The taxmen cometh

first_imgThe taxmen comethOn 1 Feb 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Payingtax is a fact of life. But who collects the tax if you work in more than onecountry? Rob Outram explains the ins and outs of expat taxationArgentiniansoccer star Diego Maradona returned to Italy, scene of some of his greatesttriumphs, earlier this year. At Rome airport an unusual welcoming committeegreeted him: a party of Italian tax police were there to press a claim for 52bnlire (about £17m or US$25m).Maradonamight well dream of being able to travel the world in his own personal taxhaven, free from such intrusions. A project to make such dreams a reality is,if the backers can gather their next round of capital, about to get under wayin the Central American republic of Honduras. The “Freedom Ship” isthe brainchild of a number of Americans and others operating as ResidenSeaInternational. It has been devised not as a cruise ship but as a floatingcommunity: 4,320 feet long and home to 80,000 or 90,000 people.TheFreedom Ship will have schools, hospitals, offices, a range of duty-free shopsand even an on-board airport. And as it would spend most of the time sailing ininternational waters, it would have no income tax, real estate tax, sales taxor import duties. ResidenSeaare careful, however, to play down any suggestion that the Freedom Ship hasbeen designed primarily as a tax dodge. Marketing spokesman Roger Gooch says,”There are some tax advantages but that is not the mission of the ship.”Thereis not an opportunity for US citizens to save tax. But for some EU citizensthere is an advantage to being offshore. It is their own responsibility to findout what tax benefits they may have. We are not checking out CPAs [accountants]around the world; we are shipbuilders!”Taxsaving or not, there is no doubt that through a project such as the FreedomShip, or simply by being mobile enough, it would be technically possible to beresident nowhere. But whether this represents a tax wheeze or a tax nightmareis another question. John Whiting, a tax partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers inLondon, explains: “Yes, it is possible, if your home was a ship cruisingin international waters. But you do have a residual liability. If I were notresident in the UK but working here, I’d be liable for tax. Different countrieshave different rules, but it’s hard to get out of the system.” Mostcountries will seek to impose tax on income earned within their borders, evenif the employee is only there for part of the time. If your home country andthe host country have a tax treaty, the host country may accept that if you arepaying tax at home you do not have to pay income tax locally on what you earnedduring your short visit. But if you are technically resident nowhere, you willnot be able to rely on such a treaty and you could actually be worse off as aresult. If you are working in a low- or no-tax environment, like Saudi Arabia,that’s not an issue, but such regimes are the exception.Whitingsays: “The question is, if I go to Outer Mongolia, when do I start payingtax? If you go anywhere for more than half of that country’s tax year you arealmost certainly paying tax. It’s quite possible that a country would want totax you if you were there for less than half a year.”Justhow much time is needed before a business visitor becomes a”resident” – the typical rule is 183 days, but this can vary – andhow much of your other income the host country’s tax authorities will belooking to get a slice of, are the key questions. Accordingto Whiting: “There are grey areas and you have to know the quirks of eachcountry. A lot of our work as tax advisers is trying to avoid paying tax two orthree times on the same income. You could easily be in a situation where the UKthinks you are resident here, and Outer Mongolia thinks you are resident there.And if you are a US citizen then you owe Uncle Sam wherever you are.”TheUS government is unusual in demanding tax on all the income its citizens earn,no matter where they are in the world. Americans can only escape a double taxhit on every dollar, yen or euro they earn through a series of tax treaties.Even revoking one’s citizenship would not provide an immediate saving: taxliabilities will continue to apply for another ten years afterwards.ForUS companies, as for others, the number of employees on short-term assignmentsis greater than ever. Daniel Orchant, a partner with the InternationalExecutive Services Group of accountants KPMG in New York, says: “KPMG’sinternational HR survey of 300 top multinational companies found that for 40%,as many as one-third of their international assignees were short-term (ie theassignment was for less than a year).”InEurope, you also have the phenomenon of the ‘Eurocommuters’, living in, say,France or Belgium during the week and in Holland or Germany at weekends.”ForKPMG and its competitors, it’s a growing market. Orchant says, “Ourbusiness in this field has grown by 20-30% each year for the past five years.KPMG looks after the tax affairs of around 20,000 US expats each year.”Expatson short-term assignment are typically paid with a “split payroll”,where some element of their salary and benefits is paid, and taxed, back in thehome country. But some countries do demand that expats come clean about alltheir earnings: India, for example. Elsewhere in Asia, the Japanese and Koreanshave woken up to the fact that many expats get significant stock options andthey are now demanding that the host country gets its share.Manytax regimes are tightening up. For example, the Czech Republic is to withdrawconcessions which previously allowed “foreign experts” to escape taxon their overseas income. And in Hong Kong, proposals are being mooted to forceemployers to collect tax, after the government auditor found that many foreignerssimply leave without paying their tax dues.Someregimes are simply chaotic and expats face the dilemma that they may incurmajor difficulties by filing a tax return and bringing themselves to thetaxman’s attention. In Moscow, accountants Arthur Andersen estimate, fewer than8,000 of the city’s 20,000 expatriates bother to file. And in Indonesia, thegovernment is considering an amnesty for the many foreigners who, like 98% ofthe Indonesian population, do not register for tax.Employerscannot afford to leave tax matters to their employees, says KPMG’s Orchant,because very often the employer will be targeted if the tax authorities suspectwrongdoing. “Penalties vary depending on whether the error is seen asnegligence or outright fraud. They can be harsh, but it’s also a stain on yourcorporate citizenship, which can be very serious.”Underdeclaringincome for tax or social security purposes, or in some cases even movingcurrency out of the country, can be a serious criminal offence. It is importantthat employees accept responsibility for their own tax, but also that they getthe help they need to stay within the rules. Employers often insist that thoseon expat assignments use a reputable firm of advisers to help file returns, andthat relocation and “tax equalisation” (see glossary on page 24)payments made on the employee’s return are subject to their settling up any taxissues with the host country.Theproblem for HR departments is keeping track of short-term assignments. GardinerHempel, partner with the international employment solutions practice ArthurAndersen in New York explains: “You have what we call ‘stealth expats’.They are under the radar and don’t get picked up, often until it is toolate.”Hempelsays: “People presume that there are no tax implications if you areworking abroad for less than 183 days a year under most tax treaties. But notall countries are part of the tax treaty network. For example, Hong Kong isnot, and if you work in Hong Kong for 61 days in any one year you will betaxable.”Buthow does the HR department know when to start the clock ticking? Companies thatuse one travel agent for all their business travel can ask for data which showswho has gone where, if data protection rules allow them to do so, suggestsHempel.Itis all too easy for an employer to break the rules unwittingly. In a tax regimewhere the employer must withhold tax – like the UK’s “pay as youearn” system – penalties can be incurred even if the home country payrolldepartment is not aware that they should be doing so. Ignorance of tax law isno excuse.Taxplanning should be part of preparing for any expat assignment at an earlystage, since the repercussions of any mistakes will be felt by both theemployer and the expat. There are no easy solutions for anyone who hopes tobeat the taxman at his own game.Glossary–Residence – the test of whether or not you are living in a given country. Inany given tax year, an individual could be resident in more than one country.–Domicile – a term in UK tax law indicating an individual’s”permanent” residence. A foreigner resident in the UK but domiciledelsewhere has considerable tax advantages.–Tax treaty – an agreement, usually bilateral, between two states. Tax treatiesexist between most developed countries to ensure that their citizens do notincur a double tax liability when working overseas.–Avoidance- avoiding or reducing tax by legitimate means.–Evasion – tax avoidance by unlawful means.–Tax equalisation – to ensure that an expatriate’s take-home pay is maintainedat the same level it would be at home, an employer makes up for any additionaltax charged by the host country.Taxsans frontieres?Contrastingexamples of tax traps and tipsMrH is a hotels consultant who travels widely in Europe, carrying out projects inhotels for clients. He is a UK national but has no home in the UK and, onaverage, visits the UK for fewer than 91 days per annum over four years, so heis not UK resident. Hevisits numerous overseas countries in the course of his work, includingGermany, Spain and Norway, where he discovers to his surprise that he must paylocal tax on his employment income. If he had been UK resident he would havebeen able to claim relief from local tax under the UK’s double tax treaty witheach of those countries.MrD is a French national. He travels widely in Europe for his employer in thedrinks industry and seeks to minimise his and his employer’s tax and socialsecurity liability in France, where he is currently resident. He thereforemakes his home in Denmark with his wife and children, buys a house there andbecomes Danish resident. Hisvisits to Denmark are for fewer than 42 days in a six-month period and as hedoes not perform any employment duties there, he is not taxed on his worldwideincome in Denmark as a resident (which would be very costly). He is employed bya UK company and performs some duties there, but as he is non-UK resident, theUK income tax payable is minimal. He also has some employment duties in France,but as his employer is registered in the UK, under the European social securityrules, contributions are payable in the UK – at much lower rates than inFrance, where they might amount to 45% for the employer alone on unlimitedincome.Source:PricewaterhouseCoopersPrecautionsand advice –Get professional tax advice for all expatriate assignments.–Don’t leave tax affairs as the responsibility of employees. Mistakes willimpact on your organisation’s corporate reputation and relations with the hostgovernment.–Tax agreements between most developed nations mean that with openness and goodplanning, your staff should not lose out. –Tax havens are a great way to avoid paying tax only so long as that’s where youare earning your money, and nowhere else.Furtherinformation…Formore information on international tax liability, take a look at the followingWeb  www.arthurandersen.comCheck out  for more compensation-related articles. 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Talent needed to ride storm

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Fearsof a recession and its effect on staffing levels mean HR professionals may needto re-examine their retention policies. Karen Higginbottom reportsOn22 March, more than £52bn was wiped off share prices on the FTSE-100 index. Itis being called Black Thursday. Correspondingdrops on Wall Street, coupled with the announcement of major job losses bylarge firms, have contributed to gloomy economic forecasts. Theshare collapse was triggered by the news that US giant Procter & Gamble iscutting 9,000 posts. It employs 6,000 staff in the UK. Thelist of companies making redundancies is growing. One of the UK’s biggestengineering group Invensys announced it is shedding 2,000 more workers on topof the previously announced 3,000 redundancies.Furthermore,US telecoms giant Motorola and Walt Disney are is cutting 4,000 jobs each.Employersare getting agitated over whether it signals the onset of a recession, and HRprofessionals are wondering whether they should be drawing up contingencyplans.JohnPhilpott, chief economist at the CIPD, explains that the likely effects arethat UK economic growth will slow but that worries about a recession areunfounded.Hesaid, “There will be no major impact on the UK economy but there will be aknock-on effect on the new economy areas such as the dotcom sectors.”Philpottexpects the labour market to remain tight for the foreseeable future. He said,“There is likely to be levelling-off of the employment market, with falls inunemployment and the rises in job vacancies grinding to a halt.”Theeffects of a levelling-off of the employment market means that HR professionalswill have to re-examine their retention policies, warned Philpott.Hesaid, “Employers will have to make sure that they retain the best staff asthere will be an ongoing turnover of labour. The war for talent will intensifyas competition increases for better workers in certain sectors.”Oneeffect of a tighter labour market will be the need for more sophisticatedreward packages in place in order to retain the more skilled employees.Employerswill have to think about putting benefit packages in place that areindividually tailored to the employee, such as providing sports facilities andoffering flexible working practices, explained Philpott.Heis not buying into the belief that a “sneeze” in the US necessarily results ina “cold” in Europe.“Mymessage to HR is not to panic. At the very worst the jobs market will stabilisewith a remote prospect of rising unemployment,” advised Philpott.Butmany companies are getting worried. Software company ICL believes that arecession is in the offing in the UK. Acompany spokesman said, “Employers may have to cut back on recruitment to avoidredundancies. Although there is a time lag from the US to Europe, the recessionis looming. The markets are overheated with dotcoms.” IanBrinkley, senior economist for the TUC, disagrees. He believes that the USstock market crash will have a limited impact. He is convinced that the labourmarket will continue to be tight in the UK with recruitment and retention atthe forefront of employers’ agendas.Hesaid, “The old ‘hire and fire’ economy has gone. Employers are looking outsidetraditional areas of recruitment, such as the service-sector firms based in London,and going to the Home Counties to seek out labour.”Anothersymptom of the tight labour market is increased investment in employees,according to Brinkley. He said, “Employers are now investing more money intheir employees, especially in the IT, business and public sectors.” Hepoints outs that there is an economic pressure on employers to offer flexibleworking practices to staff as more women with children are entering the labourmarket. BruceWarman, Vauxhall’s HR director, thinks the jury is still out on whether therewill be an economic downturn in the UK.Hesaid, “Let’s not get carried away with the market volatility in the US. It’sjust a correction of high-tech stock prices.”Warman’sadvice to HR directors is not to get carried away with the talk of a recession inthe UK. He thinks the news of an impending recession is premature consideringthat the stock market started to recover after Black Thursday.Hesaid, “My message is to be cautious and don’t do anything rash. Balance yourshort-term decisions with your company’s long-term strategy.”Manufacturers’confidence underminedTotaldemand for manufactured goods fell again and output expectations for the comingfour months have weakened for the second consecutive month, according to theCBI’s March survey of industrial trends. Fifteenper cent of manufacturers said total order books were above normal but 38 percent said they were below. The balance of -23 per cent compares with -16 inFebruary and is the most negative figure reported since July 1999.Exportorder books are still well below normal. The balance figure of  -24 is the same as that reported in theFebruary survey.  Fallingtotal demand is reflected in output expectations. Over the next four monthsoutput is expected to be little changed. While 26 per cent of people saidvolume of output will increase, 23 per cent said it will fall giving a balanceof +3, the weakest figure since November 2000.Stocksof finished goods have stayed broadly stable over the past month. The balanceof +20 per cent of firms reporting more than adequate costs compares with +19last month, but they stay at their highest level since March 1999 and above thelong-term average.CBIchief economist Kate Barker said, “This survey is further evidence that thetroubles of the UK’s manufacturing sector are far from over. The US slowdownmay have a more serious impact on the UK than first predicted. Higher stocklevels and falling demand are already causing companies to rein back theiroutput plans.” Talent needed to ride stormOn 3 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more

OUP unveil new app

first_imgOxford University Press has released some of the novels featured in its famous Bookworm Graded Readers series as iPod, iPhone and iPad apps.The series provides classics of English literature adapted for students learning the language to help them learn outside the classroom.The app allows users to read and listen to a range of texts, from Alice in Wonderland to Pride and Prejudice, graded by difficulties from stage 1 to 6.Harriet Seymour from the Oxford University Press said “It’s incredible motivating for a student to discover they can read stories such as the Sherlock Holmes stories in English.”She also said that the app had potential to attract new readers: “by making the stories available as apps we open them up to students who prefer using mobile devices to reading a book” .The app provides colourful illustrations to engage learners as well as interactive vocabulary tests so that they can keep an eye on their progress.Research by the Extensive Reading Foundation shows that reading texts at or just below students’ level of compete’nce is one of the most effective ways of improving their language skills.Native English speakers are exposed to 7 million words a year whereas in the classroom students encounter far fewer words, typically about 10,000 in a year.Reading works in the native language can increase this exposure to around a million words in one year.A first year language student said, “The app looks very handy-reading literature in the native language has really helped me get to grips with the language.’Another linguist, Adam Lambert commented, “The app sounds like a brilliant idea. I would have really appreciated literature with exciting illustrations to help me in my studies this year.’last_img read more


first_imgBIZARRE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN TRUMP AND CLINTON                                                                   Raging Moderate by Will DurstOur quadrennial presidential sweepstakes regularly provides textbook studies in contrast. And 2016 raises the bar in disparity. Red and blue. Left and right. Hot and cold. Up and down. Good and bad. Boy and girl. Pro and con. Loud and soft. Rain or shine. Fish and fowl. Dumb and dumber.Perhaps the only fact that supporters of both major party candidates can agree is that differences between the two do exist. Donald Trump is a Gemini and Hillary Clinton a Scorpio. He’s 70 years old while she doesn’t turn 69 until October. And that relative youth obviously goes a long way in explaining why Millennials overwhelmingly favor her.One is a democrat and the other a demagogue. One is a woman who has big hands and the other isn’t and doesn’t. And as Michael Bloomberg put it, one of them is not insane.But this is America, damn it, where yeah, sure, we acknowledge our differences. After all, each and every one of us is special and unique like a baby snowflake. But this is a country that also embraces that which binds us together, and the number of bizarre similarities the Donald and the Hillary share is uncanny.Well, they’re not quite mirror images, but considering one is a 5′ 6″ career politician and one is a 6′ 2″ reality TV star, there are enough peas- in- a- pod resemblances to call out the doppelganger police. Although best you ring the business office, not the emergency number.For instance: both are Americans who live in New York, are right- handed and sport bullet- proof hair. Both treat the truth with a disdain normally reserved for Zika- infested mosquito ponds and have spouses that are beloved enablers of the tabloids. Each has five fingers on their left and right hands and should you have occasion to shake hands with either, you would be well advised to count your fingers before walking away.Both have running mates that were they to assume the Presidency, the nation would nod off within a week. Each has the same connection to regular humans as a Lear Jet has in common with Comet kitchen cleanser. Neither can believe they are not leading the other by at least 25 points in the polls and collectively they exhibit the grace of 40- grit sandpaper with neither having the faintest notion of when to put a sock in it.Both have unfavorable ratings higher than guard geese downwind of a marijuana field on fire. Each is fond of mangling the English language while wearing a name- brand suit. Neither is a billionaire and both are still picking the splintered bones of vanquished primary opponents from between their toes.Both have been a pointy mote in the public eye for decades and are prone to making themselves incredibly easy targets of late night comedians. And each has problems with the new technology; one is stymied by emails, the other- addicted to tweets.And finally, each candidate is adamant that if the other is elected on November 8th it will be a disaster not just for the nation, but the hemisphere, the planet, the solar system and the universe. And the two have united millions who believe that on this issue they both may be right.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

FPB urges rethink on tax plans as next Budget looms

first_imgThe 2008 Budget, out next week, is likely to heap an unfair tax burden on many smaller firms, such as craft bakers and bakery retailers, according to the Forum of Private Business (FPB).In his Pre-Budget Report and the Comprehensive Spending Review of 9 October, 2007, Chancellor Alistair Darling revealed that small firms’ corporation tax contributions would increase from 19% to 22% from April 2008. However, the higher rate of tax to be paid by large firms will be reduced from 30% to 28%.In addition, Capital Gains Tax taper relief will be brought to an end. Following sustained pressure from the FPB and other groups, the Government partially restored the 10% rate, but, after the first £1 million in asset sales, the higher 18% rate will still be imposed.”The FPB is urging the Chancellor to radically rethink many of his ideas, in particular his tax plans, which specifically disadvantage smaller businesses,” said the FPB’s policy representative Matt Goodman. “Issues such as excessive legislation and unfair competition must be addressed as a matter of priority.”Research carried out by the FPB show that 97% of respondents believed recent tax changes had made the UK a worse place to do business.last_img read more

09 Trellis garden

first_imgBy William Terry KelleyUniversity of GeorgiaVeteran gardeners know there are constantly chores to be done in the vegetable garden. An important one to remember once your garden is growing later this spring is trellising. Volume XXXIINumber 1Page 9 Trellising is one chore you need to do fairly soon after the plants are established. It gets the plant and fruit up off the ground. This makes for better-quality fruit and less disease. It also helps to maintain order in the garden and makes harvesting easier.For tomatoes, some people simply use cages to put over the plant, which allows it to grow and be supported. Another method is to drive a 1-inch square, 4-foot stake into the ground by each plant and tie the plant to the stake.If you have a long row of tomatoes, you can set a large post at each end of the row and again about every 20 feet within it. Attach a wire across the top of the posts and about four inches above the ground. Use twine to tie each plant to the wires for support.Peppers, tooPeppers can be staked, too. Using similar 1-inch-square stakes, place them about every fourth plant with twine running from stake to stake. You’ll want to start the first twine 4 inches above the ground.As the peppers grow, put another string about every 4 inches above the first. Start with the first stake and go on one side of the plants. Then go around the next stake and so on. When you get to the last stake, come back down the other side of the plants to box the plants in and keep them from falling over.Another crop that works well with a trellis is cucumbers. You can use 4-foot fencing wire and some posts to build a temporary fence beside the cucumber row. Then just train the vines up on the fence as they grow. You’ll find and pick your cukes easier.Eggplant?Eggplant can also be staked. Either tomato stakes or rebar can be used to place next to each eggplant. Then secure it to the stake.Be careful not to cut into plants as you tie them with twine. But keep the twine tight enough to support the plants.Don’t forget to scout for insects and disease problems, too. Keep your weeds in check, and water as needed. The work of the gardener is never quite done. But doing chores when needed will help you relax and enjoy those lazy, hazy days of summer a little more.(Terry Kelley is a Cooperative Extension vegetable horticulturist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

Paul Pontieri: Patchogue’s Comeback Continues

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri, who’s currently serving his fourth term leading the artsy South Shore village, is a lifelong resident who’s seen his hometown at its best and its worst. He recently chatted with us about Patchogue’s rebirth, environmentally progressive policies, race relations and the new brewery in town. Here are excerpts of our conversation.Long Island Press: How does it feel to be leading the village amid a Renaissance?Paul Pontieri: The fact that the community has grown and become a better place, is what it’s really all about. I feel good for the Village of Patchogue, the fact that other people are prospering from it.LIP: What is your vision for the village?PP: I grew up here. I was here since the best of times in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s when downtown was 70 percent retail, new restaurants, two theaters… packed every weekend. I was here when it sort of slid off a cliff with the big box stores taking much of the business off of Main Street. What I came into town wanting to do was to make downtown active again. And I thought the only way to do that was to put what I call feet on the street. Put people living in the downtown. We have 700 residential units circling the downtown within walking distance. It’s about the whole community prospering by what happens downtown. It’s a symbiotic relationship between those two things that creates the strength of the community.LIP: The board recently approved the creation of a cultural arts district. Why is that important?PP: You have the entertainment on Main Street, you have the arts on Terry Street. It’s about creating an identity. It’s about having people think about the village other than just bars and restaurants on Main Street. The arts become part of the culture.LIP: The village also banned plastic foam cups and containers starting this fall. What was the impetus for that?PP: A year ago this past September we banned single-use plastic bags. You don’t find them in any of our restaurants and markets here in town. And it’s all about an environmental push. We’re a waterfront community. Styrofoam cups take 500 years to degrade. We do a Patchogue River cleanup in the spring and the fall and more particularly in the fall, at the end of that cleanup, you look at what gets picked up, the amount of Styrofoam cups and containers that get wedged in the corners of the marinas. It’s amazing.LIP: Can you talk about the grants the village received to improve its shorefront?PP: Three years ago, I had gotten a call from a person here in the village. She has a foundation. And we had a discussion about what does the village need to go forward. The single thing that is taxpayer driven in every community and not really reimbursable…is parks and recreation. She made a private donation to the village, a grant of $5 million. The first thing we did was we went to three of our pocket parks. Spent about $3 million. That left us about $2 million. We put in a Consolidated Fundingapplication to redesign Shorefront Park…and we will be taking out the bulkheading and creating a living shoreline. My understanding is from the environmentalists is it’s less intrusive and with big storms, less damaging.LIP: Besides economic and environmental improvements, the village has also worked to improve race relations in the wake of the Marcelo Lucero murder. How have things changed in that regard over the last decade?PP: Back then, when you walked down the street, when a Hispanic or minority person was coming, you don’t know if they weren’t seen or they didn’t want to be seen. But people seemed to hide from each other. And you don’t get that feeling anymore. I think that we’ve fostered a sense of trust, and we just have to keep that up.LIP: What’s next for the village?PP: The Blue Point Brewery is rebuilding the Briarcliffe College into a full-blown brewery. They’re talking about being ready to pour beer for public consumption somewhere around May 15 and to start to brew around April 20. So that’s very exciting. That’s going to bring another element to the village that most communities don’t have.RELATED STORY: After Decade of Reinvention, Patchogue Once Again a Seaside GemRELATED STORY: How Patchogue’s Arts Scene Sculpted its Comebacklast_img read more

Lending Perspectives: Are you just cheap pizza, or more?

first_imgIn addition to being a lending geek, I’m also a bit of an armchair economist. Like an armchair quarterback, an armchair economist has never actually been an economist, but I think I have a good working knowledge of economics and am qualified to opine on the topic.What does this little glimpse into the workings of my mind have anything to do with lending or, better yet, pizza? It all started about a year ago when a go-to, locally owned pizza place in Colorado Springs closed all of its locations. When it had opened a decade earlier, the restaurant provided an opportunity to exit the veritable pizza wasteland that Colorado Springs had previously been. I was born and raised in New York, and of the many topics New Yorkers can get snobby about, pizza is close to the top of the list. Before their opening, I only had the chains to choose from: Pizza Hut, Dominos, and Little Caesar’s. No one made authentic New York pizza.For several years, “B’s” pizza (let’s keep them anonymous in their failure) offered the real thing: good, foldable-crust New York pizza. However, B’s opened several additional stores over a five-year period, which to a certain extent forced its hand and ultimately caused their demise. To build the business, B’s felt it had to go head to head with the chains on price. Up to this point, they offered high-quality pizza for what some consumers would consider to be a premium price. Those consumers just wanted cheap pizza because they didn’t know better. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Derwent Valley ups NAV for fourth year running

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George Floyd was infected with COVID-19, autopsy reveals

first_imgGeorge Floyd, whose fatal encounter with Minneapolis police stirred a global outcry over racial bias by US law enforcement, tested positive for the coronavirus, his autopsy showed, but the infection was not listed as a factor in his death.The official cause of death, according to the full 20-page report made public on Wednesday by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office, was cardiopulmonary arrest while Floyd was being restrained by police taking him into custody on May 25.The coroner ruled the manner of death to be a homicide. Four police officers since fired from their jobs for their role in the incident, which was captured on a bystander’s cellphone video, are being held on criminal charges, one of them accused of murder. The video showed that officer using his knee to press Floyd’s neck into the street for nearly nine minutes while the 46-year-old victim gasped for air and repeatedly groaned, “please, I can’t breathe.” Floyd was pronounced dead at a hospital a short time later.The video immediately went viral on the internet, igniting nine days of nationwide protest and civil strife. Demonstrators have also taken to the streets overseas, from Germany to New Zealand.The autopsy, in listing cardiopulmonary arrest as the cause of Floyd’s death, also cited “complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression.”The report listed several additional factors as “significant conditions” contributing to Floyd’s death, including heart disease, high blood pressure and intoxication from the powerful opioid fentanyl, as well as recent methamphetamine use. The report further noted that a nasal swab sample collected from Floyd’s body came back positive for COVID-19, and that Floyd had also tested positive on April 3, nearly eight weeks before his death.The county’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Andrew Baker, concluded that the post mortem test result “most likely reflects asymptomatic but persistent … positivity from previous infection.” There was no indication in the autopsy report that coronavirus played any role in Floyd’s death.Dr. Michael Baden, one of two medical examiners who conducted a private autopsy for Floyd’s family, told the New York Times that county officials never told him, or the funeral director, that Floyd had tested positive for COVID-19. center_img Topics :last_img read more