WASHINGTON

House panel chairman

seeks Trump tax returns

A House committee chairman on Wednesday formally asked the IRS to provide six years of President Donald Trump's personal tax returns and the returns for some of his businesses as Democrats try to shed light on his complex financial dealings and potential conflicts of interest.

The request by Massachusetts Rep. Richard Neal, who heads the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, is the first such demand for a sitting president's tax information in 45 years. The unprecedented move is likely to set off a huge legal battle between Democrats controlling the House and the Trump administration.

Neal made the request in a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, asking for Trump's personal and business returns for 2013 through 2018. He asked for the documents in seven days, setting an April 10 deadline.

 

LONDON

UK seeks compromise

to avoid abrupt Brexit

Britain's Brexit drama went into overtime Wednesday as Prime Minister Theresa May and the country's main opposition sought a compromise deal to prevent an abrupt British departure from the European Union at the end of next week.

In an about-face that left pro-Brexit members of May's Conservative Party howling with outrage, the prime minister sought to forge an agreement with left-wing Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn after failing three times to win Parliament's backing for her Brexit deal.

 

 

WASHINGTON

NATO chief to Congress:

Alliance seriously split 

In the first address to Congress by a NATO head, Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday acknowledged serious divisions within the alliance and called for bigger defense budgets to cope with global challenges such as Russian assertiveness, the core reason NATO was created in Washington 70 years ago this week.

"We have to be frank," Stoltenberg said before a joint meeting of Congress. "Questions are being asked on both sides of the Atlantic about the strength of our partnership. And, yes, there are differences."

 

 

MONTGOMERY, ALA.

Justice Department says

Alabama prisons unsafe

The Justice Department said Wednesday that Alabama is violating the Constitution by failing to protect prison inmates from violence and sexual abuse and housing them in unsafe, overcrowded facilities.

The department gave Alabama 49 days to begin to correct the violations or possibly face another federal lawsuit.

Gov. Kay Ivey responded with a promise to work together on "an Alabama solution."

 

WASHINGTON

Ivanka Trump planning

trip to Africa this month

White House adviser Ivanka Trump is planning a trip to Africa to promote a global women's initiative she's leading.

President Donald Trump's daughter will visit Ethiopia and Ivory Coast over four days this month. The White House said Wednesday that her schedule includes a women's economic empowerment summit in Ivory Coast as well as site visits and meetings with political leaders, executives and female entrepreneurs in both countries.

 

RICHMOND, VA.

Lt. Gov. fights back

against allegations

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax said Wednesday he's asked prosecutors in Boston and North Carolina to investigate sexual assault allegations two women have made against him.

Speaking at a news conference, Fairfax again said the allegations are untrue and the sexual encounters he had with the women were consensual.

His lawyer has contacted prosecutors in Boston and Durham, N.C., where the women say the assaults took place, and have asked them to investigate the allegations, Fairfax said. He said he would cooperate fully with the investigations.

 

PARIS

Auction house has gun

possibly used by artist

A Paris auction house says it's selling a revolver that was possibly used by Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh to take his own life.

Described by some as the art world's most famous weapon, the 7mm pocket revolver will be put up for sale by Auction Art on June 19.

The handgun was discovered in the 1960s in fields in the northern French village of Auvers-sur-Oise, where Van Gogh is widely believed to have shot himself in the chest in 1890. He died two days later.

 

Beacon Journal/Ohio.com wires