5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • Congress approves spending bill to avoid government shutdown

  • North Korea reportedly conducts ballistic missile test

  • Economy grows at 0.7 percent rate in first quarter, slowest bump in three years

  • Report: Ex-Fox News boss Roger Ailes may launch new TV network

  • Thousands to gather in Washington for People's Climate March

Congress voted to approve a one-week spending bill Friday, just hours before the midnight deadline to fund the government lapsed. The possibility of passing a stopgap measure had been threatened by a late White House push to pass health-care reform before the administration's 100th day Saturday, but House leadership chose to delay a health-care vote until at least next week, paving the way for a vote on the bipartisan spending bill. Legislators on Capitol Hill will now have an additional week to negotiate a $1 trillion spending bill financing government agencies through the end of the federal government's fiscal year.

Source: The Associated Press, The Washington Post

North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile on Friday, but it ended in failure, South Korea's military confirmed. BBC reported the missile was fired from a site north of Pyongyang early Saturday morning local time, and Fox News reported it landed in the Sea of Japan. The attempt comes just a day after President Trump warned in an interview with Reuters that there is a chance of a "major, major conflict with North Korea." Earlier this week, Trump hosted all 100 senators at the White House to offer an update on the "major threat" posed by North Korea's nuclear weapons program. North Korea's missile test earlier this month also failed.

Source: BBC, Reuters

The economy grew at just a 0.7 percent rate in the first quarter of 2017, the Commerce Department reported Friday, marking the slowest quarterly expansion rate in three years. The clip is a steep drop-off from the previous period, when the economy grew at a 2.1 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2016. Despite President Trump's promises to boost economic growth, consumer spending in his first quarter in office increased by just 0.3 percent, which Bloomberg reported was "the worst performance since 2009." Economists had projected a sluggish first quarter and expect growth to bounce back in the second quarter, and Reuters noted that this isn't a "true picture of the economy's health."

Source: Bloomberg, Reuters

With Fox News in turmoil after the ousting of its biggest ratings star, Bill O'Reilly, a person familiar with private talks among conservative media bigwigs says there is "serious" discussion of launching a rival news network, Mediaite reports. Fox News founder Roger Ailes was also pushed out by the network amid sexual harassment allegations, and New York's Gabriel Sherman reports that two people close to Ailes claim he is actively exploring a new TV venture. The new network would put "the old band" back together as a response to the perception that Fox is moving too far to the left, Mediaite reports. The "pitch is that the network could immediately reach at least 85 million homes."

Source: Mediaite, New York

Thousands are expected to gather Saturday in Washington, D.C., on President Trump's 100th day in office, for the 2017 People's Climate March. Activists are hailing the event as an opportunity to fight for climate protections the Trump administration has threatened to roll back and to push the promise of clean energy. The march — which happens to fall on what could be a record-breakingly hot day in D.C. — will begin in front of the Capitol at 12:30 p.m ET. Protesters are expected to make their way to the White House by 2 p.m. ET. This will be the second science-related march in two weeks in D.C., following last weekend's March for Science, which coincided with Earth Day.

Source: The Washington Post, HuffPost
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