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“Let me be clear: America will not retreat until the terror fight is over.”

Sec. of State Mike Pompeo delivering a speech in Cairo, Egypt. He emphasized America is a "force for good" in the Middle East. He reiterated America's dedication to continuing the fight against ISIS and other terror groups despite Pres. Trump's assertion that U.S. troops will withdraw from Syria. On Friday, a military spokesman said “the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria” has begun.
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“We can declare a national emergency. We shouldn’t have to because this is common sense.”

Pres. Trump speaking at the U.S. Southern Border Thursday. The White House is reportedly eyeing $14B in leftover funding for the Army Corps of Engineers to fund a border security pkg if the President declares a National Emergency; Democrats would likely challenge such a declaration.
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“Lower mortgage rates combined with continued income growth and lower energy prices are all positive indicators for consumers that should lead to a firming of home sales.”

Sam Khater, chief economist at Freddie Mac, on mortgage rates hitting a 9-month low this week at 4.45% for a 30-year fixed loan. Mortgage rates are *slightly* higher than a year ago at the same time, but still historically low. When mortgage rates increase, house buying & refinancing slows.
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“The traditional department stores’ days are numbered unless they change radically.”

Craig Johnson, Pres. of Customer Growth Partners, a retail consulting firm. Holiday sales results show Macy's & Kohl's had disappointing results, while other large retailers like Costco & Target did well; Target is on track to post its best sales growth in more than a decade.
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“I haven’t seen the show, actually. There are many, many episodes I haven’t seen.”

Actress Edie Falco reflecting about her role on "The Sopranos" as the 20th anniversary of the show's premiere was celebrated this week by the cast, minus James Gandolfini, who died of a heart attack in 2013.
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