Pandora papers: biggest ever leak of offshore data exposes financial secrets of rich and powerful

The secret deals and hidden assets of some of the world’s richest and most powerful people have been revealed in the biggest trove of leaked offshore data in history.

Follow The Money
Branded the Pandora papers, the cache includes 11.9m files from companies hired by wealthy clients to create offshore structures and trusts in tax havens such as Panama, Dubai, Monaco, Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.

They expose the secret offshore affairs of 35 world leaders, including current and former presidents, prime ministers and heads of state. They also shine a light on the secret finances of more than 300 other public officials such as government ministers, judges, mayors and military generals in more than 90 countries.

The files include disclosures about major donors to the Conservative party, raising difficult questions for Boris Johnson as his party meets for its annual conference.

More than 100 billionaires feature in the leaked data, as well as celebrities, rock stars and business leaders. Many use shell companies to hold luxury items such as property and yachts, as well as incognito bank accounts. There is even art ranging from looted Cambodian antiquities to paintings by Picasso and murals by Banksy.

The Pandora papers reveal the inner workings of what is a shadow financial world, providing a rare window into the hidden operations of a global offshore economy that enables some of the world’s richest people to hide their wealth and in some cases pay little or no tax.

There are emails, memos, incorporation records, share certificates, compliance reports and complex diagrams showing labyrinthine corporate structures. Often, they allow the true owners of opaque shell companies to be identified for the first time.

The files were leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in Washington. It shared access to the leaked data with select media partners including the Guardian, BBC Panorama, Le Monde and the Washington Post. More than 600 journalists have sifted through the files as part of a massive global investigation.

The Pandora papers represent the latest – and largest in terms of data volume – in a series of major leaks of financial data that have convulsed the offshore world since 2013.

Setting up or benefiting from offshore entities is not itself illegal, and in some cases people may have legitimate reasons, such as security, for doing so. But the secrecy offered by tax havens has at times proven attractive to tax evaders, fraudsters and money launderers, some of whom are exposed in the files.

Continue reading at source…. https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/oct/03/pandora-papers-biggest-ever-leak-of-offshore-data-exposes-financial-secrets-of-rich-and-powerful

What’s Wrong With Free Range Eggs? Via: www.livekindly.co

Lauren Harris
Freelance Writer, Bristol UK | www.livekindly.co

Explaining veganism to people can be tricky. Generally, people seem to have got the hang of vegetarianism; it’s obvious that in order to make bacon, a pig has to die, there’s no getting around that fact. But when it comes to eggs, many are baffled; “surely it doesn’t hurt the chickens to take their eggs?” “as long as the chickens are treated well there’s no problem, right?”. Most egg-eating people I’ve spoken to say they only buy free-range eggs. I’m guessing my circle of friends must be poorly representative of the UK at large because recent figures from the UK egg industry state that only 50% of eggs consumed in the UK in 2016 were free-range (48% were from caged hens and 2% were from birds reared in barn systems) [1]. It could also be the case that many people who buy boxes of free-range whole eggs from the supermarket do not think to check the origins of eggs in things like store-bought cakes, or in dishes served to them in restaurants.

Caged Hens

“Hang on”, I hear you cry, “weren’t battery cages banned in the EU in 2012?” The answer is yes, standard battery cages (also called non-enriched cages) are currently illegal in the EU [2]. However, so-called “enriched cages” are still allowed and are used widely (see figures for UK above). Although these cages provide a small amount of extra space compared to standard battery cages, and provide a perch and dust-bathing area, they have still been condemned as unacceptable in a joint statement released by several international animal welfare organisations, including the RSPCA and the Humane Society of the United States [3].

Continue reading…

References

[1] British egg industry website “Egg Info” – accessed 05/05/2017 (link) [2] Council Directive 1999/74/EC (July 1999) – accessed 05/05/2017 (link) [3] Compassion in World Farming website: Enriched cages condemned- accessed 05/05/2017 (link)

Source: What’s Wrong With Free Range Eggs ? | Ethical Issues | LIVEKINDLY

DWP officials pocket £44 million in performance bonuses despite universal credit debacle

Figures also show DWP ministers spent £35million defending cruel decisions to deny sick and disabled people vital benefits.

Civil servants working for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have been handed over £40 million in performance-related bonuses, despite serious problems with the rollout of universal credit and a startling increase in the number of successful disability benefit appeals.

Figures released earlier this week show DWP staff were awarded £44 million in “good performance” bonuses in the last year, while thousands of new universal credit claimants were forced to a wait a minimum six weeks for their first payment and left at risk of becoming homeless because of rent arrears.

According to the figures, 240 senior DWP officials pocketed a total £760,000 in bonuses, while a further 88,300 junior staff were each handed an extra £1,750 in their pay packets.

A Cabinet Office spokesman defended the handouts, claiming bonuses are needed to “attract, retain and motivate highly-skilled individuals”.

Meanwhile, the data also reveals that DWP ministers spent a shocking £35 million of taxpayers cash defending cruel decisions to deny sick and disabled people Personal Independence Payments (PIP), despite separate figures showing 68% of appeals rule in favour of claimants – exposing chronic failures in the PIP assessment process…

• Full story here: DWP officials pocket £44 million in ‘performance’ bonuses despite universal credit debacle

Corbyn-award saga shows how new left media change narrative – and scare Establishment

SKWAWKBOX

Comment

jc peppaLast Friday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn received an award – jointly with world-famous author and activist Noam Chomsky – from the International Peace Bureau (IPB) for his “sustained and powerful political work for disarmament and peace”.

It was ignored completely by the mainstream media (MSM) – even days later.

However, the SKWAWKBOX’s article on it went viral.

The Establishment was forced to react. Right-wing bots, trolls and sockpuppets came out in force to defend the MSM – by attacking the article, the messenger, even the importance of the award and of the international organisation that made it – but made their agenda all too obvious.

Channel 4’s FactCheck decided it was fair for the MSM to ignore the award because they usually ignore it – which itself ignored the pertinent question: would they have ignored it if Theresa May had (impossibly) won it?

The answer is, of course, straightforward:…

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Adam Curtis: Additional Content


I recently had the pleasure of introducing a new friend to the edifying and entertaining oeuvre of Adam Curtis. For her, and others: a list of links that contain audio interviews with Curtis that haven’t appeared here in previous posts.

Adam Curtis: Adam Buxton Podcast Ep.44
In the wake of Brexit and Donald Trump’s election the conversation often focused on a favourite theme of Mr Curtis: where the pursuit of individualism is leading us.
http://adam-buxton.co.uk/ad/2017/05/18/podcast-ep-44-adam-curtis/

Adam Curtis: The TV elite has lost the plot
The stupidity of crowds
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/20/adam_curtis_interview/

Adam Curtis: an audio special
On Facebook, The Big Lump Theory … and Popbitch Radio
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/23/beeb_week_adam_curtis_2/

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In searching further for Adam Curtis, indeed for every internet query, use a search engine that doesn’t track and store. domestic|empire recommends startpage.

EG. https://www.startpage.com/do/search?q=adam+curtis


StartPage Protects Your Privacy!
StartPage, and its sister search engine Ixquick, are the only third-party certified search engines in the world that do not record your IP address or track your searches. (ref. https://www.startpage.com/uk/protect-privacy.html)