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chinadaily.com.cn 2023-10-19 16:33


>Revelations of financial fraud by Trump

Former US President Donald Trump speaks after exiting the courtroom as he attends his Manhattan courthouse trial in a civil fraud case in New York, US, Oct 18, 2023. [Photo/Agencies]


Last week the New York District Court ruled that former US President Donald Trump had long been inflating the value of his assets to obtain benefits on bank loans, insurance premiums and tax.


According to an investigation report provided by New York State Attorney General Letitia James, Trump ignored or sidelined experts and relied on intuition to evaluate assets.


In 2011 and 2012, the Trump Organization claimed that a dozen Trump Park Avenue condominiums in New York were valued at $50 million.


However, in 2020, this valuation was changed to $136 million; the investigation said that the true value should be $84.5 million.


When Trump needed to value his Trump Tower apartment in 2010, he personally showed an appraiser around the unit for 15 minutes but ushered him out before the expert could take any measurements.


Trump’s company then declared that the 11,000-square-foot unit measured 30,000 square feet, nearly three times its actual size.


The report also said that Trump had provided non-professional financial statements to business partners and the statements were created by an entry-level employee a few years out of college with no professional accounting training.


Trump at one point pretended to be a fake company spokesman named “John Barron” to push Forbes to raise its estimate of his net worth as part of the magazine’s regular rankings of wealthy individuals.


After the court hearing on October 2, Trump told the media that he had done nothing wrong and that James’ investigation and lawsuit against him were entirely “political operations” aimed at damaging his presidential campaign.


> Climate crisis will make Europe’s beer cost more and taste worse
气候危机将推高欧洲啤酒价格 并让啤酒口感变差



Climate breakdown is already changing the taste and quality of beer, scientists have warned.


The quantity and quality of hops, a key ingredient in most beers, is being affected by global heating, according to a study.


As a result, beer may become more expensive and manufacturers will have to adapt their brewing methods.

Researchers forecast that hop yields in European growing regions will fall by 4-18% by 2050 if farmers do not adapt to hotter and drier weather, while the content of alpha acids in the hops, which gives beers their distinctive taste and smell, will fall by 20-31%.

"Beer drinkers will definitely see the climate change, either in the price tag or the quality,” said Miroslav Trnka, a scientist at the Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences and co-author of the study, published in the journal Nature Communications. “That seems to be inevitable from our data.”

Beer, the third-most popular drink in the world after water and tea, is made by fermenting malted grains like barley with yeast.


It is usually flavored with aromatic hops grown mostly in the middle latitudes that are sensitive to changes in light, heat and water.

In recent years, demand for high-quality hops has been pushed up by a boom in craft beers with stronger flavors.


But emissions of planet-heating gases are putting the plant at risk, the study found.

The researchers compared the average annual yield of aroma hops during the periods 1971-1994 and 1995-2018 and found “a significant production decrease” of 0.13-0.27 tons per hectare.


Celje, in Slovenia, had the greatest fall in average annual hop yield, at 19.4%.

In Germany, the second-biggest hop producer in the world, average hop yields have fallen 19.1% in Spalt, 13.7% in Hallertau and 9.5% in Tettnang, the study found.

Beer-brewing in central Europe dates back thousands of years and is a cornerstone of the culture.


The study found the alpha acid content of hops, which gives beer its distinct aroma, had fallen in all regions.

Andreas Auernhammer, a hop farmer in Spalt in southern Germany, said the total rainfall in his fields had changed little but now “the rain does not come at the right time”.


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