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Monday, May 22, 2017
Good morning. Today is National Buy a Musical Instrument Day. So go ahead and splurge – your brain will thank you. Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.

By Doug Criss.

1. President Trump

President Trump’s first foreign trip hits Israel today, where he says he’s looking for the “ultimate” deal — a peace plan for the Middle East. Trump will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Neither Israelis nor Palestinians have especially high hopes. 

On the first leg of Trump’s trip, Saudi Arabia really rolled out the red carpet. The President spoke to Muslim leaders, urging them to step up their game in the fight against terror (but the speech sounded nothing like the anti-Islam tirades of the campaign). The Saudis also announced a $55 billion deal with US defense, manufacturing, oil and gas companies.

2. North Korea

North Korea fired off its second missile test in just under a week. The Pukguksong-2 is a medium-range ballistic missile and it uses solid rocket fuel. That’s concerning because solid fuel-powered missiles are more difficult to spot. There are fewer indicators, such as movement of trucks, for South Korean or US satellites and other surveillance to pick up on. The missile was sent into the waters off the country’s east coast and Kim Jong Un said it’s ready for deployment and mass production. 

3. Budget

The first budget of President Trump’s presidency will be unveiled tomorrow. The big headline expected out of it? $800 billion in Medicaid cuts. Under Trump’s plans, federal funding for Medicaid — the program that provides health care to millions of low-income Americans — would be significantly reduced and states would shoulder more of the burden through block grants. But many states won’t have the money to make up the difference between what they get in block grants and what the feds share used to be, so they’ll probably reduce eligibility and curtail benefits.

One thing to remember though: everything hinges on the recently-passed GOP health care bill becoming law, and right now that’s a big if. Senators are working on their own health care bill and many are vehemently opposed to major cuts to Medicaid.

4. Philippines and Russia

President Trump’s not the only head of state on the move this week. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte heads out on a five-day trip to Moscow today, and that’s significant because it’s the latest example of how Philippines, a longtime US ally, is shifting away from Washington. Since taking office last year, the always-controversial Duterte has sought closer relations with both Russia and China. Duterte says he hopes to get better military weapons from Moscow. 

5. Kids and juice

If your kids are under 1, lose the juice. That’s the recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Why? All that sugar (of course). The sugar contributes to the rise in obesity rates and gives children cavities. Plus, when kids get used to that much sugar at such a young age, the academy says, they just don’t want to drink water. 
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