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Emmy Eats Germany 7 - tasting more German treats

“Gobbling up some more German treats on this episode of Emmy Eats Germany part 7 on Emmymade in Japan.”

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My official Spring jam. 

Canada pledges $5 million to Nepal earthquake relief efforts

The Canadian government is sending an assessment team to earthquake stricken Nepal and contributing $5 million to relief efforts, Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson’s office confirmed late Saturday.

The assessment team was part of the Disaster Assistance Response Team, known as DART, Johanna Quinney, Nicholson’s press secretary, said in an email. The military team is designed to deploy on short notice to deal with natural disasters or humanitarian emergencies.

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Clinton Charities to refile last 5 years of tax returns with IRS after “irregularities” exposed

This is a big deal.  As much as Hillary Clinton would like to shrug off the hundreds of millions of dollars in donations from foreign governments (many of which in suspected exchange for special favors from the State Department and other inside access from the Clintons), this story has legs.  

from Reuters:

Hillary Clinton’s family’s charities are refiling at least five annual tax returns after a Reuters review found errors in how they reported donations from governments, and said they may audit other Clinton Foundation returns in case of other errors.

The foundation and its list of donors have been under intense scrutiny in recent weeks. Republican critics say the foundation makes Clinton, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, vulnerable to undue influence. Her campaign team calls these claims “absurd conspiracy theories.”

The charities’ errors generally take the form of under-reporting or over-reporting, by millions of dollars, donations from foreign governments, or in other instances omitting to break out government donations entirely when reporting revenue, the charities confirmed to Reuters.

The errors, which have not been previously reported, appear on the form 990s that all non-profit organizations must file annually with the Internal Revenue Service to maintain their tax-exempt status. A charity must show copies of the forms to anyone who wants to see them to understand how the charity raises and spends money.

The unsettled numbers on the tax returns are not evidence of wrongdoing but tend to undermine the 990s role as a form of public accountability, experts in charity law and transparency advocates interview told Reuters.
“If those numbers keep changing - well, actually, we spent this on this, not that on that - it really defeats the purpose,” said Bill Allison, a senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation, a government transparency advocacy group.

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This news comes as we find out that the Clinton foundations received large donations from Russia just as the Russians were trying to gain control over a major US-held uranium supply. These kinds of conflicts of interest were every day occurrences at the Clinton-run State Department.

The Saudis drop bombs on Yemen while calling it a humanitarian mission. It’s a play straight from the American playbook.
—  Toby Jones, author of “Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia.” He joined Democracy Now! to discuss Saudi Arabia’s military assault on Yemen. Watch the interview at democracynow.org.

Canada keeps foreign aid budget secret as spending drops to levels not seen since 2003

In the 528-page federal budget released Tuesday, there was one notable absence: any figure for foreign aid.

The federal government stopped publishing a top-line figure for international assistance in 2006. The last time any numbers were released was back in 2012, when the budget included forward projections ending in 2014.

Now, without any update in this year’s budget, aid groups can only hope that the foreign aid budget will remain flat.

“We’re assuming that it’s currently frozen,” said Fraser Reilly-King, a senior policy analyst at the Canadian Council for International Co-operation.

“We have no way of knowing.

“It could be frozen, or it could continue to decline.”

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