The Daily Populous

Monday December 24th, 2018 morning edition

image for Trump, Angry Over Mattis’s Rebuke, Removes Him 2 Months Early

WASHINGTON — Less than two hours after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis went to the White House on Thursday to hand a resignation letter to President Trump, the president stood in the Oval Office and dictated a glowing tweet announcing that Mr. Mattis was retiring “with distinction” at the end of February.

But Mr. Trump had not read the letter.

As became apparent to the president only after days of news coverage, a senior administration official said, Mr. Mattis had issued a stinging rebuke of Mr. Trump over his neglect of allies and tolerance of authoritarians.

The president grew increasingly angry as he watched a parade of defense analysts go on television to extol Mr. Mattis’s bravery, another aide said, until he decided on Sunday that he had had enough.

In a tweet later that morning, the president announced that he was removing Mr. Mattis from his post by Jan. 1, two months before the defense secretary had planned to depart.

Mr. Trump said that Patrick M. Shanahan, Mr. Mattis’s deputy and a former Boeing executive, would serve as the acting defense secretary, praising him as “very talented” and adding that “he will be great!”.

Mr. Trump’s sudden announcement that he was firing a man who had already quit was the exclamation point to a tumultuous week at the Pentagon, where officials have been reeling from day after day of presidential tweets announcing changes in American military policy. »

Turkey masses troops near Kurdish-held Syrian town

Authored by

Turkey is massing troops near a town in northern Syria held by a U.S.-backed and Kurdish-led force, a war monitor said as Turkish media reported Sunday new reinforcements crossing the borders.

Turkey already has troops in northwestern Syria and has backed Syrian fighters there to clear towns and villages of IS militants and Kurdish fighters.

Youssef Hammoud, spokesman for the Syrian opposition fighters, accused the Kurdish militia of reaching out to the Syrian government to replace U.S. troops if they withdraw. »

Man whose wife has cancer gets help to pay bills by winning $100K lottery prize

Authored by

Man whose wife has cancer gets help to pay bills by winning $100K lottery prize.

The Marine veteran claimed a $100,000 prize on Dec. 16, taking home more than $70,000, according to the North Carolina Education Lottery.

The security guard, whose wife has been undergoing chemotherapy, will use the money primarily to pay bills, WJZY-TV reported. »

Study: Teen smoking rates dropped after Washington legalized marijuana

Authored by

A new study indicates the teen smoking rate in Washington declined after the state legalized cannabis.

SATURDAY, Dec. 22, 2018 -- Contrary to predictions, teen marijuana use declined in Washington state after recreational pot was legalized in 2012, a new study finds.

In 10th grade, pot use declined from nearly 20 percent to less than 18 percent. »

Someone is trying to take entire countries offline and cybersecurity experts say 'it's a matter of time because it's really easy'

Authored by

The hackers we really ought to be worrying about are the ones trying take entire countries offline.

People who are trying to take down the internet, switch the lights off, cut the water supply, disable railways, or blow up factories.

"You can have a team of five people sitting in a basement and be just as devastating as WMDs," he said. »