Happy New Year! Let’s hope 2018 is a better year politically than 2017, though this week’s news cycle is only proving the opposite. Here are the top five things you need to know to stay informed:
Marijuana is now legal for recreational use in California, but it seems as though the Trump Administration is planning on making some big changes in that regard. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions said that marijuana is too “dangerous” to simply allow, so the states with legal marijuana use are going to be watched heavily and might be subject to a federal crackdown in the near future. So what does this mean? As far as state officials are concerned, California has legalized recreational marijuana use, but technically you're still breaking federal law, so use responsibly!
Big shocker: Logan Paul posted a controversial video on his controversial YouTube channel. This one might just exceed all of his other faulty controversies, though. He filmed himself going into Aokigahara, a forest in Japan known as the "suicide forest", where he cracked jokes and even zoomed in on a dead body with his camera. Unsurprisingly, his video received tons of backlash from the public, which may have been what Logan Paul wanted all along, although in his Twitter and YouTube apology he stated that he had no bad intentions.
Obama-era bans on drilling are credited with protecting 100 million offshore acres along the Arctic and Eastern Seaboard. Trump wants to lift this ban, which would seriously derail one of Obama’s greatest environmental achievements. The Trump administration will allow new offshore oil and gas drilling in nearly all United States waters. (Oh, and while we're talking about Trump's disregard for the environment: when talking about the cold weather currently menacing the East Coast, Trump tweeted that they could use “a little bit of that good old Global Warming.”)
After President Trump asked them to, the FBI decided to reopen investigations into the dealings of the Clinton Foundation. The Justice Department will take a look at Trump's politically-charged accusations of corruption. Investigators went through this same process in 2016, but shut down the investigation due to lack of evidence. We’ll see if this time is any different…
The Labor Department released a report stating that unemployment is down to 4.1%, with 148,000 jobs added in the United States in December alone. Average hourly earnings grew by 9 cents, to $26.63, bringing the year-over-year increase to 2.5 percent. This report actually shows that things are going quite well economically as Trump’s first year in office draws to a close, though these figures don't take into account the growing polarization of incomes. The December gain is the 87th consecutive month of job growth, an unparalleled stretch of positive increase for workers; at the same time, job growth for the year was slightly weaker than in 2016, under President Obama. While most economists do not think that presidents determine the overall course of the economy, Trump took to Twitter to take the credit for himself (per usual).