Skimm'd over "Broad City"
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"We are making Sweden the first country in the world with its own phone number" -- A Swedish tourism exec. The country now has an official number you can call to talk to a random Swede about all things Sweden. Putting on Swede dial.
THINGS THAT HATE TAX DAY
PFIZER AND ALLERGAN
Yesterday, two major drug companies called off their engagement.
Last year, the makers of Viagra (Pfizer) and Botox (Allergan) announced they were planning to shack up. The $160 billion merger would have created the biggest drug company in the world. It also would have put the merged company's executive offices in Ireland, which happens to be a very tax-friendly place. Not a coincidence. But then earlier this week, the US Treasury Dept. came out with new rules to crack down on deals (like this one) that take advantage of tax loopholes. Also not a coincidence.
WHAT'S THE LATEST?
Yesterday, Pfizer and Allergan called it quits, days after the new rules were announced. Pfizer now has to pay Allergan a fee of $150 million. Because breaking up is hard, and expensive, to do.
The merger being called off is a BFD for President Obama, who's not so into the idea of companies beating around the tax bush. But the news could also be a big warning for other companies who have wedding fever.
Yesterday, the Panama Papers fallout made its way to China. And the fortune cookie is not comforting.
The Panama Papers: a leak of more than 11 million docs from a Panama law firm that detail where global VIPs are hiding their cash money. That allegedly includes soccer star Lionel Messi, Iceland's (now former) prime minister, and some of Russian President Putin's BFFs.
WHAT'S THE LATEST?
Yesterday, it came out that relatives of top Chinese politicians (including its president) are on the list of people who controlled offshore companies. Not a good look, especially since China's been trying to censor the Panama Papers.
Yesterday's news could now implicate leaders of the world's second largest economy. And the fallout from the Panama Papers has just begun.
REPEAT AFTER ME...
WHAT TO SAY WHILE SHOPPING...
Orange or stripes? Yesterday, Don Blankenship — the former CEO of a major coal company — was sentenced to a year in prison. In 2010, one of his company's mines in West Virginia suffered the deadliest US mine accident in decades. 29 people were killed in the explosion, and Blankenship's rep also rook a major hit. Last year, he was convicted of making the mines not so safe for workers and putting profits over people. And now, he's been sentenced to a year of mine-ing his own business in prison.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT...
Kesha. Yesterday, the singer's abuse claims against music producer Dr. Luke were dismissed by a New York judge. Reminder: Kesha's been trying to get out of her contract with Sony because she says Dr. Luke sexually and emotionally abused her for years. Dr. Luke's deny, deny, denied the allegations. And earlier this year, a court ruled that Kesha had to stay in her recording contract. Artists like Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga were outraged and came to Kesha's defense. Then yesterday, a judge threw out her abuse claims against Dr. Luke, in part because the alleged incidents happened outside NY. The judge also said Dr. Luke's alleged actions can't be counted as hate crimes because "every rape is not a gender-motivated hate crime." So there's that.
WHAT TO SAY TO YOUR FRIEND WHO BINGED "NASHVILLE"...
Did you hear about Merle Haggard? Yesterday, the country music legend died of pneumonia at the age of 79. Haggard was known for his unique sound that blended blues, jazz, honey tonk, and a lot of hit songs. His early life was pretty much a country song itself: he ran away from home, spent some time in prison, fell in love a lot (he was married five times), and threw back some drinks along the way. He had dozens of no. 1 country hits including "Okie from Muskogee" and "The Fightin' Side of Me." He also once had Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson on speed dial. NBD.
THING TO KNOW
ASSLaw: Antonin Scalia School of Law. George Mason University wanted to honor the Supreme Court justice who recently passed away...and they forgot to read the acronym out loud first. It's now been changed to the 'Antonin Scalia Law School.'
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