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FORMER MONTENEGRO CONCENTRATION CAMP TO BECOME LUXURY RESORT, SPA

A tiny island off the coast of Montenegro, once used as a concentration camp during the Second World War, is about to become a luxury hotel and spa.

A 19th century Austro-Hungarian fort sits on Mamula Island in the Adriatic Sea, where approximately 2,000 prisoners were held by fascist Italian forces under the rule of Benito Mussolini in 1942. More than 100 inmates were believed to have been killed or starved to death while under control of Mussolini’s men.

Now the fort will be converted into a luxury resort and spa after the Montenegro government approved an almost 50-year lease to Swiss-Egyptian company Orascom, according to Agence France-Presse.

Mamula Island resort and spa.Handout

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The plans to build the resort were met with harsh criticism by relatives of former prisoners of the camp.

“To build a luxury hotel dedicated to entertainment at this place where so many people perished and suffered is a blatant example of lack of seriousness towards history,” Olivera Doklestic told AFP.

Doklestic’s father, uncle and grandfather were imprisoned at Mamula, the news agency reported.

“No concentration camp in the world has been transformed into a hotel,” Doklestic said.

Described as having “party ambience,” the resort’s website shows a layout of the hotel that features a large dance floor in the middle of the compound, a DJ, spa and marina-jetty.

Mamula Island resort and spa.Handout

Last week, tourism officials defended the leasing of the island.

“We were facing two options: to leave the site to fall into ruin or find investors who would be willing to restore it and make it accessible to visitors,” Olivera Brajovic, head of the national directorate for tourism development, told AFP.

U.K. LAWMAKERS SLAM TRUMP, BUT MOST OPPOSE BANNING HIM

LONDON – Donald Trump doesn’t have many fans in Britain’s Parliament.

But a debate among lawmakers on calls to ban Trump from the country revealed little appetite to close Britain’s doors to the provocative Republican U.S. presidential contender.

During a three-hour debate Monday, legislators from Britain’s main parties stood to call Trump an attention-seeker, a demagogue and a fool. Many, though, argued that he should not be stifled or banned.

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  • Prosecutors charge California man who praised Trump with threatening to kill Muslims“While I think this man is crazy, while I think this man has no valid points to make, I will not be the one to silence his voice,” said Conservative lawmaker Tom Tugendhat.Parliament took up the topic after half a million people signed a petition calling for Trump to be excluded over his call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States in the wake of extremist violence. Trump has also claimed that some areas of Britain are so radicalized that police fear for their lives.Under British law, any petition supported by 100,000 people – who must each provide and confirm an email address – is considered for parliamentary debate. Monday’s debate was intended to air the subject rather than take a vote.WATCH: A student at a Trump campaign rally calls proposed U.K. ban “completely ridiculous”Labour Party legislator Paul Flynn, who opened the session, said Trump had already received “far too much attention.”“The great danger by attacking this one man is that we can fix on him a halo of victimhood” and boost his popularity among supporters, Flynn said.READ MORE: New York tabloid gives Ted Cruz the finger, tells GOP candidate to ‘Go back to Canada’But another Labour lawmaker, Tulip Siddiq, supported a ban.“This is a man who is extremely high-profile, … a man who is interviewing for the most important job in the world,” she said. “His words are not comical, his words are not funny. His words are poisonous.”Prime Minister David Cameron has condemned Trump’s remarks about Muslims as “divisive, stupid and wrong,” but he and other senior officials have said they do not think Trump should be banned.WATCH: British lawmakers question whether to ban Trump, even elected PresidentThe government has the power to deny entry to people with criminal convictions or those whose presence is considered not “conducive to the public good.” The power has been used against figures as diverse as boxer Mike Tyson, rapper Tyler the Creator, radical Muslim preachers and the late Christian fundamentalist Fred Phelps Sr.Britain also turned away anti-Islam Dutch legislator Geert Wilders at an airport in 2009. Wilders later sued and won the right to come to Britain.Several lawmakers argued that banning Trump would betray the principles of free speech.READ MORE: Muslim woman thrown out of Trump rally, group seeks apologyConservative Paul Scully said that while people had been excluded from Britain for incitement or hatred, “I have never heard of one for stupidity and I’m not sure we should be starting now.”But Labour’s Jack Dromey said Trump was dangerous because he stirred up hatred among different faiths.“Donald Trump is a fool,” Dromey said. “He is free to be a fool. He is not free to be a dangerous fool on our shores.”Trump’s mother was born in Scotland, and he owns a golf resort there. Should he visit Britain again, he will have no shortage of things to do.Labour legislator Naz Shah was one of several lawmakers who invited Trump to visit their constituencies to see Britain’s multiethnic society first-hand. Shah said she would take him to a curry restaurant in her home city of Bradford.She said was “a proud Muslim woman” and the Qur’an had taught her that “goodness is better than evil. If someone does bad, you do good in return.”—;This story has been corrected to show that the surname of the lawmaker in the ninth paragraph is Siddiq, not Siddique.

UPDATE: MAN FACING 6 CHARGES AFTER 12-HOUR STANDOFF IN WEST EDMONTON

EDMONTON – A 31-year-old man who barricaded himself inside a home on Sunday, Jan. 17, was charged Thursday with six different offences including assault and flight from police.

The man’s name is not being released because the event is linked to a domestic violence incident and identifying him could identify others involved.

He is charged with assault, intimidation, careless use/storage/possession of a firearm, unauthorized possession of a prohibited firearm in a motor vehicle, unauthorized possession of a firearm and flight from police.

On Jan. 17, police were called because there was concern about a man who allegedly had a weapon and was driving a vehicle.

Police found the vehicle and tried to stop the driver, but he drove away.

A police chase began, the Air 1 helicopter was called in, and a man was then seen running from the vehicle into a residence in the Jasper Park neighbourhood, in the area of 154 Street and 90 Avenue.

A large police presence could be seen in the west Edmonton neighbourhood Monday morning, including the EPS Negotiators Unit.

Residents were alerted and École Notre Dame was closed because of the incident. Students were bussed to Maurice-Lavallee in Boonie Doon.

Ecole Notre Dame School in Edmonton is closed because of a police incident in the area, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016.Cliff Harris, Global News

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James Gibbons Elementary School, Stratford School, Parkview School and Laurier Heights School were open Monday morning but “on alert.”

Roads in the area were blocked off as police asked drivers to avoid the area.

At 10:30 a.m. Monday, the man was arrested without incident.

“We surrounded that residence and safely contained and negotiated the capture of this individual,” Inspector Gary Godziuk said after the arrest.

A handgun was seized.

Police said the man didn’t live in the home. There were two people inside when he entered the house, but they were taken out safely, police added.

*EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published Jan. 18 and was updated with charges Feb. 4, 2016.

WHAT TO TRY IF YOU’RE FEELING BLUE ON ‘BLUE MONDAY’

WINNIPEG — Jan. 18 has been labelled the most depressing day of the year, also known as “Blue Monday.”

A combination of cold weather, dark days, holiday debt and low motivation are some of the factors contributing to this.

“I think it originated in a travel industry promotion recommending everybody go south,” the executive director of Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba, Tara Brousseau Snider said.

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In Winnipeg, the sun doesn’t rise until about 8:20 a.m. on this day and the average low is -23 °C, often feeling much cooler with the wind chill.

“We’re launching a seasonal affective light program with councillor Gillingham today in the Winnipeg Public Library system,” Snider said.

Anyone who wants a light can go to the Centennial library and the St. James library in Winnipeg to take advantage of the light.

She also pointed out that there aren’t many holidays to look forward to at this time of year, which can contribute to the rising numbers of Manitobans seeking help at the Mood Disorders Association.

“We see a substantial increase… our groups are at capacity at the moment so we are adding more groups,”Snider said. “Right now we have 21 groups during the week here in Winnipeg.”

Many Canadians experience sadness during the winter because of seasonal affective disorder, which can start in the fall when the days start getting shorter.

While it isn’t clear what causes SAD, two to three per cent of Canadians will experience it in their lifetime according to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

“Be kind to yourself, if you’ve slipped on your New Year’s resolutions, don’t go too hard, try and get outside,” Snider said. “Eat well, sleep well, do all the kind of things that’s important to your mental health.”

If you are feeling blue this winter, Snider suggests you call the Mood Disorders Association at 204-786-0987 or go to their website.

FEDERER SAYS IT’S TIME TO NAME PLAYERS SUSPECTED OF MATCH FIXING

MELBOURNE, Australia — Roger Federer has heard enough speculation about match-fixing in tennis. If players are suspected of corruption, he wants names.

Federer was responding to reports by BBC and BuzzFeed News published Monday that tennis authorities have suppressed evidence of match-fixing and overlooked suspected cases involving players ranked in the top 50, including Grand Slam singles and doubles winners.

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READ MORE: Match-fixing allegations overshadow Day 1 at Australian Open

The reports said that none of these players had faced sanctions and more than half would be playing at this year’s Australian Open, which started Monday. The players weren’t identified by name.

“I would love to hear names,” Federer said after beating Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia 6-2, 6-1, 6-2. “Then at least it’s concrete stuff and you can actually debate about it. Was it the player? Was it the support team? Who was it? Was it before? Was it a doubles player, a singles player? Which Slam?”

“It’s super serious and it’s super important to maintain the integrity of our sport,” Federer added. “So how high up does it go? The higher it goes, the more surprised I would be.”

ATP chairman Chris Kermode appeared at a news conference to reject the assertion that match-fixing had gone unchecked in the sport, saying the Tennis Integrity Unit remained “constantly vigilant and not complacent” when it comes to tackling corruption.

“The Tennis Integrity Unit and tennis authorities absolutely reject any suggestion that evidence of match-fixing has been suppressed for any reason or isn’t being thoroughly investigated,” he said.

The BBC and BuzzFeed allegations were based on files they reported had been leaked “from inside the sport” showing evidence of suspected match-fixing orchestrated by gambling syndicates in Russia and Italy that had been uncovered during an ATP investigation of a 2007 match in Sopot, Poland, involving suspiciously high levels of betting.

READ MORE: Eugenie Bouchard wins first round match at Australian Open

According to the reports, the ATP investigation widened to uncover a network of other players suspected of match-fixing, but officials didn’t follow up on the cases. Since then, the reports said, the ATP has repeatedly been warned by bookmakers, foreign police and other investigators about many of the same players, but hasn’t taken any action against them.

Kermode said the integrity unit had been formed in 2008 as a joint initiative of the International Tennis Federation, the ATP, the WTA and the Grand Slam Board to combat corruption in the wake of the Sopot investigation.

He maintained that the unit investigates every report it receives and takes action only when it has enough evidence to do so. It has since sanctioned 18 people for match-fixing, including five players and one official who received lifetime bans.

“You can have lots of information, lots of anecdotal reports, but it’s about getting evidence that we can use,” Kermode said.Roger Federer Timeline | PrettyFamous

TIU chief Nigel Willerton declined to say whether any players at the Australian Open were being monitored for suspected match-fixing.

Many of those punished have been lower-ranked players on the second-tier Challenger tour. Two of the most higher-profile players — former top-50 players Daniele Bracciali and Potito Starace — were initially banned for life before their suspensions were lifted by the Italian Tennis Federation last year.

Top-ranked Novak Djokovic said he doubted the problem extended to the top level of the sport, and pointed to the enhanced monitoring systems put in place.

“We have, I think, a sport (that has) evolved and upgraded our programs and authorities to deal with these particular cases,” he said. “There’s no real proof or evidence yet of any active players (being involved in match-fixing), for that matter. As long as it’s like that, it’s just speculation.”

Djokovic did confirm, though, that members of his support team were approached about throwing a match in Russia in 2007.

“I was not approached directly. I was approached through people that were working with me at that time,” he said. “Of course, we (rejected) it right away. It didn’t even get to me — the guy that was trying to talk to me, he didn’t even get to me directly. There was nothing out of it.”

Other questions were raised Monday about whether the sport was sending mixed messages by allowing the bookmaker William Hill to become one of the Australian Open’s sponsors this year and advertise on stadium courts.

“Honestly it’s on a borderline, I would say,” Djokovic said. “Whether you want to have betting companies involved in the big tournaments in our sport or not, it’s hard to say what’s right and what’s wrong.”

SUNCOR, CANADIAN OIL SANDS COME TO TERMS ON $6.6B DEAL

players ranked in the top 50, including Grand Slam singles and doubles winners.

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READ MORE: Match-fixing allegations overshadow Day 1 at Australian Open

CALGARY – Suncor Energy has raised the stock portion of its takeover offer for Canadian Oil Sands (COS) by 12 per cent, resulting in a $6.6-billion friendly deal that ends a public battle between the two Calgary-based companies.

Suncor is now offering to exchange 0.28 of a share for each share of Canadian Oil Sands – up from 0.25 of a Suncor share per COS share.

Because the offer is primarily an exchange of shares, its monetary value will fluctuate. Based on Friday’s closing stock price for Suncor stock, the new offer was worth $8.74 per COS share, up from $7.81 under the original formula.

The stock portion would be worth $4.2 billion, up from $3.8 billion under the old formula, if all COS shares are tendered. The total value of the deal includes $2.4 billion in debt that Suncor will assume.

The companies issued a joint statement saying both boards of directors and major Canadian Oil Sands investor Seymour Schulich are supporting the revised offer, which will expire at 4 p.m. MT (6 p.m. ET) on Feb. 5 – nine days later than the Jan. 27 deadline that Suncor set after its original bid failed to win sufficient support from COS shareholders.

Schulich had lobbied against the previous Suncor bid and bought full-page ads in several major newspapers to advise fellow shareholders to reject the price they were originally offered.

“Since Suncor made its initial offer, our board has remained steadfast in our commitment to maximize value for all shareholders. This agreement fulfills that commitment, providing our shareholders with a higher exchange ratio for their shares despite a 37 per cent decline in spot oil prices,” Don Lowry, chairman of Canadian Oil Sands, said Monday.

Schulich said in the same statement that he encouraged other COS shareholders to join him in accepting the new offer, which is still subject to certain conditions.

Suncor wants at least 51 per cent of the COS shares – a relaxed condition since the original had sought at least 66.6 per cent. The Canadian Oil Sands board has agreed to pay a $130 million break fee to Suncor if certain conditions aren’t met.

If accepted, Suncor will become by far the largest shareholder in the Syncrude oilsands complex, which is operated by Imperial Oil.

“We are pleased to have the support of the COS board of directors and shareholders, including Seymour Schulich, and have been advised of their intent to tender their shares” Suncor president and CEO Steve Williams said.

“Together, we’re bringing this full, fair and final offer to COS shareholders and we encourage everyone to tender their shares.”

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SQUARE DEAL FOR DOWNTOWN WINNIPEG TAKES STEP FORWARD

WINNIPEG —; An ambitious $400-million mixed-use development planned for downtown Winnipeg is one step closer to becoming a reality.

Manitoba’s premier, Winnipeg’s mayor and the president of True North Sports and Entertainment made an announcement about the next phase of True North Square Monday morning.

RELATED: True North Square will go ahead in downtown Winnipeg, officials say

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“We are taking downtown Winnipeg to the next level, with the $400 million private sector investment,” Premier Greg Selinger said. “Our commitment is to create world class public space downtown”.

The premier said the deal will take the two acre space and turn it into an outdoor entertainment facility, with skating rinks, retail stores, a five star hotel and office space. He also said the deal will create around 2,000 jobs.

“We need a downtown that’s more than a place to park,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “These investments will help bring more people downtown.”

Some of those public spaces will be built with money coming from the provincial and civic governments.  They’re splitting a $17.6 million dollar investment in public spaces around the project site.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says that money should be allocated differently, “When you consider that the debts are massive and even the interest payments are massive, once we get that down maybe we can consider it but in the meantime we have to be realistic about the situation, we simply don’t have the money,” said prairie director Todd MacKay.

“There are a lot of needs to be addressed from our roads to our highways and hospitals and schools and then of course my favourite priority is getting taxes down.” he continued.

On Feb. 23, new architectural designs of the project will be unveiled. Phase one of the project is set to be complete in 2018.

INSTRUCTIONS TO JURORS WHO WILL DECIDE FORCILLO’S FATE

TORONTO – A Toronto judge urged jurors Monday to treat the credibility of a police officer accused of killing a teen on an empty streetcar just as they would anyone else’s.

In his instructions to the jury, Justice Edward Then said Const. James Forcillo doesn’t get “special marks” for telling a court why he gunned down 18-year-old Sammy Yatim two years ago.

“You assess his credibility in the same manner as you do with any other witnesses. What he says may be evidence for or against him,” Then said.

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  • Forcillo trial: Crown tells jurors officers who testified biased in favour of accused
  • Forcillo trial: Lawyer of accused tells jury Crown trying to ‘criminalize’ cop’s judgmentREAD MORE: ‘I never wanted to kill anybody’: Cop who fatally shot Sammy Yatim takes the standForcillo has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and attempted-murder in Yatim’s death.Crown prosecutors argue Forcillo’s actions weren’t necessary or reasonable but his lawyer contends the officer’s actions were justified and carried out in self-defence.The jury has heard that on a night in July 2013, Yatim had taken the drug ecstasy before boarding a streetcar where he pulled out a small knife, prompting panicked passengers to rush off the vehicle.READ MORE: Toronto cop who killed Sammy Yatim ‘a hothead and a bully’: CrownJurors have heard emotional testimony from a woman sitting near Yatim when he swiped his knife towards her. They’ve also heard from the streetcar driver who spoke calmly to Yatim before jumping off the vehicle when the teen grew aggressive at the sound of police sirens.Then noted that everything that happened before Forcillo and Yatim came face to face was “background” evidence for the jury to help them assess that Yatim was a “person in crisis.”“Officer Forcillo knew nothing of the events that had occurred,” he noted. “What is important is the conduct of Mr. Yatim towards officer Forcillo and Forcillo’s state of mind in reacting to that conduct.”Videos and audio played at the trial have shown that Forcillo arrived on the scene and yelled repeatedly at Yatim to drop the knife, but the teen refused and hurled expletives at police.Forcillo told the jury he believed Yatim was going to rush off the streetcar and launch an attack. After a 50-second confrontation, Forcillo fired nine bullets at Yatim in two separate volleys.While on the witness stand, Forcillo rejected alternative use-of-force tactics suggested by a Crown expert, such as using pepper spray, closing the streetcar doors on Yatim, or engaging in more verbal de-escalation efforts before firing his gun.Jurors were told to assess Forcillo’s testimony with care.“If you believe the evidence of the accused then you must acquit him,” Then said. “If you do not believe the evidence of the accused but are left in a state of reasonable doubt on the evidence of the accused, then you must also acquit him.”Even if the jury doesn’t believe Forcillo and isn’t in a state of reasonable doubt, jurors must still assess other evidence in the case to see if they are satisfied of Forcillo’s guilt, Then said.The jury also didn’t need to find a motive or reasons for Forcillo’s actions on the night Yatim died, Then said.“It is for you to decide whether officer Forcillo had a motive or any motive at all, and how much or how little you will rely on it.”

BANK OF MONTREAL LAUNCHES ‘ROBO-ADVISER’ SERVICE

TORONTO – The Bank of Montreal has launched an online porfolio manager, making it the first of the big five Canadian banks to wade into the “robo-adviser” business.

After a trial run that started on Dec. 7, the service – dubbed SmartFolio – is available to all investors starting today.

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While other large Canadian banks have hinted they’re considering a foray into online investment advice, BMO is the first of the “big five” to launch such a service, despite electing to build the product in-house rather than partnering with a financial technology firm as some of the other banks are expected to do.

The launch of SmartFolio responds to concerns that banks risk losing market share if young, tech-savvy millennials ditch traditional banking in favour of fintech startups that offer low-cost, online investment management services.

READ MORE: Banks eyeing low-cost robo-advisers to attract millennials

Joanna Rotenberg, head of personal wealth management at BMO, says the bank’s brand gives it an advantage over upstarts providing similar services.

“We’ve got the reliability associated with a 200-year-old banking institution, and at the same time we’ve got a lot of the things that some other players in the market are offering, which is simple and digital tools,” Rotenberg said.

“So we’re really bringing together the best of both worlds.”

Typically, clients without enough assets to warrant hiring a full-service investment adviser have had few options besides mutual funds. Robo-advisers such as WealthSimple, NestWealth and WealthBar aim to fill that gap in the marketplace by providing a cost-effective investment option for such clients.

Although anyone can use SmartFolio, BMO says it designed the service with millennials in mind given they prefer to do things online and may have limited investment knowledge.

“We felt it was an opportunity to really be able to tap into that segment that’s on the move and wants to be able to do whatever they want to do from wherever they are,” Rotenberg said.

In order to appeal to its target demographic, the bank says it used clear, jargon-free language and responsive website design that provides the same experience for users regardless of whether it’s accessed through a computer, a tablet or a smartphone.

Clients looking to sign up for the service start by filling out an online questionnaire that gathers information about their investment goals, their time horizon and their tolerance for risk.

READ MORE: Robo-advisors – Taking the emotion out of investing?

After answering a series of questions about their net worth, annual income and how much loss in their portfolio they can bear – including graphs that help illustrate volatility and the relationship between risk and reward – the client is enrolled in one of five model porfolios made up of BMO’s own exchange-traded funds, or ETFs.

Customer support is provided via live chat, email and telephone, so a visit to the branch is not required.

The minimum account size for SmartFolio is $5,000 and fees are charged as a percentage of assets under management, starting at 0.7 per cent for the first $100,000 and gradually moving lower for amounts above that.

For a $5,000 account, the annual fee comes out to $60, according to an online calculator featured on the SmartFolio site.

Although BMO is touting the service as low cost, its fees are somewhat higher than those offered by some of the upstarts.

For example, Wealth Simple and WealthBar both offer free accounts for those with less than $5,000 to invest. At WealthSimple, clients whose accounts are between $5,000 and $250,000 pay 0.5 per cent, while WealthBar charges 0.6 per cent of assets under management for accounts between $5,000 and $150,000.

READ MORE: Vancouver ‘robo-advisor’ gives financial advice without the cost and emotion

The fees charged by online portfolio managers typically don’t include the charges levied by ETF providers.

Although “robo-adviser” has caught on as a catchy phrase to describe online portfolio management, most providers of the service – including BMO – note that it’s a bit of a misnomer.

Clients may be able to access the service without a face-to-face meeting with another human being, but the portfolios are still managed by professional money managers.

“We’re very much human managed,” Rotenberg says. “You think of Hal from 2001 Space Odyssey, but really there is no Hal.”

SAME WEALTH AS HALF THE PLANET

DAVOS, Switzerland – The world’s political and business elite are being urged to do more than pay lip service to growing inequalities around the world as they head off for this week’s World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

Two reports published Monday, from Oxfam and public relations firm Edelman, warned that the widening gap between the haves and have-nots since the global financial crisis is undermining a decades-long effort to reduce global poverty and fueling the rise of populist politicians.

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  • Global income inequality holding back economic growth: OECD reportAccording to Oxfam, the scale of the problem is increasingly stark: just 62 people, it says, own the same wealth as half the planet.The compares with 388 people just five years ago, when the global economy was just emerging from its deepest recession since World War II.While the wealth of the poorest half of the world’s population – more than 3.6 billion people – has fallen by a trillion dollars, or 41 per cent, since 2010, Oxfam said in its report that the wealth of the super-elite has risen by around half a trillion dollars.Though acknowledging that dealing with inequalities has become a part of discussions in Davos, Oxfam said it’s time for leaders to do more than just acknowledge the problem, especially if they want to hit poverty-reduction targets.‘It is simply unacceptable that the poorest half of the world’s population owns no more than a few dozen super-rich people’“It is simply unacceptable that the poorest half of the world’s population owns no more than a few dozen super-rich people who could fit onto one bus,” said Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam International Executive Director, who will again attend Davos, having co-chaired last year’s event.Tax havens, she said, are at the core of the rigged system that allows big corporations and wealthy individuals to avoid paying their fair share of tax.“I challenge the governments, companies and elites at Davos to play their part in ending the era of tax havens, which is fuelling economic inequality and preventing hundreds of millions of people lifting themselves out of poverty,” said Byanyima. “Multinational companies and wealthy elites are playing by different rules to everyone else, refusing to pay the taxes that society needs to function.”Offshore havensOxfam reckons around $7.6 trillion of individuals’ wealth sits offshore, around 12 per cent of the total, and that around $190 billion could be made available for poverty-fighting initiatives if tax were paid on that wealth. Closing the loopholes, which Oxfam says are used by nine out of ten of the WEF’s sponsoring corporations, will help governments meet their goal of eliminating extreme poverty by 2030.Over the past few years, those voicing concerns over growing inequalities have increased. Even the International Monetary Fund has warned of the perils to growth stemming from this gap.According to Edelman, inequalities within society are already driving political change and that could put a break on economic potential.In its annual survey of trust levels around the world, it found the largest-ever gap between the views of highly educated people and those with fewer years of schooling, driven by a disparity in income.Edelman found general level of trust in institutions – government, business, media and non-governmental organizations – among college-educated people around the globe up 4 percentage points at 60 per cent, its highest level in the survey’s 16 year-history. For the wider public, Edelman’s trust gauge was up 2 percentage points at 48 per cent.It noted that the U.S. has the biggest disparity in trust within its population, followed by Britain and France. Edelman’s online survey of 33,000 plus respondents in 28 countries, was conducted between Oct. 13 and Nov. 16, 2015.“We are now observing the inequality of trust around the world,” said Richard Edelman, the president and CEO of Edelman. “This brings a number of potential consequences including the rise of populist politicians, the blocking of innovation and the onset of protectionism and nativism.”Around the world, there’s been a groundswell of support for what were previously considered fringe political leaders and parties. Edelman noted the rise of Donald Trump, who is in a seemingly strong position in the race to be the Republican Party’s candidate in the presidential election this fall, the politics of many countries are in flux.Spain has seen the anti-austerity Podemos party perform strongly in last month’s general election, while polls suggest that Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right Front National in France, could be contesting the presidential runoff next year.Edelman said that following the global financial crisis and global recession, most of the income gains have gone to the better-off, who have also benefited from low mortgage rates and rising house prices.For those lower down the income scale, Edelman said the years since have been marked by a growing sense of insecurity and anger. Bad behaviour by banks, politicians and even the likes of German car giant Volkswagen further eroded trust.“The trust of the mass population can no longer be taken for granted,” said Edelman