Romanian government to strengthen laws against tax evasion

Monday, April 11, 2005

The Romanian government has drafted legislation pertaining to tax evasion that makes it a criminal offence on the same level as crimes against individuals. Developed with the aid of Romania’s business community, the new law is expected to reduce corruption and tax evasion. According to the new law, the maximum jail term for tax evasion will be boosted up to 20 years. This sentence, however, will only be passed in circumstances of large-scale fraud. For evasion of up to the equivalent of 10,000 euro, the punishment will be either a fine or up to 2 years in prison. For tax fraud of up to 500,000 euro, the term will be extended to 2-8 years in prison. It is only for those whose tax evasion exceeds 1 million euro that the jail term will range between 10 and 20 years.

In the same package of legislation, the government approved several changes to banckruptcy law, which makes it easier for businesses to file for bankruptcy. The new laws are expected to make Romania’s business environment cleaner, resulting in more foreign investment, less corruption and more revenue for the government.

At the start of the year, the Romanian government introduced a new flat tax system for Romania, in which the tax rate is 19% for both personal income and corporate profit. This has led Romania to have one of the most liberal tax policies in Europe. The lower rate of tax has already reduced fiscal evasion to a significant extent because more people and businesses are encouraged to pay the tax. However, in order to further reduce the grey economy in Romania, advisers said at the start of the year that the government must also back this up with tougher legislation against tax evasion. Previously, Romania’s tax evasion laws were fairly lax, leading to quite a significant extent of tax fraud. Now, with the new, highly-publicised tax evasion laws, it is expected that the risk of getting prosecuted for not paying an already-low tax rate will force many businesses out of the black market into the legal economy.

Posted on October 11th, 2018 by eE73Dg  |  No Comments »

Dale Ogden, 2010 California gubernatorial candidate, talks with Wikinews

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dale Ogden, a 2010 California gubernatorial candidate, talks with Wikinews reporter Mike Morales about his platform.

Ogden is a member of the United States’ Libertarian Party.

Posted on October 11th, 2018 by eE73Dg  |  No Comments »

St. Anthony Foundation provides hope

Friday, September 23, 2005

On the corner of Golden Gate Ave. and Jones St. in the Tenderloin, San Francisco, right next to the Civic Center you can see a throng of low-income and homeless people lining up outside of St. Anthony’s Dining Room hall which opens up it’s doors everyday at 11:30 a.m. Volunteers dressed in St. Anthony Foundation shirts help keep the lines moving as hundreds of homeless and low income people shuffle their way towards the dining hall underneath the watchful eyes of a small statue of St. Francis of Assisi.

“There’s a lot of people who go hungry out here and it ain’t right.” says Jimmy Scott, a slightly brawny 44-year-old black man who has been living homeless in San Francisco for the past three years. “There are families out here with kids and everything and they have to walk around all night just to stay awake so they don’t get hurt or killed…Right here in the U.S. this is going on…it ain’t right.”

The dining hall, which has been open for the past 54 years, is owned by the St. Anthony Foundation which helps low income and homeless people and families in the Civic Center, Tenderloin, and SOMA areas with clothing, shelter, food, drug rehabilitation, and many other services. St. Anthony’s administrative offices are found at 121 Golden Gate Ave. with the majority of the foundation’s buildings on Golden Gate Ave. and Jones St.

“We are right in the heart of the homeless population of San Francisco,” says Barry Stenger, 55, who’s been working for the St. Anthony Foundation for one year, and is the Director of Development and Communications, “and people are pushed here because of the economic forces of San Francisco because it’s hard to be upper middle class in San Francisco.”

According to the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, “San Francisco’s cost of living remains one of the highest in the country” with the average household income in San Francisco being around $76,400 and the average price of housing being $543,000. Average household income for the United States in 2002, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, was $42,409 and the average price of housing for the United States according to the National Association of Realtors was $185,200 in 2004.

“We served our 32 millionth meal on Tuesday,” said Stenger, “and we serve 2,500 meals a day. Some of our people who work here actually get served [food] here because they spend all their money towards rent and medical costs.”

The St. Anthony Foundation was started by Fr. Alfred Boeddeker in 1950 one year after Fr. Boeddeker became pastor of St. Boniface church on Golden Gate St. where he was baptized as a child. During his lifetime, according to the foundation’s website, he was referred to as the “Patron St. of the Tenderloin” and had Boeddeker park named after him because of his, and his foundation’s, achievements with helping out the homeless and low income community.

“[St. Anthony’s] is a good thing,” said Jimmy Scott, “they provide a good service and they feed people and they clothe them and provide furniture when you get housing and give you groceries when you have AIDS. It’s a good little organization.”

“Our dining room is open 365 days a year.” Said Stenger. “Our other facilities are open seven days a week. We have a residence for senior women and our [free medical] clinic is open five days a week and we also have a furniture and clothing store. We have 12 programs all together.”

Some of those programs are the Father Alfred Center which provides 61 men two programs for getting out of drug and alcohol abuse, the Employment Program/Learning Center which helps participants in educational and employment opportunities and provides each one with a personal staff advisor, and a Senior Outreach and Support Services center which states its mission is to “promote independence, self determination, and alleviate isolation” for seniors who are 60 and older.

A few homeless people who were interviewed complained that St. Anthony’s had some staff who were rude and that they were kicked out of the dining hall; other homeless within the area refuted those claims saying St. Anthony’s has nice staff and only kicks people out who cause trouble.

“It’s a good place and good people. Everybody is so kind and so respectful and everything is under control.” Said John Henderson, a tall and skinny 57-year-old homeless black man who has only been living in San Francisco for close to two months because he recently moved there from Phoenix, Arizona. “It’s pretty cool because they’re under control because yesterday I saw at Glide [Memorial Church which also has services for the poor and low income] and they were handing out food boxes and people were just rushing in and the woman in charge there was freaking out and so she just sat down. That would never happen at St. Anthony’s.”

“And they clean too!” Henderson said laughing with a grin on his face referring to the fact that there are no drugs allowed in the premises. “Not that Glide ain’t clean if you know what I mean.”

“We [also] have a whole division that deals with justice education and advocacy to change the system that brings people to our doorstep.” Said Stenger. “We hear a lot of appreciation from the people we serve. We get a lot of testimony from our clients who have become clean and sober. Sometimes we have to push them a little to get them out the door because they love the [foundation] so much because it has changed their lives.”

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

Posted on October 10th, 2018 by eE73Dg  |  No Comments »

Canadian National buys Chicago railroad

Monday, February 2, 2009

Canadian National (CN), the Montreal-based rail operator, has bought the main lines of the U.S. Elgin (EJ&E).

CN began to buy the railway from U.S. Steel in September 2007. Regulatory approval in the US was given in January. The Canadian railway company will use the lines to avoid congestion in Chicago, taking freight along a 300km loop through the American Midwest. The route will begin the new operations on March 4.

U.S. Steel will keep the facilities and staff required to keep the Gary steelworks in Indiana rail connected, renaming the resulting operations to the Gary Railway. The rest of the EJ&E will be integrated into CN’s existing networks. The railway passes through suburban areas of Chicago, causing residents to fear the noise and traffic that greater intensity of operation could bring.

The Surface Transportation Board (STB), the US rail regulator, has required CN to make upgrades to ease local concerns but opponents have vowed to continue to fight against the changes. The Chicago Tribune speculates that CN will switch trains from the former Wisconsin Central line to the EJ&E south of Mundelein. This would reduce traffic in suburbs north of the crossover from 19 trains a day to just two; whilst south of the junction trains would increase from five a day to 20.

CN paid $300 million for the lines, and will pay $100 million to upgrade them and $60 million to make the STB’s required improvements.

Posted on October 9th, 2018 by eE73Dg  |  No Comments »

National Park Service covers donation box at United Airlines Flight 93 memorial

Friday, June 8, 2007

On June 7, Mike Svonavec, the owner of the land in Somerset County, Pennsylvania where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed on September 11, 2001 has a US$10 million price tag for his property which is sought by the group, Families of Flight 93 and the United States National Park Service, (NPS) for building a memorial dedicated to those on the plane. Svonavec also placed a box on the crash site temporary memorial, where visitors can leave a “donation” to pay for his asking price for the land as well as the cost of providing security at the site.

The NPS has covered the donation box with a trash bag and told Svonavec in a letter to remove it by the end of Friday June 8, but Svonavec said that he will not remove the box.

“I have no intentions of removing the box from my property. My only plans are to try to cooperate with the Park Service with regard to the sale of the property,” said Svonavec.

Svonavec accused the NPS of trying to take over his property after they placed the bag over the box.

“It’s just unbelievable to my mind that that’s the direction they would take, taking control of the property like a guest would at your house,” added Svonavec.

“The bottom line is we feel the National Park Service can’t effectively carry out our mission without exercising the exclusive use and control of the site as provided for in our agreement with the property owners,” said Joanne Hanley who is the Superintendent of the memorial.

Although NPS tour guides are telling tourists and others who visit the memorial, they are shocked to learn that the money they donate is going to Svonavec and not the memorial. “They’re alarmed that they may have given their money to something that they didn’t want to give their money to,” said one of the 43 guides who volunteer at the memorial, Donna Glessner.

The land is currently under contract with the NPS and the memorial is allowed to be on the land according to an act of the United States Congress who in 2002 authorized the memorial to be placed on the land.

Currently, the U.S. National Park Service only owns approximately 60 acres of the land. PBS Coals Inc. owns 864 acres of the land and Svonavec owns 273 acres. The entire field is nearly 2,000 acres.

Posted on October 9th, 2018 by eE73Dg  |  No Comments »

The Common Sense In Getting An Injury Lawyer In Grand Rapids, Mi

byAlma Abell

Many people suffer from injuries on a daily basis through no fault of their own, and they end up filing a personal injury lawsuit. If a lawsuit is going to be filed, it only makes sense that the person filing the suit will hire a lawyer to represent the case, to get a positive outcome. An Injury Lawyer in Grand Rapids MI advises and represents those clients in the state who are seeking to file a personal injury lawsuit. Here are some facts potential clients should know about personal injury cases in Michigan.

Personal Injury Law in Michigan

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Those who intend to file a personal injury lawsuit in Michigan must be aware that the statute of limitations in the state is three years from the date of the accident, or at least the date the accident was reasonably discovered. If the lawsuit is not filed in a civil court in that period, the case most likely won’t be heard, and the claimant will have lost the opportunity to be awarded damages. If the defendant in the lawsuit is a state government agency, the claimant must first file a formal claim against the agency within six months.

More about Personal Injury Law in Michigan

Just as the claimant is filing a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, the defendant can make use of the “modified comparative fault rule.” This rule states that if the claimant is found to be any part at fault for the accident, the percentage the claimant is found at fault will be reduced from any damages awarded. However, if the claimant is found to be 50 percent or more at fault, no damages will be awarded.

Hiring an Attorney in Grand Rapids, Michigan

To diminish the possibility of being found 50 percent or more at fault, the claimant will look for the best attorney to take the case. Bleakley Law Offices P C is an example of a law firm that offers representation for clients looking for good service in Grand Rapids, Michigan. If an individual needs to consult with an Injury Lawyer in Grand Rapids MI, the law firm is available and can be reached at Bleakleylaw.com.

Posted on October 8th, 2018 by eE73Dg  |  No Comments »

Viktor Schreckengost dies at 101

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Viktor Schreckengost, the father of industrial design and creator of the Jazz Bowl, an iconic piece of Jazz Age art designed for Eleanor Roosevelt during his association with Cowan Pottery died yesterday. He was 101.

Schreckengost was born on June 26, 1906 in Sebring, Ohio, United States.

Schreckengost’s peers included the far more famous designers Raymond Loewy and Norman Bel Geddes.

In 2000, the Cleveland Museum of Art curated the first ever retrospective of Schreckengost’s work. Stunning in scope, the exhibition included sculpture, pottery, dinnerware, drawings, and paintings.

Posted on October 8th, 2018 by eE73Dg  |  No Comments »

Three die in Cornwall, UK caravan park of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning

Monday, February 25, 2013

Carbon monoxide poisoning is thought to have been the cause of the deaths of three people and one Jack Russell dog in a caravan park in Cornwall in South West England. Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) were alerted to the incident in Tremarle Home Park in the town of Camborne at 12:56 UTC on Saturday.

We have seen a big increase in the number of carbon monoxide incidents in Cornwall over recent years

Inspector David Eldridge said Devon and Cornwall Police were alerted to the caravan park incident after “a helper had been unable to get a reply from an elderly couple who lived in the caravan”. He said that upon their arrival, “We were able to see that there was a figure sat in a chair but they were unresponsive to knocks at the door.” CFRS workers called to the area “forced entry into the property and found that the three occupants were all dead”, Inspector Eldridge said. A hazardous material advisor was also present at the scene in North Roskear. The Health and Safety Executive is now investigating the incident but the deaths are not considered as being of a suspicious nature.

The three fatalities have been identified as Audrey Cook, aged 86, her husband Alfred, aged 90, and Maureen, their 46-year-old daughter. David Biggs, a member of Camborne Town Council, said the incident came as “a shock” to him; Tremarle Home Park is “a well established facility and is very well run”, according to him. Biggs described the loss of three lives as an “appalling tragedy”.

The incident came five days after Cornwall Council announced its Family Placement Service would launch a joint venture with Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service to place carbon monoxide detectors in the houses of foster carers. The programme, entitled ‘Be Gas Safe’, has seen 200 carbon monoxide detectors and 2000 leaflets to raise awareness about carbon monoxide being given to CFRS. Mark Blatchford, Group Manager of CFRS, said: “We have seen a big increase in the number of carbon monoxide incidents in Cornwall over recent years”. He described carbon monoxide detectors as being “as important as a smoke alarm as it provides a valuable early warning”.

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous, colourless, tasteless and odourless gas which is created when such carbon-based fuels as oil, gas, coal and wood are not completely incinerated. The human body’s capacity to hold oxygen in the blood can be reduced by inhalation of the gas, which in turn may cause death. The Gas Safe Register has said dizziness, headaches, queasiness, lack of ability to breathe, fainting and losing consciousness are all symptoms of a person experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning.

Posted on October 8th, 2018 by eE73Dg  |  No Comments »

New Zealander on oxygen machine dies after power disconnection

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

New Zealander Folole Muliaga died Tuesday morning after Mercury Energy cut off the power in her household due to $168.40 of unpaid bills. Mrs Folole Muliaga was seriously ill and dependent on an oxygen life support machine that required electricity to run.

The 44-year-old died two and a half hours after the power was cut by a contractor, working for State Owned Enterprise, Mercury Energy. A spokesperson for Mercury Energy has said that they are devastated and deeply sympathetic by the news, but state they did not know that the power was needed to run the oxygen machine. They have stated that discretion is exercised in cases of extreme hardship or when medical conditions make it appropriate and that the same contractor had done so the previous day. However, relatives claim that the contractor was told that the power was needed by family members present, was invited into the house and talked to Mrs Folole Muliaga, but showed no discretion or compassion under the circumstances.

The power was cut at about 11am. Brendan Sheehan, spokesperson for the family, said that after the power was cut, Mrs Muliaga suffered from breathing difficulties. During this time Mrs Mulianga declined an offer for an ambulance from family members. At about 1pm she informed her sons that she was feeling dizzy and asked for hymns to be sung. Her condition quickly deteriorated until she couldn’t speak. When she passed out at 1:32pm, an ambulance was called but Mrs Mulianga could not be revived when it arrived 12 minutes later.

That same evening remaining family members claim they had to grieve in the dark, power was only reconnected after the outstanding amount of $168.40 was paid to Mercury Energy. Mercury Energy claim that the were initially only made aware that a funeral was going to take place and attempted to reconnect the supply at midnight once the full circumstances were made clear but were unable to contact the family. They state the supply was eventually reconnected before 8am the next day. Evidence has been provided by family members to show that they had made two payments to Mercury Energy in the same month trying to clear their outstanding bill, $61.90 on 1 May 2007, and $45 on 17 May 2007.

Trevor Mallard, minister of State Owned Enterprises, said, “I do think it is important that the facts are established before people rush to judgement.”

Both the New Zealand Police and Mercury Energy, the retail operating division of Mighty River Power, are conducting investigations into the events.

The mother-of-four school teacher lived in Mangere, South Auckland and had been suffering from a heart and lung condition, according to relatives of Mrs Muliaga, since February.

Hospital doctors have expressed surprise at the short length of time between when the supply was cut and the death occurred. They have also explained that relatives are trained what to do if the supply is lost, including to call for an ambulance if severe symptoms develop.

Posted on October 6th, 2018 by eE73Dg  |  No Comments »

Australia to detain Burmese boatpeople on Nauru

Monday, August 21, 2006

Eight Burmese boat people, who arrived off Western Australia‘s Ashmore Reef last week, say they wish to claim refugee status. The group of 8 men, aged between 24 and 40, are being held in detention on Christmas Island by the Australian Federal Government. They will be sent to Nauru after identity interviews and medical checks are completed.

According to The Age newspaper, the men are from a refugee camp on the Thai-Burmese border, and may be from the Karen tribe, who are battling Burma’s brutal military Government. Karen rebels have been at war with the central Government for 57 years.

An Immigration department spokesman confirmed that the eight men claimed to be from Burma. Two of the men have contacted immigration lawyers, seeking assistance with asylum claims. David Manne, from Melbourne-based Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre, said the other six were likely to do the same. “There’s a very strong likelihood that they are genuine refugees,” he said.

The men were first spotted by the Australian Customs Service at Ashmore Reef, 610km north of Broome, WA on August 13. They were sent by Navy vessel to Christmas Island – 2,400 km northwest of Perth, WA. The men have been held since Friday as part of the Howard Government’s Pacific Solution to keep asylum seekers out of the country.

In 2005, the Department of Immigration began construction of an Immigration Reception and Processing Centre on Christmas Island, due for completion late in 2006. The facility is estimated to cost $210 million, and will contain 800 beds.

The news of the boat people’s arrival became public last week as Prime Minister John Howard scrapped controversial new migration laws. The proposed laws would have excised the Australian mainland for immigration purposes.

Ashmore Reef, already excised from Australia’s migration zone, means the men have no legal entitlement to be brought to Australia for processing. They have no access to the Australian court system to argue their claims or contest the rulings of the Immigration Department.

Mr Manne said he was concerned that the circumstances of the men’s confinement could hamper their attempts to communicate with lawyers. He said the Burmese men should be afforded the same rights as the West Papuans or Vietnamese asylum-seekers who recently made it to Australian shores. “It’s absolutely crucial these people be given a fair go, so that they can actually speak with us properly about the issues,” he said. Mr Manne says he has made several requests of the Department of Immigration in Canberra.

“They’re asylum seekers… they believe that they’d be persecuted if sent to Burma, and we have agreed to act on their behalf.” He was unable to say whether the group was dropped off by people smugglers, as Immigration Minister Senator Amanda Vanstone claims.

“What we do know is they’re seeking refugee status, that is, protection from brutal human rights abuse,” he said. The Burmese regime has recently waged an aggressive attack on Karen insurgents – forcing thousands of villagers to hide in the jungle or seek refuge in Thailand. There are 140,000 refugees in seven camps along the Thai-Burma border.

Australian Greens Senator Kerry Nettle says the government must allow the Burmese group to be brought to Australia to process the asylum-seeker’s claims. “The government needs to ensure that all asylum seekers are offered legal support,” she said. “The best way to ensure the Burmese asylum seekers have full access to their lawyer is to bring them to Australia while their asylum claims are assessed.”

Meanwhile the near-bankrupt Nauru Government has urged Australia to “speed up asylum seeker processing” in their country. Nauru says Australia is taking far too long to process asylum seekers. Currently two refugees remain on Nauru – both Iraqi men. The men have been held in detention on the remote tiny island for five years.

According to The Age, the Nauru Government has approved a plan to impose financial penalties on Australia if asylum seekers are forced to languish on the near-bankrupt island. The report says if they have not been processed and either returned or resettled within three months, their visas will have to be renewed each month, with the cost increasing by $500 for each renewal.

Nauru’s Foreign Minister David Adeang raised serious concerns about the mental state of the detainees. He says Muhammad Faisal’s condition worsened sharply after he was re-interviewed by ASIO. Mr Adeang has asked for the Government to evacuate the Mr Faisal immediately, he says he is also concerned about the mental health of the other Iraqi man left on Nauru. The Australian Government claims advice from ASIO that the man may be a “security threat.”

Nauru is the world’s smallest island nation, covering just 21 km². Since 2001 it has accepted aid from the Australian government. In exchange for this aid, Nauru houses an ‘offshore’ detention centre for Australia.

Posted on October 6th, 2018 by eE73Dg  |  No Comments »