Technology 

Amazon and eBay evict sellers amid VAT crackdown

Image copyright Getty Images Thousands of overseas sellers have been evicted from online marketplaces in the UK such as Amazon and eBay owing to a tax crackdown. Businesses, mostly from China, sold items including British flags, phones and fake eyelashes but evaded VAT. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) sends notices to online sales sites if it discovers businesses failing to pay the correct VAT. It said that 4,600 sellers have been “red-flagged” in this way. If the hosting sites fail to take action they can be pursued by HMRC for…

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The missing – consequences of Trump’s immigration crackdown

In a rural county that voted for Trump, people are shocked to see friends deported and schoolmates disappear. Now a community is coming to terms with the economic and emotional consequences. The Trump team insists the actions of the deportation force, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), is simply a matter of applying the law and delivering a key election pledge. Video by the BBC’s Franz Strasser. This story is part of the BBC’s coverage of President Trump’s first year, with reporting from across the US and perspectives from all sides.…

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Investor visa scheme halted in money laundering crackdown

Image copyright PA Ministers are halting a “gold-plated” visa scheme offering foreign investors a fast-track to settling in the UK, as part of a crackdown on financial crime. Tier 1 investor visas were introduced in 2008 to encourage rich people from outside the EU to invest in the UK. A £2m investment bought a visa and indefinite leave to remain after five years. But concerns were raised the scheme was being used to launder money. Its suspension will end after an audit process is introduced, ministers say. “We will not…

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NHS crackdown on silk garment prescriptions

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Silk garment prescriptions for people with eczema and dermatitis cost the health service in England more than £1.2m a year NHS England has announced plans to curb the prescription of “low-priority” items like silk garments. There is limited evidence the clothing helps people with eczema and dermatitis enough to justify prescribing it, a consultation document says. Officials are proposing taking eight items off the NHS prescription list under plans aimed at saving £68m a year. Others include an acne medication and diabetes products. The…

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Technology 

Tencent cuts marketing budget for games amid China crackdown: sources

FILE PHOTO: A Tencent Games logo from an app is seen on a mobile phone in this illustration picture taken November 5, 2018. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration/File Photo BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd is cutting the marketing budget for its key gaming division, two sources told Reuters on Thursday, amid a crackdown on the industry in the mainland and a lengthy freeze on new game approvals. The move comes as Tencent, the world’s largest gaming company by revenue, and its peers have faced rising regulatory push back from…

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Newspaper headlines: Police chief plea and airport drink crackdown

Newspaper headlines: Police chief plea and airport drink crackdown By BBC News Staff Image caption The Metro reports a chief constable’s call for over-stretched police forces to “get back to basics” and focus on violence and burglaries instead of recording incidents of misogynistic verbal abuse. Sara Thornton’s plea drew criticism from campaigners, says the paper. Image caption The Daily Mail says the National Police Chiefs’ Council chairwoman was pointing out that police lacked the manpower to pursue every issue. “At last,” reads its headline, ” a police chief who wants…

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China Uighurs: All you need to know on Muslim ‘crackdown’

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption A Muslim man leads the call to prayer in China’s Xinjiang province in 2008 China is facing growing criticism over its persecution of some Muslim minority groups, huge numbers of whom are allegedly being held in internment camps. In August, a UN committee heard that up to one million Uighur Muslims and other Muslim groups could be being detained in the western Xinjiang region, where they’re said to be undergoing “re-education” programmes. The claims were made by rights groups, but China denies the allegations.…

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Lifestyle 

A lady vanishes: In China, a movie star disappears amid culture crackdown

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Fan Bingbing, an A-list Chinese movie star who has appeared in the “X-Men” and “Iron Man” film franchises, has more than 62 million followers online in China and fronted campaigns for Montblanc watches and De Beers diamonds, has disappeared. FILE PHOTO: Director Wang Xiaoshuai (R) and cast member Fan Bingbing attend a news conference for the film “Rizhao Chongqing” at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival, France May 13, 2010. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo The star’s vanishing act – she dropped off the radar in June when reports started…

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Technology 

Tencent shuts poker platform amid widening gaming crackdown

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Tencent Holdings will shut a popular Texas Hold’Em poker video game, the Chinese tech giant said to its users on Monday, in a further step to comply with intensifying government scrutiny hitting the country’s gaming industry. A Tencent sign is seen during the China Digital Entertainment Expo and Conference (ChinaJoy) in Shanghai, China August 3, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song Tencent said it would formally begin to shutter “Everyday Texas Hold’Em” from Monday and would closer the game’s server from Sept 25. Tencent would compensate users in accordance with…

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Fresh crackdown on nuisance calls

Image copyright Getty Images People being harassed by cold calls about PPI compensation or personal injury claims could gain some respite under new rules being introduced by the government. The new measures mean companies will only be allowed to contact people who have opted-in to receive the calls. Claims management companies that break the rules can be fined up to £500,000. Minister for Digital Margot James said: “Today we are one step closer to ending the menace of nuisance calls.” “This is probably the single biggest move we’ve made against…

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