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President Trump’s $4.4 Trillion Budget Moves Deficit Sharply Higher

President Donald Trump unveiled a $4.4 trillion budget for next year that heralds an era of $1 trillion-plus federal deficits. The growing deficits reflect the impact of last year’s tax overhaul, which is projected to cause federal tax revenue to plummet.  Monday’s budget submission does not yet reflect last week’s two-year bipartisan $300 billion pact that wholly rejects Trump’s plans to slash domestic agencies.  The budget projects tax revenue would plummet by $3.7 trillion over the 2018-27 decade. In addition, Trump would again spare Social Security retirement benefits and Medicare as he promised during his 2016 campaign. ...Read more

‘Fifty Shades Freed’ Tops Box Office With $38.8M Debut

Fifty Shades Freed, Universal’s finale to the franchise, dominated the competition in North America as it opened top on $38.8m despite scoring the lowest debut of the series. Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan star in the release, which arrived in 3,768 venues, some 20% behind the $46.6m number two launch exactly a year ago of Fifty Shades Darker, and less than 50% of what Fifty Shades Of Grey achieved on $85.2m back in 2015.  In other box office news, Sony Pictures launched children’s film Peter Rabbit in second place with $25m in 3,735 venues, while Clint Eastwood’s terrorism thriller The 15:17 To Paris opened third via Warner Bros with $12.6m in 3,042. ...Read more

Justin Timberlake’s ‘Man of the Woods’ Debuts At No. 1

Justin Timberlake earned his fourth No. 1 ranking album this week as Man of the Woods debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 chart. The bulk of Timberlake’s number came from traditional sales—not streaming. 242,000 of his total came from traditional album sales, in addition to 14,000 track equivalent albums and 37,000 streaming equivalent albums. Of the traditional albums sold, 139,000 were digital albums, 89,000 were CDs, and 15,000 were vinyl LPs. Timberlake’s last album, The 20/20 Experience (2 of 2), debuted at the top of the chart with 350,000 traditional album sales. The first part of The 20/20 Experience sold 968,000 copies in its first week. His other No. 1 album, FutureSex/LoveSounds, sold 684,000 copies in its opening week. ...Read more

Snowboarder Red Gerard Wins First U.S Gold Medal At 2018 Winter Olympics

Snowboarder Red Gerard has nabbed the first gold medal for Team USA in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.  The 17-year-old snowboarder, who was initially in last place before going into his final run, overtook his competition on Saturday, February 10, by pulling out some unique moves that resulted in a score of 87.16 from the judges. He’s the youngest American to ever win a medal in snowboarding.  “When that score came up my jaw dropped,” Gerard said, according to Team USA. “I was like, this isn’t real. I would have been happy to just land a run, but to land a run and win, it’s crazy.”  ...Read more

U.S. Women’s Hockey Overcomes Finland To Win First Game Of 2018 Olympics

Powered by talented goalie Noora Raty and a Venla Hove goal with just 5.8 seconds remaining in the first period, Finland took an early lead to wake up the Americans before the U.S. stormed back for a 3-1 victory in its first game of the tournament. The win brings the U.S. into a tie with Canada (three points each) atop the Group A standings, with Finland and the Olympics Athletes from Russia at the bottom with one loss each. The U.S. is scheduled to play Russia on Tuesday. ...Read more

New York Attorney General Sues Harvey Weinstein And The Weinstein Company

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has filed a civil rights lawsuit against former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and The Weinstein Company. According to court documents, the lawsuit seeks to “remedy a years-long gender-based hostile work environment.” It targets Harvey Weinstein for allegations of sexual misconduct, as well as the executives and board of The Weinstein Company for failing to protect employees from Weinstein. Charges were filed in the New York Supreme Court and include new and “extensive” allegations against Weinstein. Earlier this month, it was reported that The Weinstein Company is reportedly in the process of being sold for up to $500 million. The suit comes after a four-month investigation by the Attorney General’s office into mounting allegations against Weinstein and The Weinstein Company. ...Read more

Plane Crashes Near Moscow Killing All 71 Passengers On Board

A Russian passenger plane believed to be carrying 71 people crashed Sunday afternoon near Moscow, shortly after takeoff from one of the city’s airports. No survivors were immediately reported. The An-148 regional jet disappeared from radar screens a few minutes after departing from Domodedovo Airport en route to the city of Orsk, 1,000 miles southeast of Moscow. Footage on state television showed plane fragments strewn across a snowy field about 25 miles from the airport. Russia’s Investigative Committee said all possible crash causes were being looked into. ...Read more

DHS Cyber Chief Confirms Russia “Successfully Penetrated” U.S. Voter Systems In 2016

A senior U.S. cybersecurity official has said that Russian hackers successfully penetrated the voter registration rolls of several U.S. states prior to the 2016 presidential election. Jeanette Manfra, head of cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security, said Russia targeted 21 states, and “an exceptionally small number of them were actually successfully penetrated.” NBC News said Wednesday that it had contacted the 21 states that were targeted. Five states, including Texas and California, said they were not attacked.  Many of the states said they weren’t provided specific details from the government about the cyberthreats. Others said they were waiting for the government to provide cybersecurity help.n The revelations have sparked fears that Russia or another foreign government could try to interfere in future elections using cyberattacks and other tactics. ...Read more

Newsweek Fires Top Two Editors And Two Senior Reporters After They Published Stories About Its Parent Company

Newsweek has fired its top two editors as well as two senior reporters. According to reports, Bob Roe, the editor-in-chief, and Kenneth Li, the executive editor, were both let go, along with senior politics writer Celeste Katz and senior writer Josh Saul.  In the wake of the above events, the company’s chair and finance director both stepped down last week.  Hours after the firings went public, the company announced in an internal staff email that cofounder Jonathan Davis would return as interim Chief Content Officer, and that Nancy Cooper, the managing editor of IBT, is now acting editor of Newsweek.   ...Read more

Jimmy Garoppolo And The 49ers Agree To 5-Year, $137.5 Million Contract

On Thursday, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers agreed to a deal for a five-year, $137.5 million contract, including $74 million in guarantees. The 26-year-old quarterback with seven career starts is now the NFL’s highest-paid player in terms of average annual salary. His $27.5 million per season, on average, is $500,000 more than the Lions’ Matthew Stafford. Garoppolo was traded from New England to San Francisco in late October and all it took was a second-round pick. And after a month of learning the 49ers offense, Garoppolo took over the starting job in Week 13 and proceeded to win five straight games. He took a team that was 1-10 at that point and led them to a 6-10 finish.   ...Read more