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January 16, 2019

At least 16 people have reportedly been killed by a suicide bomber in Syria, and American service members are among them, Reuters reports via the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the Wednesday attack, writing on its website that one of its fighters "detonated an explosive vest" next to a foreign patrol, BBC says. The bomber apparently "targeted U.S.-led coalition forces in the Kurdish-held" town, BBC writes, and a Kurdish news agency says "two American troops and one Kurdish fighter" were killed. The U.S.-led coalition against ISIS has since confirmed an unknown number of "U.S. service members were killed during an explosion while conducting a routine patrol in Syria."

The attack comes not long after President Trump announced a swift withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, declaring that ISIS is "defeated." Trump's move reportedly came "hastily" after a phone call from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and faced opposition from nearly all his advisers. America had been working with Kurdish allies to defend Syria against ISIS, and the Kurds denied Trump's claim of ISIS' defeat. Turkey and the Kurds have long been at odds, jeopardizing their safety if American troops leave the region. Tuesday's attack happened just 20 miles from the Syrian border with Turkey.

The White House and U.S. Central Commend have said they are aware of the reported attack, and the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS said it "will share additional details at a later time." Kathryn Krawczyk

January 13, 2019

Indonesia announced Monday that maritime searchers have located the cockpit voice recorder of a Lion Air passenger jet that crashed soon after takeoff on Oct. 29, killing all 189 people on board. Human remains were also found, Ridwan Djamaluddin, Indonesia's deputy maritime minister, told reporters. The new Boeing 373 MAX 8's cockpit data recorder was retrieved quickly, showing investigators that the airspeed indicator has been malfunctioning. If the voice recorder has survived intact, investigators will learn more about the accident. The crash was the worse in Indonesia since a 1997 crash in which 234 people died. Peter Weber

January 8, 2019

Prosecutors have charged Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who infamously met with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower in 2016, with obstruction of justice, CNN reports.

Veselnitskaya is accused of secretly working with a senior Russian prosecutor while representing a client in a tax fraud case. She allegedly put together findings from the Russian government that were presented in court as being independent. Although the charges don't have to do with the Trump Tower meeting, this development does have some relevance in that, as The New York Times writes, it backs up the idea that Veselnitskaya has "deep ties" to the Russian government, which has been previously reported.

In fact, although Veselnitskaya has denied working for the Kremlin, she called herself an "informant" for Russia's prosecutor general in an interview, the Times reports. Trump Jr. met with Veselnitskaya during his father's presidential campaign to get dirt on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government.

CNN notes that Veselnitskaya is living in Russia, so this case will probably not move much further. Reached for comment by The Wall Street Journal, Veselnitskaya said she's on vacation and hasn't looked at the charges against her. Brendan Morrow

December 26, 2018

The Dow Jones Industrial Average spiked over 1,080 points Wednesday, a nearly 5 percent gain and the largest single-day rise since 2009. The S&P 500 jumped nearly 5 percent and the Nasdaq Composite gained 5.6 percent, largely thanks to oil and retail stock hikes in the wake of the holidays. The massive gains come after the biggest Christmas Eve trading slump in history, which continued the stock market's worst December since the Great Depression. Investors appeared to take to heart President Trump's assessment Tuesday that the market plunge represented a "tremendous opportunity to buy." Markets also seemed placated after White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s job is "100 percent safe." You can read more at Bloomberg and CNBC. Kathryn Krawczyk

December 26, 2018

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been released from the hospital five days after being treated for lung cancer, CNN reports.

According to the Court, Ginsburg was discharged on Christmas Day and is now at home. She had undergone surgery on Dec. 21 to remove two malignant nodules in her lung, and after the procedure doctors said there was no evidence of any remaining disease.

Ginsburg was hospitalized last month after fracturing three ribs in a fall, but she returned to work almost immediately. It was because of this November hospitalization that the nodules in her lungs were discovered, the Supreme Court says. The 85-year-old Supreme Court justice has survived cancer twice but has never missed a single day of oral arguments. Brendan Morrow

December 24, 2018

Following Wall Street's worst week since the financial crisis, U.S. markets slid again during a short session on Monday before the exchanges closed for the Christmas holiday. The Dow dropped more than 640 points to below 22,000 — its worst Christmas Eve trading ever — and the S&P 500 entered a bear market, CNBC reports.

The jitters followed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's attempts to reassure investors by confirming with U.S. banks on Sunday that they were still able to make loans, Reuters reports. When stocks briefly began to recover Monday, a tweet from President Trump claiming "the only problem our economy has is the Fed" sent them tumbling once more. Jeva Lange

December 21, 2018

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is recovering after undergoing surgery Friday to remove two cancerous growths from her lungs, the Supreme Court said.

Two nodules were found in Ginsburg's left lung during tests taken when she was hospitalized after a fall last month, and they were determined to be malignant, per CNN. She's now "resting comfortably" after the surgery at New York's Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and doctors say there's no evidence of remaining disease.

Ginsburg, who is 85 years old, has previously survived cancer twice: first colon cancer in 1999, and then pancreatic cancer in 2009. After fracturing three ribs in a fall last month, she returned to work within a week. Brendan Morrow

December 20, 2018

President Trump announced Thursday that Defense Secretary James Mattis will step down at the end of February. Mattis' retirement follows rumored tensions with the president, and the administration's controversial announcement of plans to withdraw troops from Syria, The New York Times reports.

In his resignation letter to the president, Mattis wrote that Trump has "a right to have a secretary of defense whose views are better aligned with yours." Jeva Lange

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