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Optimize: week of Dec. 18

The Optimist Staff

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Welcome to Optimize, a weekly update to keep you informed on what has happened during the week. Here are five national/international stories (and one local one) that you should know:

Tax plan advances

The Republican tax plan was passed by both houses of Congress, and President Trump is expected to sign it. It provides large tax cuts for the wealthy, and an average savings of $380 for middle class households.

Amtrak derailment

An Amtrak train traveling 50 mph above the speed limit derailed north of Seattle this week, causing several deaths and many injuries. Officials are still investigating.

Hurricane’s effects more severe than the government initially stated

After September’s horrific hurricane, Puerto Rico’s death toll—originally recorded at 64—is now said to be at least 1,052, according to a New York Times analysis of the event.

United Nations responds to Trump

The Trump administration released a set of letters and messages to over 180 countries threatening to take note of whoever voted against the Trump administration’s proposal to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. However, on Thursday, the UN voted Trump’s statement as “null and void.” Many countries ignored the administration’s threat and voted in support of the resolution.  

Newest “Star Wars” film met with mixed reviews

Christmas came early for “Star Wars” fans around the world this week as the franchise’s newest film, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” was released. However, in a twisted turn of events, fans did not praise the film as highly as critics did. As a major part of the social sphere in today’s society, and considering the inevitable conversations about it at family holiday parties, it may be wise to see the film whether you are a “Star Wars” fan or not.

Local Bonus: a College Mall Santa was in the news after a local mom accused him of spanking her son. The mother later said she didn’t want to press criminal charges, and perhaps the incident wasn’t as she had previously said.

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Optimize: week of Dec. 18