Trump said about “outplaying” Obama Russia :: Politics :: RBC

According to Biden, Trump had information about “Russian rewards to the Taliban,” but he still invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to come to the United States to attend the G7 summit. Trump not only failed to impose sanctions against Russia “for this flagrant violation of international law”, but also continued the “campaign of worship and humiliation of Vladimir Putin”, Biden said at a meeting with voters (former vice president is Trump’s main rival in the upcoming presidential election state).

The White House says Trump has no evidence of collusion between Russia and the Taliban

According to NYT, the military received information on Russian payments from captured militants in Afghanistan. The publication also wrote that Trump knew about what had happened, but did not approve of any of the retaliatory steps, among which were both complaints through diplomatic channels and sanctions.

The White House said that Trump was not reported on anything like this. The US president himself called NYT material fake and custom-made. The Taliban denied the newspaper’s links to Russia.

The Russian Foreign Ministry described the article as a stuffing. The Russian Embassy in Washington called the charges in the article unsubstantiated, and also said that after the publication of this material, anonymous threats began to come to Russian diplomats.

France did not notice changes in Russia’s policy to participate in the G7 summit

Vladimir Putin

The G8 format has existed since 1997. Russia was expelled from its composition after the annexation of Crimea in mid-March 2014. Now G7 includes the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the UK and Japan.

Trump proposed inviting Putin to the G7 summit at the end of May of this year. This is not the first time he has expressed this idea – he voiced it in August last year. Then the American president also blamed Obama for the collapse of the G8.


China did not invite WHO to investigate the origin of coronavirus :: Politics :: RBC

The Chinese authorities launched an investigation into the occurrence of coronavirus infection, but experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) were not invited to take part in it. This was announced to Sky News by the representative of the organization in China, Goden Galea.

“We know that a national investigation is already underway, but at this stage we were not invited to participate,” Galea said. According to him, WHO continues to make inquiries about the investigation to the health authorities and authorities in China.

At the same time, there is no reason to refuse to participate in the organization, Galea said. He noted that the WHO did not doubt the natural origin of the virus.

Coronavirus pandemic. The most relevant on April 30

Earlier, Fox News reported that the coronavirus could have come from a laboratory in Wuhan, where an employee allegedly accidentally infected the virus. At the same time, the US Department of State Intelligence and Research Bureau did not support the version of the artificial origin of the infection, indicating that there was no evidence of coronavirus from the laboratory.

US President Donald Trump, in turn, said that he had information that allows him to say that the source of infection is a Chinese laboratory.

The distribution of coronavirus Covid-19 in the world

Number of confirmed cases of infection

Source: JHU

World Data i


Samuel Little: A life told corpse by corpse | International

Portraits made by Samuel Little of his victims. On video, the testimonies of the murderer. ap | Reuters

At the end of life, one should remember the best moments with family and friends, the people who fell in love with him and the best trips. Samuel Little remembers killing 93 women.

Little is 79 years old. He started counting his crimes for the first time a year and a half ago. He remembers in as much detail as coldly the murders he committed more than four decades ago. He also has a photographic memory that allows him to make portraits of his victims. They were mostly young African American women, alone, living on the fringes.

With Little’s confessions, the FBI is asking for help from all law enforcement agencies in the country and citizens to help name those stories. This week, the FBI announced that it has already managed to prove 50 of those crimes. The figure is relevant because it officially makes Little the biggest serial killer in United States history. Former Gary Ridgway was convicted of 49. Federal police have released Little’s portraits and some of Little’s confessions in a series of videos that dwarf any television fiction.

In one of the videos, Little tells the story of Ruth, a light-toned black woman. Outskirts of Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1992 or 1993. “Oh my friend, I loved it. I forgot her name … wait, I think it was Ruth. It was very big. His teeth were crooked. He had a gap between his teeth. If that is. And it was a light skin color … honey. And her hair was not very long. ” He picked her up from a house where he was with other women smoking crack. They spent two days together driving around the city and committing small shoplifting. They went to the Sears and Kroger’s stores, he remembers exactly. At the Kroger’s in Little Rock, he was arrested.

Samuel Little, during the trial against him in Los Angeles in 2013. AP

The woman did not know what to do by herself, so she stayed in the car, parked in the store. She stayed until the owner called the police station and dropped the charges only to have Little take her away. “They let me go!”. Little laughs as he tells it. He is a 79-year-old man telling another anecdote of his life. The video of the interview omits the part in which he killed that woman. The fragment ends by telling that he took her to a cornfield where there was a pile of garbage. “I parked the car looking out to see if someone was coming. I got her out of the car. It was too heavy to carry. So I just took it out of the car and left it there in the trash. ”

Little never especially fled from justice. It was simply not detected by the system. He was born in 1940 in Georgia. His first arrest is recorded in 1956. Over the years, he was detained dozens of times. He was a drunkard and a tramp. Many times the local authorities were content to kick him out of town. He killed and went to another place. He was eventually arrested for rape and murder, but was released on both counts. Finally, in 2012, he was detained at a Kentucky homeless shelter on a pending drug issue in Los Angeles.

Little’s DNA suddenly solved three crimes from the Los Angeles police files. Carol Alford, 41, whose body was found in an alley in 1987. Audrey Nelson, 35, found in a container in 1989. Guadalupe Apodaca, 46, whose body was left in a garage that same year. Little denied the allegations to the end. Two physical tests had traces of his DNA. The odds that it wasn’t him were 1 in 450 quintillion, prosecutor Beth Silverman told the court. On September 25, he was sentenced to three life terms. “I didn’t!” He yelled during the hearing.

Los Angeles police released Little’s DNA to the FBI, which put him in the violent crime database. Dozens of matches began to appear across the country. One of them, very clear, in Odessa, Texas. Denise Brothers was an African American prostitute whose body was found in a bush behind a parking lot. The case was 24 years unsolved. In 2018, a Texas Rangers agent named James Holland, a specialist in obtaining confessions from murderers, traveled to see Little at California State Prison. There he got the confession. Little remembered tiny details, like the fact that Brothers was wearing false teeth.

Montage of police photos of Litlle made by the FBI.

Montage of police photos of Litlle made by the FBI. EFE

Little wanted to change prison. In return, he would speak. He was extradited to Texas with the promise that he would not be sentenced to death. There, Holland chatted with him for 48 days straight in sessions lasting several hours. He confessed to 65 murders. A year and a half after the first confession, Little is back in California State Prison and is still talking. It goes by 93.

“Tell me about Marianne,” Agent Holland asks in another of the videos. “She was what they would call a transgender today,” Little laughs. “A black man dressed as a woman?” Little nods. The crime was in 1972, but Little remembers it with a chilling level of detail. He says he was 19 years old and was from Liberty City, Miami. She had a boyfriend named Wes. He met her at a bar on 17th Street. She was wearing a cream and red miniskirt. He got in his Pontiac Le Mans car and drove down I-27 toward Fort Lauderdale. He entered on a side path that led into the swamps. He left the corpse face down on the mud. You don’t know the exact site. He believes that the body was never found.

Little’s confessions span 45 years and 37 cities in 14 states. Three women in Phoenix, 10 in Miami, 18 in Los Angeles, one in many places. The oldest crime he remembers was in 1970 and the last in 2005. In a report by 60 Minutes On CBS, which aired on October 6, cameras show an encounter between Holland and Little in which the inmate says, “I have had my way in numerous murders of women for 50 years.” “Where have you killed the most?” Asks Holland. “Oh, easy, in Miami and in Los Angeles.”

Little’s victims used to be marginal women. Investigators fear that some deaths were never reported, that no one missed them. Little was a boxer for a time in his life. According to the FBI, he knocked his victims out and then strangled them. There are no stabbings or shots. As prostitutes and drug addicts, investigators fear that some of these crimes were not once classified as homicides, but were mistaken for overdose deaths.

In that report, Holland says that the first thing that caught his attention is how “smart” Little is. “For starters, the photographic memory, his memories of the details,” he explains. “For example, Little remembered strange arches near the place where he killed a woman outside of Miami. Of course, when Miami detectives went to investigate, they found the bows. ” Details like that named the victim: Miriam Chapman. It was 1976.

All of Little’s confessions are credible, according to investigators. That means that in dusty folders in the local police files of the United States there are at least 43 more unsolved cases whose key could be in these stories. “Nothing he has said has turned out to be false. We have been able to verify almost everything he has said, ”said Holland on CBS. Those women existed. They had a name that wasn’t just Ruth or Marianne. They are somewhere. Her killer remembers them.


The coronavirus could have caused three times as many deaths in Italy as reported

Italians have an appointment on the screens of their devices every day at 18:00, when Civil Protection offers the official bulletin with the latest coronavirus pandemic facts: hospitalized, admitted to the ICU, cured, new infected … Among the figures offered by this institution is, of course, the number of deceased. They would be almost 26,000 until today. The actual number of deaths, on the other hand, could be very different, even three times higher. This is what two researchers fear who have crossed the data offered by the Civil Protection with the deaths recorded in the municipal archives.

“It seemed to us that there were inconsistencies in the numbers. In many nursing homes, the deceased has not been tested for the coronavirus. And neither to those who have died in their homes. Those data are not recorded in the official gazette, but they are deaths recorded by the municipalities, although without offering the cause, “Paolo Meridiani, a researcher at the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN), told this newspaper. Together with Daniele Del Re, professor of physics at the Sapienza University of Rome, he has carried out a study that estimates up to 75,000 deaths in Italy due to the impact of the coronavirus. Other investigations also point out that in the countries affected by Covid-19 the death toll would have increased much more than official pandemic statistics say.

Meridiani and Del Re have used the data offered by the Istat (the official Italian statistical institute), which collects the records from March 1 to April 4 in almost 1,700 municipalities where there has been a minimum rebound of 20% in the deaths compared to the average for the same period from 2015 to 2019. The Istat considers its data to be a “representative sample of the entire Italian population”. There is great diversity in the growth in the number of deaths in some cities compared to others. In Bergamo, one of the epicenters of the pandemic, they have tripled, while in Rome the increase is very low.

Direct | This is how the fight against the coronavirus progresses

“In our study we have taken into account various variables, such as the side effects of the coronavirus. There have been people who have not dared to go to hospitals due to other ailments for fear of getting it and patients who have been delayed for operations or other medical visits, “says Meridiani. The investigation not only contemplates collateral deaths due to the health crisis caused by the pandemic, but also the reduction that would have occurred in those killed by traffic or work accidents as a consequence of confinement and the reduction in productive activities.

“Taking into account both factors so far, more deaths are added than those subtracted,” says the researcher, stressing that the incidence of collateral deaths is particularly visible in the south of the country. The southern regions are those with the least infected with Covid-19, but fear of infection would have led many people affected by other health problems to reduce their visits to health centers, which would have ended up causing a rise in mortality.

A recent investigation by the Italian Society of Cardiology revealed that throughout the national territory there has been a 50% decrease in the number of people hospitalized for heart attacks since the coronavirus health crisis broke out in late February. “The psychosis of contagion, especially in the initial phases of the pandemic, has played a decisive role in keeping patients with heart attack symptoms away from hospitals or delaying their arrival in the Emergency Department,” confirmed Sergio Severino, director of the unit. of cardiology of the Cotugno hospital in Naples, in the newspaper ‘Il Mattino’.

Meridiani and Del Re are convinced that the disparity between the death toll from the official coronavirus bulletins and that offered by the municipal civil registries will gradually decrease. “Coronavirus tests are increasingly being done, which is why almost all deaths from this pathogen are already identified, not as it happened in the initial stage of the pandemic,” says Meridiani. In the first half of March in Italy, less than 20,000 tests were performed daily, while in recent weeks they did not drop below 40,000.

Italy will use serological tests, which serve to detect whether a person has already developed antibodies against Covid-19, starting on May 4, when the country will reopen after almost two months of confinement. The extraordinary commissioner appointed for the emergency, Domenico Arcuri, said today that these tests will be carried out on a sample of 150,000 people throughout the national territory.


Kobe Bryant could have a documentary similar to that of Michael Jordan

The late Kobe Bryant could be the protagonist of a documentary in the style of the successful ‘The Last Dance’ of the Chicago Bulls from Michael Jordan, when arranging that his last season in the NBA was filmed closely, reported the ESPN network.

According to ESPN information, the Los Angeles Lakers star caused a recording team to have privileged access to team locker rooms, training and travel during the 2015-2016 season, the last of his 20 years with the franchise. Six cameras came to cover Kobe Bryant’s last game, in which he scored 60 points against the Utah Jazz at the age of 37.

“They had a unprecedented access and much older than anyone before, ”John Black, who headed the Lakers’ public relations department for 27 years, told ESPN. “We allowed them to do as much as we could within the league’s scope, and sometimes, with a wink and looking the other way, we allowed them even more.”

According to sources consulted by ESPN, it is still unclear what will happen to this material. The images were in the editing period to prepare a possible documentary that would be released in a few years and Kobe Bryant himself would have seen them a few months before his death and made his comments. “It is unlikely that those plans have changed,” the sources told the network.

Kobe Bryant, winner of five NBA rings, died on January 26 with his daughter Gianna and seven other people in a helicopter crash. The loss of the ‘Black Mamba’ shocked the NBA world which, like other sports, is now paralyzed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

A black campaign for the Lakers

With the season suspended, the premiere this week of the first episodes of ‘The Last Dance’ generated high expectations among the players and achieved an audience of more than six million viewers.

The documentary, which includes unpublished material for more than 20 years, is immersed in the successes and conflicts of the Bulls dynasty by Michael Jordan, focusing on the conquest of his sixth and final ring in 1998.

Some colleagues of Kobe Bryant in his last campaign, such as Larry Nance Jr., acknowledged that the recording came to put them in a difficult situation, since those Lakers had nothing to do with the global phenomenon that ‘The Last Dance’ narrates. «It was really great because it is the ‘Black Mamba’. But at the same time, that’s also the worst season in Lakers history. So while I am very proud to play in the NBA with that absolute legend, it is not something I am trying to revive, “said Nance, current player for the Cleveland Cavaliers.


Cabueà ± es walks towards normality after having avoided the collapse

“We are not heroes, this will help to know our work”, affirm the members of the ICU of the Hospital, with hardly any deaths from coronavirus

Cabueà ± es walks towards normality after having avoided the collapse


Covid-19: The pandemic mortgages the future of children who have nothing | Future Planet

Daniel Awuley looks a bit more concerned this week than on other days. They are days of meetings, of trying to find effective plans for the future, of trying not to leave anyone out of them. “They come from all parts of Ghana, especially from the poorest regions in the north of the country. They come because here in Accra, the capital, they have it easier to do business, to earn some money, ”he explains. Awuley is director of Chance for Children, a local NGO dedicated to the protection of children, and talks about the children who live on the streets of the city, those who are homeless, those who take the opportunity to spend the nights in the local markets when the merchants sell closing their businesses. “I think that in the coming weeks, they may face a really difficult situation,” he says.

Coronavirus has sneaked into Ghana more than unequivocally (the country has already reported more than 1,100 positive cases and almost a dozen deaths from covid-19, as of April 23, although the figures are outdated on a daily basis ), and measures to try to stop contagion have happened in recent weeks: entry ban on citizens of countries with more than 200 confirmed cases first, quarantine forced on all visitors later, order to close schools, churches and universities, ban on funerals, congresses and conferences, closure of borders and disinfection of the main markets and, finally, confinement of the cities that concentrate a greater number of population. Despite this, the country’s president, Akufo-Addo, who also promised a special plan to fight the effects of the pandemic for which he would allocate 100 million dollars, he lifted the confinement last Monday, April 20, and affirmed that this measure would help to better track positive cases of the disease.

“Children who live on the street are going to be very exposed. Some have already told us that they are afraid because of what they hear and that they think about returning to their places of origin, although many do not know if it will be possible, “continues Awuley, who fears that a confinement like the one lived in the country for three weeks, similar to that experienced in most countries where the new coronavirus ravages, becomes a double-edged sword for all these minors. On the one hand, the dangers of living without shelter, continually exposed to disease. On the other, their inability to earn money: the majority is dedicated to selling water, cookies or groceries on the streets, a business that disappears when the Government forces people not to leave home as other African nations have done, such as South Africa, Rwanda or Zimbabwe. “They work in the so-called informal sector and they are definitely going to suffer a lot without even a chance to earn any money,” summarizes Awuley.

Some seven million Ghanaians live below the poverty line

Chance for Children has three centers spread across various cities in Ghana, serving 100 street children daily. This number, however, does not reflect the magnitude of the problem. According to the Unicef ​​State of the World’s Children reportIn 2016 Ghana had about 95,000 orphaned children and this, the orphanage, is one of the main reasons that lead children to live on the street. The NGO led by Awuley estimates that, in Ghana, there may be around 100,000 children who lived on the streets of their country before the pandemic, figure that has been corroborated by different means. It is a phenomenon that, in reality, is repeated too frequently throughout the planet: different United Nations estimates they indicate that the number of minors in the world who are homeless and who make markets or makeshift shacks their home rises above 150 million.

One of the aspects that can invite optimism is that, in countries where the pandemic causes the most deaths, victims under the age of 19 are almost insignificant, and Ghana, like other nations in sub-Saharan Africa, presents a fairly young population pyramid: Almost 40% of Ghanaian citizens, a country with just over 28 million inhabitants, are under the age of 15. The average age of the continent, as Bill and Melinda Gates recently remembered in a letter made public since its foundation, it borders on the 18 years, although this fact does not save them from a possible disease nor from its more immediate indirect consequences.

Condemned to work

Totsa Totsa says that he does not know how old he is, that it is impossible for him to know. He believes they are 10, that he will be 11 next summer, although there may be some more. “Before studying here, I spent about three years selling soap on the streets in Ho, the capital of the Volta region. I lived with my mother in a town, but she sent me to the city with a lady to earn some money doing this, “he recalls. The one that the little one tells is a common picture on the streets of Ho, Accra and many other Ghanaian and African capitals. “After this time, my mother decided that I should come with a relative of hers here, to Tema, and it was this family member who decided that I should come to school,” she says.

Totsa speaks a couple of days before the order to close schools sitting at a desk in the Dominic Savio Center, of the Italian organization Comunita della Missione di Don Bosco, collaborated with the Salesian Missions, a center located in a humble neighborhood in the town of Tema New Town and destined to provide schooling for around twenty kids a year. Those who come to this center are children who dropped out of school at an early age, who live difficult economic situations in their family environment and who have often had to work before. Ultimately, children who add to those statistics that nobody wants to be part of, not even in Ghana. Almost 24% of the population in this nation lived below the poverty line in 2017 (figure that shot up to 39.5% in rural areas), and 8% of Ghanaians did so in extreme poverty, according to Unicef ​​data.

But new measures against the coronavirus have sent children home, a remedy that in such an impoverished, scarce family environment can mortgage the future of thousands of children. “I will give you an example: we close the school for two months, from July to October, when classes begin, and many of the little ones start to beg. It is relatively common in this area; As they have nothing to do, the kids ask for and get money to help their family, “explains Moira Nardoni, coordinator of the Salesian project in Tema. “This is not like in the countries of Europe, that the students can do homework during the confinement. Here, if they can’t go to school, they start doing other things, not homework, “says Nardoni.

Around 100,000 minors are homeless in Ghana

The truth is that Ghana faces a problem of child labor and even slavery of considerable dimensions that can be aggravated by the consequences of the coronavirus. Different sources they indicate that around 50,000 children worked alone in Lake Volta (the largest reservoir in the world with about 8,500 square kilometers), one of the most dynamic areas in the country. AND an extensive investigation by the humanitarian organization International Justice Mission showed in 2013 that, of all of them, approximately 60% had been a victim of child trafficking. This number, and also those given by Unicef to encrypt children working today in sub-Saharan Africa (around 48 million) and in the world (150 million) can increase more than significantly if the pandemic is replicated in Africa, where health systems are much more precarious, where the overcrowding of the population is the usual trend both in homes and in workplaces, the deadly effects it leaves in other countries such as Italy, Spain or France. In fact, the latest data does not paint a hopeful future: the continent already has around 21,000 positive cases and more than 1,200 deaths.

“I do not know how all this will affect the lives of their families, but I think that many still do not understand what the severity of the pandemic may be,” said Nardoni. And, finally, he mentions another one of those invisible problems that hangs over his head these days of despair, which does not bear the name of any virus but that usually causes, at least, the same suffering and more deaths than epidemics. “At school we had a lunch and I know that for many of the children it was their most important meal of the day.”

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“It will be very sad not to have that contact with readers today”

Eduardo Mendoza (Barcelona, ​​1943) cannot bear the public acts that he now misses. The Cervantes 2016 award will today miss the “unbearable” noise and bustle of Sant Jordi. Also the “insufferable” pomp of the ceremony that will not take place in Alcalá de Henares, which he starred in four years ago and which does not wish anyone. It is hard for him to imagine an act with the Kings, the award-winning Margarit and the aged crowd dressed in morning coats and a mask. Optimistic about the recovery of the book after the nightmare of the virus, Mendoza now takes refuge in reading and claims the balsam of humor.

-We will live the strangest Book Day and Sant Jordi.

-It’s pitiful. It is very contradictory. Every year when this date arrives I think how often I can do what I could do to save myself from being on the street all day signing and with the burden of the crowd. And this time, which will not be the case, I think it will be a bigger pain. It will be very sad not to have that contact with the readers. The absurd situation we live in shows how much we miss what bothered us so much. Seeing the streets and empty beaches also pains. We criticized the tourists that crowded the streets a lot and now, if we had one, we would give it anything.

-We will also lack the speech by Joan Margarit in Alcalá.

-I wanted to call him. Poor. With what he will have suffered preparing it! It is true that it is a bad drink, a ceremony that I do not wish on anyone, but it is sad to miss it like Sant Jordi. It is a beating, although when you are deprived of something you miss it. Perhaps Margarit is glad to save the drink, for the moment, but I am sure it will be bad for her. This award is received once in a lifetime and not being able to pick it up is a bummer.

– You suffered a lot preparing your speech?

-I wrote it very quickly after thinking about it a lot. Get rid of it as soon as possible was my idea, but I rewrote it three or four times. Even the day before I was making corrections. It is not a circumstance to simply muddle through with four vulgarities. The appreciation must live up to the gift. It requires effort and concern but, well, suffer

“Humor always helps, even in terrible situations, let it be said without frivolizing,” says the writer and Cervantes Award 2016

it is not the word. I did suffer with the act. You are not used to being the star of the show.

-Deferred to autumn, it was hard to imagine the kings and the award-winning mask and morning coat.

-Yes. Of course it is a strange image: the maceros, the choir, the prickly pear and the entire collection of geeks that attend the act … so it better be postponed.

-How will the day of Cervantes and Sant Jordi go?

-Well, like the day of San Juan and San Pedro. Tucked home looking out the window. I take this opportunity to read the books that I no longer remember. Always several at once: a classic, a detective novel, and an essay. I am now with a history of the 19th century in Spain, with ‘War and Peace’ and also with a police novel by Ross McDonald that I had not read for years. What a cocktail.

-The bookstores will be closed. Should they open?

-No. Public managers have not been wrong about this. If measures such as confinement have been taken, as in almost all countries -even those who did not want to have ended up going through the hoop-, it had to be done. Whoever touches, touches, and has touched many There are even those who calculate that half of the bars and restaurants will not reopen. The book sector has suffered a lot, but I think it will recover. Maybe these days someone has discovered that reading is a good way to pass the time. Also that the books are interesting or that they are a good complement to TV.

– Humor is crucial in his work, as in Cervantes’. Is it more necessary today than ever?

-You have to take the situation with good humor, without considering it a joke. Humor always helps, even in terrible situations, said without frivolity and with the utmost respect for so many lost lives. Like everyone, I receive a huge amount of WhatsApp and messages with jokes, jokes, videos and photos that indicate that humor is essential. It feels good to me as it does to everyone else. It is better to resort to humor than to be sad and serious all day.

– it writes now or it paralyzes the situation to him?

-I was writing when it started, and I continue. At another rate because the situation, you want it not, affects your behavior. I am rather homemade. Unlike in my youth, being at home is my best plan. The general environment does not help concentration. Thinking that I have all the hours of the day makes me waste them, almost all of them. I continue with my routine, which is reading and writing, which has saved me for many years.

– The confinement, is the natural state of the writer?

-Yes, but once in a while it is recess time and you go to the bar with your friends, you go out to dinner or take a walk and you clear yourself. All that will return, but for now they have taken it from us.

-Will we go back to normal?

-I do not know what will happen. Making predictions about it is how to fill in pools. Something will change, of course, and it will affect us. But I would not know if the changes will be individual or collective. It is somewhat unpredictable.

-What book would you give away in Sant Jordi, even if it has to be virtual?

-It depends on who and under what circumstances. They always ask me, and I never know what to answer. I am not aware of news and I find it difficult to think of a hypothetical and abstract reader.


Now what do I do with my business rent? | Economy

The confinement caused by the coronavirus (covid-19) has turned the economy around and, of course, the property market. Big brands like H&M and Primark have announced that they will renegotiate the rentals of their premises in the United Kingdom. Kiko Milano and Rituals are asking for a moratorium on the payment of their rents in Spain. Also two Spanish hotel chains, NH Hoteles and Meliá Hotels, with 230 and 116 hotels in rental buildings, respectively.

Recently, seven employers in the sector (the Spanish Federation of Home Appliance Merchants FECE, the Spanish Confederation of Commerce CEC, the Spanish Association of Central Purchases ANCECO and the associations of chains of retail, services and restaurants (AMICCA, ACOTEX, COMERTIA and EURELIA) have sent a manifesto to the Government in which they accuse their inability to face expenses such as the payment of rents for commercial premises and demand actions to alleviate the effects of the halt on their businesses. The pandemic means the practical disappearance of their income, while rent is presented as a high fixed cost that is impossible to face.

But in addition to large companies, the cessation of activity is a big problem for small businesses that have to face their rents without supporting income. Restaurants, cafes, hardware stores, greengrocers, etc. Businesses at street level that do not have a great endurance capacity if the confinement is maintained. If there is no delay in payments, downward renegotiation of their rents, or forgiveness of payments during closing, many will be forced to permanently close their doors.

What do the government rescue actions contemplate for the ‘retail’ sector?

In the measures adopted by the Government of Pedro Sánchez, tenants, whether large companies or small self-employed, who make up the bulk of the rental of commercial premises, have been left out.

Yes, the landlords will have advantages since they will be able to request andl deferment of mortgage payments of their businesses as long as they have suffered a substantial loss of income or a drop in their turnover of at least 40%.

Luis Corral, CEO of Foros Consultores Inmobiliarios, explains that in these complicated circumstances, the ideal would be a pact between tenant and landlord. “The advisable thing is a distribution of losses in function of the fall of income. If there is some activity, distribute those expenses and defer the rest of the rent for the next few months or reduce the monthly payment. Once past, it is advisable to gradually incorporate the payment of the rent. And if there is not, exempt at least the rent for the duration of the alarm, ”he explains.

Some jurists believe that those affected could have recourse to an article in the Civil Code, specifically 1,105, which exempts them from paying the income in a situation of force majeure. Obviously, for the duration of the alarm state. Verbatim, the article says: “Outside of the cases expressly mentioned in the law, and those in which the obligation so declares, no one will answer for those events that could not have been foreseen, or that, foreseen, were inevitable.”

The lawyer Pilar del Olmo explains that this article would be valid for seasonal rentals (for example, premises rented in summer) that are governed by the Civil Code, while it would be highly debatable in contracts longer than one year since the Urban lease law.

Luis Corral is opposed to using the judicial route. Negotiation between the tenant and the lessor is much more agile than facing lengthy legal proceedings and, in addition, it will prevent many companies from being forced to close. The decision should rest with the affected parties.

How should I proceed in case of negotiation with my landlord?

Corral gives some very useful advice for negotiation: “The reason for this exception must be documented and explained. It is very important to avoid later claims of non-payment and also for the declaration of the Income. For example, the landlord is required to declare the rents. However, if it has been postponed or reduced, only what is reflected in the pact is declared. ”

Other important fixed expenses that businesses face depend on the Public Administrations: Real Estate Tax (IBI), taxes for terraces in cafeterias, garbage taxes, vehicle taxes, etc. What about these types of expenses?

The Barcelona City Council, for example, has decided to delay the payment of the IBI until July. Normally, this tribute has the deadline of May 4. This corporation has also announced that it is studying ways to discount months of inactivity from the terrace tax. Of course, the owner should request a refund of part of the fee afterwards.

There are numerous towns of different sizes in which a delay in the payment of taxes is being announced or, definitely, to be abolished during the state of alarm. Guadalajara, Valdemoro and Pinto (Madrid), Ávila, León and Logroño, among others, have decided to postpone taxes. Altea (Alicante) or Lanjarón (Granada) suspend the payment of taxes while the confinement of the population lasts.

For its part, the Madrid City Council has decided to subsidize 25% of the full IBI fee for properties dedicated to commercial, leisure and hospitality uses, provided they maintain the average workforce during the tax payment period. The Tax on Economic Activities (IAE) will also be entitled to a 25% discount for taxpayers who pay taxes for leisure and restaurants, travel agencies, shopping centers and department stores. Lastly, the voluntary payment period for the Tax on Mechanical Traction Vehicles (IVTM), the Vehicle Passage Rate (POS) and the ATM rate, which began on April 1, has been postponed for one month.

What will the rental market be like after confinement?

Initiatives are being known to achieve a standardized market for the rental of premises. Pablo Beltrán, CEO of Truebroker, a real estate company specialized in retail In Madrid, it has announced a plan for the rentals of its clients in the capital of Spain that starts from an extensive study of the main shopping areas by its potential consumers. The aim is to put the tenant and the landlord in agreement on the rental price with the most objective basis possible, that is, an own study to know at what price a premises should be rented according to the area and the new reality of the economy. .

Thus, the company has created a mathematical model, obtained from measuring the real estate commercial value of Madrid’s main shopping streets for 12 hours a day since 2013, to know exactly the behavior of consumers and differentiate them from passers-by. “With this information applied to a specific rental, it will be possible to know what compensation would be fair with the rent at the closing time and also on what will happen to the rents after reopening to the public if consumption falls and how to avoid a market breakdown generalized ”, he explains.

“By being able to measure, month by month after the reopening, how the reality and the market value of each location evolves, we will be able to adjust rent payments as much as possible, avoiding market breaks that harm both parties, and it will allow us to make decisions with confidence about the best scenario for them, “says Beltrán.