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Italy - The Almighty Dollar - 24' min 43'' sec [30 April 2012]

Scandals stack up for Vatican bank

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As Italy battles through economic gloom, even the previously untouchable Vatican's finances are finally under scrutiny. As the scandals mount, we revisit a report that digs into accusations of Church tax evasion.
"According to estimates of the councils, 95% of the taxes that should be paid by the Church are never actually paid." The Vatican insists it's playing by the rules, but while it enjoys generous legal tax exemptions there are also accusations of deliberately exploiting loopholes. "We're not talking small sums of money. Church hotels, masquerading as places to house pilgrims, have earnings of 5 billion Euros a year."
ABC Australia

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World - Richie Rich Gets Richer - 27' min 31'' sec [23 July 2012]

World's richest hide up to $20trillion from the taxman

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As countries like Greece and Spain struggle under massive debts that are impoverishing its people, the financial elite around the world are getting richer and richer. This report explores the ever-widening gap.

"There are customers that have up to 100 vehicles in their garage", Torsten Muller-Otvos from Rolls Royce tells us. Each one costs around half a million Euros and yet last year Rolls Royce sold more cars than ever before in their 100-year history. Since 2009 the rich have become on average 6% wealthier around the world. So while one in six Americans now has no health insurance, Manhattan's 58 billionaires have made more profit. In Switzerland, tax packages and bank secrecy have made it a haven for the super-rich. Ingvar Kamprad, owner of Ikea, "is worth 50 billion francs, but only pays 200,000 francs of tax a year. Yet he makes 90 million every single day." Despite their massive income the super-rich aren't too happy about the idea of their tax loopholes being closed. In their minds they contribute to the state, even if its not through taxes."I know a lot of rich friends who have charities.They do give back to the community." But as the Western world struggles through a financial crisis, the parallel world of the globe-trotting elite continues to escalate and according to all forecasts, the gap between the financial top and bottom is only going to get bigger.

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Iraq - A Nation On Edge - 7' min 50'' sec [5 March 2012]

Death toll rising as Iraq rocked by bomb attacks

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Since the US pulled out of Iraq, the country has been chaotic. Contrary to what the US are saying, mass poverty, clashes between Sunnis and Shiites and political corruption are tearing the nation apart.
Despite Iraq's oil wealth, one fifth of the population live in poverty, unemployment is high, and almost 2 million are reported to be malnourished. The situation is compounded by growing violence across the country. As Majid Tofan, editor of alMehda newspaper, explains, "Corruption is a huge problem in Iraq and many terror operations are financed by corruption." In light of these considerations, many Iraqis hold a widespread "distrust of politicians" and the motives behind their actions. Yet as one female student says, "we do hope that a new political leader will emerge, capable of creating full security for everyone."
AXIOM, Lennart Berggren

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USA - The Insider - 13' min 42'' sec [23 July 2012]

CIA on the hunt for Syria's WMD

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The publication of Glenn Carle's account of the CIA's investigation methods has been fraught with controversy. This report discusses the former agent's shocking claims with him and asks why he is speaking out.
"I was there. What we did counts as torture". Former CIA agent, Glenn Carle, argues that after 9/11 the face of US international relations changed forever. Instructed that "the absence of an answer is proof of guilt", Carle claims he was given carte blanche with suspected Al Qaeda detainees, and actively encouraged to "do whatever it takes" to get information. Reviled by colleagues and politicians for speaking out, he remains adamant that "someone has to tell the truth about what we have done".


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