Conyers admits settlement after report on sexual conduct with ex-staffers – but denies allegations

Hours after outright denying an explosive report on alleged sexual harassment, powerful Democratic lawmaker John Conyers admitted Tuesday that he settled a complaint with an ex-staffer — who reportedly said she was fired for rebuffing his advances.

Source: Conyers admits settlement after report on sexual conduct with ex-staffers – but denies allegations

Jane Curtin, Laraine Newman and other ‘SNL’ women stick up for Al Franken

Signatories included original “SNL” cast members Laraine Newman and Jane Curtin, along with 34 women who worked on the show behind the scenes between 1975 and the present. Franken was a writer and performer on the NBC sketch comedy show primarily from 1975 to 1995.

Jane Curtin told the New York Times on Friday that she was surprised by broadcaster Leeann Tweeden’s allegations against Franken.

Source: Jane Curtin, Laraine Newman and other ‘SNL’ women stick up for Al Franken

JUST IN: Women staff of “Saturday Night Live” sign letter in support of Sen. Al Franken

Trump Team Begins Drafting Middle East Peace Plan

Led by the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, the White House team hopes to develop an American blueprint for resolving Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

WASHINGTON — President Trump and his advisers have begun developing their own concrete blueprint to end the decades-old conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, a plan intended to go beyond previous frameworks offered by the American government in pursuit of what the president calls “the ultimate deal.”

Source: Trump Team Begins Drafting Middle East Peace Plan

Election 2017: A recap of PG endorsements in Tuesday’s election | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Three well-qualified candidates are running for two seats. We endorse Judge David Spurgeon, 46, of McKeesport, who distinguished himself while working in the county district attorney’s office, and Mary McGinley, 40, of Squirrel Hill.

We see Judge Dwayne Woodruff as the right candidate. for PA Supreme Court.

We endorse Judge Ellen Ceisler, from the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, and Judge Christine Fizzano Cannon, from the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas for Commonwealth Court.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Allegheny County Sheriff Bill Mullenare running unopposed.

Read More From Source: Election 2017: A recap of PG endorsements in Tuesday’s election | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pennsylvania ballot question focuses on property taxes

Referendum on election day would set up mechanism to lower or eliminate property taxes, but much more would have to happen.

Voters across Pennsylvania will get a chance on Tuesday to vote on an enduring and typically unpopular issue: property taxes.

Voters will decide whether to expand a statewide mechanism to allow for the eventual reduction or elimination of property taxes on primary homes.

A ballot question on Tuesday asks voters if they want to amend the state constitution to authorize local taxing authorities, such as school districts, to use the state’s homestead exclusion program to exempt homeowners from all property taxes on their primary residences. Commercial property taxes would not be affected.

Unfortunately, if the Referendum passes on Tuesday,  replacing the lost revenue will be a problem for the PA General Assembly.

Source: Pennsylvania ballot question focuses on property taxes

Inside Hillary Clinton’s Secret Takeover of the DNC

When I was asked to run the Democratic Party after the Russians hacked our emails, I stumbled onto a shocking truth about the Clinton campaign.

Before I called Bernie Sanders, I lit a candle in my living room and put on some gospel music. I wanted to center myself for what I knew would be an emotional phone call.

I had promised Bernie when I took the helm of the Democratic National Committee after the convention that I would get to the bottom of whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process, …..

Click to read full story: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Secret Takeover of the DNC

House narrowly passes budget — setting up mammoth tax fight – POLITICO

It was a dramatic vote, as Speaker Paul Ryan faced resistance from a number of Republicans concerned with the budget and tax plans.

By passing the measure, 216-212, Republicans unlocked procedural powers that allow the Senate to pass a tax bill with just 51 votes — and evade Democratic filibusters. But even with the ability to sideline Democrats, the GOP faces a daunting task as it tries to rewrite the tax code.

Source: House narrowly passes budget — setting up mammoth tax fight – POLITICO

Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal

As the Russian atomic energy agency gradually took charge of a company that controls one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States, a stream of cash made its way to the former president’s charitable organization.

The sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The headline on the website Pravda trumpeted President Vladimir V. Putin’s latest coup.

Source: Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal

Pa. insurance department says Obamacare rates to rise 30.6 percent | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“It is with great regret that I must announce approved rates that are substantially higher than what companies initially requested.”

Pennsylvania insurers offering Obamacare plans will need to raise premiums an average 30.6 percent in 2018, nearly four times the increase that had been anticipated before President Donald Trump scrapped government subsidies five days ago.

The new numbers come from the state Insurance Department, which on Monday released the rate hikes that it had approved after calculating the impact of the president’s move.

Source: Pa. insurance department says Obamacare rates to rise 30.6 percent | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Trump Calls Iran Nuclear Deal ‘Unacceptable,’ But Leaves U.S. In It For Now : NPR

President Trump is striking a formal blow against the Iran nuclear deal. But he is stopping short of asking Congress to reimpose sanctions on Tehran. Instead, the president is urging lawmakers to pass a new law, spelling out conditions under which sanctions could be reimposed.

Source: Trump Calls Iran Nuclear Deal ‘Unacceptable,’ But Leaves U.S. In It For Now : NPR

Social Security recipients will see 2 percent boost in 2018 – ABC News

Millions of Social Security recipients and other retirees will get a 2 percent increase in benefits next year, the largest increase since 2012, thought it comes to only $25 a month for the average beneficiary.

The cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, affects benefits for more than 70 million U.S. residents, including Social Security recipients, disabled veterans and federal retirees. That’s about one in five Americans.

Source: Social Security recipients will see 2 percent boost in 2018 – ABC News

Prosecution rests in bribery trial of Sen. Robert Menendez – The Washington Post


Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) arrives to court last month for his federal corruption trial in Newark, N.J. . After a month of testimony, the prosecution rested its case Wednesday. (Seth Wenig/AP)

Menendez is accused of taking gifts — including a luxury hotel stay, flights on private jets, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions — from Salomon Melgen, in exchange for doing favors for the doctor.

Source: Prosecution rests in bribery trial of Sen. Robert Menendez – The Washington Post

Australian Court Says No Guarantee of Speedy Ruling on Citizenship Crisis | World News | US News

Reuters

FILE PHOTO: A sign stands outside the High Court of Australia in Canberra, Australia, October 15, 2014. REUTERS/David Gray/File photo Reuters

Parliament was rocked in August when seven lawmakers, including the Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and two other cabinet ministers, said they held dual-citizenship, potentially ruling them ineligible to hold elected office.

Source: Australian Court Says No Guarantee of Speedy Ruling on Citizenship Crisis | World News | US News

No property tax increase in proposed Allegheny County budget | TribLIVE

Allegheny County would again hold the line on property taxes under the proposed budget county Executive Rich Fitzgerald presented to council Tuesday.

“At some point, we’ll have to make an adjustment, so we know that’ll occur,” Fitzgerald told council, pointing out the county does not perform countywide reassessments each year. “I think it gives folks the confidence there’s stability in our real estate taxing system.”

The last county tax increase occurred in 2012.

Source: No property tax increase in proposed Allegheny County budget | TribLIVE

Homeless women see hope moving into city-sanctioned campsite – The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego opened its first city-sanctioned homeless camp on Monday in a public works yard near Balboa Park.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced the opening of the site last week in response to a hepatitis A outbreak that has disproportionately affecting the homeless, leaving 17 dead and hundreds hospitalized.

Source: Homeless women see hope moving into city-sanctioned campsite – The San Diego Union-Tribune