Dec 29, 2017

Jim Mattis didn't visit U.S. troops for the holidays

Defense Secretary James Mattis at a news conference in August 2017 at the State Department in Washington. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin / AP

"For only the second time since 9/11, America's defense secretary didn't visit U.S. troops in a war zone during December, breaking a long-standing tradition of personally and publicly thanking service members in combat who are separated from their families during the holiday season," per the AP.

When asked why he wasn't going to Iraq or Afghanistan, Mattis told the AP said he didn't want to discuss his travel.

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Supreme Court to hear Philadelphia case over same-sex foster parents

Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear a high-profile case that could reshape the bounds of First Amendment protections for religion.

Why it matters: The direct question in this case is whether Philadelphia had the right to cancel a contract with an adoption agency that refused to place foster children with same-sex couples. It also poses bigger questions that could lead the court to overturn a key precedent and carve out new protections for religious organizations.

Situational awareness

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at the Taj Mahal. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Why Apple may move to open iOS

Photo illustration: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Apple may finally allow iPhone owners to set email or browsing apps other than Apple's own as their preferred defaults, according to a Bloomberg report from last week.

The big picture: Customers have long clamored for the ability to choose their preferred apps, and now Apple, like other big tech companies, finds itself under increased scrutiny over anything perceived as anticompetitive.