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April 19, 2017

Daily News Roundup: Steve Ballmer Launches Online Trove of Government Data

Tech Billionaire Unveils Venture to Make Government Data Accessible: Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's latest philanthropic project, USAFacts, is a comprehensive database on how federal, state, and local bodies collect and spend money, CBS News reports. Mr. Ballmer likened the nonprofit site to a government version of the 10-K reports companies must file annually to regulators.

Trump Reportedly Taking "Serious Look" at Giving Tax Break: Seeking ways to raise revenue as its proposed border-tax adjustment hits headwinds on Capitol Hill, the administration is weighing a cap on the deduction for charitable donations, The Hill reports, citing a source familiar with the tax talks. Two other unnamed officials tell the newspaper the proposal has not gained widespread acceptance within the White House.

Some Women's Groups Grumble as Lean In Eschews Politics: The workplace-equality nonprofit founded by Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg has stayed studiously nonpartisan as women take a leading role in protesting President Trump's agenda, Bloomberg writes. Advocates have called on Ms. Sandberg to be more vocal on women's issues, and organizers of some Lean In "circles" have turned their focus to activism. Read a Chronicle article on Ms. Sandberg new nonprofit venture, Option B.
Megadonor Huntsman Blasts U. of Utah for Ousting Cancer-Center Chief: Jon Huntsman Sr. told the Deseret News he is weighing legal action and putting talks about a new nine-figure gift on hold over the abrupt firing this week of Mary Beckerle as CEO of the Huntsman Cancer Institute, which he established at the university in 1993.

Gates Foundation CEO Brings "Precision Medicine" Approach to Global Health: Susan Desmond-Hellmann talks to The Wall Street Journal (subscription) about applying her background as a pharmaceutical executive to the work of the world's largest grant maker, balancing her bosses' different leadership styles, and keeping staff engaged in mission-driven work.

KIND Foundation Backs Tool to "Pop" Social-Media Filter Bubbles: The snack-bar company's charity arm is funding Pop Your Bubble, an app that widens the scope of Facebook users' news feeds by connecting them with people outside their ideological circles, Quartz writes. KIND founder Daniel Lubetzky said the tool aims not to change opinions but to foster conversation and "build the empathy muscle."

Obituary: Dorrance "Dodo" Hamilton, 88, Campbell Soup Heir and Philadelphia Arts Patron: Ms. Hamilton, whose grandfather invented the process for condensing soup, was a major donor to health, education, and arts and cultural causes in Philadelphia, most notably making two $25 million gifts to the city's University of the Arts, writes The Philadelphia Inquirer.