Law in Tennessee allows psychologists to turn away gay patients

This project is not aimed directly at LGBT people, but according to associations it is they who suffer directly. They also strongly condemned it. But they are not the only ones. The American Counseling Association, a professional group of psychologists, likens the measure to an “unprecedented attack.” For them, this law “violates the group’s code of ethics, according to which mental health professionals cannot refuse to help a patient on the basis of ‘personal values, attitudes, beliefs or behavior'”. They add that this law “is rooted in a dangerous misconception that religion can be used as a pass to discriminate.”

The governor justified himself by saying that the law as voted by the Senate evokes “principles” and no longer “beliefs”. It is also enshrined in this bill that psychologists cannot refuse patients in imminent danger or those who could harm those around them.

Wave of anti-LGBT law in the United States


in Brochon, a very natural amusement park!

Here, the principle is that admission is free, and tickets for certain attractions are paid, which are all more suitable for children between 2 and 12 years old. There is everything: roller coaster, farm animals, bumper boats, small train … And a restaurant for parents.

There is something for all ages © Radio France
Magali Fichter

The park was taken over by Nadine Robelin and her husband in 1994. In season, twelve people work there. Throughout the winter, they performed maintenance, repairs, cared for the animals, and reopened in March. And when Nadine sees her park full, it warms her heart, especially since the difficult years follow one another and that they are really dependent on the weather !

It’s really the family, the holiday atmosphere without headache. The customers are loyal, I love it. We are passionate about our job and fortunately, because at the end of the year, when we do the accounts, it is not that good. But we hold on!

The roller coaster looks retro, but they are always very successful. And the highlight of the show is the animals in semi-freedom that children can feed and pet, like these dwarf goats.

Goats are the stars of Florida
Goats are the stars of Florida © Radio France
Magali Fichter

For Nadine Robelin, these animals are a real plus. Another advantage: free park and à la carte attractions, “like that, people spend according to their income, and are not obliged to spend. And the children are all happy“.

During the holidays the park is open every day from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

At Columbia University, students petition against ‘hideous’ statue

A group of Columbia University students and alumni protest the installation of a sculpture they deem hideous. A petition already lists more than 1,200 signatures.

“Mr Bollinger, take down this statue!” Students at Columbia University, New York, United States, are not in lace. For several days, a group of students and former students have been trying to get the attention of the director of the establishment, so that he cancels the project to install a statue they deem “hideous”. According to the Columbia Spectator, the university’s newspaper, the work sculpted by British artist Henry Moore is to be installed in front of the university library on campus.

More than 1,200 people have already signed a petition against its installation

More than 1,200 people have already signed a petition against the installation of the latter and a “sit-in” has already taken place on March 31. Even if the Facebook event indicated 207 participants, the photos circulating on social networks rather show a low attendance …

The “sit-in” did not really have the expected success … © Brian Manzo

The English-speaking media laugh at the movement

English-speaking media such asGuardian quickly picked up on the anecdote and mocked the anti-sculpture campaign by having fun comparing it to the historic anti-war protests of 1968. By this time, students had occupied Columbia University for 6 days and more 700 of them had been arrested. Pressure was also exerted on the part of the American authorities for the University to cease all relations with institutions supporting the Vietnam War. A social movement on a different scale than that for the statue therefore …

“They are simply young students who express their discontent”

Despite all the Huffington Post refuses to howl with wolves and explains why it is ridiculous to make fun of this movement, comparing it to the events of 1968. “It cannot be compared. The 1968 protests were a massive movement involving thousands of people. These anti-sculpture demands can hardly be called ‘a protest’ – they are simply young students expressing their displeasure with a statue. The problem is, someone reading the Guardian might think that the Columbia students have changed their priorities and that they are only interested in a stupid statue, which is not true ”.

Panama Papers: How US Firms Save Taxes in Delaware – Politics

In some US states, companies can be founded anonymously without anyone standing behind them.

Paradise is sandwiched between two chunky parking garages, it has yellowish-brown brick walls and dark metal window frames, and a curved awning groans in light green above the narrow entrance door. Cameras hang on the walls, the windows in the basement are taped shut, only up on the first floor, just below the flat roof, has someone attached colorful pictures to a window with “Happy Birthday” on it. It looks like a child’s birthday.

Behind the entrance there are a few steps up to the next door, then you are at the reception, which looks like a bank counter: a disk with holes in it for speaking, below, towards the counter, a wide slot through which you can push envelopes. The whole floor is a single, dreary open-plan office with a dozen, maybe more desks, you can’t see that exactly because of the gray partition walls. No, says the receptionist with a sour, stern expression through the speaking holes, you basically don’t talk to journalists here.

For ordinary viewers, not even the blooming trees along North Orange Street can turn this sadness into paradise – and yet the small Corporation Trust Center in Wilmington is exactly that for more than 250,000 companies from all over the world: a place of longing that is urgently needed Postal address to “optimize” the tax burden and beautify balance sheets without a single employee in the state of Delaware. The United States – they do not need Caribbean atolls, they have their own oases, except Delaware, Wyoming and Nevada.

In Delaware alone, over half of all listed US companies and many thousands of foreign corporations are based, including Apple, Google, General Motors, VW and Daimler. Florian von Eyb, lawyer at the New York firm Phillips Nizer, emphasizes that the state is not a classic tax haven like the Cayman Islands, “because the tax rates in Delaware are not lower than elsewhere in the USA”. He is right about that. However, you can save money – and save a lot.

The other 49 states are suffering

Delaware does not charge taxes on some types of income. This applies to profits from patents, licenses, copyrights and trademark rights as well as to surpluses that were not achieved on site. The state is thus opening the door to intra-group money transfers – something like this: A group establishes a holding company in Wilmington and transfers the rights to all of the group’s brand names to it. Every time a subsidiary wants to use its own brand name, it has to pay a fee. In this way, some of its profits flow to the holding company, which it declares as income from trademark rights and saves the state tax of just under nine percent.

Instead, the holdings have to pay the so-called franchise tax. It is $ 175 for small and up to $ 180,000 for large companies – and can often be paid from the coffee machine. This still pays off for Delaware, because due to the large number of registered companies – in total there are more than one million – a huge sum comes together. The second smallest US state can therefore afford to keep income taxes low for its citizens and to forego VAT altogether. The other 49 states are suffering, with billions of dollars in revenue slipping away.

But Delaware offers more than generous tax laws: The state has a very liberal, business-friendly corporate law that largely protects managers and shareholders from being held liable for their company’s debts. Legal disputes are not decided by lay juries, but by specially trained, generally company-friendly judges. In addition, a single person can assume all management positions within a company.

All of this is just as little illegal as a company is suspicious simply because it is located in Delaware. But it is also clear: the conglomerate of state-sponsored profit optimization, extensive liability exemption for entrepreneurs and tolerated non-transparency is not only magically attractive to legal tax optimizers, but also to shady company founders of every streak and provenance.

This applies to Delaware – but even more so to Wyoming and Nevada, where the Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca, which has just been blown up, according to the newspaper’s research USA Today registered more than 1000 companies. Those who want to hide the backers of a company from the world are spot on in the two states, because, according to Heather Lowe from the Washington research institute Global Financial Integrity, they demand “no information from the founders about who owns the company, who controls it and works for him “. The owners, even the managers, of a company don’t even have to be flesh and blood. Instead, other companies like to be registered, often those based in Anguilla, the Seychelles or other questionable locations.

Criticism of the oases in their own country is seldom heard in the United States – the government in Washington, which likes to put pressure or blacklist other countries, is surprisingly quiet. When asked why this is so, a spokeswoman for the Treasury Department said that the reports on the Panama Papers had been noted and that all violations of US law would be punished. And the tax tricksters at home, like those on North Orange Street in Wilmington? Just silence.


Sumptuous Charlotte Casiraghi in New York for Montblanc

This Tuesday, Charlotte Casiraghi, Caroline’s daughter from Monaco, was literally sumptuous to celebrate in New York the 110 years of the Montblanc brand.

Total change of scenery for Charlotte Casiraghi. We left her at the end of last week in riding gear, her bomb on her head, brilliantly jumping obstacles at the GPA Jump Festival in Cagnes-sur-Mer, not far from the principality of Monaco over which reigns his uncle Prince Albert II. And now we find her a few days later in a sumptuous evening dress thousands of miles away.

On April 5, the mother of little Raphael, just over 2 years old – the son she had with his former companion actor and comedian Gad Elmaleh – spent the evening in New York. Ambassador Montblanc celebrated the 110th anniversary of this prestigious French brand, during a gala dinner. The face of Gucci, Charlotte had put on a superb embroidered yellow and silver dress from the famous Italian fashion house.

To read: why Montblanc chose Charlotte Casiraghi

The 29-year-old posed for the photographers alone and alongside Jérôme Lambert, CEO of Montblanc, and Australian actor Hugh Jackman. Which is also the brand’s ambassador for watches and writing instruments.

Also participating in this gala evening were several actors and models. So walked the red carpet, like the granddaughter of Grace Kelly: Kate Bosworth, Olivia Palermo and her husband Johannes Huebl, Sara Sampaio, Emily DiDonato, Jasmine Tookes or even the star of the American music TV series ” Glee “Matthew Morrison.

Any reproduction prohibited

What about food stamps? We explain the changes to the program | Univision 34 Los Angeles KMEX

The change is taking place progressively and “incredibly confusing,” Ed Bolen, an analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) social policy research institute, told Univision Los Angeles. Bolen is a co-author of a report on the impact of this measure.

With the arrival of 2016 and the end of the economic recession, a large part of the country has to re-apply in its entirety the 1996 law that establishes that individuals between 18 and 49 years old without dependents, and that they do not they are disabled what is known as ABAWD), they are only entitled to “food stamps” for 3 months in a 3-year period unless they comply with any of the specific job requirements:

  • They must work at least 80 hours a month.
  • Participate in job training programs for at least 80 hours per month.
  • Follow a state-run unpaid work program.

To that criterion is added the main low-income, as stipulated by the Food and Nutrition Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). See here to check your eligibility. For people with dependents or disabilities, those under 18 and those over 49, the situation does not change.

The situation by states

With the crisis that began in 2008 and due to the increase in unemployment, states were able to take advantage of exemptions so that their residents in need could benefit from the food stamp program on an ongoing basis and without having to comply with the conditions of work or training required by law.

As of April 1, 8 states in the country maintain the exemption for ABAWDs to use “food stamps” without a time limit: California, Washington DC, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island, as well as the territories of Guam and the Virgin Islands, based on updated USDA information.

California, Washington DC and Rhode Island have managed to extend this situation until the end of 2017, a period of two years that is “a rarity”, according to Bolen, and that required state authorities to demonstrate to their federal counterpart that the conditions economic policies in their states were not conducive to re-restricting access to food stamps.

At the beginning of the year, it was expected that by April, 22 states would have renounced the exemption, however territories that had initially been in favor have requested extensions, such as West Virginia and Tennessee.

Currently, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming have returned to pre-crisis restrictions. Some of them, such as Florida, Texas, Kansas and Wisconsin, made that decision for political rather than economic reasons, Bolen said.

“It is difficult to say that there is work for everyone,” said the analyst, who speculated that states want to pretend that their “economy is working well.”

In 28 states, the exemption exists only partially, for counties where unemployment is still high. That happens in: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon , Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

“The concern is that states are leaving out more people than they should,” explained Bolen, who noted that several territories are realizing that “they are not ready to apply the exemption” because their economy is not recovering as expected pace.

According to this expert, another of the problems that states are encountering that are beginning to force the plaintiff of the stamps -in ABAWD cases- to have some type of work activity is that the supervision of this process is more expensive and difficult than the granting of food stamps more generally.

The “food stamps” program is funded by the Federal Administration, although the states share the costs of managing this service with USDA.

The CBPP report estimated that in 2016 the areas in which the three-month limitation for obtaining food stamps will cover an area in which 65% of the country’s population lives, compared to 30% in 2015.

“Unemployed, childless, and nondisabled adults on SNAP tend to be very poor. More than 40% of this vulnerable population is female and one-tenth is Hispanic,” the report says.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the little tax haven on the prairie

Endless meadows, once the land of the Sioux. With its agriculture that produces corn and soybeans in industrial quantities, South Dakota displays a very agricultural identity. But this state of 843,000 inhabitants, five times the size of Switzerland, has developed a rather unexpected industry in the midst of rural Midwest.

Read also the editorial:
The American tax anomaly has lasted too long

Like neighboring Wyoming, it presents itself as one of the new tax havens capable of attracting wealth from around the world. In the United States, he holds the absolute record: 84 trust companies with a mass under management of $ 225 billion, according to Bret Afdahl, director of the banking division of the Labor Department. A local lawyer even estimates it at 336 billion. Most trust companies are concentrated in Sioux Falls, although Pierre, the capital, and Rapid City host a few.

South Dakota is not a tax haven, it is an information paradise, soon to be perhaps one of the last bastions of the client’s privacy.

The Sioux Falls financial boom is a success story American style. This Midwestern city has grown from 81,000 residents in 1980 to 169,000 in 2016. In this early spring, the streets of the center are not crowded. A few businessmen in tie suits, the briefcase aside, pass by stealthily. Hipsters frequent the trendy Coffea café. Opposite, at 201 Philipps Avenue, the South Dakota Trust Company (SDTC) sign is misleading. From the outside, the gray blinds suggest for a moment that this is an abandoned building. In the historic Kresge building, dating from 1928, around thirty trust companies are domiciled. On the second floor, in the muffled offices lined up one after the other, there was no crowd. The SDTC deals only with administrative stewardship. The only requirement for trust managers is to participate in two boards of directors per year in Sioux Falls.

Welcome to Virtus Trust

Among the trusts domiciled at this address is Virtus Trust, co-founded by Roderick Balfour, fifth earl of the same name and descendant of British Minister Arthur Balfour author of the famous eponymous Declaration on Palestine in 1917. He immediately warns: “The South Dakota is not a tax haven, it is an information paradise, and may soon be one of the last strongholds in the client’s privacy. ”

Also read:
On the Internet, Virtus offers customers shelter in the United States by evading the automatic exchange of information

The secrecy of a trust can only be lifted by order of justice. About a hundred yards away on the same central street, lawyer Bradley Grossenburg can describe the extraordinary success of this new promised land better than anyone. He sits on the South Dakota Governor’s Trust Task Force. This body evaluates once a year the relevance of the laws governing trusts and the possible need to adapt them to a very competitive environment.

“Over the past six years,” says the lawyer, “interest in trusts here has become international. Customers from Latin America, Europe and Switzerland come to store their goods there. ”

Count Balfour adds: “Among the approximately seven million Americans living abroad, some decide to place their assets in South Dakota, because most Swiss banks and a good number of foreign establishments no longer want to do anything. with American citizens. “

No Brussels “diktats” or OECD

This Midwestern state has no personal, corporate, capital gains, dividend or interest taxes, or estate taxes. While many states restrict the life of a trust, South Dakota has no limits. The trust can be “perpetual”. With its laws to establish dynasty trusts, families can pass on their possessions from generation to generation without fear of prohibitive tax rates. “The federal inheritance tax hits only fortunes of more than $ 5.45 million or $ 10.9 million for both spouses,” said Bradley Grossenburg. But beyond these sums, there are a thousand and one ways to create structures to avoid the 40% tax burden imposed by the federal state.

Lawyer Grossenburg sees the South Dakota tax framework as “an opportunity.” We don’t hide anything. We follow the rules. If politicians don’t like them, they can change them. ” In a British accent worthy of his pedigree, Roderick Balfour specifies: “The United States is, so to speak, fifty different countries. According to many lawyers, the prospect of Congress imposing new laws on each of them seems remote to say the least. What is extraordinary with the United States is that such matters are debated in parliament. It has nothing to do with the dictates of Brussels and the OECD imposed through supranational laws. “

South Dakota outperforms New York with $ 2.9 trillion

In South Dakota, a very republican state, few are feeling international pressure for more tax transparency. The OECD standards governing the automatic exchange of information seem an abstraction.

“We have a lot of international clients placing their goods in the United States because of the growing instability and the lack of security in the world,” continues Bradley Grossenburg. Vice-president of the Cornerstone trust, Anthony Botticella confirms this. The state governor, parliament and the judiciary have a good understanding of business. He couldn’t say it better. Ten years ago, a trust wanted to leave Massachusetts to settle in South Dakota. It took the justice of the first state two years to authorize this change of domicile. It only took two weeks for the second to approve it.

It is impossible to understand the success of Sioux Falls and South Dakota without mentioning a key date: 1981. It was that year that CitiBank, the third largest bank in the country, had its headquarters there. The affair had caused a stir. Other banks followed, including Wells Fargo and USBank. According to Slater Barr, president of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, funds under management in the state total $ 2.9 trillion. No other state, not even New York, can boast of hosting so many. South Dakota, a primarily agricultural state? If the money is “wheat”, maybe …

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