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from Breakingviews:

REITs and MLPs make tax inversions a diversion

By Christopher Swann

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

A couple of U.S. home-grown tax breaks are making M&A inversions look like a diversion. American authorities are letting Windstream designate its telecom cables as real estate, qualifying them for tax breaks. And a partnership will shield assets of energy firm Hess from the Internal Revenue Service. Politicians, though, are indignant over firms that move overseas – even when home-grown tax loopholes are costlier.

Windstream set off a mini-boom in telecom industry stocks on Tuesday after the company revealed it had secured permission from the Internal Revenue Service to organize some of its assets into a real estate investment trust. These companies avoid paying corporate tax as long as they distribute at least 90 percent of their earnings as dividends. The S&P Telecom Select Index added 3 percent as investors wagered others might follow suit. Windstream’s own shares jumped as much as 26 percent at one point.

REITs are big business already, but the IRS seems to be widening its definition of what constitutes real estate. And the telecoms industry is not the only one benefiting. The energy sector has been making a lot more use of the master limited partnership structure of late, with Hess the latest to do so on Wednesday. MLPs are exempt from federal income tax. There are now 117 of them worth $570 billion, double their total value three years ago. A record 19 went public last year.

from Reuters FYI:

School lunch, buried treasure and USB hackers

Gold Pyx from late 1600's seen in an undated handout photo

A high karat gold Pyx which was believed to have been hand crafted in the late 1600's - early 1700's for transporting a Eucharist (communion wafer).

Sometimes there is buried treasure

A Florida family scavenging a shipwreck finds a missing piece of a 300 year-old gold filigree necklace that was sacred to Spanish priests.

from FaithWorld:

In change of heart, Nepal allows cremation of Tibetan monk

(Buddhist monks take part in the funeral of Shamar Rinpoche in a monastery in Kathmandu July 31, 2014. Nepal has allowed a monk prominent in Tibetan Buddhism to be cremated in a monastery in Kathmandu, a minister said on Tuesday, disregarding fears of possible anti-China protests by his followers during the funeral. The government had previously barred the followers of Shamar Rinpoche from bringing his body back to Nepal - where he ran a monastery - for the final rites, a decision that local media had blamed on pressure from China. Rinpoche, also known as the Shamarpa, died of a heart attack in Germany aged 62 on June 11. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar )

(Buddhist monks take part in the funeral of Shamar Rinpoche in a monastery in Kathmandu July 31, 2014. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar )

Nepal allowed a monk prominent in Tibetan Buddhism to be cremated in a monastery in Kathmandu on Thursday, disregarding fears of possible anti-China protests by his followers during the funeral.

from Breakingviews:

Shock loss at BES makes bail-in a real risk

By George Hay

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

A solution to the Banco Espirito Santo debacle looks increasingly likely to involve creditors. The troubled Portuguese lender revealed a much bigger-than-expected 3.6 billion euro loss on July 30 and warned of possible past law-breaking. If the kitchen-sinking was intended to help fill BES’s capital deficit with private investment, it may not work.

from Global Markets Forum Dashboard:

Everyone hates the euro

The euro has taken a lot of flak this week in the GMF. From its billing as most unloved currency in the G10 space for a number of our analysts and traders, to the bane of the big European corporates, many of which this week have complained of a hit to their balance sheets from the currency’s relative outperformance earlier in the year.

Big Paris-listed names such as automaker Renault, construction rivals St Gobain and Lafarge, as well as German luxury carmaker Daimler have all pointed to the headwinds created by the euro’s strength against the dollar, as well as against a lot of key emerging currencies such as the Chinese yuan, the rouble or the Brazilian real.

from MacroScope:

Another month, another downside surprise on euro zone inflation

sale signsNobody except a born pessimist ever expects a bad situation to get incrementally worse.

But the relentless downward trajectory of inflation in the euro zone has got plenty of economists sounding unconvinced that the situation will turn around any time soon.

from FaithWorld:

Anti-Semitic incidents rise in Britain as Gaza conflict rages

(Demonstrators carry Palestinian flags as they protest outside the Houses of Parliament in central London July 26, 2014. Foreign ministers from the United States, Europe and the Middle East called on Saturday for an extension of the 12-hour ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor)

(Demonstrators carry Palestinian flags as they protest outside the Houses of Parliament in central London July 26, 2014. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor)

Anti-Semitic incidents in Britain have risen to a near record level since the start of an Israeli assault on the Palestinian enclave of Gaza this month, a Jewish advisory body said on Thursday.

from FaithWorld:

American opinion of Arabs and Muslims is getting worse: poll

(People pray at at the Imam al-Khoei Foundation in New York, January 3, 2012. New York police are investigating as bias crimes four Molotov cocktail attacks on Sunday night including one against a mosque with 75 people inside and another against a Hindu place of worship. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz )

(People pray at at the Imam al-Khoei Foundation in New York, January 3, 2012. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz )

How Americans view Arabs and Muslims has gotten worse in recent years, with negative feelings strongest among Republicans and senior citizens, according to a new poll.

from FaithWorld:

Nigeria opens its long-awaited battle of ideas against Boko Haram

(A teacher at Maska Road Islamic School teaches Hadith excerpts in a classroom in Kaduna, July 16, 2014. In classrooms facing a sandy courtyard in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna, Maska Road Islamic School teaches a creed that condemns the violent ideology of groups like Boko Haram. The school is steadfast in preaching tolerance to its pupils, and the government is about to adopt this message in a new strategy for containing Boko Haram, which has killed thousands in a five-year campaign for an Islamic state. Picture taken July 16, 2014. To match Insight NIGERIA-BOKO HARAM/ REUTERS/Joe Penney)

(A teacher at Maska Road Islamic School teaches Hadith excerpts in a classroom in Kaduna, July 16, 2014. REUTERS/Joe Penney)

In classrooms facing a sandy courtyard in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna, Maska Road Islamic School teaches a creed that condemns the violent ideology of groups like Boko Haram.

from The Great Debate UK:

The ‘Right to be Forgotten’: Something to remember

--Steve Girdler is managing director for EMEA at HireRight, a global provider of candidate due diligence services. The opinions expressed are his own--

The EU’s court ruling in May granted people the ‘Right to be Forgotten’ from Google searches, and while the issue is tied up in controversy for the time being, what it does do is convey the message that people should have the opportunity to move on from their past.

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