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While Trump’s away, his supporters could pay.
The president’s first full budget, released Tuesday, hits hard many of the working poor who voted him into office, with social safety net programs slashed to the tune of $3.6 trillion. Meanwhile, defense spending got a boost and $1.6 billion was set aside for the U.S.-Mexico border wall. The proposal has few fans in Congress, even among Republicans. As Bloomberg View columnist Albert R. Hunt writes: “It’s easy to see why President Donald Trump was 6,000 miles away when his first budget was unveiled today: It’s politically perilous for his Republican Party and would be a policy disaster.” —Katie Robertson
Trump and the Pope have little in common but a date at the Vatican. Pope Francis believes climate change is one of the greatest threats to humanity. Donald Trump thinks it might be a Chinese hoax. Francis wants the world’s doors swung open to refugees. Trump wants fewer of them in America. The two world leaders with little in common will meet face to face at the Vatican for the first time on Wednesday, at Trump’s request. It comes after Trump’s 28 hours in Israel and the Palestinian territories, in which he gave several speeches stressing his desire for peace and denouncing terrorism, but avoided sensitive topics.
Police name the suicide bomber in Britain’s worst terror attack in 12 years. The explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester on Monday killed 22 people, including children, and injured at least 59 others. Authorities are still trying to establish whether 22-year-old Salman Abedi, who was born in the northern English city to Libyan refugee parents, acted alone or as part of a terrorist network. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.
A $4 billion Madoff fund has paid out $38.8 million to the firm hired to distribute money, and zero to victims of the Ponzi scheme. The Justice Department disclosed its payments over the last four years to Richard Breeden, the Madoff Victim Fund administrator, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from Bloomberg News. Breeden estimated 40,000 victims would get initial payments by the end of last year. They're still waiting.
Americans are taking more paid vacation days. As the economy recovers, companies are offering employees better benefits of all sorts, including more vacation days. An annual survey found full-time workers earned an additional 0.7 days off last year from the year before, and took an average of 16.8 days off, up more than half a day from 2015.
Religious ETFs are about to hit the bond market. Inspire, a California-based firm with two ETFs that target companies with so-called biblical values, plans to launch the first religiously focused fixed-income fund within the next few weeks. They evaluate securities based on what the firm sees as an alignment with their values and screen for companies that participate in certain activities, including support for abortion and “the LGBT lifestyle.”
There aren’t enough slaughterhouses to support the farm-to-table economy. Sellers of high-end pork, beef, and chicken agree: Despite ever-increasing demand for noncommodity meat, there simply aren’t enough facilities to humanely and safely kill their animals. It’s a major hitch in the supply chain—keeping supplies down, prices up, and making the already grueling job of farming even harder.
The exquisitely English (and amazingly lucrative) world of London clerks. It’s one of the last surviving professions of Dickensian London, and can still pay upwards of $650,000 per year. Clerks have no equivalent in the U.S. legal system and nothing in common with the Ivy League-trained Supreme Court aides of the same spelling. They are, by their own admission, “wheeler-dealers,” acting as middlemen between solicitors and barristers who depend on clerks to bring them work. The power dynamic is baroque and deeply English, with a naked class divide seen in few other places on the planet.
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