Death and Taxes – This Is World News In Focus


Pop culture: Comedy great Gene Wilder, most renowned for his role in the 1971 musical fantasy film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” passed away at the age of 83.

The American acting legend – who was born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee, Wisconsin – passed away from complications from Alzheimer’s disease complications, it was reported.

Wilder made his Broadway debut in The Complaisant Lover in 1961, and got his start on the Silver Screen in 1967 in Bonnie and Clyde.

Gene was nominated for Oscar Best Supporting Actor for 1967’s The Producers and for Best Adapted Screenplay nomination with Mel Brooks for Young Frankenstein.  His role as Willy Wonka earned him a Golden Globe nomination for best actor.

Wilder is survived by his fourth wife, Karen Boyer, whom he married in 1991; his estranged daughter, Katherine, from his second marriage; and his nephew, according to the Associated Press.

Here’s Mel Brooks remembering Gene on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon:


Business: Tech giant Apple Inc. was ordered on Tuesday to pay €13 billion (US$14.5 billion) in back taxes to Ireland.

The Irish tax authorities have allowed Apple to pay a maximum tax rate of just 1% since 2003.  The rate was further reduced to 0.005 percent in 2014.  The usual rate of corporation tax in Ireland is 12.5%.

The European Commission ruled, after a two-year investigation, that the tax deal is illegal because European Union member states are not supposed to give tax benefits to selected companies.

The U.S. Treasury Department warned the Commission that the order could “undermine foreign investment, the business climate in Europe, and the important spirit of economic partnership between the U.S. and the EU.”

Apple’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said “the most profound and harmful effect of this ruling will be on investment and job creation in Europe.”

For more we go to PBS News Hour:


North Korea: Kim Jong-un has executed his deputy premier for education who displayed a “disrespectful posture” at a meeting that the leader oversaw, a South Korean official revealed on Wednesday.

The deputy premier – named Kim Yong-jin — was denounced for his bad sitting posture when he was sitting below the rostrum and appeared to have fallen asleep during a session of North Korea’s parliament that the leader presided, according to a spokesman of South Korea’s Unification Ministry, Jeong Joon-hee.

Kim Yong-jin is the highest-ranking official known to have been executed since 2013.  He was also found guilty of being “an anti-party, anti-revolutionary agitator” and was killed by a firing squad in July, it was reported.

Two other high-ranking North Korean officials were banished for re-education in the purge.

They include the spymaster Kim Yong Chol, the head of the United Front Department of the ruling Workers’ Party, and Choe Hui, a deputy chief of the party’s Propaganda and Agitation Department.

For more we go to ARIRANG NEWS:


Iceland: Want to send a letter but have forgotten the address? No worries, just draw a map on the envelope.

A photograph posted on social media Reddit went viral this week as it tells the story of a letter without a name and an address having been safely delivered to its intended recipient.

A tourist tried to post a letter in Reykjavík, Iceland’s capital, to a farm in Búðardalur, Iceland, where he had stayed.

According to the BBC, the sender, who apparently has not a clue of what the recipient is called nor how the address should be written, sketched a map on the envelop with a description in English.

The description says the destination would be “a horse farm with an Icelandic/Danish couple and three kids and a lot of sheep!”  It adds a further clue that “the Danish woman works in a supermarket in Búðardalur.”

The Icelandic postal service managed to deliver the letter earlier this year.

Here’s a short film about Iceland. After watching you may want to find yourself a pen pal there, too! Have a great week!


Lead-In Image Courtesy of Brent Hofacker /