Cash no longer king in Italy as COVID helps government push for plastic

By Elisa Anzolin and Gavin Jones

ROME/MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s love affair with cash is fading. The coronavirus is turning Italians off notes and coins and the government is launching a raft of incentives to accelerate the trend, believing plastic payment can curb rampant tax evasion.

The Treasury estimates some 109 billion euros of tax is evaded annually, equal to about 21% of the revenue actually collected. The government believes the problem can be tackled by boosting digital payments which, unlike cash, leave a trace.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is offering refunds on some money spent electronically, tax breaks for outlets with card machines and a new 50-million euro ($58.93 million) state lottery for card users only.

The coronavirus, which forced the government to lock down the economy between March and May, is helping his efforts.

“We have seen a surge in digital payments since the lockdown, I think mainly

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Will the Morrison government learn from its Covid success or return to trickle-down economics?

Reality constantly reminds us that the biggest risk the pandemic poses is to those who think it is less than it seems. From the White House to the safe house, this is a virus that locks on to system weakness and exploits individual arrogance.



Scott Morrison wearing a suit and tie: Photograph: Mick Tsikas/EPA


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Photograph: Mick Tsikas/EPA

The US presidential race is paralysed because one of the candidates believed he had the power to wish it away and let freedom reign, while countries like Sweden that chose to let it run are paying a higher economic cost than those whose governments swung into action.

Closer to home, Victorians have been living the repercussions of the previously unchallenged orthodoxies that you can outsource public safety and transform the care for our oldest and most vulnerable from a public service into a market.

Related: Essential poll: tax cuts brought forward but only 25% of voters think budget

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Will Morrison government learn from its Covid success or return to trickle-down economics? | Peter Lewis | Opinion

Reality constantly reminds us that the biggest risk the pandemic poses is to those who think it is less than it seems. From the White House to the safe house, this is a virus that locks on to system weakness and exploits individual arrogance.

The US presidential race is paralysed because one of the candidates believed he had the power to wish it away and let freedom reign, while countries like Sweden that chose to let it run are paying a higher economic cost than those whose governments swung into action.

Closer to home, Victorians have been living the repercussions of the previously unchallenged orthodoxies that you can outsource public safety and transform the care for our oldest and most vulnerable from a public service into a market.

It’s as if the virus is engaging in a real-time critique of the free market ideology that decrees big government is

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Trump’s recklessness with COVID stalls government

Since the earliest warning signs that the coronavirus could become a catastrophic pandemic, President Trump has refused to take it seriously. In fact, Trump and his Republican colleagues have gone such great lengths to ignore public health protocols that the president of the United States — ostensibly the most shielded human being on the planet — managed to contract the virus along with several other top government officials, including three United States senators. And now, after so gravely mishandling the pandemic that has killed over 210,000 Americans, the president and his party have effectively brought the federal government to a halt through their own reckless personal behavior, leaving two branches of government compromised while the nation and the world deal with several crises of unprecedented scale.

Even as Trump planned to leave the hospital Monday evening, it was clear he was dealing with serious symptoms of COVID-19, as evidenced by

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Under the cover of Covid, Morrison wants to scrap my government’s protections against predatory lending

Pardon me for being just a little suspicious, but when I see an avalanche of enthusiasm from such reputable institutions as the Morrison government, the Murdoch media and the Australian Banking Association (anyone remember the Hayne royal commission?) about the proposed “reform” of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act, I smell a very large rodent. “Reform” here is effectively code language for repeal. And it means the repeal of major legislation introduced by my government to bring about uniform national laws to protect Australian consumers from unregulated and often predatory lending practices.



Josh Frydenberg, Scott Morrison are posing for a picture: Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP


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Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

The banks of course have been ecstatic at Morrison’s announcement, chiming in with the government’s political chimeric that allowing the nation’s lenders once again to just let it rip was now essential for national economic recovery. Westpac, whose reputation was shredded during the royal commission, was out of the blocks

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Chris Rock Covers COVID, Voting and ‘Renegotiating’ with the Government in Host Monologue

Chris Rock was the first host of “Saturday Night Live’s” 46th season, and he had a tall order ahead of him. Not only was it the show’s return to Studio 8H for the first time this season, but also for the first time since early 2020, since the coronavirus pandemic shifted the end of their Season 45 production to “at-home” episodes.

Rock walked out on stage in a mask but promptly removed it to deliver his monologue, which started by addressing “the elephant in the room,” that President Donald Trump is in the hospital with COVID.

“My heart goes out to COVID,” Rock said.

He also briefly touched on the new protocols in place in the studio to allow for the show to go on live and in-person. He acknowledged the studio audience, noting they had been checked thoroughly before being let in and that they were all first responders.

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SNL: Chris Rock Covers COVID and Voting in Host Monologue

Chris Rock was the first host of “Saturday Night Live’s” 46th season, and he had a tall order ahead of him. Not only was it the show’s return to Studio 8H for the first time this season, but also for the first time since early 2020, since the coronavirus pandemic shifted the end of their Season 45 production to “at-home” episodes.

Rock walked out on stage in a mask but promptly removed it to deliver his monologue, which started by addressing “the elephant in the room,” that President Donald Trump is in the hospital with COVID.

“My heart goes out to COVID,” Rock said.

He also briefly touched on the new protocols in place in the studio to allow for the show to go on live and in-person. He acknowledged the studio audience, noting they had been checked thoroughly before being let in and that they were all first responders.

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Continuity of government in place after Trump tests positive for Covid

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that the continuity of government remains in place following President Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis.

Pelosi, 80, who is second in line to assume the duties of the presidency, said on MSNBC that “out of an abundance of caution” she was tested for the virus Friday morning, but has yet to receive her results.

She said she had not been contacted by the White House about the subject of succession.

Trump, 74, announced on Twitter after midnight that he and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for Covid-19. The president is experiencing “mild symptoms” of the virus, NBC News reported, citing a White House official.

Vice President Mike Pence, who is first in line, tested negative Friday morning, his spokesman said.

When asked on MSNBC if the White House had reached out to her regarding the continuity of government, Pelosi, D-Calif., said, “No, they

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Gokuldham members tensed as society is sealed due to COVID 19 scare

Troubles, problems, and tensions are a common part of the Gokuldham society. However, in the upcoming episode of Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, an issue is going to leave Gokuldham members extremely anxious and worried about their safety. Wondering what so severe has happened in Gokuldham society? Well, this trip the threat of the novel Coronavirus has left Gokudlhammites tensed. 

The society has also been trapped under the threat of the deadly virus, leaving them distressed. In the upcoming episode of Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, officials will come and ‘seal’ the Gokuldham society due to the Coronavirus scare. All this will happen as the residents of the Gokuldham society will come in direct contact with Abdul, who is a suspected COVID-19 patient. Yes, there is a possibility that Abdul has contracted the disease as he has been keeping unwell, and members of Gokuldham fear that the virus has been

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Middlesbrough mayor vows to defy government over new Covid restrictions

Video: Middlesborough Mayor: ‘They are unacceptable’ (Sky News)

Middlesborough Mayor: ‘They are unacceptable’

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More than 2 million people in Merseyside, Warrington and Teesside will be banned by law from mixing with other households indoors in the latest extension of lockdown restrictions, as Middlesbrough’s mayor took the extraordinary step of saying he was prepared to defy the government.



a group of people playing instruments and performing on a stage: Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty


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Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty



a group of people playing instruments and performing on a stage: Pubs and restaurants in Liverpool account for half the business rates paid in the city.


© Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty
Pubs and restaurants in Liverpool account for half the business rates paid in the city.

The measures were announced as coronavirus cases continued to rise sharply in the north-west and north-east of England.

The new rules mean it will be illegal from Saturday for nearly 5 million people in those regions to meet others they do not live with in all indoor settings, including pubs, bars and restaurants. Similar rules came into force elsewhere in the

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