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As President Obama thanked his family during his farewell speech in Chicago on Tuesday, his youngest daughter Sasha Obama was noticeably absent. According to a White House official, Sasha, 15, missed her father’s final speech as president because she was at home studying for an exam. Sasha is currently a sophomore at Sidwell Friends, a private school in D.C. During the speech, President Obama delivered a heartfelt message to both of his daughters. “Malia and Sasha, under the strangest of circumstances, you have become two amazing young women,” he said. “You are smart and you are beautiful but more importantly, you are kind and you are thoughtful — and you are full of passion. And bore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily. Of all that I have done in my life, I am most proud to be your dad.” Read more.


IRS To Delay Tax Returns For Millions of Low-Income Families

Nearly 40 million low-income families will have their tax refunds delayed this year as a result of the International Revenue Service’s effort to combat fraud and identity theft. Families who have claimed child tax credits and income tax credits will be affected by the measure. The tax filing season kicks off on January 23, however, individuals who are filing for those specific claims will have to wait until February 15 for their returns to be processed. The delay is being put into place so that the IRS has more time to vet the returns for fraudulent activity. According to the IRS, in 2014, nearly $3.1 billion in fraudulent tax refunds was distributed to identity thieves. “For most of these people it’s the biggest check they are going to get all year,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the Associated Press. “We are sensitive to that.” Read more.


Republican Senator Proposes Obamacare Replacement

After reports that the GOP was looking to gut Obamacare without an alternative plan in place, a Senate Republican chairman has proposed a strategy that would serve as its replacement. On Tuesday, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who serves as the chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, outlined a plan that would give health insurance companies the authority to sell policies that don’t include benefits featured in the Affordable Care Act. Under the proposed replacement, subsidies for low-income and middle-income families would stay intact. “The American people deserve health care reform that’s done in the right way, for the right reasons, in the right amount of time,” said Sen. Alexander. “It’s not about developing a quick fix. It’s about working toward long-term solutions that work for everyone.” Read more.


Showtime’s ‘The Chi’ Will Explore Growing Up On The South Side Of Chicago

Showtime has picked up a new scripted series that will capture the essence of growing up on the South Side of Chicago. The series, titled The Chi, will be centered on a young Black man who wants to become a restaurateur but bears the responsibility of caring for his mother and younger brother. The show, created by Lena Waithe, will be executive produced by Common, Elwood Reid, and Aaron Kaplan. Rick Famuyiwa will serve as the director. “Lena Waithe is an extremely fresh, talented young writer with a unique voice and a deeply thoughtful perspective into the world where she grew up. I immediately gravitated to her script, which is emotional, funny, tragic and relevant, all at once. And, we are so fortunate to have artist and visionary Common for his first producing project in scripted television,” said David Nevins, President, Showtime Networks. There is no word on when the project will be released. Read more.


Angela Bassett To Be Honored By The American Black Film Institute

Actress Angela Bassett will be honored by the American Black Film Institute for her contributions to the entertainment industry. Bassett will receive the “Reel Icon” award at their “New, Next, Now Legend” event, which is slated to take place on February 24 during the week of the Oscars. “We are excited to bring the excitement and camaraderie of our previous Oscar festivities among industry professionals to Prestons-over-Hollywood, where we can pay well-deserved tribute to an iconic and well-respected artist such as Angela Bassett, while fortifying partnerships, old and new, which is always the order of the day at the ABFI gala,” said Gordon Kenney, executive director of the American Black Film Institute. Read more.

SEE ALSO:

‘Yes, We Did’: Obama Delivers Moving Farewell Speech

Open Enrollment Continues As Republicans Threaten The Future Of Obamacare

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