US Assassinates Iranian Commander – The United States carried out a drone strike in Iraq on Thursday night that killed Iranian Quds Force commander Qassam Soleimani. He was an evil man, responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans over the years. President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Soleimani was planning further attacks against US assets in the region. The strike came just days after Iranian-backed protesters stormed the US embassy in Iraq. 3500 more troops are now being deployed to the region in wake of the strike and in preparation for an Iranian response.
Multiple Jews Stabbed In Monsey – On Motzei Shabbos, several Jews were stabbed, some critically, at a Chanukah party being held in Monsey. The attacker, identified as Grafton Thomas, was caught in Harlem as he made a getaway in his vehicle. He is being held on $5 million bail and investigators are looking into the possibility that he was also the perpetrator in an as-of-yet unsolved stabbing in Monsey several weeks ago that left a Jewish man in serious condition.
Siyum Hashas Takes Place – The 13th Global Siyum Hashas took place on Wednesday, with over 100,000 participants in Metlife Stadium and Barclays Arena. Hundreds of thousands of others joined via live stream in some 30 countries across the world. The event, which takes places every 7.5 years, was the largest event in Metlife Stadium history and had an unparalleled level of security in and around the building during the Siyum.
China To Sign Phase 1 Of China Deal – President Trump announced that he would be signing Phase 1 of a trade deal between the United States and China on January 15th, with the attendance of high-ranking Chinese officials. Trump also said that he would like to make a visit to China in the future to help negotiators move forward on a larger and more comprehensive deal with the Communist nation. Phase 1 of the deal is very small compared to the larger and more vexing issues between the two countries, although it is unquestionably a positive step in the right direction.
Trump Signs Robocall Law – President Trump signed a bill into law that will target the millions of robocalls received by Americans. The new law gives the FCC power to slap fines on those who send out illegal robocalls and requires phone companies to deploy a new technology that will help consumers know whether an incoming call is legitimate or not. Even with the new law, Americans should still expect to receive more robocalls, but hopefully not as many.
Rep. John Lewis Diagnosed – Legendary civil rights activist Rep. John Lewis announced that he has been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, one of the most aggressive and difficult to treat forms of the horrible disease. Lewis was a civil rights advocate for decades before being elected to the House of Representatives in 1986, where he continued his civil rights struggle and representing his Georgia district. Rep. Lewis said that being elected to Congress was the “honor of a lifetime” and that he will continue to work on behalf of his constituents on Capitol Hill for as long as he can.
Castro Drops Out – Julian Castro has dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. The former Housing Secretary under President Obama never managed to break out as a candidate, but he had a loyal and strong following, albeit small. Castro was unable to bring in enough campaign donations to keep his candidacy viable, and called it quits.