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Top five stories you may have missed
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Top five stories you may have missed

3 min. 03.07.2021 From our online archive
In case you missed them the Luxembourg Times has selected the five best stories of the week for you
Photo credit: AFP

Uptick in cases as economy reopens, Delta spreads  

Luxembourg is experiencing an uptick in new Covid-19 cases as the economy has reopened and the more transmissible Delta variant is spreading, but hospitalisations remain flat and no new deaths have been recorded for a month.

On Tuesday, the latest day for which data is available, the country reported 92 cases out of just 4,400 tests. On Monday, there were 53 positive cases, which already marked an uptick compared to the previous week, where daily cases varied between 14 and a peak of 29 on Saturday. 

Amnesty report reveals shadowy structure of spyware firm  

Spying software from a firm operating through layers of Luxembourg corporate entities has been used by governments to target human rights advocates from Morocco to Mexico, some of whom have been imprisoned or killed, according to a recent report by Amnesty International and other groups.

NSO Group's software was alleged by United Nations experts to have been used by Saudi Arabia to spy via WhatsApp on dissident Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi before his 2018 murder and by the US FBI to target former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, whose extramarital affair was later revealed. 

Virus further delays finance crime watchdog visit to next year  

The international anti-money laundering watchdog expected to test whether Luxembourg's financial sector is meeting its crime-fighting requirements is likely to delay its work until next year, marking a second postponement since the start of the pandemic. 

The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which was set up by the G7 group of the world’s most powerful economies, is now expected to carry out its investigation of Luxembourg next year, the head of Luxembourg's Financial Intelligence Unit (Cellule de renseignement financier, CRF) told the Luxembourg Times. A FATF team of legal and financial experts had originally been scheduled to visit Luxembourg this spring.

Luxembourg lends hand to buffer building material shortage  

Luxembourg has agreed to extend builders’ deadlines and allowed waiving penalty fees if they fail to complete buildings in time due to a severe materials shortage, public works minister François Bausch has said.

The government is also looking into making advance payments to cushion the blow of soaring prices on materials such as wood and steel.

Letters circumvent need for tax rulings, investigation claims  

An investigation by several newspapers and the Tax Justice Network claims to have found a trick by which companies and funds in Luxembourg can get tax advantages, despite the Grand Duchy having implemented reforms on tax rulings since the LuxLeaks scandal in 2014.

The so-called “LuxLetters” investigation, to which Luxembourg weekly Woxx contributed alongside Le Monde, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, El Mundo and IrpiMedia with NGOs Tax Justice Network and The Signals Network, claims that letters to the tax administration can help create advantageous tax conditions similar to those of the tax rulings that were at the centre of the LuxLeaks revelations.

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