Wealth Tax, Capitol Hill, Watermelon Season: Your Tuesday Night Briefing

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Good night. Here is the last one.

1. The 25 richest Americans paid relatively little – and sometimes nothing – in federal income taxes for years, according to IRS returns obtained by ProPublica.

The news agency’s analysis showed the top billionaires paid just $ 13.6 billion in federal income taxes on $ 401 billion in their wealth, much of which is not not considered taxable income unless those assets are sold and a gain is realized. Even so, there are loopholes that can limit tax liability. In 2011, when Jeff Bezos’ fortune reached $ 18 billion, he was able to claim a tax credit of $ 4,000 for his children. Read the full story of ProPublica here.

The report comes as President Biden attempts to overhaul the tax code so businesses and the wealthy pay more. Biden has proposed to raise the top marginal tax rate, but the documents could renew calls for a wealth tax, which he has deemed impractical.

Administration officials said federal authorities were investigating the disclosure of private tax information, which may constitute a criminal offense.

2. A new Senate report offers the most comprehensive and detailed account to date of the security breaches during the Capitol Riot on January 6.

The 127-page report found that U.S. intelligence agencies failed to warn law enforcement that pro-Trump extremists were threatening to “storm Capitol.” A Jan. 5 FBI memo warning people heading to Washington for “war” was never sent to top law enforcement officials, and Capitol Police did not widely disseminate information. ‘she had collected as early as December on the threat.

“If they don’t show up, we enter Capitol Hill as the Third Continental Congress and certify the Trump voters,” an article said. “Bring guns. It’s now or never, ”said another.


3. Organized crime figures people around the world trusted the security of their phones so much that they planned tasks without using coded language. But, unbeknownst to them, they had bought the FBI devices

Global law enforcement officials have revealed the unprecedented scale of a three-year undercover operation in which they intercepted more than 20 million messages in 45 languages. At least 800 people have been arrested in more than a dozen countries. Using the messages, according to US court documents, authorities have opened a barrage of international investigations into drug trafficking, money laundering and “high-level public corruption.”

Separately, wife of Mexican drug lord known as El Chapo is set to plead guilty to helping her husband run his multibillion dollar empire, as well as aiding his escape from a Mexican prison high security, according to someone familiar with the case.

4. College grants for children and spouses. Knives for aspiring cooks. Aperitifs for anyone wishing to sit down for a job interview in a restaurant.

Pressed to recruit, companies are going beyond traditional monetary rewards to attract and retain workers. Despite an unemployment rate of 5.8% in May, the sudden reopening of much of the economy has left businesses looking for workers. Job postings hit a record high in April, the Labor Department said.

Meanwhile, our tech columnist bids farewell to the heyday of what he calls the Millennium Lifestyle Grant: Ubers, scooters and Airbnb rentals prices rise as tech companies aim for profitability. .


5. As inflation concerns spread around the world, Beijing is acting quickly to protect its factories and workplaces from rising costs.

Its tools include small business subsidies to pay for commodities and limits on commodity trade to curb speculation. For now, Chinese manufacturers, rather than consumers, are feeling the price increases, and the measures may simply slow the rise rather than stop it.

These costs are already being felt around the world. Prices are on the rise in the United States and elsewhere for soybeans, napkins and other products, prompting warnings that inflation could threaten the global economy. New trade data suggests that the outlook for the US economy will depend in part on the rate of recovery in other countries.


6. Millions of Americans May be heading for normalcy, but for many Asian Americans reopening is not an option.

An upsurge in anti-Asian attacks during the pandemic is now preventing many families from reaching the rest of the country to return to normalcy. Some avoid subways and public transport. Others stay away from restaurants. Some fear the return to work in person. Many echoed the same concern: There is no vaccine against bigotry.

In other news on the coronavirus:


7. Protection Island, Washington. Population of one – and many birds.

In the early 1980s, Marty Bluewater fought to keep his home among the breeding birds of Protection Island as environmental groups fought to protect the land. They eventually came to an agreement, and Bluewater has been the only human resident at Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge for decades.

Now he is fighting for the birds. The eagles, which bounced back from low numbers, have become a threat to seabirds. “You cannot let the eagles destroy this invaluable seabird sanctuary,” said Bluewater. “This is what I can hopefully devote some of my later years to.”


8. Do you see images in your head? Many people have a keen “eye of the wit” while others have none.

A team of British scientists estimate that tens of millions of people cannot conjure up images, which they have named aphantasia, and millions more experience extraordinarily strong mental imagery, called hyperphantasia. Researchers are gathering clues as to how these two conditions arise through changes in brain wiring that connect visual centers to other regions and senses, including sound.

For those who are used to seeing things with their own mind’s eye, aphantasy can seem debilitating. But research suggests benefits for people with the condition. “For the record, they’re really good at moving on,” said lead investigator Dr. Adam Zeman.


9. “I don’t believe in seedless watermelon – it’s against my religion.

Watermelon is an American summer staple. For many black Americans, this is a must see for Juneteenth, the June 19 holiday that commemorates the time enslaved Africans in Texas learned of their freedom two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

10. And finally, take the seaside, impressionist style.

You know Monet, Renoir, Degas and Pissarro. But Berthe Morisot, the only female painter in the 1874 exhibition that gave the style its name, is perhaps the most underrated of the group. Our reviewer Jason Farago unboxes “In England (Eugene Manet on the Isle of Wight),” which she painted in 1875 when she and Eugene were on their honeymoon by the sea.

It is a very rare thing in the history of art before the 20th century: a painting of the husband of an artist. But it is more than that, writes Farago: “It is a blurred and unstable image, which concerns only our gaze on women, landscapes, other images.” Look closely and you will see how Morisot paints sight as a new stage in modern life.

Have a lively night.




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