November 14, 2011

Jay-Z (briefly) lent Occupy Wall Street some visibility with a new T-shirt sold by his Rocawear clothing line — a shirt that was dropped just a day after it went on sale. The shirt, which Jay-Z wore on his Watch the Throne tour, reads "Occupy All Streets," with a scratched out "W" playing off the populist protest. The hip-hop mogul didn't plan to share any profits with the anti-bank movement — and that caused an outcry. "The irony!" says Karlee Weinmann at Business Insider. "He's got 99 problems, and now 'the 99 percent' might be another one." The Week Staff

9:06 a.m. ET
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Guillermo del Toro's aquatic fairy tale, The Shape of Water, leads the 2018 Oscar nominees, competing in 13 categories including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress in a Leading Role for star Sally Hawkins. World War II drama Dunkirk followed with eight nominations, dark comedy Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri with seven, and Daniel Day-Lewis' final film, the twisted fashion drama Phantom Thread, with six.

The Shape of Water, Dunkirk, Three Billboards, and Phantom Thread are all competing for Best Picture alongside The Post, Lady Bird, Get Out, Call Me by Your Name, and The Darkest Hour. The Netflix historical drama Mudbound, meanwhile, made history after Rachel Morrison earned a nomination for Best Cinematography. She is the first woman ever nominated in the category, which has existed since 1928.

The Academy Awards will be held March 4 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Jimmy Kimmel will host. See all of the nominees here. Jeva Lange

8:41 a.m. ET
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Republicans start 2018 with full control of the federal government, at least one government shutdown under their belt, a historically unpopular president, and a potentially ominous sea change among white women. But "Republican strategists are plotting an election-year survival strategy to steer the midterms away from the dangerous terrain of Trump's tweets and Capitol Hill dysfunction," The Washington Post reports: "Talk up job growth, highlight the soaring stock market and, most of all, convince voters that the tax-cut legislation that stands as their only major accomplishment is bringing back the good times."

About 60 percent of U.S. adults in a new Washington Post/ABC News poll say the GOP tax overhaul favors the rich over the middle class, and 46 percent say passing it was a "bad thing," versus 34 percent who call it a "good thing." But there's a large swathe of persuadable voters, and Republicans, wealthy donors, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are throwing tens of millions of dollars into a full-court press to convince voters to love the tax cut.

"Answer this question and I will tell you if we keep the House or not," says Corry Bliss, head of the GOP-aligned American Action Network, which pumped $24 million into GOP tax-cut boosterism last year and plans to spend $10 million more this quarter: "In 10 months, does the middle class think we cut their taxes?"

Without a push, most people won't really notice a 2018 tax cut until they do their taxes in 2019, though a single person making $50,000 should see $35 extra in each paycheck this year — or about $3,600 a year. The top 1 percent of households will get a tax cut of about $50,000. Luckily, the wealthy donors bankrolling the tax pitch were already thriving before the tax cuts — 82 percent of all wealth created last year went to the top 1 percent, Oxfam says in a new report, and the three wealthiest Americans now have the same wealth as the bottom 50 percent, or 160 million Americans. Peter Weber

7:53 a.m. ET

First Lady Melania Trump has backed out of plans to accompany her husband to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he is scheduled to speak on Friday, CNN reports. East Wing communications director Stephanie Grisham said the decision was made due to "scheduling and logistical issues," although the first lady's absence is nevertheless raising eyebrows as it follows reports that President Trump's lawyer supposedly paid adult film star Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about an alleged affair with Trump in 2006.

The Trumps did spend the long weekend of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day together in Mar-a-Lago, although Melania Trump was absent from dinners hosted by the president, The Independent reports. Trump's own trip across the Atlantic had been delayed due to the government shutdown, although White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Monday that the U.S. delegation "will leave tomorrow" for Davos, with Trump himself following "later in the week."

A recent poll by The Economist/YouGov found that 48 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of Melania Trump, making her the most-liked member of the president's family. Jeva Lange

5:52 a.m. ET

A magnitude 7.9 earthquake off the coast of Alaska early Tuesday prompted NOAA's U.S. Tsunami Warning System to issue a tsunami warning for parts of Alaska and all of coastal British Columbia, and put the entire U.S. West Coast and Hawaii on tsunami watch. The earthquake struck 157 miles southeast of Chiniak, Alaska, at about 3:30 a.m. Alaska Standard Time (9:31 a.m. GMT), the U.S. Geological Survey said, and the National Weather Service (NWS) issued this map estimating when the tsunami would hit various areas. The NWS's Los Angeles office estimated that the tsunami would hit southwest California between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. local time.

People who live in coastal Alaska and British Columbia should "move inland to higher ground," the Anchorage Office of Emergency Management said. "Tsunami warnings mean that a tsunami with significant inundation is possible or is already occurring." The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said that, "based on all available data a tsunami may have been generated by this earthquake that could be destructive on coastal areas even far from the epicenter." Japan's meteorological agency did not issue a tsunami alert but said it is monitoring the situation, Reuters reports. Peter Weber

Update 7:35 a.m. ET: The tsunami warnings and other alerts have now been canceled for Alaska, British Columbia, and the U.S. West Coast after "additional information and analysis have better defined the threat."

5:20 a.m. ET
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On Tuesday, Britain's top competition regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), provisionally rejected 21st Century Fox's bid to buy 61 percent of satellite broadcaster Sky because it is "not in the public interest." The CMA was looking at two questions — would the proposed merger lower broadcasting standards in Britain and would it give Rupert Murdoch and his family too much control over British media and opinion; it said no to the first question and yes to the second. Sky, owner of Sky News, and Fox will respond to CMA's objections and proposed workarounds, and Culture Secretary Matt Hancock will make the final decision by the middle of May.

Murdoch has been trying for years to purchase full control of Sky, which he launched in the early 1990s, and in December 2016 he made a $16.3 billion offer. But the CMA noted that the Murdoch Family Trust controls news outlets watched or read by nearly a third of the U.K.'s population. "Media plurality goes to the heart of our democratic process," Anne Lambert, chairwoman of the CMA's independent investigation group, told BBC News. "It is very important that no group or individual should have too much control of our news media or too much power to affect the political agenda."

The CMA said that to mitigate its media plurality concerns, 21st Century Fox could call off the deal, sell or divest Sky News, or put in place "behavioral remedies" to wall off Sky News from Murdoch Family Trust interference. Murdoch's sale of most 21st Century Fox assets to the Walt Disney Co., if completed, could also mitigate those concerns. Peter Weber

4:28 a.m. ET

Stephen Colbert began Monday's Late Show by congratulating his American viewers on having a government — at least until Feb. 8. Senate Democrats agreed to re-open the government for three weeks in exchange for a 6-year extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and a promise from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to hold a vote to protect DREAMers. That's a bum deal, Colbert said. "Mitch McConnell has proved he will lie to anyone about anything," but "here we are. To avoid another shutdown, all that needs to happen is that Congress has to agree on how to fix our entire immigration system in 17 days — and once they do that, the pigs that fly out of all their butts will solve world hunger."

President Trump isn't helping create the environment for such magic to bloom, Colbert said, recapping his more over-the-top attacks on Democrats over the weekend and his gloating on Monday about how Democrats "caved." "Wait a second, there's a cave?" Colbert asked. "Can we all fit in there? Is there enough food and water for the next three years?"

Trump spent the shutdown weekend tweeting about watching Fox News and "working hard!" — in the same tweet — when he really wanted to be at his anniversary gala at Mar-a-Lago. "Because McConnell couldn't get the votes, Trump had to miss his party — which seems fair," Colbert said. "Republicans ruin Trump's party and Trump is ruining the Republican Party." Since Trump was stuck in D.C. wandering "around the White House like a cranky Roomba," he sent Eric Trump in his place — not a good deal for his $100,000-a-couple ticket holders, Colbert said. The guests had other concerns, though, with one griping about the caviar silverware and accompaniments. "I can't believe I'm saying this," Colbert said, "but Donald Trump might not be the worst person at Mar-a-Lago." Watch below. Peter Weber

3:36 a.m. ET
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Before the Senate passed a three-week stopgap measure to fund the government on Monday, the Republican chairman and top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee unsuccessfully tried to remove a measure inserted by House appropriators at the request of the White House. "The language is troublesome for the committee because it would authorize the intelligence community to spend funds notwithstanding the law that requires prior authorization," Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the chairman, said on the Senate floor. "Effectively, the intelligence community could expend funds as it sees fit."

"If this exemption is granted, you could potentially have an administration — any administration — go off and take on covert activities, for example, with no ability for our committee, which spends the time and has oversight, to say 'time out,'" warned Sen. Mark Warner (Va.), the ranking Democrat. "We just want to make sure that we don't give a blank check to any administration, particularly this administration. We need to get it fixed."

Burr proposed an amendment that would replace the provision in question — which says funds may be spent "notwithstanding" Section 504 of a 1947 law that prevents intelligence agencies from spending money without congressional authorization — with one that requires such authorization. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, objected, scuttling the amendment. Jennifer Hing, a spokeswoman for the House Appropriations Committee, said the language was narrowly tailored to a Pentagon budget request and isn't a blank check for intelligence activities. Burr said he and Warner will work to quash the measure in the next spending bill, by Feb. 8.

President Trump signed the stopgap funding package Monday night, reopening the federal government. Peter Weber

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