Eye on the world

Pandora Papers implicates hundreds in tax evasion
By: Sarah Harris
The Pandora Papers is a leak of almost 12 million documents that reveals hidden wealth, tax avoidance and money laundering by some of the world’s rich and powerful. How do they hide their money, and why is this information important?

For some background information, the Pandora Papers establishes links of offshore activity to more than twice as many politicians and public officials as did the Panama Papers in 2016, which was an incriminating report about the offshore banking industry released by the journalism consortium five years ago. The Pandora Papers includes information on more than 330 politicians and public officials from over 90 countries and territories, including 35 current and former country leaders.

Having an offshore company isn’t entirely illegal, but the papers show how the system is being used by some rather questionable people. It also puts the spotlight on how some politicians are benefiting at a time when global economies are struggling from the pandemic. The Pandora Papers indicates how politicians use those connections to navigate through a complex global financial system, a system that the average taxpayer wouldn’t be involved in.

Big name people like Shakira, Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, supermodel Claudia Schiffer, an Italian mobster known as “Lell the Fat One” and Vladamir Putin’s close friend Sergey Roldugin have been named in the Pandora Papers. Others like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Bill Gates are absent. The reason the world’s richest people aren’t mentioned in the papers is perhaps because they pay so little tax, they don’t need the intricate system of offshore accounts. The amount of their tax is estimated to be under 3.4%.

Going through almost 12 million documents is going to take some time and there will be more reveals in the future.

Taiwan claims China will launch invasion by 2025
By: Justin Klopfer
Tensions between mainland China and Taiwan have been escalating in recent weeks. Taiwan’s defense minister declared on Oct. 6 that China will launch a full scale invasion of the country by 2025. The prediction came in the wake of increased warplane presence from China in Taiwan’s air defense zone.

Some analysts have doubted Taiwan’s claims, questioning the likelihood of such an attack. In fact, Taiwanese officials made a similar prediction in 2013 of a 2020 capability of attack, which obviously never occurred. The aggression from China may also be meant to bolster nationalism ahead of China’s next Communist Party Congress.

Taiwan’s struggle with mainland China began in 1949, when the Republic of China lost mainland China in the Civil War and retreated to the island. Taiwan has since become, in most experts’ opinion, a sovereign nation. The People’s Republic of China, however, still lays claim to Taiwan and seeks to achieve “reunification.” Only a small minority of Taiwanese people desire reunification with China.

Western-aligned powers in the region have declared their intention to protect Taiwan, including both Australia and Japan. The U.S. has also bolstered relations with Taiwan, welcoming many of the nation’s diplomats, though its status as a nation is still unrecognized by America. House Republicans have created a bill to recognize the nation as independent from China.

Post Author: Sarah Harris