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The Weekly National News Roundup | Shlomo Rudman

Democrats Launch Investigation Into Trump Firing – Senate and House Democrats announced an investigation into President Trump’s firing of State Department Inspector Steve Linick. Trump announced the firing on Twitter late Friday night and sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying he had lost his confidence in Linick’s ability to perform his duties, although he gave no specifics. Democrats allege that Obama-appointee Linick’s firing was an act of retaliation for opening investigations into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Linick was in the midst of investigating Pompeo for having staffers perform personal tasks for him, and for throwing taxpayer-funded parties that benefitted Pompeo politically. The investigation is being led in the House by Rep. Eliot Engel of New York and in the Senate by Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey.

Trump Deems House of Worship Essential – President Trump on Friday said that he is deeming houses of worship, including churches, synagogues, and mosques, as essential and demanded that governors must reopen them immediately. President Trump said that if governors do not follow his orders, he will use his executive authority to override them.

Promising Results In Coronavirus Vaccine Trial – Pharmaceutical company Moderna says that early-stage trials of a Covid-19 vaccine they are developing has shown promising results. A small trial of the vaccine showed that recipients developed antibodies that effectively neutralized the virus and was well-tolerated by the body, raising hopes that the vaccine could be used to end the continued damage done by the virus. President Trump said that he would use every plane, truck, and soldier to distribute a vaccine when one becomes available. The push to get a vaccine is being called Operation Warp Speed, with the goal of having 300 million coronavirus vaccines to be available by January.

Trump Taking Hydroxychloroquine – President Trump told reporters this week that he is prophylactically taking hydroxychloroquine, the controversial drug that he has touted to treat Covid-19 infections. President Trump said he received a letter from Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, who said that he has successfully treated hundreds of patients who were in the early stages of coronavirus infection. Trump said that he has been taking hydroxychloroquine for about two weeks with no ill effects.

Naval Base Shooter Has al-Qaeda Contacts – The FBI announced this week that they had broken into the iPhone of a Saudi Arabian military student who went on a shooting rampage on December 6th at a naval base in Pensacola, Florida, killing 3 Navy servicemen. The shooter, Mohammed Sayeed al-Shamrani, was a Saudi Arabian Royal Air Force trainee, and the contents of his phone showed that he had deep links to al-Qaeda operatives. Al-Shamrani was killed by law enforcement officers as he carried out his attack. The FBI said they had not received any help from Apple in cracking open the contents of the iPhone, forcing FBI technicians to devise a solution.

Amash Not Running – Independent Michigan Representative Justin Amash said that he would not be mounting a third-party bid for president, a month after saying he was seriously considering it. Amash, a former Republican who left the party after voting in favor of impeaching President Trump, said that the current political environment is simply too polarized to make a third-party bid viable, but that the political climate is ripe for a Libertarian-type party to make political headway.

Space Force Blast-Off – The US Space Force blasted off an unmanned Boeing X-37B ship into space this week. The X-37B, a reusable spacecraft, is able to conduct various scientific and military experiments, although the purpose of this particular mission remains classified. All we know is that this mission is meant to help ensure that the US keeps a competitive edge against its rivals in the space frontier. The official flag of the US Space Force was revealed at the White House last Friday.

Rubio Now Intel Committee Chair – Florida Senator Marco Rubio became the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee this week after Senator Richard Burr stepped down from the position. Senator Burr is being investigated by the FBI for stock trades he made prior to the coronavirus outbreak which makes him appear to have been involved in insider trading.

Michigan Dams Break – Over 10,000 people were evacuated in Midland, Michigan after dams holding back the Tittbawasee River were breached. The broken dams were given unsatisfactory ratings in 2018, and over 90% of Michigan dams are in danger of causing widespread damage if breached.

GDP Rocked By Coronavirus – The coronavirus pandemic, and the subsequent lockdowns, are believed to be taking a massive toll on the US economy. A forecast released this week shows the US economy shrinking in Q2 by an unprecedented 42.8%, as trillions of dollars in economic output is wiped out. The US GDP contracted by 4.8% in Q1, but economists believe that the economy will bounce back in Q3 as lockdowns are lifted and consumers begin spending again.

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