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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, January 13, 2018 1:00 am


Supreme Court takes internet sales tax case

News services

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court agreed Friday to wade into the issue of sales tax collection on internet purchases in a case that could force consumers to pay more for certain purchases and allow states to recoup what they say is billions in lost revenue annually.

Under previous Supreme Court rulings, when internet retailers don't have a physical presence in a state, they can't be forced to collect sales tax on sales into that state. Consumers who purchase from out-of-state retailers are generally supposed to pay the state taxes themselves, but few do. A total of 36 states and the District of Columbia had asked the high court to revisit the issue.

Large brick-and-mortar retailers like Walmart and Target have long bemoaned the fact that they have to collect sales tax on online purchases because they have physical stores nationwide. Meanwhile, smaller online retailers, who don't have vast networks of stores, don't have to collect the tax where they don't have a physical presence. 

Trump in 'excellent health,' his doc says

President Donald Trump's White House physician declared him in “excellent health” after the president received his first medical checkup at Walter Reed military hospital on Friday.

Dr. Ronny Jackson, in a statement released by the White House, said the physical examination “went exceptionally well. The President is in excellent health and I look forward to briefing some of the details on Tuesday.” Trump spent about three hours at the medical facility in Bethesda, Maryland, outside Washington, for the Friday afternoon checkup, his first as president, before departing for Florida for the weekend.

Kentucky adds work rule to Medicaid

Kentucky has become the first state to require many of its Medicaid recipients to work to receive coverage, part of an unprecedented change to the nation's largest health insurance program under the Trump administration.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced the approval on Friday. The change will require adults between the ages of 19 and 64 to complete 80 hours per month of “community engagement” to keep their coverage. That includes getting a job, going to school, taking a job training course or community service.

Ex-legislator in scandal commits suicide

A former Idaho lawmaker shot and killed himself Tuesday morning, three months after he abruptly resigned from the State House after a criminal investigation into alleged sexual abuse emerged.

A relative found Brandon Hixon, the 36-year-old former Republican state representative and a well-known local figure, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in his Caldwell home, said Canyon County Deputy Coroner Steve Rhodes.

Reputed crime boss, 9 others charged

Federal authorities say the acting boss of the Bonanno organized crime family and nine others have been charged with racketeering and related crimes.

The charges were announced Friday in a case brought in Manhattan federal court. Nine of the defendants were arrested early Friday. Charges brought against the men included extortion, loansharking, wire and mail fraud, narcotics distribution and conspiracy to commit murder.

Matthews apologizes for Cosby joke

MSNBC's Chris Matthews apologized for joking about a “Bill Cosby pill” while awaiting an interview with Hillary Clinton two years ago.

Outtake footage obtained by the website The Cut showed Matthews in an Iowa fire station, asking if he could “have some of the queen's waters.” Then he said, “where's that Bill Cosby pill I brought with me?” The reference was to accusations that Cosby drugged and assaulted women.