A major ISIS city has been recaptured by U.S.-backed forces and President Donald Trump is facing backlash for some controversial comments. Meanwhile, more information has been released on the upcoming Han Solo Star Wars spinoff film. 

Check out the biggest national headlines from the past week.

ISIS capital city falls to US-backed forces

Another of the Islamic State’s largest strongholds has fallen.

The Syrian Democratic Forces, an American-backed militia group composed of Syrian Kurds and Arabs, confirmed Tuesday that the Syrian city of Raqqa has been re-captured, according to The New York Times. 

The location, which served as one of the Islamic State’s de-facto capitals for a nearly 3 years, is finally free of oppressive ISIS militants who allegedly beheaded civilians for offenses as minor as smoking.

Syrian Democratic Forces spokesperson and Brigadier General Talal Sillo said the liberation of Raqqa represents a major symbolic victory for the US and its allies. Sillo hailed the seize as “the fall of the capital of terrorism,” according to Fox News. 

With the capture of Raqqa, two of ISIS’s largest and most important cities have fallen. At its height in 2014, ISIS controlled both Raqqa and Mosul, Iraq. Mosul was re-captured by Iraqi government force in June. 

Trump criticized for comments toward other presidents’ responses to deceased soldiers

President Donald Trump is facing criticism after suggesting during a speech Monday that former presidents did not call the families of deceased soldiers.

Trump commented about his response to the recent ambush attacks in Niger that left four US soldiers dead and two wounded.

“The traditional way if you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls, a lot of them didn’t make calls,” Trump said. “I like to call when it's appropriate, when I think I’m able to do it. They have made the ultimate sacrifice so generally I would say that I like to call.”

Criticism towards Trump intensified after Democratic Representative Frederica Wilson of Florida claimed the president showed disrespect toward the family member of Sgt. La David Thompson, a soldier killed during the ambush.

Wilson said Trump told Thompson’s widow “he knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurt,” according to CNN.

Trump responded on Twitter, calling the statement “totally fabricated,” and saying that he has “proof.”


White House Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday the president “was completely respectful, very sincere.”

Han Solo spinoff gets a name, will be released in 2018

More information has been released about the upcoming Star Wars spinoff movie.

Solo: A Star Wars Story will serve as a prequel-spinoff to the original Star Wars trilogy and will focus on the early days of a young Han Solo. The film is set to be released May 25, 2018.

Alden Ehrenreich will star as Han Solo with Donald Glover and Joonas Suotamo portraying Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca, respectively.

Solo will be the second in the Star Wars anthology series after Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. A third anthology film will be released in 2020.

Cavs take down Celtics, Irving in NBA opener

The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Boston Celtics 102-99 in the NBA’s opening game of the 2017-2018 season.

Lebron James led both teams in points (29) and rebounds (16) in addition to 9 assists. Kevin Love hit a game-winning 3-point shot with 46.3 left to bring the Cavs to 1-0. 

The game marked Kyrie Irving’s return to Cleveland following the high-profile trade that sent Irving to Boston in exchange for Isiah Thomas and Jae Crowder. Irving requested a trade after reports surfaced that he was unhappy in Cleveland. 

In the first quarter, Celtics forward Gordon Hayward suffered a nasty leg injury and was subsequently sent to the hospital. His first season in Boston has already come to an end, according to his agent. 

Later in the night, the Houston Rockets defeated the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors 122-121.

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