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Developing now, Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018

  • Trump makes surprise visit to Iraq,  defends Syria pullout plan
  • Dow sees biggest single-day gain in history as Wall Street rebounds from Christmas Eve drop
  • Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen asks federal disease-control authorities to examine ‘uptick’ in sick children crossing into U.S.


THE LEAD STORY – TRUMP FLIES TO IRAQ, TELLS U.S. TROOPS ‘WE’RE RESPECTED AGAIN AS A NATION’: After a secret 11-hour journey aboard Air Force One, President Trump arrived in Iraq on the day after Christmas in a show of support for the U.S. troops stationed there. The president also took the opportunity to inform U.S. service personnel about his recent decision to pull American forces out of Syria.

Trump – who was accompanied on the trip by first lady Melania Trump -- said the U.S. mission in Syria was to strip the Islamic State terror group (ISIS) of its military strongholds, not to be a nation builder. He said that's a job that should be shouldered by other rich nations — reiterating his America First policies and an ideology that challenges America's roles as global cop.

"I made it clear from the beginning that our mission in Syria was to strip ISIS of its military strongholds," Trump told troops at Al Asad Air Base, west of Baghdad.

The president said the U.S. presence in Syria was never to be "open-ended," and that Turkey has agreed to eliminate ISIS remnants. - Reported by Travis Fedschun and Frank Miles

DOW SOARS ON RECORD-SETTING TRADING DAY: For the first time in history, the Dow Jones industrial average gained more than 1,000 points in a single day of trading Wednesday, as all three major indexes set single-day records.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 climbed more than 100 points, or about 5 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose more than 360 points or nearly 6 percent.

Stocks had taken a beating recently on lingering worries about the economy and caution over persisting political uncertainties, as a partial federal government shutdown lingers and President Trump's continues his hostile stance toward the Federal Reserve. - Reported by Ken Martin

‘PROTECTIVE MEASURES’ PLANNED FOR MIGRANT CHILDREN AT BORDER CROSSINGS: Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told FOX News that she has asked the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate what she said is an “uptick in sick children crossing our borders.”

She also wants the U.S. Coast Guard to examine the medical programs offered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency that detained an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy who died in Border Patrol custody this week.

The U.S. government’s system for detaining migrants crossing the border has been under strain, with the U.S. seeing a sharp rise in families with children.

Nielsen said that because of “bad judicial rulings from activist judges and inaction by Congress, we are seeing a flood of family units and unaccompanied alien children.” - Reported by Frank Miles


‘VEHICLE FOR IMPEACHMENT FANTASIES’? - "The fact is the Mueller special counsel is a sign that our Justice Department is out of control and anti-Trump. It's not a sign that he's investigating anything substantive." – Tom Fitton, president, Judicial Watch, explaining his view that the Russia investigation exists largely to “harass the president,” during an appearance on “Fox & Friends First.” WATCH


Steve Carell box office bomb ‘Welcome to Marwen’ set to lose $60 million for Universal

First Responder Bowl’s cancellation over lightning zaps enthusiasm of Boise State, Boston College players, fans

Song ignites 200-person brawl at Virginia skating rink, witnesses say

Money manager stole nearly $40G from elderly clients, authorities say


US trade delegation to travel to China next month: Report

Commerce Department won't publish data during shutdown: Report

Amazon 'Digital Day' year-end promotion wraps up holiday shopping season

A look at what 2019 may bring to your finances

Verizon rips Disney for 'declining viewership' amid carriage spat


On FOX News: 

FOX & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: Guests include: Kevin Sabet, president and CEO of SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) against legalization; Jason Chaffetz, FOX News contributor, former GOP congressman from Utah, former chairman of the House Government and Oversight Committee, and author of “The Deep State”; Dr. Marc Siegel, FOX News medical team; Mark Steyn, author and cultural commentator; Gregg Jarrett, attorney, FOX News anchor and author of “The Russia Hoax.”

On FOX Business:

Mornings with Maria, at 6 a.m. ET: Herman Cain, former GOP presidential candidate; Lara Rhame, FS Investments chief U.S. economist; Jim McLaughlin, former pollster for Trump presidential campaign, and McLaughlin and Associates president and partner; Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., member of House Armed Services and House Oversight and Government Reform committees.

Varney & Co., at 9 a.m. ET: Teresa Goody, former Securities and Exchange Commission attorney; David Avella, Gopac chairman; Gerald Storch, former CEO, Hudson's Bay Co. and Toys R Us.

Cavuto: Coast to Coast, at Noon ET: Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla.

Countdown to the Closing Bell with Liz Claman, at 3 p.m. ET: Fred Bergsten, Peterson Institute senior fellow and director emeritus, member of President's Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.

On FOX News Radio:

The FOX News Rundown podcast: Just one day after President Trump's surprise visit to troops in Iraq, we discuss the Trump administration's approach to issues in the Middle East. FOX News' Trey Yingst joins us from Jerusalem. Then FOX's Dave Anthony takes a look back at one of his favorite interviews of the year, when he spoke with George Papadopoulos and his involvement in the Mueller investigation. Plus, commentary by Howard Kurtz, host of "Media Buzz" on the FOX News Channel and the Media BUZZMeter podcast.

Want the FOX News Rundown sent straight to your mobile device? Subscribe through Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, and Stitcher.

The Tom Shillue Show, 3 p.m. ET: The Amazing Kreskin, the world’s most renowned mentalist, joins Tom to discuss his incredible career, working with Tom Hanks and Johnny Carson, and what we can expect in 2019. Plus, veteran “Simpsons” writer Mike Reiss discusses the show's Apu controversy and his book, “Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets and Outright Lies From a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons.”

Connecticut police release thousands of pages from their investigation into the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 26 dead.
2001: Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld announces that Taliban and al-Qaida prisoners will be held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
1968: Apollo 8 and its three astronauts make a safe, nighttime splashdown in the Pacific.
1831: Naturalist Charles Darwin sets out on a round-the-world voyage aboard the HMS Beagle.

FOX News First is compiled by FOX News' Bryan Robinson. Thank you for joining us! We'll see you in your inbox first thing Friday morning!