• Merkel seeks 'frictionless' Brexit before meeting UK leader

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel indicated Wednesday that she's still holding out for an amicable departure of Britain from the European Union, as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson traveled to Berlin for the start of a high-stakes tour to press his case for reopening negotiations on Brexit. Positions on Britain's divorce from the EU have hardened on both sides of the English Channel, putting Britain on course for a no-deal exit at the end of October that could cause considerable economic damage to both. The EU has ruled out renegotiating the Brexit agreement it hammered out with Johnson's predecessor last year.


  • DR Congo president warns over risk to forest reserves

    DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi has warned the country's vast forest resources -- crucial to countering global warning -- are at risk without faster development of its huge hydro-electricity potential. The Congo River basin forest region is one of the largest in the world after the Amazon and, like the South American rain forests, it plays a vital role in absorbing global carbon emissions. Along with illegal logging, the forest is threatened by the production of charcoal, a key energy resource for inhabitants because of the lack of electricity supplies.


  • Iran Tanker Helm Makes Distress Call Near Saudi Red Sea Port

    (Bloomberg) -- The Iranian oil carrier Helm experienced technical issues in the Red Sea off the Saudi port of Yanbu and the crew is working to resolve them, according to the National Iranian Tanker Co.The vessel, one of the world’s largest crude tankers, signaled distress at 6:30 a.m. Iran time on Tuesday, about 75 miles (about 121 kilometers) off of Yanbu, owner NITC said in a statement. Both the ship and crew are safe and stable, NITC said without saying whether the Helm can continue the voyage.The tanker was showing minimal movement in the immediate area on Wednesday, according to tanker-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg at 2:30 p.m. in London.Iran’s tanker fleet is under global scrutiny amid U.S. sanctions seeking to choke off the country’s crude sales. The U.S. failed in efforts to seize a loaded supertanker allegedly bound for Syria that had been blocked in Gibraltar for more than a month.That vessel, the Adrian Darya 1, is now sailing east in the Mediterranean and signaling Greece, potentially to transfer crude to other ships. Another tanker loaded crude this month in Iran with the aim of delivering oil to Syria, Fox News reported, citing unidentified intelligence officials.Transponder SignalsIranian tankers have turned off their satellite transponders intermittently in an apparent attempt to mask their voyages to supply crude. The Helm appears to have used that strategy since loading some crude in Iran in May.It’s unclear when the Helm entered the Red Sea or what was the ship’s last port of call, based on tanker-tracking data available on Bloomberg. Until this week when the vessel made the distress call, the tanker’s last known position was in the Persian Gulf in May when satellite signals showed the tanker was half full and heading for the Suez canal.The Helm, a Very Large Crude Carrier, capable of carrying about 2 million barrels of crude, is not full, according to ship tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. The tanker last reported its status as “not under command.”Another NITC tanker that encountered trouble off the Saudi coast was kept in the port of Jeddah for more than two months before leaving in July and returning to Iran this month.Separately on Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said that the country’s government will try to expedite the legal process over its holding of a U.K.-flagged oil tanker so “we can close this ordeal.”Iran seized the ship, the Stena Impero, in July, following the detention of the tanker that was held in Gibraltar. “This is something that we did not start but we want to end,” Zarif said at an event in Stockholm.(Updates with ship position in third paragraph, comment from Iranian foreign minister in last two paragraphs.)\--With assistance from Rafaela Lindeberg.To contact the reporters on this story: Anthony DiPaola in Dubai at adipaola@bloomberg.net;Arsalan Shahla in Tehran at ashahla@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nayla Razzouk at nrazzouk2@bloomberg.net, Brian Wingfield, John DeaneFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


  • Iran Tanker Helm Makes Distress Call Near Saudi Red Sea Port

    (Bloomberg) -- The Iranian oil carrier Helm experienced technical issues in the Red Sea off the Saudi port of Yanbu and the crew is working to resolve them, according to the National Iranian Tanker Co.The vessel, one of the world’s largest crude tankers, signaled distress at 6:30 a.m. Iran time on Tuesday, about 75 miles (about 121 kilometers) off of Yanbu, owner NITC said in a statement. Both the ship and crew are safe and stable, NITC said without saying whether the Helm can continue the voyage.The tanker was showing minimal movement in the immediate area on Wednesday, according to tanker-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg at 2:30 p.m. in London.Iran’s tanker fleet is under global scrutiny amid U.S. sanctions seeking to choke off the country’s crude sales. The U.S. failed in efforts to seize a loaded supertanker allegedly bound for Syria that had been blocked in Gibraltar for more than a month.That vessel, the Adrian Darya 1, is now sailing east in the Mediterranean and signaling Greece, potentially to transfer crude to other ships. Another tanker loaded crude this month in Iran with the aim of delivering oil to Syria, Fox News reported, citing unidentified intelligence officials.Transponder SignalsIranian tankers have turned off their satellite transponders intermittently in an apparent attempt to mask their voyages to supply crude. The Helm appears to have used that strategy since loading some crude in Iran in May.It’s unclear when the Helm entered the Red Sea or what was the ship’s last port of call, based on tanker-tracking data available on Bloomberg. Until this week when the vessel made the distress call, the tanker’s last known position was in the Persian Gulf in May when satellite signals showed the tanker was half full and heading for the Suez canal.The Helm, a Very Large Crude Carrier, capable of carrying about 2 million barrels of crude, is not full, according to ship tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. The tanker last reported its status as “not under command.”Another NITC tanker that encountered trouble off the Saudi coast was kept in the port of Jeddah for more than two months before leaving in July and returning to Iran this month.Separately on Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said that the country’s government will try to expedite the legal process over its holding of a U.K.-flagged oil tanker so “we can close this ordeal.”Iran seized the ship, the Stena Impero, in July, following the detention of the tanker that was held in Gibraltar. “This is something that we did not start but we want to end,” Zarif said at an event in Stockholm.(Updates with ship position in third paragraph, comment from Iranian foreign minister in last two paragraphs.)\--With assistance from Rafaela Lindeberg.To contact the reporters on this story: Anthony DiPaola in Dubai at adipaola@bloomberg.net;Arsalan Shahla in Tehran at ashahla@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nayla Razzouk at nrazzouk2@bloomberg.net, Brian Wingfield, John DeaneFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


  • Trump administration announces plan that would let it detain undocumented children indefinitely

    The Department of Homeland Security proposes to license its own family detention for migrants, part of an effort to dissuade illegal border crossings.


  • U.S. Drone Shot Down over Yemen

    A U.S. drone was shot down over Yemen late on Tuesday by a surface-to-air missile, U.S. officials said.Officials believe Iran provided Houthi rebels with the missile, which downed the U.S. military MQ-9 drone southeast of Sanaa, capital of Yemen.The U.S. is expected to publicly chastise Iran for the occurrence.In June, Iran shot down an unmanned American military-surveillance drone over the Gulf of Oman, further damaging the already strained relationship between the two countries.Afterwards, President Trump ordered military strikes on Iranian targets including radar and missile batteries but canceled the order at the last minute due to concerns about casualties.Iran claimed that drone had trespassed over its territory, while the U.S. argued it was in international airspace.News of the downed drone comes as Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned the U.S. Wednesday that Iran may act “unpredictably.”“Mutual unpredictability will lead to chaos. President Trump cannot expect to be unpredictable and expect others to be predictable," the foreign minister said during a speech in Stockholm.Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have been heightened since the Trump administration reimposed the sanctions lifted under the Obama administration’s nuclear deal, which the U.S. announced its withdrawal from in May of last year.


  • Have Insiders Been Selling Greater Than AB (STO:GREAT) Shares?

    It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. On the other hand, we'd be...


  • Commerzbank mulls branch closures as part of broader strategy review

    German lender Commerzbank is considering closing some bank branches as it figures out a way forward after its talks to merge with rival Deutsche Bank collapsed earlier this year, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. Commerzbank declined to comment.


  • Is NuVasive, Inc. (NASDAQ:NUVA) Struggling With Its 7.0% Return On Capital Employed?

    Today we'll look at NuVasive, Inc. (NASDAQ:NUVA) and reflect on its potential as an investment. In particular, we'll...


  • Amazon tests water in Israel with website to attract local sellers

    E-commerce giant Amazon on Wednesday launched a Hebrew-language website to recruit local Israeli companies to sell their products via Amazon.com, the latest step toward launching a local business in the country. Sites such as Amazon have become increasingly popular in Israel where the cost of living is high, but locals currently have to order from the company's international sites, for example in the United States, Britain and Germany. There has been widespread speculation in Israel’s media that Amazon plans to open a local fulfillment center.


(ARA) - Tax season is in full swing. Taxpayers receiving a refund tend to file earlier in the year, while those who owe Uncle Sam often wait until closer to the filing deadline. Whether you file now or wait until the last minute, make tax time easier with these tips.

Start by collecting all your tax documents and information, including W-2s, 1098s, 1099s, receipts and a copy of last year's return. Worried about forgetting something? Use a tax return checklist like the one offered at www.taxact.com/checklist.

Take a few minutes to get familiar with key tax law changes and expiring tax breaks. Notable changes this year include an increase in the standard deduction and standard mileage rates, and an end to the Making Work Pay Credit. A great place to start is by reading the one-page section called "What's New for 2011" in IRS Publication 17 at www.irs.gov.

Do your own taxes using an online or downloadable tax preparation solution. Products are designed for both tax experts and novices, guiding you step by step through your entire return, as well as your credits and deductions. The programs do the math, complete the forms and identify possible errors for you. If you need help from a tax expert, top solutions provide easy, in some cases free, answers.

Although these easy-to-use solutions do the hard work for you, remember they can't necessarily catch your data entry errors. Common errors include incorrect Social Security numbers, misspelled last names, and incorrect bank account numbers for direct deposit. Spend an extra minute or two checking this information to avoid rejection of your return.

It's common to spend upwards of $50 for a tax preparation solution, but there are quality free solutions. Compare free products carefully, as there are important differences. Many experts consider TaxACT to be the most complete free federal product, as it includes all e-fileable forms, free e-file, and free tax help. If you're changing solutions or filing for the first time, TaxACT in particular makes your experience easier with data import and fast start options. You can usually try online products risk-free, so you may find it worthwhile to take a couple for a test drive.

Electronically file your return. More than 100 million taxpayers chose this easy, convenient, and safe way to submit their federal returns last year. E-filed returns are processed faster than paper returns, and e-filers receive confirmation when their returns are processed, usually within minutes. If you owe taxes, you can e-file at any time and schedule payment via electronic funds withdrawal or credit card up until the filing deadline. Most states encourage e-filed returns.

If you're among the three out of four Americans who receive a refund from the IRS, e-file and select direct deposit for the fastest receipt. Your refund can be deposited directly into up to three accounts in as few as eight days (instead of six to eight weeks for mailed checks).

The deadline for filing tax year 2011 federal and most state income tax returns is Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Although you have a couple extra days to file, don't wait until the last minute. Rushing can result in data entry errors, and carefully reviewing tax credit and deduction information could end up saving you money. If you've experienced major life changes over the last year, allot extra time to make sure you get all your tax benefits.

If you need more time to file, simply file IRS Form 4868 for an automatic six-month extension to file. Keep in mind an extension does not extend your time to pay, so pay as much as possible by April 17. Filing late will land you a 5 percent per month penalty, up to a maximum for 25 percent of the unpaid balance, and the failure-to-pay penalty is 0.5 percent per month. Call the IRS to discuss payment plans and options if you can't pay your bill in full.

More tax tips and information can be found at www.irs.gov. To learn more about TaxACT and its Free Federal Edition, visit www.taxact.com.Tips for making tax time easier
Category: Business