Tax evasion investigators raid Google’s Paris headquarters

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Dozens of tax investigators raided Google’s offices in French capital Paris yesterday as part of a probe into the company’s alleged tax evasion.

The raid was conducted by investigators from the state financial prosecutor’s office assisted by 25 information technology (IT) experts, according to officials. “The investigation aims to verify whether Google Ireland Ltd has a permanent base in France” the prosecutor’s office said, “and if, by not declaring parts of its activities carried out in France, it failed its fiscal obligations[…]”.

Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., reports most of its sales in Ireland. Google claims most sales contracts are closed in its Dublin offices. If investigation finds sales are being concluded in other countries, Google may need to pay additional taxes in these countries.

In 2014 Google reported a total yearly revenue in France of €225.4 million with a profit of just €12.2 million, paying only €5 million in corporate tax according to the Financial Times. A Google spokesperson said the company is co-operating with French authorities and fully complies with French law.

According to Reuters, a source from the French finance ministry said French tax authorities are also separately pursuing Google for €1.6 billion in back taxes.

U.S. jury deliberates immigrant smuggler case

Monday, March 21, 2005A Houston jury resumes deliberations today in a federal smuggling case where 19 illegal immigrants died from heat and lack of oxygen. The defendant, Tyrone Williams, 34, could face the death penalty for his alleged involvement in harboring and transporting illegal immigrants across the US-Mexican border.

He was reportedly paid $7,500 to bring the immigrants to Houston in a tractor trailer truck.

Williams, a Jamaican citizen, was a member of a smuggling ring. He alone faces capital punishment charges, while 14 other ring members were charged with less serious offenses for their involvement in the case. Williams allegedly made a four-hour trip across the border and then parked at a truck stop in Victoria, about 100 miles from Houston. He left the truck while 75 persons suffered in the cargo area of the trailer during sweltering heat.

The prosecution claims he abandoned the trailer while ignoring screams for help and banging on the walls from those inside the trailer.

His defense attorneys argue Williams was unable to hear anything from the trailer, and they further say greed by other ring members was the cause of the deaths since the trailer was so overcrowded. Williams should not be singled out, his attorneys maintained, just because he was the driver of the truck.

“He didn’t care,” said federal prosecutor Daniel Rodriguez during closing arguments. “To him, these weren’t people, they were merchandise.”

The jury asked U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore three questions before the trial was adjourned for the weekend.

Tips For Hailing A Taxi For Long Beach Airport Transportation

byAlma Abell

If you have ever been in the city, then you know that to go anywhere, you need Taxi Service like Long Beach Airport Transportation. Hailing a taxi can be tricky, they seem to be moving thousands of miles an hour, and everyone in the city is trying to get them to stop. Although hailing a taxi is pretty simple, you need to be safe when doing it, because you don’t want to get run over. Below you will find some tips for hailing a taxi without being in danger.

While you need to make yourself seem as big as possible, you still need to make sure that you don’t step off of the curb and get hit by the taxi. Make sure that the taxi you try to flag down has the light on top of the taxi is lit up. The number on the top should be glowing if they are available to take on a passenger. If you raise one arm or hand to wave them down, they should notice you and get to you right away.

If you know how to, you can whistle, adding sound to the mix will get the taxis attention quicker than just standing there hoping they will notice you anytime. You will want to talk to the cab driver as you open the door. Make sure that they know what your destination is, and if he is authorized to take you there. Some cab drivers can be picky about where they take you, because they need to make sure that they will have a return fare.

Next, you will want to buckle up, and enjoy the ride to your destination. Make sure that you tip your cab driver, because a lot of what they make comes from tips. They are not doing this because they enjoy it, and have families to feed, just like you do. Hailing a cab, doesn’t have to be a big deal. Just follow the tips above and soon you will be riding in style to your destination. Make sure to do things the safe way, stay on the curb, and make sure that the cab company is well-known.

Australian rules football: Interview with Andy Thissling, statistician for the Traralgon Football Club senior side

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wikinews contributor Patrick Gillett interviewed Andy Thissling of the Traralgon Football Club. Andy is the statistician for the Gippsland Football League clubs senior side, or first XVIII.

The Gippsland Football League (officially Gippsland League, GL) is the only major Australian rules football competition in the Gippsland region according to the Victorian Country Football League.

All About Wholesale Dropshippers

Submitted by: Alfreda Petersen

The most attractive aspect of wholesale drop shipping is that the retailer never has to have an inventory full of the items and products that the customer wants. The Wholesale Dropshippers carry it and deliver it to the targeted customer without the physical involvement of the retailer. All the retailer has to do is to develop an online auction, and analyze the market as to what products the people want, then he/she has to communicate with the drop shipper and ask whether they have the item in store, if they do so the retailer provides the name, address, order number etc. and send it to the shipment company, they forward the item to the customer and both parties collect their shares of the fees.

In the drop shipping business model, all a retailer has to do is provide a list of the available products online and cater to the customers’ needs. This is very tricky since the retailer has to know what is in popular demand, in the market, at the time and has to put those products on display so that the business may run smoothly. When a customer orders something the retailer as mentioned before simply directs the supplier and the job is complete it is as easy as that.

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Entering any kind of business first requires a sound understanding of the market and the targeted audience. Of course, no 80 year man would buy boxing gloves just for the sake of it, the retailer has to analyze their audience carefully and take notice of what people want. Developing this understanding may take a lot of time but there’s no way around it, understanding the basic principles is necessary before working on something.

The greater the demand greater the number of sellers will be competing with the retailer; to avoid falling back in the race the retailer has to be updated to each and everything about their targeted audience. Suppose someone wants to sell electronics online, they have to update their knowledge and understanding of technology on a daily basis, as everyday new devices are being invented and it is very hard to keep pace with the world. The one who reaches the finish line first wins, so it is important to upload updates before all the competitors so the business might succeed and expand on a better scale.

Another important thing is to have a clear idea of the fact that whether the dealing drop shipper is reliable or not regarding the stock. Suppose someone places an order on the online auction only to discover that the desired item is no longer available, these events decrease the popularity of the website and the retailer and might serve as a major drawback in the business. The retailer has to include items that are always available and have a dedicated drop shipper ready to provide whatever is asked for at all times. Involving active customers in the website may also be helpful, such as introducing titles, discounts etc. for regular customers. This makes the customers feel attached and important resulting in frequent visits to the website.

About the Author: Wholesale Dropshippers that have been qualified and are reputable dropshippers in the industry are offered to members of Worldwide Brands. For more information visit



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New Zealand airlines relax knife regulations

Saturday, October 1, 2005

New Zealand has relaxed the safety rules imposed on internal airlines in 2002, once more allowing passengers to carry pocket knives with blades less than 60mm long and knitting needles.

Other larger items remain banned, including ice-skates, pool cues, hockey sticks, skateboards, cricket bats and harpoons.

Other countries more at risk from terrorism such as the United States of America and Australia will maintain their stricter rules and continue to ban a range of small, sharp objects from their internal flights.

The airlines have also agreed to help return items seized from passengers before boarding.

Salvage crew boards grounded ship in Newcastle, Australia

Saturday, June 9, 2007

A salvage team boarded the bulk carrier MV Pasha Bulker that has been stuck on a reef off Nobby’s Beach in Newcastle to assess damage.

New South Wales Maritime spokesman Neil Patchett told reporters that an aircraft from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority flew over the ship earlier this morning and reported there was no visible sign of oil leaking from the vessel, calling it “good news”.

Meanwhile, casualties from the storm that hit Newcastle yesterday continue to mount. The bodies of an elderly couple were found earlier today, bringing the confirmed death toll to five with three more still missing.

Divers and around 45 Police officers and SES volunteers are still searching for another adult and child missing from a family of five whose car crashed down an embankment when a section of the Old Pacific Highway collapsed during the storm.

While the storm has eased, it is expected to worsen again overnight. The Bureau of Meteorology, says Sydney is also expected to be affected by the storm tonight as it moves south.

Duty forecaster Julie Evans said, “The low pressure system is slowly moving south so the good news is it’s stopped absolutely pelting down in Newcastle and the Central Coast but now Sydney’s getting the brunt of it, and it’s also becoming heavier in the Illawarra.”

Japanese earthquake death toll surpasses ten thousand

Friday, March 25, 2011

The death toll from the Sendai earthquake has now increased to over ten thousand. In Japan, the National Police Agency has stated that 10,019 are now known to have been killed as a result of the disaster.

The Agency also reported that 2,775 had been injured and the location of 17,541 individuals was unknown. Meanwhile, 1,900 evacuation sites are now thought to be occupied by approximately a quarter of a million people.

When the event happened two weeks ago, 18,000 thousand households were destroyed and 130,000 were damaged by the earthquake and the subsequent tsunami. In spite of this, twelve of the fifteen north-eastern ports of Japan have recommenced operating, while the majority of the oil terminals of the country remained open, according to Inchcape Shipping Services.

Amongst the aftermath of the earthquake, plant number 3 at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant is suspected to have been damaged and may be releasing radiation. The Japanese government have reported that an ongoing investigation is occurring to attempt to discover the cause of the radiation leak at the power plant. Chinese authorities have reported two Japanese tourists were found to have levels of radiation “seriously exceeding limits” on their clothing and luggage. In Tokyo, the amount of radiation in the supply of water has decreased, however it remains high in various parts of the north of Japan.

According to BBC News Online, two workers were hospitalised because of the leak. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), who operate the building, reported that three employees placing electrical cables at the location were given treatment for being exposed to radioactive water; they had experienced ten thousand times the regular amount of radioactivity. Of those three men, beta rays caused two of them to receive burns. The two individuals did not stop working despite meters advising of unsafe radiation levels. It was later discovered that they were wearing inadequate protective footwear and failed to draw their attention to a radiation alert. TEPCO has since received government orders to improve worker management.

The radiation emitted from the plant has had a significant effect on the Japanese food industry. In the surrounding areas of the plant, shipments of foodstuffs have been prohibited. In Fukushima prefecture, residents have been advised not to consume eleven leafy green vegetable types produced locally due to radiation concerns. There has also been a significant decrease in customer demand at a fish market in Tsukiji.

Japanese product importers have discovered some foodstuffs to have a small radiation amount, which is not thought to be potentially deadly. Numerous Asian countries, the European Union, Australia, Russia and the United States have prohibited milk items, seafood and vegetables from being imported from various Japanese prefectures.

Closing the power plant down may take at least one month to achieve. Speaking to AFP, an individual talking on behalf of TEPCO stated that the company is “still in the process of assessing the damage at the plant, so that we can’t put a deadline on when the cooling operations will work again”. Residents living within thirty kilometres of the plant have been advised to avoid going outdoors to attempt to prevent radiation exposure as far as possible.

Windows Embedded Compact 2013 Bsp Support For Nxp I.Mx 6x Platform}

Windows Embedded Compact 2013 BSP Support for NXP i.MX 6x Platform


iwave systems technology Windows Embedded Compact 2013 BSP Support for NXP i.MX 6x PlatformiWave Systems, a genuine embedded service provider, offers support for Windows Embedded Compact 2013 (WEC2013) reference Board Support Package (BSP) for NXP i.MX6x Platform. Microsoft has released Windows Embedded Compact 2013 (WEC2013) OS which gives better performance than its previous version WEC7. It is designed to target intelligent devices.These devices range from enterprise tools, such as industrial controllers, communications hubs, and point-of-sale terminals to consumer products such as cameras, telephones, and home entertainment devices.Windows Embedded Compact 2013 is a streamlined, componentized device operating system. With support for x86 and ARM architectures, Windows Embedded Compact 2013 provides the flexibility and real-time support to help device manufacturers reduce time to market while creating easy-to-use, multi-touch intelligent systems that help enterprises improve worker productivity.Windows Embedded Compact 2013 on iWave’s NXP i.MX6X Platform:Windows Embedded Compact 2013 provides many new features, such as including support for the latest version of Visual Studio, networking stack improvements, and XAML improvements. This latest version of Visual Studio 2012 includes new arm compiler and latest C Run time libraries.With the latest Windows Embedded Compact 2013 OS, the BSP and environment will have the following improvements:Platform Builder and Application Builder in Visual Studio 2012Support for .NET Compact Framework Version 3.9Multiple Processor Support (SMP)Hard real-time support in the OSFaster file system supportIncreased networking throughputFast Boot and Snapshot bootThe various peripheral features supported in the BSP are listed below;Debug UARTWi-Fi((Open, WEP 64/128 bit, WPA2 AES/TKIP, WPA AES/TKIP modes), Power Save and Roaming Feature)BT V2.1(Serial Port, Obex FTP, Head Set and HID profiles )EthernetLVDS displayHDMISATASD/MMCUSB HostUSB deviceCameraAudioTouchPCie

WEC2013 on NXP i.MX6 SABRE SDP and iWave-Rainbow-G15D Qseven Platform

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iWave provides WEC2013 BSP support for below mentioned i.MX6x based platforms,WEC2013 on NXP i.MX6 SABRE SDPWEC2013 on i.MX6 iWave-RainboW-G15D platform

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iWave Systems Technologies, an ISO 9001:2008 certified company, established in the year 1999, focuses on standard and customised System on Module/SBC product development in Industrial, Medical, Automotive & Embedded Computing application domains. iWave Systems also provides comprehensive Engineering design services involving Embedded Hardware, FPGA and Software development.

iWave’s Hardware expertise spans complex board design up to 30 layers; Analog , Digital & RF Designs; FPGA Development up to 3+ million gates and VHDL / Verilog RTL Development & Verification. Our Software expertise ranges from OS Porting, Firmware & Device Drivers Development and Wireless & Protocol Stacks to Embedded Application Development.

The company designs and develops cutting edge products and solutions. iWave has been an innovator in developing highly integrated, high performance, low power and low cost System-On-Modules(SOM) and Development Platforms. iWave has been able to develop advanced products for its customers using its SOMs in the shortest possible time at the most optimized design cost.

iWave Systems Technologies, an ISO 9001:2008 certified company, established in the year 1999, focuses on standard and customised System on Module/SBC product development in Industrial, Medical, Automotive & Embedded Computing application domains. iWave Systems also provides comprehensive Engineering design services involving Embedded Hardware, FPGA and Software development…

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Payment pending; Canadian recording industry set for six billion penalties?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A report published last week in the Toronto Star by Professor Michael Geist of Canada’s University of Ottawa claims a copyright case under the Class Proceedings Act of 1992 may see the country’s largest players in the music industry facing upwards of C$6 billion in penalties.

The case is being led by the family and estate of the late jazz musician Chet Baker; moving to take legal action against four major labels in the country, and their parent companies. The dispute centres around unpaid royalties and licensing fees for use of Baker’s music, and hundreds of thousands of other works. The suit was initially filed in August last year, but amended and reissued on October 6, two months later. At that point both the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) and Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors (SODRAC) were also named defendants.

January this year SODRAC and CMRRA switch sides, joining Baker et al. as plaintiffs against Sony BMG Music, EMI Music Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada. David A. Basskin, President and CEO of CMRRA, with a professional law background, stated in a sworn affidavit that his organisation made numerous attempts over the last 20 years to reduce what is known as the “pending list”, a list of works not correctly licensed for reproduction; a list of copyright infringements in the eyes of the Baker legal team.

The theoretical principle of the list is to allow timely commercial release while rights and apportionment of monies due are resolved. Basskin complains that it is “economically infeasible to implement the systems that would be needed to resolve the issues internally”. And, “[…] for their part, the record labels have generally been unwilling to take the steps that, in the view of CMRRA, would help to resolve the problem.”

The Baker action demands that the four named major labels pay for and submit to an independent audit of their books, “including the contents of the ‘Pending Lists'”. Seeking an assessment of gains made by the record companies in “failure or refusal to compensate the class members for their musical works”, additional demands are for either damages and profits per the law applicable in a class action, or statutory damages per the Copyright Act for copyright infringement.

[…] for their part, the record labels have generally been unwilling to take the steps that, in the view of CMRRA, would help to resolve the problem.

This forms the basis for Professor Geist’s six billion dollar calculation along with Basskin’s sworn testimony that the pending lists cover over 300,000 items; with each item counted as an infringement, the minimum statutory damages per case are CA$500, the maximum $20,000.

Basskin’s affidavit on behalf of CMRRA goes into detail on the history leading up to the current situation and class action lawsuit; a previous compulsory license scheme, with poor recordkeeping requirements, and which, had a decline in real terms to one of the lowest fees in the world, was eventually abolished and the mechanical license system introduced. The CMRRA went on to become a significant representative of music publishers and copyright holders, and the pending list an instrument to deal with situations where mechanical rights were as-yet not completely negotiated. Basskin’s affidavit claiming the list grew and circumstances worsened as time progressed.

The Mechanical Licensing Agreement (MLA) between the “majors'” industry body, an attached exhibit to the affidavit, is set to expire December 31, 2012; this is between CMRRA and the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA). With the original MLA expiring at end September 1990, CMRRA negotiated more detailed terms and a “code of conduct”. Subsequent agreements were drawn up in 1998, 2004, 2006, and 2008.

Basskin asserts that the named record company defendants are the “major” labels in Canada and states they “are also responsible for creating, maintaining and administering the so-called “Pending Lists” that are the subject of the current litigation”; that, specific to publishing, divisions of the four represent the “‘major’ music publishers active in Canada”. Yet the number of music publishers they represent has decreased over time due to consolidation and defection from the CRIA.

Geist summarizes the record company strategy as “exploit now, pay later if at all”. This despite the CMRRA and SODRAC being required to give lists of all collections they represented to record labels, and for record labels to supply copies of material being released to permit assessment of content that either group may represent interested parties for. Where actual Mechanical License Agreements are in place, Basskin implies their terms are particularly broad and preclude any party exercising their legal right to decline to license.

Specific to the current Mechanical Licensing Agreement (MLA) between the CMRRA and the CRIA; a “label is required to provide an updated cumulative Pending List to CMRRA with each quarterly payment of royalties under the MLA.” The CMRRA is required to review the list and collect where appropriate royalties and interest due. Basskin describes his first encounter with pending lists, having never heard of them before 1989, thus:

[…I]n the early years of my tenure, CRMMA received Pending Lists from the record labels in the form of paper printouts of information. The information contained on these lists varied from record label to record label, [… i]n fact, within a few days after my arrival at CMRRA, I recall my predecessor, Paul Berry, directing my attention to a large stack of paper, about two feet high. and informing me that it was PolyGram’s most recent Pending List. Prior to that introduction I had never heard of Pending Lists.

Alain Lauzon, General Manager of Canada’s Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (SODRAC) submitted his followup affidavit January 28, 2009 to be attached to the case and identify the society as a plaintiff. As such, he up-front states “I have knowledge of the matters set out herein.” Lauzon, a qualified Chartered Accountant with an IT specialisation, joined SODRAC in 2002 with “over 20 years of business experience.” He is responsible for “negotiation and administration of industry-wide agreements for the licensing of music reproduction and distribution”; licensing of radio and online music services use is within his remit.

Lauzon makes it clear that Baker’s estate, other rightsholders enjoined to the case, SODRAC, and CMRRA, have reached an agreed settlement; they wish to move forward with a class proceeding against the four main members of the CRIA. He requests that the court recognise this in relation to the initially accepted case from August 2008.

The responsibility to obtain mechanical licenses for recordings manufactured and/or released in Canada falls with the Canadian labels by law, by industry custom, and by contractual agreement.

The preamble of the affidavit continues to express strong agreement with that of David Basskin from CMRRA. Lauzon concurs regarding growing use of “pending lists” and that “[…] record labels have generally been unwilling to take the steps that would help to resolve the Pending List problem.”

With his background as an authority, Lauzon states with confidence that SODRAC represents “approximately 10 to 15% of all musical works that are reproduced on sound recordings sold in Canada.” For Quebec the figure is more than 50%.

Lauzon agrees that the four named record company defendants are the “major” labels in Canada, and that smaller independent labels will usually work with them or an independent distribution company; and Basskin’s statement that “[t]he responsibility to obtain mechanical licenses for recordings manufactured and/or released in Canada falls with the Canadian labels by law, by industry custom, and by contractual agreement.”

Wikinews attempted to contact people at the four named defendant CRIA-member record labels. The recipient of an email that Wikinews sent to Warner Brothers Canada forwarded our initial correspondence to Hogarth PR; the other three majors failed to respond in a timely fashion. Don Hogarth responded to Wikinewsie Brian McNeil, and, without addressing any of the submitted questions, recommended a blog entry by Barry Sookman as, what he claimed is, a more accurate representation of the facts of the case.

I am aware of another viewpoint that provides a reasonably deep explanation of the facts, at If you check the bio on his site, you’ll see that he is very qualified to speak on these issues. This may answer some of your questions. I hope that helps.

Sookman is a lobbyist at the Canadian Parliament who works in the employ of the the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA). Hogarth gave no indication or disclosure of this; his direction to the blog is to a posting with numerous factual inaccuracies, misdirecting statements, or possibly even lies; if not lies, Sookman is undoubtedly not careful or “very qualified” in the way he speaks on the issue.

Sookman’s blog post opens with a blast at Professor Geist: “his attacks use exaggeration, misleading information and half truths to achieve his obvious ends”. Sookman attempts to dismiss any newsworthiness in Geist’s article;

[… A]s if something new has happened with the case. In fact, the case was started in August 2008 (not October 2008 as asserted by Prof. Geist). It also hasn’t only been going on “for the past year”, as he claims. Chet Baker isn’t “about to add a new claim to fame”. Despite having started over a year and a half ago, the class action case hasn’t even been certified yet. So why the fervour to publicise the case now?
Should the court use admitted unpaid amounts, or maximum statutory damages – as the record industry normally seeks against filesharers?
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As the extracted [see right] stamp, date, and signature, shows, the court accepted amendments to the case and its submission, as Professor Geist asserts, on October 6. The previously mentioned submissions by the heads of CMRRA and SODRAC were indeed actions within the past year; that of SODRAC’s Alain Louzon being January 28 this year.

Sookman continues his attack on Professor Geist, omitting that the reverse appears the case; analysis of his blog’s sitemap reveals he wrote a 44-page attack on Professor Geist in February 2008, accusing him of manipulating the media and using influence on Facebook to oppose copyright reform favourable to the CRIA. In the more current post he states:

Prof. Geist tries to taint the recording industry as blatant copyright infringers, without ever delving into the industry wide accepted custom for clearing mechanical rights. The pending list system, which has been around for decades, represents an agreed upon industry wide consensus that songwriters, music publishers (who represent songwriters) and the recording industry use and rely on to ensure that music gets released and to the market efficiently and the proper copyright owners get compensated.

This characterisation of the pending list only matches court records in that it “has been around for decades”. CMRRA’s Basskin, a lawyer and industry insider, goes into great detail on the major labels resisting twenty years of collective societies fighting, and failing, to negotiate a situation where the labels take adequate measures to mechanically license works and pay due fees, royalties, and accrued interest.

What Sookman clearly overlooks is that, without factoring in any interest amounts, the dollar value of the pending list is increasing, as shown with the following two tables for mid-2008.

As is clear, there is an increase of C$1,101,987.83 in a three-month period. Should this rate of increase in the value of the pending list continue and Sony’s unvalued pending list be factored in, the CRIA’s four major labels will have an outstanding debt of at least C$73 million by end-2012 when the association’s Mechanical Licensing Agreement runs out.