Each Friday, Torchlight Media will publish a summary of the major news that happened for that week: the announcements and events, the twists and turns of ongoing stories, and all of the other highlights in between. Our goal is to give you a big-picture look at the week’s news so that even if you can’t follow everything yourself, you can have a general sense of where things stand. We hope, too, that seeing the highlights laid out will help you separate the small, pointless stories that crop up over the week from the more impactful, ongoing stories.
Here’s what’s in the spotlight for this week:
- Over the weekend, Fox News labeled the Mueller investigation a “potential coup,” and President Trump’s general counsel accused the investigation of improperly obtaining email records from the transition. Neither accusation was substantiated.
- On Monday, President Trump delivered a national security speech often at odds with the report released the same day from his own administration, including disparate representations of America’s relationship with Russia.
- On Tuesday, the House and Senate voted for the Republican tax bill, widely derided as a handout to the super-wealthy. Although there was some procedural difficulty, a new vote in the House is expected to sail through, thus enshrining President Trump’s only legislative achievement in a year.
- On Tuesday, an Amtrak train derailed in Washington; the train was going over double the speed limit. The section of track was not equipped with a Positive Train Control system, which can automatically detect and slow a train moving faster than a specified speed.
- On Wednesday, as special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference of the 2016 election steams ahead, Republicans in Congress show little interest in protecting Mueller’s probe for facts and justice amidst continued threats from President Trump.
- On Wednesday, the Republican tax bill cleared its final hurdle in the House, awaiting only the President’s signature. The bill includes permanent corporate tax cuts, but only temporary tax cuts for citizens. It is highly unpopular among voters.
- On Thursday, the United Nations voted to rebuke the United States, condemning President Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. Moving the embassy upended long-standing US policy, and created a new difficulty in finding a solution to the intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Next week there will be no Spotlight, as the entire Torchlight staff is on vacation. Happy holidays, everyone!