HOUSEHUNTERS in England and Northern Ireland looking to buy a home usually pay stamp duty on properties over £125,000. But it's £500,000 right now thanks to a stamp duty holiday - so what is stamp duty and how is it calculated? We run-down the rules for stamp duty in England and Northern Ireland, as rates differ for those buying homes in Scotland and Wales . What is stamp duty? Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) is a lump sum payment most people have to pay when buying a property or land. How much buyers have to fork out varies depending on the price and type of property. A stamp duty holiday was introduced because of the coronavirus pandemic to get the property market moving again. It means there is no stamp duty for properties up to £500,000 until March 31, 2021. But chancellor Rishi Sunak is preparing to extend the stamp duty holiday by three months until the end of June. The usual stamp duty rates when there is not a holiday mean first-time buyers … [Read more...] about Stamp duty calculator: how much is it and when does the holiday end?
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FASHION designer Alexander Wang is facing further allegations of sexual misconduct as a student alleges he was groped on a nightclub dancefloor. Keaton Bullen, 21, a student at New York's Parsons School of Design, alleges he was assaulted by Wang, 37, at a club in the city in 2019. He claims the fashion tycoon “unzipped his trousers” and started “grabbing my penis” at Fishbowl club, he told the BBC . Mr Bullen, then 20, was with a friend at the club in New York City when he says he encountered Alexander Wang on 24 August 2019 at about 11.30pm. He told the BBC they initially talked about their shared college, Parsons School of Design in lower Manhattan, where Mr Bullen is currently studying interior design. Wang then invited him to his table and offered him vodka before leading him to the dance floor, Mr Bullen alleges. "All of a sudden he unzipped my trousers, put his hands in my pants and started grabbing my penis in front of a bunch of people," said the student. … [Read more...] about Alexander Wang put his hand down my trousers and grabbed my genitals at New York club, says student
ELLIE Goulding surprised fans yesterday when she revealed she was seven months pregnant with her first child. The singer, who is married to Caspar Jopling , had given no indication until then that the couple would soon become parents. Fitness fan Ellie, 34, cleverly drip fed her social media followers a stream of throwbacks of her working out and looking trim. The style-savvy star also struck cool poses in fashionable oversized clothing in more recent snaps. She rocked an eye-catching Stella McCartney dress shirt in October, while a month later she again covered her stomach in an oversized shirt. Other uploads saw her use close up images and, in the case of an atmospheric post last week, shadows to keep the pregnancy a secret. View this post on Instagram A post shared by elliegoulding (@elliegoulding) Ellie revealed her baby news during a chat with Vogue as she cradled her growing bump … [Read more...] about How Ellie Goulding hid her baby bump in lockdown as she reveals she’s SEVEN months pregnant with first child
A court in the northern German city of Celle has convicted a radical Islamist preacher and three co-defendants for recruiting and radicalizing young people in Germany for the "Islamic State" terrorist group. He has been sentenced to 10 and a half years in prison. Prosecutors sought a sentence of 11.5 years for Abu Walaa, who is believed to be the "Islamic State" jihadist group's de facto leader in Germany . The defense, however, demanded an acquittal, with Walaa himself declining to make a closing statement last week. What did the court say? The court pronounced Walaa guilty of supporting and being a member of the terrorist organization. The judges said the Islamist preacher and his network radicalized young people — mainly in the country's Ruhr region and the state of Lower Saxony — and sent them to the IS combat zones. Three co-defendants received prison sentences of between four and eight years. Who is Abu Walaa? Walaa, 37, was born in Iraq and came to … [Read more...] about German court convicts ‘IS recruiter’ Abu Walaa
As of Tuesday, the German capital is one year into its five-year "rent freeze," and the data collected so far has given both opponents and supporters fuel for their arguments. A survey published last week by property ad portal ImmoScout24 found that while Berlin's average rent has indeed dropped in the past year, by 7.8%, the number of new flats on the market eligible for a rent reduction had dropped too — by some 30%. That has had a major effect on the competition for new apartments, ImmoScout24 said, with an average of 214 people answering each rental advert in January 2021, compared to 128 in the same month last year. Many cities around the world have some kind of rent control measures in place, but Berlin's rent cap law, in effect since February 2020, is unique. It meant that rents for 90% of Berlin's apartments were frozen for five years at the level they were at in June 2019. New rental contracts could not be above that level, and as of November 2020, any existing rents … [Read more...] about Berlin’s revolutionary rent cap — success or flop?