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U.S. Tax Overhaul; Protests in Iran; Some Stories to Watch for 2018

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CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: What they said, happy New Year. And welcome to our first broadcast of 2018.

If you're new to our show, CNN 10 is a 10-minute down-the-middle explanation of world events.

I'm Carl Azuz. And today, our coverage starts with a recap of a U.S. law passed in late December, after we went off the air for Christmas and the

New Year.

Republicans in Congress passed the most sweeping overhaul that the U.S. tax system has seen in more than 30 years. It's considered the Republicans'

biggest legislative achievement since the 2016 U.S. presidential election gave that party control of the White House, in addition to the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Last month, the bill passed in both of those chambers, mostly along party lines, with almost all Republicans voting for it, and all Democrats voting against it. And U.S. President Donald Trump signed the bill into law on December 22nd.

This is expected to affect all parts of the U.S. economy and everyone in it. The law permanently reduces the taxes that corporations pay on their profits. Previously, that rate was 35 percent. The new law reduces it to 21 percent.

And it temporarily reduces the taxes that most Americans pay on their income. Though there will still be seven tax brackets for workers based on what they earned, all income groups on average will pay less in taxes. But those individual reductions will expire by the year 2025 unless a future

U.S. Congress votes to keep in place.

Supporters of the new law say it will lead to bigger paychecks and more jobs. Opponents say it will mostly benefit the wealthy and increase the

U.S. government's deficit. One thing the law definitely won't do is affect the taxes that Americans will file early this year. Those are for 2017.

Up next, what's being called a bomb cyclone is about to drop on the Northeastern U.S. It's named for a rapidly declining low pressure system called a bombogenesis and it's expected to bring hurricane force wind gust to the region and six to 12 inches of snow in New England.

But as of yesterday afternoon, every East Coast state was under a weather advisory or winter storm threat. That includes Florida and the state capital Tallahassee hadn't seen measurable snow since 1989, it saw it this week. Schools were closed and shelters were opened -- just part of the bitter winter weather that stretches across the country.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REPORTER: One third of the United States gripped by dangerous subzero temperatures. More than 100 million Americans under wind chill advisories.

The deep freeze killing at least 11 people, including a 27-year-old woman in Wisconsin who wandered from a New Year's Eve celebration with her friends.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looks to just be a very tragic accident.

REPORTER: In Texas, where four people have died of exposure, the Red Cross setting up additional warming centers across Houston.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're offering a place for people that needed to get out of the weather.

REPORTER: In the Midwest, the wind chill colder than on the surface of Mars. Waterways across the country, from rivers, to lakes, to waterfalls,

frozen solid. Even Niagara Falls surrounded by sheets of ice.

The wintery mix wreaking havoc on roadways, including a massive 75-car pileup on Interstate 90 near Buffalo, New York. In Massachusetts,

firefighters struggling to work in the bitter cold.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The water freezes on our equipment, on our air packs, on our masks.

REPORTER: The punishing chill even hitting as far south as Alabama and Florida.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Extra blankets, heaters, whatever it takes.

REPORTER: Officials preparing shelters and warning residents to stay indoors as they brace for ice and snow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you don't have a reason to be out, don't be out.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:

Persian is the official language of what nation?

Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia or Pakistan?

Persian is the official language of Iran, a country that used to be known as Persia.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: Over the past week, demonstrations against Iran's government, a theocratic republic, that led to the deaths of 21 people and the arrest of hundreds. And though an Iranian military official says the protests are officially over, they were seen as the strongest challenge to the nation's government since massive demonstrations were held in 2009 over controversial elections. Social media video appears to show unrest in several Iranian cities, including the capital of Tehran.

This started last Thursday. Reasons included a downturn in Iran's economy, corruption that spread throughout the country, rising food and gas prices and the cost of living that stayed relatively high.

U.S. President Donald Trump has tweeted his support of the protesters, saying he had respect for those trying to, quote, take back their corrupt government. Some Iranian officials had blamed the United States and its allies for provoking the rallies against the Iranian government. There was a counterprotest held this week with thousands marching in support of Iran's government. Some of the people there chanted "death to America".

Observers around the world will be watching what happens in Iran this Friday, when protests are held in the Middle Eastern nation, they often start after Friday prayers.

One question we get asked a lot by folks who watch our show is, what are we planning to cover? Many times, we don't know because news is often unpredictable. But this year, there are some big events we do know are coming up and here are a few things we'll be watching for in 2018.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUBTITLE: 2018.

Politics.

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN REPORTER: Well, it's an even number year, which means midterm elections. And midterm elections are almost always bad for the president's party. They almost always lose seats in the House and in the Senate.

The House is absolutely in play. Republicans hold the majority but there are enough Democratic opportunities out there to make it a real possibility

Democrats will retake the House come November 2018.

The Senate, a tougher thing for Democrats. There are 26 Democratic seats up to just nine for Republicans, which makes taking over the Senate a very slight but still a real possibility.

SUBTITLE: Weather.

JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: La Nina is expected to continue to the rest of the winter, which typically brings warmer and dry conditions to the

Southeast. It also normally means a weather than normal pattern in the Pacific Northeast. But -- and that hangs on through spring and even summer, hurricane season could be interesting. La Nina usually means above normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic.

SUBTITLE: Royals.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: 2018 is going to be a big year for the British royal family, not least because we're going to have a blockbuster royal wedding. Prince Harry will marry the American actress Megan Markle at Windsor Castle in May. Also in the spring, royal baby number three for the duke and duchess of Cambridge. And in November, Prince Charles, Britain's longest serving heir to the throne will turn 70.

SUBTITLE: North Korea.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: North Korea is really at a crossroads as we move in to 2018. Most experts agree they're on the verge of finalizing their nuclear program. They've threatened more missile launches, possibly an above-ground nuclear test and there are security concerns ahead of the winter Olympics in South Korea.

Pyongyang wants to be recognized as a nuclear power. Washington has said that won't happen. So, the question, will 2018 be a year for diplomacy or something else? The answer lies largely with Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.

SUBTITLE: Sports.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: 2018 will be highlighted by two high profile global sporting events. The Winter Olympics in South Korea and the

FIFA World Cup. With the Winter Games being held approximately 50 miles from volatile North Korea and with Russia banned from competition, these

Olympics already have plenty of off-the-ice intrigue ahead of February 9's iconic lighting of the Olympic flame.

In June, fans from around the globe would ascend on 11 Russian cities to witness the passion and pride of the FIFA World Cup. With Italy, United

States and the Netherland failing to qualify, debutants like Iceland with their fans' infectious Viking thunder clap will end to disrupt cup titans like Brazil and Germany this summer.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AZUZ: For experienced marathon runners, it's been said the ideal temperature for the fastest times is in the low 40s Fahrenheit. This race was run in the negative teens Fahrenheit. It was held on a frozen river in northeast China as a way to celebrate the New Year.

It's one of several ice marathons in China and the temperature didn't seem to keep anyone at home. Around 2,000 runners from eastern Asia braved the cold to try to go the distance.

For victory on ice, they need something special to put their best food forward, something that give them New Balance. Did they look in the Foot

Locker to find the Converse of Heelys? Did they have to go Reebok to Asics? Mizuno they need special L.A. Gear for a 26-mile Adidas before you could declare Nike, it's got to be the shoes.

I'm Carl A-shoes for CNN 10.

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