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tv   BBC News at Ten  BBC News  November 6, 2017 10:00pm-10:31pm GMT

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tonight at 10: the latest revelations from leaked tax documents known as the paradise papers. the technology giant apple has been managing billions of pounds offshore injersey to avoid tax, but what they've been doing is not illegal. the formula one champion lewis hamilton avoided vat on a luxuryjet he'd bought, by registering it in the isle of man. and three of the stars of the bbc show, mrs brown's boys, had their wages paid offshore. is it a tax dodge, are you a tax dodger? i don't even know who you are. i'm from panorama. you're from mrs brown's boys and you're a tax dodger. that's not very funny at all, is it? we'll be looking in more detail at the latest series of revelations from the paradise papers. also tonight... after the mass shooting in texas, the president says it's not a matter of guns but a matter of the gunman‘s mental health. the cabinet minister priti patel apologises after holding undisclosed meetings with the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu while on holiday. following the violent death of an 18—month—old girl in cardiff,
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her adoptive father is convicted of murder. and — a century after the russian revolution, we take look at the legacy shaped by soviet leaders. and coming up on sportsday on bbc news: slaven bilic runs out of time, as he is sacked as west ham's manager. david moyes is set to replace him. good evening. we start tonight with new revelations from millions of leaked documents known as the paradise papers, which show how some corporations and individuals try to avoid paying taxes. the technology giant apple has been managing most of its untaxed cash reserve offshore on the channel island ofjersey. it moved the money tojersey,
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after a tax loophole in ireland was closed. although the company has done nothing illegal, its tax arrangements have been criticised by eu and us officials. the paradise papers were obtained by the german newspaper sud—deutsche zeitung, and shared with the international consortium of investigativejournalists, which includes the bbc‘s panorama, as our business editor simonjack reports. a rapturous reception for the latest iphone. it's the most popular and profitable consumer product of all time. it's generated hundreds of millions in profits for apple since it was introduced ten years ago. what these papers show is just how determined apple has been to keep the tax on those profits as low as possible. and how keen some governments, lawyers, and advisers have been to help them do it. for many years, apple sent profits made outside the americas to ireland where an elaborate corporate
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structure meant it paid nearly no tax on the billions it was making. taxes that would have been due to the united states where politicians started applying pressure to a defiant apple ceo tim cook. we pay all the taxes we owe, every single dollar. we not only comply with the laws but we comply with the spirit of the laws. we don't depend on depend on tax gimmicks. so, no more fiendishly complicated tax arrangements, right? wrong. documents obtained from the law form appleby based in bermuda show that when ireland shut that scheme down, the company went shopping for a new way to keep their tax bills low. a questionnaire was sent to appleby‘s offices in seven tax havens, all british, including questions that made their intention clear. can you confirm that an irish company, meaning
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an apple subsidiary, can conduct management activities without being subject to taxation in yourjurisdiction? after this offshore beauty parade, apple plumped forjersey and company accounts published since, show there's been no discernible increase in the rate of tax paid worldwide. now, let's be clear, apple has done nothing illegal but hundreds of billions of dollars remain entangled in a web of low tax jurisdictions, seemingly beyond the reach of any government. the tax equivalent of outer space. and, as these documents show, this is a system that has continually eluded international attempts to reform it. the boss of the international organisation trying to fix this problem admits it's a work in progress. changing the rules that make it legal means that very of these companies today pay very little or no tax at all. this is what it's about. this is what is happening and this is what we're working on.
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apple actually pays a lot of tax, more than any other company in the world, but not as much as many think it should. it's also not alone. other multinationals use similar structures and us companies alone are estimated to have over $2 trillion stashed offshore. the paradise papers show the lengths to which they and their advisers are prepared to go to keep their tax bills low. simon jack, bbc news. as we've heard, the documents come from a law firm based in bermuda called appleby, which says that hackers obtained access to its files. the paradise papers reveal, among other things, that the formula one champion, lewis hamilton, avoided vat on a luxuryjet that he bought by registering it in the isle of man. and three of the stars in the popular bbc show mrs brown's boys had their wages paid offshore. panorama's richard bilton has been looking through the documents, and has this report. when you hear "tax haven" you might think palm trees. they're and not all like that.
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we have arrived in a little place in between belfast and liverpool, this is the isle of man, it is a british crown dependency and it's an important tax haven. we have found that the island offers a special service that the rich and famous love. hamilton is world champion... take formula one world champion lewis hamilton. in 2013 he made a dream purchase, a £60 millionjet. the isle of man gave him back 3.3 million as a vat refund. lewis hamilton had to fly his jet here to the isle of man just once. he came here in 2012 with his then girlfriend, pop star nicole scherzinger. documents show that customs and excise and there were happy to come in early at 6am in the morning to sign off on the vat deal. there are nearly 1000 jets registered here.
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we believe they come here because the isle of man don't properly apply the european union and uk rules. now, those rules are very complicated. but if you use your plane for fun, you can't get vat refunds. i can't believe i have my own plane still after all these years. look at this post, lewis hamilton is open about using it for fun. he shouldn't have got a full refund. if they are using it for private purposes, the fact that all this money is being refunded is quite shocking. you should not be getting vat back if it is private usage. lewis hamilton's lawyers told us he had a set of professionals in place who run most aspects of his business operations. they said isle of man customs gave informed approval to the scheme. in total, the isle of man has handed out more than £790 million in vat refunds to jet leasing companies. isle of man customs has admitted it
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has given refunds for personal use ofjets as long as it's mainly used for business. that shouldn't happen. as a result of our investigation, they have called in the british government to review its procedures. the paradise papers show there are other secrets on this island. we have found evidence that shows just how far the isle of man government has been prepared to go to help tax dodgers. the european savings directive was an attempt to stop tax evasion across europe. we have found evidence that the isle of man changed one of their laws to help people dodge the new tax. now, you might think getting approvalfor something that could help tax evaders would prove difficult, not on the isle of man. we have letters from lawyers to the island's regulator. "if you believe it would be helpful
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for us to provide you with ideas as to how to amend the regulations, please let simon and myself know". in switzerland, i tracked down the man who drew up that scheme to help tax dodgers. i want to show you something. the one that needed the isle of man to change the law. it's actually changing the laws, the isle of man changing their own laws so this scheme to help tax evaders can work, isn't it? i would agree with you, yes. blimey, that is amazing to me, that's amazing. the isle of man's top politician, the chief minister, promised to investigate allegations and apologised if the law was changed for tax dodgers. but what about the regulator himself? did you change the law to help tax dodgers? he is retired now, i tracked him down. no, sir, i think you should help is with this, it was the european savings directive and you changed the law. i have nothing to say. what would you say to our viewers who pay their tax? you should contact the financial services authority.
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but the paradise papers have more than faceless financial deals. hello, love, do you want a cup of tea? we think three actors in mrs brown's boys are involved in a tax dodge. i could do with some money to get as a place. patrick hoolahan who plays mrs brown's son dermot. could have stayed in bed a bit longer? fiona delaney, the real—life daughter of mrs brown star brendan o'carroll. good morning, trevor. and her husband, martin delaney. the dodge involves their wages, orfees, going from the production company to a uk company, then offshore to a company each has in mauritius. those companies then loan money to the actors‘ personal account — tax—free. take fiona delaney. in 16 months, her mauritian company lent
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her over £360,000. none of the actors answered our questions. i caught up with fiona delaney. it is richard bilton from panorama, can i grab a quick word? as she arrived for filming in glasgow. you get paid in mauritius, don't you? what is that all about? and do you pay the loans back? i don't think you pay them back, are you a tax dodger? i don't know who you are. i am from panorama, you are from mrs brown's boys and you are a tax dodger, that's not very funny, is it? more names from the paradise papers, more revelations still to come. richard bilton, bbc news. the labour party has renewed its demand for a public inquiry into tax avoidance, which is legal, and tax evasion — which is not. the prime minister theresa may said in response to the revelations that people should pay the tax that is due. our political correspondent vicki young has the reaction from westminster. once again, the secrets held in offshore tax havens are raising
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questions closer to home. have governments done enough to make sure everyone pays their share of tax? and wealthy individuals, including the queen, have been dragged into the affair. there is no suggestion she's avoided tax, but today the labour leader was asked whether the queen should apologise for her private estate using offshore trusts. anyone that is putting money into tax havens in order to avoid taxation in britain, and obviously investigations have to take place, should do two things, not just apologise for it, but also recognise what it does to our society. who loses? schools, hospitals, housing, all those public services lose. later, a spokesman for mr corbyn insisted he wasn't calling for the queen to apologise. the prime minister insists she's continuing the work of her predecessor, david cameron. so we have seen more revenues coming to hmrc over the last few years,
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since 2010 £160 billion extra that they have been able to raise, but we do work, there's already work that's been done to ensure we see greater transparency in our dependencies and british overseas territories. order. urgent question... the leaks prompted an emergency debate in the commons, where labour called for a full inquiry and public lists of company ownership. why will the government not insist that our overseas territories, that our tax havens have to have public registers of beneficial ownership? why will they not do that now? ministers insist that this information is available to the tax authorities, and today hm revenue and customs told mps they'd investigate the paradise papers, promising to chase down those who try to hide money offshore and evade tax. every extra pound that's paid in tax is, of course,
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good news for the treasury, as they wrestle with the country's debt and increasing claims for more funding for public services. but ministers know this is a question of fairness, too. that the idea of one rule for the rich and one for everyone else is extremely divisive. vicki young, bbc news, westminster. the paradise papers also include revelations that president trump's commerce secretary wilbur ross has business links to russian figures, who are currently under us sanctions. mr ross has told the bbc that there was nothing improper about his investments. he also said he was optimistic about a free trade deal between the uk and the us after brexit. mr ross was speaking to our economics editor kamal ahmed. he has friends in high places, the highest in fact. the president of the united states considers wilbur ross one of his closest allies. today, in london, and defending allegations that his links with russia were uncomfortably close, i asked him whether a connection to the russian oil firm
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sibur created a conflict. our government has not, thus far, made the determination to sanctions, so there's nothing wrong with it. the fact that it happens to be called a russian company does not mean that there's any evil in it. where there is evil, is the misstatement that i did not disclose those holdings. mr ross said he had fully notified the office of government ethics about his business interests. i asked whether it was time for all major companies to pay more tax. the right way to deal with it, i think, is to provide incentives that make the us the attractive place to domicile. the president's idea is buy america, hire america, the american. hire america, be american. and therefore pay more tax in america?
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yes. if we could move on to europe, what type of relationship would be most advantageous to the uk, in terms of its relationship with the us, post—brexit? well, the uk right now inadvertently has much higher taxes on imports from the us than the us has on imports from the uk. that's because the uk is bound by the eu system. so we would like to see those barriers come down, come closer to free trade. the eu talks a good job of free trade, but in fact it practices extreme protectionism. i interviewed mr ross here at the american embassy. he certainly wants to put any controversy about the paradise papers behind him and is actually here in london to sell a positive vision of a post—brexit britain, with a free trade deal with america. he told me he was confident that such a deal could be signed. kamal ahmed, bbc news.
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you can find much more analysis and all the background to the paradise papers online at the usual address — the links are there to the various parts of the paradise papers as well. flags are flying at half mast across the united states, after a gunman killed 26 people at a church in texas yesterday. the killer was laterfound dead. he's been identified as devin kelley, who had been discharged from the us air force three years ago for domestic abuse. from sutherland springs, james cook reports. yet again, it is a time for mourning in america. the masked gunman wasn't inside the church for a long time, say the police, moving round freely, firing with a powerful assault rifle.
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once he started firing rounds on the outside, what could the people inside do? there was nowhere they could go. are there too many guns in the united states? there are a lot of guns, but the guns don't kill people, it's the people that kill people. as the killer left the church, another citizen with a gun opened fire and then jumped in johnny langendorf's truck. once the gunfire was over, the gentleman who lives here came to my truck, opened the door, and he said that the guy hads just shot up the church, and he said, "chase him", and i said "ok, let's go". and people are saying you're a hero. no. i'm just a guy who wanted to the right thing. ijust wanted to do the right thing. annabel's been wanting to ride with me and go with me here and there and... just last week, the pastor here was speaking of his beloved 14—year—old daughter. now annabel pomeroy is dead, murdered in the church she called home. belle was surrounded yesterday by her church family, that she loved fiercely. and vice versa.
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our sweet belle would not have been able to deal with losing so much family yesterday. every corner of this community is in pain. the youngest victim was just 18 months old, and one family alone has lost at least five people. police say the killer, devin kelley, sent threatening texts to his mother—in—law. he had been thrown out of the us air force for assaulting his wife and child. he did not have a licence to carry a gun in public. very deranged individual. a lot of problems over a long period of time. we have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries, but this isn't a guns situation. nowhere, it seems, are americans safe from bullets, not even in their most sacred spacea. in their most sacred spaces. the answer? well, here they say it is more prayer and more weapons. guns and god.
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james cook, bbc news, sutherland springs, texas. priti patel, the international development secretary, has apologised for breaking ministerial rules, after she held undisclosed meetings with the israeli prime minister and other figures while on holiday. she admitted today that the foreign office had not known about the trip in advance, despite an earlier claim that the foreign secretary boris johnson had been informed. our diplomatic correspondent james landale, who broke the story, is here. what have we learned and, in your view, potentially how serious is this? last week i reported view, potentially how serious is this? last weekl reported priti patel had some undisclosed official meetings while on holiday in israel. we learned today she had 12 and one of them was with the israeli prime minister. there were no diplomats present, but there was a pro—conservative israeli lobbyist and when she came home she got her department to do some work on some of the issues discussed. this
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matters not because there is a risk policy confusion, but there is a risk that she broke the ministerial code of conduct which says ministers must ensure there is no perceived conflict of interest between their public duties and private interest. today priti patel has apologised for the meetings and for giving the impression that the foreign secretary had known about these meetings in advanced when he had not. she was summoned to downing street to be rebuked by the prime minister and reminded of obligations under the code of conduct. under normal circumstances priti patel would be under huge pressure to resign. but i think with the fragility of the government as it is at the moment and with the destruction of the harassment scandals, number ten will be hoping that this policy of disclosure and apology will be enough for priti patel to survive for now. james landale, our diplomatic correspondent. james landale, our diplomatic correspondent. a brief look at some of the day's other news stories.
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the family of a british—iranian woman being held in prison in iran have accused borisjohnson of making comments that could increase her sentence. nazanin zaghari—ratcliffe was said by the foreign secretary to be "teaching peoplejournalism", but the iranian authorities said this was the same as spreading propaganda. mrjohnson is to call iran's foreign minister to clarify his comments. the foreign office says ian squire, a british man kidnapped in nigeria last month, has been killed. mr squire was working for a christian medical charity, helping people in a rural community. three others have been released. 2017 is likely to be one of the three warmest years on record. that's the assessment of the world meteorological organisation. they say many of this year's extreme weather events "bear the tell—tale signs of climate change, caused mainly by human activities". party leaders at westminster have agreed to introduce a new grievance procedure for staff working in parliament, following a series of allegations of abuse and harassment. the prime minister theresa may said it was an "important step forward". this report from our political
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editor laura kuenssberg contains some flashing images. they were all invited and they all turned up to the table. and after universal cries of "something must be done", our political leader have agreed to do something this time. staff in future will be able to get face—to—face hr support and for that to be in place by the end of the month, and we've also agreed we need a completely new grievance procedure for staff working here, for everybody working here. the proof of the pudding will be in the eating here. we've agreed to meet, we've agreed to set up this urgent group to represent all staff who work in this building. if politicians don't respond in the correct manner, then the public will make a judgment and it'll be a pretty horrific judgment they will make. not clear yet how, or what will happen to cabinet minister damian green. being investigated, but denying claims there was porn
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on his computer years ago, and that he acted inappropriately with a young woman. but other separate allegations rear their head. a lib dem activist tonight suspended, and in another case, another activist told the bbc she was raped by the staff member of a tory mp. i've lost count of the number of women that i have seen plied with drink to the point they couldn't stand up, and then being escorted out of bars by senior staffers and mps. and people don't bat an eyelid. the cps dropped the case, but there has been confusion about if ministers were aware. the leader of the house, andrea leadsom, first said she didn't know, but subsequently admitted concerns were raised. questions face the current westminster establishment, having to act as allegations emerge. but this is far from a brand—new problem. can you say, hand on heart,
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that you were not aware of any of the concerns that have emerged in the last couple of weeks? over the last week, a number of stories have appeared in the press, a number of issues were raised with me that didn't appear in the press, and, as you've seen, action has been taken. this place has some fine traditions, but also a habit of keeping secrets within its panelled walls when things go wrong. every party now agrees the solution must be outside the system, but what or who? that is not quite clear. who willjudge what has actually gone wrong? what about party members or political staff who work elsewhere? the outline of new rules will be ready next month. no—one knows what else might emerge before then. laura kuenssberg, bbc news, westminster. a man has been found guilty of murdering his 18 month—old daughter, just weeks after formally adopting her. matthew scully—hicks, who's 31,
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inflicted numerous injuries on her. the child, called elsie, died after being violently shaken and struck on the head. our correspondent sian lloyd reports. ba by elsie, described as tiny and delicate, but with a big personality. at ten months, she was placed in the care of a couple with one child who wanted to adopt. within hours of matthew scully—hicks arriving at court this morning, the jury has found the part—time fitness instructor guilty of her murder. the 31—year—old had covered up months of abuse to social workers, doctors and to his husband. our thoughts today are with little elsie and those who knew and loved her. her untimely death atjust 18 months old has had a devastating effect, first and foremost on her family, who remain uppermost in our thoughts. this was the 999 call matthew scully—hicks made when elsie stopped breathing. i was just changing my daughter for bed, and then she went all floppy and limp, and now she's not doing anything,
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she's lying on the floor. is she awake? no. is she breathing? no. 0k, are you right by her now? yes, i'm trying to do cpr. elsie's injuries included a fractured skull, several broken ribs and a broken leg. there was evidence of recent and older bleeding in her brain, consistent with having been shaken and her head struck by a hard object. the prosecution said matthew scully—hicks was struggling to cope with elsie. in texts to his husband craig, who worked away, he called her a "psycho" and "satan dressed up in a babygro". matthew and craig scully—hicks had applied to adopt elsie through the vale of glamorgan council, while social services were supervising the adoption process. the actions of social workers, together with the other agencies involved with the family, will now be scrutinised by an independent review. matthew scully—hicks will be brought
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back to court tomorrow, to be sentenced for the murder of his adopted daughter. sian lloyd, bbc news, cardiff crown court. the authorities in saudi arabia have been questioning dozens of people, detained over the weekend as part of a purge of cabinet ministers, royal princes, and businessmen. they're being held following an anti—corruption investigation, but critics say it's an attempt by saudi crown prince mohammed bin salman, to consolidate his power. our security correspondent frank gardner has the story. visionary reformer, or simply hungry for power and over—ambitious? saudi arabia's crown prince mohammad bin salman has been described as both, after ordering a wave of high profile arrests. reportedly locked up inside this riyad hotel, in great comfort, are eleven princes, four ministers and numerous other prominent saudis, all swept up in what has been called an anti—corruption purge. top of the arrest list
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is the outspoken billionaire, prince al—waleed bin talal, owner of london's savoy hhotel, investor in twitter and apple, friend of prince charles, and now among those accused of corruption and abuse of power. the well funded saudi military is now totally in the hands of the crown prince, after the man in charge of the national guard was replaced, removing a possible rival. and he has powerfulfriends. only 32—years—old, he has already forged a close bond with the trump administration, he has declared war on religious extremism and rampant corruption. the shake—up at the top in saudi arabia is unprecedented. it has given this man, crown prince mohammad bin salman, enormous control of the richest arab nation. this matters to the rest of the world. why? because a stable saudi arabia is seen as an anchor of stability in a volatile middle east, but purging so many senior figures so publicly is a risky move. the crown prince may be
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popular with young saudis, but his enemies are multiplying.


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