February 17, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David DeForest reporting.
President Donald Trump told a news conference in Washington Thursday that the media is painting a false picture of his administration as chaotic when in fact he says it is "running like a fine-tuned machine."
In a session marked by contentious exchanges with reporters, the president complained of unfair coverage of his administration's first days.
"The media is trying to attack our administration because they know we are following through on pledges that we made and they're not happy about it, for whatever reason."
On another topic, Mr. Trump said ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was only doing his job when he made contacts with the Russian ambassador during the campaign. He says the reason Flynn resigned was because he had been dishonest with the vice president when he denied the contacts took place.
The president said he will issue a new executive order on immigration that will replace the last one which was put on hold by a federal court.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations says the Trump administration supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Margaret Besheer reports.
U.N. envoy Nikki Haley made clear the United States still supports a two-state solution but is exploring all options for a peace deal that both sides would accept.
"We absolutely support the two-state solution but we are thinking out of the box as well: which is what does it take to bring these two sides to the table."
She said that ultimately any solution is going to come from the Israelis and Palestinian Authority and the United States is just there to support the process.
Margaret Besheer, the United Nations.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation Wednesday to prevent the Trump administration from repealing sanctions on Russia without congressional approval.
This is VOA news.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson took part Thursday in his first major international meeting, joining a gathering of the G20 foreign ministers in Germany.
On the sidelines of the talks, Tillerson met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. He said that cooperation with Russia will be contingent with Russia living up to its international commitments. In that list, he included the Minsk agreements on Ukraine.
Mr. Lavrov said the two nations have agreed to work together in areas where their interests coincide, particularly in the fight against terrorism.
At a meeting of NATO members in Brussels Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis ruled out any military collaboration between the United States and Russia under current conditions.
Mattis told a news conference at NATO headquarters U.S. political leaders will engage and try to find common ground with Russians.
Mattis made his comments after Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said his government is "ready to restore cooperation with the Pentagon."
A car bomb has killed at least 55 people at a car dealership in Baghdad. Iraqi officials say more than 60 people were wounded.
The blast took place in the mainly Shiite al-Bayaa neighborhood.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility.
An Islamic State suicide bomber killed more than 75 people and wounded more than 200 Thursday inside a crowded Shiite shrine in southern Pakistan.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack in Sehwan, a remote town in Sindh province.
A spokesman says the military was dispatched to assist in rescue efforts.
District officials say a woman carried out the attack.
Samsung heir, Lee Jae-yong, was arrested Friday as part of the corruption and influence-peddling scandal that led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.
Lee is the electronics company's vice chairman and the son of Samsung's leader.
A Seoul court said new evidence led to the decision to take Lee into custody.
President Trump has nominated former National Labor Relations Board member Alexander Acosta to serve as secretary of labor.
Acosta is currently the dean of a Florida law school.
Officials in Southern Sudan say army troops entered a village near the capital, Juba, on Sunday and raped at least half a dozen women and girls, some of them at gunpoint.
The alleged rapes occurred less than two weeks after South Sudanese President Salva Kiir issued a warning that soldiers who commit acts of rape and sexual assault will be shot.
Taking a brief look at market activities, on Wall Street, U.S. stock indexes were mixed at the close of trade today. Markets in Europe were down.
From the VOA news center in Washington, I'm David DeForest.
That's the latest world news from VOA.
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