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With the $4.4 trillion budget it sent Congress on Monday, the White House proposed cutting Amtrak's federal funding in half and slashing the Environmental Protection Agency’s to its lowest in decades—all while almost doubling federal deficits. Then again, it could always just tell EPA chief Scott Pruitt to quit flying first-class to New York and take the Acela. —Sam Schulz
If Donald Trump had his way, he’d cut $237 billion from Medicare, slash the budget for the already-shrinking State Department by more than a quarter and raise the Pentagon’s. Not that he will have his way, of course. His proposed budget—which would nearly double federal deficits, failing to balance the budget—will be even deader on arrival in Congress than most. But it offers a glimpse of what his White House wants: Cutting $1.7 trillion from entitlements over a decade. Replacing food stamps with a government-run food bank-slash-CSA. Shifting the burden of infrastructure to states. And committing $18 billion to that border wall.
U.S. stocks surged Monday, and financial markets showed some signs of recovery after the worst week in two years for American equities. But traders were still on edge, after last week's tumult wiped $2 trillion from U.S. stocks, and investors are awaiting U.S. consumer-price data due Wednesday with some trepidation.
Apple is backing away from its relentless annual software-update schedule, the better to fix bugs. So this fall, expect apps to work across Apple operating systems, but don't expect, say, a homepage redesign. That's among the several updates being pushed back to give developers more time to work on new features and focus on under-the-hood refinements—part of a renewed focus on quality. Google, meanwhile, is working on an Android upgrade that will mimic some elements of the iPhone, notably its controversial "notch," in the hope of luring over users.
Chinese tourists are taking over the earth, out-shopping, outspending and out-eating everyone else. China already accounts for more than a fifth of all the money spent by outbound tourists—twice as much as the next-biggest spender, the U.S.—and the Chinese have barely begun. Asia is at the center of a boom that’s transforming not only the region, as it unleashes more than $100 billion in infrastructure spending, but also the way we travel. Some of the effects? Soaring property prices, stress on the environment and an avalanche of apps.
Legal weed is Canadian landlords’ nightmare. Ahead of legalization this summer, they’re lobbying provincial governments for laws that would ban use in rentals or let them restrict it in leases. As one industry leader put it: “Can you imagine you’re living in a 100-unit apartment, and in theory, there could be 100 grow-ops in that thing? I mean, that’s ridiculous.”
Pyeongchang is putting the winter back in the Winter Olympics, with subzero temperatures (-13° Fahrenheit!) and powerful winds that have delayed alpine skiing events, sparked safety concerns and buffeted all the bundled-up spectators who don’t get to warm up with a workout. Yes, it’s frigid, but think of it as a correction, four years after the balmiest winter games ever, held at a slushy seaside resort. Or think of it the way Jack Ma is: “It’s exciting, it's warm in the heart.”
The National Portrait Gallery has unveiled its portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama, both painted by black American artists their subjects chose. Kehinde Wiley painted the former president’s portrait, depicting him against a lush trellis of leaves and symbolic flowers; the Baltimore artist Amy Sherald painted the former first lady’s. The portraits will be installed in the gallery’s exhibit of presidential portraits and open to the public starting Tuesday.