Top News Stories for Today – Sept 29, 2017
Trump’s tax plan
The Treasury Department has removed from its website a 2012 economic analysis that found the burden of corporate taxes primarily falls on business owners and shareholders, not workers, undermining a key argument by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Republicans that their tax plan’s big tax cut on corporate income would primarily help workers.
Most mainstream economists broadly agree with the findings of the removed technical paper. A Treasury spokeswoman called the staff analysis “dated” and not representative of “our current thinking and analysis.” The tax plan would cut the corporate rate to 20 percent, and cut the top personal rate to 35 percent; President Trump would reportedly save more that $1 billion. he Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Week
At least 21 dead in India’s stampede
A stampede broke out on a crowded pedestrian bridge connecting two railway stations in Mumbai during the Friday morning rush hour, and at least 21 people were killed in the crush while another 20 were seriously injured.
The stampede was triggered by falling concrete that hit the bridge railing, leading people in the crowd to surge forward to escape as they thought the bridge would collapse, Mumbai police official Gansham Patel said. VOA
Price’s traveling cost $ 52,000 tax payers
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, accompanied by his wife Betty Price, used military aircraft to fly to Africa and Europe this spring and Asia later in the summer, costing taxpayers more than $500,000, Politico reports. His trips were approved by the White House, and HHS spokeswoman Charmaine Yoest said Price has reimbursed the agency for his wife’s travel, but would not say when.
Price’s overseas trips and use of private charter jets domestically have cost taxpayers more than $1 million since May, Politico found. Earlier Thursday, Price said he would pay the government back for the price of his seat on trips he took domestically on private aircraft, reportedly around $52,000. Politico, The Week
WH launches probe into private email use
The White House counsel’s office is investigating the use of private email to conduct government business by several of President Trump’s top aides, four officials with knowledge of the matter told Politico.
The internal investigation stemmed from reports that at least six current and former officials — including President Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, daughter Ivanka Trump, and former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus — used private accounts to send and receive work-related emails. Officials are looking at emails on the White House server, and are focusing on Kushner and Ivanka Trump’s private email domain. Politico
Twitter shut down accounts linked to Russia
Twitter announced Thursday that it found and has shut down 201 accounts linked to Russian operatives who also bought political ads on Facebook in an attempt to deepen political divisions in the United States. Three accounts were from the Kremlin-backed news site RT, which spent $274,100 in ads on Twitter during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Twitter made presentations to Senate Intelligence Committee and House Intelligence Committee staffers on Thursday, and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said he didn’t think the company was doing enough to keep Russian operatives from meddling in US. affairs and “showed an enormous lack of understanding … about how serious this issue is, the threat it poses to democratic institutions.” The Washington Post, The Week
Elon Musk unveils new plan
At the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Adelaide, Australia, on Thursday night, Elon Musk, speaking as SpaceX chief, talked about his plans to land a rocket on Mars as soon as 2022. The date is “aspirational,” he acknowledged. But “I feel fairly confident that we can complete the ship and be ready for launch in about five years.”
He said two crewed flights could launch in 2024, building the beginning of a human colony. “If you build a ship that’s capable of to Mars,” Musk added, playing a concept video, you could “go from one place to another on Earth” in less than an hour, usually within half an hour.
US confirms ambassador to Moscow
The US Senate has confirmed Jon Huntsman as the new US ambassador to Russia, filling a void at a critical tie in US – Russian relations. Huntsman is a former governor of the US state of Utah who previously served as ambassador to Singapore and China.
The confirmation was unanimous and swift, with Democrats and Republicans joining in a rare consensus to support President Donald Trump’s choice for the top US diplomat in Moscow. The Washington Post quoted Democratic Senator Benjamin Cardin as saying Trump could not have made a better choice than Huntsman. VOA
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