(Business Insider)LONDON — Amazon has been ordered to pay about €250 million (£221 million, $294 million) in back taxes in Europe after a European Commission investigation found that the company had an illegal tax deal in Luxembourg.
The Commission found that Luxembourg had breached its rules on state aid by allowing Amazon's tax-minimising setup since 2003. The heart of the problem is "transfer pricing," in which one Amazon subsidiary will charge another subsidiary

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PORTSMOUTH, Dominica (BGIS) — Damaged homes, businesses and offices are no match for the resilience and determination of residents living in Portsmouth, a town on the northwest coast of Dominica.

They have already begun to pick up the pieces after the category five-Hurricane Maria slammed into the island on September 18.

The residents have been using their personal vehicles to free the roadways, clogged with debris left behind by the hurricane, while at least one other ensured that his community was well lit at night through the use of his generator.

Jenner Boston, an electrician by profession, not only threw open his doors to close to 40 persons from his community during the storm’s passage, but continued to run power at night using his own generator so his neighbours could receive electricity.

“I purchased the diesel before the storm struck so I had the tank full before the storm,” he explained.

Like some others, he has already begun repairing the damaged areas of his home, which included replacing three windows and two doors. “It was a very scary experience and I am still shaken,” he admitted.

Meanwhile, shelter assistant at the Roosevelt Douglas Primary School, Alicia Christopher, did not allow her personal situation to deter her from helping others.

“Gas is among things we salvaged from our homes, which were totally destroyed, so we brought them here to use them [to the school] to help others,” she stated.

Christopher, who is also a healthcare practitioner, said there were presently 150 people staying in the shelter, among them babies, a pregnant woman, elderly persons, asthmatics and diabetics.

“Right now we have a need for water, formula and baby items,” she appealed.

However, she said, it was the residents who came to their assistance in refilling the tanks until help arrived from the Dominica Fire Station and Ambulance Service.

When a Barbados Government Information Service team visited the Portsmouth Hospital, the building, like few shops and a gas station, was open for business despite sustaining damage.

Dr Francine Jeffrey said the hospital sustained damage to its children’s and female wards. “It was a mess but we cleared it,” she said, noting they were presently working with just two doctors and eight nurses for the entire hospital.

Despite these challenges, the staff was able to stabilise a number of patients, including a mother and two-day-old baby who were airlifted from Benjamin Park in Portsmouth by a French helicopter to Martinique for further medical care.

 

In addition, she said the hospital was also preparing other patients to be airlifted to Martinique for further treatment.

 

Meanwhile, homeowners in the remote area have also started the rebuilding exercise, with several of them beginning to clean inside their homes, which were flooded during the hurricane.

 

However, while they have begun the rebuilding effort, like the rest of Dominica, residents in Portsmouth are happy to see that aid is coming.

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(Caribbean 360 News) BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – International ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has raised a red flag that Barbados’ longstanding 2-to-1 peg to the US dollar is under threat as economic conditions continue to deteriorate.

In a grim report issued yesterday, S&P also warned that the Freundel Stuart administration was unlikely to balance its budget any time soon, given lingering challenges including poor implementation of policy decisions, the likely overestimation of one-off revenues, and approaching general elections.

Against this backdrop, S&P lowered the island’s long-term local currency sovereign credit rating to ‘CCC’ from ‘CCC+’, while affirming its long-term foreign currency sovereign rating at ‘CCC+’. The outlook on both long-term ratings is negative.

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(Barbados Today) Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy says the recent downgrade by international ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) should not be ignored.

At the same time, Sealy does not expect any tourism fallout as a result of S&P’s lowering of the long-term local currency sovereign credit rating on the country to ‘CCC’ from ‘CCC+, while affirming its long-term foreign currency sovereign rating at ‘CCC+’.

However, even though S&P has said that the outlook on both long-term ratings is negative, Sealy does not expect the latest downgrade to have a direct impact on the vital tourism sector.

In fact, delivering the weekly Astor B Watts lunchtime lecture at the Democratic Labour Party’s George Street headquarters on Friday, he pointed to a number of current and pending investments in the sector, arguing that while it was expected that investors would look at the country’s overall investment grade, he did not see it causing them to hold back.

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(Barbados Today) Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Timothy Antoine said Barbados and the rest of the region can transform their economies by introducing a regional digital currency.

Antoine told a one-day Bitt seminar at the Barbados Hilton Resort today that in order to achieve at least five per cent economic growth and single-digit unemployment, the region needed to embrace digital currencies such a bitcoin.

“This region we long call the Caribbean needs economic transformation, and I want to see it in my lifetime,” he said, pointing out that if anything, the recent devastating hurricanes highlighted the need for transformation.

“As we speak at this moment this region is averaging less than two per cent growth per annum. We need to get to at least five per cent and that is the goal of the ECCB. I know that is Jamaica’s target as well. We have to transform this region, and I certainly believe blockchain technology has the potential to help us do that.

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