Tag Archives: charges

Over 60s may face prescription charges – warning as fines could be issued for non-payment

Over 60s may face prescription charges - warning as fines could be issued for non-payment

FREE NHS PRESCRIPTIONS for those aged 60 to 65 could be scrapped, with this age category forced to pay £9.35 per item instead. However, there is already a system in place to ensure people do not dodge payments – and it could prove costly for those who do not want to pay.Over 60s may face prescription charges - warning as fines could be issued for non-payment

Read more here Daily Express :: Finance Feed

Expat fury as ‘increasing’ roaming phone charges risks expats being ‘disconnected’

Expat fury as 'increasing' roaming phone charges risks expats being 'disconnected'

ROAMING mobile charges in Europe were scrapped when the UK was part of the EU. However, most phone operators are reintroducing roaming charges as well as increasing phone bills. A British expat has told Express.co.uk how this post-Brexit change is massively affecting their life abroad.Expat fury as 'increasing' roaming phone charges risks expats being 'disconnected'

Read more here Daily Express :: Travel News Feed

Easter bombings: Sri Lanka probes charges against spy agencies

Easter bombings: Sri Lanka probes charges against spy agencies

President orders investigation into allegations that some intelligence officials knew and met with people who carried out 2019 bombings.

Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has ordered an investigation into allegations that some members of state intelligence agencies knew and met with people who carried out Easter Sunday bombings in 2019 that killed more than 260 people, a government official said.

The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka wrote to the president on Tuesday raising concerns about the government’s handling of the suicide bombings and asking it to investigate alleged links between intelligence personnel and the group that carried out the attacks.

Two local Muslim groups that had allegedly declared allegiance to the ISIL (ISIS) group carried out six coordinated attacks on churches and leading tourist hotels, killing 269 people.

Another man did not carry out a planned attack at a fourth tourist hotel but killed himself later by exploding the bomb at a different location.

The letter from the National Catholic Committee for Justice to Easter Sunday Attack Victims, a group of bishops and priests led by Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, called on the president to take legal action against former President Maithripala Sirisena for negligence as recommended by a presidential inquiry commission report.

Sirisena’s government came under heavy criticism for not acting on near-specific foreign intelligence warnings that an attack was imminent.

Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella on Wednesday said all of the findings of the commission have been handed over to proper authorities.

“There are so many things flowing in and the best thing the president can do is to refer them to relevant authorities,” Rambukwella said.

“The president has referred all of them to relevant authorities for further action.”

The church group also said former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe should be investigated because the report concluded that his soft approach to “Islamic extremism” had led to the attacks.

The letter also said authorities have not taken legal action against 11 police officers, two officials from the Attorney General’s Department and two Muslim politicians named by the commission.

Several legislators have spoken in parliament, citing witnesses who appeared before the commission as saying that members of state intelligence agencies met with the man who withdrew from the initial attack before committing suicide.

The letter from church officials cited speeches in parliament as saying that intelligence personnel allegedly had a suspect in police custody released.

The presidential commission report has not been released to the public. A single volume was given to legislators and the entire report was provided to the Attorney General’s Department for prosecution.

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This post originally posted here Al Jazeera – Breaking News, World News and Video from Al Jazeera

UEFA charges FA over England fan chaos at Euro 2020 final

UEFA charges FA over England fan chaos at Euro 2020 final

“Separately, and in accordance with Article 31(4) DR, a UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector has been appointed to conduct a disciplinary investigation into events involving supporters which occurred inside and around the stadium.

“Information on this matter will be made available in due course.”

The Metropolitan Police Federation said: “These people should be ashamed of themselves.

“They are not fans. They are thugs. We wish our injured colleagues well.”

Football Association chief executive, Mark Bullingham, telling BBC Radio Four’s Today programme: “We will do a full review and we will work with the police to catch anyone involved and make sure we can prevent it ever happening again.

“Anyone caught will obviously be banned and have the right action taken against them.”

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Sport

Trump still under investigation in New York — but he’s confident charges will only make him more popular

Trump still under investigation in New YorkFormer president Donald Trump remains under investigation by prosecutors in New York after his family business and longtime accountant were indicted on tax-related crimes, but he’s reportedly confident that criminal charges would only make him more popular.

Two witnesses who testified before the Manhattan grand jury confirmed the ex-president is still being investigated, reported The Daily Beast, although longtime advisers have reassured Trump that his Republican base will remain loyal if he chooses to run again in 2024.

“The numbers don’t change — rock solid,” said Trump pollster John McLaughlin, who says his own polling data shows criminal charges would not dent that support. “Attacks on President Trump galvanize his base.”

Trump claimed at a Sarasota, Florida, rally over the weekend that he was ignorant of the tax laws his chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg is accused of breaking, but legal experts say his past claims to being the “king of tax law” could prove “devastating” to his defense.

“Those prior inconsistent statements will undermine his claim of lack of knowledge on cross-examination,” said Carl Bornstein, a former New York prosecutor who now teaches at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Despite his alleged confidence in weathering a criminal case politically, the former president has privately lamented the continuing investigations into Trump Organization would add to his growing stack of legal bills, sources told The Daily Beast.

Author: Travis Gettys
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Trump Was Not Indicted. But the Charges Still Threaten Him.

The criminal case against the former president’s business could deliver a blow to his finances, and he remains the focus of a broader investigation in New York.

After all the suspicion and anticipation, it was not a conspiracy involving Russia, widespread money laundering or a sweeping allegation of racketeering and corruption.

Instead, it was an investigation that uncovered the alleged abuse of run-of-the-mill perks — like car leases, apartments and school tuition — that transformed Donald J. Trump’s family business from real estate branding empire to criminal defendant.

On Thursday, prosecutors from the Manhattan district attorney’s office announced charges against the Trump Organization and its chief financial executive, Allen H. Weisselberg, alleging a scheme lasting over a decade in which Mr. Weisselberg failed to pay taxes on close to $ 2 million worth of perks and bonuses as the company benefited from helping him do so.

While there is no indication that Mr. Trump himself will face criminal charges anytime soon, the district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., has said that “the work continues,” and the former president will remain the focus of the investigation as prosecutors exert pressure on Mr. Weisselberg to cooperate. Mr. Trump has escaped numerous law enforcement inquiries over the better part of three decades, and he could well do so again. Even so, the case brought by Mr. Vance on Thursday has already struck at the heart of Mr. Trump’s public image — the business of the businessman — in a way no other investigation has done.

The fallout could be significant. An indictment against a company — let alone a conviction — can jeopardize relationships with banks and business partners. The former president is facing down hundreds of millions of dollars in loans that need to be repaid, and the legal threat to his business could deal a blow to his finances.

And the charges could play into Mr. Trump’s decisions about his political future. In the past, his grievances have served as both personal motivation and political tool, and as he fought Mr. Vance’s subpoenas for his tax returns all the way to the United States Supreme Court, he added the investigation to the laundry list of legal troubles he recited for supporters. Indeed, some Republicans close to the former president believe he will now be better insulated from those he calls “New York radical-left prosecutors” if he campaigns for president in 2024, and aides said that anger over the indictment could well motivate him to run.

But several allies and advisers believe he would not risk losing another general election. On Wednesday, shortly after the indictments were filed, Mr. Trump said at a Fox News town hall that he had made a final decision on whether to run. He did not say what the decision was.

Former President Donald J. Trump has denounced the investigation to his supporters.
Doug Mills/The New York Times

Mr. Trump said in a brief interview on Thursday afternoon that the indictment was “a terrible thing for our country, and people are very angry about it.”

“Allen Weisselberg’s a very good man, and he’s been treated horribly,” he said, characterizing the indictment as political persecution.

Mr. Trump did not respond directly to a question about whether the organization had systematically avoided its tax burdens, as it stood accused of doing, but called the case “ridiculous.”

His reluctance to discuss the allegations in depth stood in contrast to his gloating after a real estate rival, Leona Helmsley, was charged with tax crimes in 1989, prompting Mr. Trump to call her a “disgrace to humanity.”

While the charges unveiled on Thursday represent a climax of sorts, they may also mark another step in the district attorney’s broader, continuing investigation into the former president, in which he has been joined by the New York State attorney general, Letitia James. The inquiry is focused on whether Mr. Trump effectively kept two separate sets of books: one for his bankers, in which he overstated the value of his properties, and another for the tax authorities, in which he understated them.

Mr. Weisselberg, who is approaching his fifth decade working for the Trump family and would know those books better than almost anyone, has been under intense pressure for months as prosecutors use every tool at their disposal to turn him into a cooperating witness. But the executive, whom a former co-worker described as a “disciple” for his devotion to Mr. Trump, will now have to weigh that loyalty against the prospect of spending time in prison.

Tax experts have said it is unusual to bring a criminal case solely on the failure to pay taxes on such perks, known as fringe benefits. However, those familiar with the methods of Mark F. Pomerantz, the experienced prosecutor Mr. Vance tapped to help lead the investigation, say that Thursday’s indictment could represent the starting point of a broader case.

“It certainly could serve as a building block. In any case involving an organization, you’re going to indict people and try to flip them,” said Robert S. Litt, a former federal prosecutor and Justice Department official who has been friends with Mr. Pomerantz for decades. “They’ve more or less thrown the book at Weisselberg, and if the proof is strong enough and his concern about going to jail strong enough, he may decide to save himself at the expense of others.”

Mr. Vance’s lawyers had to wait their turn. Though their investigation opened in summer 2018, they were asked by federal authorities looking into related issues to stand down. The following year, the Manhattan prosecutors’ efforts were stalled once more when Mr. Trump sued to block a subpoena for his financial records, setting off a 17-month legal battle that went to the Supreme Court twice. And of course, there was a pandemic disrupting foundational work Mr. Vance’s office could have done while waiting for the court to make its decision.

The prosecutors shifted emphasis over time, from the hush money payments made to the pornographic film star who said she had had an affair with Mr. Trump, to the potential tax and bank-related fraud that court documents suggested had intrigued them as they dug into whether the company manipulated the valuation of its properties.

But in February, the Supreme Court ruled against Mr. Trump for the second and final time. And once Mr. Vance had Mr. Trump’s tax returns in hand, there was a fundamental logic to his office’s work. His prosecutors had been focused on possible financial crimes that would require that they prove intent.

Mr. Trump, famously, does not use email or texts, or keep written records that could reveal his intent to a jury. So the prosecutors directed their attention to the executive who knows more about the Trump Organization’s business dealings than anyone else and whose knowledge could become evidence were he to become a witness: Mr. Weisselberg.

“This is a very standard approach when you’re dealing with any kind of organization, whether it’s the mafia or whether it’s a corporation,” Mr. Litt said. “You work your way up the ladder and see how high you can get.”

David Enrich contributed reporting.

Author: Jonah E. Bromwich, William K. Rashbaum, Ben Protess and Maggie Haberman
This post originally appeared on NYT > Top Stories

You can still avoid EE's costly new EU roaming charges, here's how

You can still avoid EE's costly new EU roaming charges, here's how

EE will resurrect EU roaming charges from January next year. For those who had forgotten, these dreaded charges kicked-in whenever you visited a foreign country and used your mobile data to send WhatsApp messages, make video calls, check Google Maps, post to Facebook, and more. To avoid the extra charges, many would immediately disable mobile data as soon as their plane landed – jumping between the free Wi-Fi networks to periodically check-in.

Roaming charges when travelling between European countries was abolished by the European Commission in 2017. Unfortunately, the ability to use your call, text message and mobile data allowance for free when travelling around Europe was missing from Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal. And so, mobile networks are now able to reintroduce the dreaded extra costs. And that’s exactly what EE has done.

EE confirmed this week that, starting from January 2022, some customers will be forced to pay £2 a day to be able to use their 4G or 5G data, calls and texts when in Europe. That means a fortnight stay in Spain could cost an extra £28 for every member of your party. Yikes.

Thankfully, there is a bit of a workaround to avoid the costs.

EE’s resurrected EU roaming costs will only hit those who join EE after July 7, 2021. If you’re an existing customer and sign-up to a new contract or SIM-only deal after that deadline, you’re seen as a new customer – so you’ll also have to deal with extra cost.

So, if you’re already with the company and stick with your current plan – you can head away without fear of being charged a penny extra. But as soon as you decide to upgrade to a new smartphone, sign-up to a new SIM-only deal to get better terms …you’re going to have the EU roaming charges again.

If you’re already at the end of your contract and want to take advantage of some of the great SIM-only deals from EE at the moment, or maybe upgrade to a newer smartphone, you’d better act fast. Getting everything signed, sealed and delivered before July 7, 2021 means you can get the best of both worlds – a new contract with better perks or a shiny new smartphone, while still keeping that sweet, sweet free EU roaming.

It’s worth nothing that EE hasn’t made clear whether customers on existing contracts will be able to benefit from free roaming indefinitely. However, if you have a trip penciled in for early 2022 and don’t want to pay extra for data, existing customers will definitely benefit from free EU roaming when the scheme first kicks-in.

Of course, it’s also possible to avoid EE’s EU roaming costs by switching networks too.

Three, O2, and Vodafone all offer customers a free allowance when travelling. If you reach this cap, there can be extra charges. However, these allowances are pretty generous – the lowest is 12GB – so it’s perfectly possible to spend a week abroad streaming music, checking Google Maps, sending texts in WhatsApp or iMessage, and not getting anywhere close to the limit.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Use O2? Why you don't need to worry about controversial EU data roaming charges after all

Use O2? Why you don't need to worry about controversial EU data roaming charges after all

O2 made the controversial announcement that it will be bringing back roaming charges for all customers who head to Europe this summer. The changes come into effect from August, so anyone lucky enough to get on a plane and head to a beach this August will be affected by the decision.

Unsurprisingly, the decision to resurrect EU roaming charges now that post-Brexit rules allow networks to do so has clearly not pleased those who subscribe to O2. Twitter is full of users venting their anger at the decision, with one branding it “ridiculous”. However, the update to the terms and conditions are not as bad as many might suspect.

O2 says that customers will only see money being added to their bill if they exceed an allowance of 25GB. Once that limit is eaten up, a charge of £3.50 per extra 1GB will then be added to bills.

Unless you spend hours streaming content, 25GB is quite a lot of data and it’s likely that most customers won’t get anywhere near that when abroad meaning they won’t be charged.

READ MORE: Vodafone ditches useful free perk and customers are not happy about it

As O2 explained in a statement to TechRadar Pro: “Less than 1% of our Pay Monthly customers reach anywhere near 25GB during occasional travel to Europe. If a customer’s UK monthly data allowance is over 25GB, from August 2 they will have a Roaming Limit of 25GB in our Europe Zone.

“This means they can use up to 25GB of their allowance at no extra cost – we’ll text them if they get close to the limit, and again if they reach it. A customer can still use data if they reach our Roaming Limit, but will be charged £3.50/GB.”

For reference, streaming an hour of Netflix or 10 hours of music on Spotify uses around 1GB of data. Most people download content before they travel or use hotel Wi-Fi to stay connected so chewing through so much mobile data could be rare.

Of course, charges are never welcome and some consumers who consume lots of data are going to be hit by much, much bigger bills. But, if you compare O2’s new rules with what EE has just announced things really don’t look that bad at all.

Anyone joining EE or signing up for a new deal after July 7 will be hit by a £2 per day charge if they want to use their UK allowance in Europe.

That means a two week holiday in Spain could end up costing each family member £28. Ouch!

Speaking about the changes an EE spokesperson said, “From January next year, EE will introduce a new flat fee of £2 a day for customers wishing to roam across 47 European destinations (with the exception of ROI which is included in domestic plans), allowing them to use their plan’s full data, minutes and texts allowance. This will apply only to new and upgrading customers signing up to EE from the 7th July 2021 and will support investment into our UK based customer service and leading UK network.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed