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Trump picks fight with Canada over dairy products and trade

Posted on: April 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that the United States ‘will not stand for’ Canadian dairy trade policies that hurt American dairy farm exports, adding that the rules have “made business for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other border states very difficult.”

Canada has made business for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other border states very difficult. We will not stand for this. Watch!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2017

It’s the third time in the last week that Trump has bashed America’s northern neighbor and close ally for its rules on imported dairy products.

“In Canada, what they’ve done to our dairy farm workers is a disgrace. It’s a disgrace,” Trump said in the Oval Office last week, as the President welcomed union leaders, steel workers and CEOs of steel companies for the signing of the memorandum ordering an investigation into steel dumping.

Trump made similar remarks in Wisconsin last Tuesday, calling the dairy trade relationship between the United States and Canada “very, very unfair.”

“We’re also going to stand up for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin,” Trump told the crowd. “I’ve been reading about it and I’ve been talking about it for a long time and that demands, really, immediately, fair trade with all of our trading partners.”

“That includes Canada, because, in Canada, some very unfair things have happened to our dairy farmers and others,” Trump continued. “It’s another typical one-sided deal against the United States and it’s not going to be happening for long.”

Several countries with high dairy product exports oppose Canada’s current protectionist policies, which include high tariffs on imported milk and cheese products.

Trump based his 2016 presidential campaign on increasing the number of jobs in the United States by renegotiating trade pacts like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), both of which Canada has signed.

Halting business from moving overseas has been a key promise of Trump’s early presidency.

The comments precede the upcoming renegotiation of NAFTA, expected this summer. The U.S. has been at odds with Canada over other imports, as well, one of the largest disputes has been about softwood lumber imports from Canada to the U.S. On Monday, Trump told media attending a reception that he would impose a 20 percent tariff on imports of the Canadian product.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Trump picks fight with Canada over dairy products and trade

Posted on: April 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that the United States ‘will not stand for’ Canadian dairy trade policies that hurt American dairy farm exports, adding that the rules have “made business for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other border states very difficult.”

Canada has made business for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other border states very difficult. We will not stand for this. Watch!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2017

It’s the third time in the last week that Trump has bashed America’s northern neighbor and close ally for its rules on imported dairy products.

“In Canada, what they’ve done to our dairy farm workers is a disgrace. It’s a disgrace,” Trump said in the Oval Office last week, as the President welcomed union leaders, steel workers and CEOs of steel companies for the signing of the memorandum ordering an investigation into steel dumping.

Trump made similar remarks in Wisconsin last Tuesday, calling the dairy trade relationship between the United States and Canada “very, very unfair.”

“We’re also going to stand up for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin,” Trump told the crowd. “I’ve been reading about it and I’ve been talking about it for a long time and that demands, really, immediately, fair trade with all of our trading partners.”

“That includes Canada, because, in Canada, some very unfair things have happened to our dairy farmers and others,” Trump continued. “It’s another typical one-sided deal against the United States and it’s not going to be happening for long.”

Several countries with high dairy product exports oppose Canada’s current protectionist policies, which include high tariffs on imported milk and cheese products.

Trump based his 2016 presidential campaign on increasing the number of jobs in the United States by renegotiating trade pacts like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), both of which Canada has signed.

Halting business from moving overseas has been a key promise of Trump’s early presidency.

The comments precede the upcoming renegotiation of NAFTA, expected this summer. The U.S. has been at odds with Canada over other imports, as well, one of the largest disputes has been about softwood lumber imports from Canada to the U.S. On Monday, Trump told media attending a reception that he would impose a 20 percent tariff on imports of the Canadian product.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Canadian PM responds to lumber tariffs imposed by the US

Posted on: April 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada and the U.S. could suffer from a "thickening" border a day after the Trump administration imposed new tariffs on softwood lumber and trade tensions between the two countries escalated

Ivanka Trump brushes off hissing in Germany: ‘Politics is politics’

Posted on: April 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(BERLIN) — Ivanka Trump brushed off the hissing that some audience members directed at her during the Women 20 Summit in Germany Tuesday when she expressed pride in her father’s advocacy of women, and specifically his campaign proposal for paid family leave.

“Politics is politics, as I’m learning,” Ivanka Trump said, taking questions from reporters after the panel discussion where she was jeered.

She then further defended her father as a “champion for all Americans,” including women.

Asked whether she thought the moderator’s questioning of her was a little tough, Ivanka shrugged it off: “I’m used to it. It’s fine.”

When the jeers erupted during the panel, the moderator referenced the crowd’s reaction in following up with Ivanka by noting that many people are suspicious of President Trump’s stated support for women’s empowerment.

“I’ve certainly heard the criticism from the media and that’s been perpetuated,” Ivanka said, prompting further heckling from some in the crowd at the panel on women’s entrepreneurship.

She went on to vouch for her father’s record in empowering women — pointing to his business and her own upbringing — as evidence of his belief in gender equality.

“As a daughter, I can speak on a very personal level knowing that he encouraged me and enabled me to thrive,” she said, noting that her father did not distinguish between how she and her brothers were treated at home.

Ivanka Trump participated in the panel along with other high-profile women, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who personally invited her to Germany for the summit, and International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde.

Trump, 35, was also asked by the moderator whether she is representing her father, the U.S. people or her business.

“Certainly not the latter,” she said, going on to say the role as first daughter is still very new to her but that she’s looking for the best ways to empower women in the workplace.

She said she’ll bring the knowledge she gains at the summit back to her father.

She specifically pointed to equal pay and paid family leave as useful policies to help level the playing field for women, and noted that the United States is the only developed country without a paid family leave policy.

She also touted the cause of STEM education — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — for young women and girls.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Ivanka Trump brushes off hissing in Germany: ‘Politics is politics’

Posted on: April 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(BERLIN) — Ivanka Trump brushed off the hissing that some audience members directed at her during the Women 20 Summit in Germany Tuesday when she expressed pride in her father’s advocacy of women, and specifically his campaign proposal for paid family leave.

“Politics is politics, as I’m learning,” Ivanka Trump said, taking questions from reporters after the panel discussion where she was jeered.

She then further defended her father as a “champion for all Americans,” including women.

Asked whether she thought the moderator’s questioning of her was a little tough, Ivanka shrugged it off: “I’m used to it. It’s fine.”

When the jeers erupted during the panel, the moderator referenced the crowd’s reaction in following up with Ivanka by noting that many people are suspicious of President Trump’s stated support for women’s empowerment.

“I’ve certainly heard the criticism from the media and that’s been perpetuated,” Ivanka said, prompting further heckling from some in the crowd at the panel on women’s entrepreneurship.

She went on to vouch for her father’s record in empowering women — pointing to his business and her own upbringing — as evidence of his belief in gender equality.

“As a daughter, I can speak on a very personal level knowing that he encouraged me and enabled me to thrive,” she said, noting that her father did not distinguish between how she and her brothers were treated at home.

Ivanka Trump participated in the panel along with other high-profile women, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who personally invited her to Germany for the summit, and International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde.

Trump, 35, was also asked by the moderator whether she is representing her father, the U.S. people or her business.

“Certainly not the latter,” she said, going on to say the role as first daughter is still very new to her but that she’s looking for the best ways to empower women in the workplace.

She said she’ll bring the knowledge she gains at the summit back to her father.

She specifically pointed to equal pay and paid family leave as useful policies to help level the playing field for women, and noted that the United States is the only developed country without a paid family leave policy.

She also touted the cause of STEM education — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — for young women and girls.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Spain arrests 9 suspected members of jihadi group in probe of Brussels attacks

Posted on: April 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

zabelin/iStock/Thinkstock(BARCELONA) — Nine suspected members of a jihadi group were arrested in raids today in Spain, most of whom are alleged to have a direct connection to people suspected of carrying out attacks in Brussels in 2016 that killed 32 people and wounded 300 others, according to police.

All nine are Moroccan citizens living in Spain, police said. Guns and drugs were found during the arrest.

A Spanish interior ministry official said the arrest of the nine in the Catalonia region was focused on Oussama Atar, the suspected mastermind of the attacks on Brussels’ airport and subways last year.

In a separate operation, two other people were taken into custody in what authorities described as an anti-terror raid in Segovia, north of Madrid, a Spanish interior ministry official said. One of the two was a Spanish citizen, the other Moroccan, the official said. Authorities provided no confirmation that the two arrested have any connection to the Brussels attacks.

The arrest in Segovia was linked to an arrest Saturday of an Egyptian citizen, Hatem Mokhtar Abdallah Said, the interior ministry official said.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks in Brussels in March 2016.

Last month, Brussels observed a moment of silence to remember the victims on the one-year anniversary of the bombings, which were the deadliest such attacks in Belgium’s history.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Spain arrests 9 suspected members of jihadi group in probe of Brussels attacks

Posted on: April 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

zabelin/iStock/Thinkstock(BARCELONA) — Nine suspected members of a jihadi group were arrested in raids today in Spain, most of whom are alleged to have a direct connection to people suspected of carrying out attacks in Brussels in 2016 that killed 32 people and wounded 300 others, according to police.

All nine are Moroccan citizens living in Spain, police said. Guns and drugs were found during the arrest.

A Spanish interior ministry official said the arrest of the nine in the Catalonia region was focused on Oussama Atar, the suspected mastermind of the attacks on Brussels’ airport and subways last year.

In a separate operation, two other people were taken into custody in what authorities described as an anti-terror raid in Segovia, north of Madrid, a Spanish interior ministry official said. One of the two was a Spanish citizen, the other Moroccan, the official said. Authorities provided no confirmation that the two arrested have any connection to the Brussels attacks.

The arrest in Segovia was linked to an arrest Saturday of an Egyptian citizen, Hatem Mokhtar Abdallah Said, the interior ministry official said.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks in Brussels in March 2016.

Last month, Brussels observed a moment of silence to remember the victims on the one-year anniversary of the bombings, which were the deadliest such attacks in Belgium’s history.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Ivanka Trump gets hissed at in Germany while touting father’s advocacy for women

Posted on: April 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(BERLIN) — First daughter Ivanka Trump was interrupted by hissing during a panel discussion at the W-20 conference in Germany Tuesday when she said she was proud of her father’s advocacy of women, specifically referencing his presidential campaign proposal for paid family leave.

The moderator, after the audience reaction, then suggested that many people are suspicious of President Trump’s stated support for women’s empowerment.

“I’ve certainly heard the criticism from the media and that’s been perpetuated,” Ivanka said, prompting further heckling from some in the crowd at the panel on women’s entrepreneurship.

She went on to vouch for her father’s record in empowering women – pointing to his business and her own upbringing – as evidence of his belief in gender equality.

“As a daughter, I can speak on a very personal level knowing that he encouraged me and enabled me to thrive,” she said, noting that her father did not distinguish between how she and her brothers were treated at home.

Ivanka Trump is participating in the panel along with other high-profile women, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who personally invited her to Germany for the summit, and International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde.

Trump was also asked by the moderator whether she is representing her father, the U.S. people or her business.

“Certainly not the latter,” she said, going on to say the role as first daughter is still very new to her but that she’s looking for the best ways to empower women in the workplace.

She said she’ll bring the knowledge she gains at the summit back to her father.

She specifically pointed to equal pay and paid family leave as useful policies to help level the playing field for women, and noted that the United States is the only developed country without a paid family leave policy.

She is also touted the cause of STEM education — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — for young women and girls.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Yemen aid summit looking to pull nation from famine threatening millions with starvation

Posted on: April 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pledging conference to raise funds for war-torn Yemen is taking place in Geneva on Tuesday to help combat what the United Nations has called “largest humanitarian crisis in the world.”

Ongoing violence has created a food crisis in Yemen, leaving nearly 7 million people, including, 2.2 million children, malnourished, the UN’s United Nations Children’s Fund said in a statement on Monday.

Hosted by the U.N. and the governments of Switzerland and Sweden governments, the funding event aims to make up for a $2.1 billion funding shortfall in the U.N,’s fight to deliver crucial aid and lifesaving assistance to Yemen, a country that has been dogged by intense war conflict for more than two years.

Yemen has been hit by at least 325 verified attacks, which have hit health facilities, schools, markets, roads, and other infrastructure, according to research released by the World Health Organization on Monday.

The conflict has disrupted essential aid and resources to the county, causing the flow of key medicines to declined 70 percent since March 2015, when the fighting first began, according to WHO.

“Without further action from parties to the conflict and the international community, Yemen is at a serious risk of plunging into famine – with even more children’s lives hanging in the balance,” UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Geert Cappelaere said in a statement Tuesday. “We are in a race against time,” he added.

UNICEF said the rampant violence has made large parts of Yemen inaccessible to humanitarian workers, leaving many of the county’s 25.6 million occupants vulnerable to famine.

 

Time is running out for families in Yemen. As famine looms, urgent action is needed now to save lives. #Aid4Yemen 🇾🇪 pic.twitter.com/ocZpTJ7Oza

— World Food Programme (@WFP) April 25, 2017

In a joint statement with the World Food Program humanitarian agency on Tuesday, UNICEF said its efforts were less than 20 percent funded and called for “an immediate political solution to end the war in Yemen.”

“If we act now, many lives could be saved in Yemen,” said Muhannad Hadi, WFP Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and East Europe. “We call on the international community to urgently provide us with sufficient funding and to help us avert famine across Yemen.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Yemen aid summit looking to pull nation from famine threatening millions with starvation

Posted on: April 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pledging conference to raise funds for war-torn Yemen is taking place in Geneva on Tuesday to help combat what the United Nations has called “largest humanitarian crisis in the world.”

Ongoing violence has created a food crisis in Yemen, leaving nearly 7 million people, including, 2.2 million children, malnourished, the UN’s United Nations Children’s Fund said in a statement on Monday.

Hosted by the U.N. and the governments of Switzerland and Sweden governments, the funding event aims to make up for a $2.1 billion funding shortfall in the U.N,’s fight to deliver crucial aid and lifesaving assistance to Yemen, a country that has been dogged by intense war conflict for more than two years.

Yemen has been hit by at least 325 verified attacks, which have hit health facilities, schools, markets, roads, and other infrastructure, according to research released by the World Health Organization on Monday.

The conflict has disrupted essential aid and resources to the county, causing the flow of key medicines to declined 70 percent since March 2015, when the fighting first began, according to WHO.

“Without further action from parties to the conflict and the international community, Yemen is at a serious risk of plunging into famine – with even more children’s lives hanging in the balance,” UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Geert Cappelaere said in a statement Tuesday. “We are in a race against time,” he added.

UNICEF said the rampant violence has made large parts of Yemen inaccessible to humanitarian workers, leaving many of the county’s 25.6 million occupants vulnerable to famine.

 

Time is running out for families in Yemen. As famine looms, urgent action is needed now to save lives. #Aid4Yemen 🇾🇪 pic.twitter.com/ocZpTJ7Oza

— World Food Programme (@WFP) April 25, 2017

In a joint statement with the World Food Program humanitarian agency on Tuesday, UNICEF said its efforts were less than 20 percent funded and called for “an immediate political solution to end the war in Yemen.”

“If we act now, many lives could be saved in Yemen,” said Muhannad Hadi, WFP Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and East Europe. “We call on the international community to urgently provide us with sufficient funding and to help us avert famine across Yemen.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

WATCH: US may expand electronics ban on flights from Europe

Posted on: April 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

The Trump administration has reportedly discussed expanding restrictions on electronic devices bigger than smart phones to some European airports due to the reported development by ISIS of bombs that can fit inside laptops, iPads and other electronics.

North Korea celebrates as South Korea, US keep watch

Posted on: April 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

North Korea held a major live-fire drill in the Wonsan city area.

North Korea celebrates as South Korea, US keep watch

Posted on: April 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

North Korea held a major live-fire drill in the Wonsan city area.

WATCH: Acrobat joins Venezuelans staging massive sit-in to protest government

Posted on: April 25th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Thousands of Venezuelan protesters staged a sit-in blocking the main highway into Caracas on Monday as anti-government protests enter their fourth week.

The Latest: Chinese media warn N. Korea against nuke test

Posted on: April 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

A ruling Chinese Communist Party newspaper is warning North Korea against conducting another nuclear test, saying that would likely propel events past the "point of no return."

The Latest: Chinese media warn N. Korea against nuke test

Posted on: April 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

A ruling Chinese Communist Party newspaper is warning North Korea against conducting another nuclear test, saying that would likely propel events past the "point of no return."

Leading French candidate targeted by group behind DNC hacks, research firm says

Posted on: April 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

The hacking group is known by several names.

WATCH: The Syrian tour guides of Berlin

Posted on: April 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News’ Sarah Hucal joins one refugee as he shares his story of fleeing war-torn Syria for Germany.

Leading French candidate targeted by group behind DNC hacks, research firm says

Posted on: April 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(PARIS) — Leading French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign has been the target of cyberattacks at the hands of the same group linked to attacks against the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign team, according to a reputable security research firm.

Feike Hacqueboard, a senior threat researcher with security firm Trend Micro, told ABC News that he has identified four internet domain names connected to a group called “Pawn Storm” that were used to target the French centrist’s campaign with so-called phishing attacks.

“The attacks could have started [in the middle of] March and I think they went on for half of April,” Hacqueboard told ABC News in a phone call from the Netherlands.

Pawn Storm is also known as Fancy Bear and APT28, among a number of other monikers. The group has been linked by several private security firms to the Russian government, and in some cases, the Russian military intelligence agency called the GRU.

For its part, Trend Micro — as a policy — does not point fingers at state actors for fear of interfering in the political process, Hacqueboard said. But he conceded that Pawn Storm are after targets that are of interest to the Russian government.

In addition to the DNC, the group was behind the recent cyberattacks on the Turkish parliament and Angela Merkel’s party in Germany (the CDU), as well as cyberattacks on the parliaments of Montenegro and Germany, according to Hacqueboard.

“We see that the fingerprints of these attacks are the same,” the researcher said. “The mode of operation is very, very similar.”

A spokesman for the French government cybersecurity agency ANSSI confirmed the attacks on the Macron campaign to Reuters, but would not comment on whether Pawn Storm was behind them.

Among the group’s favored attack methods, Hacqueboard said, is an attack called “phishing.”

This attack method sees hackers send duplicitous emails to their targets that appear to be from legitimate institutions or organizations. The emails usually demand that the target hand over some personal information, such as a password, in order to avoid some negative outcome, such as having a social media or email account locked.

The emails appear authentic, but in reality are designed to gather personal information that hackers can then exploit to gain further access to systems.

Richard Ferrand, secretary-general of Macron’s party, previously accused Russia of trying to influence the French election in a February news conference and urged the French government to take action to prevent any “foreign meddling,” according to Reuters.

The French election is in full swing. A first round of votes on Sunday saw Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen best nine other candidates and advance to a second round of voting that is scheduled for May 7.

Le Pen has in the past expressed support for Russia’s annexation of the Crimea region from Ukraine, according to BBC News. That annexation was widely condemned by the international community.

Le Pen has also called for the European Union to lift sanctions imposed on Russia, saying that they were “counterproductive,” the BBC reported.

The Macron campaign did not return ABC News’ request for comment.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Leading French candidate targeted by group behind DNC hacks, research firm says

Posted on: April 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(PARIS) — Leading French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign has been the target of cyberattacks at the hands of the same group linked to attacks against the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign team, according to a reputable security research firm.

Feike Hacqueboard, a senior threat researcher with security firm Trend Micro, told ABC News that he has identified four internet domain names connected to a group called “Pawn Storm” that were used to target the French centrist’s campaign with so-called phishing attacks.

“The attacks could have started [in the middle of] March and I think they went on for half of April,” Hacqueboard told ABC News in a phone call from the Netherlands.

Pawn Storm is also known as Fancy Bear and APT28, among a number of other monikers. The group has been linked by several private security firms to the Russian government, and in some cases, the Russian military intelligence agency called the GRU.

For its part, Trend Micro — as a policy — does not point fingers at state actors for fear of interfering in the political process, Hacqueboard said. But he conceded that Pawn Storm are after targets that are of interest to the Russian government.

In addition to the DNC, the group was behind the recent cyberattacks on the Turkish parliament and Angela Merkel’s party in Germany (the CDU), as well as cyberattacks on the parliaments of Montenegro and Germany, according to Hacqueboard.

“We see that the fingerprints of these attacks are the same,” the researcher said. “The mode of operation is very, very similar.”

A spokesman for the French government cybersecurity agency ANSSI confirmed the attacks on the Macron campaign to Reuters, but would not comment on whether Pawn Storm was behind them.

Among the group’s favored attack methods, Hacqueboard said, is an attack called “phishing.”

This attack method sees hackers send duplicitous emails to their targets that appear to be from legitimate institutions or organizations. The emails usually demand that the target hand over some personal information, such as a password, in order to avoid some negative outcome, such as having a social media or email account locked.

The emails appear authentic, but in reality are designed to gather personal information that hackers can then exploit to gain further access to systems.

Richard Ferrand, secretary-general of Macron’s party, previously accused Russia of trying to influence the French election in a February news conference and urged the French government to take action to prevent any “foreign meddling,” according to Reuters.

The French election is in full swing. A first round of votes on Sunday saw Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen best nine other candidates and advance to a second round of voting that is scheduled for May 7.

Le Pen has in the past expressed support for Russia’s annexation of the Crimea region from Ukraine, according to BBC News. That annexation was widely condemned by the international community.

Le Pen has also called for the European Union to lift sanctions imposed on Russia, saying that they were “counterproductive,” the BBC reported.

The Macron campaign did not return ABC News’ request for comment.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Russia may be aiding Taliban, US general in Afghanistan says

Posted on: April 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Russia is believed to be the source of an influx of weapons to the Taliban in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said in a press conference on Monday.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who appeared with Nicholson at Resolute Support headquarters, said the U.S. would have to “confront Russia” over “denying the sovereignty of other countries,” including Afghanistan.

“For example, any weapons being funneled here from a foreign country would be a violation of international law,” said Mattis.

Asked if he would refute claims that Russia is providing weapons to the Taliban, Nicholson answered definitively.

“Oh no, I’m not refuting that,” the general said.

Nicholson said the U.S. has continued to receive reports of Russian assistance to the Taliban.

While Mattis said that the U.S. would “engage with Russia diplomatically,” he spoke in stronger terms about the threat of the Taliban and of ISIS in Afghanistan and expressed confidence about his ability to advise President Donald Trump on U.S. policy in the region upon his return.

“We are under no illusions about the challenges associated with this mission,” said Mattis, who called the Taliban a “barbaric enemy” as he referenced an attack Friday that killed more than 100 at an Afghan military base.

On ISIS, Nicholson issued a warning to the terrorist organization that is currently centered within Iraq and Syria.

“If they come here to Afghanistan, they will be destroyed. In keeping secretary’s intent, they will be annihilated,” said Nicholson, who noted that ISIS attempts to gain a foothold in the country have been mostly repelled.

“We’re going to keep going until they’re defeated in 2017,” said Nicholson. “Now they have an aspiration, I think, to move fighters here from Syria. We haven’t seen it happen. And, in fact, by reducing their sanctuary here, by annihilating them here, it should very clear to ISIS main there is no space to come to in Afghanistan.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Russia may be aiding Taliban, US general in Afghanistan says

Posted on: April 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Russia is believed to be the source of an influx of weapons to the Taliban in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said in a press conference on Monday.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who appeared with Nicholson at Resolute Support headquarters, said the U.S. would have to “confront Russia” over “denying the sovereignty of other countries,” including Afghanistan.

“For example, any weapons being funneled here from a foreign country would be a violation of international law,” said Mattis.

Asked if he would refute claims that Russia is providing weapons to the Taliban, Nicholson answered definitively.

“Oh no, I’m not refuting that,” the general said.

Nicholson said the U.S. has continued to receive reports of Russian assistance to the Taliban.

While Mattis said that the U.S. would “engage with Russia diplomatically,” he spoke in stronger terms about the threat of the Taliban and of ISIS in Afghanistan and expressed confidence about his ability to advise President Donald Trump on U.S. policy in the region upon his return.

“We are under no illusions about the challenges associated with this mission,” said Mattis, who called the Taliban a “barbaric enemy” as he referenced an attack Friday that killed more than 100 at an Afghan military base.

On ISIS, Nicholson issued a warning to the terrorist organization that is currently centered within Iraq and Syria.

“If they come here to Afghanistan, they will be destroyed. In keeping secretary’s intent, they will be annihilated,” said Nicholson, who noted that ISIS attempts to gain a foothold in the country have been mostly repelled.

“We’re going to keep going until they’re defeated in 2017,” said Nicholson. “Now they have an aspiration, I think, to move fighters here from Syria. We haven’t seen it happen. And, in fact, by reducing their sanctuary here, by annihilating them here, it should very clear to ISIS main there is no space to come to in Afghanistan.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Russia may be aiding Taliban, US general in Afghanistan says

Posted on: April 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Gen. John Nicholson did not "refute" that Russia was providing weapons.

Russia may be aiding Taliban, US general in Afghanistan says

Posted on: April 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Gen. John Nicholson did not "refute" that Russia was providing weapons.

Russia may be aiding Taliban, US general in Afghanistan says

Posted on: April 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Gen. John Nicholson did not "refute" that Russia was providing weapons.

Le Pen stepping down from her party’s leadership as she fights for presidency

Posted on: April 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Chesnot/Getty Images(PARIS) — French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen announced Monday that she is temporarily stepping down from her party’s leadership as she battles for the presidency. She will face off against Emmanuel Macron during the second round of the election on May 7.

“I’m taking a leave of absence as president of @FN_officiel [the Front National]; I’m now simply a candidate in the presidential election,” Le Pen tweeted from her official account.

"Je me mets en congé de la présidence du @FN_officiel : je ne suis plus que la candidate à la présidentielle." #JT20h pic.twitter.com/4XaLe8rcIq

— Marine Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) April 24, 2017

Le Pen and Macron bested nine other candidates to advance past the first round of voting on Sunday. They will now spend two weeks fighting for votes ahead of the second and final round.

Her decision to step down from the leadership of the National Front party appears to be an attempt to broaden her appeal as she and Macron battle to gain the support of voters who backed losing candidates in the first round of voting.

Since the results of the first round of voting became clear, Macron has enjoyed a number of high-profile endorsements, including from French President François Hollande and Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

The National Front’s image has been tarnished by the reputation of her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who led the party until his daughter took it over in 2011.

The elder Le Pen was widely rebuked for calling Nazi gas chambers “a detail of history.”

Marine Le Pen has denounced these remarks and worked to broaden her party’s appeal.

The two opposing French candidates received tacit support from two opposing U.S. politicians in the lead up to the first round vote.

President Donald Trump, while not offering a formal endorsement, said in an interview that Le Pen was “the strongest on what’s been going on in France.”

Former President Barack Obama, meanwhile, phoned Macron to wish him well ahead of the vote. Obama’s spokesman said it was not an official endorsement.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Le Pen stepping down from her party’s leadership as she fights for presidency

Posted on: April 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Chesnot/Getty Images(PARIS) — French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen announced Monday that she is temporarily stepping down from her party’s leadership as she battles for the presidency. She will face off against Emmanuel Macron during the second round of the election on May 7.

“I’m taking a leave of absence as president of @FN_officiel [the Front National]; I’m now simply a candidate in the presidential election,” Le Pen tweeted from her official account.

"Je me mets en congé de la présidence du @FN_officiel : je ne suis plus que la candidate à la présidentielle." #JT20h pic.twitter.com/4XaLe8rcIq

— Marine Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) April 24, 2017

Le Pen and Macron bested nine other candidates to advance past the first round of voting on Sunday. They will now spend two weeks fighting for votes ahead of the second and final round.

Her decision to step down from the leadership of the National Front party appears to be an attempt to broaden her appeal as she and Macron battle to gain the support of voters who backed losing candidates in the first round of voting.

Since the results of the first round of voting became clear, Macron has enjoyed a number of high-profile endorsements, including from French President François Hollande and Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

The National Front’s image has been tarnished by the reputation of her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who led the party until his daughter took it over in 2011.

The elder Le Pen was widely rebuked for calling Nazi gas chambers “a detail of history.”

Marine Le Pen has denounced these remarks and worked to broaden her party’s appeal.

The two opposing French candidates received tacit support from two opposing U.S. politicians in the lead up to the first round vote.

President Donald Trump, while not offering a formal endorsement, said in an interview that Le Pen was “the strongest on what’s been going on in France.”

Former President Barack Obama, meanwhile, phoned Macron to wish him well ahead of the vote. Obama’s spokesman said it was not an official endorsement.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Researchers find unique US Declaration of Independence copy

Posted on: April 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Researchers have discovered a unique copy of the Declaration of Independence in an unexpected place – England

Researchers find unique US Declaration of Independence copy

Posted on: April 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Researchers have discovered a unique copy of the Declaration of Independence in an unexpected place – England

WATCH: ‘Perfect’ viewing conditions for aurora over lake

Posted on: April 24th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Spectacular video shows the Aurora Australia, also known as the Southern Lights, over Lake Mapourika in New Zealand.