Obama administration

US urges new sanctions on NKorea and warns of catastrophe

Doing nothing could be "catastrophic," top diplomat Rex Tillerson told a special U.N. Security Council session he chaired.

Amid council members' warning about the potential for conflict, Tillerson urged tougher action from China, North Korea's main trading partner. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi countered that a solution doesn't lie with Beijing and suggested resuming a long-stalled dialogue with Pyongyang.

Australian prime minister looking forward to meeting Trump

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was speaking to reporters at the al-Minhad air base in the United Arab Emirates after meeting in Afghanistan with Defense Secretary James Mattis and greeting Australian troops in the Middle East ahead of Veterans' Day commemorations on Tuesday.

Turnbull met in Sydney over the weekend with Vice President Mike Pence, whose visit was intended to smooth over any lingering hard feelings after the prime minister's contentious phone call with Trump on Jan. 28 over a refugee resettlement deal struck by the previous Obama administration.

Finance leaders play down differences with Trump over trade

But officials at the spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that too many people have been left behind at a time when low-wage competition and automation have reduced factory jobs in the world's wealthy economies.

Obama aide denies using intel to spy on Trump advisers

"Absolutely false," Rice declared.

The White House has seized on the idea that the Obama administration improperly surveilled the Republican during and after the November election — an accusation Democrats say is just another red herring thrown out to distract attention from investigations of Russian interference in the campaign on behalf of Trump.

Presidential spokesman Sean Spicer cast Rice's handling of intelligence in the waning days of Obama's term as suspicious, although he did not detail what he found to be inappropriate.

White House condemns 'heinous' attack in Syria

Spokesman Sean Spicer said Tuesday's attack in Syria's rebel-held northern Idlib is "heinous" and "reprehensible"— describing it as a catastrophe made worse by the inaction of the Obama administration.

Spicer said the White House has received a number of phone calls from European allies questioning how it would address the problem, pressing President Donald Trump's "America First" administration to take a bold position on this civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands and prompted the worst refugee crisis since World War II.

Clinton criticizes Trump budget cuts to diplomatic programs

The former first lady, New York senator and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee addressed an awards ceremony at Georgetown University and focused on advancing the rights of women and girls. Clinton said a rising tide of women's rights lifts all nations and stressed that global progress depends on the progress of women.

US, Asian allies condemn NKorea after diplomats meet

A joint statement by the nations' three top diplomats said the U.S. "remains steadfast" in its defense commitments to the two Asian allies, "backed by the full range of its nuclear and conventional defense capabilities."

The statement came after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in Bonn, Germany, where they were attending a meeting of foreign ministers from the Group of 20 nations.

Congress blocks rule barring mentally impaired from guns

The measure now goes to President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it.

The regulation was crafted as part of President Barack Obama's efforts to strengthen the federal background check system in the wake of the 2012 massacre of 20 young students and six staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Adam Lanza, a 20-year-old man with a variety of impairments, including Asperger's syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, shot and killed his mother at their home, then went to school where he killed the students, adults and himself.

Iran says US expanding medical clearance list 'inhumane'

The Friday report cites the director of Iran's Food and Drug Administration, Rasoul Dinarvand, as saying that extending the list is "inhumane".

Dinarvand said the equipment has diagnostic and treatment applications.

The U.S. Treasury Department recently modified on Iran, expanding a list of medical equipment that needs clearance to be sold to Iranian customers.

VIDEO: Australia PM denies Trump hung up phone on him

Malcolm Turnbull said the deal is  still in depite US President Donald Trump dubbing the agreement "dumb" and vowing to review it.

Turnbull denied during an interview with Sydney radio station 2GB that Trump had hung up on him, saying the conversation had ended "courteously."