Happy Friday! Here are the top five things from this week that you need to know to stay informed:
Even though hurricane season struck big this year, the United States economy grew by a solid 3%. Experts didn’t expect nearly as much growth due to the damage from Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma. This unexpected turn of events tells us that the hurricanes didn’t have a big impact on the U.S. economy. Economic growth has stayed around 2% during the past few years, but President Trump has promised to change that to 3% for the entire year.
Remember that infamous Trump Tower meeting from 2016 that everyone spontaneously forgot about? Yeah, that one. Well, it’s back in the news circle after it was leaked that talking points from that meeting were shared with the Kremlin in Moscow. Natalia V. Veselnitskaya brought “damaging” information about Hillary Clinton to a meeting with Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and a few others. Now, Veselnitskaya has accused major Democratic donors of being guilty of financial fraud and tax evasion. Putin repeated these allegations at an annual conference of Western academics.
The GOP’s race to overhaul tax laws officially began on Thursday when House members cleared a budget blueprint that would allow the tax bill to be passed by Congress without a single Democratic vote. Not only is this a gross measure that eliminates millions of voices from being heard, but it also will create much backlash from the left. This measure would make it possible for a tax bill that could add up to $1.5 trillion to federal deficits, even though the federal government’s debt has already reached $20 trillion.
Famous professional golfer Tiger Woods pleaded guilty to reckless driving on Friday afternoon in Florida. He answered “yes” to many questions about his plans to plead guilty. He was arrested in Florida on Memorial Day for driving under the influence. It was later found out that he had pain, anxiety, and sleeping medications in his system while driving, but Woods put out a statement taking full responsibility for his actions, stating that he “understands the severity” of what he did.
Of the Catalan residents who voted in the Spanish region’s referendum for independence this fall, 90% of them voted to separate from Spain, but Spain’s Constitutional Court declared the vote illegal. The Senate, Spain's upper house, approved measures allowing the Spanish government to impose direct rule over Catalonia. This has caused quite the stirrup between Catalan and the Spanish government, leaving many furious. (It doesn’t help that Spanish police raided polling stations across Catalonia on Election Day, beating voters and shooting them with rubber bullets.)