The Weekly National News Roundup l Shlomo Rudman

US Commemorates 9/11 – Ceremonies were held across the nation to remember those who tragically lost their lives on September 11th 2001 in the worst attacks on the US homeland in history. President Trump attended a remembrance ceremony at the Pentagon, which was struck by a plane on that fateful day. The president reminded everyone to appreciate their loved ones. Former president George W. Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld also attended a separate wreath-laying ceremony at the Pentagon.

Democratic Candidates Square Off – The top ten contenders for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president went head to head in a debate on Thursday night. The three hour long event touched on numerous hot-button issues, including many over which Democrats are deeply divided. There was no clear winner, and Joe Biden, the frontrunner, is not expected to lose out in the polls over his performance.

Bolton Out – President Trump ousted his National Security Advisor John Bolton this week. Bolton, a hawkish man, was at odds with Trump regarding the administration’s stance on Iran and North Korea. Bolton is a strong voice of support for Israel, and has been so for a long time. There is a possibility that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will add the National Security Advisor position to his portfolio while still remaining Secretary of State.

GOP Wins Contested House Race – Republican Dan Bishop won a hotly contested House race in North Carolina even after Democrats poured in millions of dollars to the race in support of their candidate Dan McCready. President Trump exulted over the win and took some credit for himself, tweeting “Dan Bishop was down 17 points 3 weeks ago. He then asked me for help, we changed his strategy together, and he ran a great race. Big rally last night.”

FDA Planning To Ban Vapes – Responding to rising national concerns over the safety of electronic cigarettes, President Trump said the federal government will move to ban thousands of flavors which make it seem as if they are safe. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters that the Food and Drug Administration will begin creating guidelines for vaping products which will ban all flavors of vape juice except for tobacco.

CIA Extracts Russian Informant – The CIA extracted one of its Russian informants who reportedly had direct access to Putin and top intelligence files due to fears for his safety after he gave US officials evidence of Russian interference attempts in the 2016 election. The CIA attacked CNN for mischaracterizing the story after the network claimed the source was extracted in part due to concerns that Trump would out the spy to Putin; the CIA said such claims were false. The source is reportedly Oleg Smolenkov, who was a top aide in Russia’s presidential administration.

Peace Talks With Taliban ‘Dead’ ­– A secret meeting with Taliban leaders set to have taken place at Camp David were abruptly cancelled by President Trump after the group took credit for a suicide bombing which claimed the life of a US serviceman. Trump told reporters that talks with the Taliban were “dead” and said he would continue looking at options for the US military in Afghanistan.

Sanford To Primary Trump – President Trump has got another primary opponent to contend with. Mark Sanford, the former governor of South Carolina, said he would be challenging Trump for the presidential nomination, saying “We need to have a conversation about what it means to be a Republican.” Sanford joins former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh and former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld in primarying Trump. None of the challengers are expected to hurt the president’s chances of being nominated for a second term.

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