Today is not only the last day of November, it's also the end of the Atlantic hurricane season. And what a catastrophic season it was. Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)
1. Matt Lauer
We've all been shocked and disgusted by the recent tidal wave of sexual assault and harassment allegations, but what's going on with Matt Lauer seems to hit especially hard. NBC News fired Lauer after a complaint about "inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace." And people seemed particularly shaken, perhaps because for millions of Americans, the "Today" show host was almost like a part of the family, or at least a regular and dependable part of their morning routines.
After the firing was announced, Variety painted a very different picture of Lauer, publishing details on sexual harassment claims made by three women. The article also alleged that NBC News protected Lauer and that when women complained about his alleged conduct, nothing was done.
2. Russia investigation
Jared Kushner met earlier this month with special counsel Robert Mueller's team as part of the investigation into Russia's meddling in the election, according to two people familiar with the meeting. Mueller's team specifically asked Kushner about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who is under investigation by the special counsel, two sources said.
The conversation lasted less than 90 minutes, one person familiar with the meeting said, adding that Mueller's team asked Kushner to clear up some questions he was asked by lawmakers and details that emerged through media reports. One source said the nature of this conversation was principally to make sure Kushner doesn't have information that exonerates Flynn.
3. Trump tweets
Even for Donald Trump's Twitter feed, this was pretty shocking. The President retweeted three inflammatory videos from a British far-right account filled with anti-Muslim content. Criticism rained down on Trump, not just here in the US but overseas as well. UK Prime Minister Theresa May said the President was "wrong" to share the videos.
No such criticism came from the White House, however, with Press Secretary Sarah Sanders giving the rather bizarre defense that even if the content in the unverified videos isn't real, "the threat is real." Um, OK. Add to this Trump's reported devotion to long-discredited conspiracy theories and his utterance of the "Pocahontas" quip and it raises the question: Is the President losing control?
4. Tax overhaul
Don't look now, but President Trump and the Republicans are on the verge of a major victory on rewriting the tax code. After squeaking out of committee, the tax proposal survived a procedural vote in the full Senate, setting up a final vote on the legislation that could happen late today or tomorrow. A version of the bill has already passed the House, so if the GOP can hold its fragile coalition together -- and at this point that seems very likely -- the most sweeping change to the tax code in 30 years may be a significant step closer to reality.
The US economy was doing better during the summer than first thought. Revised numbers from the Commerce Department said the economy grew at 3.3% between July and September (the original number was 3%). That's the best growth the US has seen in three years. An uptick in exports and increases in consumer and business spending powered the growth. President Trump has promised to get the economy to annual growth above 3%, something that hasn't happened in a decade. It won't happen this year though, because the economy was so sluggish during the first three months.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"I am rejecting your verdict with contempt"
The declaration a former Bosnian Croat general made just before he apparently swallowed poison as a judge at the Hague upheld his 20-year sentence for war crimes. He later died.
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Charges have been dropped against the Virginia mom accused of illegally recording her daughter's classroom in an attempt to catch bullies.
It ain't gold
Glitter is bad. And not just because it's annoying (and the title of a horrid Mariah Carey movie.) Turns out the shiny stuff may be bad for the environment, too.
Cyber Everyday is next
Cyber Monday was more than good for Amazon. It was the online retail behemoth's biggest shopping day of all time.
Pinhead or patriot?
While some folks say he's a bad guy, others consider him a hero. Meet the man who (temporarily) shut down President Trump's Twitter feed.
If conversations about race make you nervous, then you're so not ready for rapper Joyner Lucas' "I'm Not Racist" video.
NUMBER OF THE DAY
up to $100 million
That's what the NFL is reportedly agreeing to spend on social causes. Some consider it a bid to end player protests during the National Anthem.
AND FINALLY ...
The tortoise and the cat
The tortoise just wants to be friends. The cat is not having any of that. (Click to view.)