News in 5 Minutes: Apple’s £11bn tax bill, Joseph Stiglitz’s Scottish currency call, Nasa’s climate warning, and Microleo Attenboroughi

Stuart Rodger

CommonSpace brings you the news so you don’t have to go looking for it

TODAY’S INSTALMENT (30 August) of the CommonSpace daily news roundup includes Apple being ordered to pay back £11bn in corporation tax, Joseph Stiglitz entering the Scottish currency debate, and Jeremy Corbyn’s launch of a digital manifesto.

News: Apple ordered to pay £11bn in Irish taxes

Tech giant Apple have been ordered to pay back £11bn after Irish government violated “state aid” rules

Apple have been ordered to pay back around £11 bn in corporation tax to the Irish government. The call comes after a European Commission investigation ruled that the rate of corporation tax applied to Apple was illegal. In Ireland, the standard rate of corporation tax is 12.5 per cent, but the investigation found that Apple had been paying an effective rate of 0.005 per cent in 2014. Under EU “state aid” rules, member states cannot give selected companies tax breaks. Both Apple and the Irish government said they would appeal the judgment, saying it would undermine “investment and job creation in Europe”. In 2015, Apple made a net profit $53 billion.

Joseph Stiglitz suggests Scottish pound as a better alternative to currency union

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has suggested a Scottish pound may be a better alternative as a currency option for a future independent Scotland, suggesting that proposals before the first independence referendum to share a currency union with the rest of the UK “may have been a mistake”. Stiglitz was speaking in an interview for Good Morning Scotland, in which he was quizzed about the currency union proposal. He said: “I think in hindsight that may have been a mistake. What they would have needed to do is perhaps to resurrect the Scottish pound, and let it float.” He added that an independent currency could lead to greater prosperity.

Nasa says earth is warming at “unprecedented” rate

Nasa’s most senior climate scientist Gavin Schmidt has said that the earth is warming at a rate “unprecedeneted in the past 1,000 years”.  He said: “In the last 30 years we’ve really moved into exceptional territory. Maintaining temperatures below the 1.5C guardrail requires significant and very rapid cuts in carbon dioxide emissions or co-ordinated geo-engineering. That is very unlikely. We are not even yet making emissions cuts commensurate with keeping warming below 2C.” Schmidt added that there is a 99 per cent chance that 2016 will be the warmest year on record, beating 2015 and 2014 which were themselves the warmest years on record.

Politics: Jeremy Corbyn launches Digital Democracy Manifesto

Jeremy Corbyn launches Digital Democracy Manifesto

Labour leader and Jeremy Corbyn has put forward proposals for a Digital Bill of Rights in a manifesto launch today. He suggested that inadequate access to the internet acts as a social and economic barrier, proposing a UK-wide network of high-speed broadband. He criticized disparities in access to high-speed broadband, suggesting that he was “open-minded” about bringing the service into public ownership should current private providers fail to deliver. Corbyn also suggested trialling online election voting as part of a broader 7 point plan to “democratize” the internet under a Corbyn lead government.

French trade minister calls for TTIP talks to be called off

France’s minister for foreign trade, Matthias Fekl, has tweeted that talks between the US and EU on the proposed free-trade agreement Ttip should stop. The call comes after German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said earlier this week that Ttip negotiations had “failed”.

Sport: Wayne Rooney to retire from international football after 2018 World Cup

Wayne Rooney has announced his intention to retire from international football after the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The England captain, who has scored 53 goals in 115 England appearances, said: "Come Russia I feel that will be the time to say goodbye to international football. My mind is made up. It's still two years away. I started playing professional football when I was 16, and started playing internationals when I was 17. Fifteen years is a lot. I'd be 34 by the next tournament.”

Culture: entertainment figures hail Willy Wonka actor Gene Wilder

Figures from across the entertainment industry have hailed Willy Wonka actor Gene Wilder, who has died at the age of 83. Denise Nickerson, who played one of the five children who won golden tickets to Willy Wonka’s Chocolcate Factory in the famous film, said: “RIP Gene. You were so talented and kind-hearted. You will be sorely missed by so many. All of us have lost our Willy Wonka. Love, Violet."

Edinburgh festival breaks records again

Meanwhile, the Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe ended with a fireworks display above Edinburgh Castle, sponsored by Virgin Money. The Festival was yet another record breaking year – with sales up by 8 per cent from 2015.

Weather: expected to stay sunny, before rainy spells on the west coast

Weather expected to stay sunny and hot for most of the day. Small patches of rain expected to hit the west coast this evening, continuing into tomorrow.

And another thing… Microleo attenborughi

A fossil kitten-sized lion has been named after broadcasting legend David Attenborough. The broadcaster, famous for his epic nature documentaries, has finally got his name enshrined in natural history after the fossil was named “Microleo attenboroughi”. The fossil was found in Riversleigh World Heritage Site in Queensland, Australia, and named after Attenborough in recognition of his work promoting the site.

Pictures courtesy of tomy pelluz, Marc Lehmann, Garry Knight, jubei kibagami, Alberto Botella, Patrick Down, jeaneeem

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