Bakery businesses are being urged to sign an online petition against the new family business tax.The e-petition is now among the top 50 most-signed petitions on the Number 10 website, with over 6,000 signatures, claims Professional Contractors Group (PCG), which represents the UK’s freelancers.In 2007, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced his intention to prevent “income shifting”. He said it was the practice of splitting income between two people to make use of the tax allowance of the lower-earning partner.The new tax will target all jointly-owned businesses, and family businesses in particular. “It penalises people who have jointly set up businesses in exactly the way recommended for years by the government,” according to PCG, “and makes it impossible for small businesses to self-assess their tax liabilities, adding another crushing administrative burden.”Businesses will have to keep extensive records, according to PCG. They will then have to justify the distribution of profits to family members or other joint owners if the taxman investigates them.”Even if you are not clobbered by a tax investigation, you will still have to jump through all the hoops and keep all the records,” commented John Brazier, MD of the PCG.For more information, visit the website [http://www.familybusinesstax.co.uk].
BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group says its fighters have shot down an Israeli drone over a southern village near the border with Israel. The Israeli military did not confirm Hezbollah’s claim but said a drone has crashed on Lebanese territory. It says there’s no risk of breach of information. Monday’s downing comes after months of rising tensions amid Israeli airstrikes on Iran-backed fighters in neighboring Syria. Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV claims the drone was shot down after it entered Lebanon’s air space. It says the drone crashed in the village of Blida, near the border with Israel, and that Hezbollah fighters now have the unmanned aircraft.
A company installed a specialist CCTV system to catch a suspected thief after their accountant noticed their business was not performing as well as it should be.Castle Interiors, a painting and decorating supply company in Co Donegal had noticed their books were not tallying over a period of time. They installed a new surveillance camera system and observed one employee who was caught red-handed dipping in and out of the till.Alan Moore appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court in Co Donegal today for sentence after previously being found guilty of ten counts of theft at the shop at the Courtyard Shopping Centre in Letterkenny.A jury of twelve found him guilty on all charges by a majority verdict of ten to two.The court heard how the owner of the shop, Rossa McCosker, had been informed by his accountant that there had been an unexplained shrinkage in stock.The accountant also said the shop was not performing as it should be.Employee Alan Moore, aged 54, had been reprimanded on a number of occasions for leaving the till open.An older surveillance system which had to be played back by staff was then replaced but Moore had not been told of this.When the new ‘live’ surveillance system was put in place, a member of staff in the company’s Ballyshannon office monitored the activity in the shop.Between 22nd November, 2013 and December 2nd, 2013, the employee made a contemporaneous note of everything that happened in the shop while watching the live CCTV stream.She had noted when to ring in some items into the till put money in or took money out.The jury was shown footage of ten specific incidents when More took cash out of the till and put it into his pockets.The court was told that a total of €794 had not been rung into the till and that €780 in cash had been taken from the till.Because the items were not being rung into the till there was no excess of cash in the till to be lodged at the bank.When approached about the incidents Moore became very angry and later claimed that Mr McCosker had wanted to close the shop and did not want to pay out redundancy money.She was strongly denied and the court was reminded that the Government paid 60% of redundancy payouts in any case.Detective Garda Paul Lynch gave evidence of interviewing Moore after he was arrested.He admitted that he had operated a haphazard system for operating the till for a number of years but this had been tolerated by management.In his victim impact statement, owner Mr McCosker said he operated a number of businesses and after this, he had found it difficult to trust employees.“I am less able to trust individuals and am watchful and needy and I feel more vulnerable to fraud,” he said.The court was told that Moore was now a 56-year-old married man with two sons and had no issues with drugs, drink or gambling.Judge John Aylmer adjourned the case to decide on a sentence which he said he will pass on May 8th next.Company caught thief after installing new CCTV system at Donegal business was last modified: May 2nd, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Alan MooreCastle INteriorsCourtyard Shopping Centredonegalfraudtheft
3 September 2007Hewlett Packard (HP) has become the first company in South Africa to make use of an equity-equivalent project as part of its contribution to black economic empowerment (BEE), announcing plans to set up a training institute for employees and graduates.The equity-equivalent option offers mainly international companies operating in South Africa a means of contributing to local empowerment without having to sell shares.The company will set up the HP Business Institute (HPBI), an enterprise and skills development programme aimed at fostering scarce and critical skills among graduates and employees in small businesses in the information communication technology (ICT) sector.The announcement followed a meeting between President Thabo Mbeki and his advisory panel on ICT last month.HP South Africa chief executive Thoko Mokgosi-Mwantembe said in a statement last week that the company was committed to transformation in South Africa, and had to date invested over R150-million in broad-based BEE initiatives.“Through HPBI, the company will continue to contribute to our country’s economic growth by creating new jobs and opportunities for SMEs and ICT professionals, as well as addressing the skills shortages in critical areas,” she said.According to HP, the programme is designed to train 1 800 students over the next six-and-a-half years, with skills being delivered to existing BEE-compliant small and medium enterprises, enabling those companies to break through into the more sustainable high-end of the ICT industry.“The HPBI initiative is aligned with the Department of Communication’s national e-skills strategy, which aims to address the ICT skills requirements for the sector,” Communications Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri said.The company will identify individuals who will be placed in short-term skills programmes and one-year learnerships, equipping them with the necessary ICT skills, thereby helping create employment and reducing the skills gap in the sector. The first intake of graduates at the institute is scheduled for February 2008.Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa hailed the country’s first-ever equity-equivalent project, stating that it was “another significant milestone” in the country’s transformation process.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
The Absa Bank call centre in Auckland Park, Johannesburg. (Image: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more freephotos, visit the image library.)Mary AlexanderWith South Africa largely sheltered from the subprime crisis and resultant economic meltdown, the country’s banks now have a larger market capitalisation than the world’s major corporate banks.Absa Bank now has an equivalent market cap to its major shareholder, the once-giant Barclays UK, and Standard Bank is larger.South Africa’s stringent credit regulations are largely recognised as having prevented local banks being caught in the web of the subprime lending craze that entangled financial institutions across the world. “They have been pounded like you can’t believe,” said Wayne McCurrie of RMB Asset Management on Summit TV. “Our banks are nothing like the overseas banks.“Barclays UK was a massive bank – its market capitalisation, in other words what shareholders value the company at or what the share market values the company at – is not dissimilar to Absa’s market capitalisation, and it’s less than Standard Bank.“So our banks are now bigger in market cap terms than the major corporate banks.”In 2005 Barclays paid some R33-billion for a majority stake in Absa. The British bank’s share price has tumbled headlong recently.McCurrie said on Tuesday that the world’s major corporate banks had fallen us much as 30% to 40% in two days. “And that comes after an 80% fall – so they are now a fraction of what they used to be.“We are lucky in South Africa – not only are our banks insulated, the majority of our economy is insulated.“The resource sector is not – we’ve seen resource prices falling with platinum falling from US$2 200 an ounce to around $800 or $900 now. It’s been a dramatic effect. Unfortunately this adds to the general economic downturn we see in South Africa.“But it’s important to see that South Africa is in a downturn – it’s not a crisis, it’s not a collapse.”On Wednesday Absa assured investors that it was “unaffected” by Barclays UK’s troubled position. “Absa is a separately listed company on the JSE and is a South African registered bank regulated by the South African Reserve Bank,” Patrick Wadula, Absa’s head of media relations, told Sapa.The sell-off of banking shares in London continued on Wednesday, with Barclays’s shares falling to a 24-year-low, with rumours that the British government would nationalise the bank.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected] articlesSeize the new yearWhy 2008 isn’t 1998 Africa captures investors’ eyes SA’s competitiveness steady Doing business easier in SA South Africa’s economy: key sectors Useful linksSummit TV transcript of interview with Wayne McCurrieSummit TVAbsa BankStandard BankNedbankFirst National BankJSE LimitedSouth African Reserve Bank
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest This open letter was prepared by the undersigned extension entomologists from the Great Lakes Region regarding the efficacy of the Cry1F (Herculex 1, TC1507) trait on western bean cutworm (WBC; Striacosta albicosta). We strongly urge seed companies to remove the designation of “control” for this pest with regard to this toxin.At the time Cry1F received regulatory approval in 2001, western bean cutworm was found in the far western Corn Belt (Colorado, Idaho, Nebraska, and Wyoming), with occasional movement into western Iowa. Indeed, EPA’s original Biopesticide Registration Action Document (BRAD) for Cry1F Bt corn, published in August 2001, did not even mention WBC. Instead, the following language was used: “The registrant-submitted data indicate that Cry1F protected corn offers excellent control of European corn borer, southwestern corn borer, fall armyworm, black cutworm, and suppression for the corn earworm.”References to Cry1F giving “excellent protection” against WBC began to appear in marketing literature only after Iowa State University entomologists documented its eastward range expansion and the first economic damage in that state. Presumably this rating was based on a limited number of lab assays and field trials done in pure Bt stands, not Refuge-in-a-Bag hybrids.The rapid eastward range expansion of WBC across the central Corn Belt into the Great Lakes Region resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of WBC-infested acres in a short time period. This created a large-scale “efficacy test” of Cry1F hybrids to (as stated in the BRAD) “provide highly efficacious control of key Lepidopteran pests,” “reduce the use of more toxic chemical insecticides” and “reduce levels of mycotoxin in corn.” In all these regards, Cry1F has failed in our states. This season in particular, the level of larval infestation and damage is troubling in both single and pyramided Refuge-in-a-Bag hybrids from multiple seed companies.Wherever Cry1F is challenged by WBC, it fails to provide observable benefit to producers. We have collectively fielded dozens of phone calls and emails, and visited numerous fields; we know that our agribusiness contacts and seed industry agronomists have responded to many more, and corn acres were sprayed with both insecticides and fungicides (most too late and with little hope of benefit). People are frustrated and angry and, more importantly, yield was lost. Growers purchased Cry1F hybrids with the understanding that the trait provides “control,” thus negating the need to scout for egg masses or larvae in those fields. When the visible manifestations of damage became apparent late in the season, such as the intense ear-feeding we witnessed, it was far too late for rescue treatments.As the fall progresses and damaged corn is harvested, additional issues are sure to arise regarding quality and mycotoxin levels. The severity of the latter will largely be dependent on weather conditions favorable for ear mold development. What is certain is that many damaged ears are primed for fungal colonization and quality loss.As extension educators and specialists, we can no longer refer to Cry1F as providing WBC control. In fact the opposite is true, and our extension recommendations (including the Handy Bt Trait Table) will be changing to classify Cry1F hybrids for WBC the same as non-Bt, Cry1Ab, or double/ triple pro hybrids, all of which provide no control. In other words, we believe that Cry1F fields must be scouted for egg masses and sprayed with foliar insecticides if needed, the same as a non-Bt corn. Western bean cutworm is now the PRIMARY Lepidopteran ear pest in many parts of the Great Lakes region. For growers in our states, the costs of scouting and spraying Cry1F corn negates a major reason they purchased and planted a hybrid with the trait in the first place.Before growers make seed choices for 2017, we again urge the seed industry to acknowledge the reality of what is happening in the field, and to reclassify Cry1F in hybrid fact sheets, technical use agreements, and other educational materials. This would reduce grower expectations of Cry1F and allow local agricultural professionals to deal with their customers in a more truthful manner, in a way that allows for protection against yield loss. We also urge the industry to regard western bean cutworm as a primary, not a secondary, pest. Doing nothing risks alienating those close to the situation, including field agronomists, consultants, university extension staff and (most importantly) corn growers themselves who have a vested interest in finding effective pest management solutions for a growing world.Sincerely,Dr. Chris DiFonzo, Michigan State UniversityDr. Christian Krupke, Purdue University Dr. Andy Michel, The Ohio State UniversityDr. Elson Shields, Cornell UniversityDr. Kelley Tilmon, The Ohio State UniversityDr. John Tooker, Pennsylvania State University
By Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsThe proposed First Nation education bill partly unveiled this past Friday will still retain the “assimilating and paternalistic nature” of its previous incarnation, according to a Quebec First Nation education organization.The First Nations Education Council released an analysis Monday of the agreement between Ottawa and the Assembly of First Nations on education which was announced Friday. The deal would see the introduction of a proposed bill governing on-reserve education called the First Nation Control Over First Nation Education Act.The proposed bill, which is in its final draft, is expected to be tabled in the coming months.Ottawa is expected to negotiate with the AFN and First Nations leaders on the bill’s final content, according to the agreement.The council said available information is still limited about the proposed bill and it based its analysis what has already been released publicly. The council found that many of the elements of the previously named First Nations Education Act rejected by chiefs have not been scrubbed from its current incarnation.“The current agreement made between the AFN and the federal government has retained several disputed elements of the bill presented in October,” said the council. “The name of the draft bill was changed…to create an illusion of a major change, while the bill in its present form goes completely against the First Nation jurisdiction and control of First nation education.”The deal would see the 18 year-old two per cent a year funding cap on First Nation education lifted after the next federal election. Ottawa also promised to commit $1.252 billion over three years for core education funding along with a new yearly 4.5 per cent escalator. The agreement would also see the federal government invest $500 million for infrastructure over seven years beginning in 2015-2016.Yet the education council, which counts 22 Quebec First Nations as members, cast a skeptical eye on the promised cash, including concern over the wait reserve schools face before they see any changes and that the main chunk of many and funding changes would only take place after the 2015 election.“Is there an analysis that shows that this funding is based on needs? How is the funding calculated? Is it new money?” said the council. “Do we have the guarantee that the current programs will not be cut or recycled to meet the announced budget?”Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt’s office refused to provide a breakdown of the funding, saying that the announcement would be included in Tuesday’s federal budget. A Valcourt spokesperson also emailed Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s speech from Friday to APTN National News.The council also raised concerns that the AFN-Ottawa agreement was silent on funding for post-secondary education.“(There is) no mention of the need to implement a funding formula that takes the current reality in schools into consideration,” said the council.The council also questioned how the proposed legislation could both enable First Nations to implement cultural and language programs while also requiring adherence to provincial standards.“There are no provincial programs or standards for teaching languages and culture,” said the council.The council said the new proposed bill would also “increase the power of the government to determine the operation of on-reserve schools by legislating a requirement First Nation schools teach curriculums that meet provincial standards.First Nations already agree to meet those standards through their funding agreements with Ottawa.The council also said the bill would “impose’ a provincial model on communities through First Nation education authorities.“These school authorities, thus named by the federal government, will become federal agencies,” said the council.The council said any control First Nations would get under the bill would be purely “administrative” in nature“An agreement was made giving the minister the go ahead to introduce a bill in the House for which we do not have all the details that an act going completely against First Nations aspirations will be adopted,” said the council. “All it took was a promise of future and uncertain funding to accept the unacceptable-increased government control over our institutions and the obligation to fall in line with provincial standards and policies.”[email protected]@JorgeBarrera
Hot Takedown If you’re a fan of our podcasts, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave a rating/review. That helps spread the word to other listeners. And get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments. Tell us what you think, send us hot takes to discuss and tell us why we’re wrong. More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS Several months ago, Hot Takedown crowdsourced ideas from listeners about how to change the draft to stop teams from tanking. After we sent him the winning idea, Silver wrote that there is a “growing consensus that we should reform the draft lottery.” But on this week’s Hot Takedown he said that after team owners voted down a proposal for change last year, the league has decided to “park the issue” for the foreseeable future.Silver argued that the marketplace is providing the biggest pressure on teams like Philadelphia, which he said are realizing that “losing comes at an enormous cost.” Silver sees a “resetting of sorts” with the team. And he denied that he intervened and asked the Sixers to install Jerry Colangelo as special advisor.Watch a video excerpt and stream the full audio of the interview above. We’ve also provided a lightly edited transcription of the highlights below. This interview was conducted Friday, Dec. 18.Silver not a fan of Sixers strategyNeil Paine: Are you personally, as the commissioner, OK with the way that the 76ers have run their franchise the past three seasons?Adam Silver: I don’t want to answer that directly. As I said, there’s a marketplace of ideas and approaches that go into managing a franchise.Am I fan of that strategy? Put it this way: No. But does that mean that it’s not acceptable under the league rules? It doesn’t. The Sixers are a mess, and Adam Silver is not happy. The NBA commissioner joined our sports podcast, Hot Takedown, for a conversation about the structure of the draft, the perverse incentives that it creates and how his office can try to “cajole” teams like the Philadelphia 76ers into being more competitive. But he admitted that ultimately, he may not be able to reset the competitive balance of the league by tweaking the draft rules. Truth to rumors that he intervened with Sixers?Chadwick Matlin: Anonymous reports suggested that [you stepped in and pushed for the hiring of Jerry Colangelo] due to owners who wanted the situation in Philadelphia changed. Are those reports correct?Adam Silver: Those reports are not correct. Josh Harris, who’s the principal owner of the 76ers, decided on his own that he needed to change course. He and I had many conversations along the way about the utility of the strategy that he was following. And he came to the conclusion once this season began, and he saw how his team was performing on the floor, that he needed to change his strategy.Other owners were not pressuring him at all. In fact, it’s a weird dynamic in the league that while all the owners would like to see teams well operated, other owners just want to win (laughter). And so nobody was calling me and saying go call the 76ers and tell them how to beat us. The Sixers are “resetting”Adam Silver: There’s a resetting of sorts going on with the 76ers right now. And I think that ultimately may speak louder in the marketplace of teams than any tinkering we do to the draft lottery.Is it time to step in and stop tanking?Chadwick Matlin: I’m interested about when you do step in as a commissioner. You’re basically the CEO of a big multibillion-dollar corporation. At what point is it your responsibility to intervene if one of your franchises is not performing in a way that represents the league?Adam Silver: Well, I would say that there’s lots of different ways of so-called “stepping in.” There’s also cajoling and ongoing conversations that I have with owners, with team presidents, with general managers, where I’m expressing my opinion.