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The shifting White House explanation for President Donald Trump's decision to withhold military aid from Ukraine drew alarm Friday from Republicans as the impeachment inquiry brought a new test of their alliance.
Trump, in remarks at the White House, stood by his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, whose earlier comments undermined the administration's defense in the impeachment probe. Speaking Thursday at a news conference, Mulvaney essentially acknowledged a quid pro quo with Ukraine that Trump has long denied, saying U.S. aid was withheld from Kyiv to push for an investigation of the Democratic National Committee and the 2016 election. He later clarified his remarks.
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Frayed U.S. relations with Turkey over its incursion in Syria raise a sensitive question rarely discussed in public: Should the United States remove the nuclear bombs it has long stored at a Turkish air base?
It's a tricky matter for several reasons, including the fact that by longstanding policy, the U.S. government does not publicly acknowledge locations of nuclear weapons overseas. Still, it is almost an open secret that the U.S. has as many as 50 B-61 bombs stored under heavy guard at Incirlik air base in southern Turkey.
The cease-fire in northern Syria got off to a rocky start Friday, as Kurdish leaders accused Turkey of violating the accord with continued fighting at a key border town while casting doubt on provisions in the U.S.-brokered deal with Ankara.
Turkey's president warned that Turkish forces would go back on the attack in four days unless Kurdish-led fighters withdraw "without exception" from a zone 20 miles (30 kilometers) deep in Syria running the entire 260-mile (440-kilometer) length of the border.
"Without exception, if the promise is not fulfilled, Operation Peace Spring will resume the minute the 120 hours end with even more determination," President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told journalists in Istanbul.
The world's first all-female spacewalking team made history high above Earth on Friday, replacing a broken part of the International Space Station's power grid.
As NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir completed the job with wrenches, screwdrivers and power-grip tools, it marked the first time in a half-century of spacewalking that men weren't part of the action. They insisted they were just doing their job after years of training.
America's first female spacewalker from 35 years ago, Kathy Sullivan, was delighted. She said it's good to finally have enough women in the astronaut corps and trained for spacewalking for this to happen.
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South Korean police said Saturday they beefed up security at the U.S. ambassador's residence in Seoul after a group of anti-American students used ladders to break into the compound.
They were protesting demands by the Trump administration that South Korea pay more to help cover the costs of keeping U.S. troops in the country.
Officials from three Seoul police stations didn't immediately say whether they will seek to formally arrest any of the 19 university students who were detained Friday afternoon at the residence of Ambassador Harry Harris.
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President Donald Trump appears to have learned what his predecessors discovered as well: It's easier and often more satisfying to get things done through administrative action than to get Congress to go along, said Andrew Rudalevige, a professor at Bowdoin College who studies the history and effectiveness of presidential executive actions.
"Most candidates don't realize the utility of executive actions while campaigning," Rudalevige said. "When they become president, they quickly gain an appreciation of how difficult it is to get things done in government."
The White House declined to comment on Trump's use of executive orders. He surpassed Obama's third-year total when, in the last two weeks, he issued five executive orders relating to Medicare, government transparency, federal spending and imposing sanctions on Turkish officials.
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Negotiations aimed at reaching a major settlement in the nation's opioid litigation reached an impasse Friday.
Key differences were between state attorneys general and lawyers representing local governments, rather than with the drugmakers and distributors they are suing.
One of the negotiators, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, said late Friday that local governments did not accept a deal worth $48 billion in cash, treatment drugs and services.
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The United States on Friday imposed new sanctions on Cuba over its support for Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and its human rights record at home.
The Department of Commerce said in a statement it is revoking existing licenses for aircraft leases to Cuban state-owned airlines and will deny future applications for aircraft leases. It will also expand the sanctions on Cuba to include more foreign goods containing U.S. contents.
Washington said the measures seek to hold the Cuban regime accountable for repressing its own people and for providing support to the Venezuela's government, which it accuses of human rights abuses and collapsing the country's economy.
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Two top officials with the Department of Housing and Urban Development admitted at a congressional hearing this week that the agency knowingly missed a legally required deadline that would have made desperately needed hurricane relief funding available to Puerto Rico, NBC News reported.
HUD’s chief financial officer, Irv Dennis, and David Woll, the department's principal deputy assistant secretary for community planning and development, made the admission Thursday before a House Appropriations subcommittee.
The two told bewildered lawmakers that the agency missed the congressionally mandated deadline to issue a notice that would have kicked off a monthslong process to help Puerto Rico get billions in federal housing funds Congress allocated after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017.
“HUD did fail to comply with the law,” said Rep. David Price, D-N.C., said at the hearing.
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Lizbeth Garcia tended to her 3-year-old son outside a tent pitched on a sidewalk, their temporary home while they wait for their number to be called to claim asylum in the United States.
The 33-year-old fled Mexico's western state of Michoacán a few weeks ago with her husband and five children — ages 3 to 12 — when her husband, a truck driver, couldn't pay fees that criminal gangs demanded for each trailer load. The family decided it was time to go when gangs came to their house to collect.
"I'd like to say it's unusual, but it's very common," Garcia said Thursday in Juarez, where asylum seekers gather to wait their turn to seek protection at a U.S. border crossing in El Paso, Texas.
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Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who ran against President Donald Trump in the 2016 Republican primary, said Friday that he supports impeaching the president — but isn't ready to call for his removal from office.
Kasich said he decided to back impeachment after hearing acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney acknowledge Thursday that Trump's decision to hold up military aid to Ukraine was linked to his demand that Ukraine investigate the Democratic National Committee and the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. Mulvaney later claimed his remarks were misconstrued.
"This is an extremely serious matter," Kasich told The Associated Press in an interview. "I wrestled with it for a very long time."
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Boris Johnson worked behind the scenes Friday to win enough support to push his new Brexit deal through the fractious British Parliament and pave the way for Britain — finally — to leave the European Union in two weeks.
His message to allies and opponents alike: Approve the agreement so Britain can finally put the tortuous, three-year Brexit saga behind it.
Johnson returned overnight from the EU summit in Brussels where he sealed the divorce deal and began a busy day of meetings and phone calls as he attempted to persuade lawmakers to ratify the pact at a rare Saturday sitting of Parliament. He met Friday with his Cabinet ahead of what's expected to be a knife-edge House of Commons vote on what was being billed by an excited media as Super Saturday.
President Donald Trump punched back Friday at criticism that his Syria withdrawal is damaging U.S. credibility, betraying Kurdish allies and opening the door for a possible resurgence of the Islamic State. He touted a cease-fire agreement that seemed at risk as Turkey and Kurdish fighters differed over what it required and whether combat had halted.
Jane Fonda was arrested for the second time this month on Friday. Fonda was trying to bring attention to the “Green New Deal” and raise awareness about climate change.
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President Donald Trump on Friday tapped Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette to succeed Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who is expected to leave the agency's top post at the end of the year, NBC News reported.
Brouillette — whose broad experience in Washington's backrooms includes stints as a top lobbyist for the Ford Motor Company, the chief of staff for the House Energy and Commerce Committee and senior Energy Department roles in multiple administrations — is a "total professional," Trump said in nominating him.
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