January 13: U. S. Government Shutdown, which began December 22, is now the longest in U. S. history at 21 days.  The Democrats do not appear to be willing to give Pres. Trump the concession of the border wall and neither is the president yielding.

Jan. 5: U. S. Government SHUTDOWN reached 2 weeks (day 14). Donald Trump is the first president to have a government shutdown during two different Congresses (115th & 116th which started Jan. 3). President Gerald Ford by a veto allowed the government to shut down 10 days from September 30, 1976.

Pres. Jimmy Carter allowed a shutdown for 12 days from September 30, 1977; and allowed 2 more shutdowns in 1977; 1 in 1978 and 1 in 1979 (total 5 shutdowns for 57 days).  President Ronald Reagan had and or allowed eight (8) shutdowns during his 8 years; six were from 1981 to 1984 and the other two were in 1986 and 1987. Yet in total they were for 14 days. President George H. W. Bush only had one shutdown in 1990 for 3 days.

President Clinton had 2 shutdowns – 1995 and 1996 for 5 and 21 days; and Obama had one for 16 days in 2013. Trump had 2 other shutdowns for a total of 4 days in January and February of 2018. This shutdown started December 22, 2018 and is the 21st since Congress changed budget procedures in 1976. Some estimate that a shutdown could cost the U. S. over $ 1 billion per day; and affect hundreds of thousands of federal workers.   Though requested funding for the BORDER WALL is the chief reason for this one; it should be noted that the government is still about $21 trillion in debt and would shut down every year without raises in the debt ceiling.

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January 1: Syrian Civil War has been going on for more than 7 years and 9 months.   Bashar al-Assad was elected President of Syria July 17, 2000 and has held the office for the past decade as a dictator which led to the 2011 Arab Spring (protests and uprisings).  After bombing his own people with Russian weapons and support, and after pressure from Turkey for the U.S. to pull out in 2019, the Syrian Armed Forces now control about 62% of Syria and about 10% is controlled by Turkey and groups like al-Qaeda in Syria; while the Syrian Democratic Forces (most Kurdish) still hold almost 27% of Syria.  ISIS/ISIL has been defeated in Syria and controls less than .5% of the country.

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January 1: Russia successfully tested their Avangard (Hypersonic Glide Vehicle; former the Yu-71) December 26, 2018.  The following day, Deputy PM Yuri Borisov stated at up to 27 times the speed of sound, the system ‘essentially makes missile defenses useless.’  The missile launched from the Dombarovkiy ICBM Site hit its target about 3,700 miles away in Kamchatka.  The first reported successful test was in October 2016; but it was not until March 2018 that President Vladimir Putin announced to their Federal Assembly that the weapon testing was complete and the system (powered by a scramjet engine) was ready for production (by Votkinsk Machine).

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