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Trump misleads about military pay raises again:

President Donald Trump incorrectly told troops in Iraq on Wednesday that he gave them their first pay raise in more than 10 years — a falsehood he has repeatedly told.

Speaking to troops at Al Asad Air Base during his surprise visit to Iraq, Trump told troops: “You protect us. We are always going to protect you. And you just saw that, ’cause you just got one of the biggest pay raises you’ve ever received. … You haven’t gotten one in more than 10 years. More than 10 years. And we got you a big one. I got you a big one. I got you a big one.”

In fact, military pay has increased every year for more than three decades. It was raised 2.4% in 2018 and then 2.6% in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act. The 2.6% pay raise is the largest in the past 9 years

No signs of a deal to end partial government shutdown:

Talks to reopen parts of the government appeared at a standstill Wednesday night, with negotiators making little progress and President Donald Trump vowing to do “whatever it takes” to get new funds for a border wall.

Capitol Hill remained quiet over the Christmas break, and while both chambers of Congress are expected to gavel in on Thursday, there are no votes scheduled and no signs yet that lawmakers will return to Washington this week.
Asked Wednesday how long he believes the partial shutdown will last, the President held firm on his position.
“Whatever it takes,” Trump said. “I mean, we’re gonna have a wall. We’re gonna have safety. We need safety for our country.

Tom Brady on His Future: ‘I Absolutely Believe I Will’ Play in 2019 and Beyond:

Tom Brady is going to retire eventually, but he doesn’t plan on doing so after the 2018 season.

“I absolutely believe I will [return in 2019],” he said on Westwood One Sports, per Mike Reiss of “I know I’ve talked about it for a long time. I have goals to play not only next year, but beyond that. I’m going to try to do as best I possibly can.”

“It will certainly be a challenge,” he added, per Reiss. “I don’t take any of these things for granted, but I hope I can keep playing, and I hope I can keep playing at a championship level.”

Severe weather forces cancellation of First Responder Bowl game:

A series of lightning strikes from a powerful storm in Dallas forced the cancellation the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl between No. 23 Boise State and Boston College.

Boston College was leading 7-0 with 5:08 remaining in the first quarter when lighting struck near the historic Cotton Bowl. A game delay turned into a cancellation nearly an hour and a half later, after more lightning and the threat of more severe weather.
The game was officially declared a no contest. It’s the first bowl game in history to be canceled because of inclement weather, organizers said on the bowl’s website.

One city’s answer to vaping by teens: Restrict e-cigarettes to adult-only stores:

Attempting to beat back the rise of vaping among teens, the city of Somerville, Massachusetts, voted this month to limit e-cigarettes and menthol cigarettes to the shelves of tobacco stores open only to customers 21 and older.

This comes on the heels of Massachusetts raising the legal age for tobacco purchases from 18 to 21, which goes into effect on December 31.

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