citing the Pandora Papers, that Aliyev’s family and associates have owned 84 previously unknown offshore companies since 2006, registered in the British Virgin Islands.
  • Former US intelligence officer and whistleblower Edward Snowden , says offshore companies still compile secret databases, despite leaks such as the Pandora Papers. “The humorous side of this very serious story is that even after two apocalyptic offshore finance/law firm leaks, those industries are still compiling vast databases of ruin, and still secure them with a Post-It Note marked ‘do not leak,’” Snowden said on Twitter on Saturday. “Hats off to the source!”
  • Top US law firm Baker McKenzie is among those who stand behind the existing offshore system, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) said in a report. “The Pandora Papers investigation also highlights how Baker McKenzie, the largest law firm in the US, helped create the modern offshore system and continues to be a mainstay of this shadow economy,” the ICIJ said. “The people that the firm has done work for includes Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, who US authorities allege laundered $5.5 billion through a tangle of shell companies, purchasing factories and commercial properties across the U.S. heartland,” the group said.
  • Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan became one of the first world leaders to react to the “Pandora Papers” on Sunday and said that Islamabad would investigate the activities of citizens mentioned in the leaked documents. “We welcome the Pandora Papers exposing the ill-gotten wealth of elites, accumulated through tax evasion & corruption & laundered out to financial “havens”. The UN SG’s Panel FACTI calculated a staggering $7 trillion in stolen assets parked in largely offshore tax havens”, Khan said in a series of tweets.

News Burst 5 October 2021

By cindyloucbp

Cynthia is the typical Pisces! Her left brain activities include scientific activities in the hospital laboratory as a director. Her right-brain activites show as a painter, photographer and musician. She is known as the scientist who sings!

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