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April 28, 2017

Late night television is marking the occasion of President Trump's first 100 days in office by condensing four months of news into just seconds.

For a walk down memory lane, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert packed everything into 100 seconds, beginning with "inauguration" and "largest audience" and ending with "tax plan" and "harder than he thought." Some repetitions stand out — the amount of times people say "Russia," for example, is a little concerning:

The Daily Show also did its own take on Trump's first 100 days in a supercut of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer counting from zero to 100. It is, incredibly, a lot more entertaining than it sounds:

Not to be left out of the fun, The Simpsons also brutally encapsulated Trump's first 100 days in a short clip you can watch here. Jeva Lange

April 14, 2017

Disney and Lucasfilm released the first official trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi on Friday — and you're going to want to rev up your speculation engines.

The clip, which was released at the conclusion of a Star Wars Celebration panel in Orlando, opens with a panting Rey on the same island on which we left Luke Skywalker in The Force Awakens. We also glimpse an injured Finn and a menacing Kylo Ren, interspersed with sprawling landscape shots and quite a few explosions — along with a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo from the late Carrie Fisher.

"I only know one truth," Luke says in a voiceover. "It's time for the Jedi to end." The Last Jedi is slated for release Dec. 15, 2017. In the meantime, you can see a teaser poster for the movie here or watch the trailer below. Kimberly Alters

April 13, 2017

President Trump on Wednesday threatened to hold health care for millions of Americans hostage in a bid to force Democrats to work with him. Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Trump floated the idea of canceling some $7 billion in ObamaCare cost-sharing subsidies for low-income insurance buyers, known as "cost-sharing reductions." Those so-called CSRs allow insurers to collect reimbursements for providing certain insurance plans, The Huffington Post explains, which enables them to offer coverage with lower premiums that poorer families can afford.

"ObamaCare is dead next month if it doesn't get that money," Trump told The Wall Street Journal, adding, "I don't want people to get hurt." Trump touted the idea as a way to force Democrats to the negotiating table, but seemed to think less about the serious health-care repercussions that would befall millions of Americans if he does indeed cut the subsidies.

Nonetheless, Trump-supporting CNN panelist Jeffrey Lord praised the president's willingness to "put the pressure on" his political opponents, likening him to a certain civil rights humanitarian. "President Trump is the Martin Luther King of health care," Lord proclaimed — prompting a priceless response and mic drop from fellow commentator Symone Sanders. Watch below. Kimberly Alters

April 11, 2017

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer twisted himself in knots during Tuesday's press briefing, using a historically inaccurate analogy to compare Adolf Hitler's murderous techniques during the Holocaust to the chemical weapons usage of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. When asked about the administration's response to the chemical attack in Syria last week that killed dozens of civilians, Spicer remarked, "You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn't even sink to using chemical weapons."

When a reporter asked him to clarify his comments, Spicer said that Hitler "was not using gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing." After the briefing, he issued several more clarifying statements, explaining he was "in no way" trying to "lessen the horrendous nature of the Holocaust," but simply "trying to draw a contrast" between Assad "using airplanes to drop chemical weapons on innocent people" and Hitler's poison gas chambers, which killed more than a million people.

CNN anchor Jake Tapper was having none of Spicer's walkbacks, using his show Tuesday to fact-check the press secretary. "What Spicer said was false, and, frankly, kind of ignorant," Tapper said. And then he offered a piece of advice: "Sean, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum — it's just a few blocks away from the White House. Perhaps a visit's in order." Watch below. Kimberly Alters

April 7, 2017

Homeland actor Rupert Friend recited a nearly 100-year-old poem on CBS This Morning on Friday to protest "the horrors of war," just hours after reports that the U.S. had launched an airstrike on a Syrian airforce base.

Wilfred Owen's "Dulce et Decorum Est" was written in 1920 as a reaction to World War I. It ends by calling the Latin phrase dulce et decorum est pro patria mori — which means "it is sweet and fitting to die for one's country" — a "lie."

"The horrors of war are still with us 100 years after this was written," Friend said. "It makes me incredibly sad." Watch below, and read the full poem here. Jeva Lange

April 5, 2017

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley slammed Russia during an emergency meeting with the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday following what appeared to be a Syrian government nerve gas attack, which killed at least 58 people, including dozens of children, on Tuesday.

"Russia cannot escape responsibility for this," Haley said. "In fact, if Russia had been fulfilling its responsibility, there would not even be any chemical weapons left for the Syrian regime to use." Haley concluded that "the truth is that [Syrian President] Assad, Russia, and Iran have no interest in peace."

The White House had earlier blamed former President Barack Obama for the attack. Watch Haley's powerful speech below. Jeva Lange

April 5, 2017

Democrat Jon Ossoff is running in a special election in Georgia's 6th congressional district to replace Rep. Tom Price (R), who now serves as President Trump's health secretary. With the April 18 election looming, Ossoff is dominating the race with the support of 43 percent of likely voters (the next highest-polling candidate is Karen Handel, a Republican, with 15 percent). But Ossoff will need more than 50 percent of the vote if he is to avoid a June 20 runoff, where his chances of seizing a plurality in the conservative district slim considerably.

To prevent Ossoff's success in the April election, the Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC is breaking the glass and hitting the big red button, in the words of The New York Times' Nate Cohn. CLF's new ad calls the news organization Al Jazeera a "mouthpiece for terrorists" over an image of Osama bin Laden, then links Ossoff to receiving Al Jazeera's money. In other words, Ossoff is practically two steps removed from bin Laden, the ad suggests.

But the alleged Al Jazeera "ties," Atlanta Magazine writes, are merely that, as a small business owner, Ossoff's "company [...] made films for the Qatar-based news network." On the other hand, only 9 percent of Americans in 2014 said they trust Al Jazeera as a news source, while 16 percent said they distrust the network.

The whole hullabaloo might fall flat, though — 75 percent of people said they have never heard, or have no opinion of, Al Jazeera. Jeva Lange

April 4, 2017
Harry Todd/Fox Photos/Getty Images

Nearly 200 movie theaters across the world are screening the film 1984 on Tuesday in protest of President Trump, The Independent reports. "No one is suggesting that we're living in [George] Orwell's world," co-organizer Dylan Skolnick of the Cinema Arts Centre on Long Island, New York, told Al Jazeera. "But the road to that world is people just becoming disengaged and allowing their government to do whatever it wants."

The film is an adaptation of Orwell's book by the same name, and it was released in (you guessed it) 1984. At the time of its release, it was praised by Roger Ebert as "brilliant," earning three-and-a-half stars out of four.

April 4 was chosen as the date for the movie theater protest because "it's the day George Orwell's protagonist Winston Smith begins rebelling against his oppressive government by keeping a forbidden diary," the organizers write. Screenings are being held everywhere from Gold Town Theater in Juneau, Alaska, to locations across the U.S., U.K, Canada, Croatia, and Sweden. In New York City alone, the movie will be shown 12 separate times throughout the day.

The organizers say the screenings are particularly well-timed, as President Trump has proposed eliminating the budget for the National Endowment of the Arts. Many of the theaters participating plan to donate proceeds to community organizations, or are showing the film for free.

"This is really designed to get people to be talking and discussing and active in the political conversation that is happening in America right now — and throughout the world, it turns out," Skolnick said.

Find a participating theater near you here, and read more about revisiting 1984 in Trump's America here at The Week. Jeva Lange

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