2018-12-19

Headlines:

From Al Jazeera, Associated Press, BBC News, Reuters, The Globe and Mail, New York Times, and Wired

What to Watch Ahead of the Fed Meeting – (The New York Times)
The Fed is widely expected to raise rates at the conclusion of its two-day meeting on Wednesday. But all eyes are on what happens next.

Senate to vote on funding bill, easing shutdown threat – (Associated Press)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will take up a short-term measure Wednesday to fund the federal government through Feb. 8, a move that eases the risk of a shutdown and comes only after President Donald Trump backed off…

Stocks and oil edge higher as investors eye Fed meeting – (Reuters)
Global equity markets edged higher on Wednesday after a three-day sell-off which had investors seeking safety in bonds due to mounting pessimism over world economic growth.

In farewell, Ryan sees solutions if ‘politics will allow it’ – (Associated Press)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan is bemoaning America’s “broken politics” in a farewell speech in which he calls Washington’s failure to overhaul costly federal benefit programs “our greatest unfinished business.” “Our complex problems are s…

Congress to push stop-gap funding bill with no border wall money – (Reuters)
The U.S. Congress, aiming to avoid a partial government shutdown at the end of this week, on Wednesday began advancing legislation to temporarily fund several federal agencies through Feb. 8, but without money for a U.S.-Mexico border wall that President Dona…

Report: 53 journalists killed worldwide so far in 2018 – (Associated Press)
NEW YORK (AP) — The number of journalists killed worldwide in retaliation for their work nearly doubled this year, according to an annual report by the Committee to Protect Journalists. The New York-based organization found that 34 journalists were killed in …

US cybersecurity firm: Hackers stole EU diplomatic cables – (Associated Press)
LONDON (AP) — Hackers have spent years eavesdropping on the diplomatic communications of European Union officials, a U.S. cybersecurity firm said Wednesday, an operation disrupted only after researchers discovered hundreds of intercepted documents lying aroun…

Wall Street rises ahead of Fed rate decision – (Reuters)
U.S. stocks climbed on Wednesday, boosted by technology stocks, and financials also gained ahead of a highly awaited Federal Reserve announcement where investors will watch for signals of fewer rate hikes, which could spark a year-end rally.

Europe readies for Brexit without deal as uncertainty grows – (Al Jazeera English)
Many European companies planning for an economic shock in case the ‘nightmare’ scenario becomes real next year.

Senate easily approves criminal justice legislation – (Reuters)
The U.S. Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed legislation long in the making and backed by President Donald Trump to reduce sentences for certain prison inmates.

AP Investigation: Migrant kids held in mass shelters – (Associated Press)
Decades after the U.S. stopped institutionalizing kids because large and crowded orphanages were causing lasting trauma, it is happening again. The federal government has placed most of the 14,300 migrant toddlers, children and teens in its care in detention …

100 days to Brexit, EU tells London: financiers on their own without a deal – (Reuters)
With just 100 days until Brexit, the EU’s executive cautioned that most banking, insurance and other financial firms in Britain would be cut off from the European Union if there is no divorce deal.

Investors Expect a Much Less Aggressive Fed in 2019 – (The New York Times)
Investors are increasingly betting that the Federal Reserve will slow the pace of interest rate increases next year.

Oil steadies after sell-off but oversupply still drags – (Reuters)
Oil stabilized on Wednesday after one of its biggest falls in years, but remained under pressure from oversupply and concern that a slowing global economy would depress demand.

Nasa hack exposes staff data – (BBC News)
The US space agency says cyber-thieves may have compromised two of its computer servers.

U.S. eyes complete withdrawal of troops from Syria: U.S. officials – (Reuters)
The United States is considering a total withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria as it nears the very end of its campaign to retake all of the territory once held by Islamic State, U.S. officials told Reuters on Wednesday.

Hacked European Cables Reveal a World of Anxiety About Trump, Russia and Iran – (The New York Times)
The cables quote China’s president calling America a bully, show concerns about Russian nuclear weapons in Crimea and detail the White House walking back President Trump’s words.

Trump claims U.S. has defeated ISIS in Syria – (Reuters)
The United States has defeated the Islamic State in Syria, U.S. President Donald Trump claimed on Wednesday, adding that it was the only reason he had kept troops in the country.

Trump Considering Full Withdrawal of U.S. Troops From Syria – (The New York Times)
Pentagon officials were trying to talk the president out of the proposed withdrawal, arguing that such a move would betray Kurdish allies who have fought alongside American troops in Syria.

AP investigation: Children fight on front lines of Yemen war – (Associated Press)
MARIB, Yemen (AP) — The number etched on the bracelet around Mohammed’s wrist gave the 13-year-old soldier comfort as missiles fired from enemy warplanes shook the earth beneath him. For two years Mohammed fought with Yemen’s Houthi rebels against a military …

***

From various sources

United Nations debates condemnation of Hezbollah tunnels – (The Jerusalem Post)
“The Lebanese Army failed to take action to protect their own territory,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in prelude to the debate.

Bennett working on plan to bring 200,000 French Jews to Israel – (The Jerusalem Post)
“We missed an historic opportunity and many Jews moved to the US, Canada or other places instead of Israel,” Bennett said.

Investigation: IDF ready for war, but budget cuts could weaken military – (The Jerusalem Post)
I can say in the name of the committee that the level of readiness in the IDF for war is higher today by any measure than it was after Operation Protective Edge.

‘We have defeated ISIS in Syria’: U.S. plans to withdraw troops – (The Jerusalem Post)
The United States still has about 2,000 troops in Syria, many of them special operations forces working closely with an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias known as the Syrian Democratic Forces.

A newly discovered amphibian was named after Trump because climate change might kill it – (Vice News)
Meet the dermophis donaldtrumpi, a blind amphibian that buries its head in the sand.

“It’s full here:” How Border Patrol is turning away asylum seekers on U.S. soil – (Vice News)
Federal law says migrants can ask for asylum once they make it to the U.S. That’s not necessarily happening at the border.

– (Fox Sports)

What to Watch Ahead of the Fed Meeting – (The New York Times)
The Fed is widely expected to raise rates at the conclusion of its two-day meeting on Wednesday. But all eyes are on what happens next.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX cancels rocket launch again because of technical glitch – (The Guardian (AU))
SpaceX said it was standing down to further evaluate an ‘out of family’ reading on the rocket’s first-stage sensors

Elon Musk’s SpaceX cancels rocket launch again because of technical glitch – (The Guardian (UK))
SpaceX said it was standing down to further evaluate an ‘out of family’ reading on the rocket’s first-stage sensors

May’s cabinet split over £30,000 immigrant salary threshold – (The Guardian (UK))
Post-Brexit immigration policy says more talks needed on pay level, which would exclude key workers

This Woman Said Men Don’t Really Own Furniture And Now Her Mentions Are A Mess – (Buzzfeed)
“Guys really live in apartments like this and don’t see any issue.”

Fury as Corbyn seems to call May a ‘stupid woman’ at PMQs – (Daily Mail)
Jeremy Corbyn faced a furious backlash from Tories and his own MPs after appearing to mouth the jibe during a stormy Commons session.

How Elon Musk’s Boring Company tunnel works – (CBS News)
Tuesday night in Los Angeles, Elon Musk unveiled the first tunnel in what he hopes will become a network of underground highways. Gayle King got an inside look and rode through the Boring Company’s test tunnel with Musk.

***

All about Trump

A newly discovered amphibian was named after Trump because climate change might kill it – (Vice News)
Meet the dermophis donaldtrumpi, a blind amphibian that buries its head in the sand.

White House tells Pentagon to start planning for withdrawal of troops in Syria – (CBS News)
The White House has instructed the Pentagon to start planning for the immediate withdrawal of all 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria, CBS News confirms. “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” President Trump twee…

Senate to vote on funding bill, easing shutdown threat – (Associated Press)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will take up a short-term measure Wednesday to fund the federal government through Feb. 8, a move that eases the risk of a shutdown and comes only after President Donald Trump backed off…

Syria troop withdrawal would be ‘huge mistake’, senior Republican warns – live – (Google News (UK))
Lindsey Graham condemns Trump plan to pull forces while president insists fight against Isis is over

President Trump orders all US troops out of Syria, declares victory over ISIS – (USA Today)
The president declared victory over the Islamic State in Syria, “my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” he wrote.

Trump claims victory over Isis in Syria – (Financial Times)
Declaration comes US reportedly prepares to withdraw forces from the country

Trump Is Said to Order Full Withdrawal From Syria, Citing ‘Victory’ – (Fortune)
The U.S. military is working to quickly carry out Trump’s order, according to an official.

Donald Trump’s border wall may have just crumbled forever – (CNN)
Eight days ago, President Donald Trump had this to say about the possibility of a government shutdown if Congress didn’t give him $5 billion to begin construction on his border wall:

Trump orders rapid withdrawal from Syria in apparent reversal – (CNN)
Planning is underway for a “full” and “rapid” withdrawal of US troops from Syria, a US defense official told CNN Wednesday.

Donald Trump Defends Disgraced Trump Foundation’s ‘Great Work’ – (The Huffington Post)
“Will never be treated fairly by these people,” the president griped in a tweet.

McConnell announces stopgap funding measure that would avert shutdown – (NBC News)
A continuing resolution to keep the government funded through February could be passed as soon as Wednesday — but what Trump does next is anyone’s guess.

US plans full withdrawal of troops from Syria – (The Guardian (AU))
Administration nears end of campaign to retake territory once held by Isis as Trump tweets: ‘We have defeated Isis in Syria’

US plans full withdrawal of troops from Syria – (The Guardian (UK))
Administration nears end of campaign to retake territory once held by Isis as Trump tweets: ‘We have defeated Isis in Syria’

Senate easily approves criminal justice legislation – (Reuters)
The U.S. Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed legislation long in the making and backed by President Donald Trump to reduce sentences for certain prison inmates.

Trump to pull Syria forces as ‘we’ve defeated ISIS’ – despite 700 recent deaths – (Mirror)
Such a decision would upend assumptions about a longer-term US military presence in Syria, which senior officials had advocated to help ensure Islamic State cannot reemerge

Giuliani said Trump didn’t sign a letter of intent on Trump Tower Moscow project. Now we know he did. – (Vice News)
​CNN released a copy of the letter bearing Trump’s signature, along with that of the intended developer

U.S. mulling complete withdrawal of troops from Syria: sources – (The Globe And Mail)
On Wednesday, Trump appeared to declare victory against the group and made clear he saw no further grounds for remaining in Syria

Trump administration reportedly plans to pull U.S. troops from Syria – (Axios)
“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.”

US weighs complete withdrawal of troops from Syria: officials – (The Hindu)
“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” President Donald Trump tweeted.

U.S. troops to leave Syria as President Trump declares victory over ISIS – (NBC News)
U.S. troops to leave Syria

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