Your Evening Briefing
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Puerto Rico is struggling to recover from what its governor called its “biggest catastrophe in modern history,” with Hurricane Maria’s devastation spiraling the country into a humanitarian crisis. On Thursday, after much criticism that the U.S. was not doing enough to help, President Trump waived the Jones Act to speed up shipments to the island. Lawmakers were quick to complain—either opposing the move or the length of the waiver.—Katie Robertson
Mountains of aid are languishing on the docks in Puerto Rico. Thousands of cargo containers bearing millions of emergency meals and other relief supplies have been piling up on San Juan’s docks since Saturday. Even with moves to ease shipping to the island, the docks have become choke points in the effort to aid storm survivors and may not reach those who need them for days.
Why one tax plan is still likely to produce two bills. Lawmakers face a complicated, daunting path to get any legislation enacted after Wednesday’s release of the GOP’s tax blueprint. First, both chambers need to adopt a budget resolution to unlock the fast-track mechanism to pass a tax bill in the Senate with only 50 votes. Then each chamber will write its own version of an eventual tax bill.
Where the most millionaires are being minted. The number of people with investable assets of at least $1 million and the total wealth that represents are both expanding around the globe, according to the World Wealth Report 2017. Russia, Brazil and Canada saw big jumps in their populations of high-net-worth investors last year.
The U.S. Supreme Court will scrutinize mandatory union fees again. It will try for a second time to decide whether 5 million government workers can refuse to pay union fees, accepting a case that could deal a major blow to the labor movement’s finances and clout. The Supreme Court starts a new term on Monday that is full of ideologically divisive cases that could turn on a single vote.
JetBlue wants you to be happy with less space. The popular low-cost carrier is doing the first full revamp of its workhorse jetliner. While it has plenty of bells and whistles, including a larger, 10-inch touch screen, the new versions of the A320 will also include a dozen more seats squeezed in among the 150 already there.
Bannon is back and he’s targeting China. From Birmingham to Beijing, the former Trump strategist is leading a movement of his own, now warning of the “forced technology transfer of American innovation to China”—and working with Henry Kissinger. Bannon is hoping pressure from him and fellow China hawks can tilt Trump toward action.
Halloween costume copyright wars are going bananas. Lawsuits over the annual $9.1 billion commercial holiday are stretching the limits of intellectual property law. As it turns out, polyester banana suits mean big money—so much so that one costume manufacturer has sued Kmart and Sears, alleging copyright infringement, trade dress infringement, and unfair competition.