Top Ten News This Week
1. Amazon Owes Back Taxes
Amazon ordered to repay $293 million in back taxes after the European Commission said it had been given a bad tax deal in Luxembourg. Amazon initially denied it owed any back tax saying it didn’t “receive special treatment from Luxembourg.” However, European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the Luxembourg arrangement allowed Amazon to pay four times less tax than other local companies.
2. Trump in Puerto Rico
It’s hard to believe that Trump’s recent Puerto Rico visit could have turned out worse than his recent Twitter posts, but somehow he managed to do just that. Trump told government officials that they should be “proud” that Puerto Rico only had 16 people killed during the storm and grateful that not 1,000s of people died like the “real catastrophe” in New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina. Trump also tossed rolls of paper towels at a crowd of people in Puerto Rico to, I don’t know, clean up the mess? Regardless, discounting the lives lost is a terrible thing for a president to say of its people and making jokes about “throwing our budget a little out of whack.”
3. Tom Petty Dies at 66
Legendary rocker Tom Petty died at his Malibu home Monday at age 66. According to Petty’s manager, he suffered cardiac arrest in the early morning and passed away at 8:40 p.m. after being taken to UCLA Medical Center. Indeed many hearts have been broken by the news of Petty’s death, the leader of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. The band just finished its 40th anniversary tour at the Hollywood Bowl the week before.
4. House Passes 20-week Abortion Ban
The House voted on Tuesday to pass a bill making abortion after 20 weeks illegal in every state. The bill was passed based on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that says a fetus at 20 weeks’ gestation can feel pain. But research shows there’s no real connection to fetus and pain at this stage. President Trump is expected to sign the bill, stating this bill “would end painful late-term abortions nationwide.”
5. Chicago’s ATM Fees 7th Lowest in Country
Quite complaining! Yes, there are lots of things we pay extra for in Chicago (don’t even get me started on the soda tax), but according to a recent survey Chicago pays below average in ATM fees. The average ATM fee in Chicago is $4.44 per transaction making it the seventh-lowest average of the top 25 major metro areas, according to the recent survey on Bankrate.com. Chicago’s average overdraft fee of $32.60 is also the seventh lowest on the list with the national average at $33.38.
6. Failure to Monitor CPD Overtime Results in City Losing Millions
The failure to monitor Chicago Police Department (CPD) spending has resulted in a combined $575 million over the last six years. Preventing officers from abusing the system has been a large part of this costly expense. Inspector General Joseph Ferguson found this oversight has allowed officers to get away with overtime pay usually at time-and-a-half. These “potentially abusive practices” need to be monitored more closely in order to save the department more money in the long run.
7. Mother-Daughter Actresses Rumer Willis, Demi Moore Film “Empire”
Mother-daughter actress duo, Rumer Willis and Demi Moore, are living together in Chicago while filming “Empire.” Both actresses got cast in roles in the hip-hop family drama. The two are living together in an apartment in the city while filming. Willis plays a singer who struggled with heroin on the show and Moore plays a nurse that helps rehabilitate one of the main characters, Lucious Lyon (played by Terrence Howard).
8. U.S. Kicks Out 15 Diplomats
The U.S. and Cuba have had a rocky relationship and this past week the State Department issued a list of 15 names ordered to leave their positions within one week. Officials have stated the decision was motivated by the recent unexplained attacks in Havana. Over the last year at least 22 Americans have been harmed in unexplained attacks. Officials claim this isn’t an accusation against Cuba, but they have failed to protect Americans working in the U.S. Embassy in Havana and are therefore withdrawing them from the area.
9. Jared Leto to Play Hugh Hefner in Biopic
News of “Playboy’s” founder Hugh Hefner’s death caused an interesting reaction this past week, but nothing like the news that actor Jared Leto would be playing him in an upcoming biopic. Brett Ratner has been trying to produce a Hefner biopic since 2012, but the recent passing has put new life in the project. Leto is set to star as Hefner and the world’s reaction is a general, “What?!” Let’s just say we’re all glad Hef won’t be here to see it.
10. Skeletal Fragments in Aruba NOT Natalee Holloway
Skeletal fragments discovered in Aruba were tested and determined not to be the remains of Natalee Holloway. Holloway famously disappeared from the island in 2005, and her disappearance has remained a mystery. Forensic scientists tested the fragments with a saliva sample of Holloway’s mother and there was no match. Only one of four bone samples found were human. There’s no lead on who the human bone discovered was, how old that person was or how long they’ve been dead.