Sen. Bob Corker wants to know how a measure enriching him was slipped into the GOP tax bill he now supports
On Friday, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) announced that he will vote for the final Republican tax bill being rushed through Congress, despite his lone GOP no vote when it passed in the Senate. His original concern was the $1 trillion or more the bill will add to the federal deficit — the Congressional Budget Office on Friday put the final deficit hole at $1.455 trillion over 10 years — but Corker said Friday the imperfections are worth helping U.S. businesses. On Friday night, the International Business Times found a newly added provision that would open big tax breaks to real estate developers like President Trump, Jared Kushner, and Corker.
On Saturday, Corker insisted he had not known about the "Corker kickback" before he switched his vote. On Sunday, he asked Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) for an explanation. "The suggestion was that it was airdropped into the conference without prior consideration by either the House or the Senate," Corker said. "Because this issue has raised concerns, I would ask that you provide an explanation of the evolution of this provision and how it made it into conference report. I think that because of many sensitivities, clarity on this issue is very important."
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) provided something of an explanation on ABC's This Week, telling host George Stephanopoulos the measure was added in during "a very intense process" where "the Democrats refused to participate, and what we've tried to do is cobble together the votes we needed to get this bill passed."
It's possible specifically helping real estate LLCs was incidental, as the new provision "combined a capital-investment approach that the House favored with the Senate's tax-cut mechanism," Bloomberg reports. But while "the new law will include lots of what you might call unintended consequences," Axios says, noting how it might increase moving U.S. factories overseas, "often they were intended by the hidden hands that put them there." Peter Weber
Mr. Faulkner's Old Fashioned Hot Dogs is one of Minneapolis' newest eating destinations — and it's run by a 13-year-old.
Jaequan Faulkner first started selling hot dogs in front of his house two years ago, and decided to try it again this summer so he could make money for new school clothes. Someone called the city's health department and complained about the stand, which did not have a permit, but instead of shutting him down right away, officials worked with Faulkner to get his stand up to code. "They're actually the ones who are helping me," he told KARE. "It makes me feel kind of — not kind of — really proud that people know what I'm doing."
The Minneapolis Health Department, Minneapolis Promise Zone, and Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON) are all guiding Faulkner now, working with him on everything from pricing to marketing. He now has a tent, hand washing station, and thermometer to check the temperature of his food, plus employees from the health department pooled their money to help him cover the $87 permit. Faulkner is looking forward to growing his business, and loves making people smile. "It puts pride in me to see that I'm doing something good for the community," he told KARE. Catherine Garcia
ICYMI: Instead of shutting down Mr. Faulkner's Old Fashioned Hot Dogs for operating without a food permit, staff from the @MplsHealthDept worked with 13-year-old Jaequan and @neonbusiness to get the business permitted and up to code. #smallbusiness #entrepreneur pic.twitter.com/LgppA3WxP3
— City of Minneapolis (@CityMinneapolis) July 17, 2018
Earlier this month, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Mexico's president-elect, sent President Trump a letter, calling on him to resume NAFTA negotiations and work with Mexico and Central American countries to stem migration.
On Sunday, Lopez Obrador's proposed foreign minister read the letter during a press conference. The missive urged Trump to join Lopez Obrador for an initiative to combat poverty and violence in Central America, two of the issues that cause people to flee to the United States, and discussed setting up a fund for development in the region. It also said Lopez Obrador's transition team will work with the current Mexican government on NAFTA negotiations. Lopez Obrador will be inaugurated on Dec. 1. Catherine Garcia
A gunman opened fire in a neighborhood in Toronto's east end on Sunday night, killing one person and injuring at least 13 others, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said.
The shooter was killed "in an exchange of gunfire," Saunders told reporters, and "a young girl, I believe eight or nine years old, is in critical condition." The shooting took place near Danforth and Pape avenues, on "one of the busiest streets in the country," Saunders said. Toronto Mayor John Tory told reporters police have "not drawn any conclusions about what happened here or why."
Witness Jim Melis told The Globe and Mail he was driving down the street when he saw a white man wearing a black hat and bandana start firing into a cafe. Another witness, John Aruldason, said there were lots of people eating out in restaurants, and patios were full. "No one thinks this would happen in Toronto," he added. "People were slow to react — it wasn't believable."
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available. Catherine Garcia
Rouhani declared during a meeting of Iranian diplomats that "America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars." Trump directly addressed Rouhani in his tweet, saying, "To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!" Catherine Garcia
It took awhile to get right, but now, Dooma Wendschuh's beer brewed from cannabis no longer tastes like "rotten broccoli."
Wendschuh is an entrepreneur who moved to Ontario, Canada, from Miami in 2016, and is developing what he says is the world's first beer brewed from cannabis. He started Province Brands in order to ride the pot wave; on October 17, Canada will legalize marijuana for recreational use, with edibles expected to follow next year. Most cannabis beer on the market was brewed from barley and infused with marijuana oil, he told The Guardian, but "that's not what we do. Our beer is brewed from the stalks, stem, and roots of the cannabis plant."
To get the beer to lose its broccoli taste, Wendschuh hired a chemist, and he has since come up with a concoction using hops, water, yeast, and cannabis, which yields a non-alcoholic, gluten-free beer that gets you high. "The flavor is dry, savory, less sweet than a typical beer flavor," he told The Guardian. "The beer hits you very quickly, which is not common for a marijuana edible." This beer is also environmentally friendly, since roots, stocks, and stems are typically tossed. "We take them off the grower's hands, saving them the cost of hiring a licensed disposal company to dispose of them," Wendschuh said. Catherine Garcia
One person was killed and another injured Sunday afternoon during a shooting inside a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chapel in Fallon, Nevada, about 63 miles east of Reno.
KTVN-TV reports that the suspect, John K. O'Connor, 48, is in custody, and the person who was injured sustained a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to the leg. A spokesperson for the LDS Church told CBS News, "We express our love to those in this congregation and our prayers for the victims and their families. Local leaders are ministering to them at this time."
KTVN says at least 50 people were inside the church during the shooting, and O'Connor left and went back to his home, where he was arrested. Police said the motive is not yet known. Catherine Garcia
In 2015, accused Russian agent Maria Butina met with senior officials at the U.S. Treasury Department and Federal Reserve while working as an interpreter for Alexander Torshin, then the Russian Central Bank's deputy governor, Reuters reports.
Torshin and Butina had one meeting with Nathan Sheets, then Treasury undersecretary for international affairs, and another with Stanley Fischer, then Fed vice chairman, with both arranged by the Center for the National Interest. The pro-Russia foreign policy think tank put together a report regarding its Russia-related activities from 2013 to 2015, Reuters reports, and said the meetings helped bring together "leading figures from the financial institutions of the United States and Russia."
Butina, 29, pleaded not guilty last week to charges she acted as a foreign agent for Russia. Fischer told Reuters he did meet with Torshin, who has close ties to Putin, and his interpreter, but couldn't remember much beyond that they discussed "the state of the Russian economy." Catherine Garcia