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International News

  • Why a former minister is challenging churches' tax privileges in US

    When Dan Barker was a Pentecostal minister in California, he knew he could exclude his clergy housing allowance from his income tax returns, taking advantage of an IRS benefit that the federal government grants to “ministers of the Gospel” – though not to anyone else. Back then, he didn’t give much thought to this special social benefit, which today gives American ministers a tax break worth some $800 million a year. In the 1970s, Mr. Barker was never that concerned about the nitty gritty of social policy.

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 14:42:43 -0400
  • Puerto Rican puppies find forever homes in New England

    On a sunny Saturday at the Nevins Farm MSPCA animal shelter in Methuen, Mass., dozens of hopeful adopters turn out to meet a new batch of puppies. Eight dogs rescued from hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico arrived at the shelter last week looking for their forever homes. When natural disasters strike, animal shelters in the affected areas quickly become overwhelmed as facilities already full of adoptable dogs attempt to handle incoming loads of displaced pets.

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 10:11:50 -0400
  • Amazon’s big competition could deliver for many cities

    The online retailing giant Amazon set Oct. 19 as the deadline for applications from cities wishing to host the company’s second headquarters, its “HQ2,” as the company is calling it. The prize for the winning city indeed will be golden: 50,000 new jobs with an average wage of $100,000, Amazon says. Amazon, based in Seattle, has set out a few prerequisites for bidders: The metro population should be more than 1 million, the airport should have direct flights to key US and international cities, and the mass transit system should be top-notch.

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 09:05:02 -0400
  • Amazon’s 50,000 new jobs? Why some cities don’t play tax-break game

    In early September Ron Nirenberg was one of the hundred-plus city mayors who felt their ears prick up when online retail giant Amazon announced its desire to set up a second headquarters outside of its Seattle home. Attracting large companies to an area has long been viewed as a golden ticket to economic prosperity – such deals have ticked up in frequency and cost since the Great Recession – and Amazon’s “HQ2” project is the latest and shiniest of those. Recommended: How much do you know about Texas?

    Thu, 19 Oct 2017 17:14:11 -0400
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