Monday, December 18, 2017
News Roundup

U.S. tax code too complex, report says

Washington

Biggest tax problem cited: complexity

Too intimidated to do your tax return without help? Join the club. At nearly 4 million words, the U.S. tax law is so thick and complicated that businesses and individuals spend 6 billion hours a year complying with filing requirements, according to a report Wednesday by an independent government watchdog. That's equal to 3 million people working full-time, year-round. "If tax compliance were an industry, it would be one of the largest in the United States," says the report by Nina E. Olson, the national taxpayer advocate. Olson ranks complexity as the most serious tax problem facing taxpayers and the IRS in her annual report to Congress. She urges lawmakers to overhaul tax laws, making them simpler, clearer and easier to comply with.

Midland, Texas

Float driver won't face charges

A grand jury on Wednesday declined to indict the driver of a float involved in a train collision that killed four U.S. military veterans in a west Texas parade. Dale Andrew Hayden, the driver of the truck pulling the float, won't face charges stemming from the Nov. 15 accident that injured 16 others. Though the grand jury did not indict Hayden, it "has not concluded its review of the incident," according to Midland County District Attorney Teresa Clingman.

El Paso, Texas

Missile plot yields nearly 3 years

A federal judge sentenced a British businessman to 33 months in prison Wednesday for trying to buy surface-to-air missile parts from undercover U.S. agents to resell to Iran. Christopher Tappin, 66, pleaded guilty in November to aiding and abetting to export defense materials.

Elsewhere

North Korea: A private delegation including Google's Eric Schmidt on Wednesday urged North Korea to allow more open Internet access and cellphones to benefit its citizens in a country with some of the world's tightest controls on information.

Gabon: Talks on the crisis in Central African Republic began Wednesday with representatives of the government, rebels and other groups gathering in this nearby country.

Jordan: The fiercest winter storm to hit the Mideast in years brought a rare foot of snow to Jordan on Wednesday, caused fatal accidents in Lebanon and the West Bank, and disrupted traffic on the Suez Canal in Egypt. At least eight people died.

Times wires

Comments
Advocates push orca breeding law as SeaWorld’s policy appears murky

Advocates push orca breeding law as SeaWorld’s policy appears murky

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PolitiFact Florida: Did President Trump break a promise to Florida’s Haitian population?

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Updated: 10 hours ago

Ernest Hooper: Hillsborough County School District needs meaningful action, not platitudes

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Updated: 10 hours ago
Atlanta airport power outage cancels 1,000 flights; more Delta cancellations Monday

Atlanta airport power outage cancels 1,000 flights; more Delta cancellations Monday

ATLANTA — A sudden power outage brought the world’s busiest airport to a standstill Sunday, grounding more than 1,000 flights in Atlanta just days before the start of the Christmas travel rush. Authorities announced that electricity would be restored...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Bucs-Falcons: Things to watch in Monday’s 8:30 p.m. game

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Updated: 7 hours ago

Bitcoin futures begin trading on CME, price little changed

NEW YORK — Another security based on the price of bitcoin, the digital currency that has soared in value and volatility this year, began trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Sunday. The CME Group, which owns the exchange, opened up bitcoin f...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Woman shot and killed in apparent drive-by shooting in Clearwater

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Updated: 7 hours ago
Bucs fans call for Jon Gruden — why was he fired to begin with?

Bucs fans call for Jon Gruden — why was he fired to begin with?

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Updated: 7 hours ago
Fennelly: Jon Gruden was one hard-working bro

Fennelly: Jon Gruden was one hard-working bro

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Updated: 9 hours ago