Russia

US seeks tough NKorea action, but China shows no inclination

Stepping back from suggestions of U.S. military action, he even offered aid to North Korea if it ends its nuclear weapons program.

The range of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's suggestions, which over a span of 24 hours also included restarting negotiations, reflected America's failure to halt North Korea's nuclear advances despite decades of U.S.-led sanctions, military threats and stop-and-go rounds of diplomatic engagement. As the North approaches the capability to hit the U.S. mainland with a nuclear-tipped missile, the Trump administration feels it is running out of time.

US sets up missile defense in S. Korea as North shows power

The South's trumpeting of progress on setting up the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, comes as high-powered U.S. military assets converge on the Korean Peninsula and as a combative North Korea signals possible nuclear and missile testing.

No sign probes into Russia, Trump campaign will die down

President Donald Trump has dismissed the story as "fake news" and raised allegations of politically inspired spying by the Obama administration, but the investigations show no sign of abating anytime soon.

Here are the latest developments and background on the scandal:

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THE LATEST

Former Trump aide Flynn may have broken law, lawmakers say

This was revealed on Tuesday by leaders of a House committee investigating possible Russian ties with the Trump campaign.

They congressmen also raised new questions about Flynn's consulting firm accepting $530,000 from a company tied to Turkey's government.

US general in Afghanistan suggests Russia arming the Taliban

At a news conference with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at his side, Gen. John Nicholson, the American commander in Afghanistan, wouldn't provide specifics about Russia's role in Afghanistan. But said he would "not refute" that Moscow's involvement includes giving weapons to the Taliban.

Loop Breakfast Bites

Cash-strapped Venezuela a major funder of Trump inauguration

http://www.looptt.com/content/cash-strapped-venezuela-major-funder-trump...

President Nicolas Maduro may be struggling to feed Venezuela but his socialist administration still managed to make a $500,000 donation to Donald Trump's inauguration, records released Wednesday show.

 

Supreme Court bans Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia

The court ordered the closure of the group's Russia headquarters and its 395 local chapters, as well as the seizure of its property.

The Interfax news agency on Thursday quoted Justice Ministry attorney Svetlana Borisova in court as saying that the Jehovah's Witnesses pose a threat to Russians.

"They pose a threat to the rights of the citizens, public order and public security," she told the court.

Borisova also said the Jehovah's Witnesses' opposition to blood transfusions violates Russian health care laws.

Stephenie McPherson in line to get 2011 World Championships medal after Russian stripped of bronze

McPherson clocked 49.99 seconds to finish fourth in the women's 400-metre final in Moscow, but could be upgraged to third place and the bronze medal after Antonina Krivoshapka, who had won the bronze  in 49.78 received a two-year-old doping ban along with four other Russian athletes on Wednesday.

Christine Ohuruogu of Great Britain won the gold medal in  a national record 49.41, while Amantle Montsho of Botswana, who was credited with the same time, took the silver medal.

World power whiplash: Trump reverses views on Russia, China

\Trump's evolving views on those two world powers have brought the U.S. back into alignment with former President Barack Obama's pattern of "great power" politics. Though Russia critics welcomed Trump's newly hardened tone, there's less enthusiasm from America's allies in Asia, who fear the U.S. could overlook China's more aggressive posture toward its neighbors.

Russia, Iran and Syria issue warning to US

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who hosted his Iranian and Syrian counterparts at a trilateral meeting in Moscow, denounced last week's U.S. attack on Syria as a "flagrant violation" of international law and warned that any further such action would entail "grave consequences not only for regional but global security."

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said the meeting sent a "strong message" to Washington. Iran's Mohammad Javad Zarif emphasized that the participants warned that any unilateral action by the U.S. is unacceptable.