Beyond the Bricks (Week of April 4)
by Taylor Derrisaw | published Apr. 10th, 2016
Prime Minister of Iceland Resigns
After being pressured by the public amid a scandal involving offshore investments, Iceland’s Prime Minister, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson has resigned.
Gunnlaugsson, as well as many other political figures across Europe and America were exposed by “The Panama Papers”, a collection of documents describing the investments made by political and business figures across the globe. The papers detail investments made to avoid taxes and other regulatory measures.
In 2007, Gunnlaugsson’s wife created a company called Wintris Inc. that would allow them to hold their money away from regulatory measures. In 2009, before a new law that required the former Prime Minister to disclose any conflicts of interest went into effect, he sold his share of the company. Gunnlaugsson argues that there was no wrongdoing, as they had “not hidden their assets or avoided paying taxes,” according to the New York Times. However, due to mounting public pressure he was unable to maintain his position as Prime Minister.
Gunnlaugsson was not the only one exposed in the papers. David Cameron, the British Prime Minister was also accused of hiding investments from taxation. Cameron has been a staunch supporter of tax evasion regulation. Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, has called for a complete investigation of all those exposed in the scandal.
Veterans’ Affairs Partnering With Local Health Provider
Veterans with mental and psychiatric needs will now have their own service in Rochester. Rochester Regional Health and Canandaigua VA Medical Center are partnering up to bring mental healthcare to the Veterans of the Rochester area.
Previously, veterans were forced to go to healthcare providers in Buffalo and Syracuse to get the treatment they needed. This initiative will greatly help those in need, as veteran mental health has been a serious issue for decades now.
The project estimates on helping 120 veterans annually and will work with RIT’s College of Health Sciences and Technology to develop a program centered around mental healthcare and PTSD.
Mississippi Law Allows Businesses to Refuse Service to LGBT People
Phil Bryant, the current governor of Mississippi, has signed a controversial bill that allows businesses to refuse service to LGBT customers based on religious convictions. The bill also says that gender is determined by “anatomy and genetics at time of birth.” Mississippi’s Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves believes that the bill is necessary after the Supreme Court’s Decision to allow all same-sex marriages.
The measure allows businesses to determine who is allowed into which restrooms, dressing rooms and locker rooms.
According to the Washington Post, Bryant has stated that “this bill does not limit any constitutionally protected rights or actions of any citizens of this state under federal or state laws,” and that the law is "designed in the most targeted manner to prevent government interference in the lives of people from which all the power to the state is derived.”
Multiple groups asked Bryant to veto the bill saying that it unfairly discriminates against other citizens. Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority leader states the bill goes against “the tide of progress” in the US.