Editorial credit: Nathan Shively / Unsplash.com

ESPN Says “You’re Out” to 100 On-Air Reporters

It’s tough times at the sports powerhouse, ESPN. This week ESPN let go of about 100 on-air reporters to include Scott Burnside who has worked at the company for 17 years. The last time ESPN shocked us with their lay-offs was back in 2015 when about 300 people were let go.

Bluntly, ESPN needs to save money. Less people are subscribing to the network in recent years, choosing instead free-streaming channels. At the same time the network pays a pretty penny for star power, upwards of $1.5-$3 million for a celebrity athlete to hang out on set and talk about the game. Finally, networks have to pay a fee to broadcast sporting events. The big leagues (NBA, MLB, NFL) have been ballooning the fees in recent years, making networks figure out creative solutions to reduce costs to simply stay in business.

President Trump Proposes New Tax Plan

President Donald Trump, center, displays a signed directive on tax and Wall Street regulations as Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury secretary, right, Representative Claudia Tenney, a Republican from New York, left, and Senator David Perdue, a Republican from Georgia, stand in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, April 21, 2017. The tax code became too expensive and burdensome under former President Barack Obama’s administration, making a review of 2016 and 2017 tax rules necessary, Mnuchin said.

President Trump is proposing a new tax plan. Among the suggestions are a three tax bracket system (10%, 25%, and 35%), repeal of the alternative minimum tax, or AMT, (makes it difficult for the very wealthy to pay less tax, Trump paid $31 million in 2005 due to the AMT), and cutting the corporate tax from 35% to 15%.

Overall the suggestions result in the government collecting less taxes which will keep citizens happy and persuade more businesses to remain in country versus going overseas to dodge hefty taxes.

The downside however is the government will collect less money. We already have massive debt ($20.1 trillion), and with less taxes coming in it’ll take longer to pay it off. Not to mention funding the upcoming budget may prove tricky…we might not be able to build that wall as high as Trump wants.

 

Progress on an Artificial Womb

Doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have successfully developed eight fetal lambs in an artificial womb, dubbed the Biobag. The Biobag has features that mimic a mother’s womb: an electrolyte solution similar to the uterus’s amniotic fluid, and mechanisms for the fetus to circulate it’s blood and receive nutrients. To be clear, the Biobag is not meant to grow a fetus from scratch, it’s meant to create an in-utero environment for premature babies to continue developing. The team hopes to test the Biobag on humans soon.

 

Elections in France

A man kicks back a tear gas canister at police in Paris on April 27, 2017 during a demonstration against the results of the first round of the presidential election.

It’s a bit of déjà vu. The 2017 French presidential election is resulting in protests already. The mostly youth protestors disagree with both candidate choices, chanting, “Neither Le Pen, neither Macron.”

The first round was held on April 23, with no candidate winning the required majority vote. This means a run-off election will be held between the top two candidates: Emmanuel Macron, a Centrist Independent, and Marine Le Pen, a far-right populist.  The interesting thing to note of this election and previous votes around the world (America, Brexit) is the rise of populist ideals in what used to be more liberal democracies. Only time will tell what our governments will evolve into. France’s election will be held on May 7. Many analysts believe Macron will end up winning, but then again many analysts called previous votes incorrectly in the last year.