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

Read More

Federal government no longer controlling key COVID-19 drug

Hospitals can order a coronavirus treatment directly from its maker and distributor instead of relying on the government as a go-between, the Trump administration announced Thursday, saying supply of the drug exceeds demand.

Remdesivir, sold by Gilead Sciences under the brand name Veklury, is one of several therapies being wielded against the coronavirus and will remain a key tool after a vaccine is approved.

The U.S. government bought much of the supply of remdesivir in June after clinical trials suggested it could help COVID-19 patients recover faster. Federal officials wanted to lock down the drug for Americans during the scramble to get the pandemic under control. The number of cases has generally declined across the country after a midsummer Sun Belt spike, though some worry spots remain.

“Federal government oversight of the allocation of Veklury is not required because the drug is no longer a scarce resource — a tribute

Read More

ANC can no longer claim to be the leader of society



a close up of a toy


© Provided by Independent Online (IOL)


Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

By Chris Maxon

We grew up being taught and believing that the ANC is the “leader of society” – it being committed to participatory democracy: the involvement of citizens in decisions about issues that affect their lives.

The history of the ANC and the people’s struggle is one of popular participation. Also, the ANC’s very identity as a mass movement is rooted in the notion that it exists as a political vanguard (read: leader of society). Associated with the ideas of Vladimir Lenin, the vanguard party is a vehicle led by an enlightened, revolutionary leadership. Vanguardism proposes that a dedicated movement – or party – needs to give ideological, moral

Read More