Home Authors Posts by Clyde K. Valle

Clyde K. Valle

Clyde is a business graduate interested in writing about latest news in politics and business. He enjoys writing and is about to publish his first book. He’s a pet lover and likes to spend time with family. When the time allows he likes to go fishing waiting for the muse to come.


Over 1,500 McDonald’s employees and supporters protested at the company’s headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, on May 20, a day before the annual shareholder meeting.

They are demanding a $15 minimum wage for fast-food workers.

Larger protests are planned for May 21, before the company’s annual shareholder meeting.

McDonald’s has been under pressure from workers to raise wages, just as investors have become increasingly unhappy with the company’s slumping sales.

In the same time, customers in the company’s biggest market – the US, which is responsible for 40% of its operating income – have been increasingly foregoing McDonald’s and other fast-food restaurants in favor of so-called “fast casual” chains like Shake Shack and Chipotle.

That has caused McDonald’s share price to sink – and let to grumbling amongst shareholders.

McDonald’s has banned media from attending the management meeting on May 21.

Photo Reuters

Photo Reuters

Earlier in May, CEO Steve Easterbrook – who took over the company in January – unveiled plans to turn around the company after it reported yet another quarter of disappointing results.

McDonald’s has been under pressure for over two years by the Fast for 15 campaign, a group of workers, backed by traditional labor unions. They have called on McDonald’s and others to raise the base amount it pays workers to a so-called “living wage” of $15 per hour.

The current US federal minimum wage is $7.25, but some states and cities – most notably, Los Angeles – have higher minimums.

Outside McDonald’s headquarters in Oak Brook, protesters carried banners and balloons, and chanted slogans.

However, McDonald’s has already said it plans to raise the wage it pays workers to above $9 per hour – and several other companies, including Wal-Mart and Target, have said they will increase their hourly minimums in the wake of the protests.

Part of the move, experts say, is that as the US economy recovers, large companies have to increase their base wages to keep workers.

But the companies also face mandatory wage increases in the several states and US cities that have voted to raise the local minimum wages since 2014.

On May 19, Los Angeles became the largest US city to boost wages, voting to increase the minimum wage in the city to $15 per hour by 2020. Experts say that amounts a $2.4 billion wage increase to over 500,000 workers in the city.


JPMorgan, UBS, Barclays, Citigroup and RBS have been fined $5.7 billion in the US for charges including manipulating the foreign exchange market.

Four of them – JPMorgan, Barclays, Citigroup and RBS – have agreed to plead guilty to US criminal charges.

UBS will plead guilty to rigging benchmark interest rates.

Barclays was fined the most, $2.4 billion, as it did not join other banks in November to settle investigations by UK, US and Swiss regulators.

The bank is also sacking eight employees involved in the scheme.

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that “almost every day” for five years from 2007, currency traders used a private electronic chat room to manipulate exchange rates.

Their actions harmed “countless consumers, investors and institutions around the world”, Loretta Lynch said.Five banks fined over forex rigging

Separately, the Federal Reserve fined a sixth bank, Bank of America, $205 million over foreign exchange-rigging. All the other banks were fined by both the Department of Justice and the Federal Reserve.

Regulators said that between 2008 and 2012, several traders formed a cartel and used chat rooms to manipulate prices in their favor.

One Barclays trader, who was invited to join the cartel, was told: “Mess up and sleep with one eye open at night.”

Several strategies were used to manipulate prices and a common scheme was to influence prices around the daily fixing of currency levels.

A daily exchange rate fix is held to help businesses and investors value their multi-currency assets and liabilities.

Until February, this happened every day in the 30 seconds before and after 16:00 in London and the result is known as the 4pm fix, or just the fix.

In a scheme known as “building ammo”, a single trader would amass a large position in a currency and, just before or during the fix, would exit that position.

Other members of the cartel would be aware of the plan and would be able to profit.

The fines break a number of records. The criminal fines of more than $2.5 billion are the largest set of anti-trust fines obtained by the Department of Justice.

Meanwhile, the $925 million fine imposed on Citigroup by the Department of Justice was the biggest penalty for breaking the Sherman Act, which covers competition law.

The guilty pleas from the banks are seen as highly significant as banks have settled previous investigations without an admission of guilt.

The Attorney General warned that further wrongdoing would taken extremely seriously: “The Department of Justice will not hesitate to file criminal charges for financial institutions that reoffend.

“Banks that cannot or will not clean up their act need to understand – it will be enforced.”


Takata Corp. has agreed to declare 33.8 million airbags defective, a move that will double the number of cars and trucks included in what is now the largest auto recall in US automotive history affecting models from 11 carmakers.

The number is double previous estimates for faulty airbags from the manufacturer.

US regulators said Takata has still not found the cause of the defects.

The airbags have been linked to six deaths and more than 100 injuries.

“Today is a major step forward for public safety,” US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said.Takata airbag recall 2015

“The Department of Transportation is taking the proactive steps necessary to ensure that defective inflators are replaced with safe ones as quickly as possible, and that the highest risks are addressed first.”

The Transport Department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said its analysis of test results “points to moisture infiltrating the defective inflators over extended periods of time as a factor”.

That moisture may make the chemicals that ignite to set off an airbag burn too quickly, causing the structure to break and “sends metal shards into the passenger cabin that can lead to serious injury or death”, said the administration.

Both passenger and driver airbags will be recalled in an effort that started in high-humidity areas of the US, but will now be national.

Last week, Honda and Daihatsu said they would recall some 5 million cars globally to replace the potentially deadly airbag inflators made by Japanese air bag maker Takata.

Toyota and Nissan also said they would be recalling 6.5 million vehicles over the same issue.

Honda said that the models affected included the Fit subcompact and would not affect its cars sold in the US, where most of the deaths occurred.

Greece is expected to reach an agreement with its international creditors within the next week, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has said.

The Greek government is fast running out of money and is due to make a payment of €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion) to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on June 5.

Yanis Varoufakis told Star TV a deal with creditors was “very close” and denied Greece might leave the eurozone.

“Another currency is not on our radar,” he said.

PM Alexis Tsipras also talked up the prospect of a deal in a speech to Greek business figures earlier, saying the government was “in the final straight” before a deal.

Greece has been locked in negotiations with the EU and IMF over economic reforms they say must be implemented before the final €7.2 billion tranche of the country’s €240 billion bailout is released.Greece Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis

Issues over pension reform, taxation, deregulation of the labor market, and the re-hiring of 4,000 former civil servants are yet to be resolved.

Last week, the government emptied its IMF reserves in order to pay €750 million in debt interest on its existing loans.

An apparent proposal from European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker emerged in Greek newspaper To Vima on May 18 before a spokeswoman quickly said she was unaware of it.

However, the plan for emergency funding and smaller primary surplus targets, in return for limited Greek fiscal reforms worth €5 billion, was not completely denied.

A Commission spokeswoman said she was unaware of Jean-Claude Juncker’s reported proposal.

The status of Jean-Claude Juncker’s proposal was unclear, but European Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici complained in Berlin that the left-led government was “more eager to say what they don’t want to keep in the program than to propose alternatives”.

Greek media reported on May 19 that the government had sent proposals to its international creditors to revamp VAT rates in an attempt to tackle tax evasion.

Alexis Tsipras is due to attend the EU Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga, where Greece is likely to be a key topic.

Yanis Varoufakis said a payment deal was on the cards, but insisted he would reject any compromise he considered “non-viable”.

European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas has welcomed the commitment by the Greek government to bring the talks to a conclusion, but said more time and effort was needed “to bridge the gaps on the remaining open issues in the negotiations”.


Daredevil Dean Potter has died while attempting a wingsuit flight from the 7,500 ft Taft Point promontory in California’s Yosemite National Park on May 16, a park spokesman said.

Dean Potter, 43, was one of America’s best extreme athletes.

Graham Hunt also died when their attempt to fly at high speed through a narrow gap in the skyline went wrong.Dean Potter dead at 43

Rescuers found the bodies soon after contact had been lost with the men.

No parachutes had been deployed, reports say.

Dean Potter was regarded as a hugely innovative rock climber.

He was the first to climb Yosemite’s three most famous big walls in a single day.

Dean Potter was also renowned for his high-line walks and high-risk parachute jumps, some of which he carried out with his dog.


Blind pole vaulter Charlotte Brown has won a bronze medal in the Texas state high school championships on May 16.

For three years, 17-year-old Charlotte Brown has been chasing a medal by trying to jump over a bar she couldn’t see.

Charlotte Brown cleared 3.5m and was joined on the podium in Austin by her guide dog Vador.

She had qualified for the state meet each year since 2013 with Emory Rains High School. She finished eighth as a sophomore and improved to fourth as a junior.

Charlotte Brown developed cataracts at 16 weeks and had artificial lenses inserted, but her vision began to worsen aged 11 and she is now blind with only a “jigsaw puzzle” of light and dark shades.Charlotte Brown blind pole vaulte

Despite her disability, Charlotte Brown takes pride in her fierce spirit of independence, born out of growing up in a family with two older brothers who pushed her to help herself in the rural town of Emory, about 76 miles east of Dallas.

She first took up pole vaulting, which is not a Paralympic sport, in seventh grade because she wanted something a little “dangerous and exciting”.

She counts the seven steps of her left foot on her approach, listening for the sound of a faint beeper placed on the mat that tells her when to plant the pole and push up.

Charlotte Brown, who is heading to university at Purdue on an academic scholarship, said: “It took me three years to get on the podium, and I finally did it.”

“If I could send a message to anybody, it’s not about pole vaulting and it’s not about track. It’s about finding something that makes you happy despite whatever obstacles are in your way.”


King Digital shares fell as much as over 14% in after hours trading after it warned of weaker profits.

Candy Crush maker said it expects fluctuations in foreign currency and a lack of new releases to hold back its earnings in the current quarter.

The big drop in King Digital (KING) shares came despite the release of first quarter sales figures that beat market expectations.

The company has been struggling to increase market share.King Digital Candy Crush Saga shares

King Digital’s revenue fell 6.1% to $569.5 million in the first three months of the year from a year ago, but that was higher than analysts’ forecasts of $563.4 million.

“We look toward the remainder of the year, we expect the mid-year period to be seasonally softer, returning to growth trends in the latter part of the year,” the company said in a statement on May 14.

The company is launching a new game this year, but that will not be released until the later half of the year.

King Digital said that falls in both gross bookings and revenue in the first quarter were largely due to lower sales from its Candy Crush Saga and other “more mature games” – a sign that players are moving on to other games.


Honda and Daihatsu have decided to recall some 5 million cars globally to replace potentially deadly airbag inflators made by Takata.

The move comes just a day after rivals Toyota and Nissan said they would be recalling 6.5 million vehicles over the same issue.

So far, the six deaths linked to Takata airbags have all been in Honda cars.

In April, Honda cut its profit growth forecast after missing the mark last year on recalls and other issues.Honda recall Takata airbag

Honda said that the models affected included the Fit subcompact and would not affect its cars sold in the US, where most of the deaths occurred.

It plans to use replacement parts supplied by Sweden’s Autolive, Japan’s Daicel and Takata in the recalled cars.

Daihatsu, meanwhile, said it would recall the Mira minicar.

Other than Honda, all other carmakers said the recalls were precautionary and no accidents or injuries had been reported.

Investigations did show that Takata airbag inflators were not properly sealed and could be damaged by moisture. It is alleged that the airbags can burst under pressure, spraying shrapnel inside the car.

The latest announcements bring the total number of cars recalled because of Takata’s airbags to about 36 million since 2008.

The car equipment maker faces multiple class action lawsuits and criminal and regulatory investigations in North America.

Following the latest recall, Takata’s shares were down 5.6% in Tokyo.


A total of 6.5 million Toyota and Nissan cars are being recalled worldwide to replace potentially faulty airbag inflators produced by Takata.

Toyota said it was recalling just under 5 million cars, including the Corolla, Vitz and other models made between March 2003 and November 2007.

Nissan is recalling about 1.56 million cars over the same issue.

The Japanese carmakers said the recall was for investigative purposes and no accidents or injuries have been reported.

Photo Reuters

Photo Reuters

Toyota, the world’s biggest carmaker, said the recall affected 35 of its models made around the world and that it would include 1.36 million cars in Japan.

The move is the latest in the saga of potentially exploding airbags made by Japanese car parts maker Takata that has been linked to at least six deaths – all in Honda cars.

After the recalls by Toyota and Nissan were announced, Honda – Japan’s No 3 carmaker – said it was also preparing to announce more car recalls related to the air bags.

No details were given on the number of cars Honda would recall.

In March, Honda had said it was recalling another 100,000 vehicles in the US related to the airbags.

About 25 million vehicles with Takata airbags have been recalled worldwide by 10 different carmakers since 2008.

According to latest official figures, the German economy slowed by more than expected in Q1 2015, growing by just 0.3%.

That compares with growth of 0.7% in Q4 2015, and was below analysts’ estimates of 0.5%.

Meanwhile, the French economy grew at its fastest rate in nearly two years, expanding by 0.6% in Q1 2015.

The growth figure is the strongest since Q2 2013, when France’s economy expanded by 0.7%.

Last month, INSEE said French consumer spending grew by 1.6% in Q1 2015, boosted by lower oil prices and a weaker euro.German economy slows down in 2015

French industrial production grew at its fastest pace for four years in the first quarter, INSEE added.

Despite private consumption and investment in construction and industrial equipment rising. Germany saw its exports fall which held economic growth back.

The German Federal Statistics Office also released inflation data which showed consumer prices rose by 0.5% in the year to April, up from 0.3% in March.

The figure was a marginal upward revision from the first estimate of 0.4%.

Inflation in German, as in the rest of the eurozone, remains stubbornly below the European Central Bank’s (ECB) target of just below 2%. The bank launched a €60 billion monthly bond buying program in March to try to stimulate the region and avoid deflation.

Italy’s economy grew slightly more than expected in the first quarter, fuelling hopes of a recovery.

The economy expanded by 0.3% in Q1 2015 having been flat in Q4 2014 and was flat on an annual basis official figures showed, beating analysts’ forecasts for 0.2% growth.

It is the first time the Italian economy has grown since Q3 2011.

An estimate of economic growth across the whole of the eurozone is due later.


Verizon has agreed to buy AOL in a deal worth $4.4 billion.

Buying AOL will broaden the amount of advertising Verizon can sell and will increase video production.

AOL owns websites such as the Huffington Post, Techcrunch, Engadget, Makers and AOL.com.

Verizon is trying to become more of a one-stop shop for internet services and entertainment.Verizon buys AOL

AOL, famous for posting compact discs for its services through thousands of letterboxes in the 1990s, still has two million customers for its slower dial-up internet service.

It also became memorable for its messaging service, which would greet users with an audio clip that would cheerfully announce “you’ve got mail!”.

In 2001, during the dotcom stock market bubble, AOL merged with Time Warner in a deal valued at more than $160 billion when it was announced. The deal was unwound in 2009 when AOL was split off into a separate company.

In 2014, AOL had only 0.74% of the $145 billion global digital advertising market, according to eMarketer. Market leader Google had 31.4% market share last year, followed by Facebook with 7.9%.

As well as automated advertising, Verizon said the deal would give impetus to its 4G wireless video and internet video ambitions, and feed into its plans for capitalizing on the so-called “internet of things”.

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong will continue to lead the company if the deal goes through – the transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

“We are excited to work with the team at Verizon to create the next generation of media through mobile and video,” Tim Armstrong said.

Verizon is offering $50 a share for AOL, compared with AOL’s closing price of $42.59 on May 11.


The Greek government has started the transfer of €750 million ($834 million) in debt interest to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The move was carried out as eurozone finance ministers met in Brussels in a bid to unlock the final €7.2 billion tranche of Greece’s €240 billion EU/IMF bailout.

The eurozone finance ministers said Greece had made “progress” but more work was needed.

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said his country faced a cash crisis within a “couple of weeks”.

“The liquidity issue is a terribly urgent issue. It’s common knowledge, let’s not beat around the bush,” he told reporters after the talks.Greece IMF payment

The Greek government has until the end of June to reach a reform deal with its international creditors.

Its finances are running so low that it has had to ask public bodies for help.

Eurozone governments have insisted that Greece agree to economic reforms in return for further bailout funding, and there had been fears that the country could default on its latest IMF debt repayment.

However, a Greek finance ministry official was quoted as saying that the order for repayment had been executed on May 11. Almost €1 billion has been handed over to the IMF in interest payments since the start of May.

It is unclear how the Syriza-led government came up with the funds, but the mayor of Greece’s second city Thessaloniki revealed last week that he had handed over cash reserves in response to an appeal for money.

No breakthrough was expected in Brussels on Monday, but Greece was seeking a confirmation that it had made sufficient progress in negotiations.

It was hoping that part of the EU/IMF bailout money could be paid out and that the European Central Bank would restore liquidity to the country’s beleaguered banks.

In a statement, the eurozone finance ministers said they “welcomed the progress that has been achieved so far” in the negotiations, but added: “We acknowledged that more time and effort are needed to bridge the gaps on the remaining open issues.”

Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem said there had to be a full deal on the bailout before Greece received any further payments.

The US economy created 223,000 new jobs in April 2015, a much larger increase than the month before.

According to the US Department of Labor, the unemployment rate dropped to a seven-year low of 5.4%, down from 5.5% in March.

Big job gains in the service sector helped to offset weakness in mining,

Investors welcomed the report, sending shares broadly higher on Wall Street.US jobs report April 2015

Many see the report as a sign of solid strength in the economy.

The total was a big improvement on March’s payroll figures, which were revised to show a gain of just 85,000 jobs.

Experts blamed such factors as the exceptionally cold winter in the north-east of the country for weighing on hiring in March.

April’s report also showed gains in employees’ wages, with average hourly earnings up 2.2% from the same period last year.

That was a smaller rise than many market watchers expected.

However, it could provide a boost to US consumer spending, a key driver of the US economy.

Investors are paying close attention to all figures to check that the US recovery is maintaining momentum.

The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates later this year if the economy continues to improve. Benchmark lending rates are currently close to zero.

Greece is hopeful that Eurozone ministers will recognize the fiscal progress it has made.

Eurozone finance ministers are meeting in Brussels on May 11 to continue negotiations on a deal to release a portion of billions of bailout funds.

Greek ministers say they will honor a payment of €750 million ($834 million) to the IMF due on May 12.

No breakthrough is expected at today’s talks, with many issues unresolved.

Greece’s left-wing government has said it will not break anti-austerity electoral promises, something that has put the country at odds with European creditors.Greece eurozone

The country has until June to agree a new reform deal with its creditors.

PM Alexis Tsipras is reported to have told his cabinet that Europe needs to acknowledge the economic reforms that Greece has made.

Eurozone ministers are not hopeful of a deal being struck.

“We have made progress, but we are not very close to an agreement,” Eurogroup chair Jeroen Dijsselbloem told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

“It will surely not be reached at the Eurogroup meeting on Monday,” he said.

Greece did meet May 6 deadline to pay €200 million in interest to the IMF.


Pele has left a Sao Paolo hospital after undergoing prostate surgery.

The 74-year-old Brazil soccer legend was admitted to the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paolo on May 5 for the second time in six months.

Pele, the three-time World Cup winner, was treated for a urinary infection in November 2014 after having kidney stones removed.Pele prostate surgery

He was named FIFA’s Player of the Century and won 91 caps for Brazil, scoring 77 goals.

Widely regarded as the greatest player of all time, Pele scored a world record 1,281 goals in 1,363 appearances during his 21-year career.

He played 14 games at the World Cup, scoring 12 goals, and was awarded the FIFA Golden Ball as the best player at the 1970 tournament.

Pele has only one kidney, having had one removed towards the end of his playing career.

A defiant Greece has decided to rehire thousands of public sector workers, including cleaning ladies, despite sustained pressure from its international creditors.

Greek lawmakers passed a law to give back jobs to some 4,000 workers who were laid off under severe austerity cuts.

The move comes as Athens seeks a deal on more financial aid ahead of a meeting of eurozone finance ministers on May 11.

Greece is running out of money as it has to pay €750 million ($845 million) to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on May 12.Greece rehires public sector workers

International creditors have demanded cuts in spending, including plans to trim the civil service and privatization of state assets, in order for Greece to continue receiving loans.

On May 7, the Greek parliament adopted a bill to rehire school guards, cleaning ladies and civil servants who lost their jobs or were earmarked for dismissal under the austerity program.

In 2014, 32 cleaning ladies sacked by the Greek finance ministry came to the European Parliament in Strasbourg in France to plead their case.

The insistence of the cleaners – who were replaced by cheaper workers – made them famous all over Greece.

Yesterday’s bill in the Greek parliament does not violate the terms of a massive bailout by the EU and IMF, which allows Athens to hire one public employee for every five who leave.

However, the move – combined with the reopening of the public broadcaster ERT – is likely to face criticism from the eurozone negotiators.

The talks with the IMF and EU are expected to continue over the weekend.

EU officials say a deal is unlikely before Greece has to make the IMF payment on May 12.

Eurozone officials say no further loans will be released until further economic reforms have been agreed.

Greece needs progress at May 11 meeting because that is likely to affect the willingness of the European Central Bank to allow the continued emergency lending that is keeping Greek commercial banks afloat.

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis insisted the country would meet May 12 deadline.

Yanis Varoufakis also rejected the view that Greece had been reckless with bailout money, saying that 91% of the bailout funds his country had received so far had been spent on repaying banks, particularly northern European banks such as Germany’s – rather than helping Greece’s economy.

Yanis Varoufakis again stressed that Greece had no intention of leaving the euro.

Greece met its deadline on May 6 for a repayment for €200 million.


Manny Pacquiao underwent surgery on his right shoulder in Los Angeles less than a week after losing the most anticipated fight of the 21st century, ESPN reported.

The Philippines-based superstar is expected to make a full recovery.

Floyd Mayweather remains undefeated after beating Manny Pacquiao by unanimous decision on May 3. Manny Pacquiao shoulder surgery

Manny Pacquiao, 36, said he entered the fight with an injured shoulder, a claim that Floyd Mayweather’s camp vehemently refuted after the result.

His decision not to disclose the injury to the Nevada State Athletic Commission – which kept him from getting a cortisone shot the night of the fight – may lead to a fine and suspension, with some filing lawsuits against him, alleging fraud.

Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who has operated on Tom Brady and Kobe Bryant in the past, conducted the 90-minute operation on Manny Pacquiao’s rotator cuff, which was significantly torn.

Manny Pacquiao moved to 57-6-2 with the loss. Already an active member of the Philippines House of Representatives, some have speculated that the champion could become a presidential candidate.

Floyd Mayweather says he would be willing to fight Manny Pacquiao after he is recovered.

According to a US government watchdog, 1,580 IRS workers evaded taxes over a decade, including some who were responsible for enforcing the nation’s tax laws.

This means about 160 workers a year out of a workforce of 85,000.

According to a new report by the IRS’ inspector general, most were not fired, even though a 1998 law calls for terminations when the tax agency’s workers willfully don’t pay their taxes. The penalty must be waived by the IRS commissioner.

Among their offenses: improperly claiming dependents, repeated failure to file timely tax returns, and claiming a tax credit for first-time homebuyers when the worker didn’t buy a house.

Some of the employees received promotions, raises and bonuses after they were caught willfully not paying their taxes, the report said.IRS employees evade taxes

“Given its critical role in federal tax administration, the IRS must ensure that its employees comply with the tax law in order to maintain the public’s confidence,” said J. Russell George, Treasury inspector general for tax administration.

“Willful violation of the law by IRS employees should not be taken lightly.”

The report looked at workers from 2004 through 2013, before IRS Commissioner John Koskinen started.

The IRS said more than 99% of its employees pay their taxes on time, the highest compliance rate of any major federal agency. Historically, about 8% of the general public owes back taxes.

The agency said those who weren’t fired faced strong disciplinary actions, including suspensions and reprimands.

In 2014, the agency started denying performance bonuses to employees who willfully fail to pay their taxes.

The agency also said it will become more transparent about why the commissioner chooses not to terminate certain employees who willfully don’t pay their taxes.

Twice a year the IRS uses a screening process to identify employees who might owe back taxes. Tax information is confidential by law so the agency’s ability to check compliance makes it unique among federal agencies.

Over the 10-year period, the IRS found 18,300 cases in which IRS employees owed back taxes but the delinquency was not willful, the report said. The IRS found 1,580 cases in which employees willfully did not pay their taxes.

Among the willful violators, the IRS fired 25% and an additional 14% retired or resigned, the report said. Sixty-one percent received a lesser penalty.


Tiger Woods has revealed he hasn’t slept in three days since his breakup with skiing star Lindsey Vonn.

Returning to the PGA Tour for the first time since finishing in a tie for 17th in the Masters, Tiger Woods’ mind wasn’t completely on the task at hand as he played a practice round on May 5 at TPC Sawgrass ahead of May 7 start of The Players Championship.

Tiger Woods’ three-year relationship with Lindsey Vonn mutually came to an end Sunday, May 3. And this time of the year is always difficult for Tiger Woods, whose father, best friend and mentor, Earl, passed away on May 3, 2006.Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn breakup

“This three-day window is really hard,” Tiger Woods said.

“I haven’t slept. These three days, May 3rd through the 5th, is just brutal on me. And then with obviously what happened on Sunday, it just adds to it.”

Tiger Woods returned to the driving range after speaking with the media and has Wednesday to sharpen his game that was clearly off as he played nine holes with Jason Day.

Ranked No. 125 in the world, Tiger Woods had a two-way miss going, losing balls on both the first and ninth holes. He also said he lost three other balls to water hazards.

Tiger Woods won the last time he played here, in 2013 when he captured his second Players title. Last year he missed the tournament after having back surgery.


Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s ex-girlfriend Josie Harris sued him for lying in his interview with Katie Couric prior to his fight with Manny Pacquiao.

Josie Harris is asking for over $20 million in damages for Floyd Mayweather repeatedly knowingly making false statements, TMZ Sports reported.

In his interview with Katie Couric, Floyd Mayweather was asked about the 2010 incident with Josie Harris in which he was accused of viciously attacking her.

Floyd Mayweather later pleaded guilty to reduced misdemeanor charges, leading to a 90-day jail sentence.

He told a much different tale from what the arrest report states.Floyd Mayweather and Josie Harris

“Did I kick, stomp and beat someone? No, that didn’t happen,” Floyd Mayweather told Katie Couric.

“I look in your face and say, <<No, that didn’t happen>>. Did I restrain a woman that was on drugs? Yes, I did. So if they say that’s domestic violence, then, you know what? I’m guilty. I’m guilty of restraining someone.”

Josie Harris’ lawyer says in the suit that Floyd Mayweather knowingly lied in his interview with Katie Couric to protect his image and help promote his fight with Manny Pacquiao.

Floyd Mayweather accused Josie Harris of being on drugs and claims to have just restrained her, when that is not at all what Harris says happened.

The real story, according to Josie Harris, is that Floyd Mayweather was jealous she was having a relationship with a new man, NBA player C.J. Watson.

He took away Josie Harris’ cellphone, and later attacked her inside her home. Floyd Mayweather paid for the home and had Josie Harris and their three children living there.

“Did he beat me to a pulp? No, but I had bruises on my body and contusions and [a] concussion because the hits were to the back of my head. I believe it was planned to do that … because the bruises don’t show,” Josie Harris said in a 2013 interview with Yahoo.

Floyd Mayweather’s own son, who helped save his mother, even called his father a “coward” for beating up Josie Harris.

This wasn’t the first domestic violence incident between them; Josie Harris accused Floyd Mayweather of beating her up in 2005, but she later dropped the charges and admitted she was lying.

As recently in 2013, Josie Harris posted photo evidence suggesting she and Floyd Mayweather were still sleeping together. As of last year she was still supporting Floyd Mayweather and even got in a fight with one of his other ex-girlfriends.

Meanwhile, Josie Harris has distanced herself from Floyd Mayweather and his controlling ways, and she even is publishing a book about their dysfunctional relationship history.

Josie Harris even appeared to comment on the lawsuit with an Instagram post of a heart and the words, “I’m not sorry” written inside them.


Manny Pacquiao and his team have been sued by two fans for failing to disclose a serious shoulder injury prior to the fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 3rd.

The fans filed a $5 million class action lawsuit against Manny Pacquiao and his camp.

After losing to Floyd Mayweather by unanimous decision, Manny Pacquiao’s camp said the fighter was trying to compete despite a severe shoulder injury.

They blamed the Nevada Athletic Commission for denying Manny Pacquiao a painkilling injection prior to the fight.Manny Pacquiao sued by fans

The severity of Manny Pacquiao’s injury seemed to be confirmed when it was reported on May 4th he would undergo surgery to repair a tear in his shoulder.

However, what doesn’t add up is that Manny Pacquiao’s team, namely adviser Michael Koncz, checked “no” on a box from the commission asking whether sportsman had a shoulder injury.

“Number one, Manny didn’t check the box,” Michael Koncz told the New York Daily News.

“I checked it. It was just an inadvertent mistake. If I was trying to hide anything, would I have listed all the medications on the sheet that he intended to use? We weren’t trying to hide anything. I just don’t think I read the questionnaire correctly.”

Manny Pacquiao is now facing possible sanctions from the Nevada commission over his failure to disclose the injury. And that brings us back to the fan class action suit.

The fans filed suit against Manny Pacquiao, Michael Koncz, and Pacquiao’s promoter Top Rank for hiding the injury and not disclosing it, letting Pacquiao carry on with the fight as damaged goods.

“Defendants prior to and at the time the plaintiffs and the class decided to purchase tickets; purchase pay per view showings or wagered on the event the defendants knew and had full knowledge and information that defendant Pacquiao had been seriously injured and was suffering from a torn rotator cuff,” the lawsuit reads via ESPN.

“Defendants further know that such injury would severely affect his performance.”

A Top Rank attorney says the claims are false, explaining that on his medical form for the commission Michael Koncz listed all the medications Manny Pacquiao required.


McDonald’s could be facing a European Commission (EU) investigation into its tax affairs.

EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said she is looking into trade union allegations that McDonald’s avoided paying more than €1 billion ($1.1 billion) in corporate taxes between 2009 and 2013.

Unions claim McDonald’s diverted nearly €4 billion of revenues into a Luxembourg subsidiary staffed by 13 people.

McDonald’s has rejected the claims.

Photo Reuters

Photo Reuters

Margrethe Vestager said her office is “looking into the information gained by trade unions when it comes to McDonald’s in order to assess if there is a case.”

The coalition of European and US unions claims that McDonald’s reduced its tax burden by moving its British headquarters to Switzerland and then channeling money into a Luxembourg-based subsidiary that also had a Swiss branch.

The unions said the Luxembourg offshoot had revenues of €3.7 billion over the five-year period but reported paying €16 million in taxes.

McDonald’s maintains that it has complied fully with EU tax law.

The EU has been cracking down on what it sees as aggressive tax avoidance by multinational companies, last year opening investigations into Apple in Ireland, Starbucks in the Netherlands, and Amazon in Luxembourg.

Australia’s central bank (the Reserve Bank of Australia) has cut its key interest rate by 25 basis points to a historic low of 2%.

Rising property prices in Australia’s biggest city, Sydney, a strong currency and a drop in iron ore prices are among the reasons for the cut.

The cut is the second in 2015, following a previous 25 basis point cut in February.

The RBA’s move follows similar action from central banks in China, Canada, Singapore, Korea and India.

A rising Australian dollar had also been cause for concern. The currency started to fall against the US dollar on the RBA’s announcement.Reserve Bank of Australia key interest rate

The RBA’s move also follows worrying official trade numbers released on May 5th which showed Australia’s trade deficit had missed expectations in March.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the deficit had narrowed by a seasonally adjusted 18% to 1.32 billion Australian dollars ($1.03 billion).

Analysts said the numbers were due in part to falling iron ore and coal exports.

The RBA had been under pressure to cut its lending rates further this year, particularly amid worrying iron ore prices – which recently fell to decade lows – together with a recent strengthening of the local currency.

Iron ore is Australia’s most valuable export and the plummeting prices – attributed to a supply glut and waning demand from China, a key buyer of the product – have been hurting miners’ profits, as well as government tax revenue.

Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey said last month that the government would face a multi-billion dollar revenue loss due to a plunge in the price of iron ore.

The government will deliver its 2015-2016 budget papers on May 12 and has said it remains committed to achieving a budget surplus.

Analysts said the RBA’s move to cut its lending rates would help further lower the Australian dollar, which would in turn help commodity producers exporting products priced in US dollars.

“Further depreciation seems both likely and necessary,” RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said, “particularly given the significant declines in key commodity prices.”

In March, Australia said its economy grew 2.5% in Q4 2014 from a year earlier, marking its slowest pace of annual growth last year.


McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook has announced a major shakeup after the fast-food chain reported poor results for Q1 2015.

The world’s largest rest chain it will restructure its business and increase its number of franchised restaurants globally.

Steve Easterbrook said he wanted to move away from its “cumbersome” structure and increase “digital engagement”.

“The numbers don’t lie,” he said.

“I will not shy away from the urgent need to reset this business… and how we galvanize competitive threats.”McDonald's major shakeup

After two months into his CEO term, Steve Easterbrook said the turnaround plan was aimed at creating a leaner management structure with more “hard-edged accountability” that was less built around geography and more on “commercial logic”.

“In the last five years, the world has moved faster outside the business than inside,” he added.

“We’re not on our game.

“We’d like less simple talk of millennials [people born between 1980 and the mid-2000s] as though they are one simple group with shared attitudes.”

McDonald’s also announced it would be focusing more on regions that earned it the most – namely the US, which brings in 40% of operating income.

Steve Easterbrook also said its top international markets, such as Australia, Canada, France and the UK, would become a priority.

McDonald’s also identified high-growth markets in countries such as China and Poland, where new stores will be opened to boost its share in the market of “IEO” – Informal Eating Out.

Steve Easterbrook added: “We can no longer afford to carry legacy commitments, legacy structure or legacy attitudes.”

McDonald’s was the Dow Jones share index’s biggest faller, with shares down 1.7% to $96.13.

Standard & Poor’s cut its rating on McDonald’s from “A” to “A-“.


David “Dave” Goldberg, SurveyMonkey CEO and husband of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, died of severe head trauma in an exercise accident in the Mexican resort town of Punta Mita, according to local authorities.

Dave Goldberg, 47, was found lying next to a treadmill on May 1st at the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita near Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s Pacific coast.Dave Goldberg cause of death

According to Mexican officials, Dave Goldberg left his room at about 4 p.m. to exercise, and family members went to look for him after he didn’t return.

Dave Goldberg was found at about 6:30 p.m. in a pool of blood, with a blow to the lower back of his head. He apparently had slipped on the treadmill and hit the machine, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak to the press.

The official said Goldberg still had vital signs when he was discovered, but later died at a hospital in Nuevo Vallarta.

The official said the cause of death was severe head trauma and hypovolemic shock, or bleeding.

Dave Goldberg’s family had checked in on April 30 to the exclusive resort.