What to Know
- The Senate approved legislation to temporarily fund the government, a key step toward averting a federal shutdown
- Trump appears likely to give up his last, best chance to secure money from Congress for the "beautiful" wall he's long promised to construct
- Still "Home Alone" after all these years. Macaulay Culkin is recreating his most famous role in a brand new ad for Google Assistant
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Senate Approves Stopgap Spending Bill to Avoid Shutdown
The Senate approved legislation to temporarily fund the government, a key step toward averting a federal shutdown after President Trump backed off his demand for money for a border wall with Mexico. Senators passed the measure, which would keep government running to Feb. 8, by voice vote without a roll call. The House is also expected to move before the deadline, when funding for a portion of the government expires. Without resolution, more than 800,000 federal workers would face furloughs or be forced to work without pay, disrupting government operations days before Christmas. While the White House indicated Trump was open to reviewing whatever Congress could pass, the president did not immediately weigh in on the short-term plan. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the Senate will remain in session Thursday. "We have to see what the House does," he said.
Trump on Verge of Giving Up Best Chance to Secure Wall Money
Donald Trump's loyal supporters cried "Build the wall!" throughout his 2016 presidential campaign. Come 2020, they may well still be chanting for Trump to make good on his signature campaign promise as prospects dim for him to deliver on a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump appears likely to give up his last, best chance to secure money from Congress for the "beautiful" wall he's long promised to construct, as he backs away from his threat to partially shut down the government on Friday. Now, with the Senate having passed a temporary funding measure to keep the government open through Feb. 8, Trump's mission will go from difficult to near-impossible when Democrats take control of the House on Jan. 3. The unfulfilled pledge also threatens to hang over his re-election campaign, potentially depressing his base and dealing his political rivals a powerful talking point.
US Allies in Syria Rattled by Trump Decision to Withdraw
A U.S.-backed group in Syria has rejected President Trump's claim the Islamic State has been defeated and says the withdrawal of U.S. troops would lead to a resurgence of the extremist group. The group known as the Syrian Democratic Forces says in a statement that a premature U.S. troop pullout would have dangerous repercussions and a destabilizing effect on the region. It says "the war against Islamic State has not ended and the group has not been defeated." It was the group's first response to Trump's surprise announcement he would be withdrawing all American forces from Syria. The decision has also rattled Washington's Kurdish allies, who are its most reliable partner in Syria and among the most effective ground forces battling the Islamic State group. Kurds in northern Syria said commanders and fighters met into the night, discussing their response.
Still Home...Still Alone: Culkin Recreates Role for Google
Still "Home Alone" after all these years. Macaulay Culkin is recreating his most famous role (Sorry Richie Rich fans) in a brand new ad for Google Assistant. In the spot Culkin, now 38 and a far cry from the 8-year-old who wreaked havoc on Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern's bungling burglars, recreates several of the iconic scenes from the film, from jumping up and down on the bed in his empty home to scaring off burglars using cardboard cutout of NBA players... this time with an assist from Google Assistant. Culkin has only acted sporadically in recent years. He recently appeared on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon revealing he's used that famous role to entice girlfriends. "Whatever gets her motor running, I guess," he told Fallon.
Juelz Santana Sentenced for Trying to Bring Gun on Plane
Rapper Juelz Santana was sentenced to more than two years in prison for trying to bring a loaded gun onto a plane, prosecutors announced. The rapper, whose real name is Laron L. James, pleaded guilty in March to knowingly possessing a firearm as a previously convicted felon and carrying a weapon on an aircraft, according U.S. Attorney’s Office District of New Jersey. Santana was arrested on March 9 after security staff at New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport found a loaded .38-caliber handgun and nonprescription oxycodone pills in a carry-on bag containing his identification. Santana left the area, leaving two bags behind, but turned himself in three days later. In addition to his 27 month prison term, Santana was also sentenced to one year of supervised release.