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‘Pandora’s Papers’: South Dakota – the new Liechtenstein?



Status: 05.10.2021 02:56

The United States of America is developing more and more into a tax haven. South Dakota in particular attracts the wealthy to store their money here. According to the Pandora Papers, the assets there are now around $360 billion.

Written by Catherine Brand, ARD Studio Washington

The official South Dakota Tourist Portal declares, “Come here and have adventure and fun.” Visitors marvel at the presidential heads of Mount Rushmore, the dramatic badlands, and falls of Sioux Falls. What they don’t see is hundreds of billions of dollars stashed in South Dakota. A system.

Catherine Brand
ARD-Studio Washington

“Without ever setting foot in Sioux Falls, billionaires from Brazil, and millionaires from Guatemala or Colombia were drawn to the fact that South Dakota has promoted itself as a secret tax haven in the United States,” Will Fitzgibbon told NPR. Fitzgibbon is part of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and was involved in the Pandora Papers.

South Dakota seeks secret assets

For decades, South Dakota politicians have made sure that entrepreneurs and the wealthy feel at home with them. There is no income tax, no capital gains tax, no inheritance taxes, and only a low value-added tax. But what makes wealth advisors particularly electrifying are the opportunities for trust funds.

If you don’t really want anyone to know anything about your wealth, a consulting firm advertises online, you’re right in South Dakota: “When it comes to creditors and ex-spouses, South Dakota gives you a great firewall.”

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“Only stupid people pay taxes”

The Bosarge couple’s recent divorce war has only shown how something like this works. Texas billionaire Ed Bossarge not only wanted to get rid of his wife Mary after 30 years, but also made her poor, so he hid his fortune in trusts in South Dakota. She knew a lot about her husband’s finances. Marie Bossarge told CNBC that he always said that only stupid people pay taxes. But the fact that she had no legal access to the trust funds left her dumbfounded.

According to Pandora Papers, assets in South Dakota are about $360 billion, a fourfold increase over the past decade. State practices have helped make the United States one of the world’s most important tax havens. It’s not illegal per se, but experts say it attracts criminals from all over the world.

Biden under pressure with his justice agenda

“The offshore system is not abroad, the tax haven is in the country,” says journalist Will Fitzgibbon, and it has important consequences if it comes to more responsibility and justice. President Biden announced during the election campaign that he wants more transparency and more fair taxes. Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said he wanted to make the tax system fairer.

Biden wants to connect with people who don’t pay their share of taxes, regardless of whether they’re entrepreneurs or individuals. For him, that is the focus of what he is currently fighting for in Congress. It is unlikely that he will be able to assert himself with powerful nations. In addition to Florida and Texas, tax havens also include his home state of Delaware.

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‘It was a spacecraft’ – China denies hypersonic missile report



foreign countries Nuclear Weapons Competition

‘It was a spacecraft’ – China denies hypersonic missile report

China, Russia and the United States are preparing for hypersonic missiles

China, Russia and the United States are preparing for hypersonic missiles. This is also used in space travel

Quelle: VCG via Getty Images / VCG

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In August, Beijing was said to have tested a hypersonic nuclear missile. Now China has denied the report: it was just a matter of routine spacecraft tests. Meanwhile, a US lawmaker warned of the outbreak of a new Cold War.

NSHina denied a media report that the People’s Republic of China had tested a hypersonic missile suitable for nuclear weapons. “It was a spacecraft, not a missile,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Monday. They were routine tests to test technology for reusing the spacecraft. It happened in July.

A representative of the US Congress interpreted the report on China’s test of a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile as a wake-up call. “This test should be a call to action,” Republican Mike Gallagher said Sunday (local time). “If we stick to our current inactive trajectory, (…) we will lose the new Cold War with communist China within this decade.”

Undermining US missile defense and threatening nuclear strikes

As reported by the Financial Times on Saturday, citing five anonymous sources, Beijing is said to have tested a hypersonic missile capable of producing nuclear weapons in August. It circled the globe once in a low orbit before missing its target by about 15 km. According to the report, the test should show that the Chinese military is already more advanced in its hypersonic weapons program than previously assumed by US intelligence agencies. Hypersonic weapons are particularly difficult to intercept because they can reach more than five times the speed of sound.

According to Gallagher, China is increasingly able to undermine the US missile defense system and even threaten it with nuclear strikes. The Republican represents the US state of Wisconsin in the House of Representatives, and is a member of an important committee on the US armed forces.

Read also

WELT Editor Stefan Ost

Plain text. Stefan Ost about the situation

Both the United States and Russia are currently working on hypersonic missiles. North Korea also said it tested a hypersonic missile in September. The Chinese Defense Ministry in Beijing initially did not comment on the media report.

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Police union calls for border controls with Poland



Due to the large number of illegal entries from Poland, unionists from the Federal Police have called for control measures according to a press report. There is a risk of another crash like in 2015.

The head of the Federal Police Union, Heinz Tegert, urges the introduction of temporary border controls in Poland. Tigert justified this in a letter to Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) with, among other things, a large number of unauthorized entries at the German-Polish border and health risks to federal police personnel, Bild reported.

“For several months, the number of arrests increased almost explosively,” the newspaper quoted the letter as saying. Only with the introduction of temporary border controls can the federal government prevent a “collapse” at the border as it did in 2015.

Health risks for officials

Tiggert continued: “Our colleagues are also exposed to significant health risks, as the infection with the Covid virus is still very high, especially in the countries of origin of migrants (Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan, etc.) that the authorities registered very rarely.” Hygiene regulations, as usual in Germany and Europe, of course will not be adhered to in the “smuggling process”.

Governments in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland accuse Belarus’s governor, Alexander Lukashenko, of moving refugees from crisis regions to the EU’s external borders in an orderly fashion. Lukashenko announced at the end of May that Minsk would not prevent migrants from continuing to travel to the European Union – in response to tough Western sanctions against his country. Since then, reports of attempts to cross the border illegally at the EU’s external border with Belarus and at the German-Polish border have increased.

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Buttigieg responds to criticism: US gay minister defends parental leave



Buttigieg resists criticism
Gay US minister defends parental leave

In the US, Transportation Secretary Buttigieg caused an uproar because he took parental leave. Hatred comes from the political opponent, and now the Democrat responds and defends his decision – with a small tip against a prominent critic.

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the US Democratic star, has defended his paternity leave. Buttigieg told CNN he wouldn’t apologize to anyone for looking after his twins. Chasten, 39, and his husband adopted newborn twins this summer. Buttigieg said he is proud to take parental leave. He is the first gay federal minister in the United States.

Right-wing populist TV presenter Tucker Carlson mocked Buttigieg on his Fox News show last week. He’s trying to figure out how to breastfeed, he scoffed. “As you can imagine, we bottle-feed our kids — any time of the day or night,” Buttigieg said. It is “a joyful, satisfying, wonderful act” and everyone in the United States should have the opportunity to do so after having a child. The United States has no legal regulation of paid parental leave – only a few states have legal entitlements.

Buttigieg had previously reacted to Carlson’s statement and noted that it was strange that criticism had come from a party that always presented itself as a family friend. Buttigieg took parental leave in mid-August. Critics have complained that the US is currently struggling with major delivery bottlenecks – an issue that also falls within Buttigieg’s portfolio. He emphasized that he is always accessible while on parental leave.

Until the end of 2019, Buttigieg was mayor of a city of 100,000 residents in the US state of Indiana. Then Buttigieg caused a sensation as a presidential candidate for the US Democrats. But he quickly fell behind in the primaries and eventually gave up his candidacy. Since then, he has supported the election winner, Joe Biden. Ultimately, President Biden appointed Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation.

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