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Emoluments Hearing Hints At What May Be At Stake: Trump's Tax Returns

If there's one thing President Trump's critics want from him, and he refuses to give up, it's his tax returns. The returns didn't come up during Wednesday's hearing in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan. But the hearing was the first step in a process that could loosen Trump's grip on them. If the next step goes the plaintiffs' way, the case could make the president's tax returns surface. Trump is being sued by four plaintiffs who allege he is violating...

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White House chief of staff John Kelly — a retired Marine four-star general whose own son died in Afghanistan — made another surprise appearance at the White House press briefing on Thursday, attempting to quell the controversy around a phone call President Trump made to a grieving military widow.

Updated at 3:55 p.m. ET

A bipartisan coalition of 24 senators—12 Republicans and 12 Democrats—have signed on to health care legislation to prop up the individual insurance market and keep premiums down. With the expected support of all Senate Democrats, it could have the votes to pass the chamber. But questions remain over when it might actually get a vote, as well as whether President Trump and House Republicans would bring the bill over the finish line.

As someone who lives with obsessive-compulsive disorder, novelist John Green sometimes feels like his mind is spiraling uncontrollably.

"It starts out with one little thought, and then slowly that becomes the only thought that you're able to have," Green says. "It's like there's an invasive weed that just spreads out of control."

A Syrian general known for his fight against ISIS — and accused in the death of veteran American war correspondent Marie Colvin, who died in shelling in 2012 — is reported to have died Wednesday on the battlefield in Syria's northeastern province of Deir Ezzor.

Brig. Gen. Issam Zahreddine, 56, one of Syrian President Bashar Assad's best-known field commanders, died after the vehicle he was traveling in hit a land mine close to a front line where he was fighting ISIS, according to media outlets closely aligned with the Syrian regime.

José Ortíz and Ethan Leder had never met, but they quickly came up with an unconventional plan to help Puerto Rico.

Ortíz and Leder's personalities are similar: both are high energy, do-er types. "It's all about doing stuff" says Leder. "Not just talk," adds Ortíz.

When Hurricane Maria hit, Ortíz, a 47-year-old flooring business owner, says his "brain was completely obsessed with it." He was born in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico and was 11 when his family moved to the Washington, D.C. area. "I was just trying to get in touch with anyone in Puerto Rico to offer help."

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HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- Some state lawmakers are trying to get restitution for what they see as bad US Federal Reserve policies during the recovery of the housing market.  

The ask? Around $20 billion dollars.

The state Treasury would be required to lobby the federal government for those funds under a resolution that recently passed committee in the House.

The practice at the core of the resolution is quantitative easing, or QE.

PA House Passes Familiar Budget...Minus New Revenue

Oct 18, 2017

HARRISBURG (WSKG) - House lawmakers narrowly passed part of a proposal Tuesday night to finish Pennsylvania's overdue state budget--their first significant action since talks melted down two weeks ago. 

It's extremely similar to a plan that previously failed to garner support. However, this version borrows more money and doesn't include significant recurring revenue, from taxes or otherwise.

It came together on the heels of a cooling-off period for the legislature, following Governor Tom Wolf's announcement he would balance the budget unilaterally.

The fallout continues from President Donald Trump’s decision to end subsidies to health insurance companies to help lower-income Americans pay for their health insurance. But it’s still unclear what the exact impact will be in New York.

The bidding process begins Wednesday to determine who gets the job of renovating the terminal at Syracuse’s Hancock International Airport.

The $45 million project, announced in January, is moving ahead at a quick pace.

Work started on the first phase of the project a month ago, with demolition of the curbside, concrete canopy at the entrance to the airport. Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined officials for an official groundbreaking Tuesday, and promised the rest of the work on the terminal will be done in a timely manner.

LAURA ROSBROW-TELEM / WSKG News

Advocates for a site where heroin users can safely inject in Ithaca brought their case before the Tompkins County legislature this week. The only operational supervised injection sites in North America are in Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto. There are none yet in the U.S.

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File

ALBANY (WSKG) - Governor Cuomo joined other New York Democrats in condemning the federal tax overhaul plan in the wake of Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Western New York.  

Cuomo, also speaking in Buffalo where the VP was  attending a fundraiser for Representative Chris Collins, said a provision in the tax overhaul to eliminate deductibility for state and local taxes would deliver a “death blow” to New York. He says it would result in “double taxation” and be a windfall for other states at New York’s expense.

Katie Meyer

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- Pennsylvania lawmakers might be close to a bipartisan agreement that gets a natural gas severance tax to the House floor. 

Similar efforts have failed repeatedly over the last several years--and as recently as this month. But a slightly friendlier committee might make this time different.

Most House severance tax bills end up in the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, which is stacked with conservative Republicans who tend to oppose tax hikes or new taxes.

MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

Nearly 30 people were arrested and charged with defiant trespassing Monday after they blocked construction equipment for the Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline in Lancaster County. 

The showdown between the pipeline company and the protesters has been in the making since the project was first announced three years ago.

Associated Press

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- The state House and Senate are back in session after taking time off following the collapse of budget negotiations earlier this month. 

There's no concrete strategy moving forward.

But some lawmakers say they hope opposition to Governor Tom Wolf's unilateral budget-balancing plan will eventually spur the body into action.

Wolf has announced he intends to bring the state's books in line by borrowing against liquor control board revenues, leasing out the state Farm Show complex, and not passing funding for state related universities.

Central New York and the Mohawk Valley are joining the race to win the coveted second headquarters of Amazon. The online retailer giant plans to invest as much as $4 billion to build their new campus and expects to create as many as 50,000 jobs.

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