Tensions mount with Russia as Sean Spicer says Assad must ‘abide by agreements not to use chemical weapons’ but fails to outline US objectives
The White House appeared to back away from wider military involvement in Syria less than 24 hours after launching Tomahawk missiles at one of Bashar al-Assad’s airbases.
The press secretary, Sean Spicer, refused to discuss any next steps – military or diplomatic – by the US in Syria, as the world struggled to understand Trump’s policy toward the grueling civil war.
Meanwhile, Syrian warplanes were reported to have taken off from the airbase targeted by the US missiles, suggesting that the military impact of the overnight attack had been minimal. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said that government aircraft had bombed the outskirts of Khan Sheikhun, the town targeted in Tuesday’s chemical weapons attack
Spicer called the missile strike on the airbase “very decisive, justified and proportional” and entirely justified by “humanitarian purposes”.
Four top intelligence officials briefed the president-elect Friday on a classified report on Russian hacking and interference in the election
Top intelligence officials briefed President-elect Donald Trump Friday on Russia’s hacking efforts to interfere with the U.S. election.
Following the briefing at Trump Tower in New York, Mr. Trump released a statement on what he called a “constructive meeting and conversation” saying that the cyberattacks had “no effect on the outcome of the election.”
President Barack Obama and his first secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, entered the White House in 2009 with visions of a “Russian reset.” But Obama will leave office next month in the midst of a shadowy Cold War-era fever dream, as Washington and Moscow are, once again, beset by accusations of diplomatic chicanery and outright espionage.
The Obama administration announced today that it will impose sanctions on Russian intelligence services and officials in response to the hacks of American political institutions during the election season.
The bill aims to ensure equal access to popular events for the general public.
New York already passed legislation banning the use of ticket buying bots, but President Obama has just made the ban a nationwide law. Today, the president signed the “Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act of 2016” which makes it illegal to use software to purchase tickets to popular events. Of course, the end goal of doing so is to resell them at a higher price. As you might expect, the law aims to give the general public a fair shot at concerts, sporting events and more that sell out quickly.
After President-elect Donald Trump’s surprising win — despite almost all national polls showing Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton a virtual lock for victory — a narrative has emerged that the stunning result was a loss for big data, too. “Tonight, data died,” Republican strategist Mike Murphy said on MSNBC.
CANTON, Ill. — Authorities say one person was killed and several people injured in a natural gas explosion in the central Illinois community of Canton.
Officials say the explosion Wednesday evening occurred near the downtown square and damaged several buildings. Authorities say the cause of the explosion hasn’t been determined.
Canton, with a population of about 14,000, is about 30 miles southwest of Peoria.
Authorities say 11 victims were taken to Graham Hospital in Canton. Fulton County Coroner Steve Hines said one of the victims – an employee of Ameren Illinois, a gas and electric company – later died at the hospital. One victim was taken to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria with non-life threatening injuries.
The Fulton County Emergency Services and Disaster Agency reported that the multiple buildings had been damaged and that large amounts of debris were scattered around the Canton square.
Onlookers reported that Canton’s historic Opera House had been leveled by the blast.
“We have structural engineers in the area checking area buildings. This is a very slow and methodical process. They are working hard and as fast as possible,” the agency said in a statement shortly after 9:30 p.m.
The agency has advised residents to avoid the area around the square. Displaced residents were being directed to a Salvation Army facility.