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HC Wake-Up Call: Trump Withdraws Troops in Syria, Paul Ryan's Goodbye, & Border Wall GoFundMe


Good morning Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds—we’re all only human, after all.

But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)

Trump Orders Removal of U.S. Troops in Syria

After President Trump tweeted that the U.S. has "defeated ISIS in Syria"— which he said was the only reason troops were there during his presidency — the White House ordered the Pentagon to pull U.S. forces from the country immediately. As a result, more than 2,000 U.S. troops will be withdrawn. According to The Guardian, officials were "left scrambling" after the seemingly abrupt announcement — just this summer, the U.S. decided to keep troops in Syria — which they only learned of Tuesday night. 

Trump also tweeted a video, further explaining the withdrawal. "We've been fighting for a long time in Syria. I've been president for almost two years, and we've really stepped it up, and we have won against ISIS," he said. "We've beaten them and we've beaten them badly, we've taken back the land, and now it's time for our troops to come home."

The president added that the troops "are great heroes of the world. Because they've fought for us, but they've killed ISIS, who hurts the world. And we're proud to have done it." Top Republican leaders condemned the decision, including Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. Marco Rubio. Deputy Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan declined reporters' questions, and Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning only briefly commented on the move: "At this time, we continue to work by, with and through our partners in the region."

Paul Ryan Bids Congress Goodbye

House Speaker Paul Ryan delivered his farewell address on Wednesday, bringing an end to his 20 years in Congress. Throughout the speech, Ryan called for more civility and said the country's problems "are solvable if our politics will allow it." He added, "Certainly one Congress cannot solve all that ails us. Not every outcome has been perfect. I am darn proud of what we have achieved together to make this a stronger and more prosperous country."

Ryan specifically acknowledged his inability to affect the country's growing deficit and enact reform for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. "I acknowledge plainly that my ambitions for entitlement reform have outpaced the political reality and I consider this our greatest unfinished business," he said.

The Wisconsin Republican announced his retirement in April, explaining that he wanted to spend more time with his family. 

A GoFundMe Campaign for a Border Wall Has Raised More Than $1M in Three Days

A little over a week ago, Trump threatened a government shutdown if Congress didn't give him $5 billion for the construction of his border wall. He even said he'd be "proud" to do so. While White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway seemed to indicate that Trump was already backing down on Wednesday — she said if Congress passed a short-term resolution to keep the government open, Trump would "take a look at that certainly"— supporters of the proposed wall took it upon themselves to find funding: a GoFundMe campaign. Started by 37-year-old Flordian Brian Kolfage, a Trump supporter and disabled Iraq War veteran, the crowdfunding campaign has raised nearly $2 million after being live for just three days. The final goal? The website's max, $1 billion.

"Like a majority of those American citizens who voted to elect President Donald J Trump, we voted for him to Make America Great Again. President Trump’s main campaign promise was to BUILD THE WALL," Kolfage wrote on the GoFundMe page. "And as he’s followed through on just about every promise so far, this wall project needs to be completed still."

According to POLITICO, Kolfage said that he's in touch with the Trump administration about how to transfer the donations, and the possibility of a legal firm's involvement to ensure the money isn't used elsewhere. 

What to look for...

Coffee. Starbucks'Happiest Hour of the Year is today, meaning that from 3 p.m. until close, you can get any grande holiday beverage for just $3.  

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