The Trump administration announced that US troops will be pulled out of Syria immediately saying the Islamic State has been ‘defeated’ and that a transition is taking place to the ‘next phase of the campaign.’ The White House says the US remains ‘ready to re-engage at all levels’ in defense of American interests.
District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine sued Facebook on Wednesday for the company’s role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Facebook is accused of allowing the collection of personal data of millions of users by a third party. Facebook is also under investigation by the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Federal Trade Commission.
Global Affairs Canada, the country’s foreign ministry, announced that a third Canadian citizen has been detained in China increasing the tensions between the countries stemming from Canada’s arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou on December 1st. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he is ‘very concerned’ about the detainee. China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry denies awareness of a third detainee.
A visa was granted to a Yemeni mother originally barred from traveling to the US under the White House ban so she can see her dying 2-year-old son in California. Shaima Swileh spent two months apart from her son after he flew with his father to the US for treatment for a genetic brain disorder.
The Senate undermined President Trump’s border wall plan by passing a short-term spending bill to avert a government shutdown and fund federal operations through February 8, 2019. A government shutdown was looming due to disputes over allocating $5 billion for a border wall. The House will vote on the bill on Thursday before the Friday shutdown deadline.
The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rates on Wednesday but projected fewer rate increases in 2019 than previously anticipated. The raise came amid a stock market selloff and in defiance of pressure from President Trump. The benchmark rate will reach its highest level since early 2008 when rates were cut amid the Great Recession.