Turkey, which over the last year could hardly be described as an incubator for civil liberties, has this past year been engulfed in political chaos. It’s reputation which it has tried hard to put forward as a secular, moderate gateway to the east from Europe, and a viable member of the EU, is almost completely in tatters. It currently holds the unpleasant title as the country with the most imprisoned journalists on the planet, it is ranked 154th in the press freedom index, and it has what can only be described as a selective historical memory when it comes to Armenians. This nation has over the past year been involved in what can only be described as a governmental crisis. This crisis, which stems from a corruption probe which has sunk its teeth into the heart of governmental power and authority has threatened various power brokers nation wide. This is an on-going and real tale of political intrigue within one of NATO’s most valued countries; including foreign backers, shoeboxes full of dollars and the constitutional limits of power which keep a leader in check.
A Mexican drug lord, Nazario Moreno who had reportedly been killed in 2010 has died after clashes with Mexican police on Sunday morning.He had previously been reported being fatally shot during a 2010 shootout, however no body had been found.This time however fingerprints were matched confirming the drug lord’s death. This alongside the capture of Joaquin Guzman last month, has been earmarked as a major victory for the government in its war on drugs.
Amid fears of a Kremlin-backed separatist rebellion against Ukraine’s fledgling government, armed men in military uniforms took up positions at two Crimean airports as Ukraine’s interior minister warned of “a direct provocation,” but there was no sign of any violence.
Despite being described as “self-defence squads” by the Russian media, it is probable that these men are at the very least funded and armed by the Kremlin. Western media is of course quick to emphasis Russian involvement but paid very little attention to who was arming and funding pro-European paramilitary squads to date much more violent than Russian-backed militias.
Price Waterhouse Coopers published a list of OECD countries’ tax rates. For each country, they calculated how much a high earner on a salary of $400,000 (£240,000) in 2013, with a mortgage of $1.2m (£750,000), would have left after all income tax rates and social security contributions. The lowsest tax liability came in at 3% in Saudi Arabia.
You would have to be spectacularly dumb or have the world’s worst accountant to end up paying anywhere near the rates specified in this article if you were a member of the 1%. Tax havens, shell companies, equity swaps, capital gains tax, avoiding said capital gains tax, carried interest, shell trust funds, incorporating, and payments in kind are just some of the delightful ways they can excuse themselves from their tax obligations.
Egypt’s military-backed government has issued a shock resignation in an announcement broadcast today on Egyptian state TV. Interim prime minister Hazem el-Beblawi said his entire cabinet will now stand down, but has provided no explanation for their decision or information on who will take over.
A military coup took place in Egypt last year overthrowing democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood and replacing him with a military dictatorship of sorts under General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Al-Sisi is also the country’s current Minister of Defense, a position that would have prohibited him from running for President in an election scheduled for later this year. The resignation of the entire interim cabinet will pave the way for al-Sisi to run for President, an attempt that will likely be successful given his designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, criminalising all its activities, its financing and even membership to the group
Episode 2 of our “Alternative Voices” interview series, where we talk to people who give us a different perspective on all manner of topics.
Our guest this week is Norman Finkelstein, a scholar of the Israel/Palestine issue and the author of several books including The Holocaust Industry and This Time We Went Too Far: Truth & Consequences of the Gaza Invasion. We spoke with Norman about his unique family background, his battles with American academia and the future of the Palestinian people.
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Greg McInerney: Hi guys, this is Greg McInerney here for the MeltingPress.com, this is episode two of our Alternative Voices series. Today we’re joined by Norman Finkelstein who is a scholar of the Israel/Palestine Issue. Norman thanks so much for joining us today.
I visited Ukraine for several days back in 2010 and although the Ukraine I saw was very different to the one flooding news and social media streams in recent weeks, there were signs of the factors that brought the country to a boiling point over the last few months. Of the week I spent in the country, during a peaceful summer, one thing that stood out even then was that it was a divided country. The divide I noticed didn’t seem like a clear cut case of the Ukrainian people vs a pro Russian government as has largely been reported by various news outlets up until the tail end of this week. The divided country I experienced was a cultural one, it included the two sides that have been presented to us time and again on major news outlets, and also many other groups both large and small in the middle ground and on the extremities of the political spectrum.