Gummy Boy Maybe Serial Killer, Drag Queen Carmena Insults Catholics and More BS from BCN

January 3, 2018

Gummy Boy Maybe Serial Killer

After José Enrique Abuín Gey, alias El Chicle (Gummy Boy) was arrested on Christmas Eve in La Coruña, Galitia, the Civil Guard or Guardia Civil as they call it here in Spain, has expanded the scope of their investigation to include Gey’s wife and even in-laws.

Dubbed by the Spanish press with the name of El Chicle (Gummy Boy… loosely translated), is now suspect in a number of disappearances that have haunted this northern province of Spain. Police and judges continue their efforts to expand the search with a special search warrant for the abandoned factory, just 200 metres away from Gey’s father-in-law’s house and former workplace.

Police suspect involvement of one or more persons in the kidnapping and death of Diana Quer, whose body was recovered after an alleged confession of guilt by Gummy Boy.

Mayor of Madrid Insults Catholics

In Europe, the well-known tradition of the Kings’ Parade has been tainted this year by the distasteful and anti-religious sentiment of Manuela Carmena, Representative of leftist party Podemos and mayor of Madrid.

Her latest hate crime towards Catholics included an attempt to include a float of drag queens to accompany the Three Wisemen (The Three Kings – Melchor, Gaspar and Balthasar) in their parade around the capital city.

Under the pretext of “equality” and representing “human nature”, Carmena has planned to include the float to cater to anti-Catholics and atheists in Spain who apparently have nothing to celebrate and everything to vindicate.

More BS from BCN

In Barcelona, the scene sadly remains the same, only this time we now know that Puidgemont stayed in Brussels to celebrate the New Year (as if we cared), and Junqueras’ plee for an appeal of his sentence to unconditional imprisonment will be heard tomorrow in court.

Tourism in Spain in the meantime grew upwards of 10,3% with respect to last year (an all-time record high), while tourism in Barcelona slipped by 4.3%.

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GLOSSARY:

gummy boy: n. referring to the typical boy who chews gum or the cartoon character “Gummy Boy”

scope: n. the extent or focused view of an investigation

haunted: adj. tormented

father-in-law: n. the father of one’s spouse (husband or wife)

to kidnap: v. to retain against someone’s will; to detain or trap

attempt: n. a try, an opportunity

atheists: n. people who do not believe in God

vindicate: v. to reclaim supposed rights

BS: abbrev. bull shit – something that is completely false, messy or not true

BCN: initials for the city of Barcelona

upwards: adj. exceeding or surpassing (going above)

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Happy 2018! New Year’s Wish: Say More with Less (Be Brief!)

December 31, 2017

Happy 2018!

The New Year has already kicked off in countries like Australia and New Zealand. We at the Daily Brief want to wish them and all of our European and American audiences a very happy and safe New Year!

Over here in Europe, we have witnessed a number of fateful events this year, largely tied to yihadism and the growth of the populist movement as a means to avoid reality and make all wrongs right again.

The virus of referendums has already infected British, Italian, Swiss and Spanish societies and promises to continue further into 2018. People have realised that information is power, but only when that information is used for the benefit of society and not for one’s own financial or political benefit.

Catalonia will see a new government, once all evidence of corruption, misdoings and crime have been exposed to the public. Italy will take their fight to the electoral boxes in March and big firms brace themselves for the incoming market fluctuations of 2018, largely caused by Brexit.

The new year brings hope, but reminds us too of the stark realities we have to face: immigration, economic growth, military defense, etc. These three issues will be key in shaping the reality of Europe in 2018.

Say More with Less Words

The message from our team at the Daily Brief is clear. If you have something to say, be brief! More clear, concise and convincing language will take you much further than you could ever have dreamed!!

Interested in learning how? Check out the Brief Lab at http://thebrieflab.com/

Happy 2018!

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3M: Macron, Merkel and Di Maio in 2018

December 30, 2018

Marvels of Macron

Emmanuel Macron, new PM of France, gathered support for and successfully signed into law sweeping reforms in the Labour Law of France in September, 2017. Most reforms run expressly contrary to traditional lines in French culture.

The five-pronged reform includes a vote of confidence for big business, making it easier to both hire and fire employees, reducing the influence and role of collective bargaining and simplifying negotiations between employers and employees.

These reforms hope to ebb the wave of increasing unemployment, now standing at 9.5% compared to the UK’s 4.5% and Germany’s 3.9%.

Merkel Makes Her Move

German PM. Angela Merkel seems to have removed a thorn from her side for the past three months. Angela Merkel’s CPU (Christian Democratic Party) together with their sister allies in Bavaria, CSU are finally in talks with SPD (Social Demecrats) to form what some call a “collaborative coalition.”

Said coalition would grant Merkel some leeway to move forward with budgets and international affairs, with Social Democrats playing hardball, demanding socialised medicine and promoting a “United States of Europe” stance to politics within the EU.

Merkel stands to see strong opposition among her own party members as the thought of negotiations with SPD led some to see a weaker Merkel with waning clout in important circles.

Luigi Di Maio, Beatrice Lorenzin and Mateo Renzi Shaping Italian Elections

Mateo Renzi failed in his attempt to reform the constitution, but his party still remains a force to be dealt with. Just yesterday, Beatrice Lorenzin launched a joint list including Renzis (PD) Democratic party under the name of Popular Civic. This list also includes  other central-left political groups such as Popular Alternative, Centrists for Europe, Solidary Democracy and Italy of Values.

Luigi Di Maio still remains an important contender, however, leading his emerging party M5S – Five Star Movement. His trim and clean-shaven image represents the younger generations of the Italian parliament and promises to be the new face of Italian politics in the coming year.

Whatever the results to be held in March, 2018 – we can expect a year of political instability and power political negotiating to determine Italy’s future and their role in  the EU.

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GLOSSARY:

PM: abbreviation for “prime minister”, european equivalent of President

sweeping: comprehensive. all-inclusive

a vote of confidence: the benefit of the doubt; a vote in favour

to ebb the wave: to stop the tendency

coalition: a formation of two or more parties or groups with a single goal

leeway: space to maneuvre or to take action

to play hardball: to play tough, to make things difficult

stance: posture or position

a force to be dealt with: a factor to keep in mind

contender: competitor

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Rerun of Rajoy, Franco Lives Again, Stalemate in Catalonia and Diana Quer

December 29, 2017

Rerun of Rajoy

Once again the President of Spain has presented an openly optimistic future for the Spanish economy, though admitting concerns for regional economies in Spain (Catalonia) due to political instability.

The economic recovery in 2017 in Spain is undeniable, crowning the new year with an unparalleled rise (4%) in the minimum wage together with a symbolic infinitesimal increase (0,25%)  in pensions.

Once again, President Rajoy highlights the economic success while turning a blind eye to political failures in Catalonia and party corruption cases.

Franco Lives Again

After a long battle with cancer, General Francisco Franco’s only daughter,  Carmen Franco y Polo was laid to rest today at the age of 91. Known for her more than controversial father and Spanish dictator, Francisco Franco, Carmen spent a rather quiet life away from the limelight and cameras of politicians.

Carmen expressed time and time again her determination to face fear and death without regrets. She leaves behind an estimated 500 million euro inheritance for her seven children in countless properties and businesses she herself managed since 2002.

Funeral arrangements have been made and Carmen expects to lay at rest together with her defunct husband, Cristóbal Martínez-Bordíu in the Cathedral of La Almudena in the capital of Spain, Madrid.

Stalemate in Catalonia

While Carles Puidgemont heads for his winter retreat in Rumania together with his in-laws, the stakes for the presidency of the region of Catalonia get higher and higher as division among majority nationalists, in spite of a patriotic win for Ciudans at the polls leaves the region in a virtual stalemate.

No party has a clear majority, no rounds of negotiation seem imminent, and it seems like it’s every (wo)man for (herself) himself until the Spanish state decides to bring down the hammer of the law  on illegal political activities, politicians and separatist parties.

Diana Quer, Always in Our Hearts

This Christmas has come bitter sweet for friends, family and fellow Spanish citizens of Diana Quer, a young 18-year old who was abducted during her town festival in  Pobra do Caramiñal (La Coruña), Spain. Since her disappearance in 2016, no hard evidence has been found- only her mobile phone found at the bottom of a nearby river.

The case however has taken a turn as one of the suspects in the case was arrested last Friday for attempting to abduct another child of similar age with a knife and attempting to stick her in the trunk of his car. The swift action of two young samaritans avoided the tragedy and after identifying the vehicle and describing the suspect, police quickly apprehended a 41-year old male, who goes by the nickname of “Gummy Boy”.

Authorities hope that this arrest will shed more light on this cold case that has haunted this northern community of Spain for almost 18 months now.

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GLOSSARY:

optimistic: very positive

undeniable: adj. – that can not be denied or refused

infiinitesimal: adj.  very, very small or little

unparalleled: without precedent or antecedent

to turn a blind eye to: colloq. to look the other way; to not address the obvious

limelight: the public eye, the focus of attention

determination: forthright decision, strong conviction or belief

to lay at rest: to be buried

in-laws: members of your spouse’s family

stakes: the odds, the probabilities or chances for opportunity

stalemate: a state where no one wins or loses

to be abducted: to be kidnapped

hard evidence: substantial proof or evidence

samaritans: model citizens who help others

to be apprehended: to be caught, arrested

to haunt: to terrify, to scare

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Banking on Europe in 2018

December 28, 2017

The majority of American investment banks have all decided who will be the big winner in the stock markets in 2018: Europe.

The year 2017 wasn’t the worst for Europe, but euro strength had more of a negative impact on growth indicators and a European economy lagging behind largely in the technological sector, left the markets flat. All of this is expected to make a major turnaround in 2018.

European markets are expected to outperform most other exchanges around the world due to four major signs of late recovery- early boom in the economic arena: 1) Earnings are excellent, 2) the economy is robust, 3) the ECB is still accomodating, and 4) the growth of the euro is not expected to have a negative impact on European exports.

Bank European stocks Potential upside* U.K.’s FTSE 100 Potential upside*
J.P. Morgan MSCI Europe: 1,720 +6% 7,750 +2.7%
Morgan Stanley MSCI Europe: 1,700 +4.7% 7,780 +3.1%
Goldman Sachs Stoxx 600: 420 +7.4% 8,000 +6%
Citigroup Stoxx 600: 460 +17.6% 8,200 +8.7%
Deutsche Bank Stoxx 600: 395 +1% 7,500 -0.6%
Société Générale Stoxx 600: 385 -1.5% 7,000 -7.2%
UBS Stoxx 600: 440 +12.5% 7,900 +4.7%
Bank of America Stoxx 600: 430 +10% N/A N/A
Average N/A +7.2% 7,733 +2.5%
* Compared to Dec. 19’s close

On average, EPS (earnings per share) are expected to grow anywhere from 10-15%. With the ECB accomodating 30 billion euros in corporate debt, though half than that of previous years, the robust economy is still expected to grow at a steady 2% in the region. The ECB is also behind on interest rate hikes, making the Eurozone prime land for the picking.

The euro is expected to bottom out at around $1.18 by the end of 2018, making economists bullish on the expected GDP growth estimates of 2.8% for the year. Sit back and enjoy the show in Europe in 2018!

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Glossary:

impact: effect or influence

to lag behind: to fall behind and stay there for a time

a turnaround: a major move in the opposite (positive) direction

to outperform: to do better than expected

robust: very strong

corporate debt: debt accumulated throughout the fiscal year by SMBs

SMBs: small-to-medium-sized businesses

steady: stable, unchanged

hikes: rises or increases

to bottom out: to reach its lowest point

to be bullish: to be optimistic

 

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Fake News, WhatsApp Parenting & Domestic Violence

December 27,2017

Pope Francis Takes Aim at Fake News Journalists

On Wall Street, they called it the “rumour mill” – that invisible society where people gave their own version of the real story behind apparently privileged closed doors. This information could lead people to buy or sell stocks in a matter of seconds.

Then, there were the scandals that would persuade the general public to accept or reject certain philosophies, mostly aimed at religion in any shape or form due to the “lack of freedom” that supposed belonging to a religious organisation with norms, rules and commandments.

In a sudden turn of events, the movie industry came under fire for a series of accusations and revelations of sexual harassment in every shape and form possible – African American actors, Anglo-Saxon actors and directors of virtually every ethnic background.

Finally, both worlds collided: fake news became real news, and real news could be considered fake news depending on your political leanings.

In the midst of the fray, Pope Francis took aim on December 18th, denouncing the journalistic practice of offering only one-side of the story, publishing unverified and unconfirmed reports that could affect the good reputation of respectable personalities.

In effect, reminding the general public of bad news from the past causes harm and damage to souls, while fresh unverified information refills the emptiness left by the sadness of yesteryear.

Truth be told, depending on your political, social, religious and economic class in society, journalists are more likely to focus on one subject or another. In fact, most news agencies could be accused of serious sin for not reporting other news that could affect the philosophy of the owners of each particular medium by simply inventing fake news to satisfy the nearly unquenchable thirst of news junkies worldwide.

In the meantime, we still have to watch the numerous UNICEF videos of African children dying of thirst and hunger in Africa, while these organisations line their pockets with donations, leaving victims of real adverse and inhumane living conditions to fend for themselves.

WhatsApp Parenting

The honourable magistrate, María del Rosario Cimadevila Cea of the Second Circuit Court in Pontevedra (Galicia, Spain) has ruled in favour of the defendant, a father of two children who shares the parental responsibility with his ex-spouse after a bitter separation and divorce.

The mother sued the father, formally accusing him of revising their 9-year old daughter’s WhatsApp conversations on her mobile phone, citing a violation of her daughter’s privacy.

Against all odds, the judge not only ruled in favour of the father, but also reminded the mother of her obligation to revise and proctor the use of social media to preserve her children from possible abuse, citing Article 154 of the Civil Law Code.

Domestic Violence in Spain

The eternal battle of the sexes takes on an ominous meaning in Spain. Just this year alone, more than 45 persons have been brutally murdered at the hands of their ex-partners or supposed boyfriends.

The latest victim, Andrea, native of Vila-Real, Spain… died together with her ex-boyfriend of 28 years of age, as their vehicle rammed into a gas pump at the local petrol station. Both Andrea (20 years of age) and her ex-boyfriend were pronounced dead on the scene.

But unfortunately, such news is practically a daily event in Spain. Day in and day out, we hear about the fatalities, suicides and violent deaths product of so-called “domestic violence.”

The buck doesn’t stop there, however. Many sources including Antenna 3 Television and Mediaset have invested time and money into an information campaign to project awareness of this issue. Yet, in spite of all efforts proclaiming (primarily), the rights of women to be protected from their assailant inviting potential victims to call a special hotline, the violence not only continues but is on the rise.

Though well-intended and in pursuit of justice for victims of domestic violence, these campaigns have largely failed to ebb the wave of domestic violence in Spain. Core factors of such violence include economic and financial instability, infidelity and other types of domestic violence that go unnoticed in many circles. Such violence comes in the form of the rampant use of contraception, a general aversion towards “having children” and responsibility, and a desire to eliminate any responsibility or commitment in any kind of relationship.

The result in Spain is clear: uninhibited indifference, claims for more women’s rights, and campaigns that add more fuel to the fire of anger and outrage resulting from the violent deaths of young women, aborted children and comfort-seeking, loveless couples in their endless pursuit to free themselves of responsibility, commitment and – God forbid – a bit of sacrifice in their “romantic” relationships.

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Glossary:

rumour mill: n. referring to the group of people or source of fake news or rumours

in a matter of seconds: colloq. – in just a few seconds, in very little time

aimed at: colloq. –  with the objective of

turn of events: n. a sudden change in the expected sequence of what happens

collided: v. to crash (past form: collided)

leanings: n. tendencies

in the midst of the fray: in the middle of the confusion

truth be told: to tell you the truth

unquenchable: unable to be satisfied

news junkies: n. people addicted to news

to line their pockets: v. to receive money and fill their pockets with money

privacy: n. the right to mind your own business, to maintain private what is personal

ominous: adj. denoting or showing something negative or pessimistic

to ram into: to crash into head on or like a ram

day in and day out: almost every day

uninhibited: adj. – without any control

pursuit: n. active search or interest in something

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The Three Kings of Fraud in Spain

Kings

December 26, 2017

Mr. Taxman (Taxwoman) Goes After CR7

After months of investigation into allegations of fraud reportedly committed by the world football (soccer) star, Cristian Ronaldo, the Taxwoman, Caridad Gómez Mourelo, is now after Cristiano for tax fraud (once again).

Caridad (ironically translating to ‘charity’ in English), has accused Cristiano Ronaldo on repeated occasions for deliberately evading payment of taxes in Spain through the creation of an offshore company denominated Tollin Associates in the British Virgin Islands. The company was originally constituted, according to Gómez, to hide income in the form of revenue for image rights that CR7 billled under the aforementioned company.

However, Gómez is fighting an uphill battle that some consider to be an outrageous exaggeration. Here’s why: the company was constituted when Cristiano Ronaldo was playing for Manchester United, so any suspicion of illegal billiing activity for image rights of the player doesn’t seem exactly the type of business opened for money laundering purposes. The revenue is legitimate and the territory (though based in an epic tax haven such as the Virgin Islands) was the corresponding tax authority at the time.

Caridad Gómez lashes back, accusing CR7 of not dissolving the company and transferring its fiscal address to Spain when he was hired by Real Madrid. The amount that the Spanish Revenue Service considers taxable is some 15 million euros- and the applicable taxes would sum around 125,000 euros. The magistrate contends that there are people in prison for evading such “astronomical” amount to the Spanish Revenue Service.

Short-Term Memory of Hacienda

At the same time Ms. Gómez is going after CR7 for tax evasion, she didn’t need to look very far – not even leave her own city of Madrid to find cases of much more exorbitant and noteworthy fraud.

The (PP) Popular Party, currently in command of the Central Government, has been under fire for years for misappropriation of funds and illegal funding of their own political activities. But more than these allegations are the actions of local PP Madrid politicians such as Ignacio González, now suspected of running a vacation resort in Santo Domingo worth over 38 million euros and of course the other pending cases like Punica (illegal financing) and others involving reception of kickbacks behind the doors of the PP headquarters in Madrid in exchange for public contracts.

The Ultimate Scam

But if we were to speak of the King of Fraud, Carles Puidgemont, ex-President of Catalonia takes the cake. Not only did he illegally misappropriate and spend public money for trips, vacations and other activites, but he also challenged the Spanish authorities by financing an illegal referendum in Catalonia using public tax money.

If that didn’t make matters worse, the number of businesses that have already left Catolonia in search of more stable economic conditions well exceeds 3,000 medium-large sized businesses. Even iconic figures of Catolonian fiinancing such as Sabadell and Caixa Bank have already forwarded their decision to stay out of Catalonia permanently in consequence of the illegal political activities organised by Puidgemont against the Spanish government.

The latest word on Puidgemont, who refuses to enter Spain for fear of arrest for betrayal and sedition, is that he still plans to play an active role in Spanish politics in Catalonia from afar as acting President- even though no official president of Catalonia has yet to have been appointed following this Christmas legal elections held on December 21st.

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GLOSSARY:

allegations: n. accusations

an offshore company:  n. a company located outside of one’s place of official residence

revenue: n. money recieved for payment of services or sales of products

an uphill battle: n. a fight that will cost a lost of effort and means

money laundering:  n. investing money illegally obtained in a legitimate business to hide the illegal origin of funds

epic: adj. well-known, known since a very long time ago

to lash back: v. to fight back

to sum: v.  to add up

to contend: v. to hold to be true

astronomical: adj. huge, humongous, of disproportionate amounts

exorbitant: adj. exaggerated, very excessive

to run (a business): v.  to manage

kickbacks: n. illegal money received in return for favours

to take the cake: v. to win the prize, to take the gold, to be the winner

to challenge: v. to tempt someone to react to something

to make matters worse: v. to make the situation even more worrisome

the latest word: n. the most recent news

to be appointed: vt. to be designated

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