5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • Trump fires back on Clinton's accusations of racism

  • U.S. economy grew slower last quarter than initially estimated

  • French court rules against burkini ban

  • Obama is creating the world's largest marine sanctuary off Hawaii's coast

  • Britney Spears releases ninth studio record

Donald Trump hit back at Hillary Clinton's accusations of racism Friday by releasing a video rehashing the Democratic nominee's questionable remarks during the 2008 presidential primary, when she faced then-Sen. Barack Obama. The video shows Clinton crediting President Lyndon B. Johnson with bringing Martin Luther King's civil-rights dream to fruition by passing the Civil Rights Act, rather than crediting King himself for launching the movement. Trump followed the video up with a tweet calling the Clintons the "real predators," in which he revisits Clinton's use of the term "superpredators" when discussing her husband's 1994 crime bill. Trump's response is the latest move in an escalating battle between the candidates as they volley accusations of bigotry back and forth; on Thursday, Clinton attacked Trump for his ties to the "radical fringe" of the right.

Source: Politico

Initial estimates of the economy's growth last quarter turned out to be overconfident, new data released Friday shows. The latest gross domestic product figures released by the Commerce Department found the value of goods and services produced last quarter actually increased at a 1.1 percent rate, down from the 1.2 percent rate initially reported. The report did, however, reveal a higher rate of household consumption and an increase in worker wages, indicating that some of the sluggishness caused by falling government spending was offset by increased personal wealth and consumer spending. Economists remain optimistic the third quarter will show greater growth.

Source: Bloomberg

On Friday, France's Council of State ruled against the controversial burkini ban, which outlawed a full-coverage swimsuit worn mostly by Muslim women. While the court's decision only suspends the ban in the town of Villeneuve-Loubet, it has the potential to reverse the estimated 30 bans already installed in other cities and once again allow women to wear the body-covering swimsuits on the beaches. French mayors banned the swimsuit because of "growing terror concerns," CNN reported, but the court sided with the ban's detractors, ruling that it "seriously and clearly illegally breached fundamental freedoms." The ruling is temporary, however, and a more definitive decision on the ban is still to come.

Source: The Guardian, CNN

In 2006, President George W. Bush created a national marine sanctuary off the coast of Hawaii, and now, President Obama is more than quadrupling its size, to 582,578 square miles, from 139,800, making the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument more than 50 times larger than the Hawaiian Islands themselves. The expanded designation will put the biologically rich and diverse waters under protection of the Endangered Species Act, prohibiting commercial fishing and drilling, but allowing recreational fishing and traditional Hawaiian activity with a permit. Only Congress can create a national park, but presidents can unilaterally declare national monuments under the 1906 Antiquities Act, and Obama has designated more than 548 million acres of federal lands and water, more than double the amount protected by any of his predecessors.

Source: USA Today, The Washington Post

Pop legend Britney Spears released her ninth studio album Friday, the songstress' first album in three years. The record, titled Glory, is Spears' first offering since 2013's much-panned Britney Jean, and Entertainment Weekly describes it as "her most adventurous album in a decade." The album's lyrics are sex-heavy and rebellious, perhaps unsurprising given Spears' most recent project is a multi-year residency in Las Vegas. Glory has been met with mostly positive reviews, if not glowing: As the Los Angeles Times puts it, "For the first time in a decade in a half, feeling Spears' energy doesn't register as an act of vampirism."

Source: Entertainment Weekly, Los Angeles Times
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