The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, June 02, 2020 1:00 am


El Salvador hit by storm; 17 dead

News services

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – Rain from Tropical Storm Amanda left at least 17 dead and seven missing while causing extensive damage across El Salvador and Guatemala that pushed thousands of people into shelters amid the coronavirus pandemic.

El Salvador Interior Minister Mario Durán said Monday some 7,000 people were scattered across 154 shelters.

He said a quarter of the rain that the country normally receives in a year fell in 70 hours. That set off landslides and flooding, especially in the western part of the country. A day earlier officials had said at least 900 homes had been damaged.

Justices uphold Puerto Rico oversight

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the oversight board established by Congress to help Puerto Rico out of a devastating financial crisis that has been exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak, recent earthquakes and damage from Hurricane Maria in 2017.

The justices reversed a lower court ruling that threatened to throw the island's recovery efforts into chaos. The case stemmed from a constitutional challenge to the oversight board's composition led by hedge funds that invested in Puerto Rican bonds.

The American territory faces the largest municipal bankruptcy proceeding in U.S. history. At one point, Puerto Rico faced more than $100 billion in debt and unfunded pension obligations.

High-earners ditch taxes, report finds

The Internal Revenue Service is letting hundreds of thousands of high-income individuals duck their tax obligations, according to a government watchdog report.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that 879,415 high-income individuals who didn't file returns cumulatively failed to pay $45.7 billion in taxes from 2014 to 2016 and that the agency hasn't tried to collect from many of those taxpayers.

The report defines high-income taxpayers as those earning at least $100,000.

In the report, IRS managers agreed with a recommendation to prioritize collecting from people who didn't file tax returns.

Census achieves self-response goal

Facing unprecedented challenges from a pandemic, the U.S. Census Bureau on Monday reported reaching its predicted goal for households answering the 2020 census questionnaire on their own – 60.5%.

The self-response rate will likely grow higher in the next two months before the next phase of the 2020 head count begins in August. That's when hundreds of thousands of census-takers start knocking on the doors of homes whose residents haven't yet answered the census questions.

The higher the self-response rate, the fewer door-knockers are needed and that saves the Census Bureau money.

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