N E W S L E T T E R - O F - 3 1 - D E C E M B E R - 2 0 0 2

The Delamere-International Newsletter ©

Edition of 31 December, 2002 #118

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IN THIS ISSUE


1. Education: African National Congress
2. World News: Nelson Mandela sends out an SOS on the AIDS pandemic
3. Business: Update on Money Laundering in South Africa
4. Business: Are you due any tax refunds?
5. Business: Credit Card Fraud and Stealing Identities
6. Business: Benefits from incorporating off shore
7. Business: Off shore tax haven, Monaco
8. Business: Nurses wanted in England
9. Education: The Works of Edgar Allen Poe
10. Education: A great way to review books and manuscripts
11. Education: Who is history's greatest Briton
12. Global Trade: An Opinion on the Changes in South Africa
13. Global Trade: The death throes of a once vibrant country
14. Immigration: The issue of dual citizenship
15. Immigration: A new online tracking system introduced by the INS
16. Immigration: Report show that the INS lacks the equipment and staff to monitor visitors
17. Immigration: Muslims protest against new U.S. Restrictions of entry
18. Immigration: The cost of Immigration to the USA
19. Immigration: The New Department of Homeland Security
20. Travel: Time up for dual passport holders
21. Travel: Visas From Zimbabwe
22. Travel: Travel advice visiting South Africa
23. Travel: A visit to Scotland for the New Year

 

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1. Education: African National Congress
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The African National Congress was formed in 1912 to unite the peoples of Africa and to work towards substantive reform of existing political, economic, and social structures.

The Congress is probably best known for its work in South Africa, where they were the leading impetus behind the negotiation of a democratic constitution for the nation in 1996.

The Web site contains a wealth of materials on ongoing advocacy activities of the Congress, including their yearly conference and the activities of their regional and provincial offices throughout South Africa. Perhaps the strongest element of the site is the publication and documents section, which contains the African National Congress weekly newsletter and their annual reports.

The historical document section is particularly valuable to scholars and historians, as it holds seminal documents and papers germane to the historical development of the Congress, along with the speeches and writings of its presidents, who include Chief Albert J. Lutuli and Nelson
Mandela. Overall, the site is a valuable resource -- one that will be valued by persons doing research on African political and cultural history. Visit their website

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2. World News: Mandela sends out an SOS on the AIDS pandemic
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Cape Town, South Africa - Nelson Mandela's SOS has been answered. At a launch event today at the National Botanical Gardens in Cape Town, Nelson Mandela - joined by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Oprah Winfrey, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and Diesel President and founder Renzo Rosso - announced that he is to host his very first concert.

This extraordinary event, featuring top artists from the world of pop and rock, will take place on 2nd February, 2003 on Robben Island in South Africa, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned 30 years ago. To read the full account go to our NEWS DESK link.

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3. Business: Update on Money Laundering in South Africa
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The SA Reserve Bank set in motion its efforts to prevent money laundering yesterday by calling on all banks represented in South Africa to put in place measures to ensure compliance with regulations in terms of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act. To read the full report go to our NEWS DESK link.

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4. Business: Are you due any tax refunds?
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The National Taxpayers Union in the USA has a searchable database online. The database contains the names of almost 100,000 Americans who have not yet received refunds due to them from the IRS. The refunds are for returns filed this year or earlier.

You can search by last name with or without the name of a state. [Note: if you think you may be due a refund, try other variations of your name in case it was misspelled.] Results include name, city, state, and zip code (but not street address) as well as what's owed (all the ones I saw were for income tax refunds.) A phone number to call and make a claim is also available in case you find your name here. We strongly recommend that all other countries also supply such a great service to over burdened taxpayers. Visit this site

Editors Note: Our firm supplies some excellent information on Income Tax Services, which offer sound advice on tax savings. Go to our web page

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5. Business: Credit Card Fraud and Stealing Identities
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NEW YORK - Federal authorities broke up what they called the biggest identity theft case in U.S. history and charged three men yesterday with stealing credit information from more than 30,000 people, draining victims' bank accounts and ruining their credit.

U.S. Attorney James Comey said the losses were calculated so far at $2.7 million but would balloon to many more millions and affect consumers in every state. He called the case "every American's worst financial nightmare multiplied tens of thousands of times."
To read the full story go to our NEWS DESK link.


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6. Business: Benefits from incorporating off shore
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The US principle of taxing the worldwide incomes of American companies, together with the various 'quirky features' of the system, means that many American companies would benefit from re-incorporating in offshore financial centres, according to a study by two university researchers. A new study, 'Expectations and Expatriations: Tracing the Causes and Consequences of Corporate Inversions' is available as a PDF file. Link (PDF) Go to our NEWS DESK link.


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7. Business: Off shore tax haven, Monaco
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The growing influx of Britons, who now live in Monaca, number over 5,000, three times more than 10 years ago.

This expatriate population, with its own schools, pubs, clubs, radio station and cricket team, is steadily taking control of Monaco's social life, just as it did in the nineteenth century when British aristocrats and newly rich industrialists flooded to the attractions around Europe's first casino at Monte Carlo, the biggest of four suburbs on what locals call Le Rocher.

By this time next year, because of tax breaks and easier residency conditions, the British colony will probably outnumber the 6,000 native Monegasques and a similar number of Italians, although it will be some time before they overtake the French who, among their other privileges, run the 400-strong police force that makes the mini-territory of 340,000 bank accounts virtually crime-free. To read the full account, go to our NEWS DESK link.

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8. Business: Nurses wanted in England
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Britain is systematically stripping the developing world of its nurses to shore up the NHS, despite a government ban on recruiting from the Third World.

In the five years since Nelson Mandela appealed to Britain to stop poaching nurses from South Africa, the numbers entering the country have risen more than fivefold - from 393 in 1997-98 to 2,114 in 2001-02.

Two thousand nurses are needed to run a 600-bed hospital in the UK.

Recruitment is also spiraling from other African countries, including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, Botswana and Malawi. In total, these five countries supplied 986 nurses to Britain last year, compared with 91 in 1998-99, figures from the Nursing and Midwifery Council reveal. To read the full story, go to our NEWS DESK link.


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9. Education: The Works of Edgar Allen Poe
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Edgar Allen Poe was only on this earth for an all-too brief forty years, but he crafted some fine poetry. Some have argued that with the "Murders in the Rue Morgue," he created the first detective story.

On this site, visitors will see complete text versions of almost all of Mr. Poe's poems and short stories. Each piece begins by indicating the year of its first publication and the publication in which it appeared.

Also, an extended biographical essay about Poe's life is available, as well as a helpful resource page that contains links to the Edgar Allen Poe Society of Baltimore and the Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site. One highlight of the site is the complete text of Poe's only novel, _The Narrative of A. Gordon Pym, a truly horrifying account of one man's voyage on board an ocean-going vessel that concludes with the line, "I have graven it within the hills, and my vengeance upon the dust within the rock." Visit this website

Editor's favorite poem is "The Happiest Hour."


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10. Education: A great way to review books and manuscripts
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The online exhibits and digitization projects of the British Library are some of the finest in the world, and the Turning the Pages exhibit may be one of their best thus far. Utilizing the most contemporary advances in interactive display, visitors to the site can virtually turn the pages of the nine currently available original manuscripts located here. The nine manuscripts represent some of the most important printed pieces of material in the Library's collection, and in a few cases, some of the most important documents in world history.

Visitors are able to virtually "turn" the pages of manuscripts in an incredibly realistic way, using touch-screen technology and animation. They can zoom in on the high quality digitised images and read or listen to notes explaining the beauty and significance of each page. There are other features specific to the individual manuscripts - in the Leonardo notebook, for example, a mirror button turns the text round so visitors can try to read his famous mirror handwriting. You will need to install "Shockwave" to view these pages online.

Visit the site of the British Library



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11. Education: Who is history's greatest Briton
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LONDON, (UPI) -- When the nation's leading broadcaster ran a poll to determine history's greatest Briton, perhaps it was no surprise that wartime leader Winston Churchill came out on top but it looked for a time like he might lose out to the late Princess Diana. For videos and books from the BBC which cannot be obtained anywhere else visit their web site at Visit BBC America Shop

 

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12. Global Trade: An Opinion on the Changes in South Africa
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CAPE TOWN - We have come a long way since just before the 1994 elections, when white people feared the worst and were stockpiling canned foods, candles, guns and ammunition. Our country is definitely a much better place in which to live.

But there are worrying signs and I fear that, if these problems are not addressed, our democracy could be derailed. To read the full story go to our NEWS DESK link

 

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13. Global Trade: The death throes of a once vibrant country
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Harare - Zimbabwe's finance minister painted a dire picture on Thursday of an economy plunging deeper into recession and offered little hope for recovery in his 2003 budget statement to parliament.

Once one of Africa's most vibrant economies, Zimbabwe now faces critical food shortages for half of its 14 million people and cannot afford food imports due to a lack of hard currency.

The worsening crisis is widely blamed on government mismanagement and President Robert Mugabe's controversial seizure of white-owned farms for black resettlement. The government mainly blames a drought gripping the region. To help this country and other African countries, What can you do? Visit our web page on Global Trade


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14. Immigration: The issue of dual citizenship
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In answer to an email from one of our clients we clarify dual citizenship. For Americans, the path to dual citizenships was paved in 1967 when the U.S. Supreme Court barred the federal government from stripping Americans of citizenship based on attachment to another nation.

Naturalized American citizens, however, such as immigrants, are still required in their citizenship oaths to renounce allegiances to their home countries. Italy and Ireland, just two of the 93 countries that now allow dual citizenship, have relaxed laws in recent decades to allow naturalization for foreigners based upon bloodline.

Dual citizenship and the extra passport it affords, can speed processing at foreign airports, and can help travelers avoid anti-American sentiment in some corners of the world.

Note: Read also our news item on South Africans who hold dual citizenship, Item No. 20

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15. Immigration: A new online tracking system introduced by the INS
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A new online service of the INS makes it much more convenient to follow the progress of all applications for citizenship, resident status, work visas and the like, immigration lawyers say.
But unfortunately, they add, the new system does nothing to speed the lethargic application process. To read more on this subject go to our NEWS DESK link


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16. Immigration: Report show that the INS lacks the equipment and staff to monitor visitors
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Border security, alien enforcement and removal, visa tracking systems and increased security for existing computer systems are the major challenges facing the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service as it prepares to move into the new Department of Homeland Security.

A management review this week by the Justice Department's Office of Inspector General said the INS' ability to screen people seeking to enter the United States remained a "key element of homeland security," but investigators from the office found that the task was hampered by a lack of adequate staff, equipment and infrastructure support. To read the full story, go to our NEWS DESK link.

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17. Immigration: Muslims protest against new U.S. Restrictions of entry
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WASHINGTON, - Muslims have urged the United States not to block future immigration from Islamic countries as it would only aid those wanting to widen the gulf between the Islamic and the Western worlds.

Muslims have been reacting to a Justice Department directive asking male visitors from 13 additional countries to show up for fingerprinting and questioning at immigration offices nationwide starting Dec. 2, 2002
Since 12 of the countries are Muslim, the move has increased the worries of American Muslims already living in a difficult environment since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.


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18. Immigration: The cost of Immigration to the USA
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The Associated Press recently reported that the Immigration Service is looking at new fee increases to help cover rising costs and cope with growing backlogs. The fee for green-card applications might go up to $330 (ZAR 3 300,00) citizenship to $345 (ZAR 3 450,00) This comes on the heels of a new program to charge $1,000 (ZAR 10 000,00) for expedited processing of many temporary work visas.

The INS, after decades of neglect and mockery, simply can't modernize in the midst of ever-increasing responsibilities. The fee hikes are simply an attempt at triage by an agency told to hurry into the 21st century while being overwhelmed with applications whose processing is required to be self-funded by fees. To read this full story, go to our NEWS DESK link.


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19. Immigration: The New Department of Homeland Security
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The creation of the Department of Homeland Security will be the largest government reorganization since the Defense Department was created in 1947.

The Department will include 170,000 employees from 22 agencies and will be charged with strengthening the country's defense against terrorism. Once the president signs the Department of Homeland Security bill, which is expected shortly, the administration will have 60 days to organize the creation of the Department and approximately a year to complete the transition.

As part of the transition, the INS, which was originally created in 1891, shall be abolished. The present duties of the INS will be divided into two new bureaus. INS inspectors, the Border Patrol, and detention and removal functions will become part of the new "Bureau of Border and Transportation Security." Service functions, such as applications for citizenship, permanent residency, and asylum, will be the duty of the "Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services."

Each of these bureaus will report directly to the Deputy Secretary for Homeland Security. For more information on how to acquire and entry visa to the USA, go to our web page.


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20. Travel: Time up for dual passport holders
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South Africans, who have dual citizenship have been warned by the Department of Home Affairs they risk losing their South African citizenship if they are found using a foreign passport after November 27, 2002.

The Cape Times reports that although the government is not against dual citizenship, only in exceptional circumstances may a South African travel abroad using a foreign passport.

The previous government reportedly gave permission for citizens to use foreign passports when traveling to countries, which did not accept South African citizens due to apartheid and sanctions.

This system was amended in 1997 and a period of five years, which is now up, was given to implement the amendments, the daily reported.
"The Minister may also revoke the South African citizenship of a South African with dual citizenship if that person has made use of his or her other citizenship or nationality for example by using the franchise or passport facilities of the other country," Section 9 (2) of Act 88 of 1995 states.

Home Affairs spokesperson Leslie Mashokwe told the paper foreign passports held by South Africans should be considered "expired" by November 27, and the department was "just reminding them their time is up".

The British Consulate told the Cape Times they would look into how this would affect British citizens living in the country, adding they had not been formally told about this change in regulations.


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21. Travel: Visas From Zimbabwe
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Steep visas, high airfares fail to stem exodus to U.K. Report y Henry Makiwa The Daily News (Harare, Zimbabwe), November 14, 2002


The United Kingdom is still the favourite relocation destination for Zimbabweans seeking respite from the economic hardships at home, despite the introduction of stringent visa restrictions and a steep rise in airfares.

Hundreds of people, desperate to flee economic hardships and government-sanctioned political violence at home, yesterday jostled for positions in a long-winding queue at the British High Commission offices in Harare to secure the much-sought-after visa.

The British High Commission last Thursday announced new UK visa requirements and fees costing $72 000 for a six-months visa in that country. The visa requirement coincided with the increase of Air Zimbabwe fares to London.

Harare-to-London Air Zimbabwe fares last Thursday rose from $500 000 to $1,2 million.

Sophie Honey, the British High Commission spokesperson, yesterday said it was still too early to comment on the impact of the stringent visa requirements. Honey said: "It is a bit too early to make an exact overview of how the announcement of visa requirements has affected immigration trends. "However, we have noted long queues of people seeking the immigration documents outside our offices."

The British government last week introduced visa endorsements for Zimbabweans visiting the UK in an effort to stem the flood of economic refugees and asylum seekers to the UK.

The move was also expected to bring respite to the Registrar-General's Office, which was failing to cope with the long queues of Zimbabweans applying for passports so they could leave the country and seek economic refuge elsewhere.

According to reports in the British Press, an estimated 150 Zimbabweans leave the country every week to settle or seek employment in the UK.

Most of the people gathered outside the British High Commission offices yesterday said they were not deterred by the restrictive visa requirements and steep airfares because they were prepared to pay through the nose just to get away from the depressing economic environment in Zimbabwe.

Nomathemba Sibanda said she was being forced to leave the country because of unemployment.

She said: "I am a university graduate who can't seem to get a job anywhere, besides possessing adequate qualifications for my chosen profession.

"I will pay anything possible as long as I get to leave the country and settle in a better environment.

"It is such a sad scenario, but there is no choice for most of us but to seek greener pastures elsewhere and in my case, the United Kingdom is my chosen destination."

Zimbabwe's unemployment level is pegged at 70 percent. Alfred Mapedzauswa, who was also queuing for a visa, said the introduction of the high fees were not a deterrent at all.

Mapedzauswa said: "Though the visas are expensive, they will also save Zimbabweans from being harassed by British immigration officials."

 

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22. Travel: Travel advice visiting South Africa
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Most visits to South Africa are trouble-free, but visitors should be aware that the overall level of crime throughout the country remains high.

Following recent developments, including the terrorist bombing of a night club in Bali on 12 October 2002 and the Mombassa bombing of 28 November 2002, UK nationals world-wide should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets in public places, including tourist sites. Visit our NEWS DESK link.



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23. Travel: A visit to Scotland for the New Year
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An interesting account of how to wear the kilt like a local and enjoy a haggis. What is haggis? Where can you find the best whisky? Read this interesting travel account. (For our reader who can't wait to find out what "Haggis" really is, here is the definition.")

HAGGIS, Def: a dish consisting of a calf's, sheep's or other animal's heart, liver and lungs, and also sometimes of the smaller intestines, boiled in the stomach of the animal with seasoning of pepper, salt, onions, &c., chopped fine with suet and oatmeal. It is considered peculiarly a Scottish dish, but was common in England till the 18th century. The derivation of the word is obscure. The Fr. /zachis, English "hash," is of later appearance than "haggis." It may be connected with a verb "to hag," meaning to cut in small pieces, and would then be cognate ultimately with " hash."


Buy some of the best Scotch whisky available online,
visit this website.


Editors Note: The management and staff of "Delamere-Pennine Associates" wish all our clients and website visitors, a happy and peaceful New Year and a restful holiday.

This Month's Quote:

"A man can make what he wants of himself if he truly believes that he must be ready for hard work and many heartbreaks."
~ Thurgood Marshall


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