Tuesday, June 28, 2022 |
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Manchin denounces Democrats’ plan to tax billionaires
Senate Democrats’ plan to extract hundreds of billions of dollars from the wealth of billionaires hit a major snag Wednesday when Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., denounced it as divisive. The billionaires tax, officially unveiled early Wednesday, may have died before the ink was dry on its 107-page text. Manchin, speaking with reporters, said, “I don’t like the connotation that we’re targeting different people.” If the proposal can be enacted over Manchin’s concerns, billionaires would be taxed on the unrealized capital gains in the value of their liquid assets, such as stocks.
Democrats grasp for a deal on Biden’s agenda
Democrats struggled Wednesday to cobble together an expansive social policy, climate change and tax increase plan, reaching for an elusive compromise on President Joe Biden’s agenda. House Democrats held out hope of a breakthrough that could also put a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill on track for a vote as soon as Thursday. Democrats are pushing the plan through Congress using a special budget process known as reconciliation, which shields it from a filibuster. To pass the bill, Democrats need the backing of all 50 of their caucus members in the Senate and all but a few in the House.
Gun in movie shooting not thoroughly checked
Before he handed a revolver that he had declared “cold” to actor Alec Baldwin on the set of the film “Rust” last week, Dave Halls, an assistant director on the film, told a detective he should have inspected each round in each chamber, according to an affidavit that was released Wednesday. But he did not. The revolver contained a live round, Sheriff Adan Mendoza of Santa Fe County said at a news conference Wednesday. The gun went off as Baldwin rehearsed a scene Thursday, killing the film’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, 42, and wounding its director, Joel Souza, 48.
New guidance bars immigration enforcement in ‘protected areas’
The Biden administration Wednesday designated a wide array of locations off-limits to immigration enforcement, the latest sign that it is committed to protecting millions of people from deportation while efforts to offer them a path to legalization remain stalled in Congress. The guidelines, effective immediately, list “protected areas” where immigration agents are to refrain from making arrests, conducting searches, serving subpoenas or carrying out other enforcement actions. The sites include schools and university campuses; hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities, in addition to COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites; places of worship; and sites where children gather, such as playgrounds.
Gen. Milley calls Chinese weapon test ‘very concerning’
China recently conducted a “very concerning” test of a hypersonic weapon system as part of its aggressive advance in space and military technologies, the top U.S. military officer says. Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was the first Pentagon official to confirm on the record the nature of a test this year by the Chinese military that the Financial Times had reported was a nuclear-capable hypersonic weapon that was launched into space and orbited the Earth before re-entering the atmosphere and gliding toward its target in China. Milley said he could not discuss details because aspects involved classified intelligence. He said the United States also is working on hypersonic weapons, whose key features include flight trajectory, speed and maneuverability that make them capable of evading early warning systems that are part of U.S. missile defenses. The U.S. has not conducted a hypersonic weapon test of the sort Milley said China had achieved.
Feds raid home in widening corruption investigation
FBI agents raided a Rochester Hills home Wednesday morning as part of a broadening corruption investigation centered on public officials in Detroit, according to sources familiar with the matter. Agents were seen swarming the home about 9 a.m. and a man was handcuffed outside. An FBI spokeswoman confirmed a search warrant was executed and an unnamed person was taken into custody.The raid is the latest public move in a wide corruption investigation involving at least three city council members and a confidential FBI source who was tied to Detroit’s towing industry. In late September, former Councilman Andre Spivey pleaded guilty to taking bribes totaling $35,900 in exchange for his help with the city’s towing regulations. Investigators have not described publicly how the Police Department fits into the criminal probe. But a recent federal criminal case involving a former Detroit police officer and an internal Detroit police investigation documented separate alleged instances of officers steering work to specific towing companies.
Cheap antidepressant shows promise treating early COVID
A cheap antidepressant reduced the need for hospitalization among high-risk adults with COVID-19 in a study hunting for existing drugs that could be repurposed to treat coronavirus. Researchers tested the pill used for depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder because it was known to reduce inflammation and looked promising in smaller studies. They’ve shared the results with the U.S. National Institutes of Health, which publishes treatment guidelines, and they hope for a World Health Organization recommendation. The pill, called fluvoxamine, would cost $4 for a course of COVID-19 treatment. By comparison, antibody IV treatments cost about $2,000 and Merck’s experimental antiviral pill for COVID-19 is about $700 per course. Some experts predict various treatments eventually will be used in combination to fight the coronavirus.
Thai police: Woman cut rope holding painters 26 floors high
A resident of a high-rise condominium in Thailand cut the support rope for two painters, apparently angry she wasn’t told they would be doing work, and left them hanging above the 26th floor until a couple rescued them, police said Wednesday. The woman is facing attempted murder and property destruction charges, Pol. Col. Pongjak Preechakarunpong, chief of the Pak Kret police station north of the Thai capital, told The Associated Press. Pongjak did not say what prompted the suspect to cut the rope, but Thai media reported that she was apparently frustrated when the workers appeared outside her room and hadn’t seen an announcement by the condo that they would be doing work on Oct. 12.
By wire sources
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