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LE MONDE

Worldcrunch

PARIS - It seems France's love affair with taxing its citizens has reached a new high: the French Treasury sought full income tax payments from a 37-year-old convicted drug dealer for the sum he'd earned selling cannabis.

According to Le Monde, two weeks before Farid, a former drug-dealer, got out of prison in December 2012 after serving 20 months, he was asked to immediately pay 23,933 euros in taxes and another 15,227 in social security to the French state. These amounts were calculated on the basis of the 60,700 euros in cash they found when he was arrested.

After he'd served his sentence, Farid had found a job as a waiter in a rehabilitation company, earning minimum wage, and was granted a repayment schedule. He paid 50 euros per month, but was not able to reimburse another part of the debt, which then increased to 43,131 euros.

On August 9, the International Prisons Observatory stepped in and claimed the tax authorities' demands were "astronomical" and were likely to hinder the man's rehabilitation into society, according to Le Monde.

In France, a financial law was passed in 2009 stating people participating in profitable criminal traffic could be taxed. In July, a French association working on the state of prisons and justice in the country sent a letter to the government saying such actions implied that drug dealing was considered a "normal job."

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A UK cannabis disposal team in action - Photo: West Midlands Police

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Economy

In Uganda, Having A "Rolex" Is About Not Going Hungry

Experts fear the higher food prices resulting from the conflict in Ukraine could jeopardize the health of many Ugandans. Take a look at this ritzy-named simple dish.

Zziwa Fred, a street vendor who runs two fast-food businesses in central Uganda, rolls a freshly prepared chapati known as a Rolex.

Nakisanze Segawa

WAKISO — Godfrey Kizito takes a break from his busy shoe repair shop every day so he can enjoy his favorite snack, a vegetable and egg omelet rolled in a freshly prepared chapati known as a Rolex. But for the past few weeks, this daily ritual has given him neither the satisfaction nor the sustenance he is used to consuming. Kizito says this much-needed staple has shrunk in size.

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Most streets and markets in Uganda have at least one vendor firing up a hot plate ready to cook the Rolex, short for rolled eggs — which usually comes with tomatoes, cabbage and onion and is priced anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 Ugandan shillings (28 to 57 cents). Street vendor Farouk Kiyaga says many of his customers share Kizito’s disappointment over the dwindling size of Uganda’s most popular street food, but Kiyaga is struggling with the rising cost of wheat and cooking oil.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has halted exports out of the two countries, which account for about 26% of wheat exports globally and about 80% of the world’s exports of sunflower oil, pushing prices to an all-time high, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, a United Nations agency. Not only oil and wheat are affected. Prices of the most consumed foods worldwide, such as meat, grains and dairy products, hit their highest levels ever in March, making a nutritious meal even harder to buy for those who already struggle to feed themselves and their families. The U.N. organization warns the conflict could lead to as many as 13.1 million more people going hungry between 2022 and 2026.

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