Happy Sunday, Virginia.
It was another busy week in the Commonwealth, so we’ve got everything you need to know in our weekly news wrap-up.
Hopefully this morning’s widespread Facebook and Instagram outage didn’t inconvenience you too much. If you’re anything like us, you still snapped photos of your poached eggs and uploaded them after the fact. And for that, we applaud you.
5 Things that happened this week
- UVA wins National Championship – The week got off to a great start, with the Virginia Cavaliers winning the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship game. One year after a shocking first round upset at the hands of 16-seed UMBC, the Cavaliers are national champions. The win was a huge boost for Charlottesville, if not the entire Commonwealth, and fans spent all week celebrating, capping off the festivities with a huge event at UVA’s Scott Stadium on Saturday.
- Dominion pays $0 in federal income tax – In 2017, the Republican-controlled federal government passed the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, making significant changes to the nation’s corporate tax system. As a result, Dominion Energy did not pay any federal income tax this year. According to a report from the non-partisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), Dominion reported over $3 billion in U.S. income and received a $45 million rebate among other tax credits and subsidies. The result was that the company’s effective tax rate was -1%.
- Trump ratchets up war on immigration; Virginia punches back – The week started with President Trump forcing DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to resign, continued with a purge of other DHS officials, and ended with President Trump saying he was considering releasing migrants into sanctuary cities. The controversial (and possibly illegal) policy was initially considered last year and was rebuffed by ICE, but Trump says he’s mulling the idea over again. Meanwhile, the Commonwealth is going in the other direction: Fairfax County, home to hundreds of thousands of immigrants, is considering creating a legal defense fund for immigrants caught in deportation proceedings.
- Julian Assange charged in Eastern District of Virginia after arrest – After spending nearly seven years in asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Julian Assange, the controversial founder of WikiLeaks, found himself in handcuffs after Ecuador terminated his asylum status. The U.S. is now seeking to extradite Assange and prosecutors in Eastern District unsealed a charge that accuses Assange of agreeing to help former Army analyst Chelsea Manning hack into the Department of Defense’s computer network in 2010. Assange has few friends and many detractors, but even some of them worry that prosecuting him could set a dangerous precedent.
- Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke heads to Virginia – While Virginia has critical state and local elections this November, the specter of 2020 isn’t far around the corner. Indeed, Virginia is receiving its first presidential candidate this week, when former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke swings through the Commonwealth. O’Rourke will hold events in Henrico, Prince William, and Fairfax Counties, while also stopping in Alexandria, Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, Hampton, Norfolk, and Williamsburg.