Introducing Pressed

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By Pressed

Pressed is my morning go-to. In a few minutes, I understand what’s going on in the world before I even get out of bed.
— GRM Editor-in-Chief

So what's Pressed? It's a breakdown of the top world news stories (with a Canadian flare). Pressed makes the news easy and fun to read. No long, jargon-y articles. Just enough information to start your day; and arm you with knowledge to have intelligent conversations with colleagues and friends.

The Pressed team share the top 5 news stories from this week. Enjoy.  

Former Toronto Blue Jays player and Sportsnet broadcaster, Gregg Zaun, was fired because of “inappropriate behaviour and comments.” Rogers Communications, the parent company of Sportsnet, didn’t reveal much, only that several female employees came forward with allegations against Zaun. The 46-year-old was a catcher with the Blue Jays for five years and became a broadcaster with Sportsnet in 2011 after he retired from the MLB. The President of Rogers Media, Rick Brace, made a statement this week. Read it here.

The Today Show host Matt Lauer was fired by NBC after being accused of sexual misconduct by a female employee. 

Wait, what? 

Lauer, the well-known face of The Today Show for over 20 years, was fired after a production employee told executives that he made inappropriate sexual advances toward her during a trip at the Sochi Olympics in 2014. And she had the text messages (and images) to prove it. 

How did he get outed? 

Lauer’s co-anchor Savannah Guthrie made the shocking announcement on Wednesday at the start of the morning show. The woman who came forward met with NBC executives Monday evening and Lauer was fired less than 36 hours later. According to the internal memo, it was the first accusation against Lauer, but there was a reason to believe it wasn't an isolated incident. Lauer’s reputation has been questioned in the workplace before, and some say his inappropriate behaviour toward women is well known in the industry. Since the news broke, two other women have come forward with credible evidence against Lauerand Variety did a separate two-month investigation into Lauer that revealed three women were victims of his sexual misconduct. Lauer has since issued an apology, saying he is "embarrassed and ashamed" but feels some of the stories about him are "mischaracterized."

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a formal apology to the LGBTQ community. Wait, why? Between 1950 and 1992, many lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer people were fired from their public service jobs (think: military and RCMP) just because of their sexuality. Many were interrogated, given psychological tests, and put through the “fruit machine” – a process developed by the government in which individuals were shown porn images to measure their level of arousal. The result? If measured too high, the individual was fired, held from promotions, or even criminally punished. Now, the government is putting $145 million toward compensating victims, many of whom were personally invited by Trudeau and his government to attend his apology speech.

North Korea launched a ballistic missile over Japan last week that landed just off the coast, into the Sea of Japan. This sounds familiar. N.K. shot a missile over Japan back in September. After Tuesday’s launch, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe called a meeting with his cabinet officials, and South Korea reacted by running its own missile drills.

How’s Trump dealing with it?

He was notified while the missile was still airborne. The Pentagon says N.K.’s missile did not pose a threat to the U.S. or its allies (tell that to Japan), but experts estimate that based on the missile’s altitude, it was technically capable of reaching Washington. N.K. stresses that its weapons programs are an essential part of its defence against a U.S. invasion, but the latest launch also comes just a week after Trump put N.K. back on the list of countries that support terrorism. So, the battle continues.

What now?

Canada and the U.S. are going to co-host a meeting after the holidays to discuss N.K. and possible resolutions, ie. ones that won’t result in war. The meeting will involve many countries from the United Nations. North Korea is not invited.

There’s a new tax reform in town. You may have heard about a tax bill that could alter the financial life of many Americans. You’ll be hearing more about it this week. Republicans from the House and the Senate have been working hard on a proposal that could dramatically change how businesses and individuals get taxed and also determine what types of benefits people get from the government. The House passed their bill two weeks ago. The Senate passed theirs yesterday. 

What’s it all about?

The two plans have some similarities: Both want to make it easier for the wealthy to keep their earnings. But the House bill gets rid of the Obamacare rule that all individuals must buy health insurance, and takes away funding for teachers so they can’t expense ‘extras' like markers and notebooks. The Senate, on the other hand, wants to double the teacher expense funding. If the bill passes and gets signed by Trump, it will go into effect on January 1st. Republicans need this win so they can go into next year with some bragging rights.

Anything else?

There's a lot going on in the White House. Rumours are circulating that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is waiting for his pink slip from his boss, President Trump. Why? Trump wants to replace him with the acting C.I.A director Mike Pompeo. It seems Trump and Tillerson went from bromance to frenemies.

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