Tuesday, January 16, 2024
► From the Seattle Times — WA attorney general sues to block Kroger, Albertsons merger — Washington state has asked a judge to block a proposed merger between Kroger and Albertsons, arguing that the $25 billion deal would harm consumers and raise prices in a state where the two retailers account for more than half of all grocery sales. The suit, filed Monday morning in King County Superior Court, appears to be the first formal move by state or federal regulators to halt the acquisition of Albertsons, which owns Safeway and Haggen, by Kroger, which owns QFC and Fred Meyer. State Attorney General Bob Ferguson:
“This merger of the two largest supermarket companies in Washington will severely… limit vital competition that keeps grocery prices in check.”
Today at The STAND — Ferguson files lawsuit to block Kroger-Albertsons merger
► From the Seattle Times — U.S. Supreme Court won’t take up WA capital gains tax challenge — The U.S. Supreme Court said Tuesday it would not review Quinn v. Washington, the lawsuit challenging Washington’s capital gains tax. The Legislature passed the tax in 2021 and payments first came due in April 2023. It’s a 7% tax on stocks, bonds and other investments or tangible assets above $250,000. The tax brought in almost $900 million in revenue in its first year.
Today at The STAND — ‘Huge victory’: SCOTUS won’t hear appeal of capital gains tax
► From the Seattle Times — Seattle rallies on Martin Luther King Jr. Day — On what would have been the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 95th birthday, hundreds spilled onto the Garfield High School campus, where King spoke during his trip to Seattle in 1961, and then marched in solidarity. For 41 years, Seattle has commemorated King’s birthday with a day of action broadly centered on Black liberation and civil rights. At Monday’s rally under the theme the “dream unfinished,” speakers decried the cost of housing and police violence, and called for more investment in Black neighborhoods.
► From the Seattle Times — Boeing to add more inspectors and let airlines oversee factory work — In response to sharp criticism from the FAA, airlines and the public in the wake of the Alaska Airlines in-flight fuselage blowout on a 737 MAX 9, Boeing on Monday laid out new measures to strengthen its quality control system. These include an independent outside assessment of Boeing’s airplane assembly practices. And both Boeing and its major 737 supplier Spirit AeroSystems of Wichita, Kansas, will open their factories to inspectors from the airlines whose jets they are building.
► From Reuters — Ryanair expects Boeing MAX 10 to be certified by Q4
► From Reuters — Boeing shares fall as MAX 9 grounding continues
► From Vox — How Trump went from disgraced insurrectionist to Iowa caucus winner — Since the Capitol riots, Donald Trump helped cost Republicans multiple Senate races, got himself held civilly liable for sexual assault and indicted four times, facing 91 criminal charges — and became the overwhelming favorite for the GOP’s 2024 presidential nomination.
Trump is not a candidate for the working class. pic.twitter.com/XNwyWDp50E
— AFL-CIO ✊ (@AFLCIO) January 16, 2024
► From The Hill — House, Senate tax chiefs announce deal on business deductions, low-income credits — Top tax writers in Congress announced a deal Tuesday morning to beef up the child tax credit (CTC) and reinstate business deductions that were taken away to pay for the reduction of the corporate tax rate in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The CTC expansion would increase the maximum credit per child to $2,000 from $1,600 through 2025 while restoring business deductions for research and development costs, interest payments and capital investments.
► From Reuters — Second Wells Fargo branch employees vote in favor of a union — Wells Fargo employees at a branch in Daytona, Fla., voted in favor of joining a union on Thursday, making it the second branch at the bank to do so. Last month employees at Wells Fargo’s Albuquerque, N.M., branch voted to join the union. Elections at a branch in California are expected to be held later this month. With the unionization effort at its branches, Wells Fargo, has become one of the first major U.S. lender to have a unionized workforce.
► From the Seattle Times — Unions’ backing for Israel shifts to protests — For decades, the most prominent American unions were largely supportive of Israel. Today, though, amid a resurgence of the American labor movement, some activists are urging their unions to call for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and succeeding — a change that reflects a broader generational shift. But many unions are divided over what stance to take or whether to take any stance at all.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.