Before you go out and let loose this weekend, ask yourself: have I read the news lately? If not, here are the top five things you need to know to stay informed this week:
It’s been a little over a week since the strongest natural disaster to hit Puerto Rico since 1932 made landfall. Hurricane Maria left catastrophic destruction, unlike anything ever before before seen, and the people of Puerto Rico are in dire need of food, water, housing, clothing, and emergency supplies. Not to mention, the power throughout the island went out, leaving no electricity. President Trump authorized a ten-day waiver of the Jones Act, which is a century-old shipping law barring Puerto Rico from docking any non-U.S. ships, after it was requested by Ricardo Rossello; however, many political experts see this effort as far too little, far too late, as the island has already been without aid for days and will take years to recover from the damage.
President Trump announced a new tax plan that unsurprisingly benefits, well, Trump. More generally, the upper class. The plan will not benefit lower-income households who do not pay federal income taxes; in fact, the new plan raises the tax rate for the lowest income bracket. For the middle class, the benefits seem to be modest. The bill proposes reducing taxation of business income, which Trump said would increase investment and spur growth. It would also eliminate estate tax, which only affects a few thousand wealthy families.
Facebook has been in the limelight lately for its Russian advertisement controversy, but now it’s Twitter’s turn. Twitter briefed staff on the senate and house intelligence committees regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election. It seems that Twitter may have been used even more thoroughly than Facebook in Russian vote-influencing efforts. Along with using the platform for large-scale automated messaging to spread false stories, investigators have discovered many Russia-linked Twitter accounts posing as Americans.
Monday night, the Dallas Cowboys took a knee before the anthem, to unite and peacefully protest President Trump. Trump, of course, was triggered by this and posted a series of tweets reprimanding the NFL: “General John Kelly totally agrees w/ my stance on NFL players and the fact that they should not be disrespecting our FLAG or GREAT COUNTRY!” However, the players made it clear that this was not a protest against the anthem or the flag but, rather, against the ideals and morals in today’s White House. Colin Kaepernick first took the knee in 2016, before the November election, to protest mistreatment of black Americans at the hands of the police and the government.
Infamous Playboy creator Hugh Hefner has passed away at 91 years old. A statement was put out confirming that the death was due to natural causes. Mr. Hefner began the Playboy empire in 1953, with the magazine’s first issue showcasing Marilyn Monroe. Fittingly enough (in a gross way), Hefner will be buried in a plot next to Monroe, which he purchased some time after the blonde bombshell’s death.