Liechtenstein just signed deal with UK to turn over secret accounts
UK citizens living in Liechtenstein are expected to pay taxes to the Queen no matter where they live. About 5,000 British investors with an estimated £2bn to £3bn in secret Liechtenstein bank accounts will be asked to come clean under a ground-breaking deal JUST SIGNED THIS MORNING, an effort to promote tax-tranparency. HM Revenue & Customs will offer UK investors the chance to volunteer details of their deposits in return for limited penalties – 10% as opposed to all the penalties that would apply. Liechtenstein banks will be asked to close the accounts of customers who refuse. Banks and trust companies will then be independently audited to verify the undeclared accounts have been purged. Because of international money laundering laws, most any other country would report bank transfer in so UK citizens living in this principality can turn around and go home. There is truly no more reason to be in this bite size country between Austria and Switzerland. I recommend Angola, another principality sandwiched in between France and Spain for the next point of refuge. It’s safer than Nigeria and Switzerland was asked to come clean ten years ago, turning Credit Suisse turned into Wachovia overnight (not literally). Where does on hide their gold and avoid luxury tax now?! Off-shore? Don’t count on it. All the laws have changed there too. What about a bank in Space? Certainly the Queen has no domain there yet …. Watch video here.
Photo: Me and my friend Ishita Jain in front of the Liechtenstein casle
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Owaki / Kulla / Corbis I’ve always maintained lobster, and all other shellfish, are the work of GOD. Wearing their skeletons inside out, they are without doubt the most fascinating looking creatures to date. Appearing time and time again in more »
Obama shakes the hand of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez gangsta style – CNBC’s Larry Kudlow says Obama-Chavez handshake was “Boyz in the Hood”.
ADDENDUM: May 9th, 2009
Check out Michelle Obama’s fist bump with a scholarship recipient at the May 9th White House Correspondents’ Dinner which raises money for journalism scholarships.
Jung Yeon-je/AP | LOOK Die Bildagentur der Fotografen GmbH/Alamy
Since officially retiring from Microsoft in July, 2008, 52-year-old Bill Gates has amped up his philanthropic travel in support of the nonprofit Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. When he needs a break from the African heat—where much of the foundation’s efforts are concentrated—he’s been known to hop a helicopter to Apussuit Adventure Camp, a remote skiing resort 15 miles outside Maniitsoq, West Greenland. There are no ski lifts and, more importantly, no other people. “Given the small populations in Greenland’s towns, one can bring their own staff and gallivant around town going completely unnoticed,” says Mads Nordlund of Greenland Tourism. From Forbes.
1. Freedom Ship
In development: This floating “Freedom Ship” is actually a 1400m-long series of linked barges,designed by Norman Nixon. The proposed ship is an integrated city with condominium housing for 30,000 people, an airstrip, duty- free shopping and a rapid transit systems. The complex would circumnavigate the globe continuously, stopping regularly at ports of call. Other projects, such as the ResidenSea
, have similarly attempted to create mobile communities, though they have conservatively limited themselves to the constraints of conventional shipbuilding. In regards to the economic flexibility and “freedom” created by such mobile settlements, these projects could be considered a realization of the avante-garde Walking City concept from 1964, by British architect Ron Herron of the group Archigram.
Length 4,320 ft /Width 725 ft
Height Above Sea Level 340 ft
Passenger Capacity 50,000 residents / 20,000 visitors
Hangars for private aircraft
A marina for residents’ yachts
A large shopping mall
A school system offering K-12 and college education
A golf driving range
No local taxes, including income tax
, real estate tax, sales tax, business tax and import duties.
Residents will have to abide by federal tax laws in their home country.
A side view of the proposed Freedom Ship. The largest existing ship in the world, the Knock Nevis, is approximately one third of this length.
2. New York businessman Peter Halmos’ floating village
3. Junk Rafts
Swimming Cities of Serenissima, designed by Brooklyn street artist, SWOON, will float through the Adriatic Sea from Slovenia to Venice throughout May 2009
The Floating Neutrinos’s, a nonconformists, artisan family, built this raft made of junk, most famous for being docked in New York’s Hudson Harbor, and set a world record for being the first scrap-raft to cross the Atlantic Ocean (left). Plans for the Floating Neutrinos’s raft that crossed the Atlantic Ocean. (right)
5. Noah’s Ark theme park in Hong Kong
The Kwok brothers, billionaires heirs to their father’s blue-chip Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd., are backing a project to build a replica Noah’s Ark as a theme park on a small island in Hong Kong’s harbor at the foot of a busy bridge that connects the city to its airport. Built to biblical specifications, the 450-ft-long hull, will also house a luxury hotel called “Noah’s Resort hotel”, a restaurant, exhibition hall and children’s museum and 67 pairs of fiberglass animals. It has been in the planning for 17 years with 5 Christian organizations. The replica destination is meant as a family vacation spot and is suppose to carry a strong message that life goes on.
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Röshults have unveiled a beautiful grill that does not come with a lot of information but does look very chic and sophisticated. It is a stable grill that you can use year around. It has been designed in such a more »
The Cullinan Diamond is the largest rough gem-quality diamond ever found at 3,106 carats and 1.5 lbs. Captain Frederick Wells (right) found this diamond in Sir Thomas Cullinan’s (left) diamond mine in Pretoria, South Africa in 1905. A “rough” diamond simply means the gem has not yet been cut and “gem-quality” means it is good enough to be used in jewellery.
The Cullinan diamond was sent to the famous Dutch firm of Asscher to be cut, once the Transvaal government (a South African regional goverment) had given the diamond to Edward VII (King of the United Kingdom, the British Dominions and Emperor of India, 1901 – 1910) for his 66th birthday.
The first 2 diamonds, Cullinan I and II, were put into the Crown jewels collection; these are the most important (read about the rest at The Royal Forums).
Cullinan I or the “Greater Star of Africa” is a pear shaped cut of 530.2 carats and was set in a royal sceptre in 1911 for the Coronation of George V (today it is on display along with the rest of the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London). *Cullinan I is often removed from the sceptre to be worn as a brooch.
Cullinan II or the “Second Star of Africa” is a diamond of 317.4 carats and was set into the Imperial State Crown which is used for the annual State Opening of Parliament.
Queen Elizabeth II holds the Royal sceptre and wears the Imperial State Crown at her 1953 Coronation. Until 1910 the remainder to the Cullinan diamond had stayed with Asschers in Amsterdam but Prime Minister Botha of South Africa insisted that his Government bought back the diamonds. Read more and about the Lesser Stars of Africa at The Royal Forums.
Story and photos from the The Royal Forums and Wikipedia.org.
ADDENDUM April 20, 2009 • 4:29 pm: A rare, 7.03-carat blue diamond, expected to bring up to $8.5 million at auction, is on display in New York. Sotheby’s New York previewed the vivid blue diamond today which is slightly smaller than a dime and shaped like a cushion. It will be sold in Geneva on May 12. The conditions that are required to form a colored diamond seldom occur in nature, making them extremely rare. Sotheby’s said the gem also was notable for its clarity. The diamond was unearthed last year in the Cullinan diamond mine, northeast of Pretoria, South Africa. The stone was cut from a 26.58-carat diamond in the rough.
Just a little $8.5 million trinket (AP Photo)
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Photo courtesy of Morgans Hotel Group The Semi-Automatic automat serves as the hotel gift shop at Miami’s Mondrian South Beach. Designed by Mari Balestrazzy and Ito Partnership, this Semi-Automatic “automat” for the Morgans Hotel Group and curated (yes, a vending more »