👋 Away Message: Hi there! Matt is currently out on parental leave. He'll return August 30th-ish. More details can be found here. In the meantime, Joe (the voice of the newscast/podcast) will be publishing an abridged version of WTF Just Happened Today? every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You can expect 5-7 news items covering a slightly wider range of political news in about two sentences each. We'll return to our regularly scheduled WTFJHT programming when Matt returns in late August.
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1/ People are marching for science because “there is no Planet B.” Scientists and “friends of science” are participating in the March for Science at the National Mall today, which is expected to draw tens of thousands of people. More than 600 satellite marches are scheduled across six continents to raise concerns about the erosion of the value of expertise, and the rise of pseudoscientific and anti-scientific notions. (Washington Post)
- For first time since the 1800s, Britain goes a day without burning coal for electricity. Coal powered Britain into the industrial age and into the 21st century, contributing greatly to the “pea souper” fogs that were thought for decades to be a natural phenomenon of the British climate. (New York Times)
2/ Trump vows to unveil a “massive” tax cut for Americans next week, surprising Capitol Hill and leaving Treasury officials speechless. Trump said his tax reductions would be “bigger, I believe, than any tax cut ever,” but revealed no details about what is an enormously complicated effort to overhaul the nation’s tax code. The announcement is supposed to come Wednesday. (New York Times)
3/ The Trump administration claims NYC is “soft on crime.” Data says otherwise. Jeff Sessions said NYC “continues to see gang murder after gang murder, the predictable consequence of the city’s ‘soft on crime’ stance” and is “crumbling under the weight of illegal immigration and violent crime.” Since 1993, murder has decreased 82%, shootings have decreased 81%, and overall crime has decreased 76%. (WABC-TV)
4/ Russian bombers fly near Alaska for the 4th time in 4 days. While the Russian aircraft did not enter sovereign airspace, American and Canadian fighter jets intercepted the two military aircraft flying around the north coast of Alaska and Canada. (ABC News)
5/ Russian operatives tried to use Trump advisers last summer to infiltrate the Trump campaign. FBI investigators have found signs of possible collusion between the campaign and Russian officials, but there is not enough evidence to show that crimes were committed. (CNN)
6/ The US will “honor” the refugee resettlement agreement with Australia, despite Trump previously calling it a “dumb deal.” (CNN)
7/ Trump asks Obama Surgeon General to resign. Vivek H. Murthy has been replaced by his deputy, Rear Adm. Sylvia Trent-Adams, one of the first nurses to serve as surgeon general. It was not immediately clear why Dr. Murthy was relieved from duty. (New York Times)
8/ The Florida state senator that unleashed an expletive-laden rant and racial slur resigns. Frank Artiles apologized the day after the episode, saying he let his “temper get the best of me.” (New York Times)
9/ Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California lawmakers all balk at Trump’s wall request. No House or Senate members that represent territories on the southwest border have expressed support for Trump’s $1.4 billion funding proposal. (Wall Street Journal)
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