France probing Google for fraud and money-laundering

The Guardian reports: "French investigators have raided Google’s Paris headquarters, saying the company is now under investigation for aggravated financial fraud and  money laundering.

"In a major escalation of France’s long-running enquiry into Google’s tax affairs, magistrates revealed on Tuesday that the software/search engine giant is suspected of evading taxes by failing to declare the full extent of its activities in the country. 

"Prosecutors said they want to establish whether the Irish company through which Google funnels the majority of its European revenues does in fact control a 'permanent establishment' in France.''

Most European nations are cracking down on some huge multinational companies, such as Google, which have been brilliant at accounting and other maneuvers aimed at avoiding taxes.

Next 2 dinners: Adventures in backstabbing; Panama Canal and Quonset

May 14, 2016

To members and friends of the Providence Committee on Foreign Relations (

Ah, the lushness of mid-May!

Our next meeting comes on Tuesday, June 7, when Michael Soussan, former U.N. whistleblower; acclaimed author; widely published journalist; NYU writing professor, and women's rights advocate, will speak. His satirical memoir about global corruption,  Backstabbing for Beginners: My Crash Course In International Diplomacy (Nation Books / Perseus), is being adapted  for a feature film, starring Ben Kingsley and Josh Hutcherson.

His next book is TRUTH TO POWER: how great minds changed the world. A brief history of thought leadership.

As usual, the dinner will be at the Hope Club, 6 Benevolent St., Providence. Drinks start at about 6, dinner by 7, then the talk and a Q&A and the evening ends by 9. We will make all possible efforts short of physical violence (psychic violence is allowed) to ensure that the talk ends with plenty of time left for questions and get people out by 9.

Please let us know whether you will join usJune 7 by replying to or, in a crunch, calling (401) 523-3957.

Thanks very much to those who have already let us know!

The Hope Club needs good estimates no later than the day before a PCFR dinner.

Dues and dinner cost information may be found at: Other membership information may be found there, too.  (A member asked if (the modest) duesand dinner fees for this nonprofit educational and civic membership organization aredeductible for business purposes. In some cases. Ask your tax adviser.)

By the way, dues are on a 12-month basis. So, for example, if you paid, as a new member, your dues in March, then you’d pay them again next March. Most of our members pay their annual dues in the summer, in advance of the mainseason. But we have had quite a few new members this season.

Our last speaker of the season will be Evan Matthews, a key thought leader at the North Atlantic Ports Association and director of the Port of Davisville. He will talk to us on Wednesday, June 22, on changes in world shipping, including the widening of the Panama Canal and other changes of huge interest to New England ports, especially Quonset/Davisville. Since this will be in some part about Narragansett Bay, it’s a good summery topic to end the season with.

We’ll be sending a list of some new-season speakers in the next few weeks. Topics will probably includethe role of Germany in the E.U.; the mess in Brazil; Central Europe facing right-wing populism and an  aggressive Russia; Mongolia; the Zika virus; ocean fishing, the Silk Road Project;  Japan and God knows what other topics current history might throw at us.
Suggestions are appreciated.
We look forward to seeing you.

: @ThePCFR





Important WAC-RI event: FISA courts and national security


In a World Affairs Council of Rhode Island event,  Senior Federal Appeals Court Judge Bruce Selya will discuss how the FISA courts fit into our national security interests and how new legislation may impact their effectiveness.  He is former chief judge of the U.S.  Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review. FISA stands for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,

The dinner event will be from 6 to 9 p.m, Thursday, June 2, at a venue to be announced..

This will be the season wrap-up session for the WAC-RI.

For more information see this link.