independent: Donald Trump lost so much money in the 1980s and 90s that he paid no income tax for eight years, it has been reported.

The New York Times reported that the real estate mogul’s businesses lost more than $1bn (£765m) between 1985 and 1994. The news came as Mr Trump’s treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, refused to release his boss’s tax returns for the last five years, setting up a legal battle with Democrats.

And late on Tuesday the president’s leading Democratic challenger in the 2020 election race, Joe Biden, pledged a “battle for the soul of the country” as he accused Mr Trump of “demonising” immigrants at a rally in Nevada. He also claimed that “our alliances will crumble” around the world if Mr Trump continued in office.

A federal appeals court has ruled that the White House can force asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for immigration court hearings while a challenge to that policy goes through the courts.

It has been seen as a major victory for Mr Trump, even if it only proves temporary.

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which the president has frequently criticised, overturned a decision by a judge in San Francisco that would have stopped asylum seekers being returned to Mexico during the legal challenge.

The case may still end up at the Supreme Court. But allowing the policy to remain in effect in the meantime lets the administration carry out a major change to US asylum practices.

The White House has said it plans to rapidly expand the policy across the border, which would have far-reaching consequences for asylum seekers and Mexican border cities that host them while their cases wind through clogged US immigration courts. Cases can take several years to decide.

The policy was challenged by 11 Central Americans and advocacy groups that argued it put asylum seekers at risk by forcing them to stay in Mexico, where drug cartels have wages a brutal war against the authorities that has caught many civilians in the crossfire.

Mr Trump is yet to tweet about the tax return issue today. His most recent foray onto Twitter was a few hours ago to retweet an old post about Tiger Woods.

And an hour earlier, he had this to say about Mount Rushmore:

Speaking of Joe Biden, Chris Stevenson has analysed his chances of winning the Democratic nomination in the 2020 race.

The former vice-president grabbed a huge 32-point lead over his closest rival, Bernie Sanders, in one poll. But will it last?

In Trump-related news further afield, Iran has said it will pull out of “some commitments” in the international agreement restricting its nuclear activities.

Hassan Rouhani warned that Tehran would resume higher-level enrichment of uranium in 60 days if the world powers remaining inside the deal after Mr Trump withdrew US support cannot strike a new agreement.

The US president has called the pact, signed in 2015 under his predecessor Barack Obama, the “worst deal in history”. It lifted many international sanctions on Tehran in exchange for limits on its nuclear programme.

It was originally signed by the UK, China, the EU, France and Germany, as well as Iran and the US.

Last night Joe Biden held a rally in Nevada where he accused Mr Trump of risking the US’ leading position on the world stage.

Another four years of the Republican in the White House would “cause fundamental, systemic change in this country”, he claimed.

He said: “Our alliances will crumble. Not a joke. There will be no Nato after eight years.

“You cannot stand on the world stage and embrace autocrats and dictators, take their word publicly, publicly like with Putin, over our entire intelligence community.”

He also accused the president of “demonising” immigrants and repeated his suggestion that the 2020 election was a “battle for the soul of the country”.

For a bit more detail on the Democrats’ fight to get hold of Mr Trump’s last five years of tax returns, we have another story.

The White House has been accused of breaking the law over the matter.

Steven Mnuchin said on Monday he was turning down the request from the Ways and Means Committee as it lacked a “legitimate legislative purpose”.

Between 1985 and 1994, the documents show, Mr Trump lost tens of millions of dollars a year, with total losses adding up to $1.17bn for the decade.

The big news overnight was a report claiming Donald Trump’s businesses lost more than $1bn (£765m) in the 1980s and 90s, meaning he paid no income tax for eight years.

The New York Times obtained a cache of documents revealing the losses just as the president’s treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, refused to release Mr Trump’s latest tax returns.

Source: Published by independent

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