Australian business leaders push tax cuts; Toshiba's US unit files bankruptcy protection

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Toshiba
The logo of Toshiba Corp is seen at its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, January 23, 2017. Reuters/Toru Hanai

Top business leaders in Australia come together in Canberra and urged the administration of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to keep fighting for its full company tax cuts. On Tuesday, the senate voted to curtail the 10-year plan and approved reduction for small businesses only. Meanwhile in the United States, Toshiba's US nuclear unit reportedly filed for bankruptcy protection.

Australia

Australian business leaders led by new Business Council of Australia president Grant King urged Labor to rethink about its blanket opposition to the tax package. Energy Australia managing director Catherine Tanna and BHP Billiton chief executive Andrew Mackenzie expressed support for their colleague. Mackenzie said the country needs the tax cuts in order to remain competitive. The entire plan would cut the 30 percent rate to 25 percent for all companies by 2026-27.

US

Amid Toshiba's US nuclear unit fil ing for bankruptcy protection, the US firm clarified that it would not affect Westinghouse's UK operation with over 1,000 workers. Toshiba President Satoshi Tsunakawa explained that they intend to "shut out risks from the overseas nuclear business."

Canada

CBC News reports that starting July 1, marijuana will be legalised for all Canadians as long as they are over age 18. The legislation is expected to be announced on April 10 and will follow the recommendation of a federally appointed task force chaired by former liberal Justice Minister Anne McLellan.

United Kingdom

Square, a payments company, officially opens for business in the United Kingdom, it’s first in Europe. It previously started operation in Canada, Japan and Australia after its home market in the US. Launched in 2009, the company built its name by offering an easy way for small businesses to take card payments via a phone or tablet app. Its revenue last quarter rose 35 percent.

Africa

In Zimbabwe, output on Tobacco is expected to increase this year to at least 205 million kilograms compared to 202 million kilograms in 2016. Tobacco is the Southern African nation’s single largest export commodity.

Asia Pacific

TechCrunch reports that its sources say Tech In Asia, a regional media startup, is close to obtaining US$6 million (AU$7 million) in new funding. The company’s founder and CEO, Willis Wee, refused to comment about the news. The company has nearly 100 staff and most of them are based in Southeast Asia, with offices in Singapore, Jakarta and Tokyo with reporters in Japan, China, Singapore, India, the Philippines and Indonesia.