WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

National Guard Contributes to U.S.-Egypt Strategic Partnership

(USA) DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 22:35
The Minnesota National Guard unit, the 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry Regiment was the multinational force’s lead military contingent. The Massachusetts National Guard unit, the 1st Battalion, 181st Infantry Regiment assumed the same role.

Not a calamity

BBC WORLD NEWS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 22:31
Not a warm meeting, but not a dire one - while Mr Obama has fun nearby.

Debt to the Penny for 05/24/2017

US TRESURY DEBT DAY-TO-DAY - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 22:15
Debt Held by the Public: 14,310,454,613,226.92
Intragovernmental Holdings: 5,535,491,198,487.41
Total Public Debt Outstanding: 19,845,945,811,714.33

UK bomber said to have told mother 'Forgive me' before blast

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 22:08
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Britons faced stepped-up security, authorities pushed forward with raids they said were uncovering key evidence and a trans-Atlantic rift opened Thursday in the aftermath of a deadly concert bombing. 2017-05-25T11:26:00-04:00 2017-05-25T15:26:37-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

UK police say potentially suspicious items found in Manchester hunt

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 22:02
LONDON (Reuters) - British police investigating the Manchester suicide bombing said on Thursday they had found potentially suspicious items at an address in the nearby town of Wigan and had evacuated houses in the area as a precaution.

Greek ex-prime minister hurt as letter bomb explodes in car

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 21:56
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Former Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos was injured after a letter bomb exploded inside his car in a central Athens on Thursday in an attack that also left two Bank of Greece employees wounded. 2017-05-25T11:47:00-04:00 2017-05-25T15:47:48-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

Russia, Philippines seek liberalization of trade between EAEU and ASEAN

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 21:53
Rodrigo Duterte paid an official visit to Russia at the invitation of the Russian leader on May 22-24

Gaza Palestinians: Hamas kills three 'collaborators'

BBC WORLD NEWS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 21:49
Three men are put to death in the Gaza Strip for the killing of a Hamas leader in March.

Brazil's Temer ends deployment of troops in capital in face of backlash

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 21:47
BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian President Michel Temer on Thursday removed federal troops from the streets of the nation's capital, a day after sending in the army to contain violent protests against his scandal-plagued government.

Macron to win absolute parliament majority next month, poll shows

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 21:44
PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron's party is set to win an absolute majority in parliament in legislative elections next month, a poll showed on Thursday, indicating the young leader may have enough support to carry out an ambitious reform agenda.

Norway Bank releases fishy music video

BBC WORLD NEWS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 21:30
Here's how Norway is celebrating its fishy new bank note.

Iraq investigating elite unit accused of human rights violations in Mosul campaign

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 21:26
A report alleges that troops have carried out torture, rape and extrajudicial killings in the battle.

Venezuela military defends protests role, backs Maduro congress

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 21:21
CARACAS (Reuters) - Decried by protesters as "murderers" defending a dictator, Venezuela's military insisted on Thursday it was not taking sides in the national political turmoil, though it did back socialist President Nicolas Maduro's controversial plan for a new congress.

ISIS-Planted Explosives Caused Civilian Deaths in Mosul Strike

(USA) DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 21:05
According to the results of a DoD investigation, secondary explosions of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-placed munitions were responsible for the deaths of 105 civilians in Mosul, Iraq, in March.

Researchers say they’ve uncovered a disinformation campaign with apparent Russian link

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 21:04
‘Tainted leaks’ turn authentic stolen documents into convincing forgeries.

Bomb disposal team used to search Wigan house in UK bomb investigation: BBC

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 21:03
LONDON (Reuters) - British police investigating the Manchester suicide bombing have brought in a bomb disposal team to search a property in nearby Wigan after a man was arrested in the town, the BBC reported on Thursday.

Rescuers save 2,300 migrants in Mediterranean, two die

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 20:55
ROME (Reuters) - Rescuers saved around 2,300 migrants from rubber and wooden boats in the central Mediterranean on Thursday, but also recovered two dead bodies, the Italian coastguard said.

Hezbollah says Saudi on path to more bloodshed in Iran struggle

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 20:55
BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Lebanese Shi'ite group Hezbollah said on Thursday Saudi Arabia was on a losing path to more bloodshed in its struggle with Iran and instead urged Riyadh to seek dialogue and negotiations with Tehran.

Canada's Trudeau seeks reset as agenda lags, rivals regroup

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 20:53
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks set to shuffle his cabinet and trigger a new session of Parliament to help refocus a flagging agenda in the run-up to an election in late 2019, say political insiders.

Letter bomb wounds Greek ex-prime minister in Athens

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 20:44
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A letter bomb exploded inside the car of former Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos in central Athens on Thursday, wounding him and two Bank of Greece employees, officials said. 2017-05-25T10:37:00-04:00 2017-05-25T14:37:59-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

2 smugglers who escaped US prison captured in Mexico

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 20:32
U.S. prosecutors say that authorities in Mexico City have captured two convicted cigarette smugglers who escaped a U.S. penitentiary in Virginia this month.

Russian Foreign Ministry: OPCW not rushing to investigate chemical incident in Syria

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 20:28
"It looks like no one is in a hurry to go to Khan Sheykhun for verification of the details," the ministry said

Marine Advisors Train Afghan Soldiers, Police

(USA) DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 20:19
Marine advisors with Task Force Southwest are advising, assisting and training their Afghan 505th Zone National Police counterparts during the first month of their deployment here in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

NATO leaders meet under intense Trump pressure on spending

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 20:14
BRUSSELS (AP) — Meeting fellow NATO leaders for the first time, President Donald Trump aggressively challenged them Thursday to spend more on their own defense, putting the alliance under exceptional pressure to become tougher, sharper and newly relevant. 2017-05-25T09:57:00-04:00 2017-05-25T13:57:48-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

Ten Nominations and One Withdrawal Sent to the Senate Today

THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS OFFICE - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 20:14

NOMINATIONS SENT TO THE SENATE:

Richard Ashooh, of New Hampshire, to be an Assistant Secretary of Commerce, vice Kevin Wolf, resigned.

J. Paul Compton, Jr., of Alabama, to be General Counsel of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, vice Helen R. Kanovsky, resigned.

Brett Giroir, of Texas, to be Medical Director in the Regular Corps of the Public Health Service, subject to the qualifications  therefor as provided by law and regulations, and to be an Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services, vice Howard K. Koh, resigned.

Robert R. Hood, of Georgia, to be an Assistant Secretary of Defense, vice Stephen C. Hedger.

David S. Jonas, of Virginia, to be General Counsel of the Department of Energy, vice Steven Croley, resigned.

Gilbert B. Kaplan, of the District of Columbia, to be Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, vice Stefan M. Selig, resigned.

Karen Dunn Kelley, of Pennsylvania, to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs, vice Mark Doms, resigned.

Heather L. MacDougall, of Florida, to be a Member of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission for a term expiring April 27, 2023.  (Reappointment)

Neal J. Rackleff, of Texas, to be an Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, vice Mercedes Marquez.

Michael Arthur Raynor, of Maryland, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.


WITHDRAWAL SENT TO THE SENATE:

James Donovan, of Virginia, to be Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, vice Sarah Bloom Raskin, which was sent to the Senate on May 16, 2017.

Exclusive: Signs of more trouble in Ivory Coast as hidden hand saves mutineers

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 20:10
ABIDJAN (Reuters) - When a rag-tag group of soldiers launched a mutiny in Ivory Coast earlier this month, it looked like they were doomed. A column of elite troops quickly descended to put the mutiny down. The rebels were running out of ammunition and the armories had been locked.

Juno peers below Jupiter's clouds

BBC WORLD NEWS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 20:09
Scientists say the Solar System's biggest planet is showing itself to be far more complex than anyone thought.

Hezbollah chief says dialogue with Iran is only way forward

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 20:04
The chief of Lebanon’s Hezbollah group is telling Saudi Arabia that dialogue with Iran is the only way forward, lashing out at the kingdom’s lavish royal welcome of U.S. president Donald Trump.

Putin, Duterte agree to develop military-technical cooperation

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 20:03
The presidents of Russia and the Philippines have agreed to step up joint efforts aimed at counteraction to the global threats

The Latest: May vents leak concerns to Trump at NATO summit

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 20:00
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — The Latest on the investigation into the Manchester concert bombing (all times local): 2017-05-25T09:54:00-04:00 2017-05-25T13:54:55-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

Trump pushes past Montenegro’s PM

BBC WORLD NEWS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 19:58
Speaking to Nato leaders in Brussels, the US president also called for alliance members to pay more.

Police close off London's Westminster Bridge over unattended vehicle

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 19:51
LONDON (Reuters) - British police sealed off Westminster Bridge in central London next to parliament on Thursday following reports of an unattended vehicle.

The Latest: Suspect said to have called mother for farewell

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 19:50
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — The Latest on the investigation into the Manchester concert bombing (all times local): 2017-05-25T09:38:00-04:00 2017-05-25T13:38:16-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

Head of Gazprom meets with Iranian Oil Minister

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 19:46
In March, Gazprom signed a memorandum of cooperation with Iranian partners

Libyan anti-terror official says alleged Manchester bomber phoned mother hours before concert attack, said “forgive me”

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 19:44
Libyan anti-terror official says alleged Manchester bomber phoned mother hours before concert attack, said “forgive me”

AP Analysis: Rouhani’s hardest challenge may be Iran’s hopes

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 19:44
For Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, winning re-election may have been the easy part.

Brazil police killing of 10 Amazon region land activists under probe

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 19:43
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian authorities said on Thursday they were investigating a police raid that ended with 10 land activists killed in the Amazon region, the deadliest such conflict in over two decades.

Bahrain journalist found guilty of reporting without license

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 19:40
DUBAI (Reuters) - A Bahrain court fined a prominent journalist 1,000 dinars ($2,650) on Thursday for reporting in the kingdom without official permission, her lawyer said, after a trial seen by rights groups as an example of diminishing press freedom.

Laser Surgery Tool Improves Oral-Dental Care at Sea

(USA) DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 19:37
While deployed at sea, the USS Ronald Reagan’s dental officer used a laser to perform a lingual frenectomy on a petty officer, to treat his ankyloglosia, or tongue-tied syndrome.

Hamas executes three Palestinians over killing says ordered by Israel

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 19:35
GAZA (Reuters) - Gaza's ruling Hamas movement executed three Palestinians on Thursday convicted of killing a commander in the Islamist group's armed wing while acting on Israel's orders.

A developer has dreamed up a brand-new

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 19:32
A developer has dreamed up a brand-new hilltop city with high-end homes, luxury retailers and a Roman amphitheater

The Latest: Greek govt official describes blast as attack

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 19:32
The Latest on the blast that wounded a Greek ex-premier (all times local):

Greek government spokesman describes explosion injuring former prime minister as an ‘attack’

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 19:32
Greek government spokesman describes explosion injuring former prime minister as an ‘attack’

AP Analysis: Rouhani's hardest challenge may be Iran's hopes

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 19:30
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — For Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, winning re-election may have been the easy part. 2017-05-25T09:25:00-04:00 2017-05-25T13:25:08-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

Russia’s legendary barque Kruzenshtern calls at Belgian port

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 19:26
Russia’s legendary windjammer Kruzenshtern, which is on its first training voyage of the year, has called at the Belgian port of Oostende to take part in an international festival of sailing vessels

Don't have kids? Neither do some of the world's most powerful leaders.

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 19:24
President Trump has more offspring than his six counterparts combined.

Embassy advises Russians against trips to UK

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 19:18
On May 22, an explosion rocked an indoor arena in the English city of Manchester right after a concert by American pop singer Ariana Grande

Next round of Syria talks in Geneva not scheduled yet — diplomat

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 19:15
The arrival of Staffan de Mistura in Moscow could also depend on the timeframe of the next round of intra-Syrian talks

Mexico arrests three Yemeni men sought by the United States

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 19:14
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Three men from Yemen, wanted by U.S. law enforcement, were arrested in Mexico City this week, at the request of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a spokesman for Mexico's National Security Commission said on Thursday.

The Latest: Libya vows to help identify 'terrorist networks'

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 19:14
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — The Latest on the investigation into the Manchester concert bombing (all times local): 2017-05-25T09:09:00-04:00 2017-05-25T13:09:04-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

President: NATO Member Nations Must Increase Defense Spending

(USA) DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 19:07
President Donald J. Trump made remarks in Brussels at the unveiling of the NATO 9/11 Memorial during a stop at the new NATO headquarters building during his first overseas trip since taking office in January.

Forces loyal to LNA seize control of Libyan air base

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 19:04
A spokesman for the Libyan National Army says forces loyal to the LNA have seized control of an air base in the country’s south that had been under control of western militiamen.

Hackers sought to discredit Russian opposition leader: researchers

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:57
TORONTO/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Hackers sought to discredit leading Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny in a disinformation campaign that implied he was working with a U.S. government group, a Canadian cyber research group said on Thursday.

Thousands of Finns honor former president

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:50
Tens of thousands of Finns have lined the roads in central Helsinki to honor former President Mauno Koivisto as his coffin was borne from the Helsinki Cathedral to the city’s main cemetery.

Pregnant teenager banned from graduation ceremony

BBC WORLD NEWS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:45
The parents of a pregnant teenager branded "immoral" and barred from her school graduation ceremony plan their own event.

OPEC and non-OPEC countries to develop cooperation outside Vienna agreement

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:44
The minister of Petroleum of Ecuador says more countries outside OPEC may join the agreement on oil production freeze at the next meeting, scheduled for November

Official: At least 13 soldiers killed in south Afghanistan

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:44
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — At least 13 soldiers were killed and eight others wounded in fighting with Taliban insurgents at several security checkpoints in southern Afghanistan, a government official said Thursday. 2017-05-25T08:33:00-04:00 2017-05-25T12:33:32-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

Wisconsin car thief did not expect woman to do this

BBC WORLD NEWS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:42
Melissa Smith was filling up her car when the thief jumped in her car and tried to drive away.

Fox's Sean Hannity loses advertisers after conspiracy theory

BBC WORLD NEWS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:41
At least five companies have pulled ads after Sean Hannity's perpetuation of a conspiracy theory.

Berlin Wall, 9/11 symbols offer message to Trump at NATO

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:40
A U.S. president who wants to build walls is celebrating the collapse of one of the world’s most iconic barriers: the Berlin Wall.

Lawmaker praises Russian-Chinese relations as best example of interstate cooperation

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:37
A lawmaker believes Russian-Chinese interaction, which has reached a record high level, sets an example of interstate cooperation in the modern times

Russia squared-off with Western media blitz to smear World Cup preparations

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:35
A diplomat believes Russia is again being subjected to a Western media blitz aimed at sullying the country’s organization of the world’s two major football events

Greek ex-premier Lucas Papademos wounded in Athens bombing

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:30
Greek police say former Prime Minister Lucas Papademos has been wounded in an explosion in a car in central Athens.

The Latest: Oil price falls further on OPEC production news

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:30
The Latest on OPEC’s talks on extending its production cut agreement (all times local):

NATO inaugurates sprawling, expensive new Brussels HQ

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:30
President Donald Trump and his NATO counterparts on Thursday inaugurated the alliance’s new headquarters in Belgium, a sprawling 1.1-billion-euro ($1.2-billion) complex expected to be fully up and running early next year.

OPEC and other oil countries extend oil production cut of daily 1.8 million barrels until March

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:30
OPEC and other oil countries extend oil production cut of daily 1.8 million barrels until March.

Greek ex-premier Lucas Papademos wounded in Athens bombing

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:30
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek police say former Prime Minister Lucas Papademos has been wounded in an explosion in a car in central Athens. 2017-05-25T08:20:00-04:00 2017-05-25T12:20:53-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

Car blast injures former Greek prime minister Papademos

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:26
ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's former prime minister Lucas Papademos was injured when an explosive device hidden in an envelope detonated inside his car in central Athens on Wednesday, police said.

Fawn saved from New Jersey sewer by 'Deer Whisperer' officer

BBC WORLD NEWS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:26
A distressed fawn trapped in a New Jersey storm drain is rescued by a uniformed friend of the animal kingdom.

Indian acid-attack bride finds love from a wrong number

BBC WORLD NEWS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:25
The survivor said finding love after 17 operations felt like a miracle.

Philippine military says 31 Islamic State group-linked militants have been killed in besieged southern city

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:20
Philippine military says 31 Islamic State group-linked militants have been killed in besieged southern city.

Greek police say former Prime Minister Lucas Papademos targeted in bomb attack in central Athens, injuries reported

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:20
Greek police say former Prime Minister Lucas Papademos targeted in bomb attack in central Athens, injuries reported.

Officials: Manchester bomber passed through Germany, Turkey

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:20
The suspected bomber in the concert attack in Britain passed through Germany and Turkey before the attack, authorities said Thursday.

ICYMI: Gingrich: “The President Just Made A Titanic Foreign Policy Shift. The Media Missed It.”

THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS OFFICE - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:20

NEWT GINGRICH: “THE PRESIDENT JUST MADE A TITANIC FOREIGN POLICY SHIFT. THE MEDIA MISSED IT.”

“While the media focused on the ephemeral questions … they largely missed the real drama of the moment: a titanic shift in U.S. foreign policy occurring right before their eyes.”

The President Just Made A Titanic Foreign Policy Shift. The Media Missed It.
By Newt Gingrich
Washington Post
May 24, 2017

… 

While the media focused on the ephemeral questions — whether the president would use campaign rhetoric in a diplomatic setting, or how the trip would affect the Obama legacy — they largely missed the real drama of the moment: a titanic shift in U.S. foreign policy occurring right before their eyes.

Trump stood before an unprecedented gathering of leaders to do something far more significant than utter a single phrase or undermine his predecessor’s record. He was there to rally the Muslim world, in his words, “to meet history’s great test” — defeating the forces of terrorism and extremism. He did so in a way that no American president ever had before. While extending a hand of friendship to Muslim nations, he also issued them a clear challenge: to take the lead in solving the crisis that has engulfed their region and spread across the planet. “Drive out the terrorists and extremists,” he urged them, or consign your peoples to futures of misery and squalor.

To find a comparably dramatic moment in the history of U.S. foreign policy, we have to look all the way back to 1982. That June, 35 years ago next month, President Ronald Reagan stood in the Royal Gallery at the Palace of Westminster in London and called on the West to rally in defense of freedom and against communist aggression.

… 

Never before has an American president tried so clearly to unite the civilized world, including the nations of the Middle East and Africa, against the forces of terrorism. Never before has an American president issued so direct a challenge to those nations to do more in the fight. And never before has an American president so plainly put the ultimate responsibility for eradicating terrorism on the nations of the region. In doing so, Trump’s speech implicitly repudiated the approaches of his two immediate predecessors and promised instead what he characterized as a “principled realism,” based on a clear-eyed view of America’s interests, security and limits.

That this decisive shift in U.S. foreign policy occurred on a foreign trip within the first four months of the administration is all the more impressive. Reagan didn’t take his first international trip until well into his second year. And unlike President Barack Obama’s early speech to the Muslim world in 2009, Trump backed up his words with action.

Read the full op-ed here.
 

Over 100 civilians killed in Mosul blast in March: U.S. military

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:11
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. officials said on Thursday that a military investigation had found that more than 100 civilians were killed after a U.S. air strike on a building in Mosul, Iraq in March.

Bahrain fines reporter $2,650 for working without press card

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:10
A Bahrain court has given a journalist working for France 24 and Radio Monte Carlo Doualiya a $2,650 fine for reporting without government accreditation.

Readout of President Donald J. Trump’s Meetings with the King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium and Prime Minister Charles Michel of Belgium

THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS OFFICE - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:10

Yesterday, President Donald J. Trump visited the Royal Palace in Brussels to meet with King Philippe and Queen Mathilde and with Prime Minister Charles Michel of Belgium.  This visit marked the President's first engagement with Belgian leadership.
 
At the Royal Palace, President Trump and the First Lady first met with the King and Queen and expressed their appreciation for the hospitality and their long personal support for better economic relations between Belgium and the United States. This year is the centennial year of the Commission for Relief in Belgium, which kept millions of Belgians from starving during World War I and currently supports Belgian educational exchanges with the United States. 
 
In a subsequent meeting with Prime Minister Charles Michel, the President praised Belgian contributions to the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS, noting the critical importance of Belgian F-16s flying missions in Iraq and Syria.  On the eve of the NATO Leaders Meeting, the President discussed the responsibility of all nations to share our common defense burden, including the need for all NATO members to meet the Wales commitment to spend 2 percent of their Gross Domestic Product on defense. The President expressed sympathy for Belgium’s suffering at the hands of terrorists, and the two leaders explored how to improve their cooperation on counterterrorism. The President reaffirmed his desire for a productive economic and security relationship with Europe and promised to continue strengthening cooperation with Belgium on these and other important issues.

Blast in car injures Greek ex-PM

BBC WORLD NEWS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:08
Greek ex-prime minister Lucas Papademos injured by blast inside his car in Athens

Draft resolution on Syria safe zones memorandum still on the table — diplomat

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:06
The Russian, Iranian, and Turkish delegations agreed to set up four de-escalation zones in Syria during the Astana peace talks held on May 3-4

Russian diplomat says NATO needs to abandon political ambition to join US-led coalition

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:05
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he expected NATO to join the US-led coalition

Readout of President Donald J. Trump’s Meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker

THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS OFFICE - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:04

President Donald J. Trump met today in Brussels with European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.  The leaders reaffirmed the strong bond between the United States and Europe, anchored in shared values and longstanding friendship.

The leaders discussed the United States’ and the European Union’s shared challenges in fighting global terrorism and protecting our homelands.  They agreed on the need to work together to deepen our security cooperation in fighting ISIS, combating radicalization, and responding to other common threats.  They also discussed the threat from North Korea and agreed to work together to further isolate the North Korean regime politically and economically.

The leaders agreed that the United States and the European Union should deepen our strong economic relationship.  They also discussed the need to protect American and European industries against unfair competition.
 

NATO seeks to continue and expand dialogue with Russia

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 18:01
"It is absolutely necessary that Russia and NATO maintain contacts," a high-ranking NATO official said

WADA offers pole vaulter Isinbayeva post of ambassador for clean sports in Russia — source

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 17:57
The World Anti-Doping Agency has allegedly offered legendary pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva to become an ambassador of clean sports in Russia

British social media celebrity among dead from concert blast

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 17:52
It was not just family and friends mourning Martyn Hett this week. Even Mariah Carey was shocked by his death in the Ariana Grande concert bombing.

Lavrov keeps close eye on situation with jailed Russian pilot in US

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 17:51
Sergey Lavrov has put the case of Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, sentenced to a lengthy prison term in the US, under his personal supervision

Militia violence in Central African Republic leaves 300 dead

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 17:49
DAKAR (Reuters) - Militia violence in Central African Republic has killed around 300 people and displaced 100,000 in the last two weeks, the United Nations and the government said on Thursday, in the worse displacement since a 2013 civil war.

Belkomur rail project brings new opportunities to Russia’s Arctic regions

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 17:46
Belkomur will increase the effectiveness of more than 100 companies, and another 40 enterprises will get opportunities for development

UK police find 'significant' evidence; May slams US on leaks

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 17:46
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Home searches across Manchester and beyond have uncovered important items in a fast-moving investigation into the concert bombing that left 22 people dead, Manchester's police chief said Thursday as a diplomatic spat escalated over U.S. leaks about the investigation to the media. 2017-05-25T07:40:00-04:00 2017-05-25T11:40:28-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

British social media celebrity among dead from concert blast

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 17:46
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — It was not just family and friends mourning Martyn Hett this week. Even Mariah Carey was shocked by his death in the Ariana Grande concert bombing. 2017-05-25T07:37:00-04:00 2017-05-25T11:37:40-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

Ethiopia jails opposition politician for six years over Facebook post

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 17:44
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - An Ethiopian court sentenced an opposition politician to six and a half years in prison on Thursday over a series of anti-government comments on Facebook that it said encouraged terrorist acts, his lawyer said.

March blast in Mosul killed 105 - US

BBC WORLD NEWS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 17:39
More than 100 Iraqi civilians were killed by US air strike and blast in Mosul in March, US military confirms

NATO leaders meet under intense Trump pressure on spending

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 17:34
BRUSSELS (AP) — Meeting fellow NATO leaders for the first time, U.S. President Donald Trump aggressively challenged them Thursday to spend more on their own defense, putting the alliance under exceptional pressure to become tougher, sharper and newly relevant. 2017-05-25T07:30:00-04:00 2017-05-25T11:30:22-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

Remarks by President Trump at NATO Unveiling of the Article 5 and Berlin Wall Memorials - Brussels, Belgium

THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS OFFICE - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 17:34

NATO Headquarters
Brussels, Belgium

4:39 P.M. CEST

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you very much, Secretary General Stoltenberg.  Chancellor Merkel, thank you very much.  Other heads of state and government, I am honored to be here with members of an alliance that has promoted safety and peace across the world.  

Prime Minister May, all of the nations here today grieve with you and stand with you.  I would like to ask that we now observe a moment of silence for the victims and families of the savage attack which took place in Manchester.  (A moment of silence is observed.)  Thank you.  Terrible thing.

This ceremony is a day for both remembrance and resolve.  We remember and mourn those nearly 3,000 innocent people who were brutally murdered by terrorists on September 11th, 2001.  Our NATO allies responded swiftly and decisively, invoking for the first time in its history the Article 5 collective defense commitments.  

The recent attack on Manchester in the United Kingdom demonstrates the depths of the evil we face with terrorism.  Innocent little girls and so many others were horribly murdered and badly injured while attending a concert -- beautiful lives with so much great potential torn from their families forever and ever.  It was a barbaric and vicious attack upon our civilization.

All people who cherish life must unite in finding, exposing, and removing these killers and extremists -- and, yes, losers.  They are losers.  Wherever they exist in our societies, we must drive them out and never, ever let them back in.  

This call for driving out terrorism is a message I took to a historic gathering of Arab and Muslim leaders across the region, hosted by Saudi Arabia.  There, I spent much time with King Salman, a wise man who wants to see things get much better rapidly.  The leaders of the Middle East have agreed at this unprecedented meeting to stop funding the radical ideology that leads to this horrible terrorism all over the globe.

My travels and meetings have given me renewed hope that nations of many faiths can unite to defeat terrorism, a common threat to all of humanity.  Terrorism must be stopped in its tracks, or the horror you saw in Manchester and so many other places will continue forever.  You have thousands and thousands of people pouring into our various countries and spreading throughout, and in many cases, we have no idea who they are.  We must be tough.  We must be strong.  And we must be vigilant.  

The NATO of the future must include a great focus on terrorism and immigration, as well as threats from Russia and on NATO’s eastern and southern borders.  These grave security concerns are the same reason that I have been very, very direct with Secretary Stoltenberg and members of the Alliance in saying that NATO members must finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations, for 23 of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they’re supposed to be paying for their defense.

This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States.  And many of these nations owe massive amounts of money from past years and not paying in those past years.  Over the last eight years, the United States spent more on defense than all other NATO countries combined.  If all NATO members had spent just 2 percent of their GDP on defense last year, we would have had another $119 billion for our collective defense and for the financing of additional NATO reserves.

We should recognize that with these chronic underpayments and growing threats, even 2 percent of GDP is insufficient to close the gaps in modernizing, readiness, and the size of forces.  We have to make up for the many years lost.  Two percent is the bare minimum for confronting today’s very real and very vicious threats.  If NATO countries made their full and complete contributions, then NATO would be even stronger than it is today, especially from the threat of terrorism.  

I want to extend my appreciation to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York for contributing this remnant of the North Tower, as well as to Chancellor Merkel and the German people for donating this portion of the Berlin Wall.  It is truly fitting that these two artifacts now reside here so close together at the new NATO Headquarters.  And I never asked once what the new NATO Headquarters cost.  I refuse to do that.  But it is beautiful.

Each one marks a pivotal event in the history of this Alliance and in the eternal battle between good and evil.  On one side, a testament to the triumph of our ideals over a totalitarian Communist ideology bent on the oppression of millions and millions of people; on the other, a painful reminder of the barbaric evil that still exists in the world and that we must confront and defeat together as a group, as a world.

This twisted mass of metal reminds us not only of what we have lost, but also what forever endures -- the courage of our people, the strength of our resolve, and the commitments that bind us together as one.  

We will never forget the lives that were lost.  We will never forsake the friends who stood by our side.  And we will never waiver in our determination to defeat terrorism and to achieve lasting security, prosperity and peace.

Thank you very much.  It’s a great honor to be here.  Thank you.

END                 
4:48 P.M. CEST
 

Gaza's Hamas rulers put to death 3 accused of killing member

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 17:30
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Hamas said Thursday it put to death three men it had accused of killing a senior member of the militant Islamic group that rules Gaza in March. 2017-05-25T07:17:00-04:00 2017-05-25T11:17:34-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

Trump and Obama are having very different trips to Europe

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 17:24
An awkwardly timed trip highlights the difference between two U.S. presidents.

Readout of President Donald J. Trump’s May 25th Working Lunch with President Emmanuel Macron of France

THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS OFFICE - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 17:23

President Donald J. Trump hosted French President Emmanuel Macron for a working lunch today at the official residence of the United States Ambassador to Belgium. The meeting marked the first in-person engagement between the two presidents, and follows on their initial telephone call on May 9.

In advance of the NATO Leaders Meeting, President Trump urged President Macron to meet the NATO defense spending pledge and ensure that NATO is focused on counterterrorism. The President thanked President Macron for France’s leadership in counterterrorism efforts in Africa. The leaders agreed on the critical importance of defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria. President Trump discussed his recent travel to Saudi Arabia and Israel and his hope for Middle East peace. The two leaders committed to maintaining and building on the already strong alliance between the United States and France as they cooperate on these and other vital issues.

British Transport Police adding armed patrols on some UK trains for first time

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 17:20
British Transport Police adding armed patrols on some UK trains for first time.

Russia’s security chief notes mounting demand for Moscow’s database on foreign terrorists

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 17:19
Security Council secretary also pointed to the need "to put an end to attempts to use terrorist groups as an instrument for destabilizing the social and political situation in certain countries"

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