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Coffee shop chain will move to London in wake of row over tax avoidance Anger over the corporation’s actions led to customer’s spurning Starbucks The Africa and Middle East operations will also be run from the UK

By Peter Campbell

Published: 13:16 EST, 16 April 2014 | Updated: 18:51 EST, 16 April 2014

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Starbucks will move its tax base from the Netherlands to London in an attempt to banish its immoral image.

The coffee chain is changing controversial methods it uses to push money into overseas tax havens. The surprise announcement puts pressure on Google and Amazon, which have been criticised for similar tax avoidance.

Starbucks faced a boycott in 2012 after it emerged the company had paid corporation tax only once since arriving in the UK in 1998.

Starbucks has said it will pay more tax in the UK as it announced its European HQ will move to London. The coffee shop chain was hit by a customer boycott two years ago in protest over its tax payments

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Starbucks to pay more tax in Britain following customer boycott

When done right, Schema markup can give a lift to international campaigns.

Schema.org, which is supported by all major search engines, provides what we call structured data markup. Launched in 2011, it is now recommended by Google as opposed to any other markup.

Schema.org can convey a massive amount of information to search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex. This markup technology can specify any person and characteristics of that person such as gender, date of birth, and educational institution. The markup technology can also be added in any language.

Schema markup simply gives search engines a better representation of what the website page is presenting by adding a set of HTML tags to each web page. Schema markup is extremely important to SEO because it helps search engines better understand the information on the pages of your website.

My good friend Sante Achille is an Italian SEO professional living and working in Italy out of L’Aquila, a small medieval town close to Rome. He has an engineering degree, has worked for major aerospace organizations including the European Space Agency (Noordwijk – Netherlands), and has been working on the web since the very beginning of the commercial World Wide Web in 1994.

With more than 19 years of hands-on experience, Achille has reviewed and optimized hundreds of websites and successfully cooperated with small local companies and large multi-national corporations, offering a wide spectrum of expertise essential to the success of a project.

I had the privilege of picking Achille’s brain on Schema.org and everything about it. Sante’s advice and suggestions on Schema markup technology is great, so read on for some really good insight into what you can do on an international front.

Achille said there is a general misunderstanding about Schema which is associated to “rich snippets” that often appear in the SERPs and highlight those products or recopies users have reviewed and evaluated by assigning from 1 to 5 stars.

Schema is far more than that and requires a considerable amount of planning for it to be effective and put to use with all its potential. Schema describes itself as a “collection of schemas, i.e., html tags, that webmasters can use to markup their pages in ways recognized by major search providers.”

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Schema & International SEO Everything You Need to Know

WASHINGTON The largest U.S.-based companies added $206 billion to their stockpiles of offshore profits last year, parking earnings in low-tax countries until Congress gives them a reason not to.

The multinational companies have accumulated $1.95 trillion outside the U.S., up 11.8 percent from a year earlier, according to securities filings from 307 corporations reviewed by Bloomberg News. Three U.S.-based companies Microsoft, Apple and IBM added $37.5 billion, or 18.2 percent of the total increase.

“The loopholes in our tax code right now give such a big reward to companies that use gimmicks to make it look like they earn their profits offshore,” said Dan Smith, a tax and budget advocate at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, which seeks to counteract corporate influence.

Even as governments around the world cut tax rates and try to keep corporations from shifting profits to tax havens, Congress remains paralyzed in its efforts. The response of U.S.-based companies over the past few years has been consistent: book profits offshore and leave them there.

Congress hasn’t acted because of disagreements over whether to be tougher on U.S. companies operating abroad amid broader disputes over government spending and taxation. The stalemate has prevented the U.S. from tapping a pot of money that President Barack Obama and the top Republican tax writer in Congress have eyed for such projects as rebuilding highways.

Meanwhile, the companies are deferring hundreds of billions of dollars in U.S. taxes as they lobby to end a system they describe as a competitive disadvantage in world markets. The top 15 companies now hold $795.2 billion outside the U.S., up 10.6 percent.

That increase was slower than the 15.9 percent rise in stockpiled profits those same companies had the previous year. Pfizer reported a decrease in offshore profits this year, and General Electric and Citigroup each reported growth of less than 3 percent.

The Bloomberg analysis covers the two most recent annual filings from 307 companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. It excludes purely domestic corporations, those that don’t disclose offshore holdings, companies with headquarters outside the U.S. and real estate investment trusts that aren’t subject to corporate taxes.

The increase in profits held outside the U.S. has been particularly large and steady at technology companies, many of which have moved patents and other intellectual property to low- tax locales.

U.S. multinational companies reported earning 43 percent of their 2008 overseas profits in Bermuda, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland, more than five times the share of workers and investment they have in those jurisdictions, according to a 2013 Congressional Research Service report.

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Cash abroad rises to $206B as Apple to IBM avoid taxes

Liberty Global Plc (LBTYA), the cable company controlled by billionaire John Malone, plans to offer mobile phone services to customers throughout Europe, taking on carriers such as the U.K.s Vodafone Group Plc.

Liberty Global will put together a so-called mobile virtual network operator system, or MVNO, the name given to companies that use other carriers wireless infrastructure for their own mobile services, Senior Vice President Manuel Kohnstamm said in a interview yesterday in Amsterdam.

Were working on a deep MVNO, and we dont only do that in Austria but in the whole of Europe, Kohnstamm said. Were constructing a pan-European MVNO platform.

Liberty Global will be able to keep margins high because, as a European cable TV operator, the company runs one billing system, one back-office and one back-haul, which connects the core network to the smaller subnetworks, he said. The company is introducing the MVNO network in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and the U.K., Kohnstamm said.

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The company has been active on acquisitions in the European cable market in recent years, taking over Virgin Media Inc. in the U.K. in 2013 and agreeing to buy Dutch operator Ziggo NV (ZIGGO) in January.

London-based Liberty Global has now reached a critical mass, Kohnstamm said, which has led the company to having sufficient scale to be competitive on delivering hardware, research and development, technology and content. While the company isnt actively pursuing acquisitions, it hasnt lost interest in potential takeovers.

We will always be interested and look around, Kohnstamm said, adding that he mostly sees a role for small and middle-sized companies.

They are the ones having to compete with Deutsche Telekom, Belgacom and KPN, which also invest and innovate further, Kohnstamm said. For that reason, he eventually sees those companies being just as interested in joining Liberty as Liberty is in them.

Belgiums Telenet Group Holding NV (TNET), which Liberty Global failed to take over after Telenets shareholders rejected a bid in 2013, isnt one of those smaller companies Liberty is aiming for at the moment.

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Liberty Global to Roll-Out Pan-European Mobile Platform

For Uli Hoeness, the next four days will be a painful reminder of how a decade-old folly turned a German soccer icon into one of the countrys most prominent tax dodgers.

The president of Bayern Munich soccer club and a member of the German national team that won the 1974 World Cup is scheduled to appear in a Munich court today on charges he hid trading profits in Switzerland to evade taxes.

Hoeness, 62, is one of the most well known Germans seeking clemency by disclosing violations and paying back the taxes. Countries around the globe have sought to uncover wealthy citizens who tried to hide savings in European tax havens Switzerland, Luxembourg and Lichtenstein.

If someone famous like Hoeness is being exposed like this, it certainly has effects, for better or worse, said Manuel Theisen, a business and tax professor at Munich University. The case prompted many others to turn themselves in, because they fear if someone like him is being prosecuted it means no one is safe.

The Hoeness probe started a year ago when he reported himself to authorities after lawmakers rejected a treaty that would have stopped prosecutors from buying stolen Swiss bank data with details on German account holders.

The fact that prosecutors charged him indicates they dont believe he disclosed all of his assets on a voluntary self-declaration filing, said Martin Wulf, an attorney at Streck Mack Schwedhelm in Berlin.

To be valid, a self declaration has to be complete, said Wulf, who isnt involved in the case. The filing must provide all information about the person to allow the tax authorities to gauge how much tax is due.

In an interview in May 2013 with German weekly Die Zeit, Hoeness said he committed a huge folly when he hid money in the Swiss account. Former Adidas AG Chief Executive Officer Robert Louis-Dreyfus in 2001 lent him 5 million euros ($7 million) and acted as a guarantor for another loan of 15 million euros, Hoeness said. He used the money to gamble and speculate on the stock market until 2006 and didnt pay taxes on the profits, he said.

Hanns Feigen, Hoeness attorney, didnt return a call seeking comment. The court has scheduled four days of trial and a verdict may come as soon as March 13.

Before making his fortune as the founder the HoWe Wurstwaren KG sausage factory, Hoeness played almost nine years for a Bayern Munich team that won three league titles and European cups during the 1970s. He was one of six Bayern Munich players, including Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Mueller and Paul Breitner, who helped the German national team win the 1974 World Cup title against the Netherlands.

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Bayern Munich Heros Folly Keeps German Focus on Tax Evasion

Published February 18, 2014

FoxNews.com

FILE: May 14, 2013: Associated Press reporters and editors work in the House Press Gallery, Capitol Hill, Washington, DC.AP

An increased focus on cracking down on whistleblowers has significantly dropped the United States press freedom ranking in the world, a new report says.

Reporters Without Borders annual Freedom Index report ranked the United States 46th in the world regarding freedom of information, a drop of 13 spots from 2012. The report cited the trial and conviction of Private Bradley Manning, the pursuit of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and the Justice Departments seizure of Associated Press phone records in an effort to find the source of a CIA leak, among other cases.

A federal shield law to help journalists protect sources is an urgent need in the United States, said the report, which also blasted the United Kingdom for its detention of the partner of Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who first broke Snowdens bombshell NSA revelations.

Both the U.S. and U.K. authorities seem obsessed with hunting down whistleblowers instead of adopting legislation to rein in abusive surveillance practices that negate privacy, a democratic value cherished in both countries, the report said.

David Cuillier, the president of the Society of Professional Journalists, told FoxNews.com on Monday he agreed with the reports findings and believes the journalism climate in the United States continues to get worse. Part of the problem, he said, is a public that, to a large extent, no longer trusts journalists and believes it’s acceptable for the government to intimidate reporters, hide information and threaten journalists with jail time for doing their jobs.

If the people didnt like that, then the government wouldnt do it, Cuillier said. (The government) will do as much as they can get away with. If the public lets them do it, or cheers them on, then theyll do everything they can to control their message.

Finland, the Netherlands and Norway topped the list, while Eritrea, North Korea and Turkmenistan were considered the most hostile nations in the world for press freedom.

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United States' press freedom ranking drops sharply, report says

Scandinavia has once again topped the list of the World Press Freedom Index for 2014, according Reporters Without Borders. The list spotlights the negative impact of conflicts on freedom of information, with analysis referring to a range of factors, including state repression and the economic crisis. Finland has come out on top for the fourth year running, followed by Netherlands and Norway …

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Reporters Without Borders: Who's Top for Press Freedom?

UTRECHT, Netherlands/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. cable group Liberty Global (NSQ:LBTYA) has won its 10-month pursuit of Ziggo (ZIGGO.AS) with a deal that values the Dutch operator and its debt at 10 billion euros ($13.7 billion) and expands billionaire John Malone's vast European cable empire. Ziggo rejected an initial offer from Liberty last October as too low, seven months after the U.S. group …

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Liberty Global buys Ziggo to expand European cable empire

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Grand Comore (Njazidja) Great Nicobar Hadhdhunmathee Heard Huvadhoo Atoll Ihavandhippolhu Atoll Java Indian Ocean (Continued) Kangaroo Katchall Keeling Islands (Cocos) King Kolhumadulu Atoll Lakshadweep Islands Little Andaman Little Nicobar Lower Andaman Maalhosmadulu Atoll Maamakunudhoo Atoll Madagascar Mafia Mahe Maldives Male’ Atoll Mauritius Mayotte McDonald Islands Melville Middle Andaman Miladhunmafulu Atoll Moheli (Mwali) Molaku Atoll Nancowry Nelsons Island Nias Nicobar Islands Nilandhoo Atoll North Andaman Pemba Peros Banhos Phuket Prince Edward Islands Reunion Rodrigues St. Paul Salomon Islands Seychelles Shag Siberut Simeulue Sipura Socotra Sumatra Sri Lanka Tarasa Dwip Tasmania Thiladhunmathee Atoll Three Brothers Timor Tromelin Zanzibar Mediterranean Sea Aeolian Islands Alboran Balearic Islands Cabrera Capraia Capri Corse (Corsica) Cyprus Elba Formentera Gozo Ibiza (Ivisa) les d’ Hyeres Jalitah Lampedusa Lipari Islands Mallorca (Majorca) Malta Maltese Islands Menorca 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Volcano Islands Wake Island Yap Pacific Ocean (South) south of the equator Easter Galapagos Islands Juan Fernandez Islands Isla Espanola Isla Fernandina Isla Genovesa Isla Isabella Isla Marchena Isla Pinta Isla Puna Isla San Cristobal Isla San Salvador Isla Santa Cruz Isla Santa Maria Robinson Crusoe San Felix Santa Clara OCEANIA, and the South Pacific Islands Abaiang Admiralty Islands Aitutaki Alofi Ambrym American Samoa Antipodes Atafu Atoll Atiu Auckland Islands Aunu’u Austral Islands Australia Banaba Bega Bora Bora Bougainville Bounty Islands Campbell Chatham Islands Choiseul Cook Islands Coral Sea Islands Efate Elao Erromango Espiritu Santo ‘ Eua Faioa Fakaofo Atoll Fatu Hiva Fiji French Polynesia Funafuti Atoll Futuna Gambier Islands Gau Gilbert Islands Gizo Grand Terre Great Barrier Reef Guadacanal Ha’apai Island Group Hatutu Hiva Oa Horne Islands Huahine Isle of Pines Kadavu Karkar Kioa Kiribati Kiritamati Koro Lakeba Lau Group Lifou Line Islands Loyalty Islands Malaita Malekula Malolo Mangaia Manihiki Manu’a Group Manuae Mare Marquises Islands Mata Utu Matuku Mauke Maupiti Melanesia Mitiaro Moala Mohotani Moorea Nairai Nanumea Atoll Nassau Nauru Naviti Nepean New Britain New Caledonia New Georgia Islands New Guinea New Ireland New Zealand Niuafo’ou Niuas Islands Niuatoputapu Niue Niulakita Atoll Nomuka Island Group Norfolk Islands Nukuaeta Nukufetau Atoll Nuku Hiva Nukulaelae Atoll Nukunono Atoll Ofu Olasega Ono Ouvea Ovalau Palmerston Pangai Penrhyn Philip Phoenix Islands Pitcairn Pitt Island Polynesia Pukapuka Rabi Raiatea Rakahanga Rangiroa Rarotonga Rotuma Samoa San Cristobal Santa Cruz Islands Santa Isabel Savai ‘i Society Islands Solomon Islands Stewart Suwarrow Tabuaeran Tahaa Tahiti Tahuata Taiohae Tanna Tarawa Tasmania Tau Taveuni Tetiaroa Tokelau Tonga Tongatapu Totoya Tuamotu Islands Tubuai Tupai Tutuila Tuvalu Ua Huka Ua Pou Hiva Oa Upolu ‘ Uta Vava’u Uvea Vaiaku Vanua Balavu Vanua Levu Vanuatu Vatulele Vava’u Island Group Vita Levu Wallis Islands Wallis and Futuna Waya Yasawa Yasawa Group

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The U.S. Treasury Department said on Thursday it has signed six more anti-tax evasion pacts with foreign governments, including several jurisdictions previously criticized as tax havens. The agreements were completed this past week with Bermuda, Malta, the Netherlands and three UK Crown Dependencies: Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, the department said. The agreements are part of a U.S …

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US Treasury signs anti-tax evasion pacts with six jurisdictions

(12-20 09:40)

The United States has signed anti-tax fraud pacts with six countries and territories including some considered tax havens, the US Treasury Department said Thursday. The Netherlands, Malta, and the British territories of Bermuda, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man signed various bilateral agreements with the US during the past week to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, the Treasury said in a statement, AFP reports. FATCA, enacted by Congress in 2010, requires information reporting and withholding tax provisions that target non-compliance by US taxpayers using foreign accounts. Under the law, US financial institutions must withhold a portion of certain payments made to foreign financial institutions which do not agree to identify and report information on US account holders. FATCA continues to gather momentum as we work with partners worldwide to combat offshore tax evasion,” said Robert Stack, the Treasury’s deputy assistant secretary for international tax affairs. This large number of signings in one week alone sends a strong signal to tax evaders everywhere: international support for FATCA is growing.” To date, the United States has signed 18 FATCA intergovernmental agreements, has 11 agreements in substance, and is conducting related discussions with many other jurisdictions, the Treasury said. Bermuda signed an agreement with the US on Thursday that means it will direct and aid foreign financial institutions in the British overseas territory to register with the US tax authority, the Internal Revenue Service, and report the required information directly to the IRS. The Netherlands, Malta, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, signed another type of agreement this week which requires the foreign financial institutions to report the information to their home governments, which in turn will report it to the IRS. A 2013 Congressional Research Service report to Congress said that Bermuda, Jersey, Guernsey, Malta and the Isle of Man are cited on lists of tax havens, while the Netherlands is considered to have tax haven characteristics.”

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Tax havens Jersey, Isle of Man, and Guernsey join tax fraud pact

Liberty Global plc. (LBTYA) declared disappointing financial results for the third quarter of 2013 as both the top and bottom line significantly lagged the respective Zacks Consensus Estimates. In the reported quarter, the company added 314,000 organic revenue generating units (:RGU), down 1.9% year over year.

Quarterly GAAP net loss was $830.1 million or $2.09 per share compared with a net loss of $22.4 million or 8 cents per share in the prior-year quarter. However, adjusted earnings per share of 9 cents were substantially below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 46 cents. Quarterly total revenue of $4,371.2 million was up 73.5% year over year, but fell below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4,422 million.

Cost of operations was $1,702.9 million, up 98.2% year over year. Operating income was $521.9 million, down 2.5% year over year. Operating margin was 11.9% compared with 20.2% in the year-ago quarter.

During the first nine months of 2013, Liberty Global generated $2,466 million of cash from operations compared with $1,886.2 million in the year-ago period. Free cash flow in the reported period was $665.8 million against $435.5 million in the prior-year quarter.

At the end of the third quarter of 2013, Liberty Global had $5,513.6 million of cash and marketable securities and $43,147.6 million of outstanding debt on its balance sheet compared with $2,989 million and $27,524.5 million, respectively, at the end of 2012.

Subscriber Statistics

As of Sep 30, 2013, Liberty Global had a total of 24,473,800 customers. Out of the total, customer count for European Operations, VTR and Other operations were 23.009 million, 1.1938 million and 0.271 million, respectively. The total Single-Play customer count was 10.825 million, which remained same year over year. The total Double-Play customer count was 3.924 million, up 32.4% year over year. The total Triple-Play customer count was 9.7248 million, up 67.8% year over year.

During the reported quarter, Liberty Global added 314,000 organic RGUs including net gains of 214,000 and 153,000 subscribers for broadband Internet and telephony services respectively, and a net loss of 53,000 subscribers for video services. At quarter end, the company had over 365,000 Horizon TV subscribers in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Ireland and Germany. Liberty Global had more than 1.8 million TiVo Inc. (TIVO)-platform based video subscribers with a quarterly net addition of 165,000 subscribers. Moreover, the company had 4.05 million mobile subscribers.

Segment-wise Results

Total revenue from the European Operations division was $3,947.8 million, up 83.7% year over year. Within this segment, revenues from Western Europe were $3,635.3 million, up 96.9% year over year. Revenues from Central and Eastern Europe were $279.1 million, up 1.9% year over year. Revenues from Central and other operation were $33.4 million, up 15.2% year over year. VTR Chile revenues were $244.8 million, up 1.6% year over year. Corporate and other revenues were $199.8 million, up 32.9% year over year.

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Liberty Global Misses on Q4 Earnings



Lost Islands ep13 The Thieves Of Tambu
The Lost Islands is an Australian television series. It first aired in Australia on 1 January 1976, and was later screened around the world, including the UK, France, Italy, The Netherlands…

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Lost Islands ep13 The Thieves Of Tambu – Video

Oct 012013

Beaches are far more than just places to hang out and enjoy the ocean. They are also buffers that take the brunt of crashing waves and save the land behind the beach, where people live and work, from being washed away. A new study has taken a stab at figuring out just how much land we could lose this century due to sea level rise, how many people will be forced to move and how much it will all cost. It also looks at what could happen if we try and fight back by artificially adding sand to beaches.

Across the…scenarios (we) considered, large areas of land could be lost if there is no adaptation,” explained Jochen Hinkel of the Global Climate Forum in Berlin, Germany and first author on the new paper published in the journal Global and Planetary Change. “This paper presents a first assessment of the global effects of climate-induced sea-level rise on the erosion of sandy beaches and the loss of land that, in turn, forces people to move.

The five countries that will be most affected by land loss by 2100 are the United States, Australia, Mexico, Russian Federation and Brazil. These countries all have a long coastlines and lots of sandy beaches. As might be expected, four of these countries are among the top five countries in terms of their total length of sandy beaches: Australia (8,200 miles or 13,200 km), United States (8,000 miles, or 12,800 km), Brazil (3,800 miles, 6,100 km), Denmark (2,900 miles, 4,600 km) and Mexico (3,000 miles 4,900 km).

The team used six global mean sea-level rise scenarios for the 21st century, ranging from 0.2 to 0.8 meters, and six socio-economic scenarios. They also looked at what could happen with and without beach nourishment programs, like those that keep tourists coming to beaches in Florida.

Without beach nourishment, global loss of land could be 6,000 to 17,000 square kilometers (2,300 to 6,600 square miles) during the 21st century. If you packed all that land loss together, the area is comparable to the entire state of Delaware up to the entire state Hawaii. Spread out globally, however, that erosion would lead to the forced migration of between 1.6 and 5.3 million people at a cost of between $300 billion and $1 trillion, the researchers report.

The good news is that bringing in more sand, a process called beach nourishment, could really help. Some eight to 14 percent less land might be lost and 56 to 68 percent fewer people would have to move in this century. That could reduce the cost of forced migration by about 80 percent; bringing the financial burden of moving people to somewhere between $60 to $200 billion.

In terms of absolute costs, the five countries most affected would be the United States, Japan, Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands. But if you read that in terms of a country’s overall human displacement costs, Kiribati, The Marshall Islands and Tuvalu pop to the top of the list.

Beyond the scope of the study, but related to it are the effects of beach losses on wildlife — something of concern to sea turtle advocates, for instance.

“It’s interesting that the Climate Action Plan by (Southeast) Florida counties (the best Sea Level Rise adoption effort to date in Florida) does not even mention beaches,” noted Gary Appelson, policy coordinator for the Sea Turtle Conservancy. That said, sea turtles really don’t need the wide beaches that humans prefer.

“Sea turtles do fine on high energy, very narrow beaches,” Appelson said. “The problem is when we line these beaches with structures and infrastructure and the beach looses resiliency to recover from storm events.” Just how that plays out in beach nourishment scenarios remains to be seen.

Originally posted here:
Global Warming Eats Sandy Beaches

Missing in all the partisan screaming and yelling about federal budget deficits and borrowing limits is any coherent talk about finding more tax revenue and a measure of equity for ordinary taxpayers.

Michigan Sen. Carl Levin has stepped up to the challenge. He introduced the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, Senate Bill 1533, to close offshore corporate tax loopholes.

Levin estimates the legislation would raise $220 billion over a decade. That is enough money to push back the across-the-board cuts of sequestration, he explained Wednesday in a telephone conference call.

As chair of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Levin knows all the scams and devices of offshore corporate-tax avoidance and evasions.

Research found 30 U.S. companies with $160 billion in profits had paid no taxes during a three-year study period. More than $1.3 trillion stashed offshore can be traced to 20 companies.

Levin also knows that when all the ruses are employed the tax burden falls on domestic companies, small business and families.

The senators bill, which has three Democratic sponsors so far, would go after the process of transferring lucrative intellectual property to tax havens. He would end tax deductions for companies that move production and jobs offshore and receive deductions to build and operate the new plants though none of the foreign profits are taxable.

Corporate profits get recycled and parked overseas, then repatriated via loans and other devices that make the eyes of accountants and lawyers glisten.

Another approach Levin does not favor is a territorial-tax system. It creates even more incentives to shift profits around the globe, avoid U.S. taxes and move more jobs overseas.

Americans for Tax Fairness cites a Congressional Research Report that American companies report earning 43 percent of overseas profits in five countries: Bermuda, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland tax havens where the companies have scant employment or foreign investments.

Originally posted here:
Legislation to curb foreign tax havens would bolster budget

We upgrade our recommendation on Liberty Global plc. ( LBTYA ) to Neutral following its recent acquisition of Virgin Media. The acquisition has positioned the company as the largest pay-TV operator globally. Liberty Global currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Why the Upgrade?

On Jun 2013, Liberty Global completed the acquisition of British cable MSO Virgin Media. Together, Liberty Global and Virgin Media had approximately 24.5 million subscribers at the end of the second quarter of 2013. In the U.K., the merged entity poses serious competitive threat to British Sky Broadcasting Group plc. and BT Group plc. ( BT ).

Recently, Virgin Media decided to offer the video-subscription service of the online video streaming service provider, Netflix Inc. ( NFLX ). With this, for the first time in the global pay-TV industry, web-based service will be integrated into cable system. Initially, Virgin Media will test run the Netflix service with its 40,000 subscribers who use the company’s next-generation set-top boxes developed by TiVo Inc. ( TIVO ).

At the end of the second quarter of 2013, the company had over 1.7 million video subscribers who use TiVo developed set-top boxes. This new converged digital TV platform provides improved graphics, on-demand video content, catch-up TV service, and web-based applications including games and personal video recorder. The set-top box integrates the Internet and live TV on one screen through fiber-optic cable.

Liberty Global has launched a hybrid IP video gateway called “Horizon TV” in Netherlands and Switzerland. This innovative IP gateway will combine cable operators’ video services with web-based content through an integrated cable modem. This modem includes an open software developer platform and application store.

Further, customers can view TV programs on multiple screens such as PCs, iPhones and iPads. Horizon TV also features an in-build application store for YouTube, Wikipedia and Facebook. This service will be introduced in Germany and Ireland by the end of this year.

BT GRP PLC-ADR (BT): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The rest is here:
Liberty Global Reverts to Neutral – Analyst Blog

Liberty Global Inc. ( LBTYA ) finally completes the acquisition of the British cable MSO, Virgin Media. On Feb 2013, Liberty Global decided to acquire a 100% stake in Virgin Media in a cash and equity deal. The deal is worth around $15.8 billion or an enterprise value of nearly $23.3 billion.

On Jun 7, the company declared that it has finally received shareholders’ approval, regulatory approvals including both the U.S. and European and completed other customary closing conditions to acquie Virgin Media.

The acquisition makes Liberty Global the largest cable TV MSO (multi service operator) in the world, surpassing Comcast Corp. ( CMCSA ), the largest cable MSO of the U.S. Together, Liberty Global and Virgin Media will have approximately 25 million subscribers compared with nearly 22 million subscribers of Comcast.

In the U.K., the merged entity will become a formidable challenger to British Sky Broadcasting Group plc., which is the largest pay-TV operator in the U.K. and is partially controlled by News Corp. ( NWSA ).

Liberty Global is gradually establishing a strong foothold in the European cable TV market. On Apr 2013, Liberty Global acquired a 12.65% ownership of Ziggo, the largest cable MSO in the Netherlands. Ziggo also competes with telecom operators such as, Royal KPN N.V. and Vodafone Group plc. ( VOD ). Liberty Global currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

We believe that the long-term business fundamental of the company is very intriguing, primarily due to a strong demand for its digital cable-TV services, faster broadband and triple-play bundled offerings. Acquisition of Virgin Media will enable Liberty Global to explore U.K., which is one of the most lucrative markets in Europe.

In the coming years, we believe Liberty Global’s revenues will continue to benefit from a ‘triple play’ of video, broadband, and telephone, as it signs up more “bundled” customers in Europe. The triple-play customer base grew 13.8% year over year in the first quarter of 2013.

The company is also concentrating on its double-play product, Internet and telephony, which has the potential to expand. The double-play customer base penetration nudged by 5.9% year over year in the last reported quarter.

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LIBERTY GLBL-A (LBTYA): Free Stock Analysis Report

Originally posted here:
Liberty Global Gets Virgin Media – Analyst Blog



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