Happy weekend, everybody! Before you head out to your Friday night parties, ask yourself: am I prepared for current-events chit-chat? If not, we’ve got you covered. Here are the top five things this week you need to know to stay informed:
At 96 years old, Prince Philip made his last official public appearance this week. He now is finally retiring after ages without a break: he has been serving on behalf of the Royal Family for 64 years. In the New York Times, the consort of Queen Elizabeth II referred to himself as the world’s most “experienced plaque-unveiler.” To commemorate his retirement, the Royal Mint created a brand new £5 coin. Prince Philip and the Queen will be celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary this November.
2. Trump Plays the Blame Game with Congress
Thursday, Trump used his regular form of communication, Twitter, to put out a hateful message towards the Congress, blaming them for the poor relationship between the U.S. and Russia. The tweet read, “Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time & very dangerous low. You can thank Congress, the same people that can't even give us HCare!” The Republican Senate infamously failed last week to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and future efforts to scrap Obamacare are now uncertain.
3. Texting-Suicide Case Leads to 15 Month Prison Sentence for Michelle Carter
The 20 year old girl who texted her boyfriend with detailed instructions on how to kill himself was sentenced to 15 months in prison after facing a possible 20-year sentence. She has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter on the strength of the many texts and calls she sent her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, cajoling him to commit suicide.
4. Democratic Governor of West Virginia Switches to Republican
Jim Justice of West Virginia declared he will be changing parties, from Democrat to Republican. Governor Justice was elected in November 2016, even though President Trump carried the state by 42 points on the same ballot. Early Thursday, Trump promised a big announcement in West Virginia, and this isn’t the first time Justice has switched parties. He’s gone from Independent, to Republican, to Democrat, and now back to Republican. With Justice’s switch, Democratic Senator Manchin (who will be up for reelection in 2018) is now the only statewide elected Democrat in West Virginia.
5. Scaramucci Fired After Only 10 Days
Sean Spicer famously resigned due to Trump’s appointment of Anthony Scaramucci for communications director. Now, after only 10 days on the job, Scaramucci has been forced to follow in Spicer’s footsteps. John Kelly, President Trump’s new chief of staff, declared his authority on his first day by firing Scaramucci. Trump chose Scaramucci, known as “the Mooch”, because he thought Scaramucci would “fight for him in ways others had not.” But in the wake of a scandalous New Yorker interview that stunned political insiders observers alike, it seems Trump was unsatisfied with the Mooch’s fighting style.