With tobacco smuggling on the rise because of high taxes on cigarettes in the United Kingdom, Scottish government officials and anti-smoking activists met in Perth, Scotland, on September 20 to discuss ways to combat such smuggling, according to the Courier of Dundee, Scotland. The outcome of their meeting will be a report to the Scottish government.
Raul Diaz of the Mexican Superintendence of Tax Administration confirmed this week that the Mexican government intends to build a wall along the Mexican/Guatemalan border. Diaz claims that the official purpose of the wall is to prevent the passage of contraband, but has also admitted “It could also prevent the free passage of illegal immigrants.”
Frank Dikotter, an historian from Hong Kong, has been allowed wide access to Chinese Communist Party archives. Speaking at the Independent Literary Festival, Dikotter described Mao Zedong as the greatest mass murderer in human history. According to the historian, the entire death toll from the Second World War was 55 million people. Mao alone was responsible for the death of a mind-numbing 55 million in the years after the war.
The move toward a cashless society is accelerating in Sweden as plastic payments become the norm and various government officials, unions, and high-profile Swedes push for a ban on cash, supposedly to reduce robberies. But opposition to the proposal is mounting as well.