Thursday, 2 April 2015

Making individual tax returns public information by putting them on the web

  • Should Individual Tax Returns Be Public Information? – Norway is the world leader in disclosure of income tax information. … In the fall of 2001, a national newspaper offered online access to tax information for the whole population through the web version of the newspaper, and soon all of the major national newspapers followed. Now, one could simply sit at home by the computer and obtain information about relatives, friends, neighbors, or celebrities. … The web pages offering search engines for tax information have been among the most popular websites in Norway, especially shortly after the release of new annual information.
  • German government approves controversial fracking bill – German cabinet has decided to allow shale gas fracking in Germany, but only under strict regulation and for testing purposes. Even so, lawmakers criticized the proposed bill for not being strict enough. According to the government proposal, fracking should be prohibited in so-called sensitive regions such as nature parks or water bore areas, and in depths above 3,000 meters. However, the bill allows for exceptions such as scientific tests, and it does not eliminate the possibility of commercial drilling past 2018. The public remains hostile to the plan, with environmentalists, unions and even churches criticizing the proposal. There is even strong resistance within the ruling coalition itself, which holds 504 out of 631 seats in the German parliament.
  • .N. site on flight in conflict zones to start up Thursday - The website, a test program proposed after a Malaysian airliner was downed in Ukraine last year, will be accessible to the public at the url www.icao.int/czip starting on Thursday.
  • Where the right to speak is howled down – It is hard to avoid the depressing conclusion that at Sydney University today mob rule works. – Peter Baldwin, minister for higher education (1990-93) in the Hawke-Keating government, writing in The Australian
russian growth
  • Russia Economic Report 33: The Dawn of a New Economic Era? – The World Bank projects a negative growth outlook for Russia in 2015-2016, with the economy expected to contract by 3.8 percent in 2015 and modestly decline by 0.3 percent in 2016.
  • In 20 years, the world may run out of minable gold – According to Goldman Sachs, the world has about 20 years’ worth each of known minable reserves of gold diamonds and zinc. Platinum, copper and nickel reserves only have about 40 years or less left.
  • Obama Removes Weapons Freeze Against Egypt – Seeking to repair relations with a longtime ally at a time of spreading war in the Middle East, President Obama on Tuesday lifted an arms freeze against Egypt that he had first imposed after the military overthrow of the country’s democratically elected government nearly two years ago. Mr. Obama cleared the way for the delivery of F-16 aircraft, Harpoon missiles and M1A1 Abrams tanks, weapons prized by Egyptian leaders, who have smoldered at the suspension. In a telephone call, Mr. Obama assured President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt that he would support the full $1.3 billion in annual military assistance the Cairo government traditionally receives, even as others seek to cut it, the White House said.
  • The U.N.’s War on Israel – The United Nations is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. It was intended to be a temple of peace, but this once great global body has been overrun by the repressive regimes that violate human rights and undermine international security.
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