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IRS under fire for awarding contracts to companies owing back taxes
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service has come under fire multiple times in the last few years. Accusations include targeting non-profit organizations for political reasons and misplacing tens of thousands of emails.

Now the IRS is being blamed for handing out federal contracts to corporations which owe big back taxes.

It's all outlined in a new report, released by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

Included in the findings was evidence that 94 percent of contracts awarded by the IRS were done so without adhering to the law.
National Taxpayers Union President Pete Sepp said the IRS is the only agency with access to federal tax data, so it should be easy.

“It’s a very simple thing to ask. The tax agency shouldn't do business with firms that owe taxes and are perpetually delinquent,” Sepp said.

In total, TIGTA identified 17 Corporations that received 57 contracts valued at $18.8 million which all owed back taxes. Additionally, some of those corporations employed can't convicted felons. who had been convicted.

"It's yet another troubling sign that the agency is not properly vetting it’s contractors," Sepp said.

According to some lawmakers in Washington this report is emblematic of a much larger problem for the IRS -- a major lack of accountability.

"The IRS is giving us more than we can say grace over right now as far as very poor performance and operations that need to be brought under control," said Rep. John Mica, R-Fla.
But others warn the issue may not be black and white.
"You have to look at each case individually If it’s somebody that had a felony conviction related to something that was completely separate, do you punish a man or a woman his entire life?" argued Rep. Steve Russell, R-Okla.
The IRS declined to comment for this story.

Nike co-founder Knight will step down as chairman
 NEW YORK (AP) -- Nike Chairman Phil Knight plans to step down, and says he wants President and CEO Mark Parker to succeed him.

Knight, 76, says he plans to stay involved with the company after he steps down as chairman. Parker has been Nike's president and CEO since 2006.

Nike Inc. says it expects to name a new chairman in 2016, but no specific date was set for Knight's departure.

Phil Knight co-founded Nike and has been a director of the company since 1968. The company also named his son Travis to a spot on the board Tuesday.

Knight also says he will transfer most of his Nike stock to a limited liability company. The directors of that company will be Knight himself, Parker, and Nike directors Alan Graf and John Donahoe. He says the move will help maintain Nike's corporate governance.

O say can you breathe? Fireworks pollute air, study says

NEW YORK (AP) — July Fourth fireworks fill the skies across the nation with more than sparkling bursts of color. They spew pollution, too.

A study of 315 locations around the country found that the holiday explosions temporarily boosted the levels of airborne microscopic particles that can pose a health risk.

At 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. on July 4, levels of those particles were more than twice normal, on average, researchers found. But they tapered off overnight and fell back to normal by noon on July 5.

Smaller studies have also linked fireworks to particle pollution.

Dian Seidel of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who reported the results recently in the journal Atmospheric Environment said the study did not look for any resulting effects on health.

But in response to the research, the Environmental Protection Agency noted Tuesday that children, older adults, and people with heart disease, asthma or other lung diseases are considered to be particularly sensitive to particle pollution. The agency recommended that they limit their exposure by watching fireworks from upwind.

"We want everyone to enjoy their local fireworks displays," the agency said in a statement.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Labor Department will report today on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week. The department will also release unemployment data for June.

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   WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 03/21/14 --
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NEW YORK (AP) -- Entertainment is looking like it could be light at Donald Trump's upcoming Miss USA pageant.

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CHURCH OF CANNABIS INDIANA

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- There was no holy smoke -- at Indianapolis' First Church of Cannabis.

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IN THE NEWS: MAINE CREWS USE DRONE TO RESCUE 2 BOYS FROM RAGING RIVER

MECHANIC FALLS, Maine (AP) -- Officials in Maine have used a drone to deliver a lifejacket to a boy stranded on a rock in the middle of a raging river.

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