• Rupert Murdoch Now Robs Australia.

    An $880 million payout to Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has reignited the debate over whether global companies pay their fair share of tax in Australia.

    News corp was paid the money after winning a long-running legal battle with the Tax Office relating to a 1989 restructure of the media empire involving billions of dollars and a company in the tax haven Bermuda.

    The ATO had refused to allow the deduction but News Corporation defeated the ATO in the Full Federal Court in July and the money began flowing to the company over the Christmas-New Year break.

    Mark Zirnsak, who is the Australian representative of advocacy group Tax Justice Network and was a member of a panel set up by the previous government to review the low tax paid by some multinational companies, said the payout 'highlights the urgent need for reform of the global tax rules'.
    'Multinational companies should not be able to use their legal structures involving tax havens to dodge tax in ways that nationally based companies cannot,' he said.

    The payout represents a significant proportion of the $16.8 billion deterioration in the federal budget announced by Treasurer Joe Hockey in December.

    It all but wipes out $1.1 billion in savings announced by Mr Hockey when he unveiled the midyear economic and fiscal outlook on December 17.

    Mr Hockey did not mention the payout at the time, instead blaming the budget's 'fiscal deterioration' on a softer economic outlook, downgraded exports forecasts and the previous Labor government.

    Asked why Mr Hockey did not mention the financial blow, a spokeswoman said: ''The speech on the day was about detailing the broad fiscal mess the government had inherited.''

    Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos declined to comment because of laws protecting taxpayer secrecy.

    In 1989, following years of rapid overseas expansion, News Corporation was in the grip of a debt crisis which the following year would bring it to the brink of collapse.

    News owed about $239 million more than it had in assets, with most of the debt due to companies within the group.

    By taking out fresh loans funded by moving around ownership of the US operation and its half-stake in Bermuda-registered News Publishers Limited, which owned part of the South China Morning Post, News hoped to make itself more attractive to banks.

    The restructure was funded by two cheques, totalling $3.27 billion, drawn on the account held by subsidiary News Finance at the Pitt Street, Sydney, branch of the Commonwealth Bank.

    However, the money flowed back into the account the same day the cheque was drawn.
    News subsequently claimed deductions for foreign exchange losses incurred because it later paid back loans denominated in US dollars in Australian dollars, which had fallen in value.

    A panel of judges decided in favour of News Corporation on July 25, but the money did not immediately flow because the ATO was still able to appeal to the High Court.

    The ATO's 28-day window to mount an appeal coincided with the federal election campaign, during which Mr Murdoch's newspapers ran heavily against the Labor Party and the then prime minister Kevin Rudd.

  • Al Jazeera Report On Cyber Paedophiles In Philippines.

    and - Journeyman Pictures -

  • Hamas And Israel Working Together?

    COVER-UP: Is Hamas Leader Al-Arouri A ‘Double Agent’ for Israel?

    Turkey along with the United States, openly acknowledged that a top Hamas operative has been residing in the NATO nation for sometime, this was not by accident, as Saleh al-Arouri, one of the founding members of Hamas’s Qassam Brigades was exiled to Syria until the Arab Spring, quickly making his way to Turkey thereafter.

    Earlier this summer, the Palestinian unity government was to take hold, and after the kidnapping deaths of three Israeli teens, a violent bombing campaign ensued, largely carried out by Israel, derailed the peaceful negotiations in the region again. Al-Arouri, once jailed in Israel for his Hamas membership, has stated the Palestinian group’s involvement in the deaths of the three Israeli teens without providing evidence…

    Turkey is no stranger to harboring various groups of fighters, as the paramilitary group ‘Front Victory’ guided by Turkish intelligence and reportedly backed by Saudi financiers, was found to be directly tied to the formation of ISIS.

    It should also be noted that Turkey was very supportive of its Western allies to invade Syria, a strategy which fit snugly with the policy planning of the US-Israel-GCC alliance. There seems to be warmth to Turkey and Israel despite the often overplayed icy relationship.

    In 2012, Turkey was said to have replaced Iran as Hamas’ top financial backer according to Israeli intelligence. The suspicious deaths of three Israeli teens in early June, has led to Gaza being bombarded for nearly two months now, suffering an enormous number of those wounded and killed. It has been stated that Hamas itself was in fact an Israeli creation, as a way to strategically weaken the PLO during the late 1980′s and some have associated the following quote with Charles Freeman a former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia: “Israel started Hamas. It was a project of Shin Bet which had a feeling they would use it to hem in the PLO.”

  • When Is James Foley Not #JamesFoley

  • James Foley And The CIA.

  • Four Lions.

    Interesting and funny comedy.

  • The New Madrid Fault.

    The New Madrid Fault could reawaken at any time and destroy St. Louis, Missouri and Memphis, Tennessee, like the New Madrid Earthquake of 1811-12. The New Madrid Seismic Zone, sometimes called the New Madrid Fault Line, is a major seismic zone and a prolific source of intraplate earthquakes (earthquakes within a tectonic plate) in the southern and midwestern United States, stretching to the southwest from New Madrid, Missouri.

    The New Madrid fault system was responsible for the 1811--1812 New Madrid earthquakes and may have the potential to produce large earthquakes in the future. Since 1812, frequent smaller earthquakes have been recorded in the area. Earthquakes that occur in the New Madrid Seismic Zone potentially threaten parts of seven American states: Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. Geographic extent The 150-mile (240 km) long fault system, which extends into five states, stretches southward from Cairo, Illinois; through Hayti, Caruthersville and New Madrid in Missouri; through Blytheville into Marked Tree in Arkansas. It also covers a part of West Tennessee, near Reelfoot Lake, extending southeast into Dyersburg. Most of the seismicity is located between 3 and 15 miles (4.8 and 24 km) beneath the Earth's surface. Earthquake history The zone had four of the largest North American earthquakes in recorded history, with moment magnitudes estimated to be as large as 8.0, all occurring within a three-month period between December 1811 and February 1812.

    Many of the published accounts describe the cumulative effects of all the earthquakes (known as the New Madrid Sequence); thus finding the individual effects of each quake can be difficult. Magnitude estimates and epicenters are based on interpretations of historical accounts and may vary. Prehistoric earthquakes Because uplift rates associated with large New Madrid earthquakes could not have occurred continuously over geological timescales without dramatically altering the local topography, studies have concluded that the seismic activity there cannot have gone on for longer than 64,000 years, making the NMSZ a young feature, or earthquakes and the associated uplift migrate around the area over time, or that the NMSZ has short periods of activity interspersed with long periods of quiet.

    Archeological studies have found from studies of sand blows and soil horizons that previous series of very large earthquakes have occurred in the NMSZ in recent prehistory. Based on artifacts found buried by sand blow deposits and from carbon-14 studies, previous large earthquakes like those of 1811--1812 appear to have happened around AD 1450 and around AD 900, as well as approximately AD 300. Evidence has been found for an apparent series of large earthquakes around 2350 BC.

    About 80 km southwest of the presently-defined NMSZ but close enough to be associated with the Reelfoot Rift, near Marianna, Arkansas, two sets of liquefaction features indicative of large earthquakes have been tentatively identified and dated to 3500 B.C. and 4800 B.C. These features were interpreted to have been caused by groups of large earthquakes timed closely together. Dendrochronology (tree ring) studies conducted on the oldest bald cypress trees growing in Reelfoot Lake found evidence of the 1811--1812 series in the form of fractures followed by rapid growth after their inundation, whereas cores taken from old bald cypress trees in the St. Francis sunklands showed slowed growth in the half century that followed 1812. These were interpreted as clear signals of the 1811--1812 earthquake series in tree rings. Because the tree ring record in Reelfoot Lake and the St. Francis sunklands extend back to A.D. 1682 and A.D. 1321, respectively, Van Arsdale et al. interpreted the lack of similar signals elsewhere in the chronology as evidence against large New Madrid earthquakes between those years and 1811.

  • A White Police Officer Kills Two Black People A Week In America.

    BvAwxX0IcAAyd6I.jpg large

    via Twitter

    The fatal police shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old black man by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, is certainly egregious overstep of police force, but not necessarily out of the ordinary. Sadly, it’s a scenario that is being played out week after week on city streets across the United States every year.

    According to data compiled by the FBI, in a seven year period ending in 2012 an average of nearly two black people were killed by police every week. Even more troublesome: Almost 20% of those killed were under the age of 21, more than double the rate of whites of the same age group. If you are black, being young doesn’t seem to protect you.

    If you’re the type of person who needs some anecdotal evidence to go along with the data, consider the following. Only a couple of days after Michael Brown was gunned down in Ferguson, a black mentally disabled Los Angeles 25-year-old wasshot 3 times in an incident with police. He later died of his injuries. Like Brown, the victim, named Ezell Ford, was unarmed. Think about that for a moment. As Ferguson was embroiled in national outrage, massive protests and localized riots over a fatal police shooting; police in another city shrugged their shoulders and killed another person in much the same way. Now protests have begun there, too.

    Two more examples to add to the nearly 100 black people killed by police every year.

    And that number is sure to be a massive underestimation. As the USA TODAY explains:

    While the racial analysis is striking, the database it’s based on has been long considered flawed and largely incomplete. The killings are self-reported by law enforcement and not all police departments participate so the database undercounts the actual number of deaths. Plus, the numbers are not audited after they are submitted to the FBI and the statistics on “justifiable” homicides have conflicted with independent measures of fatalities at the hands of police.

    In other words, police often don’t “count” the killings in the line of duty as homicides, because they simply file it under “justified” and move on. As University of South Carolina criminologist Geoff Alpert put it:

    “I’ve looked at records in hundreds of departments,” Alpert said, “and it is very rare that you find someone saying, ‘Oh, gosh, we used excessive force.’ In 98.9% of the cases, they are stamped as justified and sent along.”

    Police departments are often placed in the role of investigating their own shootings so it is unsurprising that many times they find that their officers were blameless in shootings. Add to that the complex history of mutual distrust between predominately black neighborhoods and the police and it’s no wonder that fatal police shootings are common, but rarely prosecuted.

    That isn’t to say other racial groups are completely safe from police fatal force, though. Cops in the United States kill an extremely high amount of people compared to other developed nations. Using the same data as above, local police departments record killing at least 400 people each year. In order to grapple with that, let us, for instance, compare that to the United Kingdom – a similarly affluent Western nation.

    According to an investigation by Channel 4 News, from 2011 to 2012, UK police officers fired their weapons just five times. In those incidence, just two individuals died. In the entire country, for an entire year, police officers killed as many people as unarmed black men were shot to death by police in the United States this week. Oh, and in an ironic twist, the citizens of England were so outraged that one of those men was shot by police that they rioted – protesting against the police for excessive force, setting police cars on fire, and burning down businesses. If the United States rioted for every murder at the hands of police, it’s entirely possible that not a single storefront in the nation would remain standing.

    It’s not just that American officers kill more people, they fire at people more often too. In a stark example, a report byNBC in 2011 found that German police officers fired just 85 bullets all year. In the same year in America, a single traffic stop in Miami led to police firing over 100 rounds at the suspect. Another 84 shots were fired at a murder suspect in Harlem. Another 90 shots fired at an unarmed man in Los Angeles. And so on.

    In what can only be considered a thinly-veiled thumbing of the nose to the United States’ dismal record, when asked about the declining use of guns by German police officers, a German interior minister famously remarked “Our police officers are no thugs in uniform.”

    It’s hard not to think American police departments have some explaining to do.

  • Another Day Another Black Guy Down.

    Could the police have shot him in the leg ?
    Could the police have tasered him ?
    Could the police have simply talked to him ?

    Where did it all go wrong america ?

    It has ALWAYS been like this for black people in america.

  • Jesse Williams On CNN. Ferguson.

    'Tell the story from the beginning' - as it should always be.


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