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Vox Sentences: Trump starts the tax cut celebration

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America gets a "big, beautiful tax cut for Christmas"; tensions escalate between Australia and China.


Tax cuts are just waiting on Trump’s signature

Chip Somoedvilla/Getty Images
  • President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans celebrated their first major legislative victory on Wednesday: the passage of a massive tax bill. [NYT / Thomas Kaplan]
  • Trump’s “big, beautiful tax cut” will generate big winners and losers. Corporations and tax accountants will have something to celebrate this holiday season. [Vox / Tara Golshan]
  • Trump already touted an announcement that AT&T will invest an additional $1 billion in the US after the tax bill’s passage. This isn’t fake news — but it is old news. [Vox / Emily Stewart]
  • Most Americans will get a tax cut in the short term. But in the long term, the GOP tax plan will exacerbate America’s ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor. [Vox / Dylan Scott]
  • The GOP tax plan will also deliver a big blow to Obamacare. It repeals the individual mandate, which could lead to more people uninsured and higher premiums. [Vox / Dylan Scott and Sarah Kliff]
  • The tax plan is also expected to add more than $1 trillion to the deficit, and Republicans are eager to make some 2018 resolutions to tackle that, which will likely include a push to cut entitlement spending. [Vox / Tara Golshan]
  • But first Congress has to figure out how to keep the government open. Congress must reach a spending agreement by midnight Friday — but no one seems to know what’s going on. [Vox / Tara Golshan]

Australia is cracking down on Chinese influence

  • Relations between Australia and China have grown noticeably tense in the past few weeks, due to concerns within the Australian government about China's growing influence in the region and how much it's influencing politics at home. [Associated Press]
  • One of the most high-profile recent examples of this was when a left-leaning Labor politician named Sam Dastyari was ousted after questions about his China ties, including political donations and collaboration with a prominent Chinese businessman, whom he tipped off about security agencies trying to tap his phone. Dastyari was also a vocal advocate of some of Beijing's policies around the South China Sea. [Guardian / Katharine Murphy]
  • Now, Australian politicians are trying to pass espionage bills targeting the Chinese, to try to crack down on any influence. This in itself has led to outcry from China and Chinese nationals living in Australia, accusing the government of stoking fears and sparking a backlash. [NYT / Damien Cave]

China also has things to worry about, after three Chinese students were attacked in the Australian city of Canberra; it recently issued a warning to its nationals living in the country to remain alert and vigilant. [South China Morning Post / Laura Zhou]


Miscellaneous

  • So-called “porch piracy” is on the rise, especially with the popularity of online shopping. Some homeowners, aided by police and social media companies, are coming up with creative ways to fight back. [NYT / Nick Wingfield]
  • Just in time for the holidays, Amazon in the UK is pulling circumcision training kits off its virtual shelves, after complaints that it could be aiding a practice that is largely unregulated in the country. [Guardian / Haroon Siddique]
  • The Cut found the seven best skeptical-looking journalists and their facial expressions as they talked to Trump officials throughout the year ... and it is a thing of beauty to behold. [The Cut / Lisa Ryan]
  • The GOP tax bill that passed the Senate last night and is expected to re-pass the House has grown even more unpopular with the American public in the past two months, according to a new poll. [WSJ / Janet Hook]

Verbatim

"I feel like people simplify black women to just an attitude, like we don’t take no shit. But there are so many emotions, so much fear and pressure, so much pride. I feel like it’s important to give women who aren’t black insight to know that we fight fears, insecurities." [Rapper and singer SZA to Pitchfork / Matthew Schnipper]


Watch this: Where babies in movies come from

What hoops do you have to jump through to cast a baby in your movie? [YouTube / Dean Peterson]


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