5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • Report: Trump to propose cutting corporate tax rate to 15 percent

  • Arkansas carries out first double execution in U.S. since 2000

  • Sonny Perdue confirmed as agriculture secretary

  • Bill O'Reilly says he's 'sad,' surprised to no longer be on TV

  • Anti-government protests continue in Venezuela for a fourth week

On Wednesday, President Trump will announce his plan to overhaul the tax code, including his proposal to cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent, White House officials told The Washington Post on Monday. Independent analysts have estimated a cut this severe could cost the federal government $2.4 trillion over 10 years, and it's a deeper cut than one House Republicans have proposed. Most companies do not pay the 35 percent rate because of deductions, and these changes will have to be backed by Congress with bipartisan support in order to pass. During his speech, Trump is expected to discuss changes to personal income tax as well.

Source: The Washington Post

On Monday, Arkansas put to death two prisoners, Marcel Williams and Jack Jones, the first time a state has carried out a double execution in 17 years. Jones, convicted of raping and murdering a woman in 1995, was put to death shortly after 7 p.m., and Williams' attorneys then asked for a stay, saying that Williams' obesity would make it too difficult for an IV to be placed and questioning if Jones' execution went according to plan. A judge temporarily blocked Williams' execution, but lifted the stay an hour later. Williams was pronounced dead at 10:33 p.m., 17 minutes after the procedure began. He was convicted of the 1994 rape and murder of a 22-year-old woman he kidnapped from a gas station. Arkansas is ramping up its executions, scheduling eight over 11 days, because its lethal injection drug supply will expire at the end of the month.

Source: The Associated Press

Sonny Perdue, the former governor of Georgia, was confirmed as agriculture secretary Monday by the Senate with a vote of 87-11. His father was a farmer, and he has owned several agricultural businesses. He is not affiliated with Perdue Farms or the Perdue food company. Perdue, 70, will oversee 100,000 employees and such programs as food safety, agricultural subsidies, and rural development projects.

Source: The Associated Press

In his first podcast since being fired from Fox News last week, Bill O'Reilly said he is "sad that I'm not on television anymore" and was "very surprised" with how his departure from the network played out. On Monday night's No Spin News, O'Reilly told listeners he "can't say a lot, because there's much stuff going on right now. But I can tell you that I'm very confident the truth will come out, and when it does, I don't know if you're going to be surprised — but I think you're going to be shaken, as I am. There's a lot of stuff involved here." He was ousted from Fox News last Wednesday, a few weeks after The New York Times reported O'Reilly and the network paid $13 million to settle with five women who accused the host of sexual harassment and verbal abuse.

Source: The Week

A local government worker was shot and killed Monday in the Venezuelan state of Merida, as anti-government protests in the country entered a fourth week. Another person was shot and seriously injured. The shooting brings the death toll up to 11 people killed since the unrest began a month ago. The protests started when the Supreme Court, supportive of President Nicolas Maduro and his socialist government, took over the powers of the opposition-led congress. After public outrage, they rescinded their ruling, but protesters still took to the streets and are holding sit-ins to force early elections and autonomy for congress. Maduro has accused the protesters of wanting a violent coup, while they say Maduro is silencing peaceful protesters. Venezuela was already facing an economic crisis and food and medicine shortages when the protests began. Over the past month, more than 1,400 people have been detained during the protests.

Source: Reuters
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