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2nd July

 Offsite Article: What does the taxman know about you, your finances and your lifestyle?...

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HMRC logo HMRC's new software trawls billions of items of data from dozens of sources in its hunt for underpaid tax, and it's about to have access to even more, which can be shared with 60 other countries

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

17th June

  Dancing til the rising sun...

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Japan's parliament ends restrictions on late night dancing after police drag up old law to harass night clubs in Osaka
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Japan flag Japan has repealed an old law banning dancing after midnight. But of course politicians can't entirely let go of their control freakery and have retained the ban in low-light venues.

Japan's parliament voted to relax the laws, which date from 1948. The laws were introduced during the US occupation amid supposed concerns that the relatively liberal social attitudes of the Americans were corrupting Japan's youth. It was also an attempt to curb prostitution.

In recent times enforcement of the law had declined, but after decades of turning a blind eye to the clubs, police unilaterally decided to resurrect the law following the 2010 death of a 22-year-old student after a fight in an Osaka club.

Hit by a wave of raids by police who claimed they wanted to prevent an excessively hedonistic atmosphere at clubs, most of the city's venues were shut down for licensing violations, pulling the plug on Osaka's thriving dance scene.

This ban on midnight dancing drew fierce criticism from dance and music industry figures who said the government should promote Japan's growing, vibrant dance culture.

Under the new law, which is expected to take effect by June next year, dancing after midnight will be allowed if the club has a light level of at least 10 lux. This light level is approximately equivalent to what a movie theatre looks like with the lights on.

 

3rd April

  Not So Good Friday Night Dancing...

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Germany struggles with archaic law that bans dancing on Christian special days
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Germany flag The regional government of German state of Baden-Württemberg said it is considering relaxing the state's ban on dancing during Easter and other Christian holidays.

The holiday law, often called the Tanzverbot, or dance ban, is present in some form in all German states. It forces nightclubs to close and in some cases bans live music in rooms where food and drink is served. Punishments vary, but violators can risk fines of up to 1,500 Euros.

Party-central city states such as Berlin have relaxed the law in recent years, but even it doesn't allow dance events to start before 9pm on Good Friday. Baden-Württemberg, a state with a higher Catholic population than most, is among the strictest states, and bans dancing throughout Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Saturday, until 3am on Easter Sunday. It also imposes the ban from Christmas Eve until 3am on 26 December.

The church is not impressed at the state's moves to relax the law. A spokesman for the Rottenburg-Stuttgart diocese told the Stuttgarter Zeitung:

As far as the Catholic church is concerned, Good Friday is not open to debate,

Bavaria has already announced that it would not be changing its rules. Currently the dance ban there lasts four whole days at Easter, beginning on Ash Wednesday, and is also imposed on other Christian holy days.

 

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