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We've launched a new weekly series, Hill Happenings, intended to present the week’s current events from a bipartisan view, without commentary, for your perusal. (Image: File photo)
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Hill Happenings: 5 things to know before you hit happy hour

Here at DC Refined, we aim to be a place where readers can come and know they will be informed of the latest local entertainment and lifestyle news. Of course, in D.C., political news is as much our entertainment as the latest Kardashian drama. So, we've launched a new weekly series, Hill Happenings, intended to present the week’s current events from a bipartisan view, without commentary for your perusal. After all, you want to be as informed as possible before you hit up happy hour, don’t you?

Here’s what everyone is chatting about this week:

1. Sports betting may soon be legal: The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 on Monday to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, a law from 1992 that made Nevada the only state where you could bet on the results of a game. The decision to legalize sports betting is now back in the hands of the state. "Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own. Our job is to interpret the law Congress has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution. PASPA is not," Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court."

2. Melania has kidney surgery: The First Lady underwent a surprise embolization procedure at Walter Reed Medical Center for a benign kidney condition on Monday morning that was deemed successful. President Trump spoke with her before the procedure, and with her doctor afterwards, and tweeted on Tuesday that she was doing really well and would be "leaving hospital in 2 or 3 days."

3. More than 50 killed in Gaza: Protests following the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem led to the death of more than 50 Palestinians this week. Monday marked the deadliest day in Gaza since the cross-border war in 2014. "President Donald Trump said in a video message played at the embassy inauguration that he remains committed to 'facilitating a lasting peace agreement' between Israelis and Palestinians."

4. Senate confirms Gina Haspel: The first female director of the CIA was confirmed by the Senate Thursday afternoon in a 54-45 vote. Three Republicans rejected Haspel (Rand Paul, Jeff Flake and John McCain, although Sen. McCain missed the vote as he is undergoing treatment for brain cancer in Arizona currently) but six democrats voted "yes" on Haspel (Mark Warner, Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly, Heidi Heitkamp, Jeanne Shaheen and Bill Nelson). She replaces Mike Pompeo who was confirmed as Trump's Secretary of State on April 26.

5. Trump donates Q1 salary to the VA: Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced during Thursday's White House Press briefing that President Trump would be donating $100,000, his salary from the first quarter of 2018, to the department of Veterans Affairs. "As you all know, President Trump is deeply committed to our veterans ... In keeping with his campaign pledge, the president donates his salary on a quarterly basis to further important projects. Today the president is proud to donate his 2018 first quarter salary to the Department of Veterans Affairs to support their caregiver programs."

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