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HC Wake-Up Call: Nancy Pelosi Goes After Trump's SOTU, Four Americans Killed in Syria, & Man Arrested for Alleged Plot to Attack White House


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.)

Nancy Pelosi Pushes for Trump's SOTU to be Delayed

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered a letter to President Trump on Wednesday that suggested his annual speech before Congress be postponed — or even canceled entirely — due to the ongoing government shutdown. "Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week," she wrote, "I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th."

Though Pelosi controls the lower chamber, she didn't rescind Trump's invitation. However, unless he meets the timeline she established for him to end the shutdown, she still might do so. The Hill reported that White House communications chief Bill Shine said Trump officials feel "no rush" to respond to the letter, but will do so at the appropriate time.

Plus, the Department of Homeland Security said that Pelosi's security concerns were unfounded, and that the shutdown wouldn't affect the safety of the State of the Union address. FWIW, Secret Service agents and Homeland Security personnel are currently working without pay.

Four Americans Killed in Syria

Two U.S. service members, a defense contractor, and a Department of Defense civilian were killed in an explosion in the Syrian city of Manbij on Wednesday. The Americans were among the 19 total people killed, and ISIS has already claimed responsibility. According to The New York Times, the attack targeted an American military convoy while troops were inside a nearby restarant they're known to frequent. The bombing was at least the sixth major attack by the Islamic State in less than a month, one U.S. official said. 

Just a few weeks ago, Trump declared that the U.S. had defeated ISIS and ordered that the 2,000 American troops in Syria be withdrawn. South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said on Wednesday that Trump's withdrawal "set in motion enthusiasm by the enemy we're fighting." He also compared Syria's current state to Iraq's former. 

Vice President Mike Pence, however, insisted that ISIS has still been defeated. "Thanks to the courage of our armed forces, we have crushed the ISIS caliphate and devastated its capabilities," he said in a statement. "As we begin to bring our troops home, the American people can be assured, for the sake of our soldiers, their families and our nation, we will never allow the remnants of ISIS to re-establish their evil and murderous caliphate — not now, not ever."

Georgia Man Arrested for Allegedly Plotting to Attack White House

A 21-year-old Atlanta man was arrested by federal authorities on Wednesday after allegedly plotting to attack numerous prominent locations throughout Washington, D.C. — the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and a synagogue — including the White House. Hasher Jallal Taheb reportedly obtained explosives, rifles, and rockets.

According to a criminal complaint, Taheb's plan was to "blow a hole" in the White House before entering the building with semi-automatic rifles. He apparently saw the plot as a "martyrdom operation." CNN reported that he expected two other people, who turned out to be an FBI undercover agent an an FBI confidential source, would help him with the attack.

His next appearance in court is scheduled for January 24.

What to look for...

A cheat day, perhaps? Today is January 17 — otherwise known as Ditch New Year's Resolution Day.

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