National Briefs: 6/12/14

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WASHINGTON —The Internal Revenue Service has unveiled a “Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights” that groups together the existing rights embedded in the tax code into 10 broad categories.

The IRS said Tuesday it will send the list to millions of taxpayers this year when they receive notices on issues such as audits and collections.

The existing rights are scattered throughout the tax code, making it difficult for individuals to track and understand. The IRS has grouped them into the following categories.

Mississippi ‘at risk’

WASHINGTON — Decades of shortsighted decisions by industry and government have put the Mississippi River’s future at risk, and degradation at its southern Louisiana delta is contributing to “the greatest land loss on the planet,” a five-state environmental coalition warned Wednesday.

As much as $50 billion will be needed to secure Louisiana’s port system, but “there is no hope in the current budget of the United States. Zero,” said Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who addressed a diverse group of political, environmental and private-sector leaders at a conference in Washington on the river’s future.

Despite a $14 billion federal infusion after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the state in 2005, Ms. Landrieu said, southern Louisiana is losing land masses the size of the nation’s capital to the Gulf of Mexico every year.

Drug kingpin convicted

MIAMI — A federal jury Wednesday convicted reputed Spanish drug kingpin Alvaro Lopez Tardon on money laundering charges, finding him guilty of cleaning more than $20 million from cocaine profits in Spain through Miami’s luxury condo and car markets.

Mr. Lopez Tardon, who appeared stoic as the verdicts were read in Miami federal court, was found guilty on a single conspiracy charge and on 13 money laundering charges.

No Gitmo timeline

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is working on more transfers out of the Guantanamo Bay detention center in the wake of last week’s release of five Taliban fighters but said Wednesday it doesn’t have a timeline for progress.

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said Wednesday that the administration is making headway on some “promising opportunities,” but that the process may take some time.

Newspaper move

PHILADELPHIA — A cable magnate has paid $88 million to take over Philadelphia’s two largest newspapers after a bitter court fight and the sudden death of his business partner.

H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest becomes the sole owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com.

Strip club scheme

NEW YORK — Four women and a manager at a New York City strip club were arrested and charged Wednesday with luring wealthy men to strip clubs, drugging them and then running up tens of thousands of dollars on their credit cards, according to court documents.

War victim remembered

ORWIGSBURG, Pa. — The body of an Eastern Pennsylvania soldier killed in Afghanistan was escorted through his hometown Wednesday as hundreds of people lined the route, paying their respects to the West Point graduate who belonged to an Army Special Forces unit.

Capt. Jason Jones, 29, of Orwigsburg was killed by small-arms fire June 2 in Jalalabad.



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