From the current closure of the government to foreign policy changes in the Middle East, the US week has been busy. Here are some of the biggest stories you may have missed (and some links if you want to read more).


The partial shutdown of the government entered its 22nd day, making it the longest in American history.

In private, many Republicans say the stalemate over the border has been compounded exponentially by the incompetence of the White House on Capitol Hill. On Friday, the president made the decision not to declare a national emergency under pressure from congressional Republicans, but no issue is still in sight.

On Tuesday night, President Trump used his first speech in prime time oval office – a speech filled with misleading claims – to lobby Congress so he pays for the border wall that He had promised for a long time.

Other links between Mr Trump's circle and Russian officials appeared this week. A format error by Paul Manafort's lawyer revealed that Mr. Manafort, a former Trump campaigner, had shared survey data with a man linked to Russian intelligence services.

Democrats in the House have summoned Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for a confidential briefing on the government's plans to end the sanctions imposed on companies linked to a Russian oligarch, Oleg V. Deripaska. Mr Mnuchin told lawmakers that the White House had not played any formal role in the decision. He then indicated that he would consider postponing the lifting of sanctions so that Congress skeptics could have more time to consider it.

Additional reading

Prosecutors examining the Ukrainians who flocked for the inauguration of Trump

Supreme Court dismisses secret case that could be part of Mueller's investigation

Democrats launch an investigation, but slowly

President Trump's national security advisor, John R. Bolton, seemed to be backtracking on Trump's decision to retreat quickly from Syria on Sunday, laying the groundwork for a withdrawal that could leave forces behind. American for months, even years. Mr. Bolton – who was confused after Trump's announcement – is at least partly responsible for the conditions that led to the sudden decision of the president.

The president's withdrawal plan fell into disarray on Tuesday after the Turkish leader rejected Bolton, angrily rejecting his demand that Turkey agree to protect Kurdish allies from America.

Regardless of the turmoil, the US military began withdrawing equipment (but not yet troops) from Syria on Friday.

Additional reading

Pompeo's speech exposes his vision for the Middle East, taking blows against Obama

Trump and Pompeo embrace autocrats and dismiss their opponents at home

As the United States leaves Syria, the Middle East faces the post-American era

Michael D. Cohen, former personal advocate of President Trump, who has implicated him in a hidden money scheme, will appear before Congress next month to present what he called "a complete and credible account" of his on behalf of Mr. Trump.

The emboldened House Democrats, seeking a policy debate on gun control, unveiled a bill to expand background checks to almost all firearms purchases.

The federal budget deficit is expected to reach $ 1 trillion in fiscal 2019, as Trump's tariff revenues do not offset the losses from his corporate tax cuts.

A federal court rejected Trump's first major effort to reduce payments for prescription drugs, saying the administration far exceeded its legal powers.

Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who has the reputation of sometimes breaking with the line of the Democratic Party, announced Friday that she would run for president.

Senator Bernie Sanders apologized to women during her 2016 presidential campaign after a series of reports revealing ill-treatment of female staff members.

Gavin Newsom was sworn in as California's new governor, ending the Jerry Brown era and promising to focus on the economic disparities that have affected the state.

Former Florida criminals began signing up to vote after approval in November of a historic voting measure that restored the voting rights of one million and more. half of people.


Today's policy briefing was written by Isabella Grullón Paz in New York.

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