Category: Corruption


Fat M.PS get 10 % every year. When you are Ill who do you want better paid Jeremy Cunt or a doctor?

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How come their children are thin and starving? Wouldn’t a real mother feed their children first?

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Donald Trump put his name to a business deal intended to prevent the US Government collecting up to $100m in taxes, it is claimed. The Daily Telegraph obtained copies of two letters signed by the presumptive Republican presidential nominee in 2007, in relation to a $50m deal between the Bayrock Group, a US property firm, and Iceland’s FL Group.

In the first letter, the money is characterised as an investment by FL in four of Bayrock’s subsidiary partnerships, including the Trump SoHo, Mr Trump’s cherished Manhattan hotel and apartment building. But in the second letter, signed several weeks later, the deal is instead described as a “loan”.

Court papers seen by the newspaper claim that the change amounted to fraud, and that the agreement was altered to avoid millions in prospective tax payments. When partners sell a stake in a partnership in New York, they are liable for more than 40 per cent in tax on their gain – but if such a deal is labelled as a loan, the tax is not applicable.

At the time of the deal, Mr Trump had licensed his name to three Bayrock building projects, including the Trump SoHo, in which Mr Trump had a 15 per cent stake. His children Ivanka and Donald Jr also shared a three per cent stake in the project. Bayrock’s ties to Mr Trump were close: the company was based in Trump Tower, and the agreement with FL specified that the billionaire’s consent was required for the deal to proceed.

Former Bayrock employees, including the firm’s former finance director Jody Kriss, have alleged in a legal complaint that the “loan” deal was designed specifically to evade around $20m in tax related to the sale, as well as an estimated $80 in taxes on FL’s future profits from the property deal. Experts who assessed the documents told the Telegraph that the deal did indeed appear to be disguised as a loan, not an equity investment, in order to avoid tax.

Mr Trump’s lawyer, Alan Garten, told the newspaper that the mogul and reality TV star “had nothing to do with that transaction” and that signing the letters simply confirmed his participation as a “limited partner” in the projects. “He was not signing off on the deal,” Mr Garten said, insisting Mr Trump was not connected to the agreement’s tax implications because he was not a “party” to the final transaction between FL and Bayrock.

Bayrock said the allegations in the complaint by its ex-employees were “baseless”, that the complaint itself was “no longer operative” and that many of the allegations it contained “were based on misappropriated attorney/client privileged information [and] ordered stricken by a federal Court.” In a statement, the firm said the US Internal Revenue Service had audited the tax treatment of the FL loan found that it was “entirely appropriate,” adding: “The terms, provisions and structure of the FL Loan transaction evolved (as do most such transactions) and its final form was vetted and approved by outside accountants and tax counsel for both Bayrock and FL.”

FL Group went bankrupt shortly after the deal, during the Icelandic banking crisis of 2008.

Mr Trump has broken with recent political tradition by refusing to release his tax returns ahead of the presidential election in November, but said earlier this month that he “[fights] very hard to pay as little tax as possible.”

Source: Donald Trump signed off deal preventing collection of millions in US taxes | US elections | News | The Independent

The announcement by the MPs’ watchdog – the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) – comes after all MPs already received a 1.3 per cent increase to their basic salary in April and a 10 per cent pay rise last July.

The increase of £15,025 on top of a basic wage of £79,000 goes to members of a committee of senior MPs called the Panel of Chairs which has 39 members.

However, the pay rise only affects 16 of the MPs because 20 members already receive the money for serving on the panel for more than five years while another three are chairs of select committees in the House and as a result also already receive the supplement.

Members on the Panel of Chairs are selected by the Speaker of the Commons, John Bercow, and chair public bill committees, other general committees, and debates in Westminster Hall.

Ipsa chair Sir Ian Kennedy said: “Our decision reflects our conclusion that MPs who act as Chairs of all Committees should be remunerated at the same rate for the work that they do in Parliament.”

Source: Senior MPs pay rise will cost the taxpayer an extra £130k | Politics | News | Daily Express

On May 14, five days after voters in the Philippines chose Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as their next president, two masked gunmen cruised this southern city’s suburbs on a motorbike, looking for their kill.

Gil Gabrillo, 47, a drug user, was returning from a cockfight when the gunmen approached. One of them pumped four bullets into Gabrillo’s head and body, killing the small-time trader of goods instantly. Then the motorbike roared off.

VIDEO: Hope for cash-strapped cops in the Philippines

The murder made no headlines in Davao, where Duterte’s loud approval for hundreds of execution-style killings of drug users and criminals over nearly two decades helped propel him to the highest office of a crime-weary land.

Human rights groups have documented at least 1,400 killings in Davao that they allege had been carried out by death squads since 1998. Most of those murdered were drug users, petty criminals and street children.

READ MORE: Duterte to allow burial of Marcos at heroes’ cemetery

In a 2009 report, Human Rights Watch identified a consistent failure by police to seriously investigate targeted killings. It said acting and retired police officers worked as “handlers” for death-squad gunmen, giving them names and photos of targets – an allegation denied by Davao police.

But a four-year probe into such killings by the National Bureau of Investigation, the Philippines’ equivalent of the FBI, hasn’t led to a single prosecution, and one senior NBI agent told Reuters it will probably be shelved now that Duterte is set to become president. The nation’s Justice Secretary last week told reporters the probe may not be able to proceed.

Such impunity, and Duterte’s demands in recent weeks for more summary justice, could embolden death squads across the country, say human rights and church groups. Already there has been a spate of unsolved killings in nearby cities, with other mayors echoing Duterte’s support for vigilante justice.

“We’ve seen it happen in Davao and we’ve seen copycat practices,” Chito Gascon, chairman of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), an independent Philippine watchdog, told Reuters. “Now can you imagine he is president and the national model for crime-fighting is Davao?”

Ask Clarita Alia, 62, who still lives in the Davao slum where her four sons were murdered, and she gives a mirthless chuckle.

“Blood will flow like a river,” she says.

 

DENIES DIRECTING KILLINGS

Duterte, who has been Davao’s mayor or vice-mayor for most of the past 30 years, has denied any involvement in the murders. “I never did that,” he said on the campaign trail in April, responding to allegations he had directed the killings. An Office of the Ombudsman investigation also found there was no evidence connecting Duterte to the murders.

He has, though, repeatedly condoned them.

For example, in comments to reporters in 2009, he warned: “If you are doing an illegal activity in my city, if you are a criminal or part of a syndicate that preys on the innocent people of the city, for as long as I am the mayor, you are a legitimate target of assassination.”

And more recently he has vowed to wipe out crime in six months across the country by killing criminals, drug pushers and “sons of bitches” after he takes office on June 30.

“Do not destroy my country, because I will kill you,” the 71-year-old former prosecutor told a news conference in Davao on May 15.

He has also promised to restore the death penalty in the Philippines, warning he will hang the most heinous criminals twice: once to kill them, then again to “completely sever the head from the body”.

People here remember pre-Duterte Davao as a lawless battleground for security forces and Communist rebels. The city’s Agdao district was so violent it was nicknamed “Nicaragdao” after the then war-torn Central American nation.

Today, thanks to Duterte’s campaigns against drugs and crime, Davao today feels much safer, say the locals. But it still ranks first among 15 Philippine cities for murder and second for rape, according to national police.

 

ON WATCH FOR ASSASSINS

Reuters interviews with the families of four Davao victims, one of whom was a 15-year-old, showed that murders continued even as Duterte campaigned for the presidency.

All four killings occurred in the past nine months and bore the hallmarks of a loose-knit group that the locals call the Davao Death Squad.

The victims were shot in daylight or at dusk, three of them on the same street in a riverside slum seething with people. The killers rode motorbikes with no license plates, their faces hidden by helmets and masks.

Reymar Tecson, 19, was executed last August while sleeping at the roadside. A week later, Romel Bantilan, 15, was shot dead while playing a computer game less than 30 paces away.

Tecson’s family said Reymar was a drug user, but Bantilan’s family insisted that Romel was clean.

Romel had a twin brother, and their father, Jun Bantilan, said he had heard “rumours” that the other boy would be next. Most days Jun sits at the end of the street, watching out for assassins.

Nearby, in her tumble-down shack, Norma Helardino still wondered why her husband Danilo, 53, was shot dead in January. He didn’t use drugs, she said, although “maybe his friends did.”

The police filed a report but Helardino said she saw no sign of an investigation: “No witnesses came forward.” When asked who her husband’s killers were, she pointed to her tin roof and said: “Only God knows.”

The three dead males in the slum were “noted drug dealers,” said Major Milgrace Driz, a Davao police spokeswoman.

“It is their destiny to be killed because they choose to be criminals,” she said. “The mayor has already said there is no place for criminals in the city.”

Driz described 15-year-old Bantilan as a “recidivist” with a “criminal attitude” who had been repeatedly warned to mend his ways. She said he had delivered drugs for a gang which had probably murdered him over a money dispute.

Lack of witnesses meant the three murders remained unsolved despite diligent efforts to investigate, Driz added.

Responding to the Human Rights Watch allegations that the police conspire with the death squads, Driz said the police get the names of local criminals through a public hotline but don’t kill them.

 

CLOSED AND TERMINATED

Human rights activists say official investigations of death-squad killings have been hampered by a lack of witnesses, bureaucratic apathy and political influence.

The Human Rights Watch report called on the CHR to investigate whether Duterte and other officials had been involved or complicit in the deaths.

A CHR report three years later confirmed the “systematic practice of extrajudicial killings” by the Davao Death Squad. It, in turn, was successful in getting the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate whether Duterte was criminally liable for inaction in the face of evidence of numerous killings.

But in a January 2016 letter seen by Reuters, the Ombudsman told the CHR its investigation was “closed and terminated” because it had found no evidence that Duterte or the police were involved in the killings. The letter also dismissed the death squad as a product of “rumours and other gossips”.

The CHR report also triggered a probe by the NBI. Four years later, it is still ongoing, an agency spokesman said.

However, Secretary of Justice Emmanuel Caparas, who oversees the NBI, told reporters on Friday that the status of the investigation was unclear because a key witness, a former gunman, had left protective custody. “It’s really just a question now if the witness will surface,” he said.

And another NBI source, who requested anonymity because he wasn’t allowed to talk to the media, said the probe was now likely to be halted.

“Who will investigate the president?” he said.

Source: Insight: Philippine death squads very much in business as Duterte set for presidency | Reuters

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