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Saturday 2 June 2012
Last Update 3 June 2012 3:22 am
Police find cavities in dentist's tax returns
ROME: The tax returns of an elite Italian dentist were less than pearly white and he may have pulled in eight million euros of undeclared income in five years, police said Friday. Italian police Col. Gavino Putzu said the unnamed dentist worked in an upscale part of Rome crammed with plastic surgeons and high-end doctors who typically earn at least three million euros ($3.75 million) a year. But when he filled in his tax returns, the dentist said he "only" earned 250,000 euros ($313,000) annually. Authorities drilled into the dentist's activities when they noted the number of exotic voyages the dentist was taking and investigators eventually raided his offices, where they allegedly found books detailing his undeclared income. Tax evasion is widespread in Italy and the European Union is calling on Rome to do more to combat the problem.
Tuesdays declared weekly 'pedestrian day' in Bhutan
NEW DELHI: The tiny Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, famed for its adoption of Gross National Happiness as a development goal, is to make every Tuesday a "pedestrian's day" with motorists banned from town centers. The first day of forcing car owners to walk, cycle or take public transport will be June 5 to coincide with World Environment Day, Bhutan's Kuensel newspaper reported on its website. "People will be compelled to start the day early and plan ahead to be in time for meetings and appointments because of the longer time it would take to get there," the newspaper said of the "wonderful plan." Bhutan, a sliver of land between India and China with a population of 700,000, invented the idea of "Gross National Happiness" as a measurement of a country's development instead of Gross Domestic Product used elsewhere. The model seeks to include the mental well-being of citizens as well as their wealth, with a greater emphasis on preserving the natural environment and protecting the ancient local Buddhist culture from outside influence.
Big sugary drink to be banned in New York
NEW YORK: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said he plans to outlaw super-sized sugary drinks, in a ban cementing his reputation as one of America’s hardest-driving policy makers on public health. Bloomberg, who already has gone to war on smokers and transfat, will allow the sale of cups up to 16 ounces. That’s half the size of the biggest, bucket-like container that patrons commonly guzzle from in cinemas, sports arenas and other outlets. “Obesity is becoming the biggest public health issue in the country. Everybody is wringing their hands about it. We’re trying to do something about it,” Bloomberg said in an address by remote link to a California conference. The New York Times first reported the ban, which could be put in place by next March. The measure would target fast-food and other restaurants, delis, and places of public entertainment. It would not cover drinks sold in grocery stores, or any diet, fruit, dairy or alcoholic drinks. “In restaurants and movie theaters... it’s become fashionable to sell 32 ounce cups and there’s probably more sugar in that than you would use in a normal month on drinking tea or coffee with sugar,” Bloomberg told the All Things Digital conference in Rancho Palos Verdes. “We’re not taking your right to take away soda in supermarkets. You can still buy a 32-ounce full sugar drink, or bottle, but in restaurants they can’t serve more than 16 ounces in any one cup,” he added. “You’re free to say I want two 16 ounce cups, but all the studies show that if the portion put before you is bigger, you will eat dramatically more than if the portion is smaller. So we’re trying to encourage people to live longer.
Sheep rain down on cars in Australia
MELBOURNE: Sheep plunged onto cars on a busy Australian highway after a truck carrying 400 livestock crashed while crossing an overpass, spilling its cargo into the path of terrified motorists below. The dramatic accident late Thursday near Melbourne saw dead and injured sheep fall onto at least two moving cars and into the paths of others. Police said one of the vehicles rolled numerous times but the occupants were not injured. "The truck is hanging over the overpass just above the Princes Freeway," police said in a statement. "A number of sheep have fallen to the road below, hitting two vehicles." Motorists described chaotic scenes. "There was nothing we could do. They were, like, literally on top of us," one woman whose car was hit told the Melbourne Age newspaper. "We just ran straight into them. We all screamed. I slammed on the brakes and we are so lucky. My car is an absolute write-off but the sheep, I feel so bad for them. It's horrific, it really is." Television footage showed the truck hanging precariously off the overpass with dead sheep in the wreck and littering the road below. Police said the crashed truck had rolled over on a bend and there did not appear to be any other vehicles involved in causing the accident.
— Compiled from agencies
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