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AP – The Trump administration, which abruptly announced in December that it was pulling out of Syria, said Thursday that it will keep 200 U.S. troops in the country for now.

“A small peace keeping group of about 200 will remain in Syria for period of time,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a one-sentence statement.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who had harshly criticized Trump’s decision to pull U.S. forces out of Syria, applauded the president’s decision to leave a few hundred as part of an “international stabilizing force.”

Jussie Smollett apologizes to the ‘Empire’ cast and crew but insists that he’s innocent

Thursday night, actor Jussie Smollett called the cast and crew of the television show “Empire” together for a meeting. According to CNN, citing an unnamed person who attended the meeting , the cast and crew were expecting the actor to come clean about what really happened.

Smollett did apologize to his coworkers for any embarrassment they might have felt since the story began.

But then, to the shock and dismay of the person who attended the meeting, Smollett stuck to his story of innocence. For the most part, the source said, he paraphrased what was in the statement that his attorney put out that afternoon, blaming the legal system and the media for his woes.

Nike’s New Kaepernick Jersey Sells Out in Hours

A new jersey celebrating NFL quarterback-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick sold out hours after it was put on sale, Nike confirmed.

Kaepernick himself posted an image on Instagram late Wednesday, the same day the black jersey with his old number 7 went on sale.

“The Nike Kaepernick Icon Jersey is out of stock! Thank you to everyone that took the time out of their day to pick one up. I am humbled and appreciate all your continued support. Check the link in the bio to be notified for the next drop!” Kaepernick wrote.

Florida Mayor Arrested After Firing at SWAT Team

WTSP – A Florida mayor fired upon police as they raided his home early Thursday morning before he was taken into custody.

Port Richey Mayor Dale Massad fired two shots at Pasco County deputies as they busted through his door to arrest him on charges of practicing medicine without a license. None of the officers were hit and they did not return fire.

SpaceX Rocket Launched Carrying Israel’s First Lunar Lander

AP – A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Florida on Thursday night carrying Israel’s first lunar lander on a mission that if successful will make the Jewish state only the fourth nation to ever to achieve a controlled touchdown on the moon’s surface.The unmanned robotic lander dubbed Beresheet – Hebrew for the biblical phrase “in the beginning” – soared into space from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at about 8:45 p.m. EST (0145 GMT Friday) atop the 23-story-tall rocket.

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