Billionaire mega-donors have spent $88 million on the 2016 presidential race, with $70 million of that going to Hillary Clinton, according to Federal Election Commission filings. In total, Clinton has raised $1.14 billion, with more than a fifth of that amount coming from just 100 wealthy individuals and labor unions.
The United Nations secretary-general and the General Assembly must prioritize efforts to outlaw tax havens, says UN expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order Alfred De Zayas. As much as $32 trillion in holdings aren't being taxed, and governments are losing $3 trillion annually in tax revenues, he says.
The Syrian government is responsible for a chemical-weapon attack on the village of Qmenas in March 2015, says the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism. The Security Council will discuss the panel's report Thursday.
Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is present at 400 parts per million for the first time ever -- a level that's 44% greater than CO2 levels prior to the Industrial Revolution, says a World Meteorological Organization report. Improvements in the near future could reduce CO2 levels by the 2060s, says WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.
Better surveillance is uncovering far more tuberculosis cases worldwide than previously thought, with 10.4 million people carrying the disease -- up from an estimated 9.6 million, says the World Health Organization's Global TB Report 2016. However, many countries don't see TB as a priority despite a death rate of 1.8 million per year.
The civilian health care crisis in Syria is deteriorating hourly as medical supplies dwindle and many services are unavailable, says World Health Organization spokeswoman Tarik Jasarevich. Children aren't receiving needed vaccinations, and pregnant women are going without proper maternal care, she says.
About four-fifths of Americans give to charity, a recent survey found, but 47% of respondents said they do so only sporadically. That tendency, along with a propensity to donate to several charities rather than picking a few main causes, can limit their overall philanthropic benefit.
Donald Trump bombed at the Al Smith dinner in Manhattan on Thursday, drawing jeers and boos from the crowd after using his speech -- which candidates usually pepper with self-deprecating jokes -- to attack Hillary Clinton as "so corrupt" and compare himself to the son of God. Clinton's speech was better received but also featured unusually pointed jabs at her opponent.
Donald Trump's surrogates defended his unwillingness to commit to accepting the election results by comparing it to Al Gore's initial refusal to concede the 2000 race -- but Gore's challenge was based on actual events in a remarkably close state, not on unfounded suspicions, writes Alan Fram. "Comparing Trump's before-the-fact, implied threat to challenge a 'rigged' election to Gore's contest of the 2000 race is faulty on several levels," he argues.
Donald Trump is standing firm on his debate-night insistence that he might not accept the results of next month's election, telling a rally Thursday that he would "totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election -- if I win." Trump's comments drew bipartisan criticism, with Sen. John McCain saying that acceptance of election results by the losing party was "the American way."
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