Speculation grows over Donald Trump’s taxes
This past week, three pages of documents that appeared to be copies of a portion of U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump’s 1995 tax returns were mailed to the New York Times, which published the findings. A man whose name is included in those forms, Jack Mitnick, confirmed with the newspaper that the papers were authentic. What became apparent in those documents was that Donald Trump’s business was struck with considerable financial loss in 1995 around the time his Atlantic City casinos failed, specifically up to $915 million. Given the magnitude of this diminution, this apparently means that Trump would have been legally excluded from the responsibility of the income tax for a period of 18 years, 1992 until 2010. This discovery follows his comments in the first presidential debate that he was “smart” for not paying income taxes. That being said, he has not released his taxes from 2010 onward, so suspicion continues. Every presidential nominee for the past 40 years has released his or her taxes.
Alabama judge suspended over gay marriage rulings
Roy Moore, a prominent judge in Alabama, was unanimously suspended without pay by the state’s Court of the Judiciary. This follows what many see as his rejecting of federal court rulings pertaining to the legalization of same-sex marriage. The court found that he had recently been encouraging lower level judges to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples around the state and removed him from his post for violating judicial ethics. This is Mr. Moore’s second suspension, the first being due to an incident in 2003 when he failed to remove a set of the Ten Commandments that he had installed in a state building. He violated rules regulating the separation of church and state in that instance. What is different about this suspension is that it effectively fires him forever from his post. By the time that he could seek reelection, 69 year-old Moore will have aged out and be ineligible for reinstatement. The former judge has since reacted to the decision, claiming that “this was a politically motivated effort by radical homosexual and transgender groups to remove me as chief justice of the Supreme Court because of outspoken opposition to their immoral agenda.”
Britain to begin exiting European Union
Following months of encouragement from Brexit supporters and other European nations to move along the United Kingdom’s process of withdrawal from the European Union (EU), Prime Minister Theresa May announced that it will begin sometime in the first quarter of next year. She made a statement over the weekend to share the prospected timeline, which will start with triggering the famous Article 50 by March 2017 and end with Great Britain’s separation from the Union in 2019. A separate but related factor to this departure, which May included in her announcement, will be the eradication of the European Communities Act 1972 from Britain’s legal statues. The act supplemented existing laws with similar guidelines that applied to all EU member countries and instituted new ones as years passed. If ever there were a discrepancy between British parliament and the European Court of Justice, the latter had precedence. The government will integrate some components of the 1972 Act into British law.
Stolen Vincent Van Gogh paintings found
In the dark of night in 2002, robbers swung sledgehammers to break into Amsterdam’s Van Gogh museum, successfully running off with numerous works. Thanks to a “massive, continuing investigation” made on the part of Italian law enforcement and prosecutors, two paintings have been retrieved from the Naples Mafia, a branch of the Camorra organized crime ring, which primarily deals in the trade of cocaine in Europe. They received their biggest tip off regarding the artwork when police captured Mario Cerrone, one of the organizations leaders, told them the group was in possession of the paintings. One of the works was the Seascape at Scheveningen, one of only two Van Gogh Seascape painting. The second, Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church at Nuenen, was painted by Van Gogh for his own parents, as his father had been pastor of that very church. Both the Dutch government, which originally loaned the paintings to the museum in Amsterdam, and the museum itself, which had not insured the works, are very happy with the return of the masterpieces, together valued at $100 million.