Blogging The Boys (blog)
Five bold predictions for the Cowboys and Raiders preseason dress rehearsal
Blogging The Boys (blog)
The Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders are getting set to play a football game today. This is as true today as it will be on December 17th, but unlike that future Sunday today isn't a game that matters. Of course, it matters in the sense that it's a …
What the Raiders can expect from the Cowboys in their preseason week 3 match-upSilver and Black Pride
New global rules forcing companies to report taxable activities country-by-country publicly have been called for by a group of 300 prominent economists.
In a letter to world leaders, the group urges the UK to “take a lead” in the push for more tax transparency.
Poor countries are the biggest losers from tax havens, they claim.
The letter’s signatories, co-ordinated by charity Oxfam, include best-selling author Thomas Piketty and 2015 Nobel Prize economics winner Angus Deaton.
The letter comes ahead of the UK government’s anti-corruption summit on Thursday, which politicians from 40 countries as well as World Bank and IMF representatives are expected to attend.
The economists – who include almost 50 professors from British universities – argue the UK’s position as summit host as well as its sovereignty over what it says is a third of the world’s tax havens makes it “uniquely placed” to take the lead.
“We need new global agreements on issues such as public country-by-country reporting, including for tax havens,” the economists write in the letter.
“Governments must also put their own houses in order by ensuring that all the territories for which they are responsible make publicly available information about the real ‘beneficial’ owners of company and trusts,” they add.
The letter comes in the aftermath of the Panama Papers leak, which revealed how some rich people hide assets, sparking widespread condemnation that the authorities had failed to act.
One of the signatories, the economist Dr Ha-Joon Chang of the University of Cambridge, told the BBC that he signed the letter because he shared “the view that tax havens serve no useful purpose”.
Dr Chang said: “These tax havens basically allow companies and certain individuals to free-ride on the rest of humanity.
“These companies and people make money in one country by using workers educated with public money, using roads, ports and other infrastructure paid for by the taxpayers of that country and moving the money to another country in a shell company which doesn’t really do any business there.”
Another high-profile signatory, Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University, also told the BBC that tax havens showed “how the rich and the powerful really control the levers of finance”.
He said: “Even with the secrecy, we’re in a more transparent world so I think our governments are being pushed harder and harder to crack down on these abuses.”
However, James Quarmby, a tax lawyer at the international law firm Stephenson Harwood, argued that offshore financial centres play an important role in international finance and trade.
“The Panama papers had a number of people who used that jurisdiction for criminal purposes,” he said. “But you can’t just argue for shutting down of finance centres because some criminals use them.”
Mr Quarmby added: “There’s more money laundering going on in New York, Frankfurt and London than any of the finance centres and I don’t hear Mr Sachs arguing for those jurisdictions to be shut down.”
Oxfam said that more than half of the companies set up by Mossack Fonseca, the law firm in the Panama Papers leak, were incorporated in British Overseas Territories such as the British Virgin Islands.
“As long as British-linked tax havens continue to help the rich and powerful get away with dodging tax it will remain deeply damaging to the UK’s credibility as a leader in the fight against corruption and global poverty,” said Oxfam chief executive Mark Goldring.
Last month, tax and law enforcement agencies in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain agreed to share data in a new crackdown on international tax dodging.
Under the deal, the five nations will exchange information regarding beneficial ownership registers, which show who really owns assets.
However, only the UK has so far committed to making this information public.
Registers or “similarly effective systems” will be introduced in UK overseas territories, but are expected to be open to enforcement agencies, not to the public.
Separately, it has emerged that there has been an increase in the amount of money flowing offshore from developing countries, in particular Russia and China.
Research carried out by Columbia University professor James S Henry for the Tax Justice Network found $12.1tn (8tn) had been shifted out of emerging economies.
Offshore accounts belonging to Russian citizens totalled $1.3tn, while Chinese citizens, including those in Hong Kong and Macau, had $1.2tn sitting offshore.Continue reading
South Korea is playing into Kim Jong-uns hands by closing the Kaesong complex
Its barely February but already 2016 is yielding a grim winter harvest of new dates that will go into future Korean history books, to be remembered and regretted.
So far it has been the North, predictably, that has made most of the running. On 6 January Pyongyang got the new year off to a bang with its fourth nuclear test, supposedly an H-bomb. A month later on 7 February the regime made it a double with a satellite launch that functions as a partial test of an inter-continental ballistic missile.
But now South Korea has got in on the act, adding 10 February to the list of ominous dates. After several days of rumours, Unification minister Hong Yong-pyo confirmed that the South was closing the Kaesong industrial complex, the last remaining inter-Korean joint venture completely and indefinitely. Heres what he said:
Despite our efforts to support the Kaesong complex, the factory zone is seen as being used for North Koreas development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles Weve decided to halt the operation of the Kaesong complex to prevent South Korean money from being funnelled into the Norths nuke and missile developments and to protect our companies.
South Koreas anger and frustration are understandable. Authorities watch and seethe as Kim Jong-un, like his father before him, tests nukes and missiles in defiance of UN resolutions and with seeming impunity.
But will closing Kaesong help? On the contrary, I fear it may backfire and harm the South.
First, will this hurt the North? That question has two components, economic and political. The Ministry of Unification said this:
Until now, about 616 billion Korean won [about $516m] has flowed into North Korea via the Kaesong industrial complex, with 132 billion won alone last year. It is crucial for South Korea to actively get involved while the international community discusses tougher sanctions [on North Korea] for violating UN resolutions and pushing forward with a nuclear test and missile launch.
That sounds a lot of money, especially for an economy as small and short of hard currency as the DPRK. But Yonhap, South Koreas semi-official news agency, puts it in perspective by citing unnamed industry watchers who suggest Kaesong earnings comprise just one percent of North Korean trade.
The DPRK government keeps 30% of what the South pays towards Kaesong, the other 70% presumably goes to the 55,000 workers as wages. Compared to the $2.48bn Pyongyang earned from exports to China last year, Kaesongs $111m (gross) or just $33m net is small potatoes.
But politics is key, on both sides of the DMZ. Seouls Unification ministry says the South has been forced press ahead with sanctions, but whats the rush? It could as well wait till the UN security council drafts a new sanctions resolution which is surely closer as the rocket launch concentrates minds. By acting unilaterally now, Seoul is making a conscious choice.
Is it the right choice? One thing is for sure, it is a complete U-turn by South Koreas president, Park Geun-hye. Just three years ago, new in office, Kim tested her by fomenting a crisis in March and April. Remember all that rhetoric, extreme even by North Korean standards? Or the Chaplinesque staged photos of Kim and his generals, poring over maps of missile flight paths targeting the US including Austin, Texas?
Mostly this was mere talk, but the North also pulled its 55,000 workers out of Kaesong for no discernible reason. Park handled this challenge brilliantly. She kept her head, and patiently negotiated the reopening. By September it was up and running again.
Wisely too, Seoul insisted on new management rules to prevent any such unilateral sabotage from recurring. In August 2013 North and South signed a five-point agreement on what they called the constructive normalisation of the complex. This bears reading in full.
The two Koreas will not make Kaesong suffer again from the stoppage of the complex They will guarantee the normal operation of the complex [which is] not to be affected by inter-Korean situations under any circumstances.
Not under any circumstances. The words are unambiguous, as is their implication now. What South Korea has decided to do is to break a promise, tear up the deal and go back on its word.
So what has changed? The latest nuclear and missile tests cannot logically be seen as a deal-breaker. Park negotiated Kaesongs reopening in 2013 in the shadow of North Koreas third nuclear test that February, preceded by a satellite launch in December 2012. If that wasnt a sticking point then, why now?
Parks slogan used to be Trustpolitik. That means working with North Korea as it is, while seeking to change it over time. Like Ostpolitik in Germany, which paid off in the end, this cannot be done overnight.
For sure, South Korea is more sinned against than sinning. One expects nothing better from North Korea, but the South should steer a steadier course. Park has barely two more years left in office. Did she lose patience or lose her temper or change her mind?
At this rate Park will leave North-South relations in a worse state even than when she found them. Her hard-line predecessor Lee Myung-bak kept Kaesong open, despite two more immediately deadly provocations in 2010: the sinking of the Cheonan, and shelling of Yeonpyeong island.
For the past decade, the Kaesong zone has turned a bit of the worlds most heavily armed frontier, impassable for half a century, from a front line into a front door. That in itself was revolutionary, as was Seouls intention. A few small and medium enterprises would make money but the main objective was to demonstrate the benefits of cooperation to Pyongyang.
The tragedy is that this was working. An article by regional expert Christopher Green claims that Kim Jong-ils last instructions to his son included one to move decisively to close [Kaesong] as soon as you see a chance.
Kim senior apparently feared the zone was a Trojan horse, daily exposing 55,000 of his subjects to the palpable superiority of the enemys system. Exactly. So why is the South shutting it down?
Will this be the end of hopes that the two Koreas might manage the pragmatic cooperation which has transformed ties between China and Taiwan? With no Kaesong, South and North Koreans will no longer be in contact anywhere on a regular everyday basis. That is a great leap backwards.
A version of this article first appeared on NK News North Korea newsContinue reading
Use social media productively â Blogger
A blogger, Mr Felix Adomako, has urged the youth to use social media productively rather than for unproductive ventures. According to him, applying social media to create wealth or make money was one way unemployment in the country could be reduced, …
Why Millennials Are Choosing Podcasting Over Blogging To Build Their Personal Brands
Sharing news and views from the Forbes Under 30 community. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Guest post written by. Andrew Arnold. I help millennials live with passion and purpose while doing work that gives them freedom and …
The shock auteur is back in US cinemas with his second and arguably most extreme film. He shares his thoughts on Trump, Spring Breakers and fake vomit
Hi, John! Where are you?
Im in Provincetown. This is my 52nd summer Ive been here. (1)
Youre about to rerelease a restored version of your second film, Multiple Maniacs, into cinemas to shock a whole new generation. It stars Divine as the crazed impresario of a depraved freak show. How do you feel it plays now 46 years after it originally opened? (2)
Maybe it works better now than it did then. I dont know! Well see. Ive seen it with one audience and it seemed to play pretty well. People seemed startled by it, and it was an audience that had seen everything.
This was my trainer wheels for Pink Flamingos (3). This was when I finally got my voice even though it was too loud and too long. Its making fun of hippie rules of the era, the same way that I make fun of political or gayly correct rules today. I think its exactly like what all my work has been like from the very beginning, really.
How did hippies react to your gonzo vision back in the day?
They liked it! Who came were bikers though. And crazy gay people. And speed freaks. People on LSD. They were all radical within their own community and they responded to it very well.
This was in the peak of peace and love, but it was also at the peak when everything fell apart like crazy. There was such a war going on then between the hippies and the straight world; and straight didnt mean heterosexual it meant you didnt smoke pot or you didnt think the revolution was going to happen.
I read the original negative of the film was kept in your closet before being moved to your attic. Had you even wanted to rerelease it and have it restored?
Ive been trying to get this released for a long time. Basically when the Lincoln Center had a big retrospective of my work and they showed the last 60mm print, the people from Criterion were there and they called (4). I had no idea what they could do with restorations what they could make it look like.
They asked if I wanted to keep it exactly as is, with every mistake in there. I said,
Are you kidding me? I never purposely had mistakes in there! I dont want the splice marks to show, I dont want the dirt in the lens! Make it look good! Now it looks like a bad John Cassavetes movie.
What do you make of Multiple Maniacs returning during the Trump-era?
Lets hope that its not the era of Trump. That would mean he wins.
OK an era during which a reality star can get this far in the race to become president.
Oh, I lived through Nixon. I lived through Reagan. They were all horrible. [Laughs] Would Trump be offended by Multiple Maniacs? Probably not.Continue reading
Lets face it, most of us dream of being in a careerthat give us lifelong memories and adventures, rather than water cooler talk and an unwelcoming cubicle.
At some point, though, we mayhave to putour dreams on hold and take that desk job were not totally in love with.
Were told its all part of growing up, and we have to decide between paying the bills, or exploring the globe and being broke AF.
However, thats not entirely the case at all. There are actually a lot of jobs out there that can keep your wanderlust genemore than satisfied.
If traveling is what your heart desiresat this stage in your life, here are seven jobs that wont make you give up your wanderlust in your 20s.
I have a friend who made a living out of writing about theme parks for travel sites, and Im extremely jealous of her.
As a theme park journalist, youre able to travel to all the new parks, ride every new ride, and sample new, fun food items before anyone else.
You basicallyget to have the time of your life, and writeabout your epic adventures so you can help readersout on their own.
If you miss the days of having a carefree summer at camp filled with nonstop activities and smores late at night, then maybe you should be a camp director.
Whats better than living at camp all summer long?You can truly become one with nature while you spend your days canoeing and swimming in the lake.
My family took a cruise to Alaska, and for one of the port excursionswe went on a ziplining course in the rainforest withAlaska Canopy Adventures. It wasdownright beautiful, and so much fun.
Our tour guides told us they work in Alaska during the summer months, lead tourists on ziplining adventures, and then go home for the rest of the year.
Youre basically paid to zipline and chat with different people from all over the world every day. Dont forget, this is all while youre casually hanging out in the treetops in a gorgeousrainforest.
This maysound unusual to some, but just think about it youre working on a cruise ship, living on the high seas, exploring different ports of call, and entertaining tourists all while making money.
If you love traveling (and cake), you could be a traveling wedding photographer.
Alot of people jet off tospectaculardestinationsto tie the knot, and need their professional photographer to jointo capture all of the memories.
Youget to witness true love, while soaking up the beautiful landscape surrounding you. Dont forget the delicious dessert spread, too.
If you want to travel, theres nothing better than being a flight attendant. Youre literally always going somewhere.
A few hours in the air working, and then youre in a new place you can explore before your next assignment. The best perk about being a flight attendant is, of course, the free flights.
If youve always wanted to go to Europe, but never had the means to go, a job is the perfect excuse.
Atravel companylike Bus2Alpsis perfect for anyone in their 20swho wants to make money, while also exploring Europe.
Bus2Alps is a tour operator for study abroad students who want to take weekend, day, fall break, and spring break trips to places throughout Europe.
You could be a tour guide assisting these students on their journeys, while also making memories of your own.
They travel to places like Interlaken and Prague – which, I dont know about you, but aredefinitely on my bucket list.
If your heart wants adventure, but your brain is saying you have to be making money, theres always a compromise.Continue reading
Blogging The Boys (blog)
The Oakland Raiders almost signed Rico Gathers away from the Cowboys
Blogging The Boys (blog)
As Rico-mania has gathered momentum among the Cowboys faithful, we learn that the future for the basketballer-turned-footballer could have been very different. Yes, Rico Gathers was almost a Raider, the team the Cowboys play on Saturday night.
For those of you following Instagrams ad business, myheadline might seem a bit familiar yes, the Facebook-owned photo-sharing service announced another advertiser milestone back in February, but at the time there were only 200,000 advertisers, less than half of the 500,000 advertisers that Instagram says it has today.
To be clear, the company says thats the number of active advertisers in a given month, so its not counting someone who ran a campaign a year ago and never came back. And it says 1.5 million businesses have converted to the new business profiles that launched at the beginning of summer.
This time around, the big message is that Instagram campaigns arent just about reaching eyeballs, but also convincing users to buy products. For one thing, the company says that since the global launch of the ad program last September, Instagram ads have driven one billion user actions. It also says those ads drive a 2 percent lift in offline sales.
As an example, Instagram points to handbag brand Dagne Dover, whose Instagram campaign combined a Shop Now button with targeting at students, mothers, professionals and women interested in fashion and travel, ultimately increasing return on ad spend 13x in two months.
One of the most important things to us is that small businesses dont judge their success based on followers or likes, but that they focus on real world actions, said James Quarles, Instagrams vice president and general manager of monetization.
Quarles told me that Instagram will be giving businesses more data in this vein. In addition, it will be rolling out different ways to tell stories (so, more ad formats) and doing more to understand the customer journey (which could help advertisers show you the right ad at the right time, rather than trying to sell you a product before youre interested).
As for whether or not users can expect to seemore ads in their Instagram feed, Quarles said that thecompany is monitoring engagement closely, and that theres no set ratio of ads to non-ads. The key, he said is to make sure that ads are relevant to you theyre as well-crafted, theyre as high quality as all the content in peoples feeds.Continue reading
How 'We Wore What' Blogger Danielle Bernstein Went From Sophomore To Seven Figures In Under 6 Years
Coghlan: How quickly did you realize blogging could become a well-paying job? Bernstein: About a year in, my blog evolved into a personal style site and I started making money. That's when I realized it could become a business. Coghlan: How did you …