Trump taps military strategist as national security adviser PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - President Donald Trump has tapped Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, a prominent military strategist known as a creative thinker, as his new national security adviser, replacing the ousted Michael Flynn. Trump announced the pick Monday at his Palm Beach, Florida, club and said McMaster is "a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience." Sitting next to Trump for the announcement, McMaster said he was honored to take on the role and added that he looks forward to "doing everything that I can to advance and protect the interests of the American people." The president's choice further elevates the influence of military officers in the new administration.
Trump tries to move past controversies, toward legislating WASHINGTON (AP) - As President Donald Trump begins his second month in office, his team is trying to move past the crush of controversies that overtook his first month and make progress on health care and tax overhauls long sought by Republicans. Both issues thrust Trump, a real estate executive who has never held elected office, into the unfamiliar world of legislating. The president has thus far relied exclusively on executive powers to muscle through policy priorities and has offered few details about what he'll require in any final legislative packages, like how the proposals should be paid for. The White House also sent conflicting signals about whether the president will send Congress his own legislative blueprints or let lawmakers drive the process.
Conservative group cancels speech by Yiannopoulos LOS ANGELES (AP) - Right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos has been disinvited to this year's Conservative Political Action Conference after his attempt to clarify past comments on relationships between boys and older men fell flat with organizers. Hours later, his publisher cancelled his book "Dangerous," which had been scheduled to come out in June. The American Conservative Union founded and hosts CPAC, which is being held Wednesday through Saturday outside Washington. In a tweet on Monday, ACU chairman Matt Schlapp said that "due to the revelation of an offensive video in the past 24 hours condoning pedophilia, the American Conservative Union has decided to rescind the invitation of Milo Yiannopoulos to speak." After the polarizing Breitbart News editor was invited, his invitation sparked a backlash.
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Thousands of demonstrators across US say 'Not My President' Thousands of demonstrators turned out Monday across the U.S. to challenge Donald Trump in a Presidents Day protest dubbed Not My President's Day. The protests on the federal holiday didn't draw nearly as many people as the million-plus who thronged the streets following the Republican president's inauguration a month earlier, but the message was similar. Thousands of flag-waving protesters lined up outside Central Park in Manhattan. Many in the crowd chanted "No ban, no wall. The Trump regime has got to fall." They held aloft signs saying "Uphold the Constitution Now" and "Impeach the Liar." Nova Calise, one of the New York City organizers, said Presidents Day was "a perfect time to protest the person that's currently holding the title of President of the United States," adding Trump didn't share the values of those demonstrating Monday.
Malaysian diplomat says Kim death investigation impartial BEIJING (AP) - The investigation into the death of the exiled half-brother of North Korea's ruler is being conducted in an impartial manner, Malaysia's ambassador to Pyongyang said Tuesday, rejecting accusations from the North that the probe was politically tinged. Mohamad Nizan Mohamad spoke in China's capital, Beijing, while in transit to Malaysia to where he had been recalled following the death last week in the Southeast Asian nation of Kim Jong Nam. Kim appeared to have been poisoned at Kuala Lumpur's international airport and police have so far arrested four people carrying identity documents from North Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Rio Carnival revelers hunt for bargains amid economic crisis RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Instead of costly and elaborate costumes with glittering sequins, expect more cheap getups featuring fake mustaches, hats and tiaras at this year's Carnival. Revelers are bargain-hunting ahead of Rio de Janeiro's world famous party, which is about to kick off amid a prolonged economic crisis that is hurting pocketbooks and the myriad businesses that depend on the bash for a large part of their annual incomes. Many parade tickets have not been sold, sponsors have declined to pony up for street parties and hotels are expected to be emptier than last year's also disappointing blast, when worries about the Zika virus kept some foreign tourists away and the recession depressed local spending.
Colleagues mourn sudden death of Russian ambassador to UN NEW YORK (AP) - Russia's ambassador to the United Nations who died suddenly after falling ill at his office at Russia's U.N. mission is being remembered by his diplomatic colleagues as a powerful and passionate voice for his nation. Vitaly Churkin was taken to a hospital, where he died Monday, according to Russia's deputy U.N. ambassador, Vladimir Safronkov. Churkin would have turned 65 Tuesday. The cause of his death was not immediately known. Churkin had been Russia's envoy at the United Nations since 2006. He was the longest-serving ambassador on the Security Council, the U.N.'s most powerful body. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called him "a uniquely skilled diplomat, a powerful orator with great wit, and a man of many talents and interests." "Although we served together for a short time, I greatly appreciated the opportunity to work with him and will deeply miss his insights, skills and friendship," Guterres said in a statement.
In Kuwait, 'too many foreigners' becomes a frequent refrain KUWAIT CITY (AP) - Kuwait's first new government hospital in more than three decades will soon open its doors - but only to Kuwaiti citizens. It's the latest in a series of steps targeting foreigners, including laborers who build high-rise towers, sweep the roads and clean toilets in this tiny oil-rich emirate: a group that far outnumbers the native population. The 304 million dinar ($997 million) Jaber Hospital, about a 20-minute drive from downtown Kuwait City, is expected to open in the coming months. It will be the first government hospital built in Kuwait since 1984, taking some pressure off an overburdened public health system.
Iraqi troops advance on western Mosul as Mattis holds talks SOUTH OF MOSUL, Iraq (AP) - Iraqi forces advanced Monday into the southern outskirts of Mosul on the second day of a push to drive Islamic State militants from the city's western half, as the visiting U.S. defense secretary met with officials to discuss the fight against the extremists. With aerial support from the U.S.-led coalition, Iraqi police and army troops launched the offensive Sunday, part of a 100-day-old campaign that has already driven the militants from the eastern half of the city. Iraqi helicopters fired rockets at the village of Abu Saif early Monday, targeting a hill that overlooks the city's airport.
Teen suicide attempts fell as same-sex marriage became legal CHICAGO (AP) - Teen suicide attempts in the U.S. declined after same-sex marriage became legal and the biggest impact was among gay, lesbian and bisexual kids, a study found. The research found declines in states that passed laws allowing gays to marry before the Supreme Court made it legal nationwide. The results don't prove there's a connection, but researchers said policymakers should be aware of the measures' potential benefits for youth mental health. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for all U.S. teens. Suicidal behavior is much more common among gay, lesbian and bisexual kids and adults; about 29 percent of these teens in the study reported attempting suicide, compared with just 6 percent of straight teens.