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Wednesday October 22nd 2014

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Business for Democracy and ASBC Lead Effort to Overturn Citizens United v. FEC

The Business for Democracy Campaign, which the American Sustainable Business Council is spearheading in partnership with Free Speech for People is tackling the compelling issue of corporate contributions to political campaigns.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC decision on January 21, 2010 allows corporations to spend unlimited funds to support or oppose candidates for political office, overturning campaign finance laws in place for decades. The Business for Democracy campaign is an initiative of business leaders and their companies who believe this ruling is in direct conflict with American democratic principles and a serious threat to good government. The campaign supports the four members of the Supreme Court and the 80 percent of Americans who disagree with the decision (Washington Post poll, Feb. 17, 2010).

If you'd like your business to join this effort, you can sign the statement of support here or here.

Are Women Leaders Less Corrupt? No, But they Shake Things Up

Corruption

Are women leaders less corrupt? No, but they shake things up
Trust Law, December 4, 2012

By Stella Dawson

It is almost a cliché that getting more women into power is a good way to tackle corruption. Women, the argument goes, are less likely to take bribes or put personal gain before public good.

But is it true?

Read More?

China Tightens Reins on Macau
The Wall Street Journal, December 4, 2012

By Kate O’Keeffe

The Chinese government is increasing its scrutiny of Macau’s booming casino industry and the junket operators that bankroll its high-rolling gamblers, the first sign of a crackdown on corruption following stepped-up rhetoric by China’s new leadership.

In recent weeks, police in mainland China and Macau have detained people from at least three of Macau’s biggest junket operators, the middlemen who extend credit to high-roller players and collect the debts in China, according to people familiar with the situation. Some of the detentions have occurred in China and in other cases, the detainees have been moved there, these people say.

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Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance

Tax dodging is a ‘moral issue’ that hits those with least, says Christian Aid
Ekklesia, December 4, 2012

Christian Aid has welcomed a House of Commons committee?s report on tax dodging by multinationals, which puts morality at the heart of the tax debate.

The UK-based development agency says the harm the practice of tax avoidance causes to developing countries and poor communities should be seen in the same light.

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Tax talks with HM Treasury over FATCA issue
Isle of Man Today, December 4, 2012

Talks have been held between the Crown Dependencies and HM Treasury about the potential for new arrangements for automatic exchange of tax information with the UK.

If implemented, it could have a significant impact on the island?s trust and corporate services sector.

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Starbucks ‘planning changes to tax policy’
BBC News, December 3, 2012

By Robert Peston

Starbucks is planning to change the way it operates so that it will end up paying corporation tax in the UK.

BBC business editor Robert Peston cited sources close to the coffee shop firm as saying it had been stung by the criticism and was changing its ways.

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Money Laundering

Treasury Official Travels to China for Money Laundering, Terror Finance Workshop
The Wall Street Journal (blog), December 3, 2012

By Samuel Rubenfeld

A top Treasury Department official is in China this week to participate in a workshop on money laundering and terrorist financing.

Daniel Glaser, the assistant Treasury secretary for terrorist financing, is participating in the 2012 Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism Workship, which came out of a commitment to a strategic dialogue between Beijing and Washington forged in May, Treasury said.

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More moneylaundering allegations surface
Cyprus Mail, December 4, 2012

Politicians across Europe are urging their governments to demand a crackdown on alleged Russian money-laundering in Cyprus as a condition of any bailout, The Telegraph said yesterday.

The paper said MPs in the UK, Finland and the Netherlands have questions for the banks before a deal is signed. The paper said German politicians were looking at making similar demands.

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Global Partnership between Coalitions of Civil Society Organizations Launch Report on Human Rights Due Diligence and the Role of States
ICAR Press Release, December 3, 2012

WASHINGTON DC – On December 3, 2012, the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR)) along with the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ) and the Canadian Network onCorporate Accountability (CNCA) will launch a report commissioned by International Experts on Business and Human Rights, entitled ?Human Rights Due Diligence: the Role of States?. The International Experts commissioned include Professor Olivier De Schutter, Professor Anita Ramasastry, Mark B. Taylor and Robert C. Thompson.

The Report builds off of a set of global Consultations with legal practitioners, academics and experts from around the world and examines how States are using their regulatory authority to mandate due diligence for human rights or areas akin to human rights, such as environmental protection and workplace health and safety. The Report seeks to establish the extent to which the legal systems of States already make use of due diligence to ensure that businesses respect established standards and to describe for policymakers a range of regulatory options they might use to take the next steps in ensuring businesses respect human rights.

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Transparency

S.E.C. Charges 5 Firms Over Audits in China
The New York Times, November 3, 2012

By Edward Wyatt

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged the Chinese affiliates of five big accounting firms on Monday with violating securities laws, claiming they failed to produce documents from their audits of several China-based companies under investigation for fraud.

The agency, which has been broadly investigating Chinese companies that have gone public in the United States, said that it had been trying for months to obtain certain paperwork from the accounting firms. But the government said the auditors ?refused to cooperate,? citing prohibitions in local law.

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