Johnson Controls Inc. Acquiring Irish Tyco International Plc

Johnson Controls Inc. has recently agreed to acquire Ireland-based Tyco International Plc in a $16.5 billion deal. Johnson Controls Inc. is a US maker of car batteries and heating and ventilation equipment, and by moving their headquarters to Cork, Ireland, they plan to carry out a tax-inversion.

Their plans created some rumblings among the US presidential hopefuls. As Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said in a statement, “I have a detailed and targeted plan to immediately put a stop to inversions and invest in the U.S., block deals like Johnson Controls and Tyco, and place an ‘exit tax’ on corporations that leave the country to lower their tax bill.”

U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, a prominent Republican, said “Absent comprehensive tax reform that includes shifting to a territorial tax system with base erosion protections, Congress ought to examine viable bipartisan solutions that will effectively target and combat inversions and not tip the balance to tax-driven foreign acquisitions of U.S. firms.”

The Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls has a market value of $22.5 billion; Tyco has a value of $14.2 billion. The deal will, according to the companies, save at least $500 million in the first three years and they expect to save another $150 million a year through tax synergies.

Britain and Italy Speak about EU Reforms

Both Britain and Italy recently said, on Tuesday, that they agree that there needs to be a reform in the EU to protect the rights of the bloc’s non-euro zone members. They also want to promote business and tackle migration crisis issues. Before the referendum that is due by the end of 2017, Britain is renegotiating some of the terms of its current EU membership.

In a notice in The Daily Telegraph newspaper, the British and Italian foreign ministers, Philip Hammond and Paolo Gentiloni respectively, said, “Italy and the UK agree on the need for a deep reform of the EU, simplifying its functioning, it procedures and its rules.”

They continued, “We can work together on an EU reform package that deals with specific issues such as the role of national parliaments, competitiveness, economic governance and welfare, in order to make the EU simpler, more efficient and less bureaucratic.”

The IFCJ Helps Those in Paris

Last week, following the coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris, the IFCJ (The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews) has pledged almost $90,000 to boost security at 25 synagogues and schools run by Chabad in Paris and Toulouse. The money will be used to hire additional guards and to install electronic security systems.

As the IFCJ announced, “The fellowship is also considering other steps to help improve security for the entire French-Jewish community.” As IFCJ founder Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein explained, “Amid the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris, it is critical that we help better protect French-Jewish communal institutions, which have been targets in the past. At the same time, we are extending our immediate support to any French Jew who wishes to leave France and make aliya to Israel.”

As Rabbi Eckstein explained, “It is vital that the Jews of France know we stand sideby- side with them and will do whatever is necessary to help their community at this challenging time.” Eckstein explained that IFCJ has started several programs to help new immigrants to Israel with rent, employment counseling and Hebrew lessons.

Rabbi Mendal Azimov, the director of Chabad of Paris, echoed Rabbi Eckstein’s sentiments and explained what it’s been like living in Paris. As he said, “The last few days have been living hell for the citizens of France, and especially for the Jews of Paris. Naturally we feel like sitting ducks, very aware that our community centers, synagogues and educational institutions are in realistic danger at all times.”

Eastern European News

The EU Court of Justice and Bitcoin

Last month, the EU Court of Justice deemed that Bitcoin transactions should not be subject to VAT. Bitcoin and its regulation has been a hot topic in 2015. New York State introduced the BitLicense and has seen quite a bit of backlash. As a result, many have been looking for alternative approaches.

The BTC price has risen to its highest point of 2015. Many of the institutions that Bitcoin companies need to work with still present obstacles and problems. Learn more about Bitcoin and the hurdles that it is facing at the moment.

More EU Students Coming to the UK

Interestingly, Ucas data shows that higher education providers in England have 20,430 EU learners from outside the UK. This is a 14% increase from the same point last year. This shows a significant acceleration, as the 2014-15 English universities EU recruitment was 8% higher than the year before that.

As Nick Hillman, the director of Higher Education Policy Institute told Times Higher Education that:

“There are push factors, in that people want to study in a good university system, and pull factors, which are partly financial, because universities can fill their places and these are full £9,000-paying students. They also stand to get good students who can help the diversity of the classroom.”

However, while the increase in diversity on campus is being applauded, many are worried about the impact these changes will have on the student finance system. It can become difficult to get repayments on tuition fee loans if the learners leave the UK when they finish their learning.

Read more about these issues and get the full picture of the concerns.