'It's just really sickening' - scammers exploit the death of Aussie golfer Jarrod Lyle

Scammers have tried to take advantage of the death of Aussie golfer Jarrod Lyle, by setting up fake fundraising accounts.

The wife of the beloved golfer, Briony Lyle, warned followers about the scam via social media.

"Yet another Insta account has appeared to take advantage of Jarrod's death... I apologise for the nuisance," she wrote online.

Scammers have created fake accounts pretending to be Briony, asking people for donations.

"All we need now is your support, love and prayer. I can't imagine myself as a widow but here I am one already," one wrote.

May 23, 2015: Jarrod Lyle reacts to tight bunker shot on #9 during third round action of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in Ft. Worth, Texas.
Jarrod Lyle. Source: Photosport

A close friend of Jarrod, David Rogers, has slammed the creators of the fake accounts.

"It's just really sickening, so we were disgusted and we just wanted to make people aware of it," said Mr Rogers.

Although the fake fundraising accounts have since disappeared, friends of the golfer say it has caused more pain for Jarrod's family.

"Briony needs to have time to grieve and so this doesn't help, all it does is inflame the situation a little bit," said Mr Rogers.

Jarrod died of cancer at the age of 36 three weeks ago.

Earlier this month Lyle made the heart-breaking decision to go into palliative care after fighting a third battle with cancer.

A public memorial for Lyle will be held at Torquay next month.

Jarrod Lyle in hospital with his children. Source: Facebook/Jarrod Lyle.


Oxfam claims NZ among countries hit by tax-shifting drug companies

Global charity Oxfam claims four pharmaceutical corporations are not paying $21 million in New Zealand taxes every year by stashing their profits in overseas havens.

It says Abbott, Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Pfizer are systematically shifting their profits to unfairly avoid paying higher tax in the countries where they operate.

Oxfam said the companies avoid billions of dollars in tax across 16 countries.

It found subsidiaries located in tax havens were on average significantly more profitable than those located elsewhere.

"That is not what one would expect if the geographic distribution of profits reflected the geographic distribution of the real value of economic activities," it said.

It is calling on the Government to require multinational corporations based here to publish key financial information about their operations in every country.

The charity said New Zealand took positive steps this year by passing the Tax (Neutralizing Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) Act.

Its New Zealand executive director, Rachael Le Mesurier, said the companies' practices were not unlawful but they were depriving governments of money to spend on public services and alleviating poverty.

"In no way is Oxfam saying that these companies have undertaken anything strictly illegal but what it does involve is a complex mechanism of setting up where their patents are based for their medicines," she said.

Inland Revenue calls Oxfam report methodology "completely misrepresenting"

But John Nash from Inland Revenue said the charity was using methodology which completely misrepresented what was happening in this country.

"Oxfam have applied a global average profit margin, which attributes just far too much profit to New Zealand, you really need to look at what is actually done in New Zealand, what functions are performed here, what assets are utilised and what risks are taken."

He said IRD's monitoring of companies is detailed.

"We have a comprehensive compliance programme which looks at all multinational companies with $30 million of turnover and upwards so we really do cover the field quite comprehensively.

But Mr Nash would not be drawn in on whether the four multinationals named by Oxfam were shifting profits overseas and said he could not comment on specifics.

Revenue Minister Stuart Nash said he had asked officials to look into Oxfam's report.

"I won't be talking to the companies [named by Oxfam] but I will be asking officials just for a brief report on the Oxfam document and give me an idea on whether their figure was close to the mark or in fact the modelling they used was way off," he said.

New legislation tightening rules on tax for multinational companies came into effect in July, Mr Nash said.

He suspected the effects of the legislation to already be happening.

All the firms say they abide by tax laws and pay all taxes owed in New Zealand.

In a statement, a Pfizer spokesperson said it abides by all accounting and tax laws wherever it does business and pays all taxes due.

Abbott spokesman Scott Stoffel said it does not sell pharmaceuticals in New Zealand.

"Abbott is a responsible and transparent tax payer, paying all of its taxes owed in every country in which it operates around the world," Mr Stoffel said in a statement.

"With businesses in more than 150 countries, our tax contribution is substantial and global in scope, and we make significant contributions to the health and economies of societies around the world.

"This includes the impact of our products, people, taxes, and purchases of local goods and services, as well as public-private partnerships to strengthen health systems and meet critical health needs."

Johnson & Johnson said as well as paying its fair share of taxes, it also worked closely with the New Zealand government to deliver greater access to life-saving medicines.

"The Oxfam report released today paints a distorted picture of Johnson & Johnson's commitment to the patients and the global communities we serve and to Johnson & Johnson's commitment to paying our fair share of taxes," it said in a statement.

"Johnson & Johnson complies with tax requirements in every jurisdiction, including New Zealand, where we operate with consistently high accounting, tax filing and tax reporting standards.

"Johnson & Johnson's publicly filed financial statements show $27.67 billion in income taxes from 2013 to 2017, before significant additional contributions for VAT/sales taxes, employment taxes, social contributions, property taxes, import and customs duties," it said.

"In addition, Johnson & Johnson values and strives for cooperative and transparent relationships with taxing authorities including the Inland Revenue Department in New Zealand."

By Gill Bonnett 


Pharmacist holding medicine box and capsule pack in pharmacy drugstore.
Pharmaceuticals on pharmacy shelf (file picture). Source: istock.com


Are Coke poised to produce a cannabis-infused drink?

The Coca-Cola Company says that it's "closely watching" the growth of the use of a non-psychoactive element of cannabis in wellness drinks.

The statement today came after reports that the beverage giant was in talks with a Canadian cannabis company to create a cannabidiol-infused infused beverage.

Coca-Cola and Aurora Cannabis Inc. both declined to confirm the reports by BNN Bloomberg.

Shares of Aurora were up nearly 17 per cent on the Toronto Stock Exchange on the report.

Coca-Cola says it's eyeing the growing market for health drinks infused with cannabidiol -- or CBD -- but has made no decisions.

The beverage giant's interest is another indication of the growing acceptance of cannabis by established companies.

Spirits maker Constellation Brands bought a minority stake in a Canadian marijuana producer last year.

They’ve made the plea face to face with Coke at a conference in Auckland.
Source: 1 NEWS


Inaction over banning surgical mesh putting Kiwi women at risk - Christine Rankin

Health advocate Christine Rankin wants the Government to act on surgical mesh, saying the continued use puts New Zealand women at risk. 

Ms Rankin, who has personal experience with surgical mesh, wants to see the end of it being implanted in women. 

It is used for the treatment of stress incontinence, which is a condition common after childbirth, and in some cases on men who are having  hernia repair. 

Surgical mesh has been banned in Britain, a move Ms Rankin believes should be followed in New Zealand. 

On TVNZ1's Q+A, Ms Rankin said it needs to be banned until the right processes are in place to ensure it is safe. 

"I just don't think we should be taking the risk at all, and why are we so slow? This Government, before it was elected was all over it."

"NZ First, the Greens and Labour were all saying this was an appalling situation for women, and we're going to fix it.

"There is a year gone by, and every week thousands of New Zealand women are having this operation."

When asked by host Corin Dann about the women the procedure works for, Ms Rankin said "how can we continue to take the risk when the kind of things that are happening to women are so extreme?"

Surgical mesh has been banned in Britain, but not in New Zealand. Source: Q+A

TVNZ1's Breakfast reported by December last year, ACC had paid out nearly $13 million in injury claims to people who have had issues with mesh over the last decade. Some sufferers had the mesh erode in their bodies or bind with other tissue. 

The Labour Party called for inquiries into surgical mesh in 2014 and 2016, as did NZ First in 2017.

There have been questions raised over its safety, and it's restricted in Australia. Source: 1 NEWS

In July, 2017, Green Party's Julie Anne Genter told Stuff inaction on surgical mesh was a sign the then National Government "do not have the resources they need to look after New Zealanders as they should". 

The Government are looking towards a temporary register to establish the scale of the issue. 

It’s used for the condition of stress incontinence, which is common after childbirth, but has been banned in Britain. Source: Q+A

Lydia Ko plays round of the day at Evian Championship, sneaks into top 10

A remarkable final round has seen Kiwi golfer Lydia Ko sneak into the top 10 at the Evian Championship at Evians-les-Bains, in France.

Beginning her day at -4 for the tournament, Ko began with a bang, with a birdie on the first hole followed by another on the fifth.

A bogey on the seventh was quickly corrected with another birdie on the ninth, giving Ko -2 for her front nine, sitting at -6 for the tournament.

A blemish free back nine, including birdies on the 13th and 17th holes saw Ko leap 11 places, sitting in a tie for 10th to finish her tournament.

The Kiwi finished four shots behind the leader, Angela Stafford of the USA, who came in at -12 to take the title for 2018.

BEDMINSTER, NJ - JULY 13:  Lydia Ko of New Zealand watches her tee shot on the fourth hole during the first round of the US Women's Open Championship at Trump National Golf Course on July 13, 2017 in Bedminster, New Jersey.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Lydia Ko of New Zealand watches her tee shot. Source: Getty