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Published Pandora Papers: Tax haven research weighs on hundreds of politicians

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Pandora Papers has been published
Tax haven research weighs on hundreds of politicians

Journalists have exposed the secret financial transactions of more than 300 politicians around the world. According to Bandura Papers, among them are Czech Prime Minister Babis and Ukrainian President Zelensky. It is also said that the German model was a client of an overseas company.

According to an international research network, a massive data leak reveals the secret transactions of hundreds of politicians with email companies. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), to which the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” belongs, has published some research findings on the participation of more than 330 politicians and officials from 91 countries, such as Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, in foreign business.

About 600 journalists in 117 countries participated in the evaluation of the so-called Pandora’s Papers. According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, 11.9 million leaked documents “covering every corner of the world” were evaluated. In Germany, in addition to the “Süddeutsche”, the NDR and the WDR were also involved in the research. According to the media, the data – nearly three terabytes in total – comes from 14 companies that provide offshore facilities.

The current Czech Prime Minister Babis is said to have bought a country castle in southern France for more than 15 million euros in this way, largely anonymously. For him, the timing of the publication is particularly sensitive because a new parliament will be elected in the Czech Republic next week.

Also, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selinsky, several close associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and many celebrities such as model Claudia Schiffer are or have been clients of offshore companies, according to “Süddeutsche”. Therefore, Nikos Anastasiades, Head of State of Cyprus in the European Union, actively engaged in foreign business with his law firm, which is now run by his daughters.

As the Sueddeutsche Zeitung writes, doing business in tax havens is not strictly prohibited. It only becomes illegal if, for example, taxable income from tax havens is not reported to the local tax office.

Panama worried about its image

The Panamanian government had already warned of serious image damage to the country as a result of the 2016 Panama Papers prior to the publication of the Pandora Papers. At the time, an anonymous informant from the newspaper “Süddeutsche Zeitung” leaked more than 11 million internal documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. An assessment in collaboration with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists revealed a sophisticated system of global tax evasion.

After the publication, a number of politicians – including then Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif – were forced to resign from their posts. Thousands of preliminary investigations have begun around the world.

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

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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.

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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

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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

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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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