• World

    Meng Wanzhou: The PowerPoint that sparked an international row

    The top Huawei executive's closely watched extradition case returns to court on Monday.

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  • Business
    Motley Fool

    What's the Average Social Security Benefit at Age 62?

    You may not realize it now, but there's a very good chance that, when you retire, you're going to be reliant on Social Security income to make ends meet. In the latest national Gallup poll of nonretirees, a record 88% of respondents expected their Social Security payout to be a necessary part of their retirement income. This strongly suggests that there isn't a more important decision to be made by our nation's seniors than deciding when to take Social Security benefits.

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  • Business
    Associated Press

    Nearly a year after sudden exit, Shepard Smith returns to TV

    The 56-year-old newsman, a Fox News original who joined that network at its start in 1996, says he's relishing the fresh start. Smith left more questions than answers upon his Fox exit, leaving others to speculate about why. “I built a career at Fox News and I have some deep friendships, ones that I'm going to keep forever,” he said.

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  • Sports
    Raiders Wire

    Raiders HC Jon Gruden disagrees Patriots took Darren Waller out of game ‘We had Waller open’

    Over the first two games of this season, Darren Waller had the second most catches in the league (18) and led all tight ends in targets (24). And yet through two quarters against the Patriots, Waller had zero catches on zero targets. It was obvious ...

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  • Politics
    The Guardian

    Six key findings from the New York Times' Trump taxes bombshell

    The president pays little, faces hefty audit costs as well as loans coming due soon, and Ivanka is not in the clear * Report: NYT publishes Trump tax returns The publication of Donald Trump’s records by the New York Times is one of the biggest bombshells to hit an unprecedented 2020 election campaign already been hit by a litany of scandals, a bitter fight over a supreme court nomination and a pandemic in which 7m Americans have been infected and more than 200,000 have died, during a bungled federal response.The president’s taxes have long been the great white whale of political reporters in America as well as prosecutors keen to find evidence of wrongdoing. Democrats too were eager to seize on them as a potentially game-changing stick with which to beat the Trump campaign.The Times, with its shock report published on Sunday evening, appears to have won the race. Its publication of details from the documents could send shock waves through the campaign as the key first debate between Trump and challenger Joe Biden looms, in Ohio on Tuesday night.Here are some of its key findings: Trump pays little taxThe Times reported that Trump paid no federal income taxes in 11 of 18 years the newspaper looked at. In 2017, after he became president, his tax bill was only $750. This is despite Trump often railing against taxes in America and ushering through a series of tax cuts that critics say mostly helps the rich and big business.> Barack Obama and George W Bush each regularly paid more than $100,000 a yearThe Times said of Trump’s immediate predecessors: “Barack Obama and George W Bush each regularly paid more than $100,000 a year.” A long audit – with potentially hefty costsTrump is involved in a decade-long audit with the Internal Revenue Service over a $72.9m tax refund he claimed, and received, after declaring huge losses. A ruling against him could cost him more than $100m, the Times reported.It added: “In 2011, the IRS began an audit reviewing the legitimacy of the refund. Almost a decade later, the case remains unresolved, for unknown reasons, and could ultimately end up in federal court, where it could become a matter of public record.” Ivanka helps reduce Trump’s tax burdenThe president’s oldest daughter, while working as an employee of the Trump Organization, appears to have received “consulting fees” that helped reduce the family’s tax bill, the Times said. Such a revelation might further tarnish the reputation of Ivanka, a senior White House adviser married to another, Jared Kushner, who often tries to distance herself from some of the biggest scandals of her father’s administration. She is widely believed to harbor political ambitions of her own after Trump leaves office.The Times reported: “Trump’s private records show that his company once paid $747,622 in fees to an unnamed consultant for hotel projects in Hawaii and Vancouver, British Columbia. Ivanka Trump’s public disclosure forms – which she filed when joining the White House staff in 2017 – show that she had received an identical amount through a consulting company she co-owned.”> His lenders could be placed in the unprecedented position of weighing whether to foreclose on a sitting president Trump businesses lose moneyThe Times was brutal in its assessment of Trump’s businesses, about which he often boasts and on the back of which he sought to promote a carefully curated image as a master businessman. “Trump’s core enterprises – from his constellation of golf courses to his conservative-magnet hotel in Washington – report losing millions, if not tens of millions, of dollars year after year,” the newspaper said.It detailed how since 2000, Trump has reported losing more than $315m at his golf courses, with much of that coming from Trump National Doral in Florida. His Washington hotel, which opened in 2016 and has been the subject of much speculation regarding federal ethics laws, has lost more than $55m. Trump has a big bill to payThe newspaper also reported that Trump is facing a major financial bill, as within the next four years, hundreds of millions of dollars in loans will come due. The paper said Trump is personally responsible for many of those obligations.The paper reported: “In the 1990s, Mr Trump nearly ruined himself by personally guaranteeing hundreds of millions of dollars in loans, and he has since said that he regretted doing so. But he has taken the same step again, his tax records show. He appears to be responsible for loans totaling $421m, most of which is coming due within four years.”In a blunt summary of the problem, the Times speculated: “Should he win re-election, his lenders could be placed in the unprecedented position of weighing whether to foreclose on a sitting president.” Trump businesses profit from his presidencyThe issue of whether Trump’s businesses benefit from his position in the White House has been one of the long-running themes of reporting on the Trump presidency. The global nature of the Trump Organization and its portfolio of hotels, resorts and other interests has left Trump open to speculation that lobbyists, business leaders and foreign powers could spend money in them to try and peddle influence in the US.The Times report on his tax returns is clear that Trump’s businesses have indeed benefited from his political career.“Since he became a leading presidential candidate, he has received large amounts of money from lobbyists, politicians and foreign officials who pay to stay at his properties or join his clubs,” the newspaper reported, before detailing monies paid at his Mar-a-Largo resort in Florida, his Washington hotel and other locations.

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  • Celebrity
    National Review

    Meghan and Harry Are Embarrassing Themselves

    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s latest political stunt was carried out for Time magazine’s list of 100 influential people. The pair sat on a bench, spoke of “compassion” and the “global community” and the importance of everyone’s being nicer to each other online, and then -- what else? -- the U.S. election. “As we approach this November it’s vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity,” Harry said, after Meghan implicitly endorsed Joe Biden.Now, I don’t much care about kings and queens, or the political opinions of celebrities, but I do care about slighting principled grandmothers. What the couple have done here -- severing their family ties, moving to California, and becoming self-righteous wokespeople for social-justice causes -- is rather like the Kushners (Ivanka having converted to Judaism in order to marry Jared) suddenly revoking their religion, publicly breaking every rule in the book, then moving off to join a hippie colony. It’s very unseemly, shall we say? Though Queen Elizabeth II gave her consent, she was obviously worried (she asked the pair to drop to their royal titles) that they might cause further embarrassment. And she was obviously right.“This election I’m not going to be able to vote here in the U.S., but many of you may not know that I’ve not been able to vote in the U.K. my entire life,” Harry said in the Time video. This, presumably, is supposed to signal how hard his life has been. To put it all in perspective: In March 2019, having split from Kensington Palace, the couple spent around $3 million of public money of upgrading their home; after stressing the importance of climate change, saying how it influenced their decisions about family size, the two jet-setted across the globe on vacations, for which they -- deservedly -- received negative press coverage. Soon after, Meghan and Harry effectively declared war on the press, suing the Mail on Sunday and attacking the British tabloids. In November 2019, they took a six-week vacation in Canada instead of spending Christmas with his family. This year, in January, Harry and Meghan announced that they would be departing the royal family, “taking a step back,” and seeking financial independence.This financial independence has turned out rather nicely for them. After they arrived in California from Vancouver, they set about feeding the homeless while making sure to be caught on camera, then settled down in a modest $14.7 million home in Montecito. They then founded a production company and signed a multiyear deal with Netflix. The New York Times discovered that “it is unclear how much Harry and Meghan will be paid,” and “a Netflix spokeswoman declined to comment.” But we can take a guess. Rumor has it that they are looking for a deal with Apple and Disney in “the neighborhood of $100 million.” In addition to his inheritance from his late mother, we know that the couple are charging $1 million–per–speech fees with the Harry Walker Agency.What’s behind all this? Raw ambition and an insatiable hunger for power. Vanity Fair says: “[Markle’s] representatives insist she has no plan to run for office, but a close friend suggests it’s the main reason she didn’t give up her American citizenship when marrying into the royal family.” Apparently, she may run for president as early as 2024.Meghan complained in a documentary that she wasn’t expecting to be treated so unfairly by the British press. But this is nonsense. The first heard time I heard the name “Meghan Markle,” I was in a London newsroom. The editors there were in a tizzy because a writer -- in hindsight, a prophet -- had just filed a piece saying that Meghan Markle was bad news. There seemed to be, back then, no justification for such a swipe. How rude and unkind and Oh gosh, what might readers think? Everyone wanted so badly to like Markle, to give her the benefit of the doubt. And everyone did, for a while.But you see, the one rule for a royal family -- a rule Markle was perfectly aware of when she married into it -- is that they don’t get involved in politics. They leave us alone. And we leave them alone. With a palace, prince, and pool included -- I’d say that’s a pretty good deal.

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