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US Senate in Russian hackers' crosshairs: Cybersecurity firms

US Senate in Russian hackers' crosshairs: Cybersecurity firms

Technology
The same Russian government-aligned hackers who penetrated the Democratic Party have spent the past few months laying the groundwork for an espionage campaign against the U.S. Senate, a cybersecurity firm said in a report Friday. The revelation suggests the group often nicknamed Fancy Bear, whose hacking campaign scrambled the 2016 U.S. electoral contest, is still busy trying to gather the emails of America's political elite. "They're still very active — in making preparations at least — to influence public opinion again," said Feike Hacquebord, a security researcher at Trend Micro Inc. who authoered the report. "They are looking for information they might leak later." The Senate Sergeant at Arms office, which is responsible for the upper house's security, declined to comment, but Nebrask
Republican tax bill: House passes plan to Senate for final vote

Republican tax bill: House passes plan to Senate for final vote

Business
The Republican-controlled Congress is expected to confirm the most sweeping overhaul of the US tax system in more than three decades.The House of Representatives approved the legislation comfortably on Tuesday, but the vote is likely to be closer in the Senate.The bill looks set to mark the party's first major legislative triumph under President Donald Trump.Critics say the package is a deficit-bloating giveaway to the super-rich.But Republicans argue the tax cuts for corporations, small businesses and individuals will bolster economic growth.Tuesday saw 12 Republicans and all Democratic members of the House oppose the bill, which passed by 227 votes to 203, to loud cheers and applause from Republicans in the chamber.Speaker Paul Ryan said: "Today we are giving the people of this country t...
Senate tax bill may hurt entrepreneurs with income above $500K

Senate tax bill may hurt entrepreneurs with income above $500K

Finance
Accountants sifting through the Senate version of the GOP tax bill are finding that some of their small business clients may indeed pay more under the proposed legislation.Generally, the Senate bill will permit small business owners to deduct 23 percent of their income, allowing them to save on their taxes. This rate will be available to so-called pass-through entities, including S corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs).The remainder of the income that isn't deductible will be subject to regular income taxes.Under current law, profits from a small business "pass through" to the owner and are taxed at his or her individual rate, which can be as high as 39.6 percent.But accountants are saying that the bill isn't quite so generous for entrepreneurs who already take deductions th...
Senate, unlike House, would keep mortgage deduction intact

Senate, unlike House, would keep mortgage deduction intact

Finance
New details of GOP tax planSenate Republicans have a message for their House counterparts: leave the mortgage interest deduction alone. On Thursday, Senate Republicans unveiled their version of a tax reform bill, and it retains the current tax break that allows homeowners to deduct interest on mortgages up to $ 1 million,according to initial materials from the Senate Finance Committee. That's in contrast to the House bill proposed last week, that would limit the deduction to home loans over $ 500,000. That lower cap would have only applied to new mortgages. As lawmakers work to merge their two plans, a new limit could emerge on how much mortgage interest homeowners can deduct. So far this year, 5.4% of all loans originated were more than $ 500,000, according to data from ATTOM Data Solu...
Big House victory for GOP tax plan, but Senate fate unclear

Big House victory for GOP tax plan, but Senate fate unclear

Health
Republicans rammed a $ 1.5 trillion overhaul of business and personal income taxes through the House Thursday, edging toward the code's biggest rewrite in three decades and the first major legislative triumph for President Donald Trump and the GOP after 10 bumpy months of controlling government. The mostly party-line 227-205 vote masked more ominous problems in the Senate. There, a similar package received a politically awkward verdict from nonpartisan congressional analysts showing it would eventually produce higher taxes for low- and middle-income earners but deliver deep reductions for those better off. The Senate bill was approved late Thursday by the Finance Committee and sent to the full Senate on a party-line 14-12 vote. Like the House measure, it would slash the corporate tax rate...