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"It would be huge": U.S. border town confronts possible import tax
16 Feb 2017 at 1:17am

For up to 16 hours a day, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and mangoes grown in Mexico flow north through a border checkpoint into Nogales, Arizona, helping to ensure a year-round supply of fresh produce across the United States. In many ways, Nogales represents the flip side of free trade deals that have battered industrial cities in the Midwest, where jobs have been outsourced and manufacturing plants shut down. The cities where Donald Trump's promise to throttle what he calls unfair competition resonated most profoundly during the presidential campaign.



U.S. lawmakers push for answers on Trump team's Russia ties
15 Feb 2017 at 5:17pm

By Steve Holland and Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A crisis over the relationship between President Donald Trump's aides and Russia deepened on Wednesday as a growing number of Trump's fellow Republicans demanded expanded congressional inquiries into the matter. Trump sought to focus attention on what he called criminal intelligence leaks about his ousted national security adviser, Michael Flynn. Trump forced Flynn out on Monday after disclosures he had discussed U.S. sanctions on Russia with the Russian ambassador to the United States before Trump took office, and that he later misled Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations.



Trump's defense chief sees no military collaboration with Russia
16 Feb 2017 at 5:16am

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump's defense secretary on Thursday said he did not see the conditions for military collaboration with Russia, in a blow to Moscow's hopes for repairing ties with the United States following Trump's election. "We are not in a position right now to collaborate on a military level. But our political leaders will engage and try to find common ground," Mattis told reporters after talks at NATO headquarters in Brussels. (Reporting by Phil Stewart)



Meeting Israel's Netanyahu, Trump backs away from commitment to Palestinian s...
15 Feb 2017 at 5:34pm

By Luke Baker and Matt Spetalnick WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Wednesday dropped a U.S. commitment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the longstanding bedrock of Washington's Middle East policy, even as he urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to curb settlement construction. In the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since Trump?s victory in the 2016 election, the Republican president backed away from a U.S. embrace of the eventual creation of a Palestinian state, upending a position taken by successive administrations and the international community. "I'm looking at two states and one state, and I like the one both parties like," Trump told a joint news conference with Netanyahu.



Trump?s in trouble. Is it Christie time already?
16 Feb 2017 at 2:00am

Somehow, on Valentine?s Day, while he was trying to find a new national security adviser to replace the one he?d just fired, and while he was staring down multiple investigations over potential collusion with Russia, and while he was dealing with the fallout from having conducted missile diplomacy with the Japanese in the public dining room at Mar-a-Lago as if it were one of those party games where everyone got to dress up as a country in World War II ? somehow, with all this swirling around him, President Trump managed to lunch with his old friend Chris Christie. Because Trump needs a guy like Christie to come in and grab the wheel of this careening presidency, and he needs it to happen now. If he hadn?t decided to publicly disembowel Marco Rubio in that last debate in New Hampshire, as payback for a raft of negative ads, Trump would probably be back on the ?Apprentice? set right now, ogling the interns.



Watchdog blames Trump for spike in anti-Muslim hate groups
15 Feb 2017 at 12:36pm

The number of hate groups in the United States rose for a second consecutive year (from 892 in 2015 to 917 in 2016), according to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which cited Donald Trump?s presidential campaign as one reason for the spike in activity among the radical right. The most dramatic change documented in the civil rights watchdog?s annual ?Year in Hate and Extremism? report, published Wednesday, was the near-tripling of anti-Muslim hate groups ? from 34 to 101.



Trump breaks with old Middle East policy ? and campaign positions
15 Feb 2017 at 12:30pm

President Trump on Wednesday dropped the decades-old U.S. position that Middle East peace requires the creation of a viable Palestinian state. He also watered down campaign-trail pledges to move America?s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and dismantle the Iran nuclear deal.



Andy Puzder abruptly withdraws as labor secretary nominee
15 Feb 2017 at 12:01pm

Andy Puzder departs after a meeting with President-elect Trump in November. Andy Puzder, President Trump?s embattled nominee for secretary of labor, has withdrawn his name from consideration. ?After careful consideration and discussions with my family, I am withdrawing my nomination for Secretary of Labor,? Puzder said in a statement on Wednesday.



Trump blames ?unfair? media for decision to oust Flynn
15 Feb 2017 at 10:36am

President Trump on Wednesday denounced ?criminal? leaks of classified secrets and what he called the ?very, very unfair? news media?s treatment of ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn, a day after the White House said the mercurial retired general had to go because he misled colleagues and lost his unpredictable boss?s trust. ?I think it?s very, very unfair what?s happened to General Flynn, the way he was treated and the documents and papers that were illegally ? I stress that, illegally ? leaked,? Trump said at a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The president praised Flynn as ?a wonderful man? targeted by ?the fake media,? and he condemned leaks of information showing that the former Army general misled top officials including Vice President Mike Pence about potentially improper contacts with a top Russian diplomat.


Senators express concern over Trump campaign's contact with Russia
15 Feb 2017 at 6:49pm
Senators from both sides of the aisle are expressing concern over reports that Donald Trump's campaign had contact with potential Russian operatives -- arguing this is further proof why thorough investigations are necessary. "It just calls out for the most thorough and deepest investigation that can be had," said Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J. White House press secretary Sean Spicer was asked by ABC News' Jonathan Karl during Tuesday's press briefing if Trump's campaign, including former national security adviser Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, had any contact with Russia.


Russian spy ship 30 miles from US Navy sub base
15 Feb 2017 at 11:23am

A Russian spy ship is now 30 miles south of New London, Connecticut, where a U.S. Navy submarine base is located. The Viktor Leonov, a Russian intelligence gathering ship, had been making its way north along the East Coast of the United States since early this week. U.S. officials have said that the spy ship was likely headed to a location near Connecticut in international waters where it could be close to the U.S. Navy submarine base in New London.



Questions swirl after it emerges Trump told weeks ago that Flynn misled over ...
14 Feb 2017 at 6:16pm

Questions continue to swirl in the wake of Michael Flynn's resignation as national security adviser, including which White House officials knew -- and when -- about Flynn's calls with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during the Trump administration transition. According to White House press secretary Sean Spicer, President Trump was informed of the Justice Department's findings in a briefing from his White House counsel on Jan. 26. Flynn wrote in his resignation letter that he "inadvertently briefed the Vice President-elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador," but questions about the legality of the calls remain at large.



China carfentanil ban a 'game-changer' for opioid epidemic
16 Feb 2017 at 5:17am

SHANGHAI (AP) ? So deadly it's considered a terrorist threat, carfentanil has been legal in China? until now. Beijing is banning carfentanil and three similar drugs as of March 1, China's Ministry of Public Security said Thursday, closing a major regulatory loophole in the fight to end America's opioid epidemic.



Mattis: US not ready to collaborate militarily with Russia
16 Feb 2017 at 5:13am

BRUSSELS (AP) ? Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the U.S. is not ready to collaborate militarily with Russia, appearing to close the door for now on any effort to work more with Moscow in the fight against Islamic State militants in Syria.



Ukraine's president vows to resume coal supply from east
16 Feb 2017 at 4:51am

MOSCOW (AP) ? Ukraine's president on Thursday pledged to resume coal supplies from separatist-controlled parts of the country after it was blocked by volunteer battalions, threatening to disrupt the country's power supply.


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