Briefly

Puerto Rico Looks At Power Problem

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico’s governor is asking the island’s Justice Department to investigate a report that material needed to restore power to the island was overlooked for months in a government-owned warehouse.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told The Associated Press this week that the lack of some pieces later found stockpiled in the warehouse had delayed energizing certain lines. Authorities say some key parts are no longer commercially available and have to be custom-made.

However Puerto Rico power company officials said the warehouse hadn’t been overlooked and that they had been using parts stored there.

Some 40 percent of customers in Puerto Rico remain without electricity nearly four months after Hurricane Maria.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello made the announcement on Thursday.

NBC Selling Out Super Bowl Ads

NEW YORK (AP) — NBC has less than 10 ad spots left to sell a little less than a month ahead of Super Bowl 52, the network says.

Ads are going for slightly more than $5 million per 30-second spot.

The big game, which is as much an advertising showcase as it is a football showdown airs Feb. 4.

NBC is airing the Winter Olympics beginning less than a week after the Super Bowl and about one-third of total advertising revenue from both events will come from advertisers who have bought spots during both events.

Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola and Kia are among the Super Bowl advertisers. And PepsiCo said Thursday its ad will feature Cindy Crawford recreating her iconic 1992 Super Bowl spot in which she buys a can of soda at a gas station.

S. Korea Impacts Digital Currency

The value of numerous forms of digital currency is tumbling after South Korea, a hotbed for currencies like bitcoin, said it was weighing a trading ban.

The country’s justice minister said Thursday that South Korea plans to ban crypto currency trading, but the presidential office said later that a ban is under review, though no policy changes have been made.

The justice ministry has taken the sternest stance on digital currencies among the nation’s ministries, though other South Korean agencies oppose an outright ban.

Bitcoin slid 8 percent, to $13,698, according to Coindesk. Etherium, another popular digital currency, fell 2.1 percent, to $1,222.

IRS Rolls Out New Tax Guidelines

The Internal Revenue Service is making changes to the guidelines that help workers determine how much of their paycheck is withheld by their employer as income taxes.

The IRS rolled out new income-tax withholding tables Thursday as it begins to adapt to changes in the tax law enacted last month.

The guidelines require employers to use new withholding tax rates no later than Feb. 15.

Individual taxpayers aren’t required to make any changes right now.

Later this year, the IRS expects to revise the Form W-4, which employees use to ultimately determine how much of their pay is withheld toward income taxes.

The IRS also plans to release a new withholding calculator to help individual taxpayers determine the correct amount of withholding by the end of February.

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