The Commons leader says the Brexit deal struck at Chequers is "a very hard and fast offer to the EU".
During her Belfast visit Theresa May is expected to say a plan agreed at Chequers will work for NI.
A Virginia Republican operative is accusing a New York Times reporter of breaking into his Woodbridge apartment.
Brian Landrum, who has worked for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Corey Stewart, said a friend of his went to his unlocked apartment around 2 p.m. Wednesday and came across an intruder, whom he ...
JUNEAU, Alaska — Carol Hafner is on the Democratic primary ballot for an Alaska U.S. House seat.
She doesn't live in Alaska. In fact, she's never been to the state. Hafner, who listed New Jersey and South Dakota addresses in her candidate filing, says she's serious about running, though she ...
Promoting a robust economy, President Donald Trump pressed U.S. companies and trade associations on Thursday to enhance their job training programs as employers search for qualified skilled workers to fill vacancies.
LIMA, Peru (AP) - The head of Peru's judicial branch resigned Thursday in the wake of a mounting corruption scandal involving secret phone recordings capturing numerous judges making behind-the-scenes deals on everything from promotions to criminal sentences.
The latest scandal to embroil this South American nation has ensnared some of ...
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - An uptick in crime unfolded in the Albuquerque area over a recent multi-year period as poverty and other social issues worsened in the state's largest metro area, according to a legislative report released Thursday.
The report that reviewed crime statistics and other data in Bernalillo County ...
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Trump administration said Thursday that Somalis granted special immigration status in the U.S. can keep the designation, making them one of the few groups permitted to stay in the U.S. under a program that has allowed them to remain here for years.
Somalia was first designated ...
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The former head of an Arkansas nonprofit that helps at-risk youth has pleaded guilty to diverting more than $120,000 from the group to an unnamed state senator in a widening corruption probe that has already ensnared several former lawmakers.
Jerry Walsh pleaded guilty on Thursday ...
NEW YORK (AP) - A suspect arrested in the slaying of an aide to Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been convicted of manslaughter, but was acquitted of murder charges.
Kenny Bazile (buh-ZEEL') was found guilty on Thursday in the 2015 fatal shooting of Carey Gabay (guh-BAY'), who got ...
MIAMI (AP) - A Florida online publication asked a federal appeals court Thursday to order a trial be held on its Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking FBI documents that may reveal a U.S.-based support network for the 9/11 hijackers.
The case heard before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of ...
A federal judge on Thursday threw out New York City's lawsuit against five of the world's largest oil companies, dealing another setback to liberal jurisdictions seeking to hold the petroleum industry financially responsible for global warming.
U.S. District Court Judge John Keenan in New York dismissed the complaint against ExxonMobil, ...
The government is heading towards the summer break, wracked by infighting among Tory MPs.
A 29-year-old Russian woman remains behind bars accused of working as a covert spy while in the U.S. on a student visa.
Debt Held by the Public: 15,512,748,584,872.01
Intragovernmental Holdings: 5,728,115,197,216.94
Total Public Debt Outstanding: 21,240,863,782,088.95
President Trump should have issued a more full-throated condemnation this week of Russian election meddling in the 2016 presidential election, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said Thursday at the Aspen Security Forum.
President Trump has asked his White House to extend an invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit Washington later this year, press secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Thursday tweeted that President Trump requested National Security Adviser John Bolton to extend an invite to Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit Washington, D.C., in the fall.
President Trump signed an executive order Thursday creating a National Council for the American Worker to spur job retraining for workers to gain new skills for a rapidly changing economy.
Calling it the "beginning of a new national movement," Mr. Trump secured pledges from 23 corporate chiefs and trade association ...
A federal prosecutor nominated by President Trump to sit on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was withdrawn from consideration Thursday after Republican senators expressed concerns over his college writings about race, sexual assault and other issues.
New York Yankees season tickets, a $21,000 watch, and oriental rugs worth thousands of dollars are among the nearly 500 pieces of evidence could be presented to jurors at next week's trial of Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, according to new court filings.
The filing in an Alexandria, Virginia, federal ...
Days ahead of the first-ever ministerial talks hosted by the State Department to advance religious freedom around the world, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sat down with VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching on Thursday, addressing pressing issues including the plight of Myanmar's Rohingya, the repression of Uighurs Muslims and Tibetan Buddhists in China, and Russia’s activities in eastern Ukraine. Below is an edited transcript.
Question: On the ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya Muslims with the Buddhists being the majority in Myanmar, the purge against Rohingya sometimes is characterized by some as religious cleansing. At the same time, killing is the worst crime for Buddhism and for many religions. Would you go further to identify the Rohingya crisis as religious cleansing?”
Answer: Well the State Department made a decision at the end of last year to make the important statement about ethnic cleansing and we know that there is a religious connection there. It is incredibly important to be careful of the language that we use, so we will continue to review it but as you well know, the State Department considers religious freedom at the center of its activity, we make that a priority in all of the work that we do and in places in Asia, that is absolutely no exception.
Question: Would you consider a comprehensive arms embargo and more targeted financial sanctions against top Burmese military leaders for their involvement of the Rohingya purge.”
Answer: I don’t want to get out of hand with the president on this but you should know we take these issues incredibly seriously and your viewers should know that as well. There are many things that are under consideration by this administration. We want to see the course changing, we want to see the directional change here. We’ve not seen that yet. And so there are many things that are being considered by the United States government to ensure that everyone understands that their behavior is not acceptable.
Question: In China, the State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report documented the repression against the Uighur Muslims and Tibetan Buddhists. First of all, how would you respond to the assertion from the Chinese government that some of the groups are separatists? And secondly, would you consider a travel ban or working with the Treasury Department to freeze the U.S. assets of those Chinese officials who are involved in such repression.”
Answer: So the State Department has made clear that with respect to this issue we think they are on the wrong side on religious freedom, that they are a country of concern connected to that. We understand that religious freedom is at risk in many places in the world and yet the United States has complex broad relationships with many countries, including China across economic and military and political sets of issues. Your viewers should know the United States also puts religious freedom as a fundamental human right at the very center of discussions with every country with whom we interact.”
Question: Religious freedom is a universal value as you mentioned. How would you respond to the Chinese assertion that some of the surveillance programs are to prevent a terrorist attack?”
Answer: Well I don't to want comment. Every country does work to make sure that their citizens are safe, but we should never – no country should ever use that effort – [under] the guise of a counter terrorism investigation to persecute religious freedom. Religious freedom is separate and apart from that. Every human by nature of their dignity as a human being deserves the capacity to worship in the way that they want to worship, or if they chose not to worship at all so be it. No one should be punished by their government for their religious beliefs or their religious activities connected to those beliefs.
Question: While we are sitting here, critics, including State Department’s own report, said that in Eastern Ukraine, Russia-led forces continue to occupy religious buildings of religious minority groups for the use of military facilities. You were at Helsinki. Was that a good meeting? How were Russia’s activities in eastern Ukraine being discussed?
Answer: “So I’ve seen those reports about the Russian’s use of religious facilities. That's never acceptable. It violates all sorts of central premises about nations ought to be able to use religious facilities to protect your forces, creates real challenges. With respect to Helsinki, President Trump made clear to Vladimir Putin that their activities in eastern Ukraine weren’t in Russia’s best interest. This administration has been incredibly tough. We’ve provided support to the Ukrainian forces there in southeast Ukraine, that the previous administration – who repeatedly refused to do. We think this creates a space for the Ukrainian people to have a successful election come 2019 and we are very very hopeful that that situation will resolve itself as America has made its continued commitment to support the Ukrainian people's desires.”
Question: Speaking of Russia, Mr. Secretary, there has also been a lot of concern over the Russian proposal to question former ambassador McFaul. Do you have anything on that topic?
Answer: Yeah, I’d like to stop you. It’s not going to happen. The Russians made a proposal about a number of things during the course of the conversation between President Trump and President Putin. There were suggestions, comments, thoughts by President Putin with respect to that inquiry. President trump was very clear – we’re not gonna force Americans to go to Russia to be interrogated by the Russians. There’s been a lot of noise about that, I don't know why. Just the American people should rest assured.”
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California's attorney general is joining regulators in the federal government and other states in targeting charities they say falsely promise to aid veterans and active members of the military.
Attorney General Xavier Becerra (HAH-vee-air buh-SEHR'-ah) said Thursday that includes requiring more than 500 veterans' charities to ...
The Home Office announces a consultation on its plans to compensate victims of the Windrush scandal.
The U.S. has no intention of allowing Russia to question Michael McFaul, Washington's former ambassador to Moscow and a fierce critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told VOA on Thursday.
"It’s not going to happen," the top U.S. diplomat said in an interview at the State Department.
Pompeo said Putin "made a proposal about a number of things during the course of the conversation" he had Monday at his Helsinki summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.
"There were suggestions, comments, thoughts by President Putin with respect to that inquiry," Pompeo told VOA. "President Trump was very clear – we’re not gonna force Americans to go to Russia to be interrogated by the Russians."
The Russian leader proposed to let U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators fly to Moscow to interview 12 military intelligence officials indicted in connection with hacking into computers of Democrats working to defeat Trump in the 2016 election in exchange for Russian interviews of McFaul; an American-born British businessman, Bill Browder, who worked to get legislation passed in the U.S. and elsewhere to sanction Russia for human rights violations, and other Americans.
Browder was convicted in absentia for tax fraud in Russia and Putin claimed, without any evidence, that Browder laundered $400 million out of Russia and gave it to Trump's 2016 opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton. No such political donation occurred.
McFaul, who served as the U.S. ambassador to Moscow from 2012 to 2014 during the administration of former President Barack Obama, said on Twitter, "I hope the White House corrects the record and denounces in categorical terms this ridiculous request from Putin. Not doing so creates moral equivalency between a legitimacy U.S. indictment of Russian intelligence officers and a crazy, completely fabricated story invented by Putin."
On Wednesday, there was a high-level disconnect within the Trump administration over a possible Russian interview with McFaul.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert called the unspecified Russian crimes against the Americans "absurd," suggesting that no questioning would be permitted. But White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the idea of each country's investigators questioning people it wanted to in the United States and Russia was being weighed.
"The president's going to meet with his team, and we'll let you know when we have an announcement on that," Sanders said, adding that no one had made any commitment to accept Putin's offer.
By Thursday, Sanders said, "It is a proposal that was made in sincerity by President Putin, but President Trump disagrees with it. Hopefully President Putin will have the 12 identified Russians come to the United States to prove their innocence or guilt.”
Russia and the U.S. do not have an extradition treaty and the 12 accused intelligence officials are not expected to be turned over to the U.S. for trial.
The reason for the confusion about questioning officials from the two countries came because Trump said Putin had made "an incredible offer" to him.
During Thursday's interview with VOA, Secretary of State Pompeo sought to clarify the U.S. stance on the issue, repeating such questioning would not be permitted.
"There’s been a lot of noise about that, I don't know why," Pompeo said. "Just the American people should rest assured.”
Ken Bredemeier contributed to this report
Republican lawmakers are inquiring into an order from U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp that theoretically allowed the state to seize citizens’ firearms ahead of Hurricane Irma last year.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell withdrew one of President Trump's judicial nominees for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday after failing to get the majority of the Senate to back the president's pick.
Ryan W. Bounds, an assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, faced pushback from ...
Days ahead of the first-ever ministerial talks hosted by the State Department to advance religious freedom around the world, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sat down with VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching on Thursday, addressing pressing issues including the plight of Myanmar's Rohingya, the repression of Uighurs Muslims and Tibetan Buddhists in China, and Russia’s activities in eastern Ukraine.
In the U.S.-led campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the center of gravity remains the coalition network of allies and partner nations, the commander of U.S. Central Command told Pentagon reporters.
So let's not get ahead of ourselves.
The Republican-led U.S. Senate on Thursday rejected two symbolic measures to support U.S. intelligence agencies in the face of President Donald Trump's ever-shifting pronouncements on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential contest and the Kremlin's continuing threats to U.S. elections.
The chamber's No. 2 Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, objected to a bipartisan non-binding resolution backing intelligence reports on Russian election meddling and last week's indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers.
The resolution also urged full congressional examination of Trump's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki and called for full implementation of U.S. sanctions against Moscow.
Moments earlier, Kentucky's Rand Paul objected to a similar Democratic resolution that added support for the special counsel in the Justice Department's Russia probe, Robert Mueller.
Arizona Republican Jeff Flake, who co-authored the bipartisan resolution, said congressional action is needed after Trump "let down the free world [in Helsinki] by giving aid and comfort to an enemy of democracy" and "dimmed the light of freedom ever so slightly in our own country."
"We should stand and be counted in defense of our democracy," said Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, who crafted the resolution with Flake.
Speaking in support of the Democratic measure, Vermont independent Senator Bernie Sanders said, "If for whatever reason the president of the United States is not going to do what is right, Congress must do it."
Cornyn argued the bipartisan resolution was unnecessary, saying Trump has corrected statements he made alongside Putin at Monday's news conference in Helsinki.
"In Helsinki, he [Trump] was less than clear about that [Russian election meddling], but he came back and said that he misspoke, and reaffirmed his earlier position that, yes, the Russian government had attempted to interfere in the  election," Cornyn said.
He added, rather than voting on symbolic resolutions, Congress should pass further sanctions to deter Russian malfeasance in the future.
In objecting to the Democratic resolution, Paul accused colleagues of "crazy hatred of the president" and warmongering against Russia.
Supporters of both resolutions promised to bring the measures up for votes once again at a later date.
Hours earlier, on the other side of the Capitol, Republican representatives blocked a Democratic motion forcing the American interpreter at the Trump-Putin summit to testify before the House Intelligence Committee as to what the two leaders said behind closed doors.
The committee's top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, acknowledged the unprecedented nature of the motion, but said it was warranted because Trump "chose to go into that meeting alone. It appears that there were commitments made in that meeting that affect American national security interests."
Republicans moved to dismiss the motion without comment, and it was tabled by a committee vote of 11-6.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A legislative ethics panel says it found by "clear and convincing evidence" that an Alaska lawmaker violated ethics law by disclosing the existence of a complaint that was considered confidential.
At a public hearing Tuesday, Rep. David Eastman denied that he had done this.
The ethics ...
The White House rejected Thursday a proposal by Russian President Vladimir Putin to allow Moscow to interrogate Americans, including former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul.
"It is a proposal that was made in sincerity by President Putin, but President Trump disagrees with it," said White House press secretary Sarah ...
WASHINGTON (AP) - White House: Trump 'disagrees' with Putin offer to allow Russia to interview Americans the Kremlin accuses of crimes.
President Trump took a pot shot Thursday at the Federal Reserve for eyeing another interest rate hike that could slow America's strong economic growth.
"I'm not thrilled," Mr. Trump said in an interview with CNBC, taking the rare step for a president of criticize the independent central bank that sets ...
DALLAS (AP) - A federal grand jury in Texas has indicted several people connected to an alleged immigrant smuggling scheme, including the driver in an SUV crash that killed five of 14 people inside.
Federal prosecutors say the driver, 20-year-old Jorge Luis Monsivais Jr., and four others were indicted by ...
WASHINGTON (AP) - Kathy Kraninger, President Donald Trump's nominee to take over the nation's watchdog for banks, credit card companies and payday lenders, made her public debut in front of the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday, where she faced extremely hostile questioning from Democrats.
Democratic senators called into question her ...
Senate GOP leaders blocked a non-binding bipartisan resolution Thursday that would have put the chamber on record as standing behind the intelligence community and its findings that Russian interfered in the 2016 election.
The resolution, authored by Sens. Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican, and Chris Coons, Delaware Democrat, was offered in ...
While the fighting continues and work remains to be done in Afghanistan, progress there shows the president’s South Asia Strategy is working, the commander of U.S. Central Command told Pentagon reporters.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Haeder Al Anbki was all set to become a U.S. citizen last year.
The former interpreter for U.S. forces in Iraq, who had been shot and stabbed during his service, was at a June 2017 naturalization ceremony in Fort Benning, Georgia, for 20 immigrant recruits when ...
President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin are defending their summit in Helsinki, saying the two hours of talks yielded progress on a range of issues, but disclosing few details.
"With all the difference in views, we agreed that Russian-American relations are in an extremely unsatisfactory state. In many ways, even worse than during the Cold War," Putin said Thursday. "Of course, it would be naive to believe that the problems which accumulated over the years will be resolved in a few hours. No one expected it. Nevertheless, I believe that the path to these positive changes has started."
Washington and Moscow have long been adversaries. Putin and Trump say they want to improve ties by increasing collaboration: in cybersecurity, military relations, counterterrorism, nuclear weapons reductions, business relations and the arts.
The specifics remain unclear. Here's a summary of what we know:
President Trump called Putin's offer to work with U.S. investigators on the inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 vote an "incredible offer."
In return for helping American investigators question Russian military officers charged with participating in cyber crimes as part of the covert effort, Putin said Russia would want help questioning British investor Bill Browder and the former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul as part of an alleged corruption scheme. Both are longtime Putin critics.
Browder was involved in lobbying the U.S. Congress to pass the Magnitsky Act, which freezes hundreds of millions of dollars of assets held by Kremlin-linked businessmen.
"So I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today," Trump said Monday. "And what he did is an incredible offer; he offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators with respect to the 12 people. I think that's an incredible offer."
White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders was asked about the interrogation cooperation Wednesday, and specifically whether Putin raised questioning former American ambassador McFaul.
"There was some conversation about it, but there wasn't a commitment made on behalf of the United States. And the President will work with his team, and we'll let you know if there's an announcement on that front," Sanders said.
"The overall assertions that have come out of the Russian Government are absolutely absurd," State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said Wednesday. "The fact that they want to question 11 American citizens and the assertions that the Russian government is making about those American citizens — we do not stand by those assertions that the Russian Government makes."
Trump and Putin discussed military cooperation on issues like nuclear weapons treaties and coordinating operations in Syria.
"The Russian Defense Ministry is ready to enliven contact with the U.S. colleagues, between our General Staffs and via other communication channels, to discuss extension of the START Treaty, cooperation in Syria, and other topical issues of military security," Russian spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Tuesday.
"We also agreed that representatives from our national security councils will meet to follow up on all of the issues we addressed today and to continue the progress we have started right here in Helsinki," Trump said Monday.
The United States has opposed Russia's annexation of Crimea and invasion of eastern Ukraine. However, Trump did not publicly raise the issue in his remarks following the summit. Instead, Putin said the two sides discussed how to implement the 2014 Minsk Protocol agreement aimed at halting fighting.
"The posture on President Trump on Crimea is well known, and he stands firmly by it. He continued to maintain that it was illegal to annex it. We — our viewpoint is different," Putin said Monday.
"While we discussed the internal Ukrainian crisis, we paid special attention to the bona fide implementation of Minsk Agreements by Kiev," he added. "At the same time, the United States could be more decisive in nudging the Ukrainian leadership and encourage it to work actively on this."
The two presidents highlighted Syria as a situation with conditions that favored increased collaboration.They provided few details.
"We both spoke with Bibi [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, and they would like to do certain things with respect to Syria having to do with the safety of Israel," Trump said Monday. "So in that respect, we absolutely would like to work in order to help Israel, and Israel will be working with us. So both countries would work jointly."
"As far as Syria is concerned," Putin said Monday, "the task of establishing peace and reconciliation in this country could be the first showcase example of this successful joint work. Russia and the United States apparently can act proactively and take - assume the leadership on this issue, and organize the interaction to overcome humanitarian crisis, and help Syrian refugees to go back to their homes."
General Joseph Votel of U.S. Central Command was asked Thursday if he has any information about what was agreed to on Syria.
"The direct answer is no," he replied. "I have not been asked to do anything along those [lines]. I am not privy to any grand bargain."
MIRAMAR, Fla. (AP) - At least 17 protesters face charges after blocking a roadway outside a South Florida office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The Miramar Police Department said Thursday that the protesters face charges of unlawful assembly and obstructing a highway for the protest on Wednesday at ...
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair says Theresa May's approach to Brexit "doesn’t honour what most people who voted for Brexit think".
The White House sought Thursday to tamp down another firestorm that broke out in the wake of President Trump's summit with Vladimir Putin, making clear the president does not support the Russian leader's proposal to allow his government to interview American officials.
President Trump, brushing off criticism of his summit with Vladimir Putin, floated the possibility Thursday of a “second meeting” with the Russian president – even as a new firestorm broke out over his consideration of Putin’s bid to question former U.S. government officials.
Republicans voted down a motion introduced by two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee to subpoena President Trump's translator.
Committee members Rep. Adam Schiff and Rep. Eric Swalwell, both of California, announced the congressional vote on Twitter.
Mr. Schiff said the move was "an extraordinary remedy," but the president's rhetoric ...
Diane McCrea goes after auditor queries Natural Resources Wales accounts for third year in a row.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Several Senate Democrats say they'll vote against President Donald Trump's choice to head the IRS to protest a new agency policy allowing some groups to hide their donors' identities. Critics say the policy will let more dark money - including from foreign interests - flood into the ...
Senators on the Judiciary Committee sparred Thursday about the volume of records being sought for review ahead of the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh.
Republicans want the committee to come up with a workable standard for requesting documents related to Judge Kavanaugh's time working in ...
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described socialist who took the Democratic Party by storm after her upset primary victory against entrenched incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley, has received a "pants on fire" rating for her comments on unemployment rates.
"Unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs," the 28-year-old New Yorker declared Friday ...
A senior MP warns that making all investigations into MPs anonymous risk damaging transparency.
A Conservative MP calling for a confidence vote in Theresa May's leadership speaks of the party whips "blackmailing" MPs.
House Democrats on Thursday erupted into the USA chants on the floor of the House of Representatives after House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., delivered a fiery speech condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin for election meddling and accusing Republicans of not doing enough to ensure election security.
Senate Democrats on Thursday urged Republican leaders to step in and protect Obamacare from a state-driven lawsuit that threatens its main protections for sicker Americans, saying President Trump's refusal to defend the program leaves them no choice.
They offered a resolution that would require the Senate to intervene in the ...
The EU has issued a 16-page document outlining the preparations for deal or no deal.
The House on Thursday passed a $58.7 billion spending package to fund interior, environmental, financial services and general government programs in 2019, as lawmakers try to press forward on next year's funding bills ahead of a forthcoming five-week summer break.
The legislation packaged two bills together — a $35.3 billion ...