5 things for December 1: Tax overhaul, Steinle, Tillerson, Libya, Japan

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1. Tax overhaul

The GOP effort to remake the nation’s tax code was rolling along nicely in the Senate. A final vote was set for last night, and even maverick Sen. John McCain said he was on board. Then, the whole thing hit a trillion dollar-sized pothole. A nonpartisan analysis of the Senate tax bill said yes, it would generate some economic growth, but the massive tax cuts in it would still add $1 trillion to the deficit over 10 years. That flies in the face of White House claims that the tax cuts would pay for themselves.

So, deficit hawks like Bob Corker — Tennessee senator and Donald Trump nemesis — demanded some changes. The big vote was delayed until later today, and the tax writers went back to work. Corker wants to find ways to raise more revenue if the tax package indeed doesn’t create enough economic growth. So, the GOP is looking at things like gradually raising the corporate rate after the initial tax cut or not completely repealing the alternative minimum tax.

2. Kate Steinle verdict

The debate over immigration policy reignited after a San Francisco jury acquitted an undocumented immigrant in a woman’s shooting death. Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was found not guilty of murder and involuntary manslaughter in the killing of Kate Steinle. Garcia Zarate had been deported five times and was in the country illegally when he shot and killed Steinle in 2015.

The case became a flashpoint in the debate over immigration because prior to the shooting, San Francisco, under a sanctuary city law, had released Garcia Zarate instead of turning him over to ICE. President Trump, who used the shooting on the campaign trail to make the case for his border wall proposal, called the verdict “disgraceful.” Garcia Zarate is set to be deported again.

3. White House

Reports popped up that the White House was prepping a replacement for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — possible CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Now, we’ve learned that this public shaming of Tillersonwas President Trump’s way of expressing displeasure with him, similar to the way he went after Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier this year. Some officials expect Tillerson to be gone by the end of the year. So, it seems like a big ole plate of awkward will be on the menu when Trump, Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis have lunch together today at the White House.

4. Slavery in Libya

The UN urged Libya to “take urgent action” to end the slave trade there, a practice exposed by CNN, which shined a light on human slave auctions in the country. Many of those being sold are African migrants trying to make their way to Europe. Undercover CNN reporters witnessed a dozen men being sold at auction outside Libya’s capital of Tripoli. The report let to protests outside Libya’s embassy in Paris and widespread calls for an investigation.

5. Japan

Japanese Emperor Akihito will step down in 2019, becoming the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in 200 years. In a speech last year, Akihito, who is 83, hinted that he wanted to move on, saying his advanced age and his fitness level was making it difficult to carry out his duties. His son, Crown Prince Naruhito, would be the new Emperor.



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The mother of Caitlyn Frisina, the missing Florida teen who police think is with a 27-year-old soccer coach


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Goodbye, Gomer

Jim Nabors will always be our Gomer Pyle, though the talented actor had quite the singing career, too, releasing 28 albums. Nabors died at age 87.

Roaring back

Tiger Woods looked something like the Tiger of old when he played in the Hero World Challenge, his first bit of competitive golf since his back surgery.

Super Sunday

There’s only going to be one supermoon this year, and it happens on Sunday. But if you miss it, don’t worry. There are two more coming up in January.

Meet Mulan

The world has a new Mulan. She’s Chinese actress Liu Yifei, and she’ll be starring in Disney’s live-action remake of the animated classic.

It’s got the look

Prince’s iconic “Love Symbol” guitar is going up for auction, and it may go for way more than the estimated $100,000 bidding price.


Draw it up

Forgive the soccer fans in your life if they’re a little distracted today. The World Cup 2018 draw is today, and they’ll be hoping and praying that their team doesn’t end up in the “Group of Death.”


Which British royal got engaged to an American actress?

a) Prince Harry

b) Prince Phillip

c) Prince William

d) Prince Charles

If you think you know the answer — and want to test your knowledge of the week’s other top news stories — click here to take the CNN News Quiz.


Let it snow

Truffle the Cocker Spaniel is loving his first experience with snow. (Click to view.)