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Tax haven secrets of ultra-rich exposed – BBC News

A huge new leak of financial documents has revealed how the powerful and ultra-wealthy, including the Queen’s private estate, secretly invest vast amounts of cash in offshore tax havens. Donald Trump’s commerce secretary is shown to have a stake in a firm dealing with Russians sanctioned by the US. The leak, dubbed the Paradise Papers, contains 13.4m documents, mostly from one leading firm in offshore finance. BBC Panorama is part of nearly 100 media groups investigating the papers. As with last year’s Panama Papers leak, the documents were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which called in the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) to oversee the investigation. The Guardian is also among the organisations investigating the documents. Sunday’s revelations form only a small part of a week of disclosures that will expose the tax and financial affairs of some of the hundreds of people and companies named in the data, some with strong UK connections. Many of the stories focus on how politicians, multinationals, celebrities and high-net-worth individuals use complex structures of trusts, foundations and shell companies to protect their cash from tax officials or hide their dealings behind a veil of secrecy. The Paradise Papers show that about £10m ($13m) of the Queen’s private money was invested offshore. It was put into funds in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda by the Duchy of Lancaster, which provides the Queen with an income and handles investments for her £500m private estate. There is nothing illegal in the investments and no suggestion that the Queen is avoiding tax, but questions may be asked about whether the monarch should be investing offshore. There were small investments in the rent-to-buy retailer BrightHouse, which has been accused of exploiting the poor, and the Threshers chain of off-licences, which later went bust owing £17.5m in tax and costing almost 6,000 people their jobs. The Duchy said it was not involved in decisions made by funds and there is no suggestion the Queen had any knowledge of the specific investments made on her behalf. The Duchy has in the past said it gives “ongoing consideration regarding any of its acts or omissions that could adversely impact the reputation” of the Queen, who it says takes “a keen interest” in the estate. Wilbur Ross helped stave off bankruptcy for Donald Trump in the 1990s and was later appointed commerce secretary in Mr Trump’s administration. The documents reveal Mr Ross has retained an interest in a shipping company which earns millions of dollars a year transporting oil and gas for a Russian energy firm whose shareholders include Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law and two men subject to US sanctions. It will again raise questions about the Russian connections of Donald Trump’s team. His presidency has been dogged by allegations that Russians colluded to try to influence the outcome of last year’s US election. He has called the allegations “fake news”. Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal has called for an investigation, telling NBC News that Mr Ross had given Congress the impression he no longer held shares in the shipping company. “Our committee was misled, the American people were misled by the concealment of those companies.” Most of the data comes from a company called Appleby, a Bermuda-based legal services provider at the top end of the offshore industry, helping clients set up in overseas jurisdictions with low or zero tax rates. Its documents, and others mainly from corporate registries in Caribbean jurisdictions, were obtained by Süddeutsche Zeitung. It has not revealed the source. The media partners say the investigation is in the public interest because data leaks from the world of offshore have repeatedly exposed wrongdoing. In response to the leaks, Appleby said it was “satisfied that there is no evidence of any wrongdoing, either on the part of ourselves or our clients”, adding: “We do not tolerate illegal behaviour.” Essentially it’s about a place outside of your own nation’s regulations to which companies or individuals can reroute money, assets or profits to take advantage of lower taxes. These jurisdictions are known as tax havens to the layman, or the more stately offshore financial centres (OFCs) to the industry. They are generally stable, secretive and reliable, often small islands but not exclusively so, and can vary on how rigorously they carry out checks on wrongdoing. The UK is a big player here, not simply because so many of its overseas territories and Crown dependencies are OFCs, but many of the lawyers, accountants and bankers working in the offshore industry are in the City of London. It’s also about the mega-rich. Brooke Harrington, author of Capital Without Borders: Wealth Managers and the One Percent, says offshore finance is not for the 1% but the .001%. Assets of around $500,000 (£380,000) would just not meet the offshore fees the schemes would need, she says. Well, it is a lot of cash. The Boston Consulting Group says $10tn is held offshore. That’s about the equivalent of the gross domestic products of the UK, Japan and France – combined. It may also be a conservative estimate. Critics of offshore say it is mainly about secrecy – which opens the door to wrongdoing – and inequality. They also say the action of governments to curb it has often been slow and ineffective. Brooke Harrington says if the rich are avoiding tax, the poor pick up the bill: “There’s a minimal amount the governments need to function and they recoup what they lose from […].....»»

Category: newsSource: mindanaoexaminer mindanaoexaminerNov 6th, 2017

Ohtani bids farewell to Japan fans ahead of Angels adventure

SAPPORO, Japan (AP) — Los Angeles Angels-bound Shohei Ohtani bid farewell to fans of his former Japanese club on Monday as he sets off to join his new team. The star pitcher and hitter wore an Angels jersey to his public news conference. He opened with an introduction in English, saying: "Long time, no see. I'm Shohei Ohtani. Welcome to my press conference. Please enjoy." The Sapporo Dome crowd erupted in laughter and applause. For five seasons, Ohtani called Sapporo home, playing for the Nippon Ham Fighters. He intends to be a starting pitcher and everyday hitter with the Angels. Ohtani, the reigning Pacific League MVP, threw one final ceremonial pitch from the Sapporo Dome mound. He spurned other major league offers to join two-time MVP Mike Trout and slugger Albert Pujols. The Angels are coming off their second consecutive losing season and haven't won a playoff game since 2009. Ohtani was 3-2 with a 3.20 ERA while slowed by thigh and ankle injuries. But those numbers don't indicate the potential for a pitcher whose fastball has topped 100 mph. Scouts are more divided on Ohtani's ability to consistently hit big-league pitching. He hit .332 in 65 games with eight homers and 31 RBIs last season, occasionally unleashing the tape-measure blasts that captivated prospective teams. In 2016, Ohtani hit .322 with 22 home runs and 67 RBIs in 104 games. He also was 10-4 with a 1.86 ERA. Ohtani will attempt to chart a rare career path, the majors' first regular two-way player in decades. He has drawn numerous, if unfair, comparisons to Babe Ruth, who excelled as a hitter and a pitcher early in his Hall of Fame career. The Angels plan to use Ohtani as a hitter and a pitcher, and the 23-year-old player said Monday he is confident he can succeed in both in a more challenging environment. Since joining the Angels this month, it was revealed that Ohtani injured the elbow of his pitching arm at the end of this past season. A leaked medical report sent to all MLB clubs showed a Grade 1 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament and he received a platelet-rich-plasma injection in October. But the injury is not considered serious and Japanese media reports last week showed Ohtani taking batting practice and throwing long toss. The Angels have said they are not concerned and they expect Ohtani to be ready for spring training......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 25th, 2017

Michael Carter-Williams remains optimistic after uneven start to career

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The 2013-14 home opener of the Philadelphia 76ers drew a large and hyper crowd for a game against LeBron James and the Miami Heat, not necessarily because of who was playing; actually, the object of the affection was someone who wasn’t. There he stood in baggy jeans, a jacket one size too big, a do-rag defiantly wrapped around his head and showing puppy eyes that lied about his image and age. Allen Iverson was approaching his 40s and uncomfortably retired. Based on his outfit, he couldn’t let go of yesterday. Nor could nostalgic Philly fans who applauded and shouted during a ceremony to honor the iconic former Sixer, who playfully cupped his ear with his hand to encourage the love. Then, something unexpected happened: Philly honored a second Sixers point guard that same night. Much like Iverson well before him, Michael Carter-Williams buzzed around the floor, getting buckets, attacking the rim, finding the open man and cutting off Miami passing lanes. If he couldn’t upstage Iverson, he certainly outdid LeBron by scoring 22 points with 12 assists, seven rebounds and nine steals in a Sixers’ upset win. It was his first game as a pro, with his misty-eyed family in the stands, with Iverson pumping a fist, with LeBron feeling flat, and the night felt surreal, dreamy, galactic. How could he or anyone not see that this was the beginning of something special? “A great night,” Carter-Williams recalled the other day. “I always wanted to play that way, against guys like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. After I had, like, seven points, my mom told someone that she’d be happy if the game ended right now.” That smash opening act led to the Kia Rookie of the Year award, which of course then led to a series of injuries, trades, bad fits, false starts, airballs, benchings and a failure to secure the kind of blockbuster contract that allows you to live XXL. Four years and four teams later, Carter-Williams is the backup point guard for the Charlotte Hornets with a career creeping down the path of the unknown, already sitting at the crossroads at age 26. This wasn’t a totally self-created spiral. His body betrayed him as much as his jump shot. He found himself trapped in situations that ranged from weird to woeful. He had the timing of a fake Rolex. An award-winning rookie was put through the NBA wringer and fell through the cracks and has now landed a few seats down the bench from Michael Jordan, although symbolically, he’s worlds away from the Hornets owner. Bitter? Angry? Confused? Yeah, just a bit. “It was tough, given the situations I’ve been in,” he said, “and the backlash I received wasn’t worthy or fair to what I’d been going through. I was in tough situations with injuries and being traded and it affected my performance on the floor. I got real low, with everybody asking, `What happened to him?’ It wasn’t right.” He’s on a one-year deal with the Hornets, which he hopes to leverage into security next summer in free agency, though the big-paycheck prospects are hardly encouraging so far. Still searching for durability with his body and respectability for his game, Carter-Williams is averaging 17.3 minutes in role-playing duty. And he’s once again haunted by his faulty shooting, now dragging at 27 percent, deadly for a guard. It’s a cautionary tale about fate and the curvy nature of pro sports, and about the 2013 NBA Draft, headlined by the one and only Anthony Bennett. From almost every conceivable measuring tool and metric, that class lurks as perhaps the quietest in NBA history. The only All-Star is Giannis Antetokounmpo, who went 15th, and he, Rudy Gobert and CJ McCollum are the only franchise cornerstones. Half of the top 10 are already on different teams. Another way to apply context is with money. Only Giannis, McCollum, Gobert, Otto Porter Jr. and Steven Adams received max contracts, and half of the top 10 didn’t see multi-year extensions. Several players sat on the free-agent market last summer for weeks and even months, collecting cobwebs as they nervously stared at a market that turned chilly a year after doling out millions. They begrudgingly settled for qualifying offers that amounted to pocket change: one year and $4 million for Nerlens Noel (the No. 6 pick), one year and $4.2 million for Alex Len (No. 5). The No. 9 pick and consensus college player of the year, Trey Burke, is playing for the Knicks. The Westchester Knicks of the G League. As a whole, that class was astonishingly light at the top, lacked any second-round surprises (besides Allen Crabbe) and quickly became a wash. And of course, the No. 1 pick is already out of the league. Bennett wasn’t even the consensus top choice prior to the Draft among NBA talent scouts, some of whom had Noel rated higher, even though Noel was coming off knee surgery. That said plenty about the class and also Bennett, who leveraged a decent stretch at UNLV to hear his name called first by Cleveland. That joy didn’t last long; Bennett was a hopeless ‘tweener at forward in his pitstop NBA career and instantly exposed for his lack of shooting and low-post grit. He quickly became a throw-in for the Kevin Love trade but couldn’t salvage his career in Minnesota, Toronto or Brooklyn. He currently plays for the Northern Arizona Suns in the G League. It’s a fate that the most celebrated rookie of that class hopes to avoid, and praying he isn’t running out of chances. Carter-Williams, the 11th pick, was consistent and steady that first season. A 6'6" guard who caused matchup problems and brought good vision and defensive instincts, he averaged 16.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.9 steals. He led all rookies in points, rebounds, assists and steals. Only Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson did that, although for the sake of context, Magic’s competition in his first year was fellow Hall of Famer Larry Bird, and Oscar came in with Hall of Famers Jerry West and Lenny Wilkens. Carter-Williams became the lowest-drafted player to win Rookie of the Year since Mark Jackson in 1987. But coming from that 2013 Draft, it was like winning a sack race without using a sack. After that, he was no longer blessed by the basketball gods; he still hasn’t matched the numbers or impact he had as a rookie. The Sixers were in the early stages of a crash-and-burn rebuilding philosophy managed by former GM Sam Hinkie. Rather than having the chance one day to throw lobs to Joel Embiid, who was drafted a year later but sat with a foot injury, Carter-Williams was dealt midway through his second season by Hinkie. Carter-Williams was exchanged right before the 2015 trade deadline for a package that included three picks (a first-rounder belonging to the Lakers is now property of the Celtics and unprotected for 2018). “Being traded was hard for me,” he said. “I didn’t see that coming. To this day, I still don’t understand it. I never got any answers and never went to ask for any. Of course I felt pretty bad but I was fine with it once I realized the situation I was going into — or thought I was going into.” He was in Milwaukee to be coached and tutored by Jason Kidd, one of the all-time great point guards. Carter-Williams gave Milwaukee a big backcourt with Khris Middleton and the Bucks had a long and lean starting five. He scored 30 against the Cavs and another 30 in his first game back in Philly, and in the playoffs went for 22 points and nine assists in a game against the Bulls. The next season he looked forward once again to feeding passes to Giannis, until Kidd had another idea: Giannis would take Carter-Williams’ position and do the feeding to others. Suddenly and once again, an ideal situation turned sour quickly for Carter-Williams, who couldn’t believe the sharp turn his career took. “I don’t know how to describe it,” he said about his relationship with Kidd. “We didn’t see eye to eye on different things. He was a great player but he hadn’t been coaching for that long and he was still learning. I learned from him but my expectations going there were high and it wasn’t the situation I thought I was going to be in.” On one hand, Kidd and Milwaukee put Carter-Williams out of his misery by trading him; on the other, Carter-Williams went to the struggling, chaotic Chicago Bulls, who were in the process of being stripped to the bone, at the start of the 2016-17 season. Once again, Carter-Williams was swept up by the winds of change and spit out. Not only did his teams change, so did the league, which gravitated to players and especially guards who brought shooting range and consistency. Then and now, that’s his biggest flaw. He’s a career 25-percent shooter from deep (just 40 percent overall), and in a three-point league, that’s a deal breaker. Also, injuries didn’t help. The last three years he has played only 165 out of 246 games due to shoulder, ankle and hip conditions. He needed platelet-rich injections in both knees last summer to quicken the healing process of his patella tendons. “He’s had some difficult injuries and it has clearly hampered his development,” said Jim Boeheim, his college coach at Syracuse. “Let me tell you, he knows how to play. He’s always been a good passer and defender. But the injuries, especially with the shoulder, have held him back in his shooting development. I told him to keep playing and hope the ball goes in.” Those circumstances both within and beyond his control have prevented Carter-Williams from cashing in. He was the first Rookie of the Year in NBA history to fail to have his rookie contract extended and is on a one-year deal with the Hornets for $2.7 million. “You know what? I’m in a good place now,” he said. “It took me a while to regroup and restart and resurface and get healthy, which I’m still trying to do. I’m still young and my game is still growing. I haven’t reached my potential. I still believe I’m a starter in this league. I’ll play a role right now, because that’s what my team needs to win, but I want to lead a team. “Each game I go out and play with a chip on my shoulder. I probably lost some respect from some guys in the league. But ultimately my goal is to make all the teams that gave up on me say, `We had him once.’ I’m going forward.” He’ll always have that opening night with Iverson leading the cheers, that near triple-double against LeBron, and that Rookie of the Year hardware. But that’s the thing, you see. After that launch, Michael Carter-Williams expected more. For one year, he was the king of that 2013 draft. Four years later, he’d rather not become a symbol of what that draft became. Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 14th, 2017

Duterte: Elite owners are using media to protect their own interests

President Rodrigo Duterte stepped up attacks against select media agencieson Tuesday, contending that those critical of his administration were being used by their "elite" owners to protect their own interests. While claiming that online news site Rappler produced "fake news," Duterte insisted that the recent government order to revoke the its license to operate was not about curtailing the freedom of the press. "It's not a question of press freedom," Duterte told reporters. "It's a question of abuse and protection by the elite of this country who hold the power. It's about time you, the rich. Son of a bitch, stop your abuses. You are using the media." He complained about a ...Keep on reading: Duterte: Elite owners are using media to protect their own interests.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 16th, 2018

Jaguars Jalen Ramsey tells fans we’re going to Super Bowl

By Mark Long, Associated Press JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey did pretty much the same thing that upset his Jacksonville Jaguars teammates last week. He started looking ahead. Ramsey told thousands of fans awaiting the team’s return from Pittsburgh late Sunday that the Jaguars “are going to the Super Bowl and we are going to win that (expletive).” Jacksonville (12-6), of course, has the AFC championship game at New England remaining before even getting to the Super Bowl. The small-market franchise is winless in seven games in Foxborough, Massachusetts, and 1-10 all-time against the Patriots (14-3). Ramsey’s comments surely will find their way north. “You come back and you’ve got all the fans here and things of that nature,” Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said. “Obviously that’s something that everybody, they want to do when you get close. Whether you have to say it or not? The one thing I do know is the road to it always leads through New England. “Our focus isn’t on anything else but the New England Patriots. It will be a great challenge for us obviously.” The Jags took exception to the Steelers talking about facing the Patriots instead of them, and used it as motivation in a 45-42 victory Sunday. Nonetheless, they stood behind their outspoken and ultra-talented defender. “To me, it’s just a man that has confidence in his team,” defensive tackle Abry Jones said. “What’s he going to say? He knows what we’re going up there to do. It’s not like he ain’t saying nothing that’s not true.” Fellow defensive tackle Malik Jackson said the difference between Ramsey’s remarks and comments from Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, running back Le’Veon Bell and safety Mike Mitchell is the timing. “We’re so close that I think it’s OK to say, ’Hey, we’re going to do this,’” Jackson said. “It’s one of those things that I think he believes in himself after the game he just had, locking down one of the best receivers in the game. “He’s pretty hyped and he wants to let everybody know he’s hyped, so I think he’s just happy and he understands that we have a giant in front of us and we’ve just got to pay all the attention to this team. “We don’t even know who’s going to play in the Super Bowl because we’re not looking ahead to that.” Ramsey was unavailable during the team’s open locker room session Monday. “He’s going to talk, but we’re going to show up,” defensive end Yannick Ngakoue said. “I just don’t like when people talk all week. You talk reckless and you lose.” The Jaguars voiced their displeasure with being overlooked by the Steelers last week and were really vocal after the victory at Heinz Field. Players yelled, “Where’s Mike Mitchell at now” as they came off the field. “I feel like they took us lightly. I don’t know why because we whooped them the first time,” Ngakoue said. “You’ve got to respect all your opponents. That’s why we’re not big in trash-talking. We’re big in playing on Sunday. “Real guys, real people don’t talk. We throw the first punch. We threw the first punch and we got the victory.” And now they have a matchup against the NFL’s most successful franchise over the past two decades. The Jaguars are 1-3 against New England in the postseason, with the lone victory coming after the 1998 season — before coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady teamed up to take five Super Bowl titles. Jacksonville’s win came against coach Pete Carroll and backup quarterback Scott Zolak. The Jags are 0-7 against the Brady-Belichick combination. “We’re not going to go out there like the Steelers the week before and talk about people in a bad way and give them bulletin board news,” Jackson said. “We just continue to work and earn respect. ... We just keep proving people wrong. (Blake Bortles) keeps proving people wrong, and we just keep going on it and pounding people. It’s just awesome to see and awesome to be a part of. “We understand we have to do what we have to do or we’ll be watching the Super Bowl at home like everybody else.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 16th, 2018

Even without Serena, Aussie Open women s field still tough

By Justin Bergman, Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Without defending champion Serena Williams in the draw at the Australian Open, there's certainly an opportunity for another player to go on a surprising run and emerge as a first-time Grand Slam champion. Sloane Stephens and Jelena Ostapenko did it last year. Just don't describe the first Grand Slam of the year as "more open" than usual. "Whenever I get asked that question, it always comes across in really kind of an almost negative way instead of acknowledging how many great players we have," Johanna Konta, who reached the semifinals of Wimbledon last year, said in her pre-tournament news conference Saturday. "The depth in women's tennis, I really do believe in the last few years, has gotten so strong," she added. "There's no straight sailing to the quarters or semis. It doesn't exist." Stephens agrees the Australian Open field is still extremely tough, even without Williams, the 23-time major winner. Williams withdrew from the tournament to recover from health issues after a complicated childbirth in September. "There's a lot of great players," Stephens said. "It's up for grabs." A new face will be holding the trophy at Melbourne Park in two weeks. The No. 1-ranking changed seven times in 2017, with five different women assuming top spot — three for the first time. Top-ranked Simona Halep is looking to finally break through and win her first major after twice finishing runner-up. She won the season-opening Shenzhen Open in China, but has mixed results at Melbourne Park, losing in the first round the last two years. "I don't feel pressure. I feel OK. I feel fit. I feel ready to start," Halep said. "I have one more goal: to win a Grand Slam." Stephens made a stellar run to the U.S. Open title after missing several months with an injured left foot. She's struggled to adjust to the sudden stardom that's come with being a Grand Slam champion — losing seven straight matches since September — but believes she can find her game again in Melbourne. "I think it's always a tough transition when you go from not playing tennis for 11 months to winning a Grand Slam," she said. "I like to just stay in my own little bubble and do my own thing. ... It's kind of been what I'm trying to do." There are plenty of other contenders. Ostapenko, now 20, rocketed up the rankings after her stunning win at the French Open. Venus Williams is a threat at 37 years old after finishing runner-up to her sister last year. Angelique Kerber, the 2016 Australian Open winner, won the Sydney International title on Saturday. Garbine Muguruza is the reigning Wimbledon champion, though her health has been in question at the start of the new year. Caroline Wozniacki had a career-reviving 2017 season and could return to the No. 1 ranking for the first time in six years with a strong showing in Melbourne. Maria Sharpova, the 2008 winner, returns after missing last year's Australian Open because of a drug suspension. And then there's Elina Svitolina, who earned her 10th tour title last week at the Brisbane International. She has a shot at No. 1 during the Australian Open. "I had a great week in Brisbane. Of course, I'm confident," she said. But she added that isn't enough in the constantly shifting, ultra-competitive women's game. "Everyone wants to win a Grand Slam," Svitolina said. "So, I try to find my way, what can help me to be there, to be ready for the fight.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2018

Kobe Paras upbeat about the Gilas Pilipinas 2023 squad he ll eventually lead

If you ask Filipino forward Kobe Paras to describe what all the early developments for the Gilas Pilipinas squad for the 2023 FIBA World Cup make him feel, you'll get one word: Happy. Paras, who was one of the more prominent names among 23 young players listed by the Philippine national basketball team head coach Chot Reyes to be part of the early training pool, expressed his approval of the group of guys, even if some are visibly left off of the list because of their commitment to other squads. "I’m happy with the group of guys. I know there are a lot of guys that aren’t on the list," Paras said in an interview with Steve Angeles of ABS-CBN News North America during the Los Angeles Clippers' Filipino Heritage Night. "It makes sense if they’re not on the list because of their teams or whatever rules but I’m happy with it."  One player who fit that bill was De La Salle University's flashy forward Ricci Rivero, who was left off the list after his school urged its players to focus on their rebuild next UAAP season. Even then, the 6'6" Paras, who's more or less baptized by Coach Chot to be destined to be the face of the nationa team sounded both honored and excited about his inclusion to the squad, who'll represent the Filipino tricolor five years from now, as the Philippines co-hosts the international basketball meet with Indonesia and Japan. "I’m happy that coach picked me as well. I love representing my country so I’m just really happy that he chose me for that," said the U.S.-based Paras. "I saw the other day they practiced." Aside from local, homegrown talents included in the "#23for23" pool like Thirdy Ravena, CJ Perez, Robert Bolick, and Isaac Go, a couple of Filipino-Americans also made the list. Remy Martin, a rookie point guard for the Arizona State Sun Devils, and Dwight Ramos from the California State-Fullerton Titans, were names present in the preliminary pool. As a fellow Pinoy cager in a foreign land, Kobe is nothing but eager to meet, and eventually play his contemporaries. "I haven’t talked to Remy [Martin] or what’s his name from Fullerton...Dwight [Ramos]," Kobe said. "I think I’m going to play him too. I gotta talk to Dwight but I’ve seen Remy play. I need to talk to them though. Because we’re representing L.A. and the Philippines so it’s going to be cool."  Here's the full video interview of Kobe Paras:  .@_kokoparas enjoyed being at .@LAClippers Filipino Heritage Night and he also expressed his happiness about being on SBP #23for23 He hopes to also speak to .@3wight and .@1Remy_Martin1 soon 🇵🇭🏀🌊 .@abscbnsports .@ABSCBNNewsSport .@ABSCBNNews pic.twitter.com/e8GcUq1Luf — Steve Angeles (@StevieAngeles) January 9, 2018.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2018

Letters From Davao by Jun Ledesma

‘It was a good year’ We have seen the litany of achievements of Duterte administration. It dwarfed the entire six years of the Aquino regime. It could have done better except that it has to first fix a lot of damages wrought by an inept regime that has likewise institutionalized corruption and abetted crime the most horrific of it all – the drug syndicates.  Space or brevity must have limited some significant achievements of the  Department of Finance and am referring to the upgrades of credit ratings of the Philippines from investment grade to investment grade and stable. While early on Standard & Poor’s claimed that President Duterte’s war on drugs and alleged extra-judicial killings are factors that account for the static rating by December 2017 it grudgingly acceded that something good is happening in the Philippines under Duterte’s watch.  Finance Sec. Sonny Dominguez and his team deserves the credit. Fitch and Moody’s in their “investment grade and stable” rating in December enunciated that the issues surrounding drugs and EJK have nothing to do with the rosy economy of the country and its image as capital investment destination. The country’s economic performance for one is top in Asia and there is no turning back with the expected massive spending on infrastructures and government services starting 2018 and beyond.  The Duterte government achievements scoreboard makes the moribund opposition drooling. Still on Finance, expect the billionaires who are also the country’s tax dodgers to cough up. TRAIN or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion gives a huge relief to 99 percent of those small taxpayers saving the ar least P50,000.00 in tax cut!  But demands and exacts the reasonable taxes from the rich especially the filthy rich. Last year sampling of Lucio Tan (P6-billion), Mighty Cigarettes (P40-billion) and the Prieto and Rufinos’ one-mile asset that they are accountable to the government in still unquantifiable amount as yet? There is a subliminal message to be absorbed why candidate Rodrigo R. Duterte refused to accept donations from the rich and famous: just pay your taxes correctly and you’re okay.  The Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs are churning more collections under a continuing reforms.  President Duterte himself did dramatic and radical transformations in the area of Foreign Affairs and security. He was chided and lectured on by self proclaimed experts in diplomacy and security alliances especially with the generous expletives he is famous for. But as he admitted to the point of being apologetic, he told media men in this year’s Christmas party, “but that is me”.  Duterte’s foray into foreign affairs and diplomacy might be severely lacking in refinements but he put across his message clearly and direct and one cannot quarrel with what he achieved in such a brief moment. He virtually altered the outlook of the western countries on small sovereign nations. He overhauled alliances by an unwritten rule of mutual respect and cognizance of sovereignty. While Aquino made enemies with China which is the world’s second largest economy resulting in unquantifiable losses of opportunities Duterte reversed that with the resumption of trade, financial assistance with cheap money interest, massive infrastructure projects that will come into fruition by 2018. World leaders to include Xi Jinping of China, Vladimir Putin of Russia, PM Shinzo Abe of Japan and, to the dismay of the so-called Yellowtards, US Pres. Donald Trump who became his virtual phone pal.  The Department of Agriculture under Sec. Manny Pinol, did exemplary well. Productivity is better than expected and could have performed better if not for the natural calamities that the country has to contend with. Maybe the Bureau of Fisheries under it may try something out of the box. Propose to China to convert that disputed island into a one big marine laboratory. China provides the infrastructures while the Philippines the technical aquatic expertise. Make a 10-mile no-fishing marine haven around the island and guarded by the joint coastguard forces of China, Philippines and Vietnam. The Philippine Coconut Authority under Cabinet Sec. Jun Evasco is about to embark on a massive replanting program.  The Aquino government allocated billions of pesos to fight ‘cocolisap’ infestation but applied the wrong solution. Well, what do we expect from a certain Kiko Pangilinan? The replanting program was a big failure on account of  massive graft in high and low places. Replanting as well as new areas had been programmed by PCA.  Finally we have to give accolade to our Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police for combating internal threats, terrorism and syndicated crime. The AFP and PNP are more prepared and better equipped now than any other time in history. Furthermore we see a disciplined forces in the AFP and while there are a few remaining scalawags in the PNP the cleansing process is done without let-up. We from Mindanao are comfortable and secured with their presence even under the aegis of martial law. If you do not believe me look at the various surveys on the popularity and trust of Filipinos on President Duterte and his government.  This will end my perspectives for year 2017 and we look forward to 2018 the Build, Build, Build era. The beginning of the new Philippines. Mindanao and Davao City, from where I live and write, may have suffered from natural calamities but we had seen, suffered and endured worse scenarios and even man made tragedies than […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsDec 29th, 2017

Edward Snowden unveils phone app, Haven, to spy on spies

  NEW YORK --- The former National Security Agency contractor who exposed United States government surveillance programs by disclosing classified material in 2013 has a new job: app developer.   Edward Snowden in a video message on Friday unveiled a new phone app he helped create -- Haven, which aims to protect laptops from physical tampering.   Snowden said it is an open-source tool designed for human rights activists and other people at risk and it uses an Android phone's sensors to detect changes in a room.   The software was developed with the Freedom of Press Foundation and the Guardian Project. It has been greeted with mixed social media...Keep on reading: Edward Snowden unveils phone app, Haven, to spy on spies.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 23rd, 2017

The Showstopper Dessert of the Holiday Season

Every year, there is always one hero recipe that leaves your guests craving for more. This holiday, whip up this rich and delicious brioche pudding that features a soft and buttery sweet loaf made in... The post The Showstopper Dessert of the Holiday Season appeared first on MetroCebu News......»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsDec 20th, 2017

Perez dedicates Grand Prix win, MVP award to deceased brother

F2 Logistics ace setter Kim Fajardo saw Venezuelan import Maria Jose Perez open on the left side. The reinforcement soared and smashed a thunderous kill. Petron’s Mika Reyes and Rhea Dimaculangan went up simultaneously to erect a wall but came a bit too late. American import Hillary Hurley was the Blaze Spikers’ last line of defense but Perez’s missile slipped off her hands as the Cargo Movers celebrated their impressive come-from-behind series win to conquer the 2017 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix in the deciding Game 3 Saturday at the MOA Arena. Perez joined her team in celebration. She’s now a champion and was named Conference Most Valuable Player. Perez did her best to win for the team. This despite a searing pain in her heart brought by a sad news she received the day before from halfway across the world. Her older brother, Daniel, passed away Friday after a bout with cancer.         Knowing that they needed to stay focused on the game, Perez chose to keep the news from her teammates. Confiding only to skipper Cha Cruz, who then told head coach Ramil De Jesus.  “Very professional ni Maria kasi kakamatay lang ng oldest brother niya kahapon dahil sa cancer," said De Jesus during the post-game interview after F2 Logistics captured the crown in a 25-20, 25-19, 20-25, 25-18, win over the Blaze Spikers that completed their comeback from a 0-1 series deficit.         “Sobrang saludo ako, di niya sinasabi sa team, di ko nga alam pano nya nadadala,” De Jesus said. “Kasi di umiiyak, di malungkot, di nadala sa performance. Saludo talaga ako sa kanya.” The 2008 Beijing Olympian scored 24 points all from kills, averaging 21 markers in the Finals. “I didn’t think about my loss I know I have a big responsibility with my team,” said Perez, a woman of strength and high professionalism. “I didn’t share it with my team. I just smiled and tried to be strong because I know we had this opportunity to win this game.” “I don’t want my teammates to be saddened with my loss,” she added.  Perez’s voice cracked and held her tears back during the interview as she dedicated the win and MVP to her brother. “I was thinking about that,” she said. “I know that’s the only that will make my family happy.” Perez will return to Venezuela before flying to Utah to play in another tournament. Asked if she’ll return next year, Perez said that she wants another run with the Cargo Movers. “We have talked about it (going back to F2). I really want (to come back) but I haven't talked to the management,” said Perez. “I think after this we will decide and we will see my final decision.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 16th, 2017

FIFA suspends Brazilian soccer president Marco Polo del Nero

By Stephen Wade and Mauricio Savarese, Associated Press RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Marco Polo del Nero was suspended as president of Brazil's soccer confederation on Friday, two years after he was indicted in the United States on charges of wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. FIFA said Del Nero was under an ethics investigation and has been banned for 90 days from all soccer activities. Del Nero fled Zurich in May 2015 when other FIFA colleagues were arrested. They included Jose Maria Marin, who was at the time the head of the Brazilian confederation, known as the CBF. Marin and two other South American soccer officials have been on trial in New York. Del Nero was indicted on Dec. 2, 2015. "As many Brazilians that love soccer, my hope is that he is banned for good," soccer great Romario — now a Brazilian federal senator — wrote on his Facebook page. "Del Nero has already had his crimes exposed along with those of other crooks like Jose Maria Marin, who is in jail in the United States, and (former CBF president) Ricardo Teixeira who is still on the loose in Brazil. They all used CBF to get illegally rich." Del Nero's lawyers said in a statement that he is going to appeal FIFA's suspension. They insisted there was no evidence against him. The attorneys labelled the ethics committee report "funny investigative speculations." They argued Del Nero took office as CBF president in 2015 and should not be linked to contracts from previous administrations. FIFA failed to ban Del Nero until Friday. FIFA President Gianni Infantino has been questioned about him in recent days. Infantino was photographed at last year's Olympics receiving a Brazilian soccer shirt from Del Nero, and reporters questioned him about Del Nero at the World Cup draw this month in Moscow. "So whatever comes out of these trials, we will deal with it," Infantino said of the U.S. investigation. "We have ethics committees, disciplinary committees. They will deal with these questions. It's not for the FIFA president to deal with them. We have institutions for that." Del Nero has not traveled from Brazil for several years, fearing arrest and extradition to the United States. Brazil has an extradition treaty with the U.S. but seldom sends its own citizens abroad for trial. Brazil's team is among the favorites to win next year's World Cup, but many doubt Del Nero will go there to support the team. The CBF appointed vice president Antonio Carlos Nunes to fill in for Del Nero and did not offer an immediate comment on Del Nero's suspension. Brazilian law does not ban private or commercial corruption. There needs to be a government body or official involved, or taxpayer money. Carlos Nuzman, the head of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, was arrested two months ago in Brazil, partly for trying to hamper an investigation into his Brazilian tax declaration. He was eventually charged with money laundering and running a criminal organization. Brazilian and French authorities say Nuzman helped channel $2 million in bribes to help win votes from International Olympic Committee members to stage the 2016 Olympics. Del Nero's name has come up in the U.S. corruption trial. Prosecution witness Jose Hawilla, a Brazilian sports marketing executive, testified Del Nero was among top South American soccer officials who needed to be bribed to secure media contracts to tournaments. In one taped conversation, jurors heard Hawilla in an exchange talk about a $900,000 payment apparently owed to Del Nero or Marin. Del Nero has also been openly criticized by Brazil coach Tite, who is credited with making the team a World Cup favorite. Tite signed an open letter opposing Del Nero before Tite was hired as coach last year. Since then, he has softened his stance but still opposes Del Nero. "This is the best way I can contribute to soccer, offering what I know," he said after being hired as coach. "The ideas of transparency and democratization remain as my principles." ___ Savarese reported from Sao Paulo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 16th, 2017

5 Secrets for Work-Life Balance for Busy Professionals

Between busy work schedules, family life and other commitments, finding a comfortable balance in our personal and professional lives seems elusive. Fortunately, Ron Lancaster, a university math professor who frequently travels the world for work,... The post 5 Secrets for Work-Life Balance for Busy Professionals appeared first on MetroCebu News......»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsDec 5th, 2017

Uber admits personal info of Filipinos exposed in data breach

Ridesharing firm Uber has confirmed that the personal information of Filipinos had been exposed in a massive data breach involving 57 million users worldwide dating back to October 2016. In a statement Tuesday, the National... The post Uber admits personal info of Filipinos exposed in data breach appeared first on MetroCebu News......»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsNov 29th, 2017

Malaysian Women s MMA pioneer Ann Osman retires from competition

Another ONE Championship star calls it a career, as women's MMA pioneer and Malaysian star Ann "Athena" Osman has retired from competition.  It was announced by ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong on his official Facebook page.  In the post, Sityodtong also revealed that Osman, 31, will be assuming an excecutive role at ONE Championship in the Athlete Relations and Development department, alongside Vice President for Competition and Operations and matchmaker Matt Hume.  In a post on her own Facebook page, Osman confirmed the news.  "With a heavy heart, I have officially retired from my pro fighting days, a career I took on in exchange of a stable corporate career which lead to an amazing 4 and half years of fighting in the ONE cage." said Osman.  In 2013, Osman became Malaysia's first ever female mixed martial artist when she made her debut at ONE Championship: Total Domination in Singapore.  Osman racked up a 5-4 professional record in less than four years of active competition, including a win over former boxing world champion Ana Julaton.  In her final fight, Osman was on the wrong end of a submission at the hands of Singaporean May Ooi.  Osman joins former UFC world champion Rich Franklin, former ONE welterweight world champion Ben Askren, and ONE featherweight fighter Bashir Ahmad as former competitors who have found a place in ONE Championship's front office. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 28th, 2017

Sexual Misconduct Is Never a Laughing Matter, But Why Is it Always a Joke?

This column may contain strong language, sexual content, adult humor, and other themes that may not be suitable for minors. Parental guidance is strongly advised. No, not you, Al Franken! And not you too, George Takei! Our reactions to men, whether gay or straight, outed as sexual predators or harassers or molesters, as in the case of Roy Moore, has more or less been that of uniform horror, disgust and head-shaking "I knew it!" Harvey Weinstein? Oh, we think, he's fat and unattractive and crass, though rich and powerful. No wonder. Bill O'Reilly? Oh, he's with Fox News, that sexist, misogynistic network that functions as an apologist for the Republican agenda. No wonder. Kev...Keep on reading: Sexual Misconduct Is Never a Laughing Matter, But Why Is it Always a Joke?.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 19th, 2017

Pinoy Aquaman’ to swim from Balicasag Island to Panglao in Bohol

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 11 Nov) — Endurance swimmer and environmental lawyer Ingemar “Pinoy Aquaman” Macarine will endure another record-setting 15-kilometer open water swim in Bohol Sea on Sunday, November 12. Macarine will kick off from the fish-rich island of Balicasag to the tourist haven of Panglao island in Bohol. He is gunning for his […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsNov 11th, 2017

Research Now Launches SmartTracker(TM)

Research Now, the global leader in digital research data for better insights and decision-making, announces the launch of SmartTracker™, a new data-rich market research solution which enhances both existing and new tracker studies. SmartTracker enables... The post Research Now Launches SmartTracker(TM) appeared first on MetroCebu News......»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsNov 9th, 2017

Packers struggles without Rodgers go beyond offense

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Green Bay Packers Mike McCarthy still believes in backup quarterback Brett Hundley, but he wants to see everyone on his roster — including Hundley — elevate their games. "We all need to do better," McCarthy said Tuesday night, less than 24 hours after his team's 30-17 loss to the Detroit Lions. "We had an injury to Aaron Rodgers, and nobody has stepped up." Rodgers was knocked out Oct. 15 with a broken right collarbone. He underwent surgery four days later and was placed on injured reserve, with the hope of the bone healing quickly enough for him to return this season. Since the injury, the Packers' offense hasn't been the same with Hundley under center, the defense hasn't generated enough stops or turnovers, the special teams haven't created a single momentum-shifting play and the Packers (4-4) have lost three games — to the Vikings, the New Orleans Saints and the Lions "No group has stepped up yet," McCarthy said. "We've had two games that have been very similar in nature — New Orleans and Detroit. ... We need to get more production out of this new path. And it hasn't happened yet." Although McCarthy insisted after Monday night's loss that Hundley was not to blame, the third-year quarterback has not played well. Against the Lions, his numbers — 26 of 38 for 245 yards with no interceptions for a passer rating of 86.0 — looked better because of a late touchdown drive after the Lions had the game in hand. An offense that was one of the league's best on third-down conversions and red-zone production with Rodgers at the helm has managed just 44 points in the past three games. Before Rodgers' injury, the Packers were averaging 27.4 points per game. Hundley acknowledged after the game that the improvement he showed against the Lions was insufficient. "Everybody wants to score five touchdowns and have a perfect quarterback rating and win," Hundley said. "This game was a step in the right direction. I think I did some good things. Obviously, it wasn't enough. But the first start (against the Saints) for sure wasn't." Green Bay's defense hasn't put together a strong performance since a 35-14 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sept. 28. The teams meet again Sunday in Chicago, and the Packers enter that game ranked 22nd in scoring defense, 25th in yards allowed per game, 20th in pass defense and 23rd in run defense. Only one NFL team has fewer sacks than the Packers' 13 through eight games, and defensive leaders Mike Daniels, Nick Perry, Clay Matthews and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix haven't been the difference-makers they need to be. "We've got to do a better job of applying the plan, make sure that we're executing it," McCarthy said. "We've got to play to who we are. We're halfway through the season. So we're not going to change our pass-rush techniques and so forth. If anything, less volume, more creativity." BULAGA OUT McCarthy announced Tuesday night that the knee injury suffered by veteran right tackle Bryan Bulaga is season-ending — the third time in the past six years he's had a season-ending injury. Bulaga hurt his ankle in August and missed the first two weeks of the regular season. He re-injured the ankle in Week 3 and missed more time, and he also suffered a concussion at Minnesota on Oct. 15. "It's very unfortunate," McCarthy said. "He's had a stretch of bad luck this year. ... I feel bad for him. I thought he had clearly come off his best season last year. Tough news." McCarthy also said veteran safety Morgan Burnett, who returned Monday night after a two-game absence because of a hamstring injury, will not play against the Bears because of the groin injury he sustained against the Lions......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 8th, 2017

Asia’s rich and mighty exposed in Paradise Papers

Over a year-and-a-half after the Panama Papers leaks, another financial data leak by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has bared the secret offshore activities of some of the world's most powerful people and companies. The Paradise Papers -- 13.4 million leaked documents -- have exposed the high and mighty who conduct businesses in known tax havens in order to avoid paying taxes. If last year's Panama Papers cost leaders in Iceland and Pakistan their jobs, the Paradise Papers have turned the heat on 13 members of the Trump cabinet, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Louis Ross Jr, who have been named in the leaks....Keep on reading: Asia’s rich and mighty exposed in Paradise Papers.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 7th, 2017

Apple tax avoidance plan laid bare in leaked documents

SAN FRANCISCO, United States --- Apple shifted much of its offshore wealth in the face of a tax crackdown on a haven it had in Ireland, according to reporting Monday on the Paradise Papers on the iPhone maker's tax strategy. After the US technology colossus stated publicly in 2013 that it was paying its proper share of taxes, it moved the bulk of its untaxed overseas cash to the Channel Islands jurisdiction Jersey, the New York Times and BBC reported based on a once-secret cache of documents referred to as the Paradise Papers. The documents shared with some media outlets by the US-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has exposed tactics the wealthy and po...Keep on reading: Apple tax avoidance plan laid bare in leaked documents.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 7th, 2017