Tribune News Service

Newsfeatures Budget for Sunday, September 22, 2019

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Updated at 4:30 a.m. EDT (0830 UTC).


Additional news stories appear on the MCT-NEWS-BJT.

This budget is now available at TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.


^Roofless homes, scattered debris. Why has Puerto Rico's hurricane recovery been so slow?<

PUERTORICO-RECOVERY:MI — When Hurricane Maria tore through Cuba Libre, a small hamlet in central Puerto Rico, it ripped Iris Ortiz's roof clean off. Two years later, as she stood on a neighbor's elevated porch, she peered into the small cement home where she grew up but is now abandoned. Her dishes were still stacked neatly in the kitchen, and a faded picture of the Virgin Mary was hanging in the living room.

"I'll fix the roof and move back in," she said without much enthusiasm. "Someday."

Large swaths of this U.S. territory have rebounded since the Category 4 storm cut through the island on Sept. 20, 2017, killing almost 3,000 people and causing more than $102 billion in damage.

As tourists drink and dance on the streets of Old San Juan and the tony areas of Condado, it's easy to forget what the island went through 24 months ago.

But just beyond Puerto Rico's picture-perfect sunsets and beaches, the recovery is struggling.

1350 by Jim Wyss in Corozal, Puerto Rico. MOVED



^Warren's wealth tax would be an IRS headache and boon for appraisers<

WARREN-WEALTH-TAX-IRS:BLO — Sen. Elizabeth Warren's campaign promise to fund social programs by making America's wealthiest pay a small percentage of their fortune every year could create a costly and difficult compliance system for both the taxpayers and the Internal Revenue Service.

A wealth tax affecting the country's 75,000 richest households could raise $2.75 trillion over the next decade, according to Warren's plan. This proposal is her answer when asked how she plans to play for expanded child care and debt-free college — assuming it could actually be implemented.

"It would be difficult for the Service to get its arms around the wealth tax," said Mark Everson, a former Internal Revenue Service commissioner, referring to the agency's nickname in tax circles.

1050 (with trims) by Laura Davison in Washington. MOVED



^Purveyors of black-market pharmaceuticals target immigrants<

^MEDICATIONS-BLACKMARKET:KHN—<The bootleg medications were smuggled across the border and sold to mostly Latino immigrants in public spaces throughout Los Angeles — at swap meets, parks, beauty salons and makeshift stands outside mom-and-pop grocery stores.

The drugs were cheap, and the customers — mostly from Mexico and Central America — did not need prescriptions to buy them. Some of the products featured brand names and colorful packaging that immigrants knew well from their home countries — including Ciprofloxacina, a potent antibiotic, and Dolo Nervi Doce — translated as "Pain Nerve 12" — an injectable B-complex vitamin taken for fatigue.

Many were sheer counterfeits. Others, though legal south of the border, were not approved for sale in the United States. Some had expired. Still others would have been legal if sold by people licensed to do so — but none of the sellers held pharmacist licenses or any other medical credential.

1200 (with trims) by John M. Glionna. MOVED


^Abortion opponents hold memorials at fetal burial sites amid battle over how these remains should be treated<

ABORTION-MEMORIALS:TB — Although 40 years have passed since her abortion, the woman at the cemetery described a sense of loss and regret that transcends time.

Someone will always be missing, is how Jennifer Shea explained the pain following her decision to terminate an unplanned pregnancy when she was 19 in 1979.

Yet the Chicago-area woman finds some comfort in praying at the site of a simple gray tombstone. It marks a grave where hundreds of human fetal remains were buried in 1987, salvaged by anti-abortion activists from a dumpster behind a now-defunct abortion clinic on Michigan Avenue.

The prayer vigil was one of about 200 memorials held across the country, many at other burial sites of fetal remains. Locally, similar commemorations were held at the gravesites of aborted fetuses in west suburban Hillside and southwest suburban Romeoville.

1600 (with trims) by Angie Leventis Lourgos in Chicago. MOVED


^Bald eagles have found themselves a new home: Suburbia<

ENV-BALDEAGLES:LA — For much of the spring, a constant flow of people arrived at a dirt pullout on a mountain road a few miles above Azusa, each craving a glimpse of 10-pound celebrities with 7-foot wingspans and the charisma that politicians can only dream of.

These were bald eagles, after all, the bird that spreads its wings on every dollar bill and U.S. passport. And their nest atop a pine tree overlooking a reservoir on one side and Highway 39 on the other offered a full picture of home life for these majestic raptors. It was the first time bald eagles had nested in this part of the San Gabriel Mountains in 70 years.

1950 (with trims) by Louis Sahagun in Los Angeles. MOVED




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