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Trump Tax Returns Revealed
Editor's note: This is a developing story.
Almost two decades of federal income taxes for President Trump and some of his companies were obtained and reviewed by The New York Times, according to reports released last night. Among other items, the examination alleges the president paid no federal taxes in 10 of the past 15 years, and $750 in both 2016 and 2017 (the documents did not cover 2018-19). The slim returns were said to be largely the result of writing off large capital losses (how that works).
Generally speaking, the moves appear to be customary tax practices, and real estate tax provisions—particularly around depreciation—add further complexity. Experts say it's not unusual for real estate investors to pay little to no income tax. See other notable conclusions from the analysis, including an ongoing battle with the IRS over a $73M refund, here.
The president denied the reports, saying he paid significant federal and state taxes (details refuting The Times claims have not yet been provided). A lawyer for the Trump Organization said Trump had paid millions in personal taxes during the period in question—a claim that Times reporters argued may include federal taxes like Social Security and Medicare.
The Times did not publish the actual documents, saying it wanted to protect its sources. The report details more than a billion dollars in income (before losses) over the timeframe, but an estimate of total wealth could not be calculated. No previously unknown connections to Russia were uncovered. The documents do not appear to include details on state taxes.
See the original report from The Times, along with a timeline here.
Amy Coney Barrett
President Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court over the weekend, the first step in filling the vacancy left by the death of former Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The news caps a rapid ascent for Barrett, the law professor and one-time clerk to former Justice Antonin Scalia, who was confirmed to the Seventh Circuit US Court of Appeals in 2017.
Viewed as a constitutional originalist, Barrett is a devout Catholic—her association with a charismatic denomination has drawn scrutiny—and would give the court six Catholic justices (20% of Americans identify as Roman Catholic). Former students and colleagues have praised Barrett's intellect and argued against portrayals of her as a one-dimensional ideologue. Take a look at her notable decisions and votes here.
The Senate Judiciary Committee says it may clear her nomination by Oct. 26, leaving a week for a full floor vote before the election. See our previous write-up on the process here.
Northam Tests Positive
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and his wife Pamela both tested positive for the coronavirus over the weekend, becoming the third governor to contract the virus. Northam has reported no symptoms while his wife's are mild; both plan to self-isolate through the week. The news comes as US cases are on the rise again, with the rolling average of daily cases nearing 45,000, up roughly 30% over the past two weeks. Confirmed deaths are hovering around 750 per day (see data).
New York reported more than 1,000 cases Friday, its highest number since June. Officials say some of the resurgence has been fueled by orthodox Jewish communities in New York City, where elementary and high school students in the city are also set to begin in-person classes this week. Separately, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said he would fully reopen the state's economy. See how your state is faring here.
Globally, the world is on track to pass 1 million confirmed COVID-19 deaths, likely today.
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Business & Markets
> Federal judge grants TikTok’s request for temporary injunction, blocking proposed US government ban of downloading the popular social media app that was scheduled to take effect yesterday (More)
> US stock markets climb Friday (S&P 500 +1.6%, Dow +1.3%, Nasdaq +2.2%) to close another volatile week (More)
> Alphabet (Google) reaches settlement in lawsuit alleging sexual misconduct mishandlings; company to eliminate awarding severance to any employee terminated for sexual harassment or misconduct, among other policy changes (More)
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> Interim Lebanese Prime Minister Mustapha Adib quits after failing to form governing coalition; Adib was tapped after massive port blast forced resignation of previous government (More) | At least 16 people killed in the Nagorno-Karabakh region between Azerbaijan and Armenia (More)
> The US threatens to pull out of Baghdad embassy, the world's largest and most expensive diplomatic complex, over rise in militia attacks (More) | Military suicides up 20% over same period last year (More)
> First presidential debate scheduled for tomorrow night, 9pm ET on all major networks (More) | Trump makes pitch to Black voters in Atlanta, says he will designate the KKK as a terrorist organization (More) | Biden pushes Dems on healthcare, dismisses calls for Supreme Court expansion (More) | Former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale hospitalized after threatening suicide (More)
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May you have a reflective Yom Kippur.
Science figures out why time flies.
The year 2020 now has its very own emoji.
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"No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helped you."
- Althea Gibson
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