Policy & Advocacy
Top stories summarized by our editors
4/20/2018

Several Republicans, including President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, announced on Tax Day that filing taxes next year will be a much simpler process with just a one-page form or postcard to fill out. While it's true that many taxpayers will likely claim the new, bigger standard deduction, many will still calculate if they'd be better off taking the deduction or itemizing, and the IRS hadn't indicated that it plans to change the filing forms.

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ABC News
4/20/2018

The Justice Department released redacted memos from former FBI Director James Comey about his interactions with President Donald Trump, which detail conversations about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other US officials. In response to the memos, Trump tweeted that they prove there was no collusion with Russia nor obstruction of justice.

4/20/2018

Scientists have created robots that can assemble IKEA furniture, having put together a chair in just over 20 minutes. Although the robots had to be programmed to do the assembly steps in sequence, the researchers said that in the near future, robots could gain the ability to read the manual themselves and build the furniture.

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4/20/2018

A divided United Nations Security Council will retreat to Sweden for three days to reach consensus over the next steps in Syria, where experts say more security is needed before suspected chemical attacks can be investigated. UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura has announced an effort to resume peace talks between Syrian officials and their opposition.

4/20/2018

Workers under the flag of the United Nations are facing increased attacks from rebels, militants and militia groups, said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at an event to commemorate UN staff killed on the job. "It grieves me that anyone should perish doing this essential work. And it angers me that there is so little accountability for attacks on us, which in some cases constitute a war crime," he said.

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News Ghana
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United Nations, Antonio Guterres
4/20/2018

Thousands of Palestinian refugees who have fled to Syria to escape violence at home are facing rapidly deteriorating conditions and need food, water and medical care, warns the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. The agency is facing a more than $300 million deficit.

4/20/2018

Gender-based violence and sexual assault are persistent in South Sudan, and its leaders must take steps to end conflict in the country, says Bintou Keita, United Nations assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping operations. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says UN Mission in South Sudan forces are working with local authorities to increase accountability for such crimes.

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UN, South Sudan, Antonio Guterres
4/20/2018

Representatives from the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Health Organization are in Nigeria to help local officials address widespread soot in local rivers. Local leaders say the federal government has failed to address the issue.

4/20/2018

Executing Ramin Hossein Panahi for his alleged membership in a Kurdish nationalist group would be unconscionable, a group of United Nations human rights experts have warned Iran. The group is urging Iran to annul Panahi's death sentence, citing concerns that his human rights were violated before and during his trial.

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4/20/2018

Misalignment between a nonprofit's internal operations or values and its external mission is the root of many misconduct scandals, Jess Rimington writes. Rimington argues that change must start with leadership, and offers five tips for improved alignment, including listening to staff from marginalized communities.