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Amazon's Bezos Passes Gates to Become World's Richest

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While the health care battle remains underway in the Senate, Republicans are parsing their plans for the promised tax overhaul. White House chief strategist Steve Bannon floated an idea to tax top earners 44% to help pay for tax cuts for the middle-class. House Speaker Paul Ryan had to admit defeat on the controversial border-adjusted tax proposal.

Ryan wasn't the only one disappointed today. Jeff Bezos became the world's richest person for several shining hours—before slipping back to second place. —Katie Robertson

Ryan gives up on border-adjusted tax on imports after attack. Republican leaders conceded on Thursday that the border-adjusted tax doesn’t have the support to continue to be as part of negotiations to overhaul the tax code. They decided to set the policy aside. The tax had been a centerpiece of the House GOP plan endorsed by House Speaker Paul Ryan and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, but was under attack by retailers and other industries that rely on imported goods.

Jeff Bezos briefly overtook Bill Gates as the world’s richest person. A surge in Amazon shares Thursday morning in advance of its earnings report gave Bezos a net worth of $92.3 billion, surpassing the Microsoft founder's $90.8 billion fortune. In afternoon trading, Bezos remains ranked second on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Gates has held the top spot since May 2013.

Pentagon pushes back on Trump’s changes to transgender policy. The president’s hastily tweeted declaration that he’ll bar transgender people from serving in the military has run into the realities of Pentagon bureaucracy. The Defense Department said on Thursday there would be “no modifications” yet to its current policy.

The “skinny” Obamacare repeal could still disrupt insurance markets. Senate Republicans are slimming down their ambitions to target the one piece of the health law they loathe most—the individual mandate requiring the purchase of health coverage. For insurance companies, that may be the most problematic health-overhaul option yet.

Tesla’s Model 3s may deliver a few surprises. Elon Musk is about to hand over the first keys for the most-anticipated car of the 21st century, a $35,000 electric sedan designed to take on the bestselling luxury cars. This is what to watch for when the first 30 customers get their vehicles on Friday, and high-volume production begins.

Why you’re not getting a raise. Even though the job market is picking up in the U.S., Britain, Japan and a host of other countries, the growth in pay is disappointing global economists, government officials and families alike. Forecasts for the next five years show many places will see wage growth taper off.

Summer of Samsung. A year after its exploding phones, Samsung is embroiled in the mess that brought down South Korea’s president. Yet despite the accusations of corruption, Samsung Electronics, which makes up more than two-thirds of the conglomerate’s market value, is close to surpassing Apple as the most profitable business in the world. How is it still thriving?

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