WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

As Taliban gain and U.S. weighs troop hike, a widow's plea to 'finish the job'

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 07:12
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - On a cold morning in January, Alexandra McClintock shoved her bare hands into the pockets of her black jacket and gazed at the endless rows of graves in Arlington National Cemetery, just across the Potomac River from Washington D.C.

America's past and future collide on a single day in Europe

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 07:10
Europe may have good reason to feel nostalgia for Obama.

President orders thorough probe of Indonesia suicide attacks

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 07:08
Indonesia’s president has ordered a thorough investigation of the network behind two suicide bombings that targeted police in the capital and killed three police officers.

Rocket Lab: New Zealand space launch is first from a private site

BBC WORLD NEWS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 07:08
The test launch is a step towards sending small satellites into orbit for cheap on a frequent basis.

Islamic State-linked militants besiege Philippine city

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 07:06
MARAWI, Philippines (AP) — Army tanks packed with soldiers rolled into a southern Philippine city Thursday as gunfire and explosions rang out after militants linked to the Islamic State group torched buildings, seized more than a dozen Catholic hostages and raised the black flag of ISIS. 2017-05-24T20:56:00-04:00 2017-05-25T00:56:23-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

Imaginary creatures to light up Sydney Opera House

BBC WORLD NEWS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 06:53
When the sun sets on Friday, thousands are tipped to line Sydney's harbour for stunning light shows.

Controversial IVF doctor gives hope to older Indian women

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 06:48
To see Manjeet Kaur around her little daughter is to see joy at its purest.

Controversial IVF doctor gives hope to older Indian women

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 06:48
To see Manjeet Kaur around her little daughter is to see joy at its purest.

Putin receives message clarifying intentions of new South Korean president

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 06:47
While addressing the South Korean presidential envoy, Putin said that Russia "highly values your personal contribution to efforts aimed at strengthening Russian-Korean ties"

Taiwan same-sex marriage ruling brightens outlook for gay rights in China

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 06:46
BEIJING (Reuters) - Taiwan's decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry has proved a shot in the arm for China's gay rights movement, but it is likely to be many years before Beijing approves similar measures, amid deep-rooted opposition in some quarters.

Investigators explore bomber's links to larger network

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 06:42
LONDON (AP) — British investigators are hunting for potential conspirators linked to the bombing that killed 22 people in a search that is exploring the possibility that the same cell linked to the Paris and Brussels terror attacks was also to blame for the Manchester Arena attack, two officials familiar with the investigation said Wednesday. 2017-05-24T15:45:00-04:00 2017-05-24T19:45:03-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

Trump to meet with anxious NATO and EU leaders

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 06:26
Visiting a city he once called a “hellhole” to meet with the leaders of an alliance he threatened to abandon, President Donald Trump will be in the heart of Europe on Thursday to address a continent still reeling from his election and anxious about his support.

South Korean soldier given suspended jail term for gay sex

BBC WORLD NEWS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 06:20
The captain, who was not identified, collapsed after the ruling and was taken to hospital.

Philippine military seeks to secure troubled city as fighting eases

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 06:16
MARAWI, Philippines (Reuters) - Troops began clearing out a southern Philippine city besieged by Islamist militants, with hostilities easing on Thursday after thousands fled as the rebels seized large parts of the city and torched buildings in a battle with government forces.

Mexican journalists caught in crossfire of rival cartels

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 06:16
Just as each batch of the weekly newspapers was dropped off at newsstands around Culiacan men quickly bought them up as they followed the delivery trucks along their routes.

The Latest: Army trucks roll deeper into Philippine city

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 06:16
The Latest on the siege of a Philippine city that led President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law in the south (all times local):

Top Venezuela prosecutor says protester killed by police

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 06:16
Venezuela’s chief prosecutor further distanced herself from the socialist administration Wednesday, deepening the widest rift in a government that has otherwise presented a united front against six weeks of protests.

Troops guard Brazil federal buildings amid political unrest

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 06:10
BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Troops guarded federal buildings in Brazil's capital early Thursday as the president struggles to hang onto power amid an outcry over corruption allegations and after clashes between police and protesters demanding his resignation forced the evacuations of several ministries. 2017-05-24T20:02:00-04:00 2017-05-25T00:02:36-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

Melting pot Manchester stresses unity after concert attack

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 06:10
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — On the Manchester street they call the "Curry Mile," there are no longer just Indian or Pakistani restaurants. Instead, in a sign of the ever-changing face of this proudly multiethnic city, a hungry diner these days can choose between Halal snacks from Beirut, kebabs from Afghanistan or garishly colored sweets from India, among many others. 2017-05-24T15:10:00-04:00 2017-05-24T19:10:53-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

Pyongyang gas price surge: Bad news for Kim Jong Un?

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 06:08
While world attention has focused on Kim Jong Un’s recent missile tests, a month-long surge in gasoline prices in Pyongyang is showing no signs of letting up — a puzzling problem that if allowed to drag on could be very bad news for the North Korean economy.

N. Korea calls S. Korea’s border firing reckless provocation

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 05:46
North Korea has called South Korea’s recent firing of warning shots at the border a “reckless military provocation” aimed at promoting anti-Pyongyang sentiments and maintaining a confrontation on the peninsula.

Raids, arrests as on-edge UK seeks 'network' of attackers

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 05:46
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Security forces rounded up more suspects Wednesday in the deadly Manchester concert blast and soldiers fanned out across the country to national landmarks as an on-edge Britain tried to thwart the possibility of additional attacks. 2017-05-24T14:20:00-04:00 2017-05-24T18:20:54-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

Forest fires raging on over 8,000 hectares in Russia’s Far East and Siberia

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 05:44
A federal action level state of emergency was imposed in both regions

Forest fires raging on over 8,000 hectares in Russia’s Far East and Siberia

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 05:44
According to earlier reports, ten populated localities were hit by wildfires, as many as 144 dwelling houses burned down, two persons died

Israel defense chief appears to confirm Trump leaked intel

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 05:40
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's defense minister appears to have confirmed that his country's intelligence was leaked by President Donald Trump during a meeting with Russian officials this month. 2017-05-24T12:07:00-04:00 2017-05-24T16:07:51-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

Manchester attack: May to tackle Trump over 'evidence' leaks

BBC WORLD NEWS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 05:29
Theresa May is to "directly" address Donald Trump over latest intelligence leaks to the US media.

South China Sea: US warship sails close to disputed Mischief Reef

BBC WORLD NEWS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 05:28
It's the first challenge to Beijing's claim to sovereignty over the waters since Trump took office.

China says former Shanghai prosecutor suspected of bribe-taking

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 05:27
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - The former top prosecutor in the Chinese financial hub of Shanghai has been kicked out of the ruling Communist Party over a range of violations, the party said on Thursday, and a lawsuit for suspected bribe-taking will be launched.

Moody’s downgrades Hong Kong credit rating after China cut

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 05:26
Moody’s has cut its credit rating for Hong Kong hours after downgrading China for rising debt levels, which it said would have “significant impact” on the Asian financial hub because of their close links.

Russian emergencies ministry sends yet another humanitarian convoy to Donbass

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 05:06
Before the border, the convoy will break in two to further head for Donetsk and Lugansk

Over 500 people lost their homes in wildfires in Krasnoyarsk Territory

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 04:56
On Wednesday, governor Viktor Tolokonsky cut short his trip to Moscow and returned to Krasnoyarsk

Team from Russia’s ITMO University wins ICPC world programming contest

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 04:31
The ACM ICPC finals were held in Rapid City, South Dakota, USA

Embattled Brazilian president orders troops to restore order

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 04:18
BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Brazil's president ordered soldiers to restore order in the country's capital Wednesday after some government ministries were evacuated during clashes between police and protesters who are seeking the leader's ouster. 2017-05-24T18:09:00-04:00 2017-05-24T22:09:57-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

Wildfires localized on area of 31 hectares in Krasnoyarsk Territory’s Lesosibirsk

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 04:15
According to earlier reports, Lesosibirsk is one of the populated localities that have been most hit by wildfires, which destroyed a number of dwelling houses

Sri Lankan president discusses asylum seekers in Australia

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 03:46
Sri Lanka’s president met with the Australian prime minister on Thursday with fighting people-smuggling high on the agenda.

Embattled Brazilian president orders troops to restore order

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 03:46
Brazil’s president ordered soldiers to restore order in the country’s capital Wednesday after some government ministries were evacuated during clashes between police and protesters who are seeking the leader’s ouster.

Embattled Brazilian president orders troops to restore order

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 03:36
BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Brazil's president ordered soldiers to restore order in the country's capital Wednesday after some government ministries were evacuated during clashes between police and protesters who are seeking the leader's ouster. 2017-05-24T17:27:00-04:00 2017-05-24T21:27:25-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

'Only logical' for Trump to meet Dalai Lama: Tibetan leader

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 03:31
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of Tibet's government in exile said on Wednesday it would be "logical" for Donald Trump to meet the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, since the U.S. president has visited homes of the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions on his current international tour.

St. Petersburg economic forum to help attract more tourists

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 03:28
In 2015, St. Petersburg received about 6.5 million Russian and foreign tourists, a record-breaking figure for the Russian travel sector

Signs of the Manchester attacker’s possible radicalization appeared a year ago

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 03:10
Family friends said that the first warning signs were reported to authorities.

Ukraine’s Savchenko says wants to run for president in 2019

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 02:38
Ukraine will hold next presidential elections on March 31, 2019

The Latest: Trump to hold Iowa rally next week

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 02:28
The Latest on President Donald Trump’s first trip abroad (all times local):

St. Petersburg hopes for higher position in ASI rating as its economy is on rise

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 02:12
Last year, St. Petersburg rose from the 26th to 22nd place in the ASI rating

El Salvador sentences 7 gang members for killing of 11

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 02:06
A court in El Salvador has sentenced seven gang members to 390 years each for the March 2016 killings of 11 people.

Proud papa

BBC WORLD NEWS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 01:55
Donald Trump is proposing the first, federal paid family leave law. How far does it go?

El Salvador sentences gang members to 390 years over massacre

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 01:50
SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) - A court in El Salvador on Wednesday sentenced seven members of a notorious criminal gang to 390 years in prison each for their part in a March 2016 massacre that shocked the crime-ravaged Central American country.

Nato and Trump

BBC WORLD NEWS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 01:49
Nato leaders are playing down President Trump's first visit to the Brussels HQ

Waiting for take-off

BBC WORLD NEWS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 01:47
Flying between the West African capitals of Freetown and Banjul should take about an hour. But as the BBC's Umaru Fofana found out, it can be quicker and easier to fly via Morocco or even Belgium.

Federal action level state of emergency imposed in three Russia regions

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 01:44
The wildfire situation in the Krasnoyarsk Territory and Irkutsk region deteriorated dramatically on Wednesday due to the hot weather and strong winds

Islamabad to London

BBC WORLD NEWS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 01:42
Pakistani officials investigate two incidents in which the drug was found on London-bound planes.

U.S. warship sails within 12 miles of China-claimed reef

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 01:18
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. Navy destroyer carried out a "freedom of navigation operation" on Wednesday within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, U.S. officials said, the first such action under President Donald Trump.

Sexual slavery

BBC WORLD NEWS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 01:18
Last year Salama Ali uncovered a secret - that the al-Shabab militant group was seizing Kenyan woman and turning them into sex slaves.

Embattled Brazilian president orders troops to restore order

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 01:16
BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Brazil's president ordered soldiers to restore order in the country's capital Wednesday after some government ministries were evacuated during clashes between police and protesters who are seeking the leader's ouster. 2017-05-24T15:10:00-04:00 2017-05-24T19:10:07-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

The Latest: US lawmaker says UK bomb showed 'sophistication'

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 01:16
LONDON (AP) — The Latest on the bombing at a pop concert in Manchester that left 22 people dead (all times local): 2017-05-24T15:04:00-04:00 2017-05-24T19:04:19-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

UN envoy: South Sudan seeing military action as rains arrive

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 01:14
The U.N. envoy for South Sudan says the conflict-torn African country is seeing significant military action and the last push to position combatant forces because the rainy season has arrived and roads will soon become unpassable for about four months.

St. Petersburg plans to sign agreement on setting up automotive cluster

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 00:56
St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF-2017) will be held from June 1 through 3 under the slogan Achieving a New Balance in the Global Economic Arena

Ex-Haiti president's autopsy shows leader died of heart disease

REUTERS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 00:52
PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) - The eagerly anticipated results of an autopsy of former Haitian President Rene Preval showed the leader died last month after a heart irregularity cut off his ability to breathe, officials said on Wednesday.

President Lenin Moreno takes office in Ecuador

BBC WORLD NEWS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 00:49
Lenin Moreno promises to continue the left-wing policies of his predecessor Rafael Correa.

The Latest: UK police arrest 7th person outside Manchester

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 00:48
LONDON (AP) — The Latest on the bombing at a pop concert in Manchester that left 22 people dead (all times local): 2017-05-24T14:37:00-04:00 2017-05-24T18:37:52-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

Embattled Brazilian president orders troops to restore order

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 00:40
BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Brazil's president ordered soldiers to restore order in the country's capital Wednesday after some government ministries were evacuated during clashes between police and protesters who are seeking the leader's ouster. 2017-05-24T14:26:00-04:00 2017-05-24T18:26:28-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

An American president will speak in Germany on Thursday, and it's not Trump

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 00:26
Barack Obama will be in Germany to see Angela Merkel.

The Latest: Video shows man thought to be suspect, backpack

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 00:24
LONDON (AP) — The Latest on the bombing at a pop concert in Manchester that left 22 people dead (all times local): 2017-05-24T14:09:00-04:00 2017-05-24T18:09:33-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

US announces sanctions on alleged Mexican heroin trafficker

WASHINGTON POST - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 00:16
The U.S. government is imposing sanctions on alleged Mexican drug traffickers described by the Treasury Department as “major contributors to our nation’s heroin epidemic.”

Manchester attack: 'Fury' at US 'evidence' photos leak

BBC WORLD NEWS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 00:13
The New York Times publishes photos it says show the scene of the bomb attack.

Venezuela student 'killed by National Guard'

BBC WORLD NEWS - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 00:08
Venezuela's top prosecutor says Juan Pablo Pernalete was hit in the chest by a tear gas canister.

Investigators explore bomber's links to larger network

AP - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 00:04
LONDON (AP) — British investigators are hunting for potential conspirators linked to the bombing that killed 22 people in a search that is exploring the possibility that the same cell linked to the Paris and Brussels terror attacks was also to blame for the Manchester Arena attack, two officials familiar with the investigation said Wednesday. 2017-05-24T13:46:00-04:00 2017-05-24T17:46:44-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

St. Petersburg plans to sign about 30 agreements to record-breaking sum at SPIEF-2017

TASS [Russian State News] - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 00:01
St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF-2017) will be held from June 1 through 3 under the slogan Achieving a New Balance in the Global Economic Arena

Duma speaker says Russia ought to defend fellow-Russians’ rights in Ukraine

TASS [Russian State News] - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 23:56
The Duma urged the assembly to condemn the Ukrainian President’s decree to ban the use of popular Russian social networks and internet resources in Ukraine

20 men caught at Mexico resort police station held for trial

WASHINGTON POST - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 23:56
Twenty men who infiltrated the police department of the Mexican resort of Zihuatanejo purportedly under the orders of a drug gang leader have been ordered held for at least six months on organized crime and weapons charges.

President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Appoint the Following Individuals to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships

THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS OFFICE - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 23:56

President Donald J. Trump today announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to be members of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships:

  • Linda Bond of Missouri
  • Jamie Turner Burke of Virginia
  • Catherine S. Fenton of New Jersey

Dunford Urges New Air Force Officers to Lead in Academy Graduation Address

(USA) DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 23:53
Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, thanked 979 Air Force Academy graduates for answering the call to duty in a very challenging time.

Chisinau says border issue cannot be subject of 5+2 talks on Transnistrian settlement

TASS [Russian State News] - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 23:51
The OSCE representative suggested an awareness campaign be organized in Transnistria to allay worries

Raids, arrests as on-edge UK seeks 'network' of attackers

AP - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 23:50
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Security forces rounded up more suspects Wednesday in the deadly Manchester concert blast and soldiers fanned out across the country to national landmarks as an on-edge Britain tried to thwart the possibility of additional attacks. 2017-05-24T13:32:00-04:00 2017-05-24T17:32:25-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

Remarks by the Vice President at Cajun Industries, Baton Rouge, LA

THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS OFFICE - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 23:47

Cajun Industries
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

1:48 P.M. CDT
 
THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Louisiana!  
 
It is great to be back, and it is my great honor to bring greetings from the 45th President of the United States of America -- the man Louisiana voted for overwhelmingly last fall -- President Donald Trump.  (Applause.) 
 
Thank you all for coming out today.  You know, I just spoke to the President.  He arrived in Brussels just a few short hours ago, after a historic meeting with Pope Francis in Rome.  He’s arrived in Europe now to reaffirm our commitment to NATO.  Earlier this week, he was in Saudi Arabia across the Middle East, visited our most cherished ally Israel.  And all along the way, he’s been strengthening relationships and alliances throughout the world.
 
The American people are witnessing the strong leadership of President Trump on the world stage, and the world is seeing that President Donald Trump is stepping into the role of leader of the free world, and he is leading for America.  (Applause.) 
 
Now, before I continue, allow me to take a moment to just speak a few words about the horrific terrorist attack in Manchester, England, this past Monday night.
 
Our hearts break for the families of the victims and the injured, and they are all in our prayers.  And let me say with deep conviction, the United States stands in absolute solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom in their loss, and in our shared determination to protect our people and rid the world of the threat of terrorist violence.  (Applause.) 
 
Thank you for letting me share that.  It is great to be back in the Pelican State.  And I thank you all for coming out on a busy afternoon.  And everybody keeps telling me the weather isn’t always like this in Louisiana.  (Laughter.)  So thanks for sparing such a beautiful day.
 
To Administrator Verma, thank you for that kind introduction, thank you for your leadership at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 
 
Let me also like to thank Congressman Garret Graves for joining us, and for representing Louisiana with such conservative principle in Washington, D.C.   (Applause.) 
 
And I also want to thank the whole team here at Cajun Industries, Todd Grigsby and the family for hosting us here today.  For nearly 45 years, Cajun Industries has built Louisiana, and every day you're building the American Dream for families all across this region.  President Trump and I couldn’t be more proud of all that you've accomplished and by your hospitality today.  So give a big round of applause, would you, for Cajun Industries and all the great team that's here?  (Applause.) 
 
Now I’m sure one of the secrets of the success of this company is they know how to make a budget work, and so does President Donald Trump.  (Applause.) 
 
Just yesterday, our administration unveiled the President’s first budget, and it’s exactly what Louisiana elected him to do.
 
The President’s plan puts America back on a path to fiscal responsibility.  In fact, the President’s budget balances the federal budget in the next 10 years.  (Applause.) 
 
And in this time of widening threats and new provocations, President Trump made it a priority in this budget.  And we will with his support and with the strong support of your representatives in Washington -- we will rebuild our military.  We will restore the arsenal of democracy, and we will give our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guard the resources and training they need to accomplish their mission defending our nation and come home safe.  (Applause.) 
 
In this recent budget, President Donald Trump just proposed one of the largest increases in defense spending since the days of President Ronald Reagan.  We're committed to making the strongest fighting force in world even stronger still.
 
But it’s not just about our military.  This President is also keeping his promise on domestic security.  We're providing all new resources to strengthen our borders, enforce our laws.  Even as we speak this administration, working with local law enforcement -- are taking gang members, drug dealers, and criminal illegal aliens off the streets of Louisiana and off the streets of America.  (Applause.) 
 
And in the budget we just proposed, President Donald Trump is requesting the resources we’ll need to build a wall.  (Applause.) 
 
Thanks to the President’s leadership I’m pleased to report already -- illegal crossings at our southern border are already down more than 70 percent since January 1st of this year.  (Applause.) 
 
And let me also say President Trump is also standing with renewed vigor for those who keep our families and our communities safe, the brave men and women who wear the uniform of law enforcement.  (Applause.) 
 
I want to share with you that America watched with horror last year as three police officers were brutally gunned down and three more were grievously injured here in Baton Rouge.  And I want to assure you President Donald Trump beginning with our law enforcement memorial last Monday is stepping forward, and we will restore the tradition of respect that is due to all the men and women of law enforcement in this nation.  (Applause.) 
 
Just last week, at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service, where we mourned the fallen from Baton Rouge, President Trump declared clearly that America today and always stands strong with the men and women on the Thin Blue Line.  There’s an awful lot of members of law enforcement here today making this event possible and keeping us all safe.  Would you join me in just giving a round of applause for the men and women serving in law enforcement at every level who are with us today?  (Applause.)  
 
I know our President is going to fight every day to protect those who protect us, and we will make America safe again.
 
President Donald Trump has no higher priority than the safety and security of the American people, but he knows that security at the end of the day is the foundation for our quality of life and a foundation for the prosperity that the American people all aspire to.  And President Trump I promise you is fighting every day to make America prosperous again and renew the prosperity of the American people in our time.  (Applause.)  
 
You know, literally since the outset of this administration, the President has had a three-part agenda:  Jobs, jobs, and jobs.  (Applause.) 
 
And I can tell you since day one, the President has been taking decisive action to put America back to work and get our economy moving again.  He ordered every agency in Washington, D.C., for instance, to find two regulations to get rid of before issuing any red tape on businesses large and small across America.  (Applause.) 
 
The President is slashing so much red tape he’s been breaking records.  He’s eliminated rules and mandates that have cost the American economy as much as $18 billion every year.
 
And the President is fighting every day for American energy, so important here in the great state of Louisiana.  (Applause.) 
 
The President knows that our energy -- oil and gas in particular -- are the lifeblood not only of Louisiana but of America.  That's why he’s been breaking down barriers standing in the way of offshore drilling, and President Trump approved the Keystone and Dakota pipelines -- (applause) -- putting America on a path to energy independence.
 
And the President’s leadership is already making a remarkable difference in the American economy.  Businesses are responding to the President’s call to Buy American and Hire American.
 
You may not have read this in the newspaper, but the truth is more than 700,000 new American jobs have been created by businesses large and small just this year alone.  (Applause.) 
 
Business after business has announced record investment in American workers -- billions of dollars, thousands of jobs, optimism is sweeping America.  The American economy is roaring back under the leadership of President Trump.  (Applause.) 
 
Small businesses like those so well represented here haven’t been this confident in a decade.  Manufacturers haven’t been this optimistic in more than 20 years.  From coast to coast, the American people know that President Trump has turned America around.
 
But as Louisiana knows, one of the most important things we need to do to create jobs and restore boundless opportunity in America is to repeal and replace Obamacare.  (Applause.)
 
And I got good news for you:  Thanks to the leadership of President Trump and to strong support in the Congress, the Obamacare nightmare is about to end.  (Applause.) 

I just heard once again firsthand from Todd and all the small-business owners who gathered for a conversation earlier about the burden that Obamacare is placing on job creators like Cajun Industries and all of those that are with us today.
 
Every day, you see another grim reminder that Obamacare is a burden on the American people too.  We all remember all the promises that were made to pass Obamacare, right?  They said if you like your doctor you can keep them -- not true.  They said if you like your health insurance you could keep it -- not true.  We were told that health insurance costs would go down -- not true. 
 
That's why President Trump is showing the numbers that the last administration never wanted the American people to see, I guess.  According to a new study published just last night by the Department of Health and Human Services, it’s now official, Obamacare, in the facts, has caused premiums to skyrocket across the America.  Here are the numbers.  This is fresh out from Health and Human Services yesterday.  The average premium across this country has actually doubled under Obamacare -- more than 100 percent increase in only four years. 
 
Here in Louisiana, Obamacare premiums have spiked by nearly 125 percent.  The average plan here in the Pelican State costs more than $3,500 more than it did just a few short years ago.  I heard one story after another from the small-business owners that were just gathered here.  These are the real numbers that have been released by our administration, and they're numbers that the past administration just never would release to the public.
 
     And the sad fact is, as Seema Verma just said, that politicians in Washington, D.C., who gave us this failed policy in 2010, are refusing to even lift a finger to bring relief to hurting families and American businesses.
 
Louisiana knows the truth -- every day Obamacare survives is another day the American economy and American families struggle.
 
But let me make you a promise:  Help is on the way, Louisiana.  (Applause.) 
 
Last month, thanks to the leadership of our President and the support of Congressman Graves and every single Republican from Louisiana in the House of Representatives, Congress in the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act, which is the first step to keeping our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.  And they should be commended.  (Applause.) 
 
The bill that passed the House is the right bill to start the fix of American health care.  It holds back Obamacare’s mandates on the American people by literally repealing the taxes and penalties at the heart of Obamacare.  It gives working families more choices with expanded health savings accounts and a new tax credit to help buy the insurance at a price that you can afford.
 
And to all the parents that are here today, just know that this bill also to keep your kids on your plans till they turn 26, and the bill also ensures -- and let’s be clear on this -- at the President’s insistence, the legislation that passed the House of Representatives ensures that Americans with preexisting conditions will have access to the coverage and care they need.  No exceptions.  (Applause.) 
 
But the American Health Care Act also gives states like Louisiana the freedom and the flexibility they need with Medicaid to help your most vulnerable in the way that’s best for you; because state-based solutions are the best way to give better coverage, better health care, and a better future for the people of the Pelican State.  Let’s let Louisiana develop Louisiana solutions for the people of this state.  (Applause.) 
 
The American Health Care Act starts the process of repealing and replacing Obamacare with a health-care system that will actually work.  But we need Louisiana’s help to get it across the finish line.
 
I really am grateful to say again, every Republican in Louisiana’s congressional delegation voted to repeal and replace Obamacare.  (Applause.)  I hope you’ll call -- I hope you’ll leave here today and call your congressman a call and thank them, thank them for their leadership and their principled stand.

But I’d also suggest that you might call your two Republican senators and tell them it’s time for the Senate to step up and do their part to repeal and replace Obamacare.  (Applause.) 
 
We’re counting on Senator Cassidy and we’re counting on Senator Kennedy to keep their promise to the American people and pass this legislation to bring Obamacare to an end.  (Applause.) 
 
With your senators’ support, I know that in the months ahead we’ll pass this legislation and begin the process of repealing and replacing Obamacare and finally giving the American people the kind of healthcare they deserve built on American principles of competition and state-based flexibility and reform.  (Applause.) 
 
And once we repeal and replace Obamacare, we’ll get to the rest of the President’s agenda.  In case Cajun Industries didn’t notice, in case the rest of you didn't notice, you actually elected a builder to be President of the United States of America, and Donald Trump, your President, is going to rebuild the infrastructure of this country.
 
President Trump is committed to make historic investments in American infrastructure to ensure that we have the best roads, the best bridges, the best highways, airports, and the best future we could possibly imagine.
 
And the President is going to continue to slash through red tape, rein in unelected bureaucrats so they can’t cripple Louisiana’s economy from the comfort of those taxpayer-funded metal desks in Washington, D.C. 
 
And get ready, come this summer, we're going to roll our sleeves up, we're going to work with the House and the Senate, and we're going to pass the most significant tax cut since the days of Ronald Reagan and one of the largest tax cuts in American history.  (Applause.) 
 
With the President’s leadership, we’re going to cut taxes across the board for working families, small businesses, and family farms.  Also we're going to reform the tax code.  There’s an old joke that the American tax code is 10 times the size of the Bible with none of the good news.  (Laughter.)  We're going to change that.  
 
Rest assured, the President is going make the tax code simpler, flatter, and fairer for everyone.  He’s going to put more money in your pockets, keep it out of the hands of wasteful bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.  
 
And this President also knows the time has come to make sure that businesses here in Louisiana, businesses across America have a competitive business tax rate to be able to create jobs and keep jobs here in America.  And we're going to slash the business rate to 15 percent.  (Applause.) 
 
By lowering the corporate tax rate, which today is one of the highest corporate tax rates in the industrialized world -- by lowering the corporate tax rate to 15 percent, we're going to make American businesses more competitive.  We're going to make it more possible for businesses to reinvest in ways that will create jobs and also have an opportunity to increase wages for all the hardworking people at their companies today.
 
It’s the greatest privilege of my life to serve as Vice President to a President who is so committed to restoring an America of prosperity and freedom and security.  And no matter what the media and the establishment in Washington, D.C. may be focused on at any given moment, let me assure of you this:  President Trump and I will never stop fighting for the issues that matter most to the American people -- good jobs, safe streets, national security and a boundless American future.  (Applause.) 
 
I think we've reached a pivotal moment in the life of this nation.  I really do.  And in this moment, President Trump and I need the support of every freedom-loving American -- all of you.  (Applause.)  Everyone who believes that we can be strong again, everyone who believes we can be prosperous again, we need you to stand up and we need you to speak out.
 
From this day forward, I would offer to you that your President, our entire administration need every ounce of your energy and enthusiasm, the enthusiasm that I see in this crowd today.  Your conviction and your passion.  And we might need just one more thing in these days if you're of a mind to bend the knee and bow the head from time to time.  (Applause.) 
 
But in these challenging times of widening threats and provocations abroad, unknowable threats that can strike in an instant, as we saw this week in our ally England, in these times of a struggling economy, the most powerful economy on Earth that seems to have been unable to get back up, stand up, and lead the world, the truth is that now is the time when we could use your prayers.
 
And I don't say so much for an agenda.  I think often of what Abraham Lincoln said in his time.  He was asked if he thought that God was on the Union’s side.  And Lincoln said, I rather concern myself more with whether we’re on God’s side than whether God is on our side.  (Applause.) 
 
So just pray for America.  Pray for our country.  The leadership that the people of this world are seeing as the President travels across the Middle East and now in Europe is so essential.  We are in every sense a beacon of hope and freedom.  And so when America is strong, when America is secure, the world is safer.  The world is more prosperous.  And freedom-loving people around the world are better for it.
 
So I encourage you to remember us in those quiet times.  And when you pray, pray with confidence.  Because I truly do believe those ancient words spoken so long ago are as true today as they were then that, if His people who are called by His name will humble themselves and pray, he’ll do like he’s always done in the long and storied history of this great nation, he’ll hear from Heaven and he’ll heal our land.  (Applause.)  This one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.
 
So thank you all for being here today.  I’ve got to get back to Washington, D.C. because time is a wasting.  (Laughter.)  But thank you for being here.  Thanks for letting your voice be heard.  And I want to make you a promise.  With your help, with your support, with the strong support of our great Republican leadership in the House and in the Senate, and with God’s help, we will make America safe again.  We will make America prosperous again.  And to borrow a phrase, we will make America great again.
 
Thank you all very much.  God bless you and God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.) 
 
END
2:12 P.M. CDT
 
 

Ukrainian, French presidents emphasize need to step up activities of Normandy Quartet

TASS [Russian State News] - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 23:46
During the conversation, the Ukrainian President once again accused Russia of violating the Minsk Agreements

Egypt blocks 21 websites including Al Jazeera: security sources

REUTERS - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 23:43
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt has banned 21 websites including the main website of Qatar-based al Jazeera television for "supporting terrorism", local media and security sources said on Wednesday.

Trump in Brussels for 'tough' Nato talks amid protests

BBC WORLD NEWS - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 23:34
The US president has previously criticised Nato members for not meeting spending targets.

National Guard Chief Highlights Force Readiness, Excellence to Congress

(USA) DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 23:10
National Guard soldiers and airmen stand ready to protect and defend the nation thanks to the continued support from Congress, the chief of the National Guard Bureau told the House Appropriations Committee defense subcommittee.

Raids, arrests as on-edge UK seeks 'network' of attackers

AP - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 23:06
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Security forces rounded up more suspects Wednesday in the deadly Manchester concert blast and soldiers fanned out across the country to national landmarks as an on-edge Britain tried to thwart the possibility of additional attacks. 2017-05-24T12:56:00-04:00 2017-05-24T16:56:06-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

Suspected suicide bombs in Jakarta kills 3 policemen

AP - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 23:06
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Two suspected suicide bombings near a bus terminal in Indonesia's capital Wednesday night killed three policemen and injured ten other people, including five officers, police said. 2017-05-24T12:50:00-04:00 2017-05-24T16:50:52-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

Melting pot Manchester stresses unity after concert attack

WASHINGTON POST - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 23:04
On the Manchester street they call the “Curry Mile,” there are no longer just Indian or Pakistani restaurants. Instead, in a sign of the ever-changing face of this proudly multiethnic city, a hungry diner these days can choose between Halal snacks from Beirut, kebabs from Afghanistan or garishly colored sweets from India, among many others.

‘We had to pull nails out of children's faces’: Homeless men helped after Manchester blast

WASHINGTON POST - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 22:56
Two homeless rescuers are being rewarded for their daring actions, though the devastation they encountered left them scarred.

Republican health bill to leave 23m uninsured

BBC WORLD NEWS - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 22:46
House Republicans were excoriated for passing the bill before the Congressional Budget Office score.

Counter-ISIS Campaign Progresses in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan

(USA) DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 22:37
Air Force Lt. Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian, commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command, said counterterrorism efforts in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan are proving successful.

The Latest: Brazil military protects buildings during demos

WASHINGTON POST - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 22:36
The latest on the political crisis in Brazil (all times local):

Throwing chaos aside, Trump aims for caution on big trip

WASHINGTON POST - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 22:36
In his first big tour on the world stage, President Donald Trump is choosing caution over his usual brand of chaos.

Trump sticks to the script on first trip abroad as president

AP - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 22:30
BRUSSELS (AP) — In his first big tour on the world stage, President Donald Trump is aiming for caution over his usual brand of chaos. 2017-05-24T12:13:00-04:00 2017-05-24T16:13:06-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

UN: Proposed US funding cuts would make UN’s work impossible

WASHINGTON POST - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 22:24
The U.N. spokesman says President Donald Trump’s huge proposed cuts in U.S. funding for the United Nations would make it “simply impossible” for the world organization to carry out essential work to promote peace, combat poverty and provide humanitarian assistance.

A Manchester bombing victim was Internet famous for texts with his mom

WASHINGTON POST - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 22:16
"My heart is breaking,” Martyn Hett once tweeted, after no one would buy his mother's hand-knit crafts. That tweet made them both minor Internet stars.

Debt to the Penny for 05/23/2017

US TRESURY DEBT DAY-TO-DAY - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 22:15
Debt Held by the Public: 14,301,899,119,121.59
Intragovernmental Holdings: 5,544,090,957,561.60
Total Public Debt Outstanding: 19,845,990,076,683.19

President Donald J. Trump Proclaims Memorial Day, May 29, 2017, as a Day of Prayer for Permanent Peace

THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS OFFICE - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 22:15

PRAYER FOR PEACE, MEMORIAL DAY, 2017

- - - - - - - 

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Memorial Day is our Nation's solemn reminder that freedom is never free.  It is a moment of collective reflection on the noble sacrifices of those who gave the last measure of devotion in service of our ideals and in the defense of our Nation.  On this ceremonious day, we remember the fallen, we pray for a lasting peace among nations, and we honor these guardians of our inalienable rights.  

This year, we commemorate the centennial anniversary of America's entry into World War I.  More than 4.7 million Americans served during The Great War, representing more than 25 percent of the American male population between the ages of 18 and 31 at the time.  We remember the more than 100,000 Americans who sacrificed their lives during "The War to End All Wars," and who left behind countless family members and loved ones.  We pause again to pray for the souls of those heroes who, one century ago, never returned home after helping to restore peace in Europe.

On Memorial Day we honor the final resting places of the more than one million men and women who sacrificed their lives for our Nation, by decorating their graves with the stars and stripes, as generations have done since 1868.  We also proudly fly America's beautiful flag at our homes, businesses, and in our community parades to honor their memory.  In doing so, we pledge our Nation's allegiance to the great cause of freedom for which they fought and ultimately died.

In honor and recognition of all of our fallen service members, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950, as amended (36 U.S.C. 116), has requested the President issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer.  The Congress, by Public Law 106-579, has also designated 3:00 p.m. local time on that day as a time for all Americans to observe, in their own way, the National Moment of Remembrance.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 29, 2017, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time when people might unite in prayer.  I urge the press, radio, television, and all other information media to cooperate in this observance.

I further ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.  

I also request the Governors of the United States and its Territories, and the appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control.  I also request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.

DONALD J. TRUMP

Israel defense chief appears to confirm Trump leaked intel

WASHINGTON POST - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 22:14
Israel’s defense minister appears to have confirmed his country’s intelligence was leaked by President Donald Trump during a meeting with Russian officials this month.

A city that's been knocked down before vows to get back on its feet

WASHINGTON POST - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 22:08
But Manchester is horrified that the damage was carried out by one of its own.

Top Venezuela prosecutor says protesters killed by police

WASHINGTON POST - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 22:04
Venezuela’s chief prosecutor on Wednesday further distanced herself from the socialist administration, deepening the widest rift in a government that has otherwise presented a united front against six weeks of protests.

Protesters, politics ‘without taboos’ greet Trump in Belgium

WASHINGTON POST - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 22:04
After a serene visit to the Vatican and with Pope Francis, U.S. President Donald Trump arrived Wednesday in Brussels as thousands of anti-Trump demonstrators took to the streets and the Belgian prime minister said he spoke with the president “without taboos.”

Brazil protests: Ministerial building set on fire during clashes

BBC WORLD NEWS - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 22:03
Around 35,000 demonstrators took to the streets of the capital Brasilia angry at alleged corruption.

'We can use peace': Trump and Pope Francis meet

AP - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 21:46
VATICAN CITY (AP) — President Donald Trump and Pope Francis, two leaders with contrasting styles and differing worldviews, met at the Vatican on Wednesday, setting aside their previous clashes to broadcast a tone of peace for an audience around the globe. 2017-05-24T06:53:00-04:00 2017-05-24T10:53:20-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

Investigators explore bomber's links to larger network

AP - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 21:44
LONDON (AP) — British investigators are hunting for potential conspirators linked to the bombing that killed 22 people in a search that is exploring the possibility that the same cell linked to the Paris and Brussels terror attacks was also to blame for the Manchester Arena attack, two officials familiar with the investigation said Wednesday. 2017-05-24T11:28:00-04:00 2017-05-24T15:28:20-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

UN criticises US peacekeeper cuts

BBC WORLD NEWS - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 21:34
Reports say Mr Trump hopes to cut up to $1bn in US contributions to the $7.9bn global peacekeeping fund.

UK investigates 'network' of alleged Manchester attackers

AP - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 21:16
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — British security forces raided an apartment building Wednesday in central Manchester as they investigated a network of people allegedly behind the city's concert bombing. Hundreds of soldiers were sent to secure key sites across the country, including Buckingham Palace and Parliament. 2017-05-24T11:08:00-04:00 2017-05-24T15:08:30-04:00
Categories: AP, WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED

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