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5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • GOP releases final tax bill, capping top rate at 37 percent

  • After disparaging FBI, Trump speaks at FBI National Academy graduation

  • Mueller reportedly asked Trump campaign data firm for documents

  • 3 additional women accuse Dustin Hoffman of sexual misconduct

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi makes near-record $45 million in previews

Republicans released their final tax bill Friday, the result of conference between the House and Senate. The final legislation proposes seven tax brackets for individual earners, with the top rate capped at 37 percent, down from 39.6 percent. The corporate tax rate is lowered to 21 percent from 35 percent. The bill also notably includes a deduction for state and local taxes, which had been scrapped from previous versions of the bill, as well as expands the child tax credit to be fully refundable up to $1400 — a concession to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Dubbed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the bill overall includes $1.5 trillion in tax cuts. It likely has enough votes to pass the Senate, and would next await President Trump's signature.

Source: NBC News, The Wall Street Journal

President Trump spoke at the FBI National Academy Graduation Ceremony on Friday after he had vaguely claimed that "it's a shame what's happened with the FBI" before the event. On stage, though, the president told the law enforcement graduates, "You rarely get the recognition you deserve. With me as your president, America's police will have a true friend and loyal champion in the White House, more loyal than anyone else can be." Clint Watts of the Foreign Policy Research Institute noted that the graduates Trump was addressing are "high level, strong performing state and local law enforcement officers from around the country," rather than FBI agents — "i.e. Trump's base."

Source: Mediaite, The Week

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly requested Cambridge Analytica, the data firm that worked for President Trump's presidential campaign, turn over the emails of all employees who were involved with the campaign. Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix was interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee via video call this week as part of its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. In October, The Daily Beast reported that Nix sent an email to a third party that said he contacted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange about how he could assist his website with releasing some of Hillary Clinton's deleted emails. Assange told The Daily Beast he was able to "confirm an approach by Cambridge Analytica and can confirm that it was rejected by WikiLeaks."

Source: The Wall Street Journal, The Week

Three women have come forward to accuse actor Dustin Hoffman of sexual misconduct, including one who said he exposed himself to her when she was in high school, Variety reports. One woman said in 1980, when she was 16, Hoffman exposed himself to her in a hotel room. She was friends with his daughter, and had the spent the afternoon with them. Two other women told Variety Hoffman sexually assaulted them while filming 1987's Ishtar. Hoffman's attorney, Mark A. Neubauer, called the accusations "defamatory falsehoods." Earlier this year, Anna Graham Hunter accused Hoffman of groping her in 1985, while she was a teenager.

Source: Variety

Disney and Lucasfilm's Star Wars: The Last Jedi brought in a near-record $45 million in Thursday previews ahead of its official open on Friday, according to early estimates. The latest installment in the Star Wars franchise earlier in the week topped Disney's Beauty and the Beast, which was released in March, to become the year's biggest ticket pre-seller on Fandango. The Last Jedi is the online movie-ticket site's top seller in advance sales since 2015's The Force Awakens, which made $57 million in previews and went on to make a record $248 million on its opening weekend. The Last Jedi, the Star Wars series' eighth installment, is on track to bring in roughly $200 million over its opening weekend.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, CNN
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