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The Trump administration has offered the job of White House national security adviser, vacated by former U.S. intelligence official Michael Flynn, to Vice Admiral Robert Harward, said two U.S. officials familiar with the matter on Wednesday. It was not immediately clear if Harward, a former deputy commander of U.S. Central Command who has Navy SEAL combat experience, had accepted the offer, according to sources.
By Steve Holland and Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senior Republicans issued their boldest challenge yet to U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday, promising to get to the bottom of the relationship between his aides and Russia, and calling for ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn to testify before Congress. Trump, facing a deepening crisis less than a month into his presidency, sought to focus the attention on what he called criminal intelligence leaks, calling Flynn a "wonderful man" who had been unfairly treated by the media. Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and other senators in Trump's party pushed for more information as the White House becomes engulfed by questions about contacts between Trump's team and Russia.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday assailed what he said were illegal and "criminal" leaks from U.S. intelligence agencies in the controversy over contacts with Russian officials that forced his national security adviser Michael Flynn to resign.
The Trump administration on Wednesday proposed changes to the Obamacare individual insurance market that insurers welcomed as a good start but that others pointed out could raise out-of-pocket cost for consumers. President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans have promised to scrap the 2010 healthcare law that is a key legacy of Democrat Barack Obama's presidency.
The number of hate groups in the United States rose for a second consecutive year (from 892 in 2015 to 917 in 2016), according to a new report from The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which cited Donald Trumpâs presidential campaign as one reason for the spike in activity among the radical right.
With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his side, President Trump on Wednesday dropped the decades-old U.S. position that Middle East peace requires the creation of a viable Palestinian state. The unpredictable commander in chief also watered down campaign-trail pledges to move Americaâs embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and dismantle the Iran nuclear deal.
Puzder departs after a meeting with Trump at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Nov. 19, 2016. Andy Puzder, President Trumpâs nominee for secretary of labor, is expected to withdraw his name from consideration, NBC News, Fox News and CNN reported Wednesday afternoon. Puzderâs reported withdrawal comes a day after his Senate confirmation hearing was set to begin.
President Trump on Wednesday denounced âcriminalâ leaks of classified secrets and what he called the âvery, very unfairâ news mediaâs treatment of ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn, a day after the White House said the mercurial retired general had to go because he misled colleagues and lost his unpredictable bossâs trust. âI think itâs very, very unfair whatâs happened to General Flynn, the way he was treated and the documents and papers that were illegally â I stress that, illegally â leaked,â Trump said at a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The president praised Flynn as âa wonderful manâ targeted by âthe fake media,â and he condemned leaks of information showing that the former Army general misled top officials including Vice President Mike Pence about potentially improper contacts with a top Russian diplomat.
âWe are going to have peace in this country,â said the president in a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Trump then turned to highlight his daughter Ivanka Trump, who converted to Judaism when she married Jared Kushner, now a White House adviser. âI think one of the reasons I won the election is we have a very, very divided nation â very divided.
A Russian spy ship is now 30 miles south of New London, Connecticut, where a U.S. Navy submarine base is located. The Viktor Leonov, a Russian intelligence gathering ship, had been making its way north along the East Coast of the United States. U.S. officials have said that the spy ship was likely headed to a location near Connecticut in international waters where it could be close to the submarine base in New London.
Questions continue to swirl in the wake of Michael Flynn's resignation as national security adviser, including which White House officials knew -- and when -- about Flynn's calls with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during the Trump administration transition. According to White House press secretary Sean Spicer, President Trump was informed of the Justice Department's findings in a briefing from his White House counsel on Jan. 26. Flynn wrote in his resignation letter that he "inadvertently briefed the Vice President-elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador," but questions about the legality of the calls remain at large.
Consumer groups are bracing for a more pro-industry approach to safety, fearful that strides made in the name of product safety will be rolled back, as Republicans take the helm of the nationâs key consumer safety agency. The Trump Administration last week elevated Ann Marie Buerkle, a Republican appointed to the commission in 2013, to the post of acting chairman. Buerkle replaces outgoing chair Elliot Kaye, a Democrat who stared down industry groups during the nearly three years he was in the position, calling out businesses for not being proactive enough on safety.
In statement, Andrew Puzder says he's withdrawing his nomination for labor secretary
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) â Gov. Bruce Rauner gave more specifics Wednesday on what steps he'd accept to end the state's nearly two-year budget stalemate, telling lawmakers he's open to raising taxes on services such as car repairs or haircuts but not on food, medicine or retirement income.
WASHINGTON (AP) â President Donald Trump's choice to run the White House budget office on Wednesday cleared a Senate hurdle, but at least two senior Republicans have voiced doubts about supporting him.
WASHINGTON (AP) â The number of anti-Muslim hate groups in the United States has nearly tripled since 2015, due in part to radical Islamic attacks and the incendiary rhetoric of last year's presidential campaign, the Southern Poverty Law Center said Wednesday in a new report.
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France on Wednesday issued a stern warning to Russia against meddling in its upcoming presidential elections, after US intelligence accused Moscow of interfering in America's vote to boost Donald Trump. "We will not accept any interference whatsoever in our electoral process, whether by Russia or any other state," said Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. The warning came as aides to one of the leading French candidates this week accused Russia of trying to derail his bid.
US President Donald Trump halted Washington's quest for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Wednesday, saying he would back a single state if it led to peace. The new president warmly welcomed Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House and hailed the "unbreakable" bond between their countries.
In often contentious testimony, lasting nearly four hours, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen defended the Fed's role in helping the US economy to rebuild after the worst crisis since the Great Depression, pointing to the solid job creation and growing incomes. "The economy is recovering from a very severe crisis," Yellen said, as one representative after another said that former president Barack Obama is the only US president since World War II not to see a single quarter during which there was three percent growth.
The UN Security Council on Wednesday demanded armed groups in the Central African Republic immediately halt fighting and join peace talks after UN airstrikes targeted rebel fighters. UN attack helicopters opened fire over the weekend on gunmen advancing on the central city of Bambari. UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous told the council there were about 300 fighters moving towards the city in pickup trucks mounted with machine guns.
The European Parliament on Wednesday adopted draft reforms of Europe's carbon market after 2021, a key step in reaching the bloc's climate change goals. The European Commission published its reform plans in July 2015 for the EU's Emissions Trading System (ETS), the world's largest. Ivo Belet, climate spokesman for the centre-right European People's party, said the "balanced" reforms would help the EU meet the Paris climate change targets, agreed at a landmark conference in December 2015.
An international mediator on Wednesday said Ukraine's warring sides had agreed to withdraw heavy weapons from the volatile frontline by February 20 in line with a tattered peace plan. Martin Sajdik, the lead negotiator from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on the crisis, said Ukraine, Russia and the eastern rebels agreed to the move after a fresh round of talks in Minsk, Russian and Belarussian news agencies reported. The Minsk agreement has been repeatedly violated by both sides as no progress has been made towards a political resolution of the conflict.
US Defence Secretary James Mattis bluntly warned NATO allies Wednesday that Donald Trump's administration would "moderate its commitment" to the transatlantic alliance unless members met their spending pledges. Mattis's no-nonsense message to his counterparts in Brussels follows years of calls by Washington for allies to spend at least two percent of their GDP on defence, a goal that only a handful meet despite agreeing on it at a summit in 2014. It packs extra weight as it comes after Trump has said US help for NATO members -- already worried by the threat from Russia in the east -- might depend on how much they have paid.
Ukraine on Wednesday announced a state of emergency for its energy sector that could result in rolling blackouts as officials try to sharply curtail electricity use by consumers. The decision was made at a cabinet meeting to work out a response to a two-week strike by ultranationalists who have blocked a railroad between the coal-producing eastern regions and the rest of Ukraine. Kiev has continued to buy a specific type of coal produced only in the Russian-backed separatist east that is needed to fuel the country's power plants.
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem saw her flagship trade deal with Canada approved by MEPs on Wednesday but she has plenty more challenges ahead. - Could national parliaments now reject the EU-Canada deal?
The European Parliament backed a contested EU-Canada free trade deal on Wednesday, facing down protests by activists and Donald Trump-inspired calls for protectionism. MEPs hailed the deal as a rare victory for an imperilled global trade system that is under threat from US President Trump who opposes far-reaching trade deals. The accord, known as CETA, is tipped as Europe's most modern ever and a possible model for relations with Britain after its leaves the EU.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday visited Kuwait as part of a lightning two-nation tour aimed at mending ties with Gulf neighbours strained by the conflicts in Syria and Yemen. Rouhani held talks with Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, who last month launched a dialogue with the Islamic republic to normalise Iran-Gulf relations. An official statement cited by the KUNA news agency said they discussed bolstering bilateral ties in all fields.
An influential US science advisory committee this week said genetic modification of human embryos should be allowed in the future to eliminate diseases, sparking new debate on this controversial topic. The report by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) caused concern among some researchers who fear that genetic tools could be used to boost certain people's intelligence or create people with particular physical traits. "Clinical trials for genome editing of the human germline - adding, removing or replacing DNA base pairs in gametes or early embryos - could be permitted in the future," said the report, released Tuesday.
Gay rights campaigners protested outside the Church of England's General Synod in London on Wednesday as Anglican bishops from around the world prepared to vote on a report ruling out accepting gay marriage. It does however, recommend "a fresh tone and culture of welcome and support" for the LGBT community. The issue has long strained ties within the estimated 85-million-strong Anglican Communion, which includes more liberal members such as the United States and Britain, and conservatives such as Nigeria and Kenya.
US immigration authorities arrested a Mexican man without residency papers even though he has special status protecting him from deportation, lawyers and the government said. Lawyers for Daniel Ramirez Medina said his arrest -- for the purpose of expulsion -- was a first among people included in the so-called DACA program protecting unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. The arrest also raises questions about the future of the estimated 750,000 immigrants who have filed for this special status since then-president Barack Obama introduced it with an executive order in 2012, the lawyers said.
A cloud of intrigue over ties with Moscow has hovered over President Donald Trump since US intelligence alleged the Russian government interfered with the presidential election last year against his opponent Hillary Clinton. On Monday, Trump's national security adviser Michael Flynn was forced to resign over his private conversations with a Russian diplomat, and on Wednesday the New York Times reported that Trump aides and associates had "repeated" calls with senior Russian intelligence officials during the election campaign.
President Donald Trump hailed the United States' "unbreakable" bond with Israel on Wednesday and promised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Iran would never be permitted to build a nuclear weapon. Trump's vow was designed to address Israeli concerns over the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, which Netanyahu has warned expires too soon to permanently remove the threat.