G20

Australian and UK unite to take on profit-shifting

Australia and the United Kingdom will work together to tackle profit shifting by multinational companies in an effort crackdown on corporate tax avoidance.

The joint task force, which will begin next month, is aimed at developing practices which will enforce corporations to pay tax in the countries in which they operate.

Profit shifting is when a corporation uses legislative loopholes to pay less tax by transferring their base of operations to a country with a lower tax threshold.

It is estimated tax avoidance is costing the Australian tax base billions of dollars every year, money which could be reinvested into Australian infrastructure, welfare, schools and hospitals.

G20 leaders have had their personal information leaked

The Australian immigration department has accidentally leaked the personal details of several world leaders, including United States president Barack Obama, Russian resident Vladimir Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping, and did not consider the matter important enough to bring to their attention.

The Australian immigration department has accidentally leaked the personal details of several world leaders, including United States president Barack Obama, Russian resident Vladimir Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping, and did not consider the matter important enough to bring to their attention.

Among the compromised details were passport numbers and visa details, who were accidentally sent by an employee of the agency to the organizers of the Asian Cup football tournament.

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Obama calls Venezuela security threat, bans officials

US President Barack Obama has declared Venezuela a threat to national security, using an executive order to put sanctions on seven officials.

The White House claim the executive order targets officials involved in human rights abuses, promoting acts of political violence, public corruption and undermining democracy in the Latin American country.

The order means that these officials will not be allowed the enter the US and any interests or assets they have in the US will be blocked.

The move comes as relations between the White House and Venezuela continue to sour, with President Nicolas Maduro last week announcing plans to limit the number of US diplomats in the country.

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G20 activist escapes judicial punishment

Long time Brisbane activist and pacifist, Ciaron O'Reilly, who was arrested for entering the G20 security zone as a prohibited person has escaped judicial punishment.

His case closed yesterday as Mr O’Reilly managed to persuade the courts that his actions were non-violent. Mr O’Reilly had been seeking to raise awareness about the ongoing persecution of Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden when he was arrested under the G20 special security laws. He remains the only convicted person under the G20 special security laws.

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Greek bailout: short-term fixed agreed on

Eurozone finance ministers have approved Greece’s bailout reform proposals, diminishing fears that a Greek default may plunge the EU into financial turmoil.

But International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde says the proposals are lacking clear assurances; The proposals range from combating tax evasion to reforming the public sector.

Greek debt currently stands at more than $320 billion euros and the current bailout plan was expire on Sunday; an approval of the Greece proposals by the EU parliament would extend the bailout by a further four months.

Germany rejects Greek appeal for EU loan extension

Germany has rejected a Greek request for a six-month extension to its eurozone loan programme.

Greece sought a new six-month assistance package, rather than a renewal of the existing deal that comes with tough conditions.

A German finance ministry spokesman said the new plea was "not a substantial proposal for a solution".

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras (Sip-ras) and German chancellor Angela Merkel spoke by telephone, with their conversation being described as being “held in a positive climate and geared towards finding a mutually beneficial solution for Greece and the eurozone."

Nigeria launches attacks against terrorist strongholds

The Nigerian air force has launched an extensive bombing campaign against insurgency group Boko Haram in the country’s northeast.

Air force officials have claimed to successfully target Boko Haram’s camps in the town of Gwoza and the Sambisi forest.

However, the Nigerian air force's claims have been inconsistent with some eyewitness accounts and details of the operation could not be verified.

The notorious Sambisi forest is believed to be where Boko Haram militia took more than 200 kidnapped school girls last April.

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US, Turkey to train Syrian opposition fighters

The United States and Turkish military have signed an agreement to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels.

The agreement will see about 15 000 Syrian fighters trained over the next three years as part of the fight against ISIS forces in the Middle East.

Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have offered to host the training.

Turkey also hopes to strengthen rebels against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who Turkey has had a strained relationship with in the past.

The civil war in Syria over the past four years has seen over 220 000 people killed and over four million displaced.

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RBA: rate cuts not as effective as it used to be

Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens has admitted rate cuts are now less effective at boosting demand but says Australia’s struggling economy makes them essential.

Mr Stevens says the board’s monetary policy is less effective than it was a decade ago..

But he says weak inflation, high unemployment, below-average economic growth, and a high Australian dollar made it necessary to cut interest rates by 25 basis points last week to a record low of 2.25 per cent.

Mr Stevens has promised to give plenty of warning about any potential rise in rates to avoid speculation and any adverse effects on the economy.

Greek PM - Greece and Europe must renegotiate bailout

Newly elected Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras says the European Union’s enforcement of austerity measures on Greece has failed and he will seek to renegotiate the country's bailout terms.

Prime Minister Tsipras, whose far left Syriza party won elections last month on a promise of ending austerity measures, says Greece can’t service it’s huge debt and his government will seek a bridge loan.

But European Union finance leaders and the European Central Bank says it won't negotiate terms already agreed upon and will deny Greek banks credit should Tsipras refuse to honor the country’s commitments.

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