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Biden, in public and private, tiptoes toward a 2020 run

WASHINGTON — Former Vice-President Joe Biden is tiptoeing toward a potential presidential run in 2020, even broaching the possibility during a recent gathering of longtime foreign policy aides. Huddled in his newly opened office steps from the U.S. Capitol, Biden began a planning meeting for his new diplomacy centre by addressing the elephant in the …

Trump flirts with flashy military parade long eschewed by US

WASHINGTON — For generations, as America’s authoritarian rivals strutted their tanks, troops and jets through main thoroughfares in dramatic displays of strength, the United States watched from afar, but did not emulate. Widely accepted as the world’s mightiest, the U.S. military has no tradition of putting itself on parade like in Russia, North Korea or …

New Russia sanctions kick in, but US opts to punish nobody

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has decided not to punish anybody for now under new sanctions retaliating for Russia’s election-meddling, the State Department said Monday, in a surprising move that fueled further questions about whether President Donald Trump is too soft on Moscow. The government had until Monday to take two steps under a law …

US pulled multiple ways in Syria as Islamic State recedes

WASHINGTON — For the last few years, the United States could neatly sum its objective in Syria in a single, uncontroversial bullet point: fighting the Islamic State group. Now that the extremists have been squeezed from all but the last bits of their former territory, the Trump administration is struggling to define the boundaries of …

Trump barrels into 2018 with fresh foreign fights on Twitter

WASHINGTON — You thought President Donald Trump might mellow out in 2018? Refrain from taunting world leaders tweet by tweet? Think again. Trump is storming into the new year in exceptionally aggressive fashion, picking fresh fights on Twitter with such speed that his aides, international partners and the public are struggling to catch up. If …

Trump throws full US support behind protesters in Iran

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Tuesday threw the weight of the U.S. government behind the protesters taking to the streets of Iran, rooting them on despite the risk of helping Iranian authorities dismiss a week of major demonstrations as the product of American instigation. As Iran’s supreme leader accused “enemies of Iran” of trying …

Officials: US agrees to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has approved a plan to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine, U.S. officials said Friday, in a long-awaited move that deepens America’s involvement in the military conflict and may further strain relations with Russia. The new arms include American-made Javelin anti-tank missiles that Ukraine has long sought to boost its defences …

Trump threat to cut aid faces credibility test after UN vote

WASHINGTON — After threatening to cut off nations that rebuked him over Jerusalem, President Donald Trump faces a key question about his global credibility: Will he follow through? Most of the world defied the United States on Thursday at the U.N., voting for a resolution that declares Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital to …

Tillerson: US, Russia could normalize ties but for Ukraine

VIENNA—U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held up the Ukraine crisis Thursday as the sole issue keeping the United States and Russia from forging a closer relationship, arguing that all other disputes are secondary. “The issue that stands in the way is Ukraine,” Tillerson said. President Donald Trump campaigned on the need to improve ties …

AP sources: Trump considers replacing Tillerson with Pompeo

WASHINGTON — After months of clashes on policy and personality, President Donald Trump is considering ousting Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replacing him with hard-nosed CIA Director Mike Pompeo following less than a year on the job, senior U.S. officials said as turmoil within Trump’s national security team burst into the open. The White …