Bolton replacing McMaster as Trump national security adviser WASHINGTON (AP) - Charging ahead with the dramatic remaking of his White House, President Donald Trump said he would replace national security adviser H.R. McMaster with the former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, a foreign policy hawk entering a White House facing key decisions on Iran and North Korea. After weeks of speculation about McMaster's future, Trump and the respected three-star general put a positive face on the Thursday departure, making no reference to the growing public friction between them. Trump tweeted that McMaster had done "an outstanding job & will always remain my friend." He said Bolton will take over April 9 as his third national security adviser in just over a year.
Trump's plan to remove McMaster wasn't true _ until it was WASHINGTON (AP) - It wasn't true, it wasn't true - until it was. Thursday's announcement that National Security Adviser H.R McMaster will be the latest top aide to leave the White House spotlights President Donald Trump's mercurial decision-making when it comes to staffing the top ranks of government. Trump will discuss. Consider. Float. Leak. But nothing's decided until it's decided. His personnel moves materialize in fits and starts - at once both glacial and impulsive. In the White House, they're called "long-term snap decisions." McMaster showed up to work Thursday the same way he had for months: His days in the West Wing were numbered, but not even Trump knew how long he'd keep his aide around.
Congress OKs $1.3 trillion budget, averting another shutdown WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress gave final approval Friday to a giant $1.3 trillion spending bill that ends the budget battles for now, but only after late scuffles and conservatives objections to big outlays on Democratic priorities at a time when Republicans control the House, Senate and White House. Senate passage shortly after midnight averted a third federal shutdown this year, an outcome both parties wanted to avoid. But in crafting a sweeping deal that busts budget caps, they've stirred conservative opposition and set the contours for the next funding fight ahead of the midterm elections. The House easily approved the measure Thursday, 256-167, a bipartisan tally that underscored the popularity of the compromise, which funds the government through September.
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Activists: Hours before cease-fire, 37 killed in Syrian town BEIRUT (AP) - Syrian rescuers and a war monitoring group say 37 people were killed in airstrikes in a town in the eastern Ghouta region near the capital, Damascus, just hours before a cease-fire went into effect after midnight. The rebel group Faylaq al-Rahman, one of at least three operating in the sprawling region, says intense government attacks targeted the area it controls on Thursday. Rescuers, known as White Helmets, say the casualties were from an airstrike that hit an underground shelter in the town of Arbeen. Rebel spokesman Wael Oweilan said Friday negotiations with Russia will follow to allow for the evacuation of civilians from the area.
China may hike tariffs on US pork, aluminum, other goods BEIJING (AP) - China announced a $3 billion list of U.S. goods for possible retaliation in a tariff dispute with President Donald Trump and girded for a bigger battle over technology policy as financial markets sank on fears of disruption to global commerce. The Commerce Ministry said higher duties on pork, apples, steel pipe and other goods would offset Chinese losses due to Trump's tariff hike on steel and aluminum imports. It urged Washington to negotiate a settlement but set no deadline. In a separate dispute with potentially bigger consequences, the ministry criticized Trump's decision Thursday to approve a possible tariff hike on Chinese goods worth up to $60 billion over Beijing's technology policy.
Roommate's mom: Son was in custody until police found bomber PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (AP) - The mother of a man who lived with suspected serial bomber Mark Conditt in a home north of Austin says her son was kept in police custody until after Conditt died in a fatal confrontation with officers. Jennifer Withers told The Associated Press that her 26-year-old son, Collin Thomas, was walking from work Tuesday night in Pflugerville to the house he and another man shared with Conditt when a group of officers "flew at him." Withers, who spoke during an interview Thursday, said Thomas, who is black, was handcuffed, taken into custody by SWAT officers and questioned about the bombings.
Protest over shooting of unarmed black man overtakes freeway SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Protesters decrying this week's fatal shooting of an unarmed black man marched from Sacramento City Hall and onto a nearby freeway Thursday, disrupting rush hour traffic and holding signs with messages like "Sac PD: Stop killing us!" Hundreds of people rallied for Stephon Clark, a 22-year-old who was shot Sunday in the backyard of his grandparents' home. Police say they feared he had a handgun when they confronted him after reports that he had been breaking windows in the South Sacramento neighborhood. But police found only a cellphone. "We are at a place of deep pain" because of recent violence directed at black people in Sacramento and elsewhere, said the Rev.
Life support ending for 'brain dead' school shooting victim A teenage girl was brain dead days after being shot when a classmate opened fire inside their Maryland high school and was to be removed from life support, her mother said Thursday. Melissa Willey told news reporters Thursday night that her daughter, 16-year-old Jaelynn Willey had "no life left in her." She said Jaelynn would be removed from life support during the evening, by the family's decision. The mother, holding a young baby, said, "On Tuesday ... our lives changed completely and totally forever. My daughter was hurt by a boy who shot her in the head and took everything from our lives." The teen was shot Tuesday by 17-year-old Austin Rollins at Great Mills High School in St.
Tweet offering home to gun protesters launches movement WASHINGTON (AP) - It started with a rare tweet by a woman who had - "maybe" - 28 followers on Twitter. Elizabeth Andrews, a D.C. attorney and mother of a high schooler, was moved by the poise and eloquence of students from Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after the deadly Feb. 14 shooting. So four days after the shooting, she tweeted an offer to host young protesters coming to Washington for the newly announced March For Our Lives rally in support of stronger gun control measures. Within hours, her tweet had taken on a life of its own, with thousands of likes and retweets.
Former Playboy model says Trump tried to pay her after sex LOS ANGELES (AP) - A former Playboy model apologized to first lady Melania Trump for a 10-month affair she claims she had with President Donald Trump that started with him offering her money after the first time they had sex. During an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper that aired Thursday night, Karen McDougal said Trump tried to pay her after their first sexual tryst at a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2006. "Well, after we had been intimate, he, he tried to pay me. And I actually didn't know how to take that," she said. "But I looked at him and I said, 'That's not me.