Here are the week’s leading stories, and a look ahead.
1. Drastic modifications to how much Americans spend in taxes are now all but guaranteed.
Senate Republicans — Bob Corker was the only holdout — narrowly passed a sweeping tax bill just ahead of 2 a.m. on Saturday, dismissing an outcry from Democrats who had only hours to overview the 479-page document, marked with scribbled amendments that added loopholes.
The Residence and Senate appear ready to rapidly send a final draft to President Trump’s desk, cementing significant tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, and far more disputed positive aspects to these much less well-off. The Republican keenness for tax cuts trumped the party’s classic concerns about the deficit, which would develop by $1 trillion over the subsequent 10 years, according to the Senate’s official scorekeeper.
The Republicans intend to use that swelling deficit to justify undoing the entitlements of the New Deal and the Great Society, leaving the American security net skimpier.
two. His party’stax victory capped a tumultuous week for President Trump.
Michael Flynn, above, the former national safety adviser, pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. about his speak to with Russia’s ambassador — contact that the president described as “lawful” in a potentially damning tweet. That Mr. Flynn faces only 1 charge suggests that Robert Mueller, the special counsel, has higher expectations for his cooperation.
Emails shared with The Instances and newly public documents reveal that Mr. Flynn was in touch with senior members of the Trump transition team each just before and soon after his pre-inauguration discussions of U.S. sanctions with the ambassador, contradicting the White House’s portrayal of a rogue actor. Mr. Mueller’s prosecutors have interviewed Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and adviser.
3. Amid the intense pressures of the week, President Trump displayed his ability to dominate news cycles with tossed-off comments and tweets.
He ignited a racially charged controversy by invoking “Pocahontas” — a favourite slight against Senator Elizabeth Warren — in a ceremony honoring Navajo veterans, above. Days later, British lawmakers derided him as a “fascist” and “stupid” following he rebuked Britain’s prime minister for objecting to his retweets of a British fringe group’s inflammatory anti-Muslim videos.
The president has also been telling associates he is no longer sure that it’s his voice on the infamous “Access Hollywood” recording that he apologized for in the course of his presidential campaign. Senator Jeff Flake, a Republican, is organizing to give a speech on the Senate floor attacking the president’s disregard for the truth.
4. “It’s laughable.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson waved off reports of his imminent ouster, and President Trump tweeted, “He’s not leaving.” Nonetheless, the White Home has on hand a plan, designed by Mr. Trump’s chief of staff, to replace Mr. Tillerson with Mike Pompeo, and fill his spot as C.I.A. director with Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas.
Mr. Tillerson’s efforts to shrink the State Division continue apace, and he is scheduled to depart for Europe on Monday for a meeting of NATO foreign ministers.
He will be away on Wednesday, when Mr. Trump is contemplating producing a seismic diplomatic shift: recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
five. Higher-profile departures of yet another sort continue to rattle the media.
Soon after a rash of allegations of sexual misconduct, the “Today” show host Matt Lauer was fired from NBC (“There is sufficient truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed,” he said) Garrison Keillor, the creator and former host of “A Prairie Home Companion,” was let go by Minnesota Public Radio the hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons resigned from his firms and productions of Israel Horovitz’s plays were canceled after nine women shared their stories about him with The Occasions.
Accusations are also being leveled outdoors the planet of media, of course: Calls for Representative John Conyers Jr.’s resignation are developing louder by the day, and the Metropolitan Opera is investigating accusations against the acclaimed conductor James Levine.
6. In a defiant show of its nuclear-state bona fides, North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile higher than ever ahead of, and images of the country’s new missile recommend its capacities have in no way been higher.
And our Interpreter column gives seven critical truths about North Korea to explain the present crisis.
7. For less stressful news from abroad (unless you happen to be a royal wedding planner), appear to Britain, and the announcement of the engagement of Prince Harry and the American actress Meghan Markle.
The ensuing joy, our writer Sarah Lyall argues, is Britain being gently pushed into the contemporary era.
In addition to all the usual hurdles facing a bride-to-be, Ms. Markle, whose engagement ring features diamonds from Princess Diana’s collection, will have to reckon with a notoriously difficult citizenship test. (Test your own information with this quiz.)
8. This week the Dow closed above 24,000 for the 1st time in the index’s history.
Beyond highlighting the spectacular run of the existing bull market place, the milestone reflected investors’ seeming indifference to worldwide uncertainties, as well as their embrace of President Trump’s pro-corporate administration.
In addition to the passage of the Senate’s tax bill, Mr. Trump can also claim a win with the rejection of a challenge to his decision to lead the Consumer Economic Protection Bureau, Mick Mulvaney.
Also on an extraordinary run: these Bitcoins you didn’t buy.
9. “Saturday Night Live”had a lot of news to catch up on after only a one particular-week absence. In a parody of “A Christmas Carol,” the opening sketch addressed NBC’s firing of Matt Lauer and the guilty plea by Michael Flynn.
Mikey Day, appearing in chains as Mr. Flynn, identified himself as the “Ghost of Witness Flipped.”
10. Point Hope, Alaska, population 700, will soon be residence to some of the fastest web connection speeds in the country. Above, leftovers from the community’s yearly whale festival.
The upgrade has been created possible by a decidedly much less welcome phenomenon: melting sea ice. The telecommunications organization Quintillion is seizing on newly opened passageways to lay fiber-optic cables.
All the whilst, the fight more than the regulation of web site visitors rages on. Our tech columnist says the end of net neutrality would kill the web as we know it.
11. Lastly, the announcement of the 2018 Grammy Award nominations has market pros questioning no matter whether the lovefest for hip-hop and R&B will carry on into the ceremony. At least a single teenage nominee thinks the Grammys “got it right this year.”
A a lot more seasoned nominee, Jay-Z, above, who is up for record, album and song of the year, sat down for a 1-on-a single with our executive editor, Dean Baquet. The two discussed getting black men in President Trump’s America, as properly as wealth, therapy and — yes — Beyoncé.
Have a great week.
Your Weekend Briefing is published Sundays at six a.m. Eastern.
What did you like? What do you want to see right here? Let us know at [email protected].
Published at Sun, 03 Dec 2017 12:ten:25 +0000