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April 27, 2017•8 min
President Trump says that he will not terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the New York Times reported. This news comes shortly after indications that the White House might trigger a US withdrawal from the agreement. President Trump reportedly spoke to Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prior to making his decision to renegotiate the deal. “It is my privilege to bring NAFTA up-to-date through renegotiation,” President Trump said. “I believe that the end result will make all three countries stronger and better.” However, it is unclear if the president will sign an executive action to mark the renegotiation. The White House has revealed a one-page outline of proposed changes to the existing tax code, according to a story in The Washington Post. President Trump intends to replace seven income tax brackets with three new ones and reduce the corporate tax rate by more than 50 percent. In addition, the alternative-minimum tax and estate tax would be eliminated, and there would be an attempt to simplify the tax filing process. “This is about economic growth, job creation, America first, and that’s what [Trump] cares about,” said White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn. “Our tax plan is a big leg of that stool. It’s a big leg. And in many respects, he thinks it’s the most important leg.” United Airlines will now pay passengers as much as $10,000 to change their travel plans if they are on an overbooked flight, according to NPR News. It is part of the airline’s response to a video that went viral earlier this month, depicting a man being forcibly removed from a plane. In addition, passengers will no longer be forced to involuntarily give up their seat on a flight unless “safety or security is at risk.” Law enforcement officers will be used sparingly. On Wednesday, United CEO Oscar Munoz told senators that United will "empower its personnel to make decisions and find solutions that make sense for both customers and employees," in response to the incident caught on camera. A new study suggests that tranexamic acid may be able to reduce the risk of death from blood loss after childbirth, NPR News reports. To draw their conclusions, researchers examined women who were diagnosed with postpartum hemorrhage after giving birth. Some of the women received a placebo, while their counterparts received tranexamic acid. Nearly 1.2 percent of participants who had the acid died within three hours of a hemorrhage, compared to 1.7 percent of placebo recipients. Tranexamic acid helps the body keep its naturally forming blood clots intact. Senators were asked to meet at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building for a briefing on North Korea yesterday, but many were unclear of the purpose for the gathering, according to The Hill. “I learned nothing new at this briefing,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen. “I’m not quite sure why we went all the way down to the White House.” Some senators were led to believe that President Trump and his administration will begin to take North Korea more seriously. “I don’t want to get into the details of the briefing itself, but I think it’s clear that they are going to take more steps, and steps to pressure China as well as others in the region, to get the results we need, which is peaceful denuclearization,” said Sen. Cory Gardner. The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea is almost operational, The New York Times reported. The U.S. initially deployed THAAD in March after North Korea fired missiles into the Sea of Japan. “The positioning of some equipment means that South Korea and the U.S. have the capability to cope with North Korea’s provocations,” said Moon Sang-gyun, a spokesman for South Korea’s Defense Ministry. At least two school districts in New Jersey have sent letters to parents, warning them about a Netflix series that “mischaracterizes teen suicide,” according to The New York Times. The series “13 Reasons Why,” based on a young adult novel, follows the story of a teenager who commits suicide. "The show fails to identify mental health issues as well as resources available to teens and makes the viewers think that suicide is only an external event when in reality bullying, excessive drinking/drug use, failure to identify mental issues and internal factors all contribute to the result of one looking to end their life," wrote Montclair district health coordinator Andrew Evangelista in a letter. The National Association of School Psychologists has issued a similar warning. A report released on Wednesday suggests that U.S. drivers killed in motor vehicle accidents are more likely to be under the influence of drugs, rather than alcohol, Reuters reported. The study from the Governors Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility found that marijuana, in particular, was involved in more than one-third of fatal crashes in 2015. "People generally should get educated that drugs of all sorts can impair your driving ability," said Jim Hedlund, who led the report. "If you're on a drug that does so, you shouldn't be driving." Venezuela intends to quit the Organization of American States (OAS), according to Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez, according to CNN. The foreign minister suggested that the OAS is promoting foreign governments’ efforts to “interfere in its affairs” as protests continue across the country. "In the OAS, we announced that if these intrusive, arbitrary, illicit, misdirected and rude actions were to persist against the sovereignty of our country, we would immediately proceed to denounce the letter of OAS and to initiate the definite withdrawal of Venezuela form this regional organization," Rodriguez said. The OAS is the Western Hemisphere’s oldest regional alliance. Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen says that a future discussion with President Trump is not out of the question, Reuters reported. President Trump took a congratulatory phone call from the Taiwanese president back in December, which angered Beijing; Mainland China, which does not recognize Taiwan as a separate state, typically forbids contact between government leaders and Taiwan’s leader. "We have the opportunity to communicate more directly with the U.S. government," Tsai told Reuters. "We don't exclude the opportunity to call President Trump himself, but it depends on the needs of the situation and the U.S. government's consideration of regional affairs." Jesse Watters, who faced criticism for remarks on Ivanka Trump, is now taking a brief “vacation” from “The Five,” according to Newsday. While discussing Ivanka Trump’s appearance at the W20 conference on his show, he paused, smiled and said, “I really liked how she was speaking into that microphone.” After social media began to criticize him, Watters issued a statement, saying, “During the break we were commenting on Ivanka’s voice and how it was low and steady and resonates like a smooth jazz radio DJ. This was in no way a joke about anything else.” Watters will return to his show on Monday. Protesters who show up to a planned demonstration in Russia this coming Saturday may face police action, according to the Kremlin, Reuters reported. The Open Russia foundation, which is known for its criticism of the Kremlin, is planning a protest ahead of the upcoming election year. President Vladimir Putin is expected to run for his fourth term in office. "We are still hearing calls for illegal action," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, while speaking about the protest. "This will naturally lead to an absolutely lawful reaction from the authorities in accordance with current legislation."