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Here's what you missed this weekend: The US government shut down, another top US military official left over a rift with Trump, and a tsunami devastated Indonesia

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  • The biggest news this weekend was about the partial US government shutdown.
  • President Donald Trump also announced Defense Secretary James Mattis will leave his position by New Year’s.
  • Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin called top bankers on Sunday following a tumultuous month for US markets.
  • A tsunami hit Indonesia, killing over 200 people and injuring at least 800.
  • Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg announced he’s going to Harvard University next year.

The weekend before Christmas was eventful in Washington, with the US government entering a partial shutdown after President Donald Trump couldn’t reach a deal with Congress to pass a spending bill. He demanded billions to fund the wall he wants along the US-Mexico border.

Here are the news stories you may have missed this weekend, December 22-23.

The US government shut down at midnight EST on Friday.

  • Trump says he’s working with Democrats during the government shutdown, but his border security meeting only included Republicans.
  • Trump’s incoming chief of staff Mick Mulvaney says Mexico won’t “technically” pay for a border wall: “You and I both know that it cannot work exactly like that.”
  • Mulvaney also said it’s “possible” that the shutdown would stretch into 2019, and accused Congressional Democrats of dragging their feet on the government shutdown.
  • Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina praised Trump’s refusal to compromise over border wall funding: “Mr. President, dig in.”
  • Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie compared Trump to “a 72-year-old relative” who always thinks they’re right, advising Mulvaney keep his expectations in check as he takes over as chief of staff.
  • Luckily, kids can still track Santa’s progress on Christmas Eve using the US military’s NORAD Santa Tracker despite the shutdown.

After Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced he was resigning, Trump fast-tracked his end date.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ last day in the White House has been bumped up from February 28 to January 1, Trump tweeted Sunday.
  • Patrick Shanahan, Mattis’ deputy, will take over as the acting defense chief. The former Boeing executive is nicknamed “Mr. Fix-It”.
  • And after an incredible career of service, people who served alongside him shared what Mattis is really like.

Top US official leading fight against ISIS resigns with scathing letter calling Trump’s Syria troop withdrawal a “complete reversal” of US policy.

  • Brett McGurk, the top US official leading the coalition fight against ISIS, resigned on Friday in protest of Trump’s sudden decision to withdraw all US troops from Syria.
  • McGurk told staff in an email that Trump’s move came as a “shock” and a “complete reversal” of US policy.
  • “It left our coalition partners confused and our fighting partners bewildered,” McGurk wrote in the email, which The New York Times’ Rukmini Callimachi reported brought some staffers to tears.
  • McGurk, the special presidential envoy, was planning to retire in February, but sped up his departure as a result of the president’s controversial and unexpected decision to pull all 2,000 US troops out of the war-torn Middle Eastern nation, CBS News reported on Saturday.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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