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Germany

Paris Hilton And German Insurance Giant Allianz Settle Diamond Squabble

The hotel heiress had refused to give back $60,000 worth of diamonds that had been stolen, but later located by police. A girl’s best friend? A good lawyer.

(hugo971)
(hugo971)

Paris Hilton may love public appearances, but she decided to avoid this one -- in a courtroom, which is where she was headed if she hadn't settled out of court with German insurance giant Allianz in a dispute over – yes -- diamonds.

The company announced in April that it was suing her for the non-return of $60,000 worth of borrowed diamond jewelry.

The story goes like this. A year after Hilton borrowed the chains and earrings from Damiani in 2007, they were stolen from her Hollywood home -- and Allianz had to pay the ritzy Italian firm $60,000. The blonde heiress had a stroke of good luck when the police later found the jewelry and returned it to her. The celebrity heiress refused, however, to turn over the goods to Allianz – and it sued for breach of contract.

But who could stay angry at Paris Hilton? One mention of ugly words like "court" and "jail sentence" has tears streaming down from underneath the long lashes of her little angel face – she already must battle the demons for the time she's served for drunk driving.

It sure seems to have gotten to Jay Ralph, Chairman of Allianz North America, who told Reuters that an out of court settlement had been reached. Details would not be divulged, it had been agreed between the parties, out of respect for privacy.

Read the full story in German by Alina Fichter

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Economy

Why More Countries Are Banning Foreigners From Buying Real Estate

Canada has become the most recent country to impose restrictions on non-residents buying real estate, arguing that wealthy investors from other countries are pricing out would-be local homeowners. But is singling out foreigners the best way to face a troubled housing market?

Photo of someone walking by houses in Toronto

A person walks by a row of houses in Toronto

Shaun Lavelle, Riley Sparks, Ginevra Falciani

PARIS — It’s easy to forget that soon after the outbreak of COVID-19, many real estate experts were forecasting that housing prices could face a once-in-generation drop. The logic was that a shrinking pandemic economy would combine with people moving out of cities to push costs down in a lasting way.

Ultimately, in most places, the opposite has happened. Home prices in the U.S., Canada, Britain, Germany, Australia and New Zealand rose between 25% and 50% since the outbreak of COVID-19.

This explosion was driven by a number of factors, including low interest rates, supply chain issues in construction and shortages in available properties caused in part by investors buying up large swathes of housing stock.

Yet some see another culprit deserving of particular attention: foreign buyers.

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