Obama administration

President Trump opens first full day on job at church

Trump and his wife, Melania, and Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, sat in a front pew at Washington National Cathedral for the morning service after a day of pomp, pageantry and protests that accompanied his Friday inauguration.

The interfaith service is a tradition for new presidents and is hosted by the Episcopal parish, but the decision to hold a prayer session for Trump sparked debate among Episcopalians opposed to his policies.

Obama releases final batch of bin Laden documents

Tracking down and killing the man behind the 2001 terrorist attacks on America is one of President Barack Obama's greatest accomplishments.

Intelligence officials have been working for more than two years to declassify the hundreds of documents captured in the raid. The last batch consisting of 49 documents include letters to and from bin Laden, his deputies and his mother.

Obama ends US economic embargo of long-estranged Sudan

A week before leaving office, President Barack Obama signed an executive order to permanently revoke a broad range of sanctions after a six-month waiting period, designed to ensure that Sudan doesn't backslide on improved efforts to counter Islamic extremism.

In the meantime, the Treasury Department authorized Americans to do business in Sudan and export products there, effective immediately. It also unfroze Sudan's assets in the U.S.

Paris draft: 2-state solution best for Israel, Palestinians

The countries will call for the establishment of a Palestinian state as "the only way" to ensure peace in the region.

France is hosting more than 70 countries on Sunday at a Mideast peace summit, in what will be a final chance for the Obama administration to lay out its positions for the region.

According to a draft statement obtained by The Associated Press on Friday, the conference will urge Israel and the Palestinians "to officially restate their commitment to the two-state solution."

Trump's pick for top diplomat calls Russia a 'danger'

He said Russia poses a "danger" to the nation.

A friend of the Kremlin and foe of sanctions in his corporate life, Tillerson told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he would help usher in a new era of U.S. leadership on the global stage as America's top diplomat.

Unlike Trump, who has played down the allegations of Russian malfeasance in the presidential campaign, Tilllerson said recent Russian actions "disregarded American interests" and alarmed U.S. allies, even if cooperation between Washington and Moscow remained desirable on a range of issues.

Israel's Netanyahu thanks US House for vote to rebuke UN

Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday thanked the House and said "they voted to either repeal the resolution at the U.N. or change it — and that's exactly what we intend to do."

Lawmakers Thursday voted for a nonbinding measure that insists the U.S. reject any future "one-sided and anti-Israel" U.N. actions.

In December, the Obama Administration abstained from the U.N. Security Council vote against Israel building settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, territory claimed by the Palestinians.

US imposes terrorism-related sanctions against bin Laden son

The State Department said Hamza bin Laden has been added to its Specially Designated Global Terrorist list after he was "determined to have committed, or pose a serious risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security."

Hamza bin Laden was officially named an al-Qaida member in 2014 by his father's successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

In rare split, UK's May criticizes US stance on Israel

A spokesman for May said the British government does not think it is "appropriate to attack the composition of the democratically elected government of an ally."

The comments made Thursday were in response to U.S. Secretary of State John's Kerry's outspoken speech challenging the Israeli government's policy on settlement expansion and other issues.

May's spokesman, speaking anonymously in line with government rules, said it was wrong to focus solely on the settlement issue when the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is so complex.

In parting shot, Kerry tears into Israel over settlements

He accused  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of dragging Israel away from democracy and forcefully rejecting the notion that America had abandoned Israel with a controversial U.N. vote. Netanyahu accused the Obama administration of a biased bid to blame Israel for failure to reach a peace deal.

Pushing back on Israel, Kerry defends Obama's UN vote

Kerry warned that Israel's very future as a democracy is at stake.

Kerry, pushing back on Israel's fury at the U.S. abstention of the United Nations vote, questioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's true commitment to Palestinian statehood, which has formed the basis for all serious peace talks for years. Though Netanyahu says he believes in the two-state solution, Kerry said, under his leadership Israel's government is "the most right-wing in Israel's history."