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San Francisco Votes to Tax Big Business to Rescue its Homeless

The lot of homeless persons in San Francisco, California stands to improve, perhaps substantially, with the city’s voters approving the “San Francisco, California, Proposition C, Gross Receipts Tax for Homelessness Services” during the midterms on Nov. 6.

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Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor

San Francisco, CA, United States (4E) – The lot of homeless persons in San Francisco, California stands to improve, perhaps substantially, with the city’s voters approving the “San Francisco, California, Proposition C, Gross Receipts Tax for Homelessness Services” during the midterms on Nov. 6.

Proposition C provides that businesses in the city with over $50 million in gross receipts be taxed 0.175 to 0.69 percent to fund housing and homelessness services. The tax on big businesse is expected to bring in from $250 million and $300 million annually.

It will double the city’s spending on homelessness services. Ciity officials said the tax revenue will be allocated to mental health services, homelessness prevention, shelter beds and affordable housing.

Proposition C passed on Tuesday with 125,000 Yes votes or 59.9% of those voting. The No votes came to 83,823, or 440.1% of total votes cast.

The city explained that Proposition C is a business tax measure to fund homelessness services. It was on the ballot for San Francisco voters in San Francisco County. A yes vote was a vote in favor of authorizing the city and county of San Francisco to fund housing and homelessness services by taxing certain businesses at the following rates:

* 0.175 percent to 0.69 percent on gross receipts for businesses with over $50 million in gross annual receipts, or

* 1.5 percent of payroll expenses for certain businesses with over $1 billion in gross annual receipts and administrative offices in San Francisco.

Prior to the election, maximum business tax rates on gross receipts in San Francisco ranged from 0.16 percent to 0.65 percent. Proposition C was designed to increase these rates by an additional tax of between 0.175 percent and 0.69 percent, based on business activity type as outlined in the San Francisco Business and Tax Regulations Code.

Industries affected by the new tax and their additional tax rates:

* Retail/Wholesale Tade, Certain Services [3] (Section 953.1) — 0.175%

* Biotechnology, Clean Teachnology, Food Services, Information, Manufacturing, Transportation/Warehousing (Section 953.2 — 0.500%

* Accomodations, Utilities, Arts/Entertainment/Recreation (Section 953.3) — 0.425%

* Administrative/Support Services, Private Education/Health Services, Miscellaneous[4] (Section 953.4) — 0.690%

* Construction (Section 953.5) — 0.475%

* Financial Services, Insurance, Professional/Scientific/Technical Services (Section 953.6) — 0.600%

* Estate/Rental/Leasing Services (Section 953.7) — 0.325%

* Administrative office tax rate

Certain businesses classified under Section 953.8 with administrative offices in San Francisco, at least $1 billion in gross receipts, and at least 1,000 employees nationwide would be required to pay an annual homelessness administrative office tax (rather than a gross receipts tax) at a rate of 1.5 percent of payroll expenses.

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Politics

Trump Fires National Security Official Who Feuded with Melania

President Donald Trump has fired a top White House adviser for criticizing the trip to Africa in October by U.S. First Lady Melania Trump.

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Washington, DC, United States (4E) – President Donald Trump has fired a top White House adviser for criticizing the trip to Africa in October by U.S. First Lady Melania Trump.

Mrs. Trump successfully ousted Deputy National Security Adviser Mira Ricardel, who is a close friend of National Security Adviser John Bolton. Her spokeswoman released a statement saying that Ricardel should be fired.

Political observers noted Mrs. Trump had never interfered to this degree in politics and in such a public manner. Previous First Ladies have also refrained from making calls for officials to be fired.

“It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that (Ricardel) no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House,” said a statement from Mrs. Trump.

Mrs. Trump visited Ghana, Malawi, Kenya and Egypt during her week-long trip to Africa that began Oct. 1. She partnered closely on this trip with the United States Agency for International Development.

This sojourn was Mrs. Trump’s first ever visit to Africa and is the first where she was not accompanied by her husband.

Media reports said Ricardel came into conflict Mrs. Trump over the cost and resources used on the Africa trip.

“One person familiar with the matter said Ricardel quarreled with the first lady’s staff over seating on the plane and use of National Security Council resources,” aaccording to one source. “A White House official accused Ricardel of being dishonest about the feud and subsequently leaking stories to try to cover her behavior.”

It is unclear why Ricardel chose to pick a fight over an issue that has clearly nothing to do with national security. Ricardel has an extensive background in high-level security positions. She had worked as undersecretary of commerce and also held top positions at the State and Defense Departments.

Bolton praised her “track record of successfully managing teams and diverse organizations, as well as addressing complex issues.”

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A European Army Moves a Step Closer to Reality

Germany is backing France’s proposal to establish an “European Army” that will take on all comers, including Russia, China — and the United States.

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Paris, France (4E) – Germany is backing France’s proposal to establish an “European Army” that will take on all comers, including Russia, China — and the United States.

In a stunning move, Germany said the idea to establish an Eurropean Army championed by French president Emmanuel Macron “makes sense.” Macron wants to organize a “true European Army” to deal with all external threats, including those presented by the U.S., Russia and China.

Germany’s support for the European Army was voiced by Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) general secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

“I believe that a European army makes sense,” said Kramp-Karrenbauer, who is a contender for the office of Chancellor once Angela Merkel steps down.

“Along the way, we will have to reduce the parliamentary reservation for foreign deployments of the Bundeswehr (the German Armed Forces) a bit.”

A single European Army will greatly reduce national defense spending by individual European countries. There are 28 armies, 27 air forces and 23 navies in the European Union.

“No wonder we spend an awful lot on the military,” said Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Andrea Nahles, who also supports the idea.

Macron believes the EU has become the “victim” of the growing tensions between the world superpowers.

“We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America,” declared Macron. “We will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a true European Army.”

Macron also lashed out at president Donald Trump’s policies.

“When I see President Trump announcing that he’s quitting a major disarmament treaty which was formed after the 1980s euro-missile crisis that hit Europe, who is the main victim? Europe and its security.”

Trump responded by childishly attacking Marcon in a rant-filled twitter-storm.

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Trump Refuses to Acknowledge Existence of 20 Secret North Korean Missile Bases

President Donald Trump continues to deny being played by North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un despite new evidence North Korea still operates at least 20 clandestine missile bases whose ballistic missiles can strike at Seoul in a matter of minutes.

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Washington, DC, United States (4E) – President Donald Trump continues to deny being played by North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un despite new evidence North Korea still operates at least 20 clandestine missile bases whose ballistic missiles can strike at Seoul in a matter of minutes.

New commercial satellite images made public yesterday reveal more than a dozen of these undeclared North Korean missile operating bases. Military analysts said the existence of these bases is a clear sign Pyongyang is continuing to advance its ballistic missile program amid indications that the so-called denuclearization talks with the U.S. is on the verge of failure.

Media reports said this network of undeclared sites has long been known to the U.S. Intelligence Community, and to Trump. The president, however, has refused to assail North Korea for these bases to keep with his fictitious claim North Korea is “no longer a nuclear threat” after his failed June 12 summit in Singapore with Kim.

Yesterday’s report about the secret sites came days after Trump said his administration is “very happy with how it’s going with North Korea.” Trump made this rosy assessment despite the postponement of a meeting by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s meeting with a key aide to Kim.

The CIA refused to comment on the images. Other U.S. intelligence officials have expressed concern about North Korea using hidden and undeclared locations to continue to work on improving their missile technology and their nuclear program.

The new images were supplied by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). have identified 13 of an estimated 20 hidden missile operating bases unreported by North Korea.

“These missile operating bases, which can be used for all classes of ballistic missile from short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) up to and including intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), would presumably have to be subject to declaration, verification, and dismantlement in any final and fully verifiable denuclearization deal,” said CSIS.

The North Koreans have stored most of their weapons capability, including mobile missile launchers, in mountain bunkers or in underground silos.

The new images focus on the Sakkanmol missile base that “currently houses a unit equipped with short-range ballistic missiles but could easily accommodate more capable medium-range ballistic warheads.”

“Despite the difference in interpretation between the US government and the North Koreans over what these declarations have meant, the Singapore declaration and the new Korean declaration, for North Korea watchers it has been pretty clear that the North has not been willing to give up its entire nuclear program,” said CSIS.

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